If you entered the United States on a tourist visa and are
currently married to a US citizen, you will generally be allowed to remain in
the US to get your green card, even if you overstayed your visa. As the spouse of a US Citizen, you can file both your immigrant petition and application for a green card at the same time, which is referred to as “concurrent filing.” You will be allowed to say in the US while your application is processing and, if approved, you will receive your green card in the United States without having to leave. Concurrent filing is available to immediate relatives of US Citizens. Under US immigration, immediate relatives of US citizens are spouses, unmarried children under 21, and parents of US citizens over 21.
Before You File
However, it is strongly recommended that you speak with an
immigration attorney before filing your applications. If you file your applications soon after you
enter the US, the government may be suspicious of visa fraud and deny your application. It is highly
suspicious when an immigrant enters the US on one type of visa and very soon
after tries to change his/her status. To
the government, that can appear as though the immigrant is committing fraud or
has misrepresented herself/himself in order to obtain faster entry into the United States.
Additionally, if you have any criminal history or other visits to the US it is best to speak with an immigration attorney before any immigration filings. If you have any questions or are considering filing for a green card based on your marriage to a US Citizen, contact us at 219-615-0064 or via our website contact form.