I am US born citizen. My girlfriend from Bolivia just found out that she will not be able to renew/extend her J-1 visa a second time. The current J-1 visa expires in February 2014. This means she will need to stop working at her current place of employment and will not legally be able to work in the US. One option we have discussed is marriage. If we get married, then fill out all the necessary paper work for her work permit (and green card, etc.) and submit it before her current visa expires, is she able to continue working during the processing period? Or will she need to have the work permit before her visa expires in order to avoid any gaps in employment?