Question about my future spouse status:
I got the green card recently (yay!). My girlfriend (we are both from Europe) has one year left on her J-1 Visa. If we get married tomorrow, I understand the she can apply for the green card as F2A (current date is March 2013 so it would take a while for her to get it...).
1- if we get married and she applies for the green card before her visa expires, can she stay in the US? under which status? could she work?
2- if we get married and she applies for the green card after her visa expires (and let's say she is back in Europe), can she come back and stay in the US? under which status? could she work?
3- if we get married and she does not apply for the green card and her visa expires, can she stay in the US? under which status? can she work?
Thank you for the tips!
1. If you get married, you can file the I-130, but she cannot file for the Adjustment of Status (AOS- I-485). The I-130 will give her no other status.
2. If by the time the J-1 expires and the I-130 is still not current (the current date does not equal the date you filed), then your wife will have to leave and wait for processing to be done while she remains outside. If she is from a Visa Waiver country, she can come and visit you as a tourist, but no other visa status.
3. No, she cannot remain in the U.S. illegally after her visa expires. This will cause problems with the green card application. Then she would have to wait until you got citizenship to get her green card and she could never travel outside the country until that happens. Don’t do this!
For more information about the I-130, go here: http://faq.visapro.com/I130-Petition-FAQ.asp
. It would be prudent to see an immigration attorney so you can map out a strategy to remain in the U.S. together legally.