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umikoikaze

Got married right after temporary absence from USA on a F-1 visa

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Hi, please help me with my situation.

I received F-1 visa in November 2013 and entered US in December 2013 with no immigration intentions, started attending college here, where I met my husband and fell in love with him. I got pregnant in September of 2014. I've been wanting to marry him for a long time, but his family wasn't approving of our relationship. He kept it a secret from them for a long time and when he told them (October 2014) they were really upset and didn't speak to him for a few weeks. In December I visited and got to know his family for a week (they live in another city) and then traveled to my home country for 2 weeks for Christmas break. That visit has been planned for a long time and tickets have been bought in advance.

While I was visiting my family, my husband and his mom went and bought me an engagement ring and my husband proposed to me on the day I got back. Without thinking too much about it we got married within two weeks. We had a small civil ceremony with my friend and his sisters present. We're planning a bigger ceremony/reception for August.

In February, I got a pregnancy complication that made me unable to continue attending school. I have a doctor's note documenting that and DSO has approved me temporarily dropping school without going out of status.

Later, some miscommunication happened between my school and me. I talk to a person who said it was okay for me to continue school from fall semester, however today I was contacted by the DSO that due to my failure to register for summer semester, I am now considered out of status and have to leave the US immediately. (apparently, the person I talked to before that wasn't aware of my international status and didn't relay the information to DSO). I wanna apply for the adjustment of status now, but read that due to me getting married so soon after entering the country I could be considered to have committed visa fraud. What should I do in this situation and how can I convince USCIS that the marriage was a spontaneous decision after I came back?

We have Facebook and Instagram posts of our engagement announcement and receipt from when the ring was purchased.


~AOS from expired F-1~

November 2013 - Received F-1

December 2013 - Arrived to US

December 2014 - Visiting home for Christmas
01/12/2015 - Second arrival to US on F-1 visa, got engaged

01/28/2015 - Got married
May 2015 - SEVIS terminated

05/18/2016 - Filed I-130, I-485, I-765 and I-131 at Chicago lockbox [Day 0]

05/20/2016 - Package delivered by USPS [Day 2]

05/26/2016 - Checks cashed by USCIS [Day 8]

05/27/2016 - E-confirmation of receipt of I-130, I-485, I-765 and I-131 [Day 9]

05/31/2016 - NOA-1 I-797C received for I-130, I-485, I-765 and I-131 [Day 13]

06/06/2016- Date on biometrics notice [Day 19]

06/11/2016 - Biometrics letter received [Day 24]

06/23/2016- Biometrics appointment [Day 36]

07/07/2016 - RFE for i-485 [Day 50]

09/14/2016 - USCIS received my RFE response [Day 120]

09/30/2016 - Case is ready to be scheduled for an interview [Day 136]

10/06/2016 - Interview scheduled [Day 142]

11/03/2016 - EAD/AP approved and card ordered [Day 170]

11/07/2016 - Interview [Day 174]

11/07/2016 - Case approved 5 minutes after the interview [Day 174]

11/18/2016 - Received combo card [Day 185]

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Sometimes life just happens, as it did in your case. Your last entry to the U.S. was more than five months ago. I think you should be fine if you file for adjustment of status now. Just gather all the doctors notes, your school documents etc and let the interviewing person know the circumstances.

Also, you should check with your International students office again. International students do not need to register for summer to keep their status. It's not mandatory. Fall and Spring yes, but not summer. I was on F1 during my undergrad and grad studies in the US, so I know. Do not leave United States, and I guess with a complicated pregnancy it's not even an option right now. What is DSO, btw? As an international student, all your status and related paperwork is handled by your school's International Students Center. Contact the main guy there.

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Sometimes life just happens, as it did in your case. Your last entry to the U.S. was more than five months ago. I think you should be fine if you file for adjustment of status now. Just gather all the doctors notes, your school documents etc and let the interviewing person know the circumstances.

Also, you should check with your International students office again. International students do not need to register for summer to keep their status. It's not mandatory. Fall and Spring yes, but not summer. I was on F1 during my undergrad and grad studies in the US, so I know. Do not leave United States, and I guess with a complicated pregnancy it's not even an option right now. What is DSO, btw? As an international student, all your status and related paperwork is handled by your school's International Students Center. Contact the main guy there.

Thanks for your reply!

My school is a private school that lets you get Bachelors degree in 2 and half years so their summer semesters are mandatory. :( DSO is a Designated School Official, basically a person from my school who handles all the international student paperwork.

Some more information:

I was hoping to stay in status and continue my studies from the fall semester. My doctor's note states that I have to be on bed rest till I deliver the baby. My baby was due on May 21st. I was contacted about registration in the middle of April (at the time when registration was due). I spoke to the person and said that I still hadn't delivered my baby and if it was okay for me to continue my studies in the fall (I assumed that they were aware of my international status). She said that that would be no problem. Then at the end of April my baby passed away. I can return to school now, but have already missed the registration and classes already started. Now I'm contacted by the Designated School Official that I failed to maintain my status and they're going to notify the immigration, unless I can provide current information from my doctor that I can't attend school. I can't provide that since my baby's been born already (but at the time of registration I couldn't have possibly known that he'd be born a month early). My DSO wasn't helpful at all. When my pregnancy complications arose at first she was threatening me with deportation, until I did some research, brought up Title IX (which entitles me to drop bellow full-time due to pregnancy related reasons) and then "magically" she thought of a solution that could let me stay in status. After that I don't really trust her with anything she says.

