First off, Google Answers should not be taken for legal advise, etc..
See the disclaimers below. I take no responsibility if the information
below gets you arrested, thrown in jail, and beheaded.. But, I
seriously doubt it!
I've answered similar questions like this before--and, like most, you
are confused by the seeming "rules" of your visa. However, I have some
good news for you. Since you are marrying a US Citizen, all bets are
off on the J1 visa. You become instantly a new class of person; an
intending immigrant. As such, the state department would not even
issue a J1 to you at all (well, not without a lot of headache and
paperwork). Basically, what happens is that you become immediately
eligible for a immigrant visa number to be assigned and for you to
receive a green card. Now, since you'll be married under 2 years at
the time it is approved, it would be a 'conditional' green card (that
is, you need to remove the "conditions" before the two year
anniversary of your marriage. As long as you are still together, there
would be no issues.)
So, in a nut shell:
1) As soon as you are married, you are immediately eligible to apply
for and receive a green card.
2) Your I-94 and J1 can be safely ignored.
3) There is no need for ANY other documents or waivers, etc..
However, I would **NOT** leave the country prior to obtaining your
green card OR a valid Advanced Parole document. If you do so, you WILL
be barred entry back into the US until such time as you complete the
Application for Permanent Residency abroad. That can take (depending
on where you came from) from weeks to YEARS.
So, to recap. Get married BUT DO NOT LEAVE THE US PRIOR TO OR AFTER
YOU GET MARRIED FOR ANY REASON! Basically, you are stranded in the US
until after your marriage and AFTER you obtain your green card OR
advanced parole. That **INCLUDES** honeymoons!! If you leave the
country FOR ANY REASON -- even to have a vacation -- you may be barred
entry back into the country.
Once you are married, you need to file the appropriate documents to
the Service Center that has jurisdiction over where you live.
If you are the immediate relative (spouse, parent or unmarried child
under 21 years old) of a U.S. citizen, submit the following forms:
I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status
G-325A, Biographic Information
Either your original I-130, Petition for Alien Relative (if you are
filing concurrently), or a copy of your I-797, Notice of Action (if
the petition was already approved).
I-864, Affidavit of Support
I-693, Medical Examination of Aliens Seeking Adjustment of Status
All required supporting documentation as listed on the above forms.
You may also submit the following forms:
G-28, Notice of Entry of Appearance as Attorney or Representative (if
you have a lawyer)
I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, if you want to work
while your application is processed
I-131, Application for Travel Document, if you need to travel outside
the United States while your application is processed
I-485 Supplement A, and penalty fee if applicable. See 8 CFR 245.10
I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Excludability, if applicable
You can obtain the forms listed above, here:
Since nothing less than a five-star rating is acceptable to me, if any
part of this question is confusing or unclear to you, please ask for
clarification prior to rating and thus closing this question.
No search was performed.
Clarification of Answer by
25 Jan 2005 16:42 PST
My appologies.. I will ask Google Answers to remove the answer if you
like (so that you are not charged), but, I was wrong.
The type of visa you have, a J1 visa, is apparently a very different
visa than I have experienced before. Typically, what I wrote is
correct. You can go out of status, etc.. with no issues if you marry a
citizen. However, in this one special case, you need to obtain a
waiver of J1 requirements before they will adjust your status to any
So, you do need to obtain the waiver it seems.
There's a very good page on the J1 visa and marriage which can be found here:
One thing you may wish to consider is to try and file for hardship of
the US Citizen spouse. In other words, there is extreme hardship that
would be endured by the US Citizen by you leaving (they don't really
care about YOUR hardship).
Again, I am sorry about the mistake. As I said, I can ask the editors
to remove this answer if you are unhappy with it as it was originally
wrong. However, for 99% of the visa holders, it is completely accurate
information. This was entirely my fault and mistake for not more
throughly investigating the J1 visa prior to answering.
If the company you are working for refuses to give you a letter of
support to try and get the waiver, as I said, your best bet in my
opinion is to try the extreme hardship option. The page above includes
more grounds under which you can try to get a waiver.
Please post a request for clarification if you wish for me to contact
the editors and remove the answer and have you credited back the money
from the wrong answer.