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Going from M1 visa that's filed for extenstion to a Spouse Visa

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Hello all,

Thankyou in advance for any help or suggestions.

I am Australian and have been in a relationship with a USC for over a year. I am currently living in NYC and am studying on an M1 visa.

This visa was orginally granted for a period of six months (until February of this year) but my school and I requested an extension. I received a request for evidence around two months ago (which was confusing and I had to meet with USCIS to work out what was required of me), but finally I have submitted the new evidence, and am waiting for the final approval. The problem is - my M1 extension technically expired on the 30th of June, and after 30 days I will have to leave! But if my visa is NOT officially extended, or I have received nothing from them...then what?? I will not have the correct documentation to leave the country and I'll be deported. It seems that being out of status is very bad!!

To add fat to the fire...my boyfriend and I decided a few weeks ago that we would like to get married and apply for a spouse visa (IR1/CR1).

We have no idea what to do from here! We would like to get married next week... Do we withdraw the request for extension for the M1 and enter the application for a spouse visa as soon as we get married? Should I have already withdrawn the M1 extension request and got married ages ago - have I not left enough time ?

Or do I contact USCIS and ask them to get a move on with the M1 and hope i get the extension in time to then adjust it to the spouse visa..I hate to think what I will have to do if it is rejected!

...I know that being out of status is not as bad for a spouse of a USC as it is for anyone else, so perhaps I can just get married and wait on the M1 (fingers crossed it's approved), even if it means I over-stay.

Unfortunately neither of us can afford an immigration lawyer, or expedition fees...

Any firm advice is greatly appreciated.


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