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matt_b662 Oct 11th 2002 4:59 am

USC spouse: AOS and Extension of Stay
Dear immigration gurus,

I'm a permanent resident and I'm applying for US citizenship. I already got fingerprinted a couple of weeks
ago, and I expect to be interviewed between January 30th and February 28th, 2003. I didn't get the official appointment letter from INS yet, but I was told that the average time between filling and swearing in is about 180 days, so I did the math. I took in account also two extra weeks and I'm hoping that if everything goes well, by the end of February I'll be naturalized US citizen.

Now the tricky part: I'm married to a woman who doesn't have a green card. Luckily for us, she got a 10-year-multiple-entry visa a couple of years ago, long before me met and got married. She never intended to use it, until this summer. Since we got married half a year ago, I guess the reason for her visit here is self-explanatory. So she joined me three months ago and at the time of entry she got 6-month visa (on the I-94) which expires on January 1st. As I said, she has never been here before, so that might be one of the reasons why she was allowed to stay here for up to 6 months.

Anyway, as soon as I become US citizen, I would like to file for AOS for her, but as you noticed, her visa expires two months earlier - so we're two months short. And here's our dilemma: whether she should leave the US around December, before the date on her I-94 and come back once again as a tourist after 2-3 months or should she rather stay here?

I'm assuming that filing AOS while she's legally here is probably the fastest way to get her a green card. Now,
the pros and cons I can think of:

In case of first option (leaving in December), she may not be allowed to entry the US 2-3 months after leaving
it. It may look a bit suspicious so I guess she may end up with 1-month visa, if she's lucky.

In case of second option, I figured out that if she files for Extension of Stay around mid-December, she will not get any reply from INS for at least two or three months (Again, another assumption). Her application may or may not be approved, but the point is, until she gets a final reply from INS, she can be legally present here. In the meantime, I expect to be naturalized a bit sooner than she hears back from INS. So technically, she would be still legally in the US at the time of my naturalization and I could I file for AOS for her immediately.

Now, I am not quite sure what the INS guys would think about it. Assuming that we go for the second option (extension of stay), I am concerned about pretty obvious immigration intent. Can it be a solid reason for not approving her AOS or we can easily deal with it? What do you think?

Are there any other pros and cons you can think of?


Rete Oct 11th 2002 10:22 am

Re: USC spouse: AOS and Extension of Stay
Your second option is in all likelihood the correct one. She will remain in status while the extension is being processed. Here's hoping that INS follows their naturalization timeline for you and that by mid-March you can apply for her AOS.


Andy Platt Oct 11th 2002 11:29 am

Re: USC spouse: AOS and Extension of Stay
"matt_b662" wrote...

    > which expires on January 1st. As I said, she has never been here before,
    > so that might be one of the reasons why she was allowed to stay here for
    > up to 6 months.
There may be isolated cases of people on B-2 visas getting less than six
months but INS have not yet issued a final ruling on their proposals to drop
this as a matter of course. So, it is not unexpected that somebody entering
on a B-2 visa gets a six month duration of stay.

BTW, I agree with Rita though I should note two things:

a) The extension will probably be denied because of her ties to you; such a
denial is actually retrospective.
b) That doesn't really matter so long as she has been able to file for
adjustment of status by then.


I'm not really here - it's just your warped imagination.

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