Marrying a U.S. citizen with soon-to-expire I-20?


I'm a French citizen and I'm getting married soon to my boyfriend (U.S. citizen) of 5 years. I came to the U.S. on a F1 student visa back in 2008 and have stayed here ever since. My boyfriend and I just decided to get married. However my I-20 expires this May and my F1 visa expires in August of 2015. Ideally we would like to get married in June, July or even August so that our families and friends (some coming from abroad) have ample time to prepare and attend our wedding ceremony. Is this feasible given that my I-20 expires soon? A friend suggested that we hold a civil ceremony for now, then apply for a green card and hold a traditional large-scale wedding later.

Also, is it possible for us to travel to my hometown once while applying for a green card? My family would like to hold a religious ceremony in my country as well.

Could you advise us what is the best (and obviously legal) course of action? We're both clueless at this point, since we've never been married before. We reside in Wisconsin.


2 Answers

  • 7 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    it's far better if you go back to your home town and APPLY for a green card and then you travel TO us for your wedding ceremony. thanks

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  • 7 years ago

    it doesn't matter if your I-20 is about to expire. as long as you entered the US on a student visa, once you marry, your husband can file an I-130 immigrant petition and an I-485 adjustment of status form wth USCIS. they should be filed together or it will take a lot longer, but as long as both forms are approved, you'll be able to get a green card and live together without leaving the US. if you want to go back home while waiting for this to be processed, you'll need Advance Parole to do that, or you'll wind up not being able to return until you get an immigrant visa, and that could take quite a while. check out for more information and downloadable forms. read over the instructions for the I-485.

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