Staying in US While Green Card Pending

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If I’m in the United States on a nonimmigrant visa and I get married and apply for adjustment, can I stay while that case is pending?

Hi, I’m Jim Hacking. Immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our office here in St. Louis, Missouri. When love is in the air, foreign nationals sometimes marry U.S. citizens and when a foreign national marries a U.S. citizen and that foreign national is in the United States on a nonimmigrant visa. Let’s say an F1 or an employment-based, like an H1B, anything like that, where they’re in the United States, even a B1B2 visa. If they’re in the United States and they get married to a U.S. citizen, the question comes up from time to time; do I have to go back home if my visa expires, or if I stop going to school, if I’m on an F1? Or; if my visa is going to end before my green card case will be decided, can I stay in the United States or do I have to leave?

And for most situations, you’re not going to have to leave. Now, you should be able to stay in the United States and adjust your status. And that’s true, even if you file on the last day that you’re nonimmigrant visa is available. You’re going to be able to adjust. In fact, technically in certain circumstances, you can even file if you’re out of status. We have other videos that discuss that. So in this video, we’re talking about situations where someone is coming towards the end of their nonimmigrant visa, and they marry you a U.S. citizen. They do not have to leave the United States. You want to get your cases on file before the visa expires, or at least get your receipt notices back before the case files. That’s a better approach, but you’re not going to have to leave the United States.

Now, if you marry a green card holder, you are not an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen. Therefore, you have to maintain your status all the way up until you get your green card, so you’re going to want to make sure that you maintain your status, but if you’re married to a U.S. citizen, you can stay here, even if it takes them two years to decide your case. You’ll get that temporary work card and that temporary travel card, and so you are free to stay in the United States while that case is pending.

We hope you found this video helpful. If you have questions, give us a call (314) 961-8200. You can email us at info@hacking lawpractice.com. Be sure to join us on our Facebook group, which is called the immigrant home. And if you liked this video, we ask that you to please share it out on social, to all your friends and neighbors, and also subscribe to our YouTube channel, so you get updates whenever we make videos, just like this one. Thanks a lot. Have a great day.