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Getting Married on F1 to American then moving abroad after the wedding

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Here is our situation.

I have been living in the states attending university since August 2010. I am a Canadian on an F1 visa.

This last december I proposed to my American girlfriend, (who I met in August 2010, starting dating in December 2010), in europe, we flew back to Canada for Christmas to see my family, then came into America together, me on my student visa to continue school.

At that point we were unsure of when or where we would get married, but I was going to continue school.

We are now having our wedding in Texas in June this year. Immediately after we will be moving to the Philippines for at least 6 months or more. I will be continuing my degree online,

as well as doing local mission work.

My questions are:

What do I need to know?

Is it okay for us to get married while I'm on a student visa?

Is there any kind of adjustment of status I need to do now or later?

Is there anything we need to prepare now?

Is there any marriage/ wedding related documents or procedures I need to know or follow?

When we decide to come back to the States, whether visiting or moving, what will we need to do, and should we start that process immediately when we get to the Philippines?

Any help is greatly appreciated. We have been trying to get ahold of USCIS on the phone but its proving a difficult task

Thanks again

Andrew

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No problem getting married. You can't adjust status if you are going to be leaving right away and it would not make sense anyway as you aren't planning to live here right away anyway.

When you decide you want to live in America you will file for a CR-1 visa. The process is completed abroad and takes 7-9 months.


OUR TIMELINE

I am the USC, husband is adjusting from B2.

ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS

08.06.2010 - Sent off I-485
08.25.2010 - NOA hard copies received (x4), case status available online: 765, 131, 130.
10.15.2010 - RFE received: need 2 additional photos for AP.
10.18.2010 - RFE response sent certified mail
10.21.2010 - Service request placed for biometrics
10.25.2010 - RFE received per USCIS
10.26.2010 - Text/email received - AP approved!
10.28.2010 - Biometrics appointment received, dated 10/22 - set for 11/19 @ 3:00 PM
11.01.2010 - Successful biometrics walk-in @ 9:45 AM; EAD card sent for production text/email @ 2:47 PM! I-485 case status now available online.
11.04.2010 - Text/Email (2nd) - EAD card sent for production
11.08.2010 - Text/Email (3rd) - EAD approved
11.10.2010 - EAD received
12.11.2010 - Interview letter received - 01.13.11
01.13.2011 - Interview - no decision on the spot
01.24.2011 - Approved! Card production ordered!

REMOVAL OF CONDITIONS

11.02.2012 - Mailed I-751 packet to VSC
11.08.2012 - Checks cashed
11.10.2012 - NOA1 received, dated 11.06.2012
11.17.2012 - Biometrics letter received for 12.05.2012
11.23.2012 - Successful early biometrics walk-in

05.03.2013 - Approved! Card production ordered!

CITIZENSHIP

Filing in November 2013

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Agree with ceadsearc. Getting married is not an issue whatsoever, no matter what visa status you are under. Since you won't be living in the US for now, you shouldn't proceed to apply for a greencard for you at this stage. Get married, enjoy your wedding, and then head to the Philippines and to wherever else you possibly want to go to. Once it comes time to return to the US, you will either

1. Apply for the CR-1/IR-1 visa roughly 9 months prior to wanting to move here

2. Come as a visitor, if you will be living abroad at that point and only want to come for a short trip.


Adjustment of Status from F-1 to Legal Permanent Resident

02/11/2011 Married at Manhattan City Hall

03/03/2011 - Day 0 - AOS -package mailed to Chicago Lockbox

03/04/2011 - Day 1 - AOS -package signed for at USCIS

03/09/2011 - Day 6 - E-mail notification received for all petitions

03/10/2011 - Day 7 - Checks cashed

03/11/2011 - Day 8 - NOA 1 received for all 4 forms

03/21/2011 - Day 18 - Biometrics letter received, biometrics scheduled for 04/14/2011

03/31/2011 - Day 28 - Successful walk-in biometrics done

05/12/2011 - Day 70 - EAD Arrived, issued on 05/02

06/14/2011 - Day 103 - E-mail notice: Interview letter mailed, interview scheduled for July 20th

