Changing your immigration status from a B-1/B-2 tourist visa to a marriage-based green card (permanent residency) involves a specific process that requires careful planning and adherence to U.S. immigration regulations. Here’s a general overview of the steps you would need to take:
Step 1: Determine Eligibility: Ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria for a marriage-based green card. This typically includes being legally married to a U.S. citizen or green card holder and meeting other requirements for adjustment of status.
Step 2: File the I-130 Petition: Your U.S. citizen or green card holder spouse needs to file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on your behalf. This form establishes the qualifying relationship between you and your spouse. Once the I-130 petition is approved, it will be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing.
Step 3: File Form I-485 Adjustment of Status: As a B-1/B-2 visa holder, you can file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, to change your status to that of a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). This step allows you to apply for a green card while staying in the U.S. You will need to include various supporting documents, such as medical exams, financial affidavits, and evidence of the bona fide nature of your marriage.
Step 4: Attend Biometrics Appointment: After filing the I-485 application, you will receive a notice for a biometrics appointment. During this appointment, USCIS will take your fingerprints, photograph, and signature.
Step 5: Attend Green Card Interview: Most marriage-based green card applicants are required to attend an interview at a USCIS field office. The interview is a critical step where both you and your spouse will be questioned about your relationship and marriage. Be prepared to provide evidence of the authenticity of your marriage.
Step 6: Wait for Decision: Following the interview, USCIS will make a decision on your green card application. If approved, you will receive your green card in the mail.
Note: If your B-1/B-2 visa status expires before you receive your green card, you will need to maintain legal status in the U.S. during the entire process. Consult with an immigration attorney to explore options for maintaining status while your green card application is pending.
Keep in mind that immigration policies and processes can change, and each case is unique. It’s highly recommended to consult with an immigration attorney or a qualified immigration professional to guide you through the process and ensure that you meet all the requirements accurately. Always refer to the official U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website for the most up-to-date and accurate information.
How much does it cost to Change Status from B-1/B-2 to a Marriage Green Card
The approximate costs associated with changing your status from a B-1/B-2 to marriage green card (permanent residency) through the adjustment of status process:
- Form I-130 Filing Fee: $535 (subject to change)
- Total: $535
I-485 Adjustment of Status:
- Form I-485 Filing Fee: $1,130 (for applicants between the ages of 14 and 78)
- Biometrics Fee: $85 (for applicants between the ages of 14 and 78)
- Total: $1,215
Please note that these are the USCIS filing fees as of my last update and are subject to change. Additionally, the total fees might vary if the applicant is younger than 14 or older than 78, as well as for certain categories.
Keep in mind that these fees are just part of the overall costs associated with the adjustment of status process. There might be additional costs for things like medical examinations, translation of documents, travel expenses, and legal consultation if you choose to work with an immigration attorney.
For the most accurate and up-to-date information on USCIS filing fees, I recommend visiting the official U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website. Additionally, it’s always advisable to consult with an immigration attorney or a qualified immigration professional to ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of the costs and requirements specific to your situation.
How long does it take to Change Status from B-1/B-2 to a Marriage Green Card
The processing time for changing your status from a B-1/B-2 tourist visa to a marriage-based green card (permanent residency) through the adjustment of status process can vary widely based on various factors, including the specific circumstances of your case, the workload of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and the USCIS service center or field office handling your application.
- I-130 Petition: The I-130 petition processing time can vary from several months to over a year, depending on the USCIS workload and the specific service center. The processing time might be shorter if the petitioner is a U.S. citizen rather than a green card holder.
- I-485 Adjustment of Status: The I-485 processing time can also vary significantly, ranging from several months to a year or more. USCIS processing times can be affected by various factors, including the service center’s workload and the complexity of the case.
- Biometrics Appointment: After filing the I-485 application, you will receive a notice for a biometrics appointment. This appointment is usually scheduled a few weeks to a couple of months after filing.
- Green Card Interview: Most marriage-based green card applicants are required to attend an interview at a USCIS field office. The interview might be scheduled several months after filing the I-485, depending on the USCIS workload and the specific field office.
- Decision and Green Card Issuance: After a successful interview, if USCIS approves your application, it might take several weeks to a few months to receive your green card in the mail.
Overall, the entire process from filing the I-130 to receiving your green card can take anywhere from around 12 months to potentially over two years. These are general estimates, and actual processing times can vary widely. Additionally, changes in immigration policies and procedures can impact processing times.
To get the most accurate and up-to-date processing time estimates for your specific situation, I recommend regularly checking the USCIS website’s processing times page for the relevant forms and field offices. It’s also advisable to consult with an immigration attorney, as they can provide personalized guidance and insights based on your circumstances. Always refer to the official U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website for the most current and accurate information.