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Immigration Issues/change of status through marriage


i am a student on f-1 status, completed 3 quarters lawfully, now summer off, i'm planning to be married next week with a citizen, my classes will start after one month, do i still need to attend school, while i start processing papers for my change of status, work authorization and all.Generally how long it will take to get my work authorization letter, meanwhile can i live in usa without attending school?

Eileen Chun-Fruto, Los Angeles immigration attorney writes:

Dear Suman,

This is a question that falls into a grey area of the law.  Filing for marriage through a US citizen spouse usually gives you a quasi-status...that is to stay that it allows you to remain in the US but does not really give you a status.

If you fail to continue to go to school, you are for sure not maintaining F-1 status and so you are subject to whatever new interpretation the USCIS may give to those with this "quasi-status."  

In years past, it was hardly an issue, but now, attorneys such as myself are seeing more problems with people not maintaining any status and relying on their adjustment applications for 'status.'   Work authorizations, by the way take approximately 90 days.

Good luck,
Eileen Chun-Fruto

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Eileen Chun-Fruto


I can answer any employment-based immigration question including questions about PERM labor certifications, H-1B skilled workers, L-1A multinational managers or executives and L-1B specialized knowledge, R-1 and I-360 religious workers, investor cases (E Treaty Trader and E Treaty Investors and EB-5 "million dollar investors") and O-1 extraordinary ability cases. I can also answer any questions regarding family-based immigration, such as adoptions, waiver cases, consular processing (using foreign consulates to enter as an immigrant), marriage and fiance/fiancee cases, 245(i) cases, VAWA (Violence Against Women's Act), battered spouses, and Child Status Protection Act (CSPA).


I have over 12 years of experience in business and family immigration. I was a former law clerk for the Executive Officer for Immigration Review (the immigration courts) in San Francisco and I current serve as the California Service Center's (CSC) liaison on behalf of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. I represent individuals and corporations alike, ranging from professionals in the high tech, science, liberal arts fields. I have a special niche in working with start-up companies and individuals with more complex immigration issues.

Member, American Immigration Lawyers Association Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Executive Committee on Immigration

J.D., University of California at Davis - King Hall School of Law (1997) B.A., University of California at Irvine, cum laude (1994)

Awards and Honors
2005, 2006, 2007, 2008: Selected to Southern California Rising Star - Super Lawyers List (an honor shared by no more than 2.5% of the attorneys practicing in the entire Southern California region) Faculty/Moderator on various AILA and LACBA continuing legal education seminars in the following topics: H-1B, O-1, religious workers, business immigration visas

Past/Present Clients
My typical business clients can range from a start-up company, established engineering and software research and development companies, manufacturing, trade and distribution companies, public and private schools, and religious organizations. Family clients include spouses, parent-child petitions, siblings, naturalization, and most especially, representation of abandoned and neglected children viewed as orphans under the immigration law. I have represented many clients who relied on special provisions of the immigration law to preserve or "grandfather" benefits to family members in limited (and complicated) circumstances, to avoid re-application fees and longer waiting times.

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