How to change visitor visa status to marriage green card?
Several immigrants who visit the United States as a visitor but after visiting most people choose their life partner there and then think to start living in the United States with their spouse. In such a condition, they will require to adjust their visitor visa to a marriage green card. To get further details of how to apply for a change of status from visitor pass to marriage green card keep on reading.
Also, you can apply directly for an immigrant visa if you meet the requirement set by the US government. In order to get complete details about the immigrant visa, do not forget to check our immigrant us visa guide.
Can I Change my Visitor Visa status to a Marriage Green Card?
Only those applicants get eligible to change their immigration status from visitor visa to green card that fulfills certain conditions. The first thing you should meet is that you should be qualified to apply for a green card.
You only get eligible to apply for the green card if you meet some requirements including employer sponsorship or family relation with the US citizen or holding permanent resident status. In contrast, some other family members get eligible for the immediate relative having a special category. For example, suppose the spouse comes under the category of immediate relatives.
There are two ways through which a spouse can obtain a marriage-based green card. The first way is to apply through consular processing (if applying from outside the United States). The second way is through adjustment of status; if the spouse is applying from within the United States, the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) grants the spouse to apply for a marriage-based green card.
What are the eligibility requirements for an Adjustment of Status to a Marriage Green Card?
The foreign spouse of a US citizen or permanent resident can request the green card through adjustment of status if they fulfill the below-given requirements:
The first thing, you must physically available in the United States while applying for a green card.
The second requirement that needs to be met, you should arrive in the United States lawfully. This means that you visited the United States through a valid visa and travel documents. Custom and board petrol (CBP) immigration officer should have recognized your document and make sure that you have entered the United States legally.
Those spouses who arrived in the United States through the visa waiver program can only get eligible to adjust their status if they are married to a United States citizen. If you are presently in the US as an unlawful presence, but the way you entered the United States would lawful, you will also get eligible.
Also, remember that you submit documents in the English language. If your documents are any other foreign language then the better choice is hiring USCIS translation services to translate your immigration documents.
About 90 day rule?
In order to apply for the adjustment of status will require to present in the United States. However, non-immigrant visa holder like B-1 or B-2 visa holder, if apply for the adjustment of status for the marriage green card might look suspicious.
As, when you hold the non-immigrant visa passes like B-1 or B-2 to enter the United States, you intend that you will return to your home country after a certain period.
However, if you use B-1 or B-2 visa passes to enter the United States, and apply for a green card, then it may look like you have made a fake declaration of returning to the home country after a certain period. Thus USCIS officer may deny your green card application and also cancel your visitor pass if they find that you did a fake declaration purposely.
In such a situation, you should apply a 90-day rule to prevent this issue. USCIS officers may assume those temporary visa holders requesting the green card within 90 days after visiting the United States purposely lied to return to their home country. USCIS officers handling your application decide if you were dishonest about your intention and mispresented that you will leave.
In such a situation, you will require to prove that you are honest to prevent your visa from getting canceled. Additionally, you should apply for the green card application on the 91st day after visiting the United States to avoid this issue.
What is the Adjustment of Status Application Process from a B-1/B-2 Visa to a Marriage Green Card?
Once you are aware that you will not be affected by the 90-day rule, you can request the green card by applying for an adjustment of status.
Unfortunately, if your spouse already visited the United States through one of the nonimmigrant visa passes, they won’t receive the immigrant visa, but rather they can change their current status. Its process will vary based on if your spouse is a US citizen or permanent resident.
What to do if you are married to a U.S. permanent resident (Green Card Holder)
If you are married to a United States permanent resident or green card holder, and you are willing to obtain the marriage-based green card by applying for the adjustment of status, your US permanent resident spouse will require to submit the form I-130. This is a family sponsorship form, named as a petition for an alien relative.
Once your spouse filed the petition for the alien relative form, you will have to remain waiting till you get the Visa number to request the marriage-based green card. The next step of your application process will be based on if you are obtaining the visa number prior to or after the expiry of the nonimmigrant visa.
If you obtain the Visa number prior to the expiry of your nonimmigrant visa, you can live in the United States to apply for the green card application. In order to do this, you will require to file the application form I-485 named as an application for register a permanent resident or adjust status. Once USCIS approves your application, you will get the physical card. The whole process of the application will take up to 29 to 38 months after USCIS accepted your form I-130.
In case you obtain the Visa number after the expiry of your non-immigrant visa, then you will require to leave the United States to file the green card application through consular processing.
