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Transition from student visa to spouse visa

Transition from student visa to spouse visa

Old Oct 19th 2010, 5:34 pm
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Default Transition from student visa to spouse visa

Hi,

I've tried reading up on requirements for spouse visas and am not sure where I fit in to the picture. I'm on a student visa in the US (F1 visa) and intend to be a student for some time after I marry my USC boyfriend. The information I've read seems to suggest that I have to be living outside the US whilst I am waiting for my spouse visa, but that I'm allowed to visit the US on the VWP. There is no mention (in the things I read) of whether I'd be allowed to remain in the US on the student visa in the interim, but I assume this must be the case... right...??

Thanks for your help, and apologies if you've answered this a hundred times before!

Jen
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Old Oct 19th 2010, 5:40 pm
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Default Re: Transition from student visa to spouse visa

Yes, you are allowed to remain in the USA as a student as long as you are complying with the terms of your visa.

If you wish to become a US permanent resident, you will need to file an Adjustment of Status package after marriage. Filing the AOS also keeps you in status in the USA, it gives you permission to remain in the USA until your AOS is adjudicated.

Check out our Wiki Guide to see what's involved in filing AOS.

Rene
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Old Oct 19th 2010, 5:44 pm
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Default Re: Transition from student visa to spouse visa

You don't need to change your visa; a visa is a document for entering the country. You need to change your status from student to Permanent Resident. That process is called Adjustment of Status, or AOS for short.

When you are married to a US citizen, you are their 'immediate relative' (spouse).

I Am a U.S. Citizen How Do I… Help My Relative Become a U.S. Permanent Resident?


How do I file?
There are two basic ways to legally assist your relatives to immigrate into the United States:


The foreign student advisor's office at your school can advise you on this process, and there is a wiki entry here at BE. Please invest the time in learning about what you need to do during this time to protect your status and file correctly. International travel and its timing may be particularly important for you while you are waiting for the AOS.
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Old Oct 19th 2010, 6:11 pm
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Default Re: Transition from student visa to spouse visa

Thanks for your replies. I suppose I should have been more specific. We are planning on marrying in the UK (and visiting at least once during the wait for PR), so I would then be attempting to return to the US on an F1 visa, married to a US citizen. Would there potentially be an issue with this, since one of the requirements of my F1 visa is that I am intending to leave the country after I graduate? If I'm in the process of applying for AOS and PR, that clearly isn't true.

Thanks
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Old Oct 19th 2010, 6:19 pm
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Default Re: Transition from student visa to spouse visa

Originally Posted by EGJen View Post
Thanks for your replies. I suppose I should have been more specific. We are planning on marrying in the UK (and visiting at least once during the wait for PR), so I would then be attempting to return to the US on an F1 visa, married to a US citizen. Would there potentially be an issue with this, since one of the requirements of my F1 visa is that I am intending to leave the country after I graduate? If I'm in the process of applying for AOS and PR, that clearly isn't true.

Thanks
You are correct, you are not supposed to enter on your F1 visa if your intent is then to adjust status to permanent resident. How about getting married in the USA and start the AOS process, then when you have permission to travel (Advance Parole, which takes about 60 days to get after filing AOS), you can do another ceremony in the UK for your family and friends to attend?

That way, you'll be entering the USA using AP which is appropriate for your situation.

Rene
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Old Oct 19th 2010, 6:25 pm
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Default Re: Transition from student visa to spouse visa

Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
Yes, you are allowed to remain in the USA as a student as long as you are complying with the terms of your visa.

If you wish to become a US permanent resident, you will need to file an Adjustment of Status package after marriage. Filing the AOS also keeps you in status in the USA, it gives you permission to remain in the USA until your AOS is adjudicated.

Check out our Wiki Guide to see what's involved in filing AOS.

Rene
Just as a general history lesson, one may want to read the recent case of Matter of Quilantan. It has a discussion of the history of Section 245 AOS.
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Old Oct 19th 2010, 6:30 pm
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Default Re: Transition from student visa to spouse visa

Originally Posted by Noorah101 View Post
You are correct, you are not supposed to enter on your F1 visa if your intent is then to adjust status to permanent resident.
I'm not sure this is 100% accurate. The requirement to leave the US is incumbent only when applying for the visa, not after it's issued. She shouldn't have any issues entering the US on her F-1 visa as long as she is in school and the F-1 and I-20 are valid.

She should probably delay filing AOS until she's back in the US... but I don't see a violation of status.

Ian
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Old Oct 19th 2010, 6:47 pm
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Default Re: Transition from student visa to spouse visa

Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
I'm not sure this is 100% accurate. The requirement to leave the US is incumbent only when applying for the visa, not after it's issued. She shouldn't have any issues entering the US on her F-1 visa as long as she is in school and the F-1 and I-20 are valid.

She should probably delay filing AOS until she's back in the US... but I don't see a violation of status.

Ian
Thanks!
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Old Oct 19th 2010, 6:48 pm
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Default Re: Transition from student visa to spouse visa

Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
I'm not sure this is 100% accurate. The requirement to leave the US is incumbent only when applying for the visa, not after it's issued. She shouldn't have any issues entering the US on her F-1 visa as long as she is in school and the F-1 and I-20 are valid.

She should probably delay filing AOS until she's back in the US... but I don't see a violation of status.

Ian
So who would I be able to check this with? I already contacted the Office of International Students and Scholars at my university, and they knew even less than I do! I suppose if I didn't immediately change my name, I'd be able to keep my passport (complete with visa), and would just have to make darn sure no one stole it etc, or I wouldn't be able to get a replacement...?

I'd still be in school, full-time and (hopefully) in good standing, so the original visa would be valid.

I really would prefer to have the ceremony in the UK if there is a (legal) way around this.
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Old Oct 19th 2010, 7:10 pm
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Default Re: Transition from student visa to spouse visa

Originally Posted by EGJen View Post
So who would I be able to check this with? I already contacted the Office of International Students and Scholars at my university, and they knew even less than I do! I suppose if I didn't immediately change my name, I'd be able to keep my passport (complete with visa), and would just have to make darn sure no one stole it etc, or I wouldn't be able to get a replacement...?

I'd still be in school, full-time and (hopefully) in good standing, so the original visa would be valid.

I really would prefer to have the ceremony in the UK if there is a (legal) way around this.
Evidently your plan is less of an issue than I made it out to be.

Rene
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Old Oct 19th 2010, 7:14 pm
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Default Re: Transition from student visa to spouse visa

Really?? Something about this process is going to be easier than I imagined?! Woohoo!

Thanks for your help!

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Old Oct 19th 2010, 10:22 pm
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Default Re: Transition from student visa to spouse visa

Originally Posted by EGJen View Post
I suppose if I didn't immediately change my name, I'd be able to keep my passport (complete with visa), and would just have to make darn sure no one stole it etc, or I wouldn't be able to get a replacement...?
Regardless of any name you assume after marriage, your birth name is always your legal name. Indeed, why would you even need to change it? For future reference, make sure that any airline tickets you book match the name in your passport.


I really would prefer to have the ceremony in the UK if there is a (legal) way around this.
Your USC fella will need a visa to marry in the UK.

Ian
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