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J-1 visa-getting married in USA

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  • J-1 visa-getting married in USA

    Dear all,

    hope I will find the answer I need on this forum and somebody can help me. At the moment I work as an au-pair in Virginia. I obtained J-1 visa in 08/2004 and after one year I extended my stay. My DS form is valid till 08/20/2006. I'm in serious relationship and my boyfriend is an american citizen. We would love to get married and recently we found out that I'm expecting a baby.

    I know that Virginia laws require ID and birth certificate to get married but what else will I need to marry him because I'm a foreigner? Can I get married while I'm on J-1 visa? Do we need to file some paperwork with INS before we get married or I just have to ask for status change after? I plan to visit my family in Slovakia for 2 weeks in august and then come back. We want to do everything right and legally. We care about our relationship and our child and we want to be together. Do you think there would be a problem to come back? What kind of visa will I have to apply for in my country?

    Please be so kind and give me any advice you can, I would really appreciate it.

  • #2
    Procedurally, the process works like this. The U.S. citizen must submit a visa petition (form I-130) to appropriate CIS Service Center to prove that the marriage is bona fide, that is, entered into for love rather than simply for the foreign-born spouse to obtain a green card. Attached to the visa petition are the following items: (1) Biographical forms (forms G-325A) for both the husband and the wife with photos attached; (2) Proof of the citizenship status of the petitioner. This can take the form of a U.S. Passport, a Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship or a certified copy of the citizen's birth certificate; (3) A certified copy of the marriage certificate; (4) Certified copies of the documents that terminated any previous marriages of the husband or wife, including final divorce decrees, and certificates of annulment or death.
    Simultaneously, the foreign-born spouse, assuming he or she entered the U.S. lawfully, should submit an application for adjustment of status (form I-485) which is an application for a green card. Items which generally accompany form I-485 include green card photographs, an affidavit of support from the spouse, an application for employment authorization, an application for a travel permit (known in CIS jargon as "advanced parole") - assuming the non-citizen spouse has not be present in the U.S. unlawfully for 180 days or more - and numerous other CIS forms.

    And don't forget the CIS filing fees. The current filing fees for form I-130 (visa petition), I-485 (application for adjustment of status), I-765 (application for employment authorization document), I-131 (application for advance parole) and for fingerprinting are listed at
    The CIS will accept the applications, cash your check, and schedule an interview somewhere between six months and 12 months. If the wait for the interview exceeds 90 days, chances are that the work card and the travel permit will be issued in a matter of weeks or months. We list the CIS waiting times city-by-city.

    The CIS provides advice to U.S. citizens and permanent residents who wish to obtain permanent residence in the U.S. for their foreign-born spouses.