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Changing J-1 visa after marriage

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I am over on a J-1 visa and recently got married to a US citizen, my long term girlfriend. We have the all the forms ready to fill out but Im just curious of a few things though. Are the fees expected straight away or is there a time period after the forms are turned in? Also I have heard of people having to return to their home country to fill in the forms and wait until approval but I have also heard of others being able to stay in the US, what circumstances is based on? And finally if approved what is the waiting period for a work visa renewal??

Any info would be much appreciated,


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People were returning to their country to not commit visa fraud which would be entering US with immigration intent on non-immigrant visa. This does not seem to be the your case, so would not worry.

Fees need to be paid straight away - you need to send check along with the forms, ~$1.5k in your case.

Once you send the forms in, in approximately 2 month minimum you can get employment authorization doc (EAD) (which would allow you to work), once you get your green card you'll no longer need EAD .

See the guide : http://www.visajourney.com/content/i130guide2

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As a J-1 visa holder, make sure you are NOT subject to the 2 years home residence requirement aka paragraph 212e. If you are, you need to apply for a waiver first, otherwise your AOS will be denied.

My N-400 Journey

06-02-2017 - N-400 package mailed to Dallas Lockbox

06-06-2017 - Credit card charged; received text and email confirming that application was received and NOA is on its way

06-10-2017 - Received NOA letter from NBC dated 06-05-2017

06-16-2017 - Received Biometrics Appointment Letter for 06-28-2017

01-19-2018 - Interview Letter sent

02-27-18 - Interview and Oath Ceremony. Finally US CITIZEN! 

My ROC Journey

03-08-2012 - I-751 package mailed to VSC

03-10-2012 - I-751 package delivered

03-14-2012 - Check cashed

03-15-2012 - NOA received, dated 03-12-2012

04-27-2012 - Biometrics appointment

11-23-2012 - ROC approved

11-28-2012 - Approval letter received

12-06-2012 - 10 years Green Card received

My AOS Journey

04-17-09 I-130&I-485&I-765 received by USCIS

04-19-10 AOS Approved

04-29-10 Green Card received

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I am not subject to the 2 year rule. My visa is up on the 30th of September so how soon should we try to get the forms in? Because the fee over 2k and we dont have all of it right now. Thanks for your help

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The fee is not over 2k. It is $420 for the I-130 and $1070 for the I-485, plus the cost of the medical which is around $100 - $200 depending. The I-131 and the I-765 are free when filed in conjunction with the I-485. You should try to get the forms in before your visa expires to avoid out-of-status days.

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

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

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If you want to avoid accumulating any overstay, you should do your best to get the forms mailed by the end of August. Usually the first Notice from USCIS comes in about 2 weeks from sending in the forms, but it can take up to 30 days. What determines whether or not you overstayed your visa is the official date when USCIS acknowledges your application, not when you mailed it. However, even if you do end up accumulating some days / couple of weeks of overstay, that won't be the end of the world.

You will not be renewing your J1 visa. Once your AOS application is received, you will enter a new period of authorized stay until you have a decision on your GC. However, after the J1 is expired you cannot continue working until you have your new EAD card.That will come within 90 days from when you have filed the paperwork.

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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dont hesitate to ask questions as you go along in your process. this site is full of helpful folks that want to do nothing but help.

best of luck to you both!


Dina and Craig's timeline:

08-27-2010 Met through a mutual friend

04-17-2011 Married

08-01-2011 AOS Packet sent (I-130,I-485,I-765) via USPS Priority mail

08-03-2011 Package delivered via USPS tracking

08-08-2011 Received Text/Email that all 3 apps were accepted/Checks cashed

09-06-2011 Biometrics Appt. in Philly

09-14-2011 RFE Sent for 485. I forgot to sign one section of the 485

09-21-2011 RFE Mailed back to USCIS

10-14-2011 Card production of EAD ordered

10-17-2011 Interview notice (I-797C) received for 11-16-2011

10-22-2011 EAD Card received

11-16-2011 APPROVED. Card Ordered, Passport Stamped.

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