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Opinion

When would marriage hurt my petition? (Part II)

IMMIGRATION CORNER - Michael J. Gurfinkel - The Philippine Star

In a previous article, I discussed various situations where marriage would affect a person’s eligibility for a visa, and situations where it might be advantageous to marry before being processed for the green card. Here are some more situations dealing with the effect of a marriage on a person’s eligibility for a visa:

5. Brother or Sister of US Citizen (F-4):

It is always permissible to marry if you are under petition by your US citizen brother or sister. Your marriage will have no effect whatsoever on your eligibility for a visa in the F-4 category. In fact, if you marry before your immigrant visa is issued (or before you adjust status in the US), then your spouse can be included, or added on, as a derivative beneficiary of your brother or sister’s petition. If you get your visa through your brother or sister’s petition as “single” and marry afterwards, your bride or groom would not be included under that petition. You would have to petition your spouse under the F-2A category (green card spouse petitioning spouse), and they might have to wait an additional five or more years for their priority date to become current.

6. Employment-Based Visas, such as Labor Certification (EB-1, 2,3):

Marriage will not affect a person’s eligibility for a visa based on a petition by an employer. In fact, it may be advantageous to marry before your immigrant visa is issued (or you adjust status). That way, your spouse would be included under the employer’s petition, and would be eligible to receive a visa the same time as you.

7. Derivative Beneficiaries:

If a child is a “derivative beneficiary” under their parent’s petition (i.e. their parent is being petitioned by an employer (labor certification), or by a parent (F-1 or F-3), or brother or sister (F-4) and that derivative child (even though under 21) gets married, the child would no longer be considered a “child”, and, thus, ineligible to receive a “derivative” visa.

As you can see, there are certain situations where it is “bawal” (or prohibited) to get married, while in other cases, it may be to your advantage to get married. That is why if you have questions about whether or not it is “safe” to marry, I suggest that you seek the advice of a reputable attorney, who can evaluate your situation and tell you whether or not it is best to get married before getting your green card.

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WEBSITE: www.gurfinkel.com

Four offices to serve you: PHILIPPINES: 8940258 or 8940239; LOS ANGELES; SAN FRANCISCO;NEW YORK: TOLL FREE NUMBER: 1-866-GURFINKEL (1-866-487-3465).

 

DERIVATIVE BENEFICIARIES

EMPLOYMENT-BASED VISAS

LABOR CERTIFICATION

MARRY

PETITION

VISA

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