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Amj

On F-1, getting married to US citizen, OPT/EAD question

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Hi

I am an F-1 student now and I am about to get married to my finance in two weeks. I will also graduate this coming May and I can get an OPT to work (I have an internship for summer).

My question is how should I file the I-765 form for EAD? Which one of these options is better:

1- Filing I-765 with I-130 and I-485 and go with getting EAD through my marriage

2- Filing I-765 separately and get the EAD based on OPT

That would be great if someone can help me or share their experience in this regard.

Regards,

Amj

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If your plan is to remain in the US with your husband, there is really no point to go for OPT before AOS - it would be waste of money and time. I was in pretty much exactly same situation last year - married my husband in February, filed my AOS paperwork in March, and graduated in May. OPT doesn't bear any benefits to you once you are married to a USC and file for a greencard. If you file your AOS paperwork some time in March, for example, and you file for an EAD also, you'll have the temporary work permit probably by end of May. That will allow you to work in the US until you get your actual greencard, which will probably be sometime in June/July, if there are no glitches along the way that will slow the process down.


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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So you are suggesting that I don't go through international office for work permit.

I just thought it might be better because it would be independent of the whole I-130 and I-485 process! Isn't it?

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If your plan is to file for a greencard and remain in the US, it doesn't really make any sense to apply for EAD through OPT. When you file the EAD application with the Adjustment of Status paperwork (i.e. the I-130 and I-485), there is no extra cost and it comes within 90 days. If you apply for the same card by applying for OPT, the processing time is the same but it will also cost you $380. In addition, you can only file the OPT paperwork 90 days before graduating, so in your case this would be some time early March. If you are getting married in 2 weeks, and you'll get the paperwork together fairly quickly for AOS, you can probably get the application to USCIS a bit earlier than you would through OPT - and therefore get the EAD faster.

Just our of curiosity, why do you think it would be better that it is independent from the AOS 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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My internship starts on May 29th and I am worried that if I file the I-765 with I-130 and I-485, it would take longer to process and I might not have the EAD by my starting day.

But if you had a similar situation then, hopefully I should be fine too.

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When do you graduate? You can only file the EAD 90 days prior to that. Let's say you graduate around May 20th. That means you could file for OPT earliest around February 20th. If you marry in the next two weeks and you have your AOS package ready to go, you'll be filing the EAD application around the same time you could file for OPT, and the processing is the same. The only real difference is the $380.

If you think it will take you longer to get the AOS paperwork together, then maybe you should file for OPT if you have to be able to work on May 29th and don't want to risk the EAD from AOS making it on time. Personally, I would try to avoid having to pay the $380 - but, you may be able to get the EAD faster through OPT if it will take you a while to file the AOS papers.


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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