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F-1 Visa holder and getting married this June

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Hello folks,

This is my first time to visit your forums, they are really helpful and i really appreciate your help.. I have been here for 3 years now and my fiancee and I have been knowing each other for 2 years. we r getting married in June. I still have 3 semesters left in my Master`s program so i still have valid F1 visa. We plan to apply for green Card in July because i want to drop my next semester in order to have money for our religious wedding ceremony and other stuff. I am legally working now for an architectural firm and it is full-time job "it is part of my school program`s requirements"... i have some questions here regarding my situation:

1- My fiancee is divorced... she was married to an american guy and she went through the whole process to be american citizen and she became citizen three or four years ago.. Does that affect my case?

2- We will not live together after our civil marriage and we will do after coming back from her country and doing our religious marriage.. Is it required to be living together in order to convince them that we are in a serious relationship?. FYI i will apply for travel document as well in order to be able to leave the country to do the religious marriage.

3- If i drop my school for one semester. i will not have work authorization after September 1st...Do you think If i file my paper in July 1st and apply for an employment authorization, l will be able to get my work authorization before Sep 1st?.. and what should i do if i don`t get it?

4- Many of my friends who went through this process before told me that i have to wait after the civil marriage at least 3 months before filing my application but i can not do that because i really need to drop my school and need to have the employment authorization as well before sep 1st.. Do you think that my application could be denied for this reason?

Thank you,,

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Listen, I have one advise. If you make yourself drop out of school than if your AOS fails (God forbade, but you have to think wise and count for the worst) then you have to pack up and go home. However, if you maintain your F1 status and tell your international adviser that you'd like to keep your F1 status, then if AOS fails, you can still finish your studies. I know, it is looked as a red flag not to live with your wife, and you have to have good and legitimate reasons why you're not living with her. Also, the fact that she has obtained her US citizenship through a marriage to a USC from she has divorced afterwards is also an "alarm" in USCIS eyes, so you guys have to make your case strong, otherwise they won't buy your real relationship. So, yes, that one definitely will have effect on you!!!

Also, you guys should file for AOS before you guys go back home for the religious ceremony, and with your AOS you could file for EAD (work authorization- once approved you could work, but not until) as well as for AP (so that you can travel out of US and back without losing your whole case). EAD takes about 30-60 days, so depending on how your office is filled, you may have your EAD by September 1st, but that we cannot tell ahead. Some people get it as late as right by the interview, or some people never get it as their interview comes earlier than the EAD card, so it is hard to tell. You might get it, but you might not.

And I believe your friends are wrong! You could file right after you get your marriage certificate through the mail. If it is only a week from the wedding, then only a week, if it is three months, then three months. I don't think there's any time regarding when you marry and when you file. But make sure you have all the forms, evidences all together when you file!!! It is not hard, but does take a little more time. We intended to file like a couple weeks after our wedding, but it ended up that we filed 2 months after we married as it took 2 months to really gather all the documents, and evidences. But it was worth it, within 3 months we got our green card and never got RFEs. For us, EAD arrived by the end of the month we filed the whole AOS. Good luck!

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