How to change your status from a B1/B2 Visa to a Marriage-Based Green Card?

B1/B2 Visitor Visas has been one of the most common as they allow visitors for business and pleasure to visit the U.S. to engage in business activities that are not employment permitted. However, some people may be eligible for certain exceptions and may apply for a Green Card (Permanent Resident of the U.S.).

There are several instances when people visit the U.S. as a B1/B2 visitor for business or pleasure, and they get married to a U.S. citizen or a Green Card Holder. If eligible they may apply for a Marriage-Based Green Card to live with their spouse legally in the U.S.

While on B1/B2 visitor visa status, you may be able to apply for a Green Card from within the U.S. through the adjustment of status (AOS) process. If you apply from your home country, you must follow "consular processing." In this blog, we will cover both options and help you ascertain the best way to obtain a Green Card.

90-Day Rule for B1/B2 Visitor Visa Holders

Choosing between AOS & Consular Processing can be complicated, and it depends on your eligibility and personal choice and convenience. It is crucial to understand that for B1/B2 visitors visa holders applying for a Green Card via AOS can be challenging as they might be under additional scrutiny.

The reason is that when you enter the U.S. on B1/B2 Visa, you're declaring that you intend to return home by the expiration date of your authorized stay. If you apply for a Green Card via Adjustment of Status, you might misrepresent your intention in front of a USCIS officer, who might reject your Green Card application & revoke your current visa.

Hence, it is recommend following the 90-Day rule, which states that temporary visa holders applying for a Green Card application within 90 days of arrival in the U.S. are presumed to have deliberately misrepresented their intent.

We suggest waiting for 91 days or more after entry into the U.S. on B1/B2 visitor visa before filing your Green Card application to avoid scrutiny of your application.

At Salinas Law Firm, we have highly experienced B1/B2 Visa attorneys who have guided clients in successfully obtaining Green Cards by suggesting the best options and avoiding in-depth inquiries from USCIS. Contact us for any questions regarding the 90-Day rule and consultation with our B1/B2 Visa Lawyer in Houston, Texas.

Are you looking for expert guidance on immigration matters in Houston? Salinas Law Firm is here to help. Our dedicated Houston immigration attorney are committed to providing personalized, effective legal assistance to navigate the complex landscape of immigration law with ease and confidence.

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Applying for Green Card through the Marriage Route

Let us now walk you through two ways to apply for a Green Card through the marriage route. And the process for B1/B2 Visa holders will differ depending on whether your partner is a Green Card holder or a U.S. citizen.

Way 1: If you're married to a U.S. Citizen

If you're married to a U.S. Citizen & wish to obtain a Green card via AOS, the process will be similar to the procedure used by spouses living in the U.S. & married to a U.S. Citizen. In this scenario, you & your spouse must file the following forms:

  • Form I-130 (Family Sponsorship Form, also called Petition for Alien Relative) is to be filed & signed by your spouse, B1/B2 Visa Holder.
  • Form I-485 (Green Card Application Form, also called Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjustment of Status) is to be filled out & signed by B1/B2 visa holder spouse.

You must prove that you married your U.S. Citizen spouse in "good faith" and not for the solitary aim of acquiring a Green Card.  Your Green Card application will be processed within 10-16 months after USCIS receives your application package.

If you wish to obtain Green Card from your home country, you must return to your home country & process the application via Consular Processing. The local U.S. Embassy or Consulate will process your case. You have to pay lower fees; however, the waiting time may be longer.

Way 2: If you're married to a Green Card Holder

If you're married to a Green Card Holder and applying for a Green Card via AOS, the Green Card Holder's spouse must file Form I-130. Once it is approved, you will get a priority date. After your priority date becomes current, you can apply for a Marriage-Based Green Card.

Note: Visa Numbers are available faster to U.S. Citizens' spouses than Green Card Holders' spouses.

If your priority date is current, you may be able to stay in the U.S. and follow the similar Green Card application procedure followed by spouses living in the U.S. & married to a Green Card holder. You must apply using Form I-485. After your Marriage-Based Green Card Application is approved, you will receive your Physical Green Card.

However, suppose you receive a priority date after your authorized stay ends. In that case, you may be required to leave the U.S. and apply for a Green Card via Consular Processing through the procedure used by spouses living abroad & married to a Green Card holder.

If you require assistance regarding the procedure for applying for a Green Card via AOS or Consular Processing, our Visa Attorney in Houston, Texas, will guide you through the entire process from the fulfillment of eligibility criteria, completing paperwork, gathering documents, filing out required forms, and the interview process.

Our Visa Lawyer remains available at every step of the way to ensure you smoothly obtain your Marriage-Based Green Card without unnecessary delays.

Conclusion

After reading the blog, you will have a fair understanding of the 90-Day rule and two ways of obtaining a Marriage-Based Green Card via AOS & Consular Processing. However, if you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

For any assistance with applying for a Marriage-Based Green Card or a standard Green Card or with changing status from B1/B2 Visa to another from within the U.S. or your home country, our highly experienced Houston B1/B2 Visa Attorney will help you with all the necessary support.

For a consultation with our Houston Visa Attorney, contact us at 713.518.1711.

Read more about: Green card application process for your spouse or fiancé