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  1. #1
    idavidb is offline Junior Member
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    Visitor visa holder to marry US citizen

    What is the name of your state? Florida

    Help...


    I am overwhelmed with immigration procedures and forms.


    Please help.


    I am a born U.S. citizen. My girl friend of 3 years is visiting soon and I am going to surprise her by asking her to marry me.


    She is bringing her birth certificate with her visitors VISA.


    Here are my 3 questions.


    Her VISA will expire 30 days after she arrives. Will I need to file for an extension if we get married prior to expiration of her visitors visa?


    She is a professional business women. How soon would she be able to work after we file for a change of status? I know I can file for a work exemption but not sure of the time window.


    After the change of status is filed generally how long does it take to get an interview?


    Thank you in advance


    David
  2. #2
    ImmigAttyLana is offline Senior Member
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    You should absolutely NOT get married within the first 30 days of her entry to the US as a visitor. Doing so will severely jeopardize her ability to adjust status to permanent residence. You should not get married for at least 90 days after her entry to the US. Then you can file for her permanent residence with your local USCIS office and she will be eligible for employment authorization within 90 days of that filing. As far as the timeline for getting permanent residence, this depends on where you will be filing this petition, since processing times vary from one district office to another.

    Please let me know if you have any additional questions or need further assistance with this matter.
    Thanks,
    Lana
    Immigration Attorney
    Admitted to practice in CA, AZ, IN and OH
  3. #3
    AHA
    AHA is offline Senior Member
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    You obviously have intent of marriage when she'll enter the US, so you can either get engaged on her visit, file for the K1 visa, she'll go home and get the visa, return and marry you. Or you marry on this visit, aplly for K3 visa and she goes home for the process to receive the visa and then returns to the US. It's not legal to enter the US as a tourist with intentions of remaining, that's why there are several visas to chose to apply for. Waiting 1 day or 89 days after entry to marry isn't really the point, you have marriage intentions when you enter the US anyway(ie bringing birth cert!!) and that's something you will have to lie about during your interview with immigration for AOS. Do you want to keep up a lie with the authorities for a long time to come just because you can't wait a few months for the proper visa? Your relationship deserves better than that doesn't it?
  4. #4
    idavidb is offline Junior Member
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    Wow great advise.

    The heart moves faster than the INS.

    Never planned to have her lie to the INS. Being together for almost 3 years I was going to ask her to marry me in the presense of my family when she returned.

    I do not want a problem with the INS. Explaining her intentions were to visit and plans changes seems to be an obsticle.

    New plan.

    Get married when she arrives on her visitor visa. Submit the I-130 for her k3 visa. She will return to her country after 3 weeks here and we will wait (hopefully no more than 3 months) till she receives her new visa for her return.

    When she returns we fill out her change of status paperwork and wait for the interview. She can't work until we receive permission after the interview though right (another 3 months)?

    Is this a good time line? Would this be what you would do?

    Thanks a milliion for your advise so far. I feel a huge weight lifted thought returning her to her country for 3 months will be brutal.

    David
    Coral Springs, Florida
  5. #5
    ImmigAttyLana is offline Senior Member
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    You can do this as well, but be prepared for a wait that is MUCH longer than 3 months. The National Benefits Center is currently processing K-3 petitions received around February 12, 2004; therefore, you are looking at a wait of AT LEAST 6.5 months and possibly longer, as the processing times do not move according to real time. This is NOT necessarily how I would proceed, especially in light of the fact that she does not KNOW you are planning to propose to her when she comes.

    Please let me know if you have any additional questions or need further assistance with this matter.
    Thanks,
    Lana
    Immigration Attorney
    Admitted to practice in CA, AZ, IN and OH
  6. #6
    AHA
    AHA is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImmigAttyLana
    You can do this as well, but be prepared for a wait that is MUCH longer than 3 months. The National Benefits Center is currently processing K-3 petitions received around February 12, 2004; therefore, you are looking at a wait of AT LEAST 6.5 months and possibly longer, as the processing times do not move according to real time. This is NOT necessarily how I would proceed, especially in light of the fact that she does not KNOW you are planning to propose to her when she comes.

    Please let me know if you have any additional questions or need further assistance with this matter.
    I'm shocked to hear that a lawyer is advising to take a short cut that is legally risky instead of going the legal route which would only cost a few months out of a whole lifetime. Even if only one party in a couple has marriage intentions, the intention is still there and could very well affect the adjustment of status process. I would think that anyone who is planning on starting a new life in a new country would want to do it in a way where you won't have to worry about lies to the authorities and possible deportation at any time.

    idavidb, I sincerely hope you do the right thing and get another lawyers opinion as well, I know of many that have gone through this process with and without lawyers, they have all managed fine and they have NEVER been given such questionable advise as the lawyer who posted here. Please be aware and do more research and get a second and third opinion elsewhere. You stand to lose so much if you just follow the above advise blindly. Good luck
  7. #7
    ImmigAttyLana is offline Senior Member
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    I am NOT advising doing anything outside the scope of the law. I was simply commenting on the timelines for processing, which are likely to be much longer than what the original posted is contemplating. Secondly, if the foreign national has no idea of the intention the poster has of proposing to her, let alone having decided to say yes, there is absolutely no way anyone can presume that she has the immigrant intent. As to what the poster's intent may be, he is not making any application to the USCIS for permanent residence and his intentions are absolutely irrelevant. Besides, until she says yes, there is only HOPE that the marriage will be concluded.

