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Hi!

I have US citizenship but I've been living in Spain for almost 16 years. I met my boyfriend 5 years ago (he has Spanish citizenship) and we are engaged. I just did the July CA Bar Exam and we are planning to move on July 2015 to L.A.

We don't know which way is easier: to marry here in Spain and file for the spouse visa or to file for the finance visa and get marry in the US. We need to know an estimate of how long does it take and which process is harder (we have absolutely no idea how the visas work but we want to do it by ourselves, like some of you have done).

Right now we don't have jobs, since we both have just graduated from university (meaning that we have no money), but I believe my father can sponsor my fiancée (he is a lawyer in L.A.).

Thank you in advance.

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~Moved from K1 Process to What Visa Do I Need Forum~

~Inquiry about family visas~

~multiple duplicate postings removed~

~please refrain from multiple posting of same topic~

Edited by Pitaya

Completed: K1/K2 (271 days) - AOS/EAD/AP (134 days) - ROC (279 days)

> Almost 2 years of our lives involved with the USCIS/DOS "shuffle" & worth every second of it ! <

"Si vis amari, ama" - Seneca

_______________________

:idea: Read more, post less.... Google can be your friend ! :idea:

Prior apologies if I can explain it to you, but I can't understand it for you.

Keep your timeline current: http://www.visajourney.com/timeline/

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Neither is easier, exactly. They're just different. Check the comparison guide: http://www.visajourney.com/content/compare

The times vary wildly, depending on time of year, where your petition goes, etc etc. You can study the data here for yourself: http://www.visajourney.com/timeline/ I-129f/K1 has historically been faster than I-130/CR-1, however, but either can take many months (and sometimes a year+).

As you've lived abroad for so long, joint-sponsor or not, you'll need to read about and make sure you can prove domicile, or that you're reestablishing one, in the USA: http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/immigrate/immigrant-process/documents/support/i-864-frequently-asked-questions.html#headerandtext_3

Have you filed US tax returns for all years you made enough money abroad in order to have to?

P.S. I assume your plans to move to LA in July 2015 is a typo, since that's in the past. July 2016?


* I-130/CR-1 visa by Direct Consular Filing in London
3rd May 2013 - Married in London

7th May 2013 - I-130 filed
4th June 2013 - NOA2 (approved)
16th July 2013 - Interview (approved)
30th July 2013 - POE San Francisco
29th August 2013 - 2 year green card arrived

 

* How? Read my DCF London I-130 for CR1/IR1 Spouse Guide

* Removal of Conditions (RoC) via California Service Centre
1st May 2015 - 90 day RoC window opened
6th May 2015 - I-751 filed (delivered 8th May, cheque cashed 18th May)
7th August 2015 - Approved / GC production

27th August 2015 - 10 year green card arrived

* Naturalisation (Citizenship) via Phoenix Lockbox

* San Francisco Field Office:
1st May 2016 - N-400 window opened
20th August 2016 - N-400 filed

26th August 2016 - NOA1
13th September 2016 - Biometrics

12th January 2017 - Biometrics (again)
30th May 2017 - Interview (approved)
7th June 2017 - Oath

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Neither is easier, exactly. They're just different. Check the comparison guide: http://www.visajourney.com/content/compare

The times vary wildly, depending on time of year, where your petition goes, etc etc. You can study the data here for yourself: http://www.visajourney.com/timeline/ I-129f/K1 has historically been faster than I-130/CR-1, however, but either can take many months (and sometimes a year+).

As you've lived abroad for so long, joint-sponsor or not, you'll need to read about and make sure you can prove domicile, or that you're reestablishing one, in the USA: http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/immigrate/immigrant-process/documents/support/i-864-frequently-asked-questions.html#headerandtext_3

Have you filed US tax returns for all years you made enough money abroad in order to have to?

P.S. I assume your plans to move to LA in July 2015 is a typo, since that's in the past. July 2016?

Yes, I made a mistake (I meant July 2016). I have never filed US tax returns. I just want to know all the possibilities... At some point someone told me that it should be OK if my fiancée came to US with the Visa Waiver and get marry here while in the 90 days period. Don't know how that works either... is that legal? TIA

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Why not just get married in Spain if that is your focus?


