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When to apply for Green Card through marriage?

When to apply for Green Card through marriage?

Old Mar 15th 2012, 5:41 pm
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Default When to apply for Green Card through marriage?

Hi Everyone

I'm looking for some 'been there done that' advice please. I'm currently in the US on an 02 visa (expires 2013). My fiance and I are getting married in the UK on September 1st 2012. He's Californian and we live here (California) together at the moment. I'm just trying to find out when's the best time to apply for my green card - do I do it after we get married in the UK, can I apply beforehand, or could I (ideal situation) apply from the US when we come back after getting married?
I know there are so many hoops to jump through regarding immigration and I don't want to mess anything up and hold it back. I just want it to run as smoothly as possible, if anyone has any experience / advice with this it would be much appreciated - Thank You!

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Old Mar 15th 2012, 5:45 pm
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Default Re: When to apply for Green Card through marriage?

Originally Posted by Emily894 View Post
I'm just trying to find out when's the best time to apply for my green card - do I do it after we get married in the UK, can I apply beforehand, or could I (ideal situation) apply from the US when we come back after getting married?
At the moment, you have no basis on which to apply for a GC. You must be married before you can apply to adjust your status.

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Old Mar 15th 2012, 5:48 pm
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Default Re: When to apply for Green Card through marriage?

I don't know if an O-2 visa is a type that allows dual intent. If it does, you could return to the USA on your O-2 and then apply for adjustment of status. If it does not, then you'll have stay in the UK and apply for an Immigrant Visa.

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Old Mar 15th 2012, 5:51 pm
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Default Re: When to apply for Green Card through marriage?

Ok thank you for your help. I guess I should speak to the lawyer who helped with my 02 and see what the next step is.

I'm just hoping I can apply here in the US - would be heartbreaking to get married in the UK then have to stay behind while he travels back home (here)! It'll all work out in the end I'm sure....
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Old Mar 15th 2012, 6:01 pm
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Default Re: When to apply for Green Card through marriage?

Originally Posted by Emily894 View Post
Ok thank you for your help. I guess I should speak to the lawyer who helped with my 02 and see what the next step is.

I'm just hoping I can apply here in the US - would be heartbreaking to get married in the UK then have to stay behind while he travels back home (here)! It'll all work out in the end I'm sure....
You need to divorce before you can do anything. As soon as you divorce, your O2 visa is history.

If you want to continue living in the US without a break, then it may be possible for you to divorce, marry and adjust status without leaving the US -- consult an attorney.

If you leave to get married, there will be a long gap where you won't be allowed to live in the US.
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Old Mar 15th 2012, 6:05 pm
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Default Re: When to apply for Green Card through marriage?

Originally Posted by fatbrit View Post
As soon as you divorce, your O2 visa is history.
I don't think the O2 is a derivative visa for a spouse, that's an O3. The O2 is for support personnel... like the road crew for a band.

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Old Mar 15th 2012, 6:06 pm
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Default Re: When to apply for Green Card through marriage?

Hi I'm not sure what you mean - we're currently not married so we couldn't divorce. I'm here on an 02 work visa and we're getting married (both for the first time) in September, when we want to make my residency in the US permanent...
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Old Mar 15th 2012, 6:07 pm
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Default Re: When to apply for Green Card through marriage?

Originally Posted by ian-mstm View Post
I don't think the O2 is a derivative visa for a spouse, that's an O3. The O2 is for support personnel... like the road crew for a band.

Ian
Mea culpa!
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Old Mar 15th 2012, 6:09 pm
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Default Re: When to apply for Green Card through marriage?

Haha ok, thanks for your input anyway!
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Old Mar 15th 2012, 6:09 pm
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Default Re: When to apply for Green Card through marriage?

Originally Posted by Emily894 View Post
Hi I'm not sure what you mean - we're currently not married so we couldn't divorce. I'm here on an 02 work visa and we're getting married (both for the first time) in September, when we want to make my residency in the US permanent...
My mistake --- forget the divorce part.

Why not marry in the US now and adjust status?
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Old Mar 15th 2012, 6:16 pm
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Default Re: When to apply for Green Card through marriage?

I was just about to say the same thing. Marry now and file for adjustment of status. You should have your green card right around September (if you don't, you'll have AP in hand at least, which allows you to travel). Then you can go have a blessing ceremony or something for the family in the UK.

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Old Mar 15th 2012, 6:17 pm
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Default Re: When to apply for Green Card through marriage?

We thought long and hard about it but we wanted to have the wedding we would have had if immigration wasn't an issue. If it really was a free world we would have wanted to get married in England with my family and friends (his family's going over too) so that's what we decided to do.

Hopefully it'll all work out smoothly and I can come back on the 02 after we get married and then apply for the green card while over here.
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Old Mar 15th 2012, 6:19 pm
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Default Re: When to apply for Green Card through marriage?

Originally Posted by Emily894 View Post
We thought long and hard about it but we wanted to have the wedding we would have had if immigration wasn't an issue. If it really was a free world we would have wanted to get married in England with my family and friends (his family's going over too) so that's what we decided to do.

Hopefully it'll all work out smoothly and I can come back on the 02 after we get married and then apply for the green card while over here.
Nope -- there will be a 10 month delay after the wedding before you can travel back and become a green card holder.

You have a lot of studying to do.
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Old Mar 15th 2012, 6:20 pm
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Default Re: When to apply for Green Card through marriage?

Even if I have a valid 02 visa? I don't see how if I have a visa that says I work over here, I'm the only one that can do that job, then they could turn me away at immigration?
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Old Mar 15th 2012, 6:22 pm
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Default Re: When to apply for Green Card through marriage?

Originally Posted by Emily894 View Post
Even if I have a valid 02 visa? I don't see how if I have a visa that says I work over here, I'm the only one that can do that job, then they could turn me away at immigration?
As I said, it depends on whether an O-2 is a dual intent visa. You need to find out. Run your plan by the lawyer who got you your O-2.

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