US Immigration News

How Does the 90-Day Rule Affect Your US Visa Application or Current Visa Status?

3 minute read
"The government body of US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) uses a 90-day rule to determine whether the applicants misled immigration officials when they were granted the visa or admitted to the country.It is a basic rule and can be responsible for getting your Green Card application denied and your current visa revoked."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Apr 21, 2021
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What is the 90-Day Rule?

The government body of US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) uses a 90-day rule to determine whether the applicants misled immigration officials when they were granted the visa or admitted to the country.

Although a pretty basic rule, it can be responsible for getting your Green Card application denied and your current visa revoked.

Some US visa programs like the H-1B Visa or L-1 Visa allow “dual intent”, meaning the applicant is allowed to use that visa program to immigrate to the US permanently. If your visa program allows for “dual intent”, you do not need to worry about the 90-day rule. See our H-1B Visa Business Plan and L-1 Visa Business Plan services.

However, most temporary visas only allow “single intent” meaning that you are only allowed to use the visa to enter the US with nonimmigrant intent and leave after the expiration of their visa.

People holding temporary visas are not allowed to come to the US to immigrate here permanently. Therefore, if they subsequently marry or apply for a Green Card while on a temporary visa, they risk being found misrepresenting their actual intent.

However, what if your intention was genuine? To solve this problem, the USCIS uses the 90-day rule.

The 90-day rule states that a temporary visa holder who marries or applies for a Green Card within 90 days of arriving in the US is presumed to have misrepresented their intentions.

You may be able to convince the USCIS official that your intention was genuine and certain personal or professional changes during the first 90 days have occurred.

Who Does the 90-Day Rule Apply to?

The 90-day rule is applied to nonimmigrant visa holders who come to the US for temporary stay, not including those who use dual intent visas such as H Visas, L Visas or O Visas. See our O-1 Visa Business Plan service.

Foreign nationals on temporary visas are not allowed to do the following during their first 90 days to avoid being found misrepresented:

  • Engage in unauthorized employment
  • Enrolling in an unauthorized course of study (without a proper student visa)
  • Getting married to a US citizen or Green Card holder
  • Filing an “adjustment of status” Green Card application (Form I-485)

However, any of these intentions do not automatically prove that you have misrepresented. The government officials may still determine that your original intent was genuine if there is specific evidence that supports your case.

What Happens If You Break the 90-Day Rule?

The 90-Day Rule is not a hard rule. The rule helps USCIS officials assess your application and determine whether you have misrepresented your original intent. If a temporary visa holder applies for a Green Card within 90 days of arriving in the US, then the USCIS will presume that your original intent was false.

This can be taken very seriously by the USCIS and can result in your Green Card application being denied and your existing visa being revoked. It is important to remember that the USCIS allows the applicant to present evidence to prove their claim. If your original intent is considered genuine, then your Green Card application may still be approved.

How Will Your Application Be Affected If You Break the 90-Day Rule?

If you are entering the US temporarily such as a tourist or temporary worker to do the following, it will be considered “misrepresentation”:

  • Marrying a US citizen or Green Card holder
  • Applying for a marriage-based Green Card

These actions are considered unlawful and they are likely to result in serious consequences including being issued a deportation order or having your temporary visa invalidated.

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