Can I go from a visitor visa to a green card through marriage to a U.S. Citizen? Yes. In most cases, if you were inspected and legally admitted to the United States on a visitor visa, you are able to go directly to a green card through marriage to a U.S. Citizen. This is done through Form I-130 filing a Petition for Alien Relative along with Form I-485 Adjustment of Status.
This is a problematic question. Why, because a B1/ B2 visa is a visitor visa, it carries with it, what is called non-immigrant intent. In other words, when you enter the country on a B1/B2 visa, your intent should be single, and that is to visit for pleasure, go to Disneyland, or visit for business, going to meetings. At the end of that B1/B2 stay, your intent should be to return to your home country. Your intent should not be to remain in the United States permanently. And if you do, if you do change your intent, that could be problematic. It could pose questions of fraud. What was your intent when you entered the country and was your intent to enter for a temporary basis, or was your intent when you entered the country, in fact, permanent? Did you have this preconceived intent to come to United States to get married and stay? In your interview with an immigration officer they’re going to deal heavily with this topic.
They’re going to want to determine whether or not you had this preconceived intent when you entered the country. So, you need to be able to answer these questions properly. You need to be adequately prepared to address any questions that might arise about your intent when you came into the country. So that that officer doesn’t flag you with fraud and deny your application. However, you can go from a B1/B2 to a green card through marriage to a US citizen. Your intent can change, just because your intent, when you entered the country was to visit your significant other doesn’t mean that your intent can’t change six months, 12 months down the road, from visitor to, you know what, I can’t be apart from my significant other, I want to stay. Intent can change.
So, if dealt with properly, you can go from a B1/B2 to a green card, and I can’t overemphasize that enough. It must be dealt with properly. There are timing issues that must be dealt with and issues with regulations that must be dealt with. Make sure it’s properly supported, make sure it’s filed in a proper manner. If it is done that way, and you’re properly prepared for your interview with an immigration officer, then it is possible to go from a B1/B2 to a green card.