If I’m both a US and French citizen who has been living there for 1 1/2 years and my French girlfriend is now 3 months pregnant, how long can she come and stay in the US for?

Before she was pregnant our plan was to go to the US to stay for for a minimum of a year to visit my family and see if we both are interested in calling it home. We still would like to keep our plans now that she is pregnant and give birth to our child in the US. The problem is that she will be 5 months pregnant when we would like to arrive in the US and we need to be sure we can stay for about a year before she and the newborn can travel. What is our best option? What type of visa is necessary? Do we need to get married before or after arriving in the US?

Asked on September 27, 2014 under Immigration Law, New Mexico


SB Member California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

She will not be able to come to the US for that long of a period of time as just a French citizen on a visa waiver which limits her stay for up to 90 days.  At that time, you can get married and then petition for her permanent residence (green card) on the basis of the marriage.  That will allow her to remain in the US.  If she just wants to be able to stay in the US to give birth to your child, there is no visa that will allow her to do this.  Also, if she overstays the visa waiver but does not adjust status to permanent residence, if she then departs the US at some point after the birth of your child, she will not be permitted to enter the US in visa waiver status and will then have to obtain a visa even for tourism in the future.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.