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New 90 Day Rule Replaces 30/60 Day Rule for Nonimmigrants Who Marry After Entry into the U.S.

A new 90 Day Rule has now replaced the prior 30/60 Day Rule in the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM). Immigration officers at U.S. consulates and ports of entry around the world use the FAM as guidance when issuing visas and admitting foreign nationals to the U.S.

Previously, the FAM included a “30/60 Day Rule.” The rule was meant to guide officers in determining whether someone who entered the U.S. using a nonimmigrant visa (such as a B1/B2 visitor’s visa, an F-1 student visa, or a J-1 exchange visitor’s visa), and later married a U.S .citizen and applied for adjustment of status (a “green card”), misrepresented their intent at entry. There was a presumption of misrepresentation if the individual married a citizen and applied for the green card within 30 days of entry.

On September 1, 2017, the prior 30/60 Day Rule was eliminated, and a new 90 Day Rule was created. There is now a presumption of misrepresentation if an individual enters the U.S. and marries a U.S citizen and applies for a green card within 90 days of entry.

This new rule has potentially significant consequences. If a finding of misrepresentation is made, an individual can be barred from obtaining a green card through marriage.

As of this time this change has been made in the FAM only, which means that USCIS officers who decide adjustment of status (green card) cases here in the U.S. will not be following the new rule. However, we expect that soon the regulations for USCIS officers will also be updated with this new guidance.

Therefore, at this time it is more important than ever to consult with an immigration attorney before deciding to marry a U.S. citizen and to apply for a green card here in the U.S. At Hurtubise Weber Law, we are experienced in this area and can provide you with the knowledge and expertise necessary to ensure a smooth transition to becoming a U.S. permanent resident. Please contact us at theteam@huwelaw.com or 415-496-9040 to schedule an initial legal evaluation.