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Mr. 2000

My Vietnamese girlfriend and me need help

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Filed: Country: Vietnam
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My girl and I met on the net in 2005 and got to know each other over time. We were close friends, but not really serious lovers until last year. We both realized that we really care a lot for each other and wanted to be together to see how things go. So this year, starting in March 2010, she decided to apply for a student visa at a school that is local to me. Our plan was that she goes to school, and at the same time we can get to know each other without being under the gun to get married. She did have two interviews for the student visa at the HCM City consulate. Both times they turned her down, with the most recent declination being this month. The first interview was in June.

After this we began talking and I went to see an immigration attorney to see if there are any other options. The attorney suggested that the best course of action is for us to pursue a marriage-based visa, either K1 or K3/I130. The attorney said that since my girl did not disclose that she knew me even though the school is in my state, that would prevent us from getting a K1 visa. At the very least, getting a K1 visa would be difficult because of her attempt with the student visa. Now I did marry a girl from Japan on a K1 visa 10 years ago. We were divorced 5 years ago, and she returned to Japan. The attorney told me that is a good thing, because it shows that I did meet all the requirements of the K1 process, including getting married and adjusting my wife's status.

So with all that being considered, and the timelines for K1 and K3 being essentially the same, is the K3 visa the best route for us? My plan is to visit her in Vietnam, spend about 2 weeks there and marrying her. Yes, I know, it's a big risk for me since I am marrying her before actually living with her, but having known her for so long and knowing how we both feel I do not feel uncomfortable taking this chance. After we marry, I would return to the states, file the I-130 petition and then return to Vietnam once more when we receive an interview date. Will my presence at the interview help her chances of getting approved? The attorney I spoke with strongly recommended that I go. Also, both she and her family are content with a low-key marriage with no big celebration, however I gather that would be a red flag when we file the I-130 application...so should we plan a "typical" wedding? Just looking for some advice on the best way to proceed, that gives my girl and me the best chance of being together in the shortest time possible.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Vietnam
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Topic moved from General Immigration forum to Vietnam regional forum where OP can get country specific advice


I-864 Affidavit of Support FAQ -->> https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/immigrate/immigrant-process/documents/support/i-864-frequently-asked-questions.html

FOREIGN INCOME REPORTING & TAX FILING -->> https://www.irs.gov/publications/p54/ch01.html#en_US_2015_publink100047318

CALL THIS NUMBER TO ORDER IRS TAX TRANSCRIPTS >> 800-908-9946

PLEASE READ THE GUIDES -->> Link to Visa Journey Guides

MULTI ENTRY SPOUSE VISA TO VN -->>Link to Visa Exemption for Vietnamese Residents Overseas & Their Spouses

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Vietnam
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There are some really bad immigration attorneys out there... If the Attorney recommended a K3, I would steer clear of that attorney given that the K3 has been obsolete for some time now... CR-1 is the way to go if married now... do not try to rush things when it comes to getting a visa for her... If you rush over there and get married and file for her shortly after she was denied for a student visa, that would be a huge red flag.. having gone through a K1 before is another red flag...

How many times have you been to VN?

Did you have an engagement ceremony? (Dam Hoi)

has any of your family or friends been to VN with you to meet her and her family?

have you documented your communication/relationship over time?

did they ask her if she knew anyone in the US?

Does she have any relatives in the US? Do they live near you?

It is said that you being outside waiting while she has the interview is a good thing.. this has yet to be proven as people have gotten blue slips with the spouse outside... marriage is no guarentee of a visa at HCMC nor is being there in person.. It is considered one of the most difficult consulates to get any visa from...

VN culture has certain specific things that a couple do leading up to the marriage as well as things that happen in the marriage ceremony itself... its a really big deal in VN involving all friends and relatives... in some cases the entire villiage... cutting corners often raises flags with the consulate...

If this is what you both want for the rest of your lives, take your time and plan this out.. look at what the consulate will see when they look at you and your relationships... they will look at your lives and the previous marriage... and every detail of this one... there is a great deal of information in this regional area as well as some old info in the Asia East & Pacific from last year and before... this is one time that doing things too fast and overlooking something can take a really long time in the long run...


"Every one of us bears within himself the possibilty of all passions, all destinies of life in all its forms. Nothing human is foreign to us" - Edward G. Robinson.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Vietnam
Timeline

Student visa not really influences CO's decision granting spousal visa or K1 visa. It is two separated cases. However, your SO applied for student visa and planned to live in your state could triggered a red flag. My friend applied and denied 4 times for student visa. She united w/ her husband through spousal visa 4 months ago.

