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I am in a quite complicated situation, so please kindly advise me!

I am an incoming PhD student at a US university as an F-1 visa holder.

My mother has filed I-526 form during 2019, and my mother is expected to receive a permanent resident green card several months later. At that point, I will also be receiving a green card, because she has filed the I-526 form when I was under the age of 21.

My situation is that I will get legally married to a Korean citizen next year. If I were an F-1 visa holder, then my spouse can apply for F-2 visa and reside in the United States.

But since I will be holding a green card at the time that I will get married, I don't think my spouse can apply for an F-2 visa, and I think my spouse has to apply for a green card. The thing is I am aware that it usually takes 2~3 years for my spouse to obtain the green card, and my spouse cannot reside in U.S. until then.

In this situation, would there be any way for my spouse to legally reside in U.S. while waiting for a green card?

I appreciate any advice!

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    I'm confused by your marital situation. You refer to your "mother-in-law", which would imply that you are already married (since your mother-in-law is your spouses mother). But then you write that you "will get legally married to a Korean citizen next year". How do we resolve this apparent double-marriage situation?
    – brhans
    Apr 26, 2023 at 12:42
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    Why would your mother-in-law (i.e. your spouse's mother) getting a green card allow you to get a green card? In-law relationships are not considered parent-child relationships for US immigration purposes. Are you using the term "mother-in-law" incorrectly?
    – user102008
    Apr 26, 2023 at 14:12
  • Sorry for any confusion, I thought "mother in law" means a legal mother. What I meant by "mother in law" is an actual mother of mine. I will correct the word; thanks for pointing out. Apr 26, 2023 at 16:04
  • My martial status is that; I am unmarried currently, and that I am planning to get married to a Korean citizen during Feb 2024. Apr 26, 2023 at 16:05

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I don't see any good options. In order to immigrate as your mother's derivative beneficiaries, you need to remain unmarried until you become a permanent resident. This means your can only marry after you become a permanent resident, and thus your spouse cannot immigrate as your derivative beneficiary (since the spouse was acquired after you immigrated). You would have to separately petition for them to immigrate as the spouse of a permanent resident (in the F2A category), which you can only file after you become a permanent resident.

Since you can only marry after you become a permanent resident, there is no way that your spouse can get an F2 visa, since you will not have F1 status after you become a permanent resident. There is no particular way for the spouse of a permanent resident to enter or stay in the US while waiting to immigrate. You can perhaps get a Re-entry Permit after you become a permanent resident, so you can stay with your spouse abroad for long periods in the 2 years or so while they wait to immigrate.

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