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Immigration Issues/green card holder applying for the citizenship marrying F1 visa holder

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Question
Hello! I am a Ph.D. student, green card holder, applying for the US citizenship this next May 2009. My fiancee is a Ph.D. student on F1 visa who will graduate this DEC. 2008.
Questions:
1. my fiancee's I-20 will expire this July 2008, and his visa will expire this May 2008. He is Japanese. If we get married:
   A)would this benefit his renewing the visa and I-20,   
   B)what other steps would he need to do in order to have no problems traveling  and entering the US. (Does he  need to apply for the green card, or ?)

2.Would marriage BEFORE my applying for the US citizenship affect my citizenship process - would it delay it, or would it be look on favorably.

3.Would marriage AFTER my applying but not receiving citizenship, affect it in any way?

4.Can you please tell me how long does it take for the citizenship process? (last year i saw around 6 months, this year i saw on the web page 12-18 months.)

5. After applying for the citizenship, but not receiving it, can
   A)I travel outside the US?
   B)my then husband travel outside US?

6. If I change my last name after the marriage - would I have to change all the documents (green card, my passport, driver's license) to match, or I can apply for the citizenship with my maiden name on some?

I am eagerly awaiting your response! Thank you very much!!  

Answer
Maja,
1) No it will in fact affect the renewal of his F visa and his travel and re-entry into the US.
2)NO
3)NO
4)I do not know the exact processing times. The dates you mentioned are what USCIS estimates it to be. By May 2009 these dates are likely to change.
5)You can certainly travel outside the US but you need to be in the US for the citizenship interview. You would also need to check if your travel does not affect your residency requirements. For your husband see answer to question #1.
6) If you change your name, you should apply for your citizenship on the changed name. I would not advise you touse your maiden name on certain documents and married name on others.

I would suggest that you get married after you become a citizen. F-1 visa does not allow for any immigrant intent.
Sincerely,
Ramasamy Krishnan
www.ashleykrishnan.com

Immigration Issues

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Ramasamy Krishnan

Expertise

Immigration particularly business immigration and National Interest Waivers.

Experience

I have over 7 years of experience in all facets of immigration law. Specifically focusing on filing of National Interest Waivers (NIW), Alien of Extraordinary Ability and Outstanding Researchers/Professors petitions for Ph.D's and other advanced degree professionals. I have also assisted clients in numerous PERM, H-1b, L and other nonimmigrant visa applications. I am a partner at the law firm Ashley & Krishnan, www.ashleykrishnan.com

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