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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    7

    Default Marrying and Seeking Permanent Residency After an Overstay

    I am Canadian and I came to the United States legally but I have been here 5 years. I have been living with my partner and we are going to be getting married. How can I become a citizen?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    16,474

    Default Re: Overstayed My Visit. Getting Married to My American Partner

    Quote Quoting lizard14
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    I am Canadian and I came to the United States legally but I have been here 5 years. I have been living with my partner and we are going to be getting married. How can I become a citizen?
    You are going to need an immigration attorney...AFTER you get married.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    19,901

    Default Re: Overstayed My Visit. Getting Married to My American Partner

    That would depend. I'm assuming your future spouse is a US Citizen? If so, they will file an I-130 petition once you are married to get you a green card. You will be issued a conditional green card that will be good for two years. If you're still married (or otherwise shown to be in good faith), the conditional will be converted into a regular one. Once you've resided here for three years, if you are still married or five years if not, you can apply for naturalization (well you can start the paperwork 90 days early).

    That's it in a nutshell. As LL points out, you'll need to see an immigration attorney.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Overstayed My Visit. Getting Married to My American Partner

    Quote Quoting lizard14
    View Post
    I am Canadian and I came to the United States legally but I have been here 5 years. I have been living with my partner and we are going to be getting married. How can I become a citizen?
    Based on those facts alone, it would not appear that you entered with the intent of marrying (or at least not marrying your present partner), but depending on the full facts it could still be determined that your original entry was made with the intent to remain unlawfully in the U.S. -- so you should discuss the details of your entry and overstay with an immigration lawyer before you seek to adjust your status. Whether you do so before or after you marry is up to you -- but the facts and consequences of your past overstay may affect whether you and your spouse end up living in the U.S., or in Canada.

    If you do not know this, keep in mind also that you should not leave the U.S. while your attempt to adjust your status is in progress, lest you find yourself unable to return. If an urgent need arises for you to leave the country, you can discuss possible approaches with your immigration lawyer.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Overstayed My Visit. Getting Married to My American Partner

    That is correct, when I came to the U.S there was no intent to stay past my time, I was just here to visit. Thank you so much for your help and no I did not know to stay in the U.S during that status adjustment. Thanks again.

    Yes my future spouse is American. Once we file for a green card do you know if it takes a long time to get it or not?

    Thank you

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Overstayed My Visit. Getting Married to My American Partner

    You can look up current processing times (which start from when a form is received in proper form, along with the required fee) here -- they are average times, they vary by field office and service center, and individual cases may vary. Your immigration lawyer will be able to review the details of the case, inform you of any obstacles that may arise, and suggest how long the process of attempting to adjust your status is likely to take once the proper forms and fees have been submitted to the USCIS.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Overstayed My Visit. Getting Married to My American Partner

    Great thank you so much for the information. I really appreciate it.

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