Marrying a J-1 Visa non citizen?

I am a US citizen that will marry a person that is on a J-1 Visa. Originally, they would need to return for 2 years to their home country for the requirement of the J-1. However, they recently applied to their embassy and got approval for the "no objection"/Pardon waiver from their home country to not return. We are still waiting on the US Department of State on their verdict on the waiver. 

Now, i have done some research and i have found that the process for the J-1 Visa to marriage green card just requires the No Objection/Pardon from their home country and does not say anything about the Department of States verdict. 

Can we marry and immediately start the process and paperwork for permanent residency/green card without the US department of states verdict?

2 Answers

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  • 1 month ago

    You can get married anytime, and you can then submit the AoS paperwork, but it's a shot in the dark whether the DoS will override the J-1 visa restriction.

    If all goes well, your then-spouse will get a conditional Green Card; if the DoS objects, USCIS will have to deny the petition, your spouse will have to return to his or her home country, and you'll have to go the consular route 2 years later. The I-130 will be good in any case.

    Source(s): An immigrant from Europe, I live on the American Riviera and work as an attorney in Santa Barbara, California.
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  • 1 month ago

    Their country has nothing to do with the J-1 visa restriction, really, unless it's reciprocal under treaty for cultural exchange. That's imposed by US as a condition of receiving the J-1 visa. And the US waiver of that restriction is all that really matters.

    Note that many J-1 visa holders intend from the get-go to evade that restriction & use the temporary visa to get in & remain in the US. Marriage is perceived as their way around restrictions, way to remain in US. And they've been on the lookout for a fool to get them a green card so they can remain in US. Beware, or your heart could be broken along with your finances. Very high percentage of users & abusers. If you want to protect yourself, you have them return home & continue the relationship long-distance, travel there to meet their family & friends, get to know them a lot better before deciding to marry. If they're conning you, they'll kick up a fuss over going home, or even dump dumb for dumber. Don't be in a rush, don't let them rush you.

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