Jump to content
f1optaos

F-1 OPT Adjustment of Status (married to USC)

10 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

Hello,

I'm currently employed on F-1 OPT and it expires in July and my grace period expires September. My fiance (who I've dated 3.5 years) submitted his N400 last week and is waiting for biometrics, naturalization interview, etc. Since he filed for naturalization in April, I will be out of status by the time he gets citizenship around September. I plan to enroll in grad school (F-1) in order to maintain status.

1. If I drop out of grad school and return to my current employer after getting the EAD on the pending i-485, does that look bad during the AOS interview? I'm employed now and want to take leave of absence from my OPT expiration date to the EAD (on pending i-485) start date. If that looks bad then I am open to waiting until the AOS gets approved and then drop out of grad school, but an annoying lawyer I talked to kept on referring to this situation as "visa fraud" because I have intention to immigrate rather than an intention to finish grad school.... I'm scared because it's true that I might not finish the grad school degree because I need to go back to work. So basically I have been F-1 at undergrad (2010-2014) --> F-1 OPT (2014-2015) --> F-1 grad (2015- onward) then shortly thereafter be filing for i-485 --> and then return to the same employer after either EAD approval or AOS approval. Does this look like fraud?

2. We will have a marriage certificate, but we won't have wedding pictures because we don't believe in spending money on those ceremonies.. Will that be a problem in the AOS interview? If that is a problem then we are open to just taking pictures of the two of us but it won't be anything like ceremony pictures with families or friends. Is that risky? Do the wedding pictures need to have friends and families in them? Our families do not know about this marriage (we plan on notifying them 3-5 years later) and would prefer to keep marriage confidential for a few years from our friends, as well. Would that be a problem?

Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Marriage is a big milestone in life and you said you don't believe in ceremonies and no one knows? Well only you know what's up.


N400

12/06/2014: Package filed

12/31/2014: Fingerprinted

02/06/2015: In-Line for Interview

04/15/2015: Passed Interview

05/05/2015: Oath letter was sent

05/22/2015: Oath Ceremony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What is up is I am about to be deported and and we cannot live apart from each other. We don't believe in ceremonies purely because of monetary reasons, so "we can't afford to have ceremonies at this point" rather than we don't believe in one is better representative of the situation. So my culture has to gather all families and friends at wedding and such but at this point we don't have the money to invite families/friends over. We think we will be able to afford all the plane tickets, venues, etc. after around five years and that is when we will have the formal ceremony. We are trying to file for my AOS now because we cannot live apart for that long. I think these are more of a financial situation-related explanation but I was wondering how risky that will be for the AOS interview if we say we couldn't afford to have ceremony. If that is risky for the AOS interview then we are open to having a small, cheap DIY kind of ceremony. If other people have any other insights then that would be greatly appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

1. Getting a F-1 visa with the intent of adjusting at a later date *is* fraud, regardless of how it looks, and no lawyer that likes his bar membership would ever advise you to do that.

2. My understanding is that USCIS cares about the fact that you present yourself as married, cohabitate and commingle finances, not a lot about the ceremony. So the problem you have isn't the cheap wedding but the fact that you're keeping it secret from everyone. You'll get questions and you might be denied because of that.