If I apply for AOS, will I be able to go to college in Fall semester? I am considering transferring to another school. Can I get a new I-20 and renew my F1 status while my green card application is pending? Or should I wait till I get green card and apply to school then?

I appreciate your time!


~AOS from expired F-1~

November 2013 - Received F-1

December 2013 - Arrived to US

December 2014 - Visiting home for Christmas
01/12/2015 - Second arrival to US on F-1 visa, got engaged

01/28/2015 - Got married
May 2015 - SEVIS terminated

05/18/2016 - Filed I-130, I-485, I-765 and I-131 at Chicago lockbox [Day 0]

05/20/2016 - Package delivered by USPS [Day 2]

05/26/2016 - Checks cashed by USCIS [Day 8]

05/27/2016 - E-confirmation of receipt of I-130, I-485, I-765 and I-131 [Day 9]

05/31/2016 - NOA-1 I-797C received for I-130, I-485, I-765 and I-131 [Day 13]

06/06/2016- Date on biometrics notice [Day 19]

06/11/2016 - Biometrics letter received [Day 24]

06/23/2016- Biometrics appointment [Day 36]

07/07/2016 - RFE for i-485 [Day 50]

09/14/2016 - USCIS received my RFE response [Day 120]

09/30/2016 - Case is ready to be scheduled for an interview [Day 136]

10/06/2016 - Interview scheduled [Day 142]

11/03/2016 - EAD/AP approved and card ordered [Day 170]

11/07/2016 - Interview [Day 174]

11/07/2016 - Case approved 5 minutes after the interview [Day 174]

11/18/2016 - Received combo card [Day 185]

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Okay, first let me make sure, when you say "your baby passed away", do you really mean what I think you mean? I sincerely hope that you just gave birth early, and he is alive and okay. Otherwise, I am very sorry.

Regarding AOS, if you apply now, you won't have to go get another new I-20. If you have lost your F1 status, with applying for AOS as the spouse of US citizen, you will come back to legal status, and you won't need to worry about getting back to F1. You will have legal status and you will be able to study, work or just stay home with your family, whatever you prefer. Don't worry about the DOS who threatens you with deportation! What kind of school is that, does not sound like very professional people work there.

You can go back to the same school in Fall and resume your study or you can transfer your credits to another school, its all okay, but only if you come back to legal status with AOS.

I think you will be okay with AOS. Go through the posts where people have adjusted status from non-immigrant visas like F, B etc and see what was their experience.

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Okay, first let me make sure, when you say "your baby passed away", do you really mean what I think you mean? I sincerely hope that you just gave birth early, and he is alive and okay. Otherwise, I am very sorry.

Regarding AOS, if you apply now, you won't have to go get another new I-20. If you have lost your F1 status, with applying for AOS as the spouse of US citizen, you will come back to legal status, and you won't need to worry about getting back to F1. You will have legal status and you will be able to study, work or just stay home with your family, whatever you prefer. Don't worry about the DOS who threatens you with deportation! What kind of school is that, does not sound like very professional people work there.

You can go back to the same school in Fall and resume your study or you can transfer your credits to another school, its all okay, but only if you come back to legal status with AOS.

I think you will be okay with AOS. Go through the posts where people have adjusted status from non-immigrant visas like F, B etc and see what was their experience.

Unfortunately, he really passed away.

Thank you for the reply!


~AOS from expired F-1~

November 2013 - Received F-1

December 2013 - Arrived to US

December 2014 - Visiting home for Christmas
01/12/2015 - Second arrival to US on F-1 visa, got engaged

01/28/2015 - Got married
May 2015 - SEVIS terminated

05/18/2016 - Filed I-130, I-485, I-765 and I-131 at Chicago lockbox [Day 0]

05/20/2016 - Package delivered by USPS [Day 2]

05/26/2016 - Checks cashed by USCIS [Day 8]

05/27/2016 - E-confirmation of receipt of I-130, I-485, I-765 and I-131 [Day 9]

05/31/2016 - NOA-1 I-797C received for I-130, I-485, I-765 and I-131 [Day 13]

06/06/2016- Date on biometrics notice [Day 19]

06/11/2016 - Biometrics letter received [Day 24]

06/23/2016- Biometrics appointment [Day 36]

07/07/2016 - RFE for i-485 [Day 50]

09/14/2016 - USCIS received my RFE response [Day 120]

09/30/2016 - Case is ready to be scheduled for an interview [Day 136]

10/06/2016 - Interview scheduled [Day 142]

11/03/2016 - EAD/AP approved and card ordered [Day 170]

11/07/2016 - Interview [Day 174]

11/07/2016 - Case approved 5 minutes after the interview [Day 174]

11/18/2016 - Received combo card [Day 185]

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