If I’m in the US on a visa, how will marrying a green card holder affect my status if my visa is about to expire?

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If I’m in the US on a visa, how will marrying a green card holder affect my status if my visa is about to expire?

I came to the US on tourist B2 visa a year ago and stayed here for a year (I extended my B2 visa once). Next week, my status will expire, however, I’m planning to get married 4 days before that. My future husband is a green card holder. Will I have any problems with immigration? Will my marriage let me stay in the US legally?

Asked on November 6, 2011 under Immigration Law, Florida

Answers:

SB, Member, California / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

No, marrying a green card holder will not give you any immediate immigration benefits nor will it preserve your status in the US.  You will be out of status and starting to accrue unlawful presence time as soon as your I-94 expires.  Once you are unlawfully present, you will ONLY be eligible to apply for permanent residence on the basis of marriage ONCE your spouse becomes a US citizen.  Depending on when he became a permanent resident, that can still be up to 5 years from  now.  During all that time, you will be unlawfully present and subject to removal from the US.  You will not be eligible for employment authorization, driver's license, etc.


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