May 29th, 2015 - Sent AOS package

June 1, 2015 - Package received by USCIS

June 4, 2015 - Biometrics Fee Accepted

June 20, 2015 - Biometrics Appointment Letter Received

June 30, 2015 - Biometrics Appointment

August 6, 2015 - I-131 approved

August 6, 2015 - Your card was ordered

August 7, 2015 - I-765 approved

August 20, 2015 - EAD received

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok thanks for your advices and warnings. They are very helpful. We will be commingling finances and look for housing together or move into each other's. We decided to let our parents and friends know. Reason why I wanted to keep it as secret was I didn't want to be seen as impulsive, and I didn't want to be seen as a person of bad luck (i.e., lost H1B cap so need to get married) or something. Unlike the truth of the situation (which is we've been dating for a long time and talking marriage and kids a lot, and both our parents approve of the relationship etc. but we are both financially savvy people who want to take time to buy our own assets like real estate etc. and build some wealth before getting married - maybe it could be a cultural thing, as in my culture it is norm to build substantial amount of wealth and assets and bring those as marriage gifts for your spouse), so unlike this truth, people are quick to judge that I got married because of this and that, and I'm doing something wrong, something not legit.. This is why I wanted to keep low profile about ourselves and disclose maybe at a later date... I mean, a lot of people I know do that. We will let our closest folks know and collect many pictures for evidence so as to add legitimacy to marriage. If we get questions like... parents approving or having a wedding then yes parents approved and wedding is delayed due to financial circumstances. I think we can defend ourselves with any question as the marriage is legit.

So I guess my follow-up question is. I revoke my statement earlier that I want to return to my current employer after enrolling in grad school. I was just so successful at my current job which is very prestigious and competitive even for American citizens to get into, well paying with good prospects and all, so I guess I was quite scared to let that go. Anyone who takes his/her life seriously and who is forced to surrender that will be scared at first and not be in right mindset. But it's ok now, I DO NOT intend to go back to my current employer. I think I will like being in grad school and do well. I do have a new intention of studying and finishing a degree. But also I do still have intention of getting married to my current boyfriend while I am in school. So here's my question -- if I go to grad school with genuine intent to study but also a plan to get married to my boyfriend (happens to be USC) while I am in grad school, then can this be seen as dual intent? Do I have to not have intention of getting married to him? But how can I not? Going to grad school after undergrad + some work experience is how life just works....... And getting married after 4 years of dating and guy starts making some money is also how life works for a lot of people..... The guy wants me to be in school so I have more time and cook for him etc. Will I be in trouble because I enrolled in grad school but I also had plans to get married (i.e., adjust status) at the time of enrolling in grad school? Is that a dual intent to be reprimanded? Then should I just not have any intent on marrying him at the date of enrollment? How does it work? Do I tell myself, I'm staying in America just for school. at the time of getting F-1? I'm very confused. So is it safe to say that we had plans to get married (i.e., adjustment of status) before I enrolled in grad school or should we say that after I enrolled in grad school we decided to get married? I'm really sad because him being a US citizen just makes me look like I have some hidden, immoral motive to get some benefit..... I just want to go to grad school now.... a big reason being to be with him... but also a genuine motive to study and cherish my career. But can I go to grad school if I will get married and apply for AOS? Some people might say, get OPT then H1B then get married, but my boyfriend is not willing to wait and he wants to get married right away. I think he is scared that I will go away or something if the H1B doesn't work out again, and the idea of being separated due to the H1B cap kind of traumatized both of us and he just wants to get married ASAP so I won't go away anywhere and there is no worry of being separated due to uncontrollable circumstances. We were having mental breakdowns, we held onto each other and I cried for so many days and nights at the fear of things not working out and having to be separated. Despite the truth, just looking at the facts of the situation, if I enroll in grad school then apply for AOS as F-1, then is that frowned upon? Please advise on if this is allowable if you have any experience. Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, another thing to note that I will have been on F-1 all along. F-1 at undergrad then F-1 OPT then F-1 at grad school. I'm not renewing or reapplying for F-1 in that F-1 OPT to F-1 grad school is just considered a transfer.. So I'm F-1 all along, and the point of first entry to US is like 5 years ago when I didn't even know my current boyfriend and did not have intention of getting married to him. So I don't know if your advice that I'm committing fraud applies, because I'm F-1 all along and I'm not getting a new type of visa or renewing my visa in order to change status. I'm same status (F-1) with same intention of studying. The intention when I entered US was to study and I think people are allowed to change intention after point of entry and sufficient time (in my case around 5 years) have passed and have a US citizen wanting to marry you. Is this understanding about my situation correct?