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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Yes, I made a mistake (I meant July 2016). I have never filed US tax returns. I just want to know all the possibilities... At some point someone told me that it should be OK if my fiancée came to US with the Visa Waiver and get marry here while in the 90 days period. Don't know how that works either... is that legal? TIA

a) You were meant to file tax returns. All US citizens, no matter where in the world they live, are supposed to file their returns. http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/U.S.-Citizens-and-Resident-Aliens-Abroad

b) Entering the USA on VWP with intent to marry and adjust status is an abuse of the VWP. VWP is for visiting, not staying, and he'll only be admitted to the USA on that basis. If on the border with just VWP they ask your fiance "why are you here?" and he says "to move to America to marry and live with my new wife" they're gonna put him right back on a plane to Spain, you see?

Sometimes people are admitted to the USA as visitors (they had no intent to stay upon entry and border control believe that to be true at the time), then later change their minds and meet someone, decide on a whim to get married, whatever, then they adjust the status and stay. You just did the bar, right? Go look it up, you'll probably understand the legal precedents better than most. :)

The legal way to do what you want is to file the I-129f and have him enter on a K1 to marry you, or marry before and file the I-130 for CR-1.


* I-130/CR-1 visa by Direct Consular Filing in London
3rd May 2013 - Married in London

7th May 2013 - I-130 filed
4th June 2013 - NOA2 (approved)
16th July 2013 - Interview (approved)
30th July 2013 - POE San Francisco
29th August 2013 - 2 year green card arrived

 

* How? Read my DCF London I-130 for CR1/IR1 Spouse Guide

* Removal of Conditions (RoC) via California Service Centre
1st May 2015 - 90 day RoC window opened
6th May 2015 - I-751 filed (delivered 8th May, cheque cashed 18th May)
7th August 2015 - Approved / GC production

27th August 2015 - 10 year green card arrived

* Naturalisation (Citizenship) via Phoenix Lockbox

* San Francisco Field Office:
1st May 2016 - N-400 window opened
20th August 2016 - N-400 filed

26th August 2016 - NOA1
13th September 2016 - Biometrics

12th January 2017 - Biometrics (again)
30th May 2017 - Interview (approved)
7th June 2017 - Oath

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Why not just get married in Spain if that is your focus?

We are debating about the possibilities. We prefer to get married here in Spain (this year) and then move to California on July 2016. Before we take any decision we must know which way is the fastest one. I've read that we may qualify for the Direct Consular Filing process, since I have been living here for almost 16 years (legally), and it seems it takes only from 1 to 3 months.

About proving domicile... what does this mean? I have all my family (except for my mother) living in the US and I plan to work in L.A. as a lawyer (I certainly have a job if I passed the Bar Exam) but I don't know where I'm going to live yet. Is this a problem?

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a) You were meant to file tax returns. All US citizens, no matter where in the world they live, are supposed to file their returns. http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers/U.S.-Citizens-and-Resident-Aliens-Abroad

b) Entering the USA on VWP with intent to marry and adjust status is an abuse of the VWP. VWP is for visiting, not staying, and he'll only be admitted to the USA on that basis. If on the border with just VWP they ask your fiance "why are you here?" and he says "to move to America to marry and live with my new wife" they're gonna put him right back on a plane to Spain, you see?

Sometimes people are admitted to the USA as visitors (they had no intent to stay upon entry and border control believe that to be true at the time), then later change their minds and meet someone, decide on a whim to get married, whatever, then they adjust the status and stay. You just did the bar, right? Go look it up, you'll probably understand the legal precedents better than most. :)

The legal way to do what you want is to file the I-129f and have him enter on a K1 to marry you, or marry before and file the I-130 for CR-1.

The thing is that we don't get to see that stuff for the Bar Exam hahaha. I have not filed tax returns because I have never work in Spain (or anywhere else), is that OK?

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There's no DCF in Spain, so you can't do that.

