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sunny86

F1 to Green Card through marriage - 30/60/90 rule?

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Hi

I am a student from India doing my PhD in USA on F-1 visa for about 3 years now. I have a girlfriend who is an American citizen and we plan to get married sometime in near future. I do not know if I want to stay in US after I graduate from school and my F-1 visa is valid for another 2 years. I have a couple of questions regarding my scenario:

- Do I need to apply for Green Card right after our marriage OR it can be applied a year or so after marriage when I have decided for sure that we want to stay in US?

- I am confused about the 30/60/90 immigration rule. Does it apply to the first time you enter the US on immigrant visa or your latest entry to the US on that visa? I know the rule is used to establish “preconceived intent” to immigrate, but in my case, since I have been a student for more than 3 years, does 30/60/90 immigration rule apply to me especially if I don’t plan to apply for GC right away after marriage? How else can I prove that I had no intent to permanently immigrate to the US when I first entered US in 2012.

- If I decide to make a trip back to India right before (less than a month) our marriage and at port of entry use my F-1 to enter USA, do I have to declare that I intend to marry an American citizen in the near future? I read somewhere that entering US on F1 automatically means you are saying that you have no intent to immigrate.

- What kind of travel restrictions are in place for me after I apply for Green card? Can I apply for OPT while my GC application is still in process?

Thanks in advance

Edited by nodonut

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You can apply for a green card whenever you wish after you become eligible (through family or employment).

The 30/60/90/120/150/180/210/********** day "rule" is not binding on USCIS; you can safely ignore it.

An F-1 is a nonimmigrant visa, but aliens marry US citizens on nonimmigrant visas all the time. It isn't something you need to (or should) declare, unless you are directly asked by CBP.

You can apply for your F-1 OPT EAD and your AoS-based EAD at the same time, if you wish. The AoS-based EAD will not have any restriction on what field in which you can seek employment, unlike the OPT-based EAD.

Edited by Hypnos

Widow/er AoS Guide | Have AoS questions? Read (some) answers here

 

AoS

Day 0 (4/23/12) Petitions mailed (I-360, I-485, I-765)
2 (4/25/12) Petitions delivered to Chicago Lockbox
11 (5/3/12) Received 3 paper NOAs
13 (5/5/12) Received biometrics appointment for 5/23
15 (5/7/12) Did an unpleasant walk-in biometrics in Fort Worth, TX
45 (6/7/12) Received email & text notification of an interview on 7/10
67 (6/29/12) EAD production ordered
77 (7/9/12) Received EAD
78 (7/10/12) Interview
100 (8/1/12) I-485 transferred to Vermont Service Centre
143 (9/13/12) Contacted DHS Ombudsman
268 (1/16/13) I-360, I-485 consolidated and transferred to Dallas
299 (2/16/13) Received second interview letter for 3/8
319 (3/8/13) Approved at interview
345 (4/3/13) I-360, I-485 formally approved; green card production ordered
353 (4/11/13) Received green card

 

Naturalisation

Day 0 (1/3/18) N-400 filed online

Day 6 (1/9/18) Walk-in biometrics in Fort Worth, TX

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Travel restrictions: you will not be able to leave the U.S. before you receive your AP (Advance Parole). You can apply for this in conjunction with the EAD (and if you go this route, don't even bother with OPT). It takes 2-3 months to get, I think. Took about 2 for me, and on the 3rd I already had my GC (but mine was super-fast!)

If you leave the country before receiving AP, your AOS will be considered abandoned, you will have to reapply, and you may be forced to go the IR-1/CR-1 route. So, don't leave!

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Thanks for the replies.

So, if I don't apply for AOS after marriage (say August 2015) and then go to India (say December 2015) with my USC wife for a religious ceremony, can I re-enter with my valid F-1 visa (I will be maintaining full time student status till atleast Dec 2016 before I finish my PhD).

OR do you think it is better to apply for AOS right away after marriage and then wait for AP before thinking of going to India.

Also, if I apply for AOS 2 years after marriage, will I be issued a permanent GC right away (or still a 2 yr probationary GC)?

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I would file for AoS immediately, but that's just me.

If, on the day your I-485 was approved you have been married for at least two years then you would receive an unconditional ten year green card. If, on the day your I-485 was approved you had been married for less than two years then you would receive a two year conditional green card, for which you would need to file to remove conditions at the appropriate time.


Widow/er AoS Guide | Have AoS questions? Read (some) answers here

 

AoS

Day 0 (4/23/12) Petitions mailed (I-360, I-485, I-765)
2 (4/25/12) Petitions delivered to Chicago Lockbox
11 (5/3/12) Received 3 paper NOAs
13 (5/5/12) Received biometrics appointment for 5/23
15 (5/7/12) Did an unpleasant walk-in biometrics in Fort Worth, TX
45 (6/7/12) Received email & text notification of an interview on 7/10
67 (6/29/12) EAD production ordered
77 (7/9/12) Received EAD
78 (7/10/12) Interview
100 (8/1/12) I-485 transferred to Vermont Service Centre
143 (9/13/12) Contacted DHS Ombudsman
268 (1/16/13) I-360, I-485 consolidated and transferred to Dallas
299 (2/16/13) Received second interview letter for 3/8
319 (3/8/13) Approved at interview
345 (4/3/13) I-360, I-485 formally approved; green card production ordered
353 (4/11/13) Received green card

 

Naturalisation

Day 0 (1/3/18) N-400 filed online

Day 6 (1/9/18) Walk-in biometrics in Fort Worth, TX

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Getting readmitted on an F-1 visa while married to a USC may be iffy. As far as I know, the CBP has a right to turn you away at the border if they perceive immigrant intent while you are trying to enter on a nonimmigant visa.

