Should I Marry an American Citizen to Stay in USA?

Raghuram Sukumar H1B Visa 31 Comments

My friend is going to graduate with MS in the 1st week of may 2013 (next month). Due to some reasons their department HOD is not going to sign the OPT form.  So in order to stay in USA I just gave few options to my friend like

  • Apply for H-1B (consulting Firms) this year in Master’s Quota , but have to be done by this week or probably next week as this time the quota gets fulled very fast.
  • Apply for either MS/MBA in another school — which is quite expensive again
  • Marry an NRI ( maybe not)


I’m not sure what’s the deal with not able to apply for OPT. Either your friend haven’t completed the required Thesis work.

If that’s the case, he shouldn’t be able to graduate right?

Can you provide additional info on why he can graduate, but can’t apply for OPT?

Ways to stay in Legal Status in USA

Read this 3 Options After Masters in USA – Job, Studies or Pack Your Bags

As you can see I have listed

  • Job
  • Studies
  • Return to your home country

Option 1 is ruled out – H1B Visa 2014 Cap Reached

Option 2 is possible, but he needs to consult with an attorney to find ways to stay in status after graduation.

Option 3 is always there.

Marry American Citizen?

You have listed option 4 – Marry an American Citizen or  Green Card Holder.

I know 2 people personally who married American Citizens and another friend who will be getting married soon.

All 3 of them are students who came from India in F1 Visa.

I will let you/your friend decide, if you want to marry someone just to stay in status.

Personally, I wouldn’t do that and don’t recommend marring just to stay in status without love. If I really fall in love with someone, then it is a possibility.

I know about Indian culture and parents expectations. But, people change and anything can happen.

This is something your friend have to decide.

Don’t get into trouble by marrying someone to stay in status or just to get Green card.

Close friend of my wife ( Born in India and became an American Citizen) married a guy in F1 visa. Within few months, she decided to walk away from their marriage. Why?

That guy’s only goal was to get her to apply green card for him.

But, marrying an American Citizen is a possibility. I leave the decision to your friend.

Now, you have 4 options and you have to pick one.


  1. Hahaha…that is certainly a possibility.

    I am planning to do MBA starting in Fall 2014.For MBA …I have heard it’s more difficult to get H1b visa for MBA graduates than for MS graduates. Is that the case?
    So..what are my options to stay back …Marry in US. Most likely

    Also,can you please suggest good universities(not expensive) that will help students proactively through their career services to secure an H1b visa.

    Thanks !!!

    1. It is hard for MBAs to get H1B visa in USA or a job back in India. Unless you have a family business in India do not go for MBA in country where you cannot settle down. USA still believes that they have the best management school and managers in their country, which by the way is irony. They will wake up in 5-7 yrs to issue H1Bs to MBAs also but for now they are still riding the ego wave of “We have the best management frameworks” but somehow the BRIC countries are magically progressing.

  2. beloved friends and my dear raghu
    the above topic reminds me of the kamalhassan movie,”vishwaroopam’
    nevertheless if some one is really find some one with mutual love and respect it is fine to go ahead otherwise it will be the biggest error, one can do for oneself,this is my view , thanks to one and all for your splendid work,keep it up friends,

      1. Dear Mr.Raghu,
        First accept my thanks , as guided by you, my son now doing his PhD in his chosen field, @MST,ROLLA,once again thanks for your guidance , now i am interested in my daughter who is doing her BPT, @CHENNAI, SRI RAMACHANDRA MEDICAL COLLEGE,
        to usa she has to write her GRE and Toefl , she can do pretty well in toefl but she is skeptical about her GRE,so the other option for us to look at Canada, where she can do her post graduate in her chosen subject ,Physiotherapy.Canadian University requires only Toefl not GRe,kindly throw some light, on this subject,canadian education,thanks once again , for your lovely blog,
        i remain as a true fan of HSB,

  3. My dear fellow NRI in trouble,
    Its always good to have the option of staying in a foreign country. If your friend returns to India, then finding his wayback to USA might be expensive, tedious and cumbersome.
    I stay in Europe and I married an European, but it was not for VISA , it was for love, infact she suggested that we get married because we were dating for 2 years and the thought of me going back to India made her fearful! It was and is still TRUE LOVE !
    But look here’s the deal man: If you want to marry a girl whom you’re casually dating, it MAY work out if you have a level head on your shoulders and the girl you are dating is level headed as well, but from what I hear American women call for divorce very easily & the husband is left paying the allimoney (read as being a loser!).

    There’s another way you can do this, I’ve heard there are fake marriage agencies in USA where you don’t even have to see the girl/guy and you can just sign the document and get a marriage certificate. Money does the work for you. So quickly find something like that.

