Marrying U.S. Citizen While H1B Pending


I recently answered the following question: 

Q: I married a US citizen while currently waiting for H1B renewal to be approved. What happens in this case? H1B visa expired last October. I am currently waiting for my renewal to be approved. When I get married to my fiancee, can I file for adjustment of status while my H1B is still pending?

A: Your spouse can sponsor you for a green card and you can adjust your status in the U.S. regardless of your current or pending status (if you entered the U.S. legally).  The more frequent question is whether, when you receive an EAD while adjusting, should you begin work on the EAD or stay on H1B (or other status).  This is a sensitive question that totally depends on individual circumstances, and should absolutely be discussed with your immigration attorney before acting.  One reason to NOT invoke the EAD is if for some reason, your green card is denied you will still be in H1B status and no additional action would be required. However, sometimes there is very little time remaining on someone's 6- year H1B status, and every month of that time needs to be preserved in case of denial. In that case, there is at least some recourse to get the H1 re-stamped and return to work on that status.  Other factors include whether the status of dependents would be affected, and if there are travel plans. Different clients meet different criteria for this issue, and I always have extended discussions with a client before coming to the right decision.  

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