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Clavdia

Student and Soon-to-be-Spouse?

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Hi and thanks in advance for any help and advice!

Background: I am a US citizen studying in Canada on a Canadian student Visa. My fiance is a Canadian citizen.

Current situation: We're both starting PhD programs in the US this fall, but we're also getting married in August. To complicate things, I have to move from Canada at the end of May (my visa status runs out) and my fiance is traveling to Europe (for work) for a month this summer. We're trying to figure out the best way for him to handle his Visa procedures. We see our options as follows:

1) He can go off to Europe from Canada while I'm in the US, file for the F-1 and wait to enter the states until 30 days before his PhD starts, arriving one week before the wedding. We're worried that this option may jeopardize our future chances of getting a spousal Visa -- but this may be a misplaced worry.

2) He can come to the US with me and we apply for a K-1 Visa and then try to readjust the status later. But this seems to mean that he can't leave and re-enter the country, which would mean he can't go to Europe. But we may not have enough time for that and he may not be able to receive funding from his PhD on this status.

It seems like the F-1 option is best, but we wanted to get some advice on how to be a student and a spouse.

Thanks!

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K-1 visa won't be ready in time for August and school, so if he is attending school, then he should focus on that F-1 visa and work out his funding. Being married does not give him any status by itself. Good luck.


AOS for my husband
8/17/10: INTERVIEW DAY (day 123) APPROVED!!

ROC:
5/23/12: Sent out package
2/06/13: APPROVED!

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The only option he has to have a valid visa that allows him to study here full time within the time frame you have is the F1. Any visa that would be related to your engagement / marriage would take too long for him to get here by the time his study program is starting - and, for anything besides the K1 you would have to be married first to be able to file.

The F1 won't have any negative effect on your future green card applications. The only minor challenge you may come across is the questions he will have to answer in the F1 interview. They might ask him about close family / girl friend / fiace in the US. If he answers truthfully, there is a risk of the interviewer thinking he is planning to permanently immigrate, which might lead to denial of the visa. They asked me this in my interview, and I did answer honestly and told them I had an American boyfriend who I was going to live with. They asked about marriage / green card plans, and I said we had not discussed any of that, since it was not relevant for us at that time, and told them I was coming here primarily to study. I got my F1 with no problems - but it is good to think before hand how to answer that question if it comes up - and, keep in mind, that lying is never a good idea..

If he gets his F1, he can enter the US as a student, and you two can get married - but I would not file the AOS immediately after the marriage then, since he will be in n rush with that as the F1 gives him legal non-immigrant status here until the end of this studies. Filing the AOS right after your marriage, when he just entered as a non-immigrant F1 visa holder might raise some questions during the AOS process, so maybe it would be easier and less hassle to wait for a while before filing for the green card.

For the F1, he needs to get an I-20 form from his school, and to get that he will have to show sufficient funds to cover the costs of his studies here - not only tuition, but living expenses as well. When he has the I-20, he schedules an interview at the US embassy in the country he is at, and if approved, gets the visa through the embassy. If I remember correctly though, he will have to prove ties to his home country as a condition of the green card to prove non-immigrant intent.. Planning to get married to a USC alone, in my opinion, is not an issue. However, if you two are planning to get married AND definitely immigrate to the US, I'm not sure how you would get around that without lying. Maybe someone can give some additional opinions and thoughts about this part of the F1 process.


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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Thanks so much for this advice.

It sounds like our best option is to just put the focus on the F-1 Visa, both in our planning and in his interview. Since the plan isn't necessarily to immigrate to the states (our post-school plans are contingent upon the academic job market for both of us), there won't be any lying in the interview, just uncertainty about the future.

Our plan will be for him to get the F-1 sometime in early August, enter the country, and then we can get married!

Thanks again, we were both very relieved to find this forum.

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