The “90-Day Rule” is a USCIS policy that was implemented on August 9, 2018, to scrutinize certain adjustment of status applications, particularly those based on marriage, when the applicant enters the United States on a nonimmigrant visa, including B-1/B-2 visitor visas, and marries a U.S. citizen or permanent resident shortly after arrival. This rule aims to prevent visa fraud and sham marriages entered into solely for immigration benefits.
Under the 90-Day Rule, if an individual marries a U.S. citizen or permanent resident within 90 days of entering the U.S. on a nonimmigrant visa, such as a B-1/B-2 visitor visa, and then applies for adjustment of status to obtain a green card, USCIS officers will closely examine the circumstances surrounding the marriage to determine whether it is bona fide (genuine) or whether there was preconceived intent to get married and apply for a green card upon entering the U.S.
If USCIS finds evidence to suggest that the marriage is not bona fide or that there was preconceived intent, they may deny the adjustment of status application, and the applicant could potentially be placed in removal proceedings. In other words, if USCIS believes that the individual used the B-1/B-2 visitor visa with the intent to marry and apply for a green card, it could be seen as visa fraud.
It’s important for B-1/B-2 visa holders to be aware of the 90-Day Rule and to be cautious when considering marriage and adjustment of status in the U.S. While getting married within 90 days of entering the U.S. on a visitor visa is not prohibited, it could raise suspicions if the individual files for adjustment of status shortly after the marriage.
If you are in the U.S. on a B-1/B-2 visitor visa and are considering marriage and applying for a green card, it’s advisable to consult with an experienced immigration attorney to understand the implications of the 90-Day Rule and to ensure that you are compliant with immigration regulations. An attorney can help you navigate the process and provide guidance on how to present your case to avoid any potential issues related to visa fraud allegations.
If you are married to a U.S. citizen and want to apply for a green card (permanent residency), you can do so through the family-based immigration process. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to apply for a green card if you’re married to a U.S. citizen:
Verify Your Eligibility: Ensure that you meet all the eligibility requirements for a green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen. You must be legally married to the U.S. citizen, and the marriage must be genuine and not entered into solely for immigration benefits.
File Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative: The U.S. citizen spouse must file Form I-130 on your behalf. This form establishes the relationship between you and your U.S. citizen spouse and is the first step in the family-based immigration process.
Wait for I-130 Approval: The processing time for Form I-130 can vary, but once it’s approved, it means that your marriage is recognized by immigration authorities.
File Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status: After the I-130 is approved, you can file Form I-485 to adjust your status to that of a permanent resident. If you are already in the U.S., you can file Form I-485 concurrently with Form I-130.
Attend Biometrics Appointment: Once you file Form I-485, you’ll receive a notice for a biometrics appointment where they will take your fingerprints, photograph, and signature.
Attend an Interview (if required): USCIS may schedule an interview for you and your spouse to verify the validity of your marriage and assess your eligibility for a green card. Be prepared to answer questions about your relationship and provide evidence of a bona fide marriage.
Receive a Decision: After the interview (if applicable) and the completion of the application process, USCIS will make a decision on your green card application. If approved, you will be issued a conditional green card if you’ve been married for less than two years at the time of approval.
Remove Conditions (if applicable): If you receive a conditional green card, you will need to file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, within 90 days of the card’s expiration date.
Obtain a 10-Year Green Card: If your marriage is over two years old at the time of approval, you will receive a 10-year green card. Otherwise, you’ll receive a two-year conditional green card, as mentioned above.
It’s crucial to follow the guidelines and requirements provided by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and consult with an immigration attorney if you have specific questions or concerns about your situation. The process can be complex, and having professional guidance can be beneficial to ensure everything is done correctly.