    You are of course free to seek the advice of other attorneys, but please note that all I have stated thus far is absolutely legitimate and appropriate.
    Thanks,
    Lana
    Immigration Attorney
    Admitted to practice in CA, AZ, IN and OH
  8. #8
    idavidb is offline Junior Member
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    The INS is zero help

    Immigration is very confusing.

    My girlfriend and I have discussed marriage in depth. I just thought it would be romantic to ask her this trip while her visa is valid. I thought appying for an extention and COS was kosher. Had no idea it would cause so much problems.

    Is it the concensus that we should apply for the k1 fiancee visa in Bogota instead of getting married here and applying for the k3?

    I really want to do what is right. At the same time I would like the route that is fastest for her to work and go back to school as she wishes.

    If this was you.

    What would you do?
  9. #9
    AHA
    AHA is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by idavidb
    Immigration is very confusing.

    My girlfriend and I have discussed marriage in depth. I just thought it would be romantic to ask her this trip while her visa is valid. I thought appying for an extention and COS was kosher. Had no idea it would cause so much problems.

    Is it the concensus that we should apply for the k1 fiancee visa in Bogota instead of getting married here and applying for the k3?

    I really want to do what is right. At the same time I would like the route that is fastest for her to work and go back to school as she wishes.

    If this was you.

    What would you do?
    If I was you, and had discussed marriage with my partner, I would go for the K1 visa(it's faster than the K3), but if the relationship isn't ready for marriage yet, I would try for a student visa. That way you can live together legally and see if marriage is something you are ready for. Good luck
  10. #10
    Mrowka is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by AHA
    I would try for a student visa. That way you can live together legally and see if marriage is something you are ready for. Good luck
    Isn't it a little hipocritical of you, AHA? Applying for a visitor visa with marriage as a distinct possibility is a misrepresentation of intent, but it is ok when applying for a student visa? )))
  11. #11
    evcalyptos is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImmigAttyLana
    Secondly, if the foreign national has no idea of the intention the poster has of proposing to her, let alone having decided to say yes, there is absolutely no way anyone can presume that she has the immigrant intent.
    Devil's Advocate here:
    Do you travel with your birth certificate?

    It does seem sort of material here.
  12. #12
    AHA
    AHA is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrowka
    Isn't it a little hipocritical of you, AHA? Applying for a visitor visa with marriage as a distinct possibility is a misrepresentation of intent, but it is ok when applying for a student visa? )))
    He hasn't even asked her to marry him yet, she might not even be ready for marriage. I'm not saying " go get a student visa, move to the US and get married". I'm saying if you want to be together, but not marry just yet, she can come to the US as a student and obviously study, that way they can be together for at least a while without having to rush into a lifetime commitment! There can be a middleground between getting married and breaking up! Besides, a student visa isn't a "visitor" visa. You can adjust status on a student visa, but it can be fraudulent to do it on a visitor visa. At least I'm not advising the OP to come as a tourist and adjust status and thereby circumventing the law as previously recommended. I have advised to go for the K1 visa IF they have decided to marry and live in the US.

    What is your advise to the OP?? At least I'm informing what the options are without them doing anything illegal.
  13. #13
    evcalyptos is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by idavidb
    Immigration is very confusing.

    My girlfriend and I have discussed marriage in depth. I just thought it would be romantic to ask her this trip while her visa is valid. I thought appying for an extention and COS was kosher. Had no idea it would cause so much problems.

    Is it the concensus that we should apply for the k1 fiancee visa in Bogota instead of getting married here and applying for the k3?

    I really want to do what is right. At the same time I would like the route that is fastest for her to work and go back to school as she wishes.

    If this was you.

    What would you do?
    It would be romantic (and still can be) to propose to her and even marry on this visit. But consider, is it romantic to make her a virtual prisoner for the several months that she will likely be in an ambiguous immigrant status? She will not be able to go to work quickly, might not be eligible for a driving license, she may even have her overseas travel restricted. Would your woman be happy to have "moved" to the US on this trip (without her knowledge) and have everything she'd like for the coming year packed in her suitcase? What about farewells to friends/family? Finalizing her affairs overseas?

    There is more to expatriating than love/lust and gotta be together this minute. If you've ever lived overseas, you have a clue what I mean, so try to think about it from her POV as well.

    As you mention Colombia, I'll ask you to think of other citizens there. Every person who mis-uses their tourist visa by following your original proposal makes it more difficult for the next Colombian who genuinely wants to visit the US, and is refused a B1/B2.
  14. #14
    Mrowka is offline Member
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    Well, since he haven't asked her yet, she obviously can't have marriage intent while applying for a visa, right?
    On the other hand, since op stated they had discussed marriage at length, she seems to be ready for it.
    Anyway, don't take my comment so seriously, it wasn't meant that way.

    As for what I would suggest? Unless she can get a tourist visa for a longer time, I would tell them exactly what you told them. It's better to "suffer" now a little bit than have a problem later.

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