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Immigration Issues/H1-B to marry US citizen


QUESTION: My fiance and I are about to marry in a few weeks.  At the same time, my Company is in the beginning process for a PERM application (e.g. we are still in the prevailing wage step). Would appreciate if you can reply to two questions:
1) Do I need to change my status into a permanent resident through marriage or can I wait until my employer finalizes the PERM process through employment? In other words, I'd prefer to get a green card through employment vs. marriage, if that's possible (I understand that the employment-based permanent residency may take less than a year for a green card) (My labor authorization is valid until 2010)
2) If I can indeed wait before filing to change status, do I need to notify the DOL or USCIS about my change of status to married with respect to my labor certification/H1-B?

It is your choice.  You may either file for a green card through employment or through marraige.  In my opinion, the process is much quicker and simpler through marriage. You do not need to notify anyone if you follow through with anyone at the DOL or USCIS related to teither the PERM or marraige.
Good Luck
Mark Ashley

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks Mark.  I understand I need to notify them if I change addresses. But it sounds like I don't need to notify them if I change marital status. Does that sound about right? (I think that's a little counter intuitive, in a way)

I understand your puzzlement but that is the way it is.  Of course if you file new applications and they ask questions about spouse or children then you need to respond fully if you have any applicable additions but there is not a need to report a new marriage if not filing any new applications.
Mark Ashley

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Mark Ashley


Business Immigration. My practice focuses on representing researchers, scholars, and other advanced degree professionals with filing NIW, EB-1,O-1, H-1, L-1 petitions. I am a founding partner in the immigration law firm Ashley & Krishnan,


18 years as a practicing attorney.

Member of AILA

JD from St. Mary's University, Texas.

Awards and Honors
American Jurisprudence Award recipient

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