What is the process of changing status from B-1/B-2 visa to a marriage green card?
Changing your immigration status from a B-1/B-2 tourist visa to a marriage-based green card (permanent residency) involves a series of steps that must be carefully followed to ensure compliance with U.S. immigration laws. Here’s a general overview of the process: https://bwea.com/how-to-change-status-from-b-1-b-2-to-a-marriage-green-card/
Step 1: Eligibility Check: Make sure you meet the eligibility criteria for a marriage-based green card, including being legally married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident and having a valid marriage recognized by U.S. immigration laws.
Step 2: Marriage and Intent: You must be married to your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse before proceeding with the green card application. Be prepared to demonstrate that your entry into the U.S. was not premeditated for the purpose of getting married and changing your status.
Step 3: File Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative): Your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse needs to file Form I-130 with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form establishes the family relationship between you and your spouse.
Step 4: File Form I-485 (Adjustment of Status) or Consular Processing: You can either adjust your status within the U.S. or go through consular processing outside the U.S. The process will differ based on your chosen path.
Adjustment of Status (Change of Status within the U.S.):
- File Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, along with supporting documents.
- Consider filing Form I-765 (Application for Employment Authorization) if you want to work in the U.S. while your green card application is pending.
- Consider filing Form I-131 (Application for Travel Document) if you plan to travel outside the U.S. while your green card application is pending.
Consular Processing (Processing Outside the U.S.):
- File Form I-130 as previously mentioned.
- Complete Form DS-260, the online immigrant visa application form, through the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) website.
- Attend an immigrant visa interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country.
Step 5: Attend Marriage Interview: Whether adjusting status or going through consular processing, you and your spouse will need to attend an interview. The purpose of the interview is to verify the authenticity of your marriage and assess your eligibility for a green card.
Step 6: Receive Green Card: If your application is approved, you will receive your conditional or permanent green card, depending on how long you’ve been married at the time of approval.
Step 7: Remove Conditions (if applicable): If you received a conditional green card (valid for two years), you’ll need to jointly file Form I-751 to remove the conditions within the 90 days before the card expires.
Keep in mind that immigration laws can be complex, and each case is unique. It’s highly recommended to consult with an experienced immigration attorney who can guide you through the specific steps based on your situation and provide you with accurate advice tailored to your circumstances.
What documents must I prepare to change status from B-1/B-2 visitor visa to a marriage green card?
When changing your status from a B-1/B-2 to a marriage-based green card (permanent residency), you’ll need to prepare a comprehensive set of documents to demonstrate the authenticity of your marriage and your eligibility for the green card. The specific documents you need can vary based on your individual circumstances and the path you choose (adjustment of status or consular processing). Here’s a general list of documents you might need:
For Adjustment of Status (Change of Status within the U.S.):
- Form I-130 Approval Notice: Proof that the Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) filed by your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse has been approved.
- Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status): Complete this form and include it in your application package.
- Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support): Filed by your sponsoring spouse, this form demonstrates that they have the financial means to support you.
- Form I-765 (Optional, but recommended): If you wish to work while your green card application is pending, include this form for employment authorization.
- Form I-131 (Optional, but recommended): If you plan to travel outside the U.S. while your green card application is pending, include this form for advance parole (travel document).
- Form I-693 (Medical Examination): A completed medical examination form to show that you don’t have any health conditions that would make you inadmissible to the U.S.
- Proof of Entry and Legal Status: Copies of your passport, visa, I-94 Arrival/Departure Record, and any other documents showing your entry into the U.S. and current legal status.
- Marriage Certificate: A copy of your marriage certificate to prove your marital relationship.
- Proof of Joint Life: Evidence showing that you and your spouse share a life together, such as joint bank accounts, leases, utility bills, and other shared financial or living arrangements.
- Photos: Photographs of you and your spouse together, showcasing your relationship at various stages.
- Affidavits from Witnesses: Sworn statements from friends, family members, or other individuals who can attest to the authenticity of your marriage and relationship.
- Tax Returns: Copies of your U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse’s recent tax returns to demonstrate financial support.
For Consular Processing (Processing Outside the U.S.):
- Form I-130 Approval Notice: As mentioned earlier, proof of the approved Form I-130 petition.
- Form DS-260 (Online Immigrant Visa Application): Complete this form on the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) website.
- Marriage Certificate: A copy of your marriage certificate, as in the adjustment of status path.
- Passport and Visa Copies: Provide copies of your passport, B-1/B-2 visa, and other relevant travel documents.
- Financial and Relationship Documents: Similar to the adjustment of status path, provide financial and relationship documentation that demonstrates the authenticity of your marriage.
- Consular Processing Fees: Payment receipts for the applicable visa processing fees.
- Other Documentation: Depending on the U.S. embassy/consulate’s requirements, you might need additional documentation.
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, and the specific documents required can vary based on your situation, the U.S. embassy or consulate’s guidelines, and any changes in immigration regulations. It’s highly recommended to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to ensure that you gather all the necessary documents and present your case accurately. An attorney can guide you through the process, help you prepare a strong application package, and provide personalized advice based on your situation.