Adjusting Status By Marrying an LPR

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Can I adjust my status by marrying a lawful permanent resident? Hi, I’m Jim hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our office here in St. Louis, Missouri. In these scenarios where a foreign national in the United States and falls in love with a green card holder, the question is, can they get a green card based on marriage to a lawful permanent resident, to that green card holder? And the answer to this question is usually yes. Yes, you can adjust your status.

You’re going to want to have some extra precautions, and you’re going to have to do things a little bit differently than the marriage to a U.S. citizen. The first thing you need to make sure of is, are there visas available? There are no caps on the number of visas, immigrant visas available for the spouses of U.S. citizens, but there is a cap on the number of visas or green cards given to the spouses of green card holders. And so whenever there’s a cap, there’s a backlog. At times like this, that backlog is current, so there’s no real backlog for the spouses of green card holders. But sometimes that backlog has gotten to be as much as two years.

In that scenario, you couldn’t file the I-130 and the I-45 together. The I-130 is the petition for an ailing relative. The I-45 is the application to adjust status for the foreign national. And if the visa numbers are not current, which you would check on the visa bulletin each month, if they’re not current, then you have to go ahead and file the I-130 by itself, get that approved, and then you get a priority date. You get a date that you filed the I-130, and that’s your place in line. And you have to look at the visa bulletin each month and see if your I-130 priority date has become current.

If it is, then you file for that green card. That can be tricky if you are doing that. If you are on a student visa, let’s say, and you need to leave the United States and you’ve already filed an I-130, they might not give you another visa stamp if you want to come back because an F1 visa is a non-immigrant visa, but you’ve already demonstrated immigrant intent by having your spouse file that I-130. There’s lots of moving pieces when a foreign national marries a green card holder and they want to adjust status.

It’s probably not something you want to do by yourself. I suppose that some people might be able to pull it off, but you’re probably going to need the help of an immigration attorney. If you have questions about this, give us a call at 314-961-8200. You can email us at info@hackinglawpractice.com. Be sure to join us on our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home. And if you liked this video, we asked that you share it out on social and subscribe to our YouTube channel so that you get updates whenever we make videos just like this one. Thanks a lot. Have a great day.