I know I was really worried about this when we traveled (we'd gotten married and not applied for AOS). Lucky for us, they didn't even ask. But I did wish I'd AOS'd immediately.

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Agreed.

For that reason alone I would file for AoS the moment you became eligible (in this case, got married).


Widow/er AoS Guide | Have AoS questions? Read (some) answers here

 

AoS

Day 0 (4/23/12) Petitions mailed (I-360, I-485, I-765)
2 (4/25/12) Petitions delivered to Chicago Lockbox
11 (5/3/12) Received 3 paper NOAs
13 (5/5/12) Received biometrics appointment for 5/23
15 (5/7/12) Did an unpleasant walk-in biometrics in Fort Worth, TX
45 (6/7/12) Received email & text notification of an interview on 7/10
67 (6/29/12) EAD production ordered
77 (7/9/12) Received EAD
78 (7/10/12) Interview
100 (8/1/12) I-485 transferred to Vermont Service Centre
143 (9/13/12) Contacted DHS Ombudsman
268 (1/16/13) I-360, I-485 consolidated and transferred to Dallas
299 (2/16/13) Received second interview letter for 3/8
319 (3/8/13) Approved at interview
345 (4/3/13) I-360, I-485 formally approved; green card production ordered
353 (4/11/13) Received green card

 

Naturalisation

Day 0 (1/3/18) N-400 filed online

Day 6 (1/9/18) Walk-in biometrics in Fort Worth, TX

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Thanks!! I will file for AoS right after marriage then.

Is this a good step by step guide to use as template? http://www.visajourney.com/content/i130guide2

We plan to move in together in July this year and then have a civil union in August.

1.Is it necessary to have a joint checking account to establish a bonafide marriage? My wife's dad/mom can write an affidavit vouching for our marriage. Is there a template for that? Or a regular letter would do?

2. Medical examination has to be conducted before we send the application to USCIS?

3. I receieved EAD on my F1 visa after I finished my bachelors in US in 2010. On I-765, I should check off: Renewal of my permission to accept employment

(attach a copy of your previous employment authorization document)?

4. I-130 talks about the I-94. I do not remember getting an I-94 at port of entry. I thought it was all computerized now and physical I-94 not issued any more.

Thanks

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Yes, that is the guide I used, I found it a good starting point, as well as reference. Additionally, I downloaded all the forms I needed from USCIS and the instructions for the forms and studied them before even beginning to fill them out.

1. It is not NECESSARY to have a joint account, but affidavits and pictures are not as compelling for evidence. Evidence of commingling of finances, being on each other's insurance, living together, and having a kid are all very helpful to your case.

1.1. There is no template for the affidavits from family/friends that I could find. I just asked people I knew and liked nicely to write something formal detailing what they know about us. Worked out ok :)

2. Yes, I think it helps to have the I-693 sent in with the rest of your package. If you don't, you might be RFEd, or you *might* be able to just give them the form at the interview, but I'm not sure. I think it saves time to have it done beforehand.

3. I really don't know. You'd be in a different category for requesting EAD now. Maybe someone who knows can answer, or you can figure that out from the form instructions. Sorry!

4. You can retrieve your electronic I-94. It's really easy, here's how: https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/detail/a_id/1694/~/i-94-automation---how-to-print-a-copy-of-your-i-94-form

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I forgot to ask if I need to remove my information from social media during the time I apply for AoS i.e. if we get engaged this month and make a wedding website (and I make a trip to India in May) and re-enter on my F1 visa in June. Can it be called visa fraud if USCIS (somehow!!) access facebook, etc and figures out I was alread engaged (but not married) when I re-entered in June.

I know I am making hypothetical situations but that's because I am not sure how USCIS establishes "pre-conceived" intent to immigrate.

Thanks

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I forgot to ask if I need to remove my information from social media during the time I apply for AoS i.e. if we get engaged this month and make a wedding website (and I make a trip to India in May) and re-enter on my F1 visa in June. Can it be called visa fraud if USCIS (somehow!!) access facebook, etc and figures out I was alread engaged (but not married) when I re-entered in June.

I know I am making hypothetical situations but that's because I am not sure how USCIS establishes "pre-conceived" intent to immigrate.

Thanks

Erm... better safe than sorry! I really don't know, I'm not even on social media.

They can always figure out you're engaged. They can just ask you at the border. I thought we'd gone over this. If they perceive immigrant intent (all they have to do is ask you), they will turn you away at the border and you will have to apply for IR/CR-1 from India, which can take 1+ years.

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