Exploring Civil Case Proceedings

Exploring Civil Case Proceedings

The Immigrating Student: Five Tips For Getting Married On An F-1 Visa

by Becky Freeman

Every immigration case is different. If you are a college student on an F-1 visa in the United States, you'll have some obstacles if you meet someone who you want to marry. It is possible to marry and legally become a permanent resident, but it takes some time, money, and effort. If you are planning on marrying while in the US on an F-1 visa, these tips will help you to make the journey as easy as possible.

1. Get your background check and full-form birth certificate before you marry.

Part of the immigration process will ask for a full police report and require you to show documentation from your home country proving your place of birth. Some countries, like Canada, provide citizens with "short form" birth certificates. These will not do for your immigration application. It can be hard to get these documents after you are married and living in the United States, as it is difficult to travel when your application has not yet been filed; some countries require police reports and birth certificates to be collected in person. Therefore, plan ahead and gather these documents a few months before you are engaged.

2. Once you are engaged, try to avoid traveling on your student visa.

F-1 visas are "non-immigrant" visas. This means that if you enter the country on this visa with the intention to immigrate (in this case, get married), you could be charged with fraud. This is rare, especially since if your student visa is valid, you are still in school and have good reason to enter the country. However, it is safest if, once your engagement is official, to avoid traveling until your change of status has been fully processed.

Also, never travel after marriage, especially once you have begun your immigration papers. Any attempt to leave the country without proper authorization will result in the abandonment of your application and you may not be permitted to re-enter the country. Your honeymoon should be within the confines of the US. 

3. Read through the forms with a lawyer.

It helps to speed up the immigration process if you thoroughly read the instructions and discuss them with an immigration lawyer. Some of the language of the forms can be confusing. For example, your spouse will be your sponsor, but if your spouse does not have significant financial resources, you'll need a secondary sponsor. However, even if your spouse does not have money or assets, he or she will still need to fill out a sponsor form anyway, and file alongside the forms of the other sponsors. An immigration counseling lawyer will know these nuances of the application and will help you not to make any mistakes that could slow you down. 

4. Apply for work and travel authorization.

As a student, you are able to work limited hours on campus, but once your F-1 visa is voided because you have intention to immigrate, working will be more difficult. Therefore, even though it is not necessary, you should apply for work authorization and a travel card. Your permanent residency (green card) status can often take months to clear, so these two temporary authorizations can make life easier for you. You can travel abroad without worrying about losing your application status, and you can find full-time employment anywhere--even off campus.

5. Start saving for immigration fees.

Most immigration forms come with a filing fee, which is not refundable. After the doctor's form, the petition to change status, a lawyer consultation, the biometrics fee and other fees, including renewing passports and getting copies of birth certificates, immigration can cost well over a thousand dollars. If you're a student, you won't have that kind of money. So, being saving as soon as you know you'll be having a wedding. It will make the cost of immigration much less burdensome for you and your new spouse. 


About Me

Exploring Civil Case Proceedings

Hello and welcome, I'm Winfred Paulo. I have a passion for civil court cases of all kinds. Some time back, I ended up in the thick of a civil case after a lengthy dispute with my neighbor. The dispute went on for years and ended badly with an incident that landed us both in court. We had to prove our side of the case in an effort to obtain a positive outcome and recoup our losses. Unfortunately, I lost the case due to a lack of evidence. Since then, I've maintain a strong interest in civil cases and their proceedings. I will share information about civil cases on this site to help others understand these proceedings better. I may talk about legal terms, and expected outcomes for each case type. I hope you visit often to learn more. Thanks for stopping by my website.