Huge celebration is a big plus since you two are young you definitely needed, it is a culture and norms in VN.

As ScottThuy said, K3 is obsolete nowaday, it's expensive and complicated papers, the waiting time is the same as CR1 cases.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Vietnam
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I heard that K-1 is very hard to get approve nowadays. So, if you think you love this girl, you probably should go for an I-130 application (which require you to get marry in Vietnam).


IR-1/CR-1 Visa

Service Center: California Service Center

Consulate: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

I-130 Sent: 2010-04-02

I-130 NOA1: 2010-04-13

I-130 RFE: 2010-10-04

I-130 RFE Sent: 2010-10-08

I-130 Approved: 2010-10-25

NVC Received: 2010-10-29

Received DS-3032 / I-864 Bill: 2010-11-09

Pay I-864 Bill: 2010-11-10

Receive I-864 Package:

Return Completed I-864: 2010-11-18

Return Completed DS-3032: 2010-11-22

Receive IV Bill: 2010-12-02

Pay IV Bill: 2010-12-03

Receive Instruction Package: 2010-12-28

Case Completed at NVC: 2011-01-11

Visa Received : 2011-04-30

Thank Visajourney! Couldn't have done without you guys!!!!!!

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Vietnam
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You mentioned that you met on the net in 2005, but never said how much face-to-face time you have. Have you been to Vietnam before, or is this going to be your first trip? If this is going to be your first trip, and you plan to get married on this trip, then her visa will almost certainly be denied. As Scott said, the consulate in HCMC is very tough. One of their favorite reasons for denial is that the relationship does not conform to cultural norms.

Since you haven't taken the plunge yet, you have the benefit of foreknowledge. You can take your time, and develop a plan that will dramatically improve your chances of getting a visa. You're not trying to convince your mom that you're in love - you're trying to convince a consular officer who sees scammers all day long, and is going to make a decision after spending five or ten minutes with your case file. If he/she is not convinced you've put some serious time into this relationship, then he/she is going to barbecue your fiancee/wife during the interview.

Plan one trip as a "getting to know each other" trip. Plan another for a more intimate proposal. A third for a formal engagement ceremony and party. A fourth for the actual wedding. Be prepared to drop some serious cash on the engagement and wedding parties, and make sure there are as many people in attendance as possible - 100 or more. If there's any possible way to pull it off, have a married couple from your close family (parents are preferred, but a brother or sister will do) represent your family at the engagement ceremony and wedding. Spread this out over a year or so, take LOTS of photos, and save EVERYTHING!

You could also decide to go with a K1. Just skip the wedding during the 4th trip. If at all possible, plan a final trip when she goes for her visa interview. You can't actually go into the consulate with her, so it might not make any difference to the consular officer, but she'll be a lot less nervous knowing you're outside.

I don't think there's any truth to the notion that your chances are improved if you get married. If your relationship doesn't pass the smell test with the consular officer then it won't matter if you were married by the ghost of Thich Huyen Quang himself - you still won't get a visa. The reason some people think that getting married improves your chances is because they see a lot of people denied K1's, and then they get married and apply for a CR1 and get approved. It isn't the marriage that made the difference - it's the additional time put into the relationship, and the second petition.


12/15/2009 - K1 Visa Interview - APPROVED!

12/29/2009 - Married in Oakland, CA!

08/18/2010 - AOS Interview - APPROVED!

05/01/2013 - Removal of Conditions - APPROVED!

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Vietnam
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What Carrick (weatheremperor) is doing is a good example of taking time and getting those ducks in a row..... He was going to file quite some time ago when many flags had not been addressed


"Every one of us bears within himself the possibilty of all passions, all destinies of life in all its forms. Nothing human is foreign to us" - Edward G. Robinson.