Since you don't want to move until July 2016, I'd be inclined to say you may as well get married now in Spain, file the I-130 ASAP and hope that it's all done and dusted by next July. His visa will be good for 6 months from when he has his medical, so you'll have some lead time on the move if it happens to come in earlier.

If you haven't ever worked and had no income, then it's probably fine.

Proving domicile is about proving that you intend to live in the USA again as your primary residence. People usually use a rental agreement / mortgage / letters from family you'll be living with plus evidence of a job / moving arrangements, voting registration, driving license renewal... blah blah.. stuff that shows you'll be spending your time in the USA as your main home again.


* I-130/CR-1 visa by Direct Consular Filing in London
3rd May 2013 - Married in London

7th May 2013 - I-130 filed
4th June 2013 - NOA2 (approved)
16th July 2013 - Interview (approved)
30th July 2013 - POE San Francisco
29th August 2013 - 2 year green card arrived

 

* How? Read my DCF London I-130 for CR1/IR1 Spouse Guide

* Removal of Conditions (RoC) via California Service Centre
1st May 2015 - 90 day RoC window opened
6th May 2015 - I-751 filed (delivered 8th May, cheque cashed 18th May)
7th August 2015 - Approved / GC production

27th August 2015 - 10 year green card arrived

* Naturalisation (Citizenship) via Phoenix Lockbox

* San Francisco Field Office:
1st May 2016 - N-400 window opened
20th August 2016 - N-400 filed

26th August 2016 - NOA1
13th September 2016 - Biometrics

12th January 2017 - Biometrics (again)
30th May 2017 - Interview (approved)
7th June 2017 - Oath

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There's no DCF in Spain, so you can't do that.

Since you don't want to move until July 2016, I'd be inclined to say you may as well get married now in Spain, file the I-130 ASAP and hope that it's all done and dusted by next July. His visa will be good for 6 months from when he has his medical, so you'll have some lead time on the move if it happens to come in earlier.

If you haven't ever worked and had no income, then it's probably fine.

Proving domicile is about proving that you intend to live in the USA again as your primary residence. People usually use a rental agreement / mortgage / letters from family you'll be living with plus evidence of a job / moving arrangements, voting registration, driving license renewal... blah blah.. stuff that shows you'll be spending your time in the USA as your main home again.

I see... Then what is best for us is to file the fiancee visa and then get married in L.A. because we are not ready to get married now (it's too soon, because we need to find the venue and etc).

If I speak with the Embassy will they help me getting through the fiancee visa?

By the way, how come they don't have DCF in Spain? How can you be so sure?

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If we file a fiancee visa and everything goes OK, we have 6 months to enter the US and in the period of 90 days we have to get married right? Will he be required to return to Spain after the 90 days period have passed or he can stay with me after the wedding while we file the documents for the green card?

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If we file a fiancee visa and everything goes OK, we have 6 months to enter the US and in the period of 90 days we have to get married right? Will he be required to return to Spain after the 90 days period have passed or he can stay with me after the wedding while we file the documents for the green card?

If you do fiance visa he can come and stay. He won't have to go home for anything.

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I just saw that the USCIS office here closed :cry:

Yes, that's why I was sure. Once upon a time, there were a lot more field offices!


* I-130/CR-1 visa by Direct Consular Filing in London
3rd May 2013 - Married in London

7th May 2013 - I-130 filed
4th June 2013 - NOA2 (approved)
16th July 2013 - Interview (approved)
30th July 2013 - POE San Francisco
29th August 2013 - 2 year green card arrived

 

* How? Read my DCF London I-130 for CR1/IR1 Spouse Guide

* Removal of Conditions (RoC) via California Service Centre
1st May 2015 - 90 day RoC window opened
6th May 2015 - I-751 filed (delivered 8th May, cheque cashed 18th May)
7th August 2015 - Approved / GC production

27th August 2015 - 10 year green card arrived

* Naturalisation (Citizenship) via Phoenix Lockbox

* San Francisco Field Office:
1st May 2016 - N-400 window opened
20th August 2016 - N-400 filed

26th August 2016 - NOA1
13th September 2016 - Biometrics

12th January 2017 - Biometrics (again)
30th May 2017 - Interview (approved)
7th June 2017 - Oath

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