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Can my fiancee (and I) leave the country?

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Filed: Timeline

Thanks in advance for the advice everyone. Here's my situation:

1. I'm a U.S. citizen

2. I'm engaged to an Australian woman who is living in the U.S. on a student visa which expires in 1.5 years

3. We'd like to get married in the next few months

4. We'd like her to become a permanent resident so we can live in the U.S. going forward

Questions:

1. Given our plans to get married, can she travel outside the U.S. and return on her student visa between now and the time we are married? I have heard that since she may get asked, when returning into the U.S. through immigration, whether she plans to get married, and that if she says "yes" they won't let her in on her student visa, but if she says "no" then she has lied and that could create its own problems. Is this the case?

2. Related to the first question, could we get married outside the U.S. and then return with her on her student visa? What if we didn't mention that we were married? Then, shortly after we return, begin the paperwork to get her residency? My guess on this one is no, but please confirm.

3. Let's say we don't travel at all between now and the wedding and we get married in the U.S in a couple months. How long will it take for her to get her residency? Is it true that she can't travel at all between the time of our marriage and when she gets her residency? How long is this period typically and how much time/money does it take to get her residency?

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE HELP.

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Filed: Other Country: China
Timeline
Thanks in advance for the advice everyone. Here's my situation:

1. I'm a U.S. citizen

2. I'm engaged to an Australian woman who is living in the U.S. on a student visa which expires in 1.5 years

3. We'd like to get married in the next few months

4. We'd like her to become a permanent resident so we can live in the U.S. going forward

Questions:

1. Given our plans to get married, can she travel outside the U.S. and return on her student visa between now and the time we are married? I have heard that since she may get asked, when returning into the U.S. through immigration, whether she plans to get married, and that if she says "yes" they won't let her in on her student visa, but if she says "no" then she has lied and that could create its own problems. Is this the case?

2. Related to the first question, could we get married outside the U.S. and then return with her on her student visa? What if we didn't mention that we were married? Then, shortly after we return, begin the paperwork to get her residency? My guess on this one is no, but please confirm.

3. Let's say we don't travel at all between now and the wedding and we get married in the U.S in a couple months. How long will it take for her to get her residency? Is it true that she can't travel at all between the time of our marriage and when she gets her residency? How long is this period typically and how much time/money does it take to get her residency?

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE HELP.

You have two major issues to consider. It appears what you wish to do is, 1, get married and 2, remain in the USA and adjust status to permanent resident. The first is not an issue. You can marry when and where you wish. However, now that you've decided to marry, you have established the "intent" to do so. In order to adjust status, she must remain in the USA from the time the "intent" was born until the status adjustment is complete or she is given advanced parole. Neither of these can be accomplished until after the marriage. Advanced Parole might take about three months, unless it is an emergency of some sort but still must wait until after the marriage.

Now that the intent to marry and adjust status is alive, her leaving the US will kill the chances of adjusting status because she will have re-entered with intent to adjust status without a fiance or spouse visa. If she just stays, no problem.


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Filed: Timeline

thanks pushbrk... so to be clear, you are saying that since intent has been established, she cannot leave the u.s. until after we are married and the adjustment has been made? which, by implication, means that:

1. we can't get married outside the u.s. (assuming we want to come right back to the u.s. after the wedding)

2. she can't leave the country and return (e.g., on short business trips) until after her status has been adjusted.. she's essentially grounded in the U.S. until her status is adjusted

correct?

thank you!

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: China
Timeline
thanks pushbrk... so to be clear, you are saying that since intent has been established, she cannot leave the u.s. until after we are married and the adjustment has been made? which, by implication, means that:

1. we can't get married outside the u.s. (assuming we want to come right back to the u.s. after the wedding)

2. she can't leave the country and return (e.g., on short business trips) until after her status has been adjusted.. she's essentially grounded in the U.S. until her status is adjusted

correct?

thank you!

2) When adjusting status also file an I-131 for an AP document, this will allow re-entry from a trip abroad while AOS is being processed. AP can take 90 days to get.

OUR TIME LINE Please do a timeline it helps us all, thanks.

Is now a US Citizen immigration completed Jan 12, 2012.

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Look here: A Candle for Love and China Family Visa Forums for Chinese/American relationship,

Visa issues, and lots of info about the Guangzhou and Hong Kong consulate.

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Philippines
Timeline
thanks pushbrk... so to be clear, you are saying that since intent has been established, she cannot leave the u.s. until after we are married and the adjustment has been made? which, by implication, means that:

1. we can't get married outside the u.s. (assuming we want to come right back to the u.s. after the wedding)

2. she can't leave the country and return (e.g., on short business trips) until after her status has been adjusted.. she's essentially grounded in the U.S. until her status is adjusted

correct?

thank you!

What kind of "business" trip can a F-1 visa holder possibly have?

Edited by fwaguy

YMMV

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Filed: Other Country: China
Timeline
thanks pushbrk... so to be clear, you are saying that since intent has been established, she cannot leave the u.s. until after we are married and the adjustment has been made? which, by implication, means that:

1. we can't get married outside the u.s. (assuming we want to come right back to the u.s. after the wedding)

2. she can't leave the country and return (e.g., on short business trips) until after her status has been adjusted.. she's essentially grounded in the U.S. until her status is adjusted

correct?

thank you!

Status adjustment or Advanced Parole. Emergency advanced parole is an option as well. I'd start studying the appropriate "Guide" for the details of your process.


Facts are cheap...knowing how to use them is precious...
Understanding the big picture is priceless. Anonymous

Google Who is Pushbrk?

A Warning to Green Card Holders About Voting

http://www.visajourney.com/forums/topic/606646-a-warning-to-green-card-holders-about-voting/

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Filed: Timeline
thanks pushbrk... so to be clear, you are saying that since intent has been established, she cannot leave the u.s. until after we are married and the adjustment has been made? which, by implication, means that:

1. we can't get married outside the u.s. (assuming we want to come right back to the u.s. after the wedding)

2. she can't leave the country and return (e.g., on short business trips) until after her status has been adjusted.. she's essentially grounded in the U.S. until her status is adjusted

correct?

thank you!

What kind of "business" trip can a F-1 visa holder possibly have?

summer internships - she is a graduate student and her work is in an international field....

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Filed: Timeline

OK thanks everyone for your help! One more question:

Could we get married in the U.S. Virgin Islands? Is it still technically the U.S. in terms of immigration? Could she travel there on a student visa and return on her student visa after we're married? Is it as if we never left the U.S.?

Thank you!

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Philippines
Timeline
OK thanks everyone for your help! One more question:

Could we get married in the U.S. Virgin Islands? Is it still technically the U.S. in terms of immigration? Could she travel there on a student visa and return on her student visa after we're married? Is it as if we never left the U.S.?

Thank you!

USVI, PR & Guam are OK as long as you have a direct flight from the mainland. Do NOT venture over to BVI unless you have the proper documents for re-entry.

Edited by fwaguy

YMMV

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