Will visiting the U.S. for longer than 6 months jeopardize my I-130/CR1 process?

UPDATED: Mar 6, 2012

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Will visiting the U.S. for longer than 6 months jeopardize my I-130/CR1 process?

I’m a Canadian citizen who legally entered the U.S. 4 months ago. I am married to a US citizen. We are currently 3 months into the I-130/CR1 process. Will staying longer than 6 consecutive months in the U.S. hurt my chances of getting a green card? I legally crossed the border with the intention to visit my wife in the U.S. We want to be together for as long as possible until the process is over. I received no I 94 or stamp, nor any specific date to leave the US. Since I’m married to a US citizen, would the overstay be forgiven? Is it even an overstay?

Asked on March 6, 2012 under Immigration Law, California


SB, Member, California / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

A lawful e ntry from Canada will most likely be presumed but you should not have started the immigration process so soon after you entered the US as that shows a misrepresentation of intent at the time you entered the US, supposedly as a visitor.  It is not an overstay if you have only been in the country for less than 6 months and even if it were, it would be forgiven if you are applying to adjust status as a spouse of a US citizen.  However, the misrepresentation of intent is something you may have to explain at the time of the interview.

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