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prashant37

Married to US Citizen, On OPT, wanting to go outside US for honeymoon

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I apologize in advance as I didn't know which forum category to post this under.

Basically, I had initially entered the US under A-1 dependant visa, completed my bachelors in the US. After my parent left the country I had to change my status from A-1 to F-1 so naturally, I never got an F-1 visa since only a change of status was filed from within the US.

I currently have an I-20, and since I have since graduated, I am currently on OPT and am also employed.

It has been 4 months since I have been married to a US citizen and we have already booked our honeymoon for the middle of January 2017 and plan to be back by the first week of February.

I spoke with my international student advisor at my alumni university and she gave be all the stamped paper work. I was also told that it is not a good idea to leave the country especially because a) i don't have an F-1 visa but only an I-20 and b) if I do decide to leave the US for honeymoon then I must visit the US embassy at the visiting country to get an F-1 visa asap prior to leaving that country so that I am eligible for re-entry.

The main issue: since I am married to US citizen, when applying for F-1 during honeymoon outside US, they may question me and if they see that I am married to US citizen, they will realize that I intend to immigrate, thus denying me my visa to re-enter.

I plan on contacting a lawyer tomorrow to see where I stand and how to approach this. If push comes to shove, I may have to cancel my honeymoon so that I don't encounter re-entry issues.

My question: how much of a risk is this? What are the chances of me leaving the US and visiting the US embassy and they simply denying my F-1 and I will no longer be able to come back to the states? Any suggestions, advice?

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You're right; it's a risk.

The safer course is to not depart the US until you've filed your I-485 and obtained AP, allowing you to travel internationally.


Widow/er AoS Guide | Have AoS questions? Read (some) answers here

 

AoS

Day 0 (4/23/12) Petitions mailed (I-360, I-485, I-765)
2 (4/25/12) Petitions delivered to Chicago Lockbox
11 (5/3/12) Received 3 paper NOAs
13 (5/5/12) Received biometrics appointment for 5/23
15 (5/7/12) Did an unpleasant walk-in biometrics in Fort Worth, TX
45 (6/7/12) Received email & text notification of an interview on 7/10
67 (6/29/12) EAD production ordered
77 (7/9/12) Received EAD
78 (7/10/12) Interview
100 (8/1/12) I-485 transferred to Vermont Service Centre
143 (9/13/12) Contacted DHS Ombudsman
268 (1/16/13) I-360, I-485 consolidated and transferred to Dallas
299 (2/16/13) Received second interview letter for 3/8
319 (3/8/13) Approved at interview
345 (4/3/13) I-360, I-485 formally approved; green card production ordered
353 (4/11/13) Received green card

 

Naturalisation

Day 0 (1/3/18) N-400 filed online

Day 6 (1/9/18) Walk-in biometrics in Fort Worth, TX

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You're right; it's a risk.

The safer course is to not depart the US until you've filed your I-485 and obtained AP, allowing you to travel internationally.

By filing i-485, from what I understand, that is one of the applications I need to submit when applying for my greencard correct? I have no idea how this process will take, let alone trying to get my status straightened out within a month-and-a-half's time.

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You would follow this guide:

http://www.visajourney.com/content/i130guide2

It would take around 90 days to obtain your Advance Parole which would allow you to travel overseas whilst you wait for your application to be adjudicated.


Widow/er AoS Guide | Have AoS questions? Read (some) answers here

 

AoS

Day 0 (4/23/12) Petitions mailed (I-360, I-485, I-765)
2 (4/25/12) Petitions delivered to Chicago Lockbox
11 (5/3/12) Received 3 paper NOAs
13 (5/5/12) Received biometrics appointment for 5/23
15 (5/7/12) Did an unpleasant walk-in biometrics in Fort Worth, TX
45 (6/7/12) Received email & text notification of an interview on 7/10
67 (6/29/12) EAD production ordered
77 (7/9/12) Received EAD
78 (7/10/12) Interview
100 (8/1/12) I-485 transferred to Vermont Service Centre
143 (9/13/12) Contacted DHS Ombudsman
268 (1/16/13) I-360, I-485 consolidated and transferred to Dallas
299 (2/16/13) Received second interview letter for 3/8
319 (3/8/13) Approved at interview
345 (4/3/13) I-360, I-485 formally approved; green card production ordered
353 (4/11/13) Received green card

 

Naturalisation

Day 0 (1/3/18) N-400 filed online

Day 6 (1/9/18) Walk-in biometrics in Fort Worth, TX

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F-1 is a non-immigrant visa and you have clear immigrant intent. It's extremely unlikely you'd be granted an F-1 visa.