07/20/2011 - Day 139 - Interview at Federal Plaza USCIS location

07/22/2011 - Day 141 - E-mail approval notice received (Card production)

07/27/2011 - Day 146 - 2nd Card Production Email received

07/28/2011 - Day 147 - Post-Decision Activity Email from USCIS

08/04/2011 - Day 154 - Husband returns home from abroad; Welcome Letter and GC have arrived in the mail

("Resident since" date on the GC is 07/20/2011

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Is it possible that you could wait to move after you get married. If you file the I130, petition for alien relative and the I485 as soon as you get married, you should get your green card in a couple of months. Then you could leave the country :) I think the other way would be longer.

Please correct me if I am wrong! Good luck

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Is it possible that you could wait to move after you get married. If you file the I130, petition for alien relative and the I485 as soon as you get married, you should get your green card in a couple of months. Then you could leave the country :) I think the other way would be longer.

Please correct me if I am wrong! Good luck

You can't gurantee that he would get his green card in a couple of months. When you see most of VJ members timeline, average is like 5 months. And the process is depends on how busy the offices are. You can't really predict.


Doing good deeds shall bring happiness

09/05/2005 - Entered US with J-1

04/16/2006 - Met my husband

04/11/2007 - AOS from J-1 to B-2

07/10/2007 - Out of Status

08/26/2011 - Husband became USC through naturalization

10/12/2011 - We got married!

12/03/2011 - Sent AOS package(I-130, I-485, I-765) to Chicago Lockbox

12/05/2011 - Delivery confirmation via USPS

12/16/2011 - Received emails for I-130, I-485

12/22/2011 - Received NOA in mail for I-130, I-485 dated 12/16/2011

12/23/2011 - Received rejected I-765 due to missing signature

12/24/2011 - Received biometrics appointment on 01/09/2012 dated 12/20/2011

12/27/2011 - Reapplied I-765

12/29/2011 - I-765 has been delivered by USPS confirmation

01/04/2012 - Walk-in biometrics done

01/11/2012 - Received NOA in mail for I-765 dated 12/30/2011

02/01/2012 - Received text/email for I-765, Card/Document Production

02/06/2012 - Received EAD card in mail. YAY!

02/07/2012 - Received text/email for interview date, 03/15/2012

02/08/2012 - Received interview letter in mail

03/15/2012 - Interview at San Antonio, approved on spot and got a stamp!

03/23/2012 - Green card in hand! :^D

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It doesn't eliminate a process, it's just a different process. Both involve the I-130, but one ends up with a spousal visa and one ends up with adjustment of status.

The point is moot anyway, as the OP does not wish to live in America for the time being. There is no reason for them to apply for a green card now as the point of becoming a legal permanent resident is to live in the US. The OP has plans to live abroad first; they would be at a great risk of losing their green card if they went the AOS route. In the CR-1 scenario, they get married, live wherever they want to live (as planned), and about 9 months before they wish to permanently move to America, they apply for the spousal visa. They lose neither time nor money and also do not put themselves at risk of losing their residency status.


OUR TIMELINE

I am the USC, husband is adjusting from B2.

ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS

08.06.2010 - Sent off I-485
08.25.2010 - NOA hard copies received (x4), case status available online: 765, 131, 130.
10.15.2010 - RFE received: need 2 additional photos for AP.
10.18.2010 - RFE response sent certified mail
10.21.2010 - Service request placed for biometrics
10.25.2010 - RFE received per USCIS
10.26.2010 - Text/email received - AP approved!
10.28.2010 - Biometrics appointment received, dated 10/22 - set for 11/19 @ 3:00 PM
11.01.2010 - Successful biometrics walk-in @ 9:45 AM; EAD card sent for production text/email @ 2:47 PM! I-485 case status now available online.
11.04.2010 - Text/Email (2nd) - EAD card sent for production
11.08.2010 - Text/Email (3rd) - EAD approved
11.10.2010 - EAD received
12.11.2010 - Interview letter received - 01.13.11
01.13.2011 - Interview - no decision on the spot
01.24.2011 - Approved! Card production ordered!

