Q: Can I change my F-1 Visa Status if I start my process for the Green Card through marriage?
I am an international student who has been in the USA for 5 years and I've been in a relationship for 6 years. We are planning to get married soon and therefore, start my process for the green card. I only have two semesters left to finish my bachelors, however, I wouldn't be able to pay school for those semesters, since I wasn't offered a scholarship. I was wondering if, once we start the process for my green card, I would be put into another Visa status until we receive the final decision from the USCIS, and then, I wouldn't need to follow the rules that international students have to follow, such as being a full-time student, or attending school at all. I wanted to wait until I could go to a better school with a scholarship at that time being an American citizen.
Thank you in advance.
A: You can apply for the green card but you are not put into another visa status while you wait. However, you do not accrue unlawful presence while you wait should your F1 visa expire or you fail to comply with the F1 requirements. In other words, you can stop attending school while your green card application is being processed and there should not be any problems because of it AS LONG AS your green card application is approved. However, there would be some negative consequences if your green card application is denied. For that reason, I would recommend that you engage the services of an experienced immigration attorney to make sure you qualify for the green card and to make sure that it is properly applied for to maximize the chances of prompt approval. Best wishes!
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