Andover, MA asked in Immigration Law for Massachusetts

Q: Is there a way to get a work permit without leaving the US if I entered with a tourist visa?

I studied architecture finished all courses but never got my degree, I gained 5 years of experience on an specific field in Mexico. I’m currently in the US, fell in love with someone and would not want to risk having to leave the US to complete a process for a work visa to work in my field.

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2 Lawyer Answers
Giselle M. Rodriguez
Giselle M. Rodriguez
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Boston, MA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: Good Morning:

Is the person you fell in love with in the United States a U.S. Citizen or legal permanent resident (green card holder)?

As long as you had the intention of returning to your country of origin during your recent entry into the U.S. with the tourist visa you may consider the following:

If the person you fell in love with is a U.S. Citizen or LPR, and perhaps there have been conversations of marriage between you both, there is a marriage-immigration process called 'adjustment of status.' With this process, you can apply for work authorization while the adjustment of status process is pending.

Another way to get work authorization is through the employer sponsorship process if some requirements are met.

I recommend that you speak with an attorney to go over the process and your options more in-depth.

Good luck!


Stephen Arnold Black
Stephen Arnold Black
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • Orlando, FL

A: So a person who enters the United States with a tourist visa and gets married to a United States citizen can adjust status to get a green card, even if the tourist falls out of status. You can acquire a green card through this process without having to return to your country. You should work with an attorney to make sure the case is processed without complications.

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