Delay or withdraw i485?


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Hello everyone,


Life sometimes moves faster than I expect.  My situation has come up quite abruptly:

  • Canadian on 3rd year of H1B
  • In August filed i140/i485 (EB2, priority date current).  i140 has been approved.
  • Biometrics appointment for i485 coming up in 3 days
  • Just got engaged 1.5 weeks ago to a French citizen who currently lives in France
  • Marriage in France tentatively planned for May 2015
  • I plan to be the primary breadwinner.  Work-authorization for her is not a priority.

Our ideal scenario: get married in France in May 2015 and then I bring her over to the US and I continue working for my current company.


At first I thought that having a GC would be preferable to just being on H1B.  As a result of the engagement I've done considerable online research and I've concluded that if my i485 gets approved then things become incredibly complicated.  In that scenario, the most likely (legal) option for her is i130 then i485 (F2A category) and a wait time of several years.  Living apart that long would probably doom our marriage.


If I was merely in H1B then I could bring her over as H4.  Then we could jointly file our i485's and she gains follow-to-join benefits.  Correct?


I think my scenario is similar to the following although she's not in the US at the moment:


She is a Registered Nurse but for her to get a job over here on her own could be tricky.


We're both traditionalists (and so are our families) about marriage.  Going down to the courthouse next week for an "instant" civil marriage is not an option we are willing to entertain. 


After further research it seems that my best bet is to delay or withdraw my i485.  Overall I can see several paths:

  1. Continue with the i485 path and deal with the consequences.  Is there some way us to be together in the short-term?
  2. I move back to Canada but should be able to keep my high-travel job.
  3. Delay the i485 somehow, perhaps by rescheduling the upcoming biometrics appointment, knowing that it's imperative to get officially married before my i485 is approved.  However, I do need to travel outside the US a couple of times (e.g. meet her parents and actually get married in France) and this will invalidate my last known I-94.
  4. Withdraw the i485 and return to H1B.  After our marriage, once we are in the US, we both file for our i485's.

Is my line of thinking correct?  What are your thoughts on the above paths and/or do you see alternatives that I might be missing?

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Your concerns are entirely valid, and your analysis is pretty much right. It is, by far, best to get married before the GC is approved. As far as expediting the wedding, many people have a small, civil, ceremony, followed by a traditional ceremony, due to immigration considerations---so don't rule this out. Some that do a civil ceremony do not begin living their lives as husband/wife until after a formal/religious ceremony. Of course, even that requires slowing the GC case down to assure that it isn't approved right away.


This decision has a number of risks----including making sure that the job is stable so as to allow for refiling the I-485 again when considering withdrawal.

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Thank you everyone.  After talking with my immigration lawyer the path forward is #4.  Hopefully the I-140 will stay intact, my job should be stable, and my future wife and I can revisit I-485 after our wedding.


I'm fortunate that I discovered all this before my biometrics appt. as this gives me time to withdraw without a chance of a sudden I-485 approval.

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