Edited by f1optaos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, breathe in and out. Now you understand why people say "immigration law is a mess". Processes were designed for "picture perfect" cases and people in less than ideal situations end up in weird gray areas. And the processes take too long when compared to the dynamics of the labor market and relationships. Some IR visa people get divorced because of the friction caused by the separation. Some people end up losing a job offer because the VSC took 1 month too long to ship out an EAD. A lot of people end up being separated or losing jobs because of situations outside their control.

I don't know about F1 OPT grad as being a transfer. I thought that when you apply for an F1 for grad school after completion of the previous program, it's going to be a new one, not a continuation of the previous one. During that process, your may get questions. Do not lie or misrepresent. As long as you are truthful, the intent is established at that point.

Seems like you're waiting for the H1-B lottery outcome. Good luck!


May 29th, 2015 - Sent AOS package

June 1, 2015 - Package received by USCIS

June 4, 2015 - Biometrics Fee Accepted

June 20, 2015 - Biometrics Appointment Letter Received

June 30, 2015 - Biometrics Appointment

August 6, 2015 - I-131 approved

August 6, 2015 - Your card was ordered

August 7, 2015 - I-765 approved

August 20, 2015 - EAD received

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks! I will just give a status update in case anyone is curious.... I figured out that the F1 OPT to grad school is essentially transfer from the undergrad school (this is the school that issued the i-20 containing OPT) to the grad school (this school will issue a new i-20); the i-20 changes but the SEVIS ID stays the same. Right now it looks like I'm associated with my employer but in fact it turns out that I'm still associated with my undergrad school under the OPT program. So the undergrad school would release me and I would be transferred to the grad school, and I would get new i-20 under the same SEVIS ID (and same visa).

Now what matters here is my most recent point of entry, which was 1.5 years ago on a F-1 visa to finish the last semester of undergrad school after winter break. No intention of getting married whatsoever back then, I was really ready to be done with this school and start on the OPT. No immigration intent when I entered on that visa 1.5 years ago. They would have to prove that I wanted to marry when I entered but they can't because I didn't. The only paper trail of me since the point of entry is a bachelor's degree and an employment offer for OPT.

So now I'm a bit iffy about... whether I can have think about marriage when I get the new i-20 from the grad school. I mean, I already entered on F-1 a long time ago with no intention of immigrating, and the F-1 did not expire and I'm transferring school, but I really don't know. I've talked to my attorney and he says it's ok, they can't just assume that you want to immigrate, etc. etc., and while it's comforting I just want to be extra cautious.... All these horror stories make me wanna cry... :( I'm already in US with valid visa and valid non-immigration intent at POE, but it's true that I'm getting a new i-20..... It's not like I'm getting a new i-20 in order to get married and do AOS. My intention is not that. My intention is to finish grad school. However, my boyfriend's proposal was timed in a way that it might look like I wanted to get a new i-20 to do AOS... But as some people mentioned, the case has to be "picture-perfect" and it may be risky to look like I got my i-20 right after proposal.... Therefore, I will delay saying "yes" to my boyfriend's proposal until I get the new i-20 in a few months. Until then I will tell myself not to have immigration intent (i.e., tell myself that I cannot have plans to marry him until I get the new i-20, even if he wants to marry me). I guess there's no other way around this issue. Wish me luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds good. Good luck.


May 29th, 2015 - Sent AOS package

June 1, 2015 - Package received by USCIS

June 4, 2015 - Biometrics Fee Accepted

June 20, 2015 - Biometrics Appointment Letter Received

June 30, 2015 - Biometrics Appointment

August 6, 2015 - I-131 approved

August 6, 2015 - Your card was ordered

August 7, 2015 - I-765 approved

August 20, 2015 - EAD received

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't worry just get married and adjust, while you go to college, everything will be fine.


N400

12/06/2014: Package filed

12/31/2014: Fingerprinted

02/06/2015: In-Line for Interview

04/15/2015: Passed Interview

05/05/2015: Oath letter was sent

05/22/2015: Oath Ceremony

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Ask our VJ Immigration Lawyers.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
- Back to Top -


Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.
×