Should my visa status be updated when I apply for the green card through the marriage?
There’s a bunch of issues here that need attention.First, you don’t have to renew your visa to stay in the US. All a visa is is an document that says that a US conofficial has reviewed your circumstances and that in the opinion of that official, you appear eligible to enter the United States, and thus purveyors of transportation who agree to convey you to the United States will not be held responsible for your return should you be determined to be ineligible to enter by the border official. The visa gives you no right to enter the United States itself, and has absolutely nothing to do with how long you are allowed to stay in the United States. That is governed, for most nonimmigrant aliens, by the I-94 Record of Entry document that is created when you actually enter the United States. That document will have on it a departure date, and that date is the last date on which you may leave the United States without being in violation of your status as a nonimmigrant alien.You state that you are in F-1 (student) status. Virtually all F-1 admittees are admitted with a last-departure date of “D/S”, which means “duration of status”. This special code means that you are allowed to remain in the United States indefinitely, without filing any extensions or renewals, as long as you remain “in status.” For a student, this means continuing to be making “normal progress” toward the degree, diploma, or certificate for which you were admitted to the United States to study. The institution at which you are studying is required to regularly report to CBP whether or not each of the students admitted to study at that institution are still making “normal progress”. You may remain in the United States as long as your institution continues to consider you to be making normal progress toward your degree, and as long as this continues to be the case, you do not have to file any renewals or extensions with CBP, whether or not the visa in your passport has expired.If you are still in progress of your studies and will continue to be making normal progress on your studies at the time of your marriage, you do not need to do anything. other than continue to attend school. Once you have married, assuming you’re marrying a US citizen, you will then file a I-485 Adjustment of Status (AOS), declaring that you are entitled to register as a lawful permanent resident by virtue of being the immediate relative of a US citizen. (Your spouse will have to file, or have already filed, an I-130 petition to allow you to immigrate as an immediate relative, along with Form I-864 demonstrating that your spouse has sufficient resources to prfor both of you.) Once this filing has been accepted (note: accepted is not the same as approved; accepted just means that USCIS has received the documents), your F-1 visa will be invalid. You can continue your studies (your admission status is not immediately affected by filing an AOS), but you cannot travel outside the United States and reenter the US on your F-1 visa, because filing an AOS demonstrates present immigrant intent and thus renders a nonimmigrant visa (other than one with dual intent) invalid. If you plan to travel outside the US between when you get married and when USCIS eventually grants your AOS, you will need to file for advance parole at the same time you file your AOS; the advance parole documents you receive will permit you to reenter the US while your adjustment of status is pending (and also allow your AOS to remain valid even though you’ve left the US; in most situations leaving the US while an AOS is pending is considered an abandonment of the AOS). You may also want to apply for employment authorization (EAD) at the same time, since this will allow you to start work much sooner than if you wait the months or even years for the actual green card to arrive. Some months after you file this application, you will be called for an interview, a medical exam (probably) and for fingerprinting (possibly, they might use the ones you have on file for your F-1 visa instead), and then some months after that you’ll (hopefully) receive a notification that your application has been granted, at which time you’ll become a lawful permanent resident. Your (conditional) green card will arrive in the mail some time (six to twelve weeks appears typical from what I’ve heard) after that. The notification letter will serve as your temporary green card.Note that, despite what others have said, you do not receive a temporary green card at the time you get married; marriage by itself affords you no status. You must file an adjustment of status if you want to get a green card, and you must file for advance parole if you wish to travel outside the US while your application is pending. Failure to do these things will impair your rights.Essentially the same process applies if you are in post-graduation OPT, but there are additional complications with respect to OPT extensions if you “demonstrate immigrant intent” that make this transition more complicated.If the person you are marrying is a US lawful permanent resident, or if your studies will have ended before you plan to marry, then you have a more complicated situation, and you should really consult with an attorney for specific advice.I would strongly advise you to consult with an attorney, or at least speak with someone who has specific experience assisting people with immigration-related filings, before you make specific plans. You should definitely inform the international studies office of the institution when you file for AOS, and you may want to ask them for advice more generally as this is (unsurprisingly) something that happens quite often to international students and thus they generally have a fairly good idea of how to help people with the process. Whatever you do, don’t leave the US while you have the intention of becoming a lawful permanent resident; if you do and haven’t made the proper filings, you may not be permitted to reenter.