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Filed: Country: Vietnam
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What Carrick (weatheremperor) is doing is a good example of taking time and getting those ducks in a row..... He was going to file quite some time ago when many flags had not been addressed

There are other examples where a person did not even know the woman for 1 month, went to see them only spent 5 days there, came home and filed before they had even known one another for 30 days, then he went back on interview date and was approved without AP total time together before Visa was issued 8 days, total length of time knowing one another LESS than 6 months. What Carrick did was be scared into thinking that HCMC is so tough that he HAD to wait. Too many people pushed him into waiting. I am not an advocate of such a short relationship, but to simply say one way is better than another is ONLY PERSONAL SPECULATION and NOT PROVEN FACT. I do agree that HCMC is tough and people should make sure that they are prepared, but what I feel as Scott feels that what Carrick did was right, I feel that it is purely luck of the draw, and how well the itnerview goes compounded with what CO you get and what kind of mood he is in. Jerome


小學教師 胡志明市,越南

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Filed: Country: Vietnam
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You mentioned that you met on the net in 2005, but never said how much face-to-face time you have. Have you been to Vietnam before, or is this going to be your first trip? If this is going to be your first trip, and you plan to get married on this trip, then her visa will almost certainly be denied. As Scott said, the consulate in HCMC is very tough. One of their favorite reasons for denial is that the relationship does not conform to cultural norms.

Since you haven't taken the plunge yet, you have the benefit of foreknowledge. You can take your time, and develop a plan that will dramatically improve your chances of getting a visa. You're not trying to convince your mom that you're in love - you're trying to convince a consular officer who sees scammers all day long, and is going to make a decision after spending five or ten minutes with your case file. If he/she is not convinced you've put some serious time into this relationship, then he/she is going to barbecue your fiancee/wife during the interview.

Plan one trip as a "getting to know each other" trip. Plan another for a more intimate proposal. A third for a formal engagement ceremony and party. A fourth for the actual wedding. Be prepared to drop some serious cash on the engagement and wedding parties, and make sure there are as many people in attendance as possible - 100 or more. If there's any possible way to pull it off, have a married couple from your close family (parents are preferred, but a brother or sister will do) represent your family at the engagement ceremony and wedding. Spread this out over a year or so, take LOTS of photos, and save EVERYTHING!

You could also decide to go with a K1. Just skip the wedding during the 4th trip. If at all possible, plan a final trip when she goes for her visa interview. You can't actually go into the consulate with her, so it might not make any difference to the consular officer, but she'll be a lot less nervous knowing you're outside.

I don't think there's any truth to the notion that your chances are improved if you get married. If your relationship doesn't pass the smell test with the consular officer then it won't matter if you were married by the ghost of Thich Huyen Quang himself - you still won't get a visa. The reason some people think that getting married improves your chances is because they see a lot of people denied K1's, and then they get married and apply for a CR1 and get approved. It isn't the marriage that made the difference - it's the additional time put into the relationship, and the second petition.

In a perfect world this theory might work, not to say what Jim has said is all wrong, but some people seem to forget that most people are not made of money. I personally do not know that many people who can afford to take 5 trips in one and a half years( 4 trips that Jim mentioned, then the 5th trip for the interview date), plus pay for a huge engagement party, and a huge wedding party. The average flight round trip is somewhere near $1500 on a good day and usually closer to $2000 depending on how far inland you actually live, so lets do the math, on a good year with great deals on flights a person would spend $7500 just in airfare for 5 trips, then lets throw in visa fees, and all the other "Fees" that go along with that many trips. You are looking now at close to $8000 if you are staying at cheap hotels and not eating at 5 star buffets and not going on many if any trips at all while you are in Vietnam, and banking on only 5 days per trip, this also means that you must have a really good job, because it takes 2 days just to get there, but you get one day back when you return, so this means in one and a half years you need to have at least 5 weeks of vacation, I think that most people would be able to have 4 weeks if the year and a half was started in the middle of the year so you would get 2 weeks of vacation for each year, this still leave 1 week of unpaid leave, so tack on another $500 that you just lost due to no vacation time and you are now up to $8500, and we have yet to plan out the engagement party, I thought ours was really nice and it cost $1500, but I have heard that I got off on the cheap, so lets just say my cheap price is the norm or average, you are now up to $10,000 and still have yet to plan a wedding. My brother inlaw did a very traditional wedding ceremony and he is Vietnamese, so there was not any white man tax on his price and he spent over $2000 for everything, his actual bill was closer to $2500, but this was everything from the photos, and food, to the taxi's that took the wedding party to his wifes home. So now you are looking at $12000. I do not know very many people unless they dip into savings or have a really good job with a very low cost of living that can fork out that kind of money. Granted if a person could and did, then their chances on paper and on an opinion poll would be better than most, but even if a person did it to the T there is still NO guarentee that it would work, as I said in my earlier post people have gotten by with far FAR less and been fine, and there are also those that have made countless trips, and been denied, just do what you feel is right, dont let anyone tell you what you must do, after all it is YOUR life, not ours, asking for advice is a good thing, and Jim does have a very good formula that in most cases I would agree would give a person probably a 99.99% chance of getting a visa. The point for this post is not to discredit Jim's post in any way shape or form, but to clearly show and put some things into prespective, and to remind people that these are just people personal opinions on what to or not to do. Jerome

