H1B visa holders who are planning to get married in the United States can face a complex process. The steps required to obtain a marriage license, apply for a visa status change, and potentially even apply for a green card can be intimidating. However, with the right knowledge, H1B visa holders can successfully navigate this process. In this guide, we will provide a comprehensive guide of all the essential steps involved when applying to get married in the US.
- H1B visa holders who plan to get married should first obtain a marriage license from the state in which they plan to get married.
- After receiving the marriage license, the H1B visa holder will need to submit paperwork to the USCIS to complete a change in their visa status.
- Once the USCIS approves the visa status change, the H1B visa holder may be eligible to apply for a green card, which provides permanent residency in the United States.
- To apply for a green card, the H1B visa holder may need to undergo an interview and submit additional documentation to the USCIS.
Obtaining a Marriage License
The first step for H1B visa holders who plan to get married is to obtain a marriage license from the state in which they intend to get married. The requirements for obtaining a marriage license can vary depending on the state, but generally, they will require the following:
- Proof of identity, which may include a passport or driver’s license
- Proof of age, which may include a birth certificate or passport
- Proof of residency, which may include a utility bill or bank statement
- A fee, which can vary depending on the state
H1B visa holders should check the requirements for obtaining a marriage license in the state in which they plan to get married. They may also need to wait between a few days to several weeks before obtaining their marriage license.
Applying for a Visa Status Change
After obtaining a marriage license, the H1B visa holder will need to complete a change in their visa status by submitting paperwork to the USCIS. The required forms include the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative, completed by the US citizen spouse, and the I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, which is completed by the H1B visa holder.
The documentation required for these forms includes:
- Proof of marriage, such as a marriage certificate
- Evidence of relationship, such as photographs or emails
- Proof of financial support, such as tax returns or pay stubs
- A fee, which can vary depending on the forms required
After submitting this documentation, the USCIS will process the application and, if approved, will issue an adjustment of status, which changes the H1B visa holder’s status from nonimmigrant to a permanent resident.
Applying for a Green Card
Once the H1B visa holder receives an approved adjustment of status, they may be eligible to apply for a green card. The green card provides the individual with lawful permanent residency in the United States.
To apply for a green card, the H1B visa holder must complete Form I-485, which is also known as the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. They may also need to undergo an interview and submit additional documentation, such as medical records and a police clearance certificate.
If the green card is approved, the H1B visa holder will be granted permanent residency in the United States. However, it is important to keep in mind that the green card must be renewed every ten years.
Q: Do I need a lawyer to help me with the process of getting married as an H1B visa holder?
A: While it is not required to have a lawyer, it can be helpful to have one to assist with the process. A lawyer can provide guidance on the necessary requirements, assist with the preparation of paperwork, and offer advice on any potential issues that may arise during the process.
Q: How long will it take for my visa status change and green card application to be approved?
A: The processing times for these applications vary and can range from a few months to several years, depending on various factors. However, the USCIS provides estimated processing times, which can give applicants an idea of how long they can expect to wait. It is important to apply as early as possible to avoid unnecessary delays.