You should file for your GC and only leave with your AP in hand.


Entry on VWP to visit then-boyfriend 06/13/2011

Married 06/24/2011

Our first son was born 10/31/2012, our daughter was born 06/30/2014, our second son was born 06/20/2017

AOS Timeline

AOS package mailed 09/06/2011 (Chicago Lockbox)

AOS package signed for by R Mercado 09/07/2011

Priority date for I-485&I-130 09/08/2011

Biometrics done 10/03/2011

Interview letter received 11/18/2011

INTERVIEW DATE!!!! 12/20/2011

Approval e-mail 12/21/2011

Card production e-mail 12/27/2011

GREEN CARD ARRIVED 12/31/2011

Resident since 12/21/2011

ROC Timeline

ROC package mailed to VSC 11/22/2013

NOA1 date 11/26/2013

Biometrics date 12/26/2013

Transfer notice to CSC 03/14/2014

Change of address 03/27/2014

Card production ordered 04/30/2014

10-YEAR GREEN CARD ARRIVED 05/06/2014

N-400 Timeline

N-400 package mailed 09/30/2014

N-400 package delivered 10/01/2014

NOA1 date 10/20/2014

Biometrics date 11/14/2014

Early walk-in biometrics 11/12/2014

In-line for interview 11/23/2014

Interview letter 03/18/2015

Interview date 04/17/2015 ("Decision cannot yet be made.")

In-line for oath scheduling 05/04/2015

Oath ceremony letter dated 05/11/2015

Oath ceremony 06/02/2015

I am a United States citizen!

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Moved from What Visa Do I Need - Family Based Immigration forum to Adjustment of Status from Work, Student, & Tourist Visas forum.

Our journey:

Spoiler

September 2007: Met online via social networking site (MySpace); began exchanging messages.
March 26, 2009: We become a couple!
September 10, 2009: Arrived for first meeting in-person!
June 17, 2010: Arrived for second in-person meeting and start of travel together to other areas of China!
June 21, 2010: Engaged!!!
September 1, 2010: Switched course from K1 to CR-1
December 8, 2010: Wedding date set; it will be on February 18, 2011!
February 9, 2011: Depart for China
February 11, 2011: Registered for marriage in Wuhan, officially married!!!
February 18, 2011: Wedding ceremony in Shiyan!!!
April 22, 2011: Mailed I-130 to Chicago
April 28, 2011: Received NOA1 via text/email, file routed to CSC (priority date April 25th)
April 29, 2011: Updated
May 3, 2011: Received NOA1 hardcopy in mail
July 26, 2011: Received NOA2 via text/email!!!
July 30, 2011: Received NOA2 hardcopy in mail
August 8, 2011: NVC received file
September 1, 2011: NVC case number assigned
September 2, 2011: AOS invoice received, OPTIN email for EP sent
September 7, 2011: Paid AOS bill (payment portal showed PAID on September 9, 2011)
September 8, 2011: OPTIN email accepted, GZO number assigned
September 10, 2011: Emailed AOS package
September 12, 2011: IV bill invoiced
September 13, 2011: Paid IV bill (payment portal showed PAID on September 14, 2011)
September 14, 2011: Emailed IV package
October 3, 2011: Emailed checklist response (checklist generated due to typo on Form DS-230)
October 6, 2011: Case complete at NVC
November 10, 2011: Interview - APPROVED!!!
December 7, 2011: POE - Sea-Tac Airport

September 17, 2013: Mailed I-751 to CSC

September 23, 2013: Received NOA1 in mail (receipt date September 19th)

October 16, 2013: Biometrics Appointment

January 28, 2014: Production of new Green Card ordered

February 3, 2014: New Green Card received; done with USCIS until fall of 2023*

 

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You are at a very high risk of not getting a student visa when you travel since you are already married. Don't take the risk. The best solution is for you to postpone the honeymoon and start adjusting your status. You can travel when your AP is approved.

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Thank you all for your prompt replies. I have also confirmed my situation with a lawyer and have decided to not step outside of the US. Instead, I am immediately starting my GC application, especially because all USCIS applications are getting a significant fee increase effective Dec 23, 2016.

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Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Ask our VJ Immigration Lawyers.

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