Edited by jeromebinh

小學教師 胡志明市,越南

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Vietnam
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OP,

Take some time to consider the advise that has been given to you. In my opinion, I think it is just a numbers game. I do not think that if you do this you will get a Pink and if you do that you will get a Blue. Think of the visa process kind of like the College entrance process. Typically, the candidates with the highest scores and highest potential are the ones that have the "highest" chance of admittance. In a lot of ways, the visa process is like it. If your petition contains the strongest proof and the best potential, you have a very very high chance of getting a Pink. It does not guarantee visa approval but it gives you a much better chance of getting approved. Now once in a while a few get approved that make you go like "what the heck? how did they get approved?" Same thing happens in the College entrance process. Make sure you present your petition case very well with solid proof. Make it look good and the best you can hope for is that your chances for approval will be higher. Its not a guarantee, just a numbers thing.

I do agree with Jerome that the costs of pursuing a long distance relationship in Vietnam can be extremely high. Hell, I spent over $10,000 for all my trips, engagement AND wedding ceremonies. But hey, that is what happens when you fall in love with a lady from half way around the world. Nobody forced me to do this so I do not expect ANYBODY to have sympathy for me or my bank account.....

Edited by BurningFinger

1/10/2010-----> Mailed I-130

1/17/2010-----> NOA 1 - Hard Copy

3/28/2010-----> NOA 2 - Email

4/02/2010-----> NOA 2 - Hard Copy

6/14/2010-----> NVC Processing Complete

8/02/2010-----> Interview Date @ 8:00am - Result = PINK!!!

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Vietnam
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My plan is to go there, marry her, and then come back here to file the I-130. I will return to VN once more at the time of her interview, and I will be present with her...it will not take much to see how we really feel about each other.

FYI: In VN, after your marriage ceremony. you have to apply for the marriage certificate. That takes about 45-ish days to get done. So you might want to take that into consideration as well when you are planning your trips. Do you want to go there, get married, hang around for 45 days and them come back to the US? Or do you go to VN for a week, get married, return to the US, then fly back to VN for a week 45 days later?

I did the two trip method, because of work restrains.

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Filed: Country: Vietnam
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FYI: In VN, after your marriage ceremony. you have to apply for the marriage certificate. That takes about 45-ish days to get done. So you might want to take that into consideration as well when you are planning your trips. Do you want to go there, get married, hang around for 45 days and them come back to the US? Or do you go to VN for a week, get married, return to the US, then fly back to VN for a week 45 days later?

I did the two trip method, because of work restrains.

Yeah I know about that. I'm just going to stay for 2 weeks and after we're married we'll apply for the marriage certificate. My girl can mail the certificate to me after she gets it as they will probably just mail it to her.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Vietnam
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One more question regarding the affidavit of support. The instruction sheet says it is ok to provide a bank statement (prepared by the bank's officer) as proof of income. Are tax returns absolutely required, or can I just provide that bank statement?

Thanks for the feedback.

From my stand point, bank statements are just how much you have in your bank account. Were as tax returns declare your "official" income. They have noting to do with each other. They cannot be substitutions for each other. But to answer your question, tax returns are absolutely necessary. You can get a transcript of them from the IRS if you have lost your copies (free).

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Vietnam
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Yeah I know about that. I'm just going to stay for 2 weeks and after we're married we'll apply for the marriage certificate. My girl can mail the certificate to me after she gets it as they will probably just mail it to her.

From what i remebered from my process, both people have to be there to sign the paperwork. There was no mailing involved. We has to go to the So Tu Phap (or something like that) and apply, then 45 days later, come back and sign. This process may vary slightly from region to region though.

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Filed: Country: Vietnam
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From my stand point, bank statements are just how much you have in your bank account. Were as tax returns declare your "official" income. They have noting to do with each other. They cannot be substitutions for each other. But to answer your question, tax returns are absolutely necessary. You can get a transcript of them from the IRS if you have lost your copies (free).

My tax returns would not show sufficient income after all deductions since I run a business. I've always used bank statements before to document my income when applying for loans and did not have any problems. From what I read on the form, they're asking if I have the money to support her and myself and I have to show that my funds exceed the national poverty level for 2 people (about $18K/yr), which I do...anyway I don't mind supplying a tax return but I don't want them saying that my income is too low because of the figures on the tax return.

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