How to change status from B-1/B-2 visitor visa to a marriage green card?
Changing status from a B-1/B-2 to a marriage green card (permanent resident status) is possible, but it’s important to follow the proper procedures and meet the eligibility requirements. Here’s a general outline of the process:
Before proceeding, ensure that you are eligible for a marriage-based green card. This typically involves being married to a U.S. citizen or a green card holder (permanent resident) and having a genuine, bona fide marriage.
File Form I-130:
The U.S. citizen or green card holder spouse must file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form establishes the familial relationship between you and your spouse.
File Form I-485 (Adjustment of Status):
Once the Form I-130 is approved, you can file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. This is the application for your green card. Submitting Form I-485 allows you to request a change of status from your B-1/B-2 visitor visa to permanent resident status.
File Form I-765 (Optional):
Along with Form I-485, you can also file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. This allows you to obtain work authorization while your green card application is being processed.
Attend Biometrics Appointment:
USCIS will schedule a biometrics appointment for you to provide fingerprints, photographs, and other biographical information.
Attend Green Card Interview:
USCIS will schedule an interview for you and your spouse at a local USCIS office. The purpose of the interview is to assess the authenticity of your marriage and verify the information in your application.
After the interview, USCIS will make a decision on your green card application. If approved, you will receive your green card in the mail.
Changing status from a B-1/B-2 visa to a green card can be complex, and not all B-1/B-2 visa holders will be eligible. If you have immigration violations or other issues, it’s important to consult with an immigration attorney before proceeding.
Applying for a change of status while on a B-1/B-2 visa may raise questions about the original intent of your visit to the U.S. Be prepared to provide evidence that your intent changed after your arrival.
It’s advisable to file Form I-485 as soon as possible after the Form I-130 is approved, especially if your B-1/B-2 status is expiring soon. Filing early can help you maintain lawful status in the U.S. while your green card application is pending.
Be sure to follow all USCIS instructions, provide accurate information, and maintain open communication with USCIS throughout the process.
If your change of status is denied, you could potentially be required to leave the U.S. and apply for a green card through consular processing in your home country.
Navigating the process of changing status from a visitor visa to a green card can be complex. Consulting with an experienced immigration attorney is highly recommended to ensure you follow the correct procedures and meet all the requirements.
Does the 90-day rule apply to me if I am changing status from B-1/B-2 to marriage green card?
Yes, the “90-day rule” can potentially apply to individuals who are changing status from a B-1/B-2 visitor visa to a marriage-based green card (adjustment of status). The 90-day rule refers to a policy that was introduced to prevent individuals from entering the U.S. on a nonimmigrant visa (such as a B-1/B-2 visa) with the intention of getting married and adjusting their status to a permanent resident shortly after arrival.
Under the 90-day rule, if you marry a U.S. citizen or green card holder and file a marriage-based green card application (Form I-485) within 90 days of entering the U.S. on a nonimmigrant visa (including B-1/B-2), USCIS may consider it evidence of “preconceived intent.” This means they might suspect that you had planned to marry and apply for a green card from the start of your trip, even before entering the U.S. on a nonimmigrant visa.
While the 90-day rule does not automatically result in a denial of your application, it can trigger closer scrutiny of your application during the green card interview. USCIS will assess whether your intent truly changed after entering the U.S., or if you entered with the intention of getting married and adjusting status.
It’s important to note that the 90-day rule is not a strict legal requirement but rather a discretionary policy that USCIS may consider when evaluating your case. If you have a legitimate change of circumstances or genuine reasons for marrying and adjusting status, you should provide clear and well-documented evidence of your intent and the timeline of events.
To navigate this potential issue, it’s highly advisable to consult with an experienced immigration attorney before proceeding with your marriage-based green card application. An attorney can provide guidance on presenting your case effectively, addressing any concerns related to the 90-day rule, and ensuring you meet all the requirements for a successful adjustment of status application.
How to ensure that my change status from B-1/B-2 to marriage green card is approved?
While there is no guaranteed way to ensure the approval of a change of status from B-1/B-2 visitor visa to a marriage-based green card (adjustment of status), you can take certain steps to increase your chances of success. It’s important to approach the process with transparency, provide accurate documentation, and demonstrate the authenticity of your marriage and your intent. Here are some tips:
- Demonstrate a Genuine Marriage: The authenticity of your marriage is a critical factor. Provide substantial evidence that demonstrates the bona fide nature of your relationship. This can include photographs together, joint financial accounts, joint property ownership, affidavits from family and friends, and other documentation that showcases your shared life.
- Follow the 90-Day Rule: If you married within 90 days of entering the U.S. on a B-1/B-2 visa, be prepared to provide a clear and credible explanation for the timeline of events. Demonstrating that your decision to marry and apply for a green card was made after your entry into the U.S. can help alleviate concerns about preconceived intent.
- Submit Complete and Accurate Documentation: Ensure that all forms and supporting documents are complete, accurate, and organized. Follow the instructions provided by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) carefully. Any inconsistencies or omissions could lead to delays or denials.
- Be Honest and Transparent: Honesty is crucial throughout the process. If you have any past visa violations, prior denials, or other relevant information, disclose it in your application. Attempting to hide information can result in serious consequences.
- Consult an Immigration Attorney: An experienced immigration attorney can provide invaluable guidance tailored to your specific situation. They can help you navigate potential challenges and ensure that you present a strong case.
- Provide Financial Documentation: Demonstrating financial stability can help alleviate concerns about becoming a public charge. Provide evidence of your ability to support yourself or a joint sponsor’s commitment to support you, if necessary.
- Prepare for the Interview: Be prepared to answer questions about your relationship, your spouse, your marriage, and your intentions. Practice being clear and concise in your responses.
- Maintain Legal Status: It’s generally recommended to maintain legal status while your change of status application is pending. If your B-1/B-2 status expires while your application is being processed, you could face complications.
- Respond Promptly to Requests: If USCIS requests additional evidence or information, respond promptly within the given timeframe.
- Be Patient: The process can take time, and USCIS processing times can vary. Be patient and prepared for potential delays.
Remember that each case is unique, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. While following these tips can improve your chances, there’s no guarantee of approval. Consulting with an immigration attorney can provide personalized guidance and help you navigate potential challenges.