Country of Residency During Change of Status

Aggie Hoffman

Do I have to live in the US while my wife’s change of status and foreign relative request is in process? We are getting married in November and want to live in Mexico while the applications are being processed. She had a tourist visa now and lives and works in Mexico and has never lived in the US. I guess another related question is: once the petition for foreign relative is approved, do we have to come immediately or can we wait until her green card is approved?

If your wife filed for a change of status (I-485), she should remain in the US until her immigration is completed. If she have not yet filed the I-485 or does not plan to, then both of you may live outside the US until her visa appointment is scheduled by the Am Consulate at Cd. Juarez. However, if your wife has been in the US illegally, she will be subject to a 3 or 10 year period of inadmissibility and will need a hardship waiver in order to immigrate. It sounds like you need to consult an immigration lawyer to correctly understand your options and possible consequences.

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