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F1 Female marring to US Civ

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Filed: Timeline

Good day to everyone.

My head hurts from reading this site for the past few months.

Here is the situation.

I meet a wonderful woman here and dated for 7 months. We both are very much in love and i asked her for her hand in marriage on valentines day (i know, corny).

She has a F1 visa and it is expiring in June 2012.

She wants to have the festival in Taiwan to celebrate our new lives before marring in the U.S., after that, go back to the US and have a legal ceremony here with my family.


- DOs and DONTs?

-can we travel to have the 'dinner' in Taiwan and come back to the US under her student visa (i already have my passport, and she is in school, so we do not think is not fraud).

-what should we fill out so she is a full US citizenship

-what time frame are we looking at that everything is taken care of?

-She would like to be able to travel to Taiwan to visit her family after marring me.

Thank you for any and all help you can give.

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I am a former F-1 student myself, but only traveled back home to Europe once during my visa status. Back then I needed the travel permission and I-20 from the international admissions office as they confirmed for me that I am only temporary leaving the US and intend to come back to continue my studies. This has been in 2000, so not sure how it works these days. But generally speaking I think there is no problem for her to get to leave and return to the US without a problem with the help of her school. (just don't do it on your own and leave without consulting her school first)

As far as your question for citizenship goes, well, I think you have to go down the visajourney like so many others incl. me did.

You first need to file for Adjustment of Status for her while she is here in the US which takes average 4 months - you then will receive a conditional green card valid for two years that then will have to be applied again to remove this condition to make it a permanent resident green card. I am off hand not sure how long you would have to wait, as far as I know several years before you can even apply for citizenship for your wife. I assume she is from Taiwan, maybe some VJers from there can help you with this question, maybe there is some other ways or regulations.

After you get married in the US and you file for the AOS Adjustment of status you will also have to file for Advance Parole which is a travel permit (again) this time from USCIS directly where you have to explain why your spouse would have to leave the country as normally they consider an AOS applicant leaving during the AOS process to be abandoning their application and the case will be closed and your wife will need a Visa again in order to be able to come back into the US.

Congrats on your engagement!!! :)


10/13/2010 - Mailed in The Package (AOS, I-765, I-130)

10/17/2010 - USPS confirms delivery to USCIS

10/25/2010 - Check cashed

10/26/2010 - All applications been worked on aka touched

10/28/2010 - NOA1 Receipts for applications received

11/24/2010 - Received appointment for biometrics in the mail for 12/17 *yay*

12/17/2010 - 9.25 a.m. - 9.45 a.m. Biometrics done !!

12/23/2010 - EAD Approved and Card on its way - Email notification received *yay*

01/03/2011 - WOOOHOOO ...EAD Card in Hand!

01/04/2011 - Oh boy....Received Interview Letter today - February 3rd is the day! :)

02/03/2011 - Interview scheduled 12:45 p.m. - out of there before 1:30 p.m. - further review

Coming home, checking for touches at 5:30 p.m. - CARD PRODUCTION ORDERED !!!!

Thank you All on Visajourney for your inputs, experiences and thoughts!!!

02/09/2011 - Yup another e-mail saying that my card production was ordered.

02/10/2011 - E-mail notification "Approval letter was sent today"

02/14/2011 - Welcome Letter / Approval NOA and Card (separate envelope) received!!! :D

Late November 2012 (have to look up my receipts ;) - mailed in ROC I-751

12/12/2012 - NOA 1, status extension received

12/18/2012 - Biometrics appointment letter received

01/08/2013 - Biometrics done

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Argentina

Don't be afraid of not being able to visit after marriage.. as the poster above has said, you can file for AP which is permission to travel immediately after marriage before receiving conditional green card, but once you receive that in a few months after you file for AOS she will be a permanent resident and able to travel like anyone else without seeking special permission.

12-04-09 mailed I-129F

12-07-09 I-129F arrived in Vermont

12-08-09 NOA1

12-10-09 check cashed

04-05-10 NOA2 (no touches until approval!)

04-19-10 received at NVC

04-21-10 NVC sent to embassy

04-24-10 arrived at embassy

05-17-10 received packet 3

05-18-10 delivered packet to embassy

embassy asks us for ridiculous things before giving interview date, such as a photocopy of the sealed envelope from the medical exam...

07-27-10 interview

08-05-10 received visa!!!!!

08-06-10 left Argentina

08-07-10 POE (Dallas)

08-12-10 civil marriage ceremony

08-23-10 mailed AOS packet with EAD and AP applications together

08-25-10 packet arrived in Chicago

09-01-10 NOAs

09-02-10 check cashed

09-21-10 received SS number :) had to go into office twice but it worked!

09-23-10 requested EAD expedite

09-24-10 received biometrics letter

09-27-10 successful walk-in biometrics taken

10-01-10 receive EAD expedite request RFE letter

10-04-10 US Representative's office forwards our EAD expedite evidence

10-06-10 expedite for EAD granted, EAD and AP both issued :D

10-09-10 wedding (party!)

01-04-11 AOS interview (rescheduled because we moved, was 12-16-10) Approved!

