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blightypastor

Changing Status From B1 To F1 - Perhaps Green Card

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Dear Visa Journey Community,

I am a born U.S. Citizen. My girlfriend is from Colombia. She has been living and working in the U.S. for a few years now. She has had a Student Visa in the past but she came back here to the U.S. in December on a B1 Tourist visa. Hoping to switch to an F1 Visa, she got an I20 from an accredited college here in America and she has submitted her packet for changing her Visa to the Vermont Service center before her Visa expired in early May. They sent her a confirmation of receipt but we are still awaiting a descion. Her I94 expires in the middle of June so she is getting very concerned. It was always my understanding that since she submitted a request to change her status before her past Visa expired, she can stay in America until she gets a response. She thinks she has to hear back from them before her I94 expires or she has to leave. I am co-sponsoring her financially for her studies.

Can she stay longer than her I94 as long as she is awaiting a response about her Visa?

I also have another question. We are ready to get married now and we are not sure what that will do to her situation. Can we go and get married and have her apply for a Green Card while she is in limbo for an F1 visa? Will this cause a problem with immigration? We are very stressed about this as you can imagine because we do not want to get into any trouble.

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She can stay longer but if her request is denied, that she will be accumulating overstay starting from the date she had on her I-94. If you think about getting married, than do it and file for AoS.

Thank you very much for your help! Is there any risk associated with getting married while she has already applied for a change? I don't want to risk UCIS viewing this as a Visa/Immigration fraud situation. Also, how long do we have to get married before overstay becomes a problem?

Thank you again.

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Thank you very much for your help! Is there any risk associated with getting married while she has already applied for a change? I don't want to risk UCIS viewing this as a Visa/Immigration fraud situation. Also, how long do we have to get married before overstay becomes a problem?

Thank you again.

Overstay never becomes a problem if you are married and filing AOS. It only becomes an issue if you are denied.

Getting married and filing AOS soon after filing for another visa change is a red flag they look for but a non-issue if you can prove a bonafide relationship.


July 2005 - met my awesome, hot, amazing love in Lousiana.
July 2006 - Married said love and moved to Canada.
June 2011 - Entered US to visit family, decided to stay.
Feb. 2012 - Sent paperwork to Chicago.

May 2012 - Received green card.

Day 0 - Package sent to Chicago Lockbox - 02/27/2012
Day 2 - UPS Tracking Confirmation - 02/29/2012
Day 4 - NOA Emails Received - 03/02/2012
Day 7 - All Checks Cashed - 03/05/2012
Day 11 - Hard Copy NOA's Received - 03/09/2012
Day 11 - Biometrics Appointment Received - 03/09/2012
--------- - Booked for - 04/03/2012 (day 36)
Day 35 - Early Biometricts Walk-in - 04/02/2012
Day 44 - Received Appointment Letter - 04/11/2012
Day 58 - EAD Approval Online - 04/25/2012
Day 63 - EAD in the mail - 04/30/2012
Day 65 - EAD in hand - 05/02/2012
Day 77 - AOS Interview - 05/14/2012
Day 77 - AOS Approved!
Day 84 - Green Card In Hand - 05/21/2012

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Overstay never becomes a problem if you are married and filing AOS. It only becomes an issue if you are denied.

Getting married and filing AOS soon after filing for another visa change is a red flag they look for but a non-issue if you can prove a bonafide relationship.

Thank you so much! Do we need to be married before her i94 expires? Also, what happens if she is denied?

What will I need to prove a bonafide relationship? Specifically, how long will we need to have been dating?

Sorry for any questions that may seem excessive or silly but this is very important to me and thank you again!!!

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Thank you so much! Do we need to be married before her i94 expires? Also, what happens if she is denied?

What will I need to prove a bonafide relationship? Specifically, how long will we need to have been dating?

Sorry for any questions that may seem excessive or silly but this is very important to me and thank you again!!!

Length of dating is a secondary issue for bona fide relationship. More important is (1) living together, (2) financial interdependence, (3) interdependence in terms of life's necessities (cars, houses or apartments, health insurance, life insurance, retirement planning, etc.), (3) explanation and proof of how you met and decided to marry, and (4) knowledge of each other's family and personal history.

If the I-539 (change from B-2 to F-1) is denied, the letter will generally instruct her to depart by a certain date. The letter may specify that she will not obtain overstay if she departs by that date. In any case, overstay is not a bar for the spouse of a U.S. citizen to adjust in the U.S., but may be a bar if she leaves the U.S. and tries to reenter before LPR status is obtained.

You do not have to get married before the I-94 expires, you can get married anytime.

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Length of dating is a secondary issue for bona fide relationship. More important is (1) living together, (2) financial interdependence, (3) interdependence in terms of life's necessities (cars, houses or apartments, health insurance, life insurance, retirement planning, etc.), (3) explanation and proof of how you met and decided to marry, and (4) knowledge of each other's family and personal history.

If the I-539 (change from B-2 to F-1) is denied, the letter will generally instruct her to depart by a certain date. The letter may specify that she will not obtain overstay if she departs by that date. In any case, overstay is not a bar for the spouse of a U.S. citizen to adjust in the U.S., but may be a bar if she leaves the U.S. and tries to reenter before LPR status is obtained.

You do not have to get married before the I-94 expires, you can get married anytime.

Thank you! This has been so helpful!

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