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In a pickle with family illness and Green Card application

This situation is a bit of a doozy and I'm not even sure where to begin. Last year I met my current wife here in NYC. She's on an f-1 visa here from Japan and still has 4 more years on that visa. We pulled the trigger on getting married back in February and while getting things ready to file for a green card the pandemic hit. That's frustrating because it's going to prolong the process, but the real problem came from finding out that my mother in law is sick. Without going into too much detail it looks like we might have to spend time with the family back in Japan. It's been my wife's dream to live here in the states for a long time, and since we're already technically married she's confused about how to get a green card if we end up having to leave before we go through the process while we're here. Currently on her visa she can't leave the states for an extended period of time, and God forbid anything happens to her mom and we have to bail on her visa entirely. How would we go about getting a green card for her if the situation changed to us being overseas for a while then wanting to move back here to start a family? Right now if we leave and come back there's a chance she'd get in trouble for leaving the country while being married to me and not laving travel permission. We don't want to compromise her visa, but we don't know how long her mom will remain healthy for, and if the green card process takes years then how do we handle ourselves in the worst case scenario?

I guess that's the best I can do to kinda sum up this whole mess of a scenario. Thanks for reading if you got this far, and if you have any advice I'll put a $5 bill in my floppy disk drive and fax it your way.

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