REMOVAL OF CONDITIONS

11.02.2012 - Mailed I-751 packet to VSC
11.08.2012 - Checks cashed
11.10.2012 - NOA1 received, dated 11.06.2012
11.17.2012 - Biometrics letter received for 12.05.2012
11.23.2012 - Successful early biometrics walk-in

05.03.2013 - Approved! Card production ordered!

CITIZENSHIP

Filing in November 2013

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Yeah we are leaving the day after our wedding. Flight ticket already booked. Plus we would rather be "stuck" overseas then in the US.. funny enough.

so is what you're talking about the K3 visa? I have to get that to come in to the states later when I want, then once I'm in the states do I need to apply for a AOS?

Or am I straight up applying for a green card overseas in the philippines?

And if I apply for that CR-1 do I have to stay in the philippines while its being processed? or just as long as I'm out of the US?

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Don't look at the K-3 at all - it is virtually a non-existent visa process, even though it technically is still available. The CR-1/IR-1 is what you want to be looking at.

When you are living abroad, you are free to come to the US under tourist status for short visits. There's always the small chance of you being denied entry on a tourist visa since you are married to a US citizen and could be seen as a person intending to immigrate by using a non-immigrate visa for entry, but if you are really living abroad on the long term, it should be pretty easy for you to bring proof with you of an apartment/house abroad, bank accounts abroad, job abroad, etc. and that combined with the fact that your wife will also be living abroad with you, I'd say your chances of being denied entry on a tourist visa would be slim to none.

Then, when you are getting closer to actually wanting to permanently re-locate to the US, about 9 months or so before you want to come here you will file the I-130. You'll eventually have an interview in a US embassy/consulate abroad where you are living, and once the CR-1 visa is issued you will use that to enter the US, and upon entry you'll immediately become a permanent resident. There is no AOS, which also makes the CR-1 process much cheaper than K-1 or AOS. The CR-1 currently takes about 9 months from start to finish, so remember to file early enough before you guys want to move back to the US. You will have to stay abroad while the CR-1 is being processed, though technically you can visit as a tourist while it is pending.

Edited by Little_My

Adjustment of Status from F-1 to Legal Permanent Resident

02/11/2011 Married at Manhattan City Hall

03/03/2011 - Day 0 - AOS -package mailed to Chicago Lockbox

03/04/2011 - Day 1 - AOS -package signed for at USCIS

03/09/2011 - Day 6 - E-mail notification received for all petitions

03/10/2011 - Day 7 - Checks cashed

03/11/2011 - Day 8 - NOA 1 received for all 4 forms

03/21/2011 - Day 18 - Biometrics letter received, biometrics scheduled for 04/14/2011

03/31/2011 - Day 28 - Successful walk-in biometrics done

05/12/2011 - Day 70 - EAD Arrived, issued on 05/02

06/14/2011 - Day 103 - E-mail notice: Interview letter mailed, interview scheduled for July 20th

07/20/2011 - Day 139 - Interview at Federal Plaza USCIS location

07/22/2011 - Day 141 - E-mail approval notice received (Card production)

07/27/2011 - Day 146 - 2nd Card Production Email received

07/28/2011 - Day 147 - Post-Decision Activity Email from USCIS

08/04/2011 - Day 154 - Husband returns home from abroad; Welcome Letter and GC have arrived in the mail

("Resident since" date on the GC is 07/20/2011

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So is there any reason why I wouldn't start the CR-1 the day I move to the Philippines? Do you know what I mean? Then it could be ready by the time we want to come back if we do? If we can visit even while it's pending, then there is really no consequence to starting it early? Once the CR-1 is approved is there a time limit of how quick we have to come to the states? And could we come to the states, pick up my green card, and if we want to move overseas again would I still have my green card?

I know if you're away for long enough that you lose it don't you?

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Once the CR-1 visa has been issued by the US embassy abroad, the foreign spouse has to enter the US within 6 months of that issue date, after that the visa becomes invalid. Also, when you have the CR-1 pending, visiting under a tourist visa becomes much more challenging as it is clear at that point that there is intent to immigrate. Some people are able to come to the US as tourists with a pending CR-1, but many are turned back.

