What happens if I go out of status before I get my green card?

Independent attorneys in the Boundless network answer common U.S. immigration questions

Apr 21, 2021

What happens if I go out of status before I get my green card?

Sometimes, the spouse of a U.S. citizen enters the United States on a valid visa, then applies for a marriage-based green card, but their immigration status expires while they are waiting for green card approval. Generally speaking, the expiration of that spouse’s immigration status will not affect their green card application process.

It’s important to note, however, that spouses of U.S. green card holders (not U.S. citizens) generally must maintain legal immigration status to be eligible for a marriage-based green card approval from within the United States.

Learn more here about visa overstays and related issues.

Can I travel domestically while my green card application is pending?

Domestic travel is allowed. Applicants should make sure to carry all of their unexpired identity documents (for instance passports and IDs). In addition, if an applicant has a green card receipt number, they can bring this with them as well.

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