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An Alien's Marriage to Another Alien Whose I-485 Adjustment of Status is Not Yet Approved

If one alien marries another after thealien's employment based immigration petition (I-140) was approved and before his or her I-485 petition for adjustment of status is approved, his spouse may enjoy immigration benefits based on this marriage as a derivative beneficiary of the approved immigration petition. If his alien spouse is in the U.S. with a valid non-immigration status, the alien spouse may file I-485 petition for adjustment of status. If his alien spouse is outside of the U.S., after he gets the green card, he may petition for the immigration visa for his spouse, and his spouse may get an immigration visa through consular processing.

However, the USCIS has the discretion to examine whether they have a genuine marital relationship. If the USCIS interprets that their marriage was a sham marriage, that is, if the sole purpose of the marriage was to circumvent immigration laws, the USCIS may deny the petition.

(Updated 10/8/2012 by AG)

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