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ebisu_soba

should i get married in japan or the US?

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hi all, i have a question regarding visas. i am going to marry my fiance who lives in tokyo and i currently live in the US. from my research, i understand that I am able to go to Japan on a tourist visa, get married, and then apply for a spousal visa all at the same time. i can even stay in Japan past the 90 day tourist visa limit until immigration makes a desicion on my spousal visa. it all seems pretty straight-forward and easy.


now my question is... would my fiance be able to do the same for a US spousal visa if she were to move with me here in the US? from what i have read, it seems like the process for a US visa would take longer and be more complicated. i have read that US immigration wouldn't allow her to marry me if she's here in the US on a tourist visa. is this true?


i am thinking about moving to Japan for awhile and then moving back to the states later. what visa route should i take?

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She can come here and you two get married while she is on a tourist visa, there is no problem with that. But she will not be able to stay/ work here; to use a tourist visa that way would be visa fraud. What she can do is get married here on the tourist visa, then go back to Japan, and wait for the CR-2 spousal process to be done, which takes about a year. You can also do the process while you are abroad.


Bye: Penguin

Me: Irish/ Swiss citizen, and now naturalised US citizen. Husband: USC; twin babies born Feb 08 in Ireland and a daughter in Feb 2010 in Arkansas who are all joint Irish/ USC. Did DCF (IR1) in 6 weeks via the Dublin, Ireland embassy and now living in Arkansas.

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So I think it's best if I move to Japan and get married there. It only takes 3-5 months to get a spousal visa in Japan and I can get married there under a tourist visa without them deeming it "visa fraud".

I will then go through the long process of getting her a US visa from Japan.

Just to clarify: I can apply for her US visa from Japan, correct?

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Speaking as someone who has done both, now: yes, the process of getting a spousal visa in Japan is very straight-forward, quick, and easy. I think mine only took about two months! However, as a newlywed couple you will only be granted a visa valid for 1 year. Then, after you've been married awhile, maybe you'll get a 3 year visa, then after even longer, maaaybe a 5 year visa. Also, if you are divorced, you must report that immediately and your visa may be revoked. Permanent residency is pretty hard to get - I know a guy who's been married 7 years now with 3 kids and he was just denied PR. Boo.

With a US spousal visa, the foreign spouse gets a green card that's not dependent on his or her marital status (as long as the marriage was bonafide), so of course the process of applying for it is more rigorous. I've come to think of it as a pros and cons thing.

In my opinion, if you want to stay together, you should marry in Japan and stay with her in Japan while completing the US visa process. Applying from Japan is no problem.

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There is no DCF in Japan so you'd still be sending the I-130 to the Chicago lockbox. It could take as little as 6 months and it could take as much as 18.


(or more.)


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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What exactly does this mean (if I'm applying from Japan)?

There is no direct consular filing in Japan. The petition has to be sent to the Chicago lockbox if sent from abroad.


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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