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US Citizen Expat / is K1 appropriate?

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Hello All,

Need some advice please! I would like to take my filipina fiancee to the US to get married in August of 2011. I am a US citizen employed in the Philippines, work here, without immediate plans to return to the US to live. However, I'd like that to be an option... The current plan is to file for a K1 in March (on a visit to the US), and to plan for a wedding in the US in late August 2011.

  • Do I have to file the forms in San Francisco when I visit in March and will the lack of a permanent residence (or job) in the US matter?
  • Can we both continue to live here in Manila (return to the PI after marriage) yet pursue a green card for her?
  • If we file for a K1 in March - what are the odds of getting a visa six months later (August)? Weddings take planning... and 6 months is a pretty short window.
  • Is there some other visa that makes more sense given our situation?

Really appreciate opinions! Happy New Year - Arthur...

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I would be filing the I-129F much earlier than March, USCIS has been taking upwards of 5 months just to approve the petition and that does not include transit through NVC (~1 month) and handling at consulate (~1 month?).

1) You do not need to be physically in the USA to mail this to USCIS, you can mail it from overseas, or mail it to a friend in the USA and have them pop it into the mail for you.

2) Yes, you could use K-1 to come to USA and marry, and then NOT adjust status and then later file an I-130 DCF to the consulate over there for a Spouse Green-card visa when you do finally decide to immigrate to the USA.

3) Odds are slim for 6 months, I would be filing NOW, also NEVER, NEVER, NEVER plan a wedding anticipating a visa approval before a certain date.

4) Can always try for a B-2 tourist visa, it is CHEAPER, and your intent is to NOT remain in the USA after marriage, only you NEED to prove that there is NO intent to immigrate. Only other complexity is some states require SSN before issuing a marriage license, K-1 can get SSN, B-2 cannot.

One other BIG requirement is you need to provide an I-134 for the K-1, the I-134 REQUIRES US Domicile, and evidence of US income, you could get a joint sponsor in the USA able to also provide an I-134. B-2 does not have this requirement.

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you could get a joint sponsor in the USA able to also provide an I-134. B-2 does not have this requirement.

Since the K1 would be issued in Manila, don't count on using a cosponsor. More often than not, they'll decline to accept one.

There's no easy answer for your situation, as the law requires Consular officers interviewing for visas to presume all visitor visa applicants have immigrant intent. With a US Citizen for a fiance, it's more than a presumption that the B2 would be used to circumvent US immigration laws.

Frankly, I think your best bet is to plan to marry in the PI but you can certainly TRY the B visa route. K1, I think, is a lost cause. It's for sponsored intending immigrants and you most likely don't qualify as sponsor and she has not immigrant intent.

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