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Should I stay in the country during the visa process?

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Thailand
Timeline

Hi everyone! So after 6.5 years my girlfriend and I are going to take the plunge and get married. To make a long story short, we met at college outside the U.S, lived together for 2 years in a 3rd country (she was/is a flight attendant.. I was teaching), and managed a life together for about 6 years before I moved back to the U.S after graduate school.

So i'm back and part of the reason is because I thought it would be easier to go through the k1 process if I was here. I'm sure I don't need to tell anyone this but the economy at home still stinks, especially for us finance people! Anyway my old job overseas contacted me yesterday and wants me to come back. All things considered this is a GOLDEN opportunity to make some $$$ especially after graduate school and would take away any need for a co-sponsor.

My question is, would this kill our K1 chances? Specifically, how does this process differ if the petitioner is living abroad? Oh and get this- my girlfriend who is Thai lives abroad also (in Dubai)! With her we are just writing down her Thai address and she will fly home to do the visa process.

Can anyone help shed some light on my situation?

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Do you intend to live in the US? If not - why get her a visa where she needs to live there?

If you do intend to live in the US, a person domiciled in the US needs to sponsor her - Not sure how it works for K1s (as it's an unusual case) but many DCF (both living outside the US) have had issues proving that the petitioner does actually live in the US. It would probably make your case go more smoothly if you were to work towards setting up your life in the US. Just my opinion, of course, but if you throw this process curve balls, expect equally confusing and frustrating results.

You can use the consulate in Thailand or the consulate for the country where she is living - know that there's more than just an interview which goes on - medical exam, police certificate collecting, etc. Make sure you are familiar with the different processes for your options and choose accordingly - I'm sure it won't be a quick fly in for a couple of days and fly out sort of thing.


K-1:

January 28, 2009: NOA1

June 4, 2009: Interview - APPROVED!!!

October 11, 2009: Wedding

AOS:

December 23, 2009: NOA1!

January 22, 2010: Bogus RFE corrected through congressional inquiry "EAD waiting on biometrics only" Read about it here.

March 15, 2010: AOS interview - RFE for I-693 vaccination supplement - CS signed part 6!

March 27, 2010: Green Card recieved

ROC:

March 1, 2012: Mailed ROC package

March 7, 2012: Tracking says "notice left"...after a phone call to post office.

More detailed time line in profile.

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Thailand
Timeline

1. I am currently living in the US and, all things considered, my life is pretty much establish here again. I got another U.S drivers license, bank accounts, credit cards, jobs, etc etc etc.. and will be filing taxes in 2010.

2. We plan on living in the US, at least for the first few years (or until I get sick of it again). Are you saying that a K1 visa requires the person to live in the US? I'm not really sure what you mean? For example, if I stayed in the US until she was granted a temp green card, are you saying we couldnt work abroad after that?

3. In terms of the paperwork, all of that is done and collected. The only thing is the police report which is time sensitive (i.e you have to get it 30 days before your interview or it isnt valid) and thats not really a problem. I guess our main advantage is that we both have pretty flexible schedule and if she needs to go back home for a month to interview/etc.. its not really a problem.

WHAT IS A PROBLEM is if I take this job, leave the country again, and we don't get the visa because i left!!

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For the first bit - don't forget about having a place to live...

Second, yes, she will have to live here - if she leaves for more than 6 months, then she's given up her residency since she isn't residing here. It's pretty expensive to get the green card - $1500 just in straight fees - not counting other "incidentals" like extra vaccinations or air fare etc. To just turn around and abandon the status seems counter productive.

If your plan is to stay for three years, then she can get her citizenship, and you two can come and go as you please for the rest of your lives regardless of time in or out of the States.

I do believe that you will run into major road blocks if you are not living in the US when she goes to apply for her visa.


K-1:

January 28, 2009: NOA1

June 4, 2009: Interview - APPROVED!!!

October 11, 2009: Wedding

AOS:

December 23, 2009: NOA1!

January 22, 2010: Bogus RFE corrected through congressional inquiry "EAD waiting on biometrics only" Read about it here.

March 15, 2010: AOS interview - RFE for I-693 vaccination supplement - CS signed part 6!

March 27, 2010: Green Card recieved

ROC:

March 1, 2012: Mailed ROC package

March 7, 2012: Tracking says "notice left"...after a phone call to post office.

More detailed time line in profile.

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Thank you and thank you again!

Ash,

You haven't mentioned if you've decided any particular route after the advice you got.

Also, your timeline says you "filed" your I-129F on Nov 25, so that should be corrected.

Thanks,

TD4Me


02/2003 - Met

08/24/09 I-129F; 09/02 NOA1; 10/14 NOA2; 11/24 interview; 11/30 K-1 VISA (92 d); 12/29 POE 12/31/09 Marriage

03/29/-04/06/10 - AOS sent/rcd; 04/13 NOA1; AOS 2 NBC

04/14 $1010 cashed; 04/19 NOA1

04/28 Biom.

06/16 EAD/AP

06/24 Infops; AP mail

06/28 EAD mail; travel 2 BKK; return 07/17

07/20/10 interview, 4d. b4 I-129F anniv. APPROVAL!*

08/02/10 GC

08/09/10 SSN

2012-05-16 Lifting Cond. - I-751 sent

2012-06-27 Biom,

2013-01-10 7 Mo, 2 Wks. & 5 days - 10 Yr. PR Card (no interview)

*2013-04-22 Apply for citizenship (if she desires at that time) 90 days prior to 3yr anniversary of P. Residence

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