Return to Index  

visa conversions to Green Card status

January 27 2013 at 9:01 AM
Ray B  (Premier Login rbacon1)

U.S. embassies will usually deny a visitor visa application if there is any indication that the applicant is coming to the U.S. to join a fiancee or to marry, as that is considered "intent to immigrate," a common denial reason.

When entering the U.S. on a visitor visa, a short interview by the immigration officer can result in a denial of entry and forced return to the country of origin, IF THE ENTRANT ADMITS AN INTENTION TO MARRY OR TO STAY IN THE U.S.

But once in the U.S., USCIS does not routinely question the original entry intent when a marriage has occurred and an Adjustment of Status application is submitted (coupled with an immigrant petition, I-130).

There are some visa types which cannot be converted, and for which the holder must leave the U.S. and be processed for an immigrant visa abroad. Among such visas are "C" visas ("crew" visas used for ship and air employment), and J1 visas, which have the "exit after visa expiration and remain outside the U.S. for at least two years" requirement stated on the visa. Also, K1 (fiance) visas cannot be converted if the entrant marries anyone other than her petitioner.

We have assisted B2, J1 (without "2-year requirement"), and H2B visa holders obtain Green Cards after marriage to U.S. citizens. "Visa waiver" entrants may fall under a "gray cloud" of conversion eligibility. Visa waiver rules which I have seen posted on USCIS and State Department websites are very specific about overstays being "unforgiven" and conversions not allowed.

--Ray B

This message has been edited by rbacon1 on Jan 27, 2013 9:01 AM

 Respond to this message