    Always remember, you should be the person who decides where you stay; if you are smart enough you can find your way through loopholes in the “USA system” and make it work for you.
    Look I visited India last year and from what I can see the “breathing space” in cities is disappearing rapidly. Your friend will find himself hit hard in the face with the reality of daily life & crowd situation in India.
    So let him act quickly and do what it takes to get the USA stay. You can seize the opportunity now and apologize to everybody concerned later. Again keep the power in your hands and dont be thrown out of a country that you’ve worked hard to gain entry into. Good luck!

    1. hi, please can you throw more light on the fake marriage certificate please am really interested in it please help out please and please. thank you.

    2. hi, rabah…
      i need some advice on going to canada….and should i go for it . i have completed my electronivs engineering degree and i do not find good job in inddia…..and my family is not so rich……so should i go for canada on the bases of loan…..should i take this risk……

  4. hi,
    I would says Marriage for sake of something else, in this case Green card, it not particular a good idea, in term of: Conscience, Personal life and many more things.
    Go ahead with this option 4 if you can deal with it long term and not feel guilty about.
    Because you want stay in US for the quality of life, if you go down this road be sure you are not spoiling it.
    This may look as a PRATICAL decision, but if its truly based on NEED and not LUXURY than anyway there is nothing left for you to decide. You may go ahead and get married , else ghost of conscience is sure haunt.
    PS: If you getting married to girl who you love, she bychance happens to be Amercian, than please IGNORE all my stupid words.

    1. I second that, bcoz marriage for getting green card/citizenship will most likely dissolve in future, then you will end up shelling a lot from your monthly salary as alimony, all your life. However if both of you have genuinely fallen in love, go for it!

  5. Well, I had to try H1 couple of times. First during 2008 (which is the first year H1 went for lottery). Didn’t get selected. Thought about all the options given above. Went almost close to ‘Out of Status’; but survived. Got a small job (and applied for Green Card in Canada meanwhile) in US and applied for H-1 in 2010 (people barely applied in 2010).

    Now, I am a Canadian Permanent Resident.

    Think always for other alternatives…not get married for GC…that’s shows how desperate you are!

    1. how long did it take for u to get green card of canada affter applying?

    2. hi,
      please can you throw more light on how to apply for Canadian green card please how can I do that? what is required please. thank you

  6. Do you guys know marriage of convenience,i.e. marrying an American for the sake of citizenship,thereby its benefits- is punishable by law..You may get imprisoned or pay a fine or both!!.It’s not an easy way too,pal

    1. Well, not necessarily. Maybe the person already has a steady boyfriend/girlfriend who is an American and have started considering marriage. In this case, it may not be so bad to speed things up a bit to stay in the country.

      Sure, I know one loser whose entire aim to come to America was to marry an American girl, but those types are rare.

  7. Hi ,

    I read this post and the post before as well ,hmm well what abt seeking job in a another country lets say canada for instance !!!! . If we could find a company that can sponsor us ,its possible right ??

    Univs in america are better than canadian ones ( i mean i dont have any factual evidence to prove this ,just saying 🙂 ) .. So chances are more to get hired in canada are high ?? or take a big step of studying in canada itself…
    pls do respond

    regards 😀

  8. Hii sir,
    My name is ritik malhotra.I am btech student and right now I m in 3year in a mechanical field.In the field of education,I m an average student and my dream is to complete my MBA in family members even my brother and grandmother is settled in US and they have got citizenship of America and they are ready to support me in all cases.will it be helpful for me?
    My college record are good but my academic record are not good enough.will it effect my dream?

    1. Author

      I’m not recommending MBA these days due to STEM restrictions on OPT period.

  9. Hey, i’m doing my 2nd year of Btech in Information science. I have a 2 year gap between my 12th standard and start of my Btech. Will this be problem at the U.S consulate when i apply for a visa?

    1. Author

      Did you disclose that in your DS160. They can ask about that and you need to have an answer.

  10. hi, rabah…
    i need some advice on going to canada….and should i go for it . i have completed my electronics engineering degree and i do not find good job in india…..and my family is not so rich……so should i go for canada on the bases of loan…..should i take this risk……

  11. Pingback: 3 Options After Masters in USA – Job, Studies or Pack Your Bags | A WordPress Site

  12. hi,i and my brother completed our bachelors in mechanical in india.(2014 batch ).then he went to america and i stayed here preparing for civils.i didnt do well in my studies but my brother got married to US citizen.Now i am planning to go to US. which country should i go ,if US rejects my visa. my plan is get settled in US with my brother

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