You can use this process for the spouses that were married to the permanent resident or green card holder and applying from their home country. You will get the physical card once USCIS approves your green card application.
The complete process will take somewhere between 23 to 32 months after USCIS receives your form I-130.
You’ll need to leave the United States if you did not extend your B-1 or B-2 visa or obtain any other type of temporary visa to stay in the United States lawfully. However, if you succeed in doing this, you can proceed to the process for spouse marrying to the permanent resident and remain staying in the US.
If your permanent resident spouse is waiting for your Visa number and in the meantime, they obtained US citizenship through the naturalization process. In such a situation, you can switch your case to the process of applying for a green card if married to a US citizen. You can switch your case even after you have applied for the application.
What to do if you are married to a U.S. citizen
Moreover, suppose you are married to a US citizen and looking to obtain a green card through the adjustment of status application.
In that case, you and your spouse both need to follow a similar process to receive the marriage green card. Both you and your spouse have to file the following USCIS forms simultaneously. Also, both have the option to fill the form separately.
Your US citizen spouse needs to file the form I-130 named as a petition for alien relative. As a non-immigrant visa holder, you must file the application form I-485, application for adjustment of status. This form is the actual application for a green card.
It will take up to 10 to 13 months to receive the green card once USCIS accepts your application package if you are married to a US citizen spouse and your marriage is legal. This means you did not marry just to obtain the green card, and you will have to prove to the US government that the marriage with your spouse is legal and you both are connected emotionally.
If you are applying for a green card through consular processing, in that case you will be required to return to your home country. As there, your local US embassy or consulate will process your application. If you apply through consular processing, the application fees will be low, and it will take a longer time to obtain the green card.
To get information related to the required documents for a marriage green card, you can refer to our marriage-based green card guide.
If you still have some of the questions or doubts related to your application, then below given frequently asked questions will clear all your doubt.
What is the time taken for adjusting status to a Marriage Green Card take?
The time taken to adjust the status to the marriage-based green card may vary depending upon if your spouse permanent resident or US citizen and if you are applying from within the United States (through adjustment of the status process) or from your home country (through consular processing). On an estimate, 10-38 months is the time taken to adjust the status to a green card.
In case you are married to a United States citizen and applying for the application from within the United States, then on average, it will take up to 10 to 13 months. On the other hand, if you are applying for an application from outside the United States and married to a US citizen, then on average, it will take up to 11 to 17 months.
If you married the green card holder and applying for the application from inside the United States, then it will take up to 29 to 38 months on average. On the other hand, in case you are married to a green card holder and applying for the application from outside the United States, the estimated time taken will be somewhere between 23 to 32 months.
Are you granted to work in the United States while your adjustment of status application is pending?
You can only work if you fulfill the requirements while your adjustment of status application is pending. For example, if you entered the United States through a work visa, you can continue working in the United States if your visa is still valid. However, if you visited the United States through some other visa, you might obtain a work permit. In order to get the work permit, you will need to file the application form I-765, known as “Application for Employment Authorization,” to get the work permit. Once USCIS approves your work permit or employment authorization document (EAD), you can get the job in the United States legally by showing the document.
What are the things that need to be kept in mind when choosing to consider the adjustment of status to marriage green card?
If you are willing to adjust your status to the marriage-based green card, always remember, you have the option to apply for the extension of your B-1 or B-2 visa pass. For example, if you hold a six-month visitor pass, then by applying for the extension of the visitor visa, you stay in the United States additionally six months.
You are required to file the adjustment status or extension prior to the expiry of the current visitor pass. Also, ensure do not overstay in the United States as doing this will not only be termed as unlawful presence but you will also get banned by the US government to enter the United States for a few upcoming years.
Also, you can apply for the K1 visa rather than B1 or B2 visa if you wish to marry your US citizen fiancé and willing to travel to the United States. This visa is mainly for those people who want to marry their US citizen fiancé. This also grants you to request a green card after marriage without even leaving the United States.
However, this visa will even prevent you from any suspicion regarding your intention to apply for the adjustment of status.
To get details about K-1 fiancé visa, you can check our k1 visa guide.
No doubt, the process of changing your visitor visa status to a green card might be difficult, but taking help from the immigrant lawyer might make your work easier.
In addition to this, if you wish to apply for the work permit but get confused with its process then you can read our complete guide of how to get ead work permit uscis.