Legal Question in Immigration Law in Alabama

I am married to a u.s citizen, we married on the visa waiver but were unaware that we needed a fiance visa, he spent one month in the uk, and i came to the u.s for 3 months on vwp. I had planned to return home and one of us would file for the other depending on where we decided to live, however after 2 months we started looking into if i could stay as we wanted to live in the u.s. I had to quit my job to come over here as i knew they would re employ me and i originally only wanted to come for 1 month but they would not let me have time off to do so. When i came through customs i was pulled into a office and interrogated as to my visit, i told them i was here visiting a friend and staying with his family as i was scared to tell them i was already married as we had got married without the fiance visa. Are we going to have any problems when we file for my visa now as i have overstayed my visa by one month already.

Asked on 1/14/10, 11:04 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

William Pfeifer Pfeifer LLC

The fiance visa is a tool for getting a non-U.S. citizen into the United States to marry a U.S. citizen. Since you were able to enter into the country under the visa waiver program, there was no reason for you to get a fiance visa. So, the lack of a fiance visa is not going to be a problem in your particular situation.

Overstaying your visa is a problem, but it can be fixed because of your marriage to a U.S. citizen, if you take immediate steps to get your green card application filed. There are several documents which need to be filed on your behalf to straighten this out. There is a petition which needs to be filed for your husband to sponsor you for a green card, and depending on his income there may be additional financial documents which need to be filed with it. You also need to file a petition to obtain a work permit until your green card is approved so that you can work at a job in the U.S., and you may want to file a petition to reinstate your ability to travel in and out of the country. As it stands right now, if you leave the country you won't be able to get back in. You are also at risk of being deported if USCIS takes action against you before you file your green card application. However, the filing of your green card application can be used as a way to fix all of this.

I would not recommend trying to do all of this on your own, because it is rather complicated and involves putting together a lot of documentation. I have an office in Anniston which is not far from where your account says that you live. I would be glad to discuss representing you in getting your green card application filed so that you can stay here on a permanent basis.

You can send me an email at [email protected], or give me a call at (800) 737-3702 Extension 1 to discuss getting your problem resolved. Your situation can be straightened out. It is only a problem if you don't take steps to fix it.

William L. Pfeifer, Jr.

Attorney at Law

(800) 737-3702 Ext. 1

[email protected]

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Answered on 1/20/10, 7:15 am

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