Hi all, I've spent all weekend reading here and decided to create my own topic since I didn't find any similar threads. In a bit of a pickle, and on the verge of tears just trying to type this.
A few years ago my advisor passed away in the middle of my PhD program, and I switched projects with a significant setback in research progress (no similar professor to continue previous work with).
I intended to graduate this summer with my PhD, but I've just learned that because I've been in the program so long (~9 years), many of my classes have "expired" and can no longer be included on the paperwork needed to start taking the final two dissertation courses. I will need to retake several courses to finish, plus I don't think my current advisor is too keen to keep signing I-20 extension of stay request forms every year.
This PhD journey has been long, arduous, lonely, and heartbreaking, and I honestly cannot find the motivation to stay in it for another two years (~ late 2021 - early 2022 with the required coursework).
But I have a loving girlfriend (U.S. citizen) of three years (now-fiancée) who has been by my side through the whole process, and we got engaged last November with the intention to get married this fall (~Oct 2020) when I would otherwise have graduated by.
With this additional setback about the degree, we are considering getting married sooner (March?) and abandoning my PhD program so we can move on with our lives (I've given this a lot of thought). After getting married, we're hoping we can file our adjustment of status paperwork, I can get eventually get my travel and work authorization and hopefully permanent residency a little later.
Will we have trouble with this scenario, considering I didn't complete the degree that the F-1 was originally assigned for?