Friday, July 19, 2024

I’m in US on visit visa; should I get married here to avoid returning to Kenya?

If you got an opportunity to travel to the United States on a visit visa, would you return or would you try to find ways to stay? Well, staying is usually at the back of many people who successfully travel to the US from Africa. There are some who get jobs and convert their visas, others seek asylum, others become illegal immigrants once their visas expire, and yet others look for US citizens to marry them.

This last option is one that one Kenyan woman has settled for after traveling to the US on the B1/B2 visa. Although she has found a man to marry her, she is not sure how long this process will take and the implications therein. She shared her conundrum as follows:

I recently entered the United States on a B1/B2 visa for a short visit. During my stay, I unexpectedly reconnected with an old friend who is a US citizen, and our circumstances have led us to consider a future together in the United States.

Co-Op post

I’m interested in exploring the possibility of adjusting my status to allow me to reside permanently in the U.S.  I understand there might be options for my new boyfriend to sponsor me for a green card as he is a US citizen.

My question is:

1). Can I change my immigration status while currently in the U.S.? I don’t wanna leave the US.


2). Would my new boyfriend be eligible to petition for a green card on my behalf, considering my initial visa purpose?

3). Would this be considered misrepresentation of my original intentions?

B1/B2 Visa questions I was asked at US Embassy Nairobi, my answers and results



1). The typical processing timeline for such cases.

2). The required documents for this process.


In response,  a number of Kenyans gave their two cents as follows:

If you get married you can adjust status without leaving the US after 90 days! Earlier than 90 days it’s considered fraud! – Robert.

He is an American citizen you say?. Is he part of this plan because I am wondering if it would be easier for him to give/ find the answers to these questions? – Beatrice.

Get married and file form I130 and I-485. You might need a lawyer to go with you for the adjustment of status. – Judy.

Get married to your boyfriend after day 90 & adjust status by filing I-130, I-485 & I-765. Do not leave the US after filing until you have your GC on hand. No, it’s not illegal to get married and adjust status from B1/B2. – Faith.

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