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J1 visa married to US citizen, when to quit J1 job?

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I married a US citizen in late November of 2018 in California. I live in South Carolina and teaching on a J1 visa, while my husband lives in California.  I already received my J1 waiver from my home country, and we already filed the Petition I-130. We are still waiting for this petition to get approved. I really want to be with my husband as soon as possible and finally start our family together, but I am scared to let go of my job because it might affect my paperwork.  My question is, can i leave my J1 visa job now to go live with my husband in California?  If not, when is "safe" for me to move? 

 

Thank you in advance!

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Have you filed the I-485 packet? An I-130 petition alone doesn't grant any immigration status or stay in the US.

Once you file an I-485, you will begin a period of authorized stay while your case is pending.


Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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Thank you for your response GeoWrian! ☺️ We made a mistake of not filing the i-130 and i 485 together,  it's already ready. Can I just send it to USCIS even without the receipt number from form i-130? 

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Posted (edited)

* Moved from Student & Exchange Visas to AOS from Work, Student, and Tourist Visas. The OP will be going through the AOS process. *

 

10 minutes ago, teacher10 said:

Thank you for your response GeoWrian! ☺️ We made a mistake of not filing the i-130 and i 485 together,  it's already ready. Can I just send it to USCIS even without the receipt number from form i-130? 

You can send the I-485 with a copy of the I-130's NOA1 (receipt). You'll have to wait for that receipt notice to come in, otherwise they won't know how to match it up with your I-130 and it will be rejected (sent back).

Normally it only takes a few weeks or so to get the notice.

 

Once you get the notice and submit the I-485 packet (with a copy of the I-130's NOA1), you're technically in a period of authorized stay. But I would personally wait until you get the I-485's receipt notice (NOA1) just to ensure it is accepted and you have evidence of your authorized stay.

Edited by geowrian

Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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We will definitely do that, I read about the notice of receipt but I was reading different opinions about it. It makes more sense to wait for the notice before I send the I-485 packet. Thank you for your advice @geowrian, I really appreciate it! 🙏😊

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One thing to be aware of: you'll lose the right to work as soon as you leave your J1 job. You can apply for an Employment Authorization Document (just file form I-765 along with your I-485) but no-one knows what's up with the wait times right now: if you're lucky it'll be 2 months, if you're unlucky it'll be 6+.

 

Even if you're not planning to work, without the EAD it's irritatingly difficult to prove your legal status. For example, you won't be able to get or renew a CA driving license: the CA DMV does not accept the I-485 NOA1 as proof of status, it has to be the EAD or green card. (Ask me how I know... grumble grumble.) If you have a SC driving license it'll remain valid until its expiry date but after that you're stuck.

 

So you're *safe* to quit your job as soon as your I-485 receipt comes through, but if you can hold out until you get your EAD it'll make your life significantly easier.

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