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Filed: Timeline

thank you for replying so fast. Keep them coming! :)

My understanding is, an AoS (Adjustment of Status) is the application for a "conditional" green card with a two year expire date. During that time we need to apply for a permanent resident green card. During the AoS application, we can apply for AP (Advance Parole) so she can see her family in Taiwan.


- A "permanent resident" is someone that holds a solid green card? Meaning, able to work in the US, pay taxes, go to school for 'in-state tuition' (she is planning on getting her masters after she is done with her BA).

- We can only start filling out the AoS after we are married, or can we start the process now (we are not planning on getting wed until 2012).

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canosgmk, are you a US Citizen? If so the AOS process you would go through would be based on marriage to your lady. You need to be married first before filing for AOS as it is marriage to a US citizen that will make a visa number immediately available to you.

Once you do get married, file for AOS as soon as possible. Being married to a US citizen, and travelling out of the country then re-entering on an F-1 visa can be a little risky, even though she is legitimately in school. A lawyer that came to our campus specifically advised against playing such a game with USCIS.

My opinion? Have a short civil ceremony, get your paperwork started asap. You can always have a big celebration later - that is what my husband and I are doing later this year.

12/01/2010: Married!
12/14/2010: Mailed AOS Packed to Lockbox
12/23/2010: USCIS Receipt notice for I-485/I-130/I-765/I-131
01/05/2011: Successful biometrics walkin at Charleston WV office!
03/04/2011: EAD and AP combo card in hand.
04/21/2011: AOS Interview at Norfolk local office. APPROVED & Card production ordered!
04/25/2011: Welcome to the US letter received in mail.
05/02/2011: Green Card arrives in mail!


01/29/2013: NOA received for I-751 form submission (joint)

02/22/2013: Walk in biometric (appt. for 03-05-13)

06/25/2013: I-751 approved!

06/29/2013: 10yr Green Card received in the mail!


08/18/2015: Mailed N-400 application

08/28/2015: NOA for N-400

09/14/2015: Biometrics appointment for N-400

02/02/2016: Interview for N-400. APPROVED!

02/18/2016: Oath ceremony!

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I am currently an F-1 student, who just got married to a USC and now in the process of filing the I-130 and I-485. Here is what I know (and suggest, I guess) based on personal experience:

1. As long as she has a valid F-1 (and you are not married), she can freely travel to and from the United States, as long as a) the visa is valid b) she has her I-94 in her passport and c) she has a valid, most recent I-20 form with a valid travel signature from an international student adviser from her college / university. The length of the validity of the signature varies between universities (immigration officers at POE have different takes on this..) but it is probably either 6 or 9 months - so, this is the signature on the third page of her I-20, with a date next to it. Make sure it is valid before she travels. (This I am sure of, I worked for the ISS offfice at my school just recently.)

2. If you are planning to have your wedding in 2012, and her F-1 is valid until then, I don't see why you would need to have a civil ceremony now and file for AOS.. you can stay in the U.S. engaged, she on her F-1, and then file for AOS in 2012 when you do get married. Of course, if you are aiming for eventually getting her a full citizenship, then the sooner you get legally married and file for the AOS and get her a GC, the sooner the 3 yr clock will start running (which is what a spouse of a U.S. citizen needs to first spend as a permnent resident, before applying for a citizenship)

Correct me if I am wrong! This is how we have done it. Or is it advisable to start changing status as soon as possible after getting engaged to a U.S. citizen? We got engaged a year ago, and the first time I entered after that the officer at POE (JFK) asked abuot my ring and fiance, and I told him I am engaged to a U.S. citizen. He asked if we had gotten married or filed any paperwork, and I said we hadn't yet, because we are saiving money for the wedding and waiting for me to graduate first. No problems getting in, but maybe other people have more knowledge / experiences on this matter.

Adjustment of Status from F-1 to Legal Permanent Resident

02/11/2011 Married at Manhattan City Hall

03/03/2011 - Day 0 - AOS -package mailed to Chicago Lockbox

03/04/2011 - Day 1 - AOS -package signed for at USCIS

03/09/2011 - Day 6 - E-mail notification received for all petitions

03/10/2011 - Day 7 - Checks cashed

03/11/2011 - Day 8 - NOA 1 received for all 4 forms

03/21/2011 - Day 18 - Biometrics letter received, biometrics scheduled for 04/14/2011

03/31/2011 - Day 28 - Successful walk-in biometrics done

05/12/2011 - Day 70 - EAD Arrived, issued on 05/02

06/14/2011 - Day 103 - E-mail notice: Interview letter mailed, interview scheduled for July 20th

07/20/2011 - Day 139 - Interview at Federal Plaza USCIS location

07/22/2011 - Day 141 - E-mail approval notice received (Card production)

07/27/2011 - Day 146 - 2nd Card Production Email received

07/28/2011 - Day 147 - Post-Decision Activity Email from USCIS

08/04/2011 - Day 154 - Husband returns home from abroad; Welcome Letter and GC have arrived in the mail

("Resident since" date on the GC is 07/20/2011

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