Can I Marry A US citizen While On Post Completion OPT?


I WAS RECENTLY ASKED THE FOLLOWING QUESTION:

I just got back EAD card yesterday for my Post Completion OPT and within 90 days, if I don't get a job, then I'll be deported. My boyfriend is a US citizen and we are planning to get married. I was wondering if I can still stay in the country if we get married since I'm not sure if I have to leave after 90 days if I can't find a job. How does this work? Can I still stay in the US and also can I work as well? 

ANSWER:


In the past there was little chance for deportation for such a simple violation. However recent memos from the administration have threatened issuance of a Notice to Appear (NTA) in a Removal proceeding for even OPT and other student visa violations. 
Please note, it shouldn’t be difficult to fulfill the 90-day job requirement, because unpaid internships and even self-employment count, as long as all other requirements are also met. 
To your question of a marriage green card, you would simplify your status issues by marrying and filing the appropriate marriage green card papers before any student/OPT status or eligibility expires. OF COURSE, it bears repeating that your marital relationship must be bonafide, and not entered into for immigration purposes.

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