I came to the US with a temporary student working visa. 2 months in I got married. No, I did not do it just for the sake of staying in the country. I did it because I love this man with every fiber of my being. We got married before my visa expired but, because of financial difficulties, we couldn't file for my status change. Obviously I can't work (I have not worked a single day illegally nor have I broken the law in any other way) so for a married couple in their early 20's with only one income coming in, you can imagine that 1500+ dollars is a lot. My questions are as follow: Is there any way that we can bypass some of that amount, by some kind of financial aid or by some kind of payment system? And once we do have that figured out, do I need a valid passport to apply? Mine expired last year. Also, once everything is filed and ok, how long should I expect to have to wait before I can work and go to school? We're not trying to do anything illegal, we're just two young people that are madly in love, looking for a normal life. Thank you.
1 Answer from Attorneys
First, working without authorization is "cured" by your marriage to a U.S. citizen. See INA 245(c). So you hyper technically can work. However if your employer asks you to complete an I-9 or provide a social security number, then you must decline. Second, your student visa doesn't control you authorized stay here. What does control is your I-20, your I-9 and your continued enrollment in school. If you complete your education you'll be eligible for a work visa. Third, you can ask for a fee waiver for the I-485 and you can seek employment on your student visa on campus and off (if you meet the criteria).
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