First let me thank you for the help, this is a wonderful resource!
My girlfriend and I have been together for the better part of two years. We plan on getting married in the near future, and needless to say the rules and regulations are complex.
She has visited me five times on a tourist visa, but never told the immigration officers that I was the reason for her visit so she never had a problem entering.
We plan on getting married in the near future. We have heard about the 30/60 day law, and know that it would be possible to get married on a tourist visa. Our concern however is the time it would take to complete the immigration process. We know it is not prudent to overstay a tourist visa, but should the immigration process take longer than the remaining time on the visa is there any reliable way to extend that visa to accomodate the time for beaurocracy? What happens if we get married after 60 days, send all the documents and then don't hear back from the Immigration Office before her visa expires?
We also know about the fianceť visa but we would like to get married in the next few months and we know that getting the fianceť visa would take up to 6 months to get.
Thank you for the time and consideration, we appreciate it!
2 Answers from Attorneys
Once the adjustment of status application is filed, your fiancee would be allowed to remain in the U.S. until adjudication of her adjustment of status application.
You may find more information on the process on my site for international couples here:
You're in a common position. If she enters with the purpose of marrying and staying she has pre-conceived intent. As long as she doesn't lie at the port of entry, then she can win her case. According to case law, the filing has to be perfect.
While the filing is processing, she can remain in the U.S., obtain a social security number, drivers license and work after she receives her Employment Authorization.
I suggest retaining counsel. As you're filing from NC, the two offices (Charlotte and Durham) are notoriously tough to deal with. I've had a practice down in Charlotte for some time and they will question the motives at entry and will need to be educated on the above noted case law.
We'd be happy to discuss representation if you so choose.