Greencard is a residence permit, meant for foreigners who plan to permanently reside in the United States. There is no point in applying for a GC for you if you are only planning to "come to the states, pick up the greencard, and move overseas" - why would you need a residence permit in the US if you plan to live overseas anyways? As a spouse of a US citizen, you are eligible for a GC at any time. There is no reason to possibly waste a lot of time and money in the application process, then come to the US to get the GC, and risk losing it as a result of you not actually residing here after being issued the card. Why not just wait until you two are really ready to come back to live here?

You can read about the maintenance of status requirements on USCIS website, but technically a greencard holder can be abroad for up to a year without losing the card. If the absence is for more than a year, he/she has to apply for a re-entry permit before leaving to maintain the greencard. Long absences can either halt or even re-set your citizenship clock, and if a CBP officer feels you've abandoned your residence because of a long absence (even if it is for less than a year), they are allowed to send you to an immigration judge for the judge to decide whether or not you get to keep your residency.

Edited by Little_My

Adjustment of Status from F-1 to Legal Permanent Resident

02/11/2011 Married at Manhattan City Hall

03/03/2011 - Day 0 - AOS -package mailed to Chicago Lockbox

03/04/2011 - Day 1 - AOS -package signed for at USCIS

03/09/2011 - Day 6 - E-mail notification received for all petitions

03/10/2011 - Day 7 - Checks cashed

03/11/2011 - Day 8 - NOA 1 received for all 4 forms

03/21/2011 - Day 18 - Biometrics letter received, biometrics scheduled for 04/14/2011

03/31/2011 - Day 28 - Successful walk-in biometrics done

05/12/2011 - Day 70 - EAD Arrived, issued on 05/02

06/14/2011 - Day 103 - E-mail notice: Interview letter mailed, interview scheduled for July 20th

07/20/2011 - Day 139 - Interview at Federal Plaza USCIS location

07/22/2011 - Day 141 - E-mail approval notice received (Card production)

07/27/2011 - Day 146 - 2nd Card Production Email received

07/28/2011 - Day 147 - Post-Decision Activity Email from USCIS

08/04/2011 - Day 154 - Husband returns home from abroad; Welcome Letter and GC have arrived in the mail

("Resident since" date on the GC is 07/20/2011

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Philippines has a USCIS office there, so your wife can file the I-130 directly with that office once she has been living there for 6 months (to establish residency). That process is called Direct Consular Filing (DCF). The process to get a spousal visa that way is very quick (weeks not months). I'd look into the requirements and see what exactly it will take to qualify. Then when you are ready to move back here you can file with the international USCIS office in Manila. It should be very quick and smooth for you.

http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=73b714836a14d010VgnVCM10000048f3d6a1RCRD&vgnextchannel=1ac900c262197210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD

Edited by Harpa Timsah

AOS for my husband
8/17/10: INTERVIEW DAY (day 123) APPROVED!!

ROC:
5/23/12: Sent out package
2/06/13: APPROVED!

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I would prepare the I-130 to be sent the day of or after your wedding (if you can get enough evidence together). Depending on your marriage circumstances, you may be able to get the certificate the same day if you do the marriage at the courthouse or personally deliver the completed license.

Put your addresses as the ones you will be staying in the Philippines; include a small explanation. Specify the post where you will be applying for the visa (maybe Manila).

Once the I-130 is approved (maybe 3-5 months), the petition (a prerequisite for the issuance of an immigrant visa in this case) is valid for as long as both of you are married. The consulate will eventually be notified to schedule the submission of an immigrant visa application. Keeping in mind that an issued visa is valid for 6 months, contact the consulate when you're ready to proceed, with an approximate 3-4 month lead time for the actual issuance of the visa. You can talk to the actual post for more details, but I would submit the I-130 ASAP if you *ever* intend to immigrate. It is perpetually valid for all future spouse visas. The approval of the I-130 is roughly half of the process--and thus roughly half of the time.

This way, you also don't have to worry about the residency requirement that DCF stipulates.

Edited by CC90

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