Corvallis, OR asked in Immigration Law for Oregon

Q: I'm a F1 student and attending a school. I get married last month and my wife is a US citizen.

I'm a F1 student and attending a school. I get married last month and my wife is a US citizen, but she lives in Middle East.

My wife is both a Saudi citizen and a US citizen (daul passports). Currently, she lives in the Saudi Arabia. I'm a Saudi too. I live in the US as a F1 international student, third year undergraduate.

My questions, please:

- Can I apply for green card while my wife lives abroad?

- I have my own business in Saudi Arabia, about $100,000 income a year. Will I have to include it when I pay tax every year.

- I will leave the US after three months and come back to the US with my wife two months later. Is it better to apply for green card after coming back to the US when my wife with me, or starts now while I'm in the US and she is abroad?

Thanks in advance.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kelli Y. Allen
Kelli Y. Allen
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Charlotte, NC

A: Yes, your wife can begin the petitioning process from abroad. There are some other timing issues, however.

While you are here on the F1, you could file a one-step adjustment of status (AOS) petition. You would stay here while the application is being processed and your wife would need to be here by the time the interview is scheduled. If, however, you leave and re-enter on the F1, you could not then file for AOS because of the immigrant/non-immigrant intent issue. If you leave, when you re-enter on the F1, you must not have the intention of applying for permanent residence because that is a violation of the required non-immigrant intent. So if you leave, be prepared to leave again and process through the consulate.

I strongly advise having an immigration attorney handle the case for you. Your tax issue is outside my area of expertise, so I am unable to advise on that.

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