Q: Marriage to US citizen on ESTA and change of status
I'm a New Zealander we have fallen in love and want to be together. Both mid 50s. Due to fly home February. Been friends for a year. Met in person and we want to marry and I would like to change status to be with him in USA for immediate future.
A: You may be eligible to obtain Permanent Residency through Marriage to a United States Citizen. You would be filing for Adjustment of Status and your spouse would need to file a petition for you by completing Form I-130. You should file all the required petitions and include the supporting documentation as soon as possible upon obtaining a marriage certificate. If you want to pursue this path, then you must not fly home to New Zealand. Instead, once you have married, you will file for adjustment and also apply for a travel permit. You cannot leave the US once your petitions have been filed and until your travel permit is granted. Good luck!
Agnes Jury agrees with this answer
1 user found this answer helpful
A: In addition to Mr. Serrano's answer, I would encourage you to hire an experienced immigration attorney to help you with this process or at least to do a consultation with one (some offer free consults) to make sure there are no impediments to you applying that you may not be aware of and to make the process as easy and fast as possible. You can find an experienced attorney here on JUSTIA.com or AVVO.com or AILA.org. Best wishes!
A: If you entered on Esther, and married after 90 days, then you can adjust status in the United States to get a green card without going back home. If you Get married and return home, then it will take up to two years for a spousal visa to be processed at the US consulate. If you return home any sponsors you for a fiancée visa that also will take up to two years. Your best pathway is to Not returned home, get married and then process for an adjustment of status to get your green card in the state of Alabama.
A lawful entry (by ESTA or B-1/B-2) into the U.S. and marriage with a U.S. citizen will qualify you to apply for adjustment of status with USCIS assuming that you are not otherwise legally inadmissible.
You also should be cognizant of your burden of showing a lack of immigrant intent for the period of 90 days after your lawful entry into the U.S. For that reason you should time your marriage in accordance with this requirement if you are proceeding with the adjustment of status with USCIS.
Finally, you should consider engaging an experienced immigration attorney to properly guide you with this matter.
Good luck to you.
Stephen Arnold Black agrees with this answer
Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.
The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.
Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.