I am holding an F-1 visa that won’t expire until 2019. I will marry my girlfriend, who is an American citizen, in June 2017. After the marriage, we plan to leave the USA for one year in August because of my academic research.

1-) Do I have to apply for adjustment of status (AOS) although my F-1 visa is valid until 2019? Or can I postpone it until we come back the US? Will it be a trouble to re-enter the US because they will think that I’ve been hiding information -marriage in this case-?

2-) If I have to apply for AOS, is it a problem to leave the US? As I said, we can apply for it right after the marriage that will take place in June, but we will be leaving in 2,5 or 3 months at the end of August after the application. I was wondering if it is possible to have the interview in the American Consulate of the country where we’ll be. Or if I am allowed to leave the US after applying for AOS, I can come back for the interview of course if it is an option.

3-) I am getting my funding from my school since I am a TA. I am supposed to get my research funding in September 2017. If I apply for AOS in June 2017, will it affect my funding because as far as my status will be pending and I won’t be able to us my SSN during that period?

Thank you so much

This question was answered by Admin - Not a Lawyer:

1. You don't have to apply for AOS right away. In your case, I would leave the US, and apply for green card through your spouse abroad. It should be enough time for you to apply, get a Green Card and then return to the US, if you apply right away once you get to the foreign country that you are doing research in. 2. Yes, you should not try to apply AOS and then leave the country. It is a big issue and considered abandonment of application. You could detail out your travel plans to get Advanced Parole but it makes no sense because you will be physically away for 1 whole year. 3. I just wouldn't recommend applying AOS. Just graduate, get married, leave the country, and apply for Green Card through your spouse in the foreign country.

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