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MarcIsMyHero's avatar

How can a European get Permanent Resident status or Working Visa to stay in the US?

Asked by MarcIsMyHero (650points) March 13th, 2009

My girlfriend is from Germany, her student Visa expires in two weeks and she will have to leave. She will return to europe. I’m going to go travel around Europe with her for 2 months. She then wants to be able to return to the US, to stay here, find a job, work, and continue our relationship (and I obviously want her to stay as well).

The legal talk on the US Dept of Immigration website is very confusing for me (I was born and raised in NY) and even more confusing for her (English is her 2nd language). Does anyone have any helpful tips on ways we can apply for her status change/visas… or know of any immigration law loopholes that may allow her to come back here soon with a new status?

btw…I’m sure many of you will say the obvious answer…marriage—we love each other, and I could see myself being with her forever…but we haven’t been together long enough for me to know for sure. Neither one of us wants to rush into marriage just to get her a green card. Marriage would have to be when the time is right.

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7 Answers

MarcIsMyHero's avatar

here is the link for the US Citizenship and Immigration Services portal which has all the legal forms i’ve been trying to sort through.

gailcalled's avatar

Talk to an Immigration lawyer. Get a good recommendation because not all lawyers are equal.

galileogirl's avatar

The easiest way to get a handle on things is to pay for a meeting with an immigration lawyer (get a referral through the local Bar Assn. Generally I think she has to put in an application in Germany and wait for her number to come up. The wait for Europeans is much less than other parts of the world. I have heard of people who come into the US on a visitors’visa and then slip off the radar until their visa is cleared and then go home to pick it up.

There are a couple of special cases. If your girlfriend has a special skill that is limited in the US and she can line up a job, that gets her a priority visa. If she works for a German company that has offices in the US she may be eligible for transfer.

Probably the easiest thing is to hook up with a nanny or au pair agency. But that’s a lot of work for little pay.

alive's avatar

i had the same thing happen like two years ago! haha

she has to have a “sponser” if she has an relatives here they could sponser her.

OR to get a work visa she has to get a job. if her student one is about to expire then you better hurry. the employer would then be her “sponser”

the problem you wil face with this option is that most employers won’t go through all the extra work it will take to hire her because they have to prove to immigration that the position they want her to fill is not easily filled by an american. i.e. it is some kind of specialized skill/knowledge/degree etc. (not McDonalds…)

i’m not gunna lie. i think you guys waited too long. everything with immigration takes a looong time.

you could consider the marriage thing. hypothetical situation: get married but agree ahead of time that the marriage only lasts as long as you two want to stay together. if you break up before the 2 year time period that it takes for her to get her card, you get divorced and move on. or stay married til she gets her card… marriage is a contract/agreement just like any other than can have stipulations and the possiblity of terminating the contract. i only suggest this since the time frame for the other options is cut very close.

if she leaves though (for the trip) it might be hard to come back after…

anyways, ask an immigration lawyer, they will explain all that stuff.

deepak143goyal's avatar

How i can get permanent residence of Europe?

gailcalled's avatar

@deepak143goyal: You have to pick a European country. Everyone will have different regulations and restrictions. Becoming a legal resident of Italy will probably be harder than, say, Latvia.

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