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Non-immigrant (visitor) visa to get married in the US

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If a US citizen is engaged to a non-US citizen, is there a way to get the non-US citizen to the US to get married? As I understand, there are two options:

- Fiancé visa, which takes a very long time;

- Non-immigrant visa, which is processed in a few weeks.

If the non-US citizen can demonstrate that he intends to come to the US, get married, then return to his country of origin

and apply for an immigrant visa, will the non-immigrant visa be granted?

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You can enter the US on a visitor visa, get married, and then leave. That's perfectly legal. You will need to show strong ties to your country though, ie copies of bills, proof of a job etc.

Though knowing you have a USC fiance may hinder your approval of getting a visitor visa.


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What is the foreign country that the person will be trying to come for a visit from?

Some are a DEFINITE no. Some are an iffy chance. Some are a most likely chance.

Give us more info.


HUSBAND'S CASE

9/17/2011 - sent I-13

09/19/2011 - noa1 received

3/16/2012 - case sent to my local USCIS office for additional processing

4/21/2012 - AP. If we haven't heard from them in SIX MONTHS (omg) we can feel free to call them!!! Thanks!

9/20/2012 - Interview scheduled - October 3!!!!

10/3/2012 - Interview went well but she must look at his A-file more before decision.

10/12/2012 - I-130 APPROVED! APPROVED! APPROVED!

KIDS' CASES

04/20/2012: NOA107/20/2012: instead of an approval, we got thrown into AP. sigh

11/01/2012: Boys' I-130 interview set for November 28, 2012.

11/28/2012: I-130s APPROVED! APPROVED! APPROVED!

NVC

12/14/2012: NVC Received

12/31/2012: Case number/IIN

12/31/2012: DS-3032 sent

01/08/2013: DS-3032 accepted

01/02/2013: AOS bill0

1/03/2013: AOS bill shows PAID

01/04/2013: AOS package sent

01/09/2013: IV bill

01/10/2013: IV bill shows PAID

01/11/2013: IV package sent

01/23/2013: Case complete

02/01/2013: Interview scheduled

US Embassy Lagos

02/22/2013: Embassy received

03/01/2013: Medical

03/20/2013: Interview - was told the boys would have been approved on the spot if they had pics! Errrr :-(

04/15/2013: DNA test

05/15/2013: Emailed embassy BEGGING them to let boys drop off passports for visa insertion. IT WORKED!!!

05/31/2013: Visa in hand

06/02/2013: POE JFK!!!!!!

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Well we need more information. Has the non-us citizen come before to the USA or even had a visa before?

Im going to give you my answer based on my personal experience with US visas (I held 4! 2 J1 visas for exchange, 1 B1/B2 for turism and 1 K1 as fiance when we decided to start our life together here) never got a denial. So my answer might not be perfect is just what I know :)

The thing is that a tourism visa is hard enough to get itself because you must show strong ties with your country that will assure to the consul that you will go back and not stay in the usa. If the non-us citizen and the us citizen want to live in the foreign country why get married in the usa? hmm maybe family I guess that want to go to the ceremony? That's hard to prove because no matter how strong your ties are by the moment you say I am getting married to a US citizen during my visit and then coming back the consul will think of denial, not a second thought about that. It's not hard to think of that because they think he/she is going to stay in the states with his/her spouse.

Also remember the fiancee visa is to come here get married and stay here in the states with your spouse once married, if that's not what you want that's definitively not the visa for you.

I'd say go for the tourism visa as long as after the wedding that person will return to his/her home country because if that person doesn't it will be considered fraud basically. like that person knew that would get married and stay with a b2 or b1/b2 visa. And no adjustment of status will be allowed. So if the non-us citizen goes for that, can't definitively say that is getting married because even at POE let's say the visa is granted, at POE could be denied to enter the country. So it would end up lying when asking for the visa and when entering the country, get married then leave.

I know it's really tricky but I wonder why travel to USA get married then go back home? will that person immigrate then on a spousal visa? if so, it'd be better then the k1. If not, why all the hassle and not just get married in the foreign country if you are planning in living abroad.

I am just playing with the possible scenarios, give us more information and you bet we can try our best to help! :)

Good luck on your journey!

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If a US citizen is engaged to a non-US citizen, is there a way to get the non-US citizen to the US to get married? As I understand, there are two options:

- Fiancé visa, which takes a very long time;

- Non-immigrant visa, which is processed in a few weeks.

If the non-US citizen can demonstrate that he intends to come to the US, get married, then return to his country of origin

and apply for an immigrant visa, will the non-immigrant visa be granted?

It does kind of depend on what country you are from, how hard the tourist visas are to get in general ... and whether the intending visitor discloses that he/she is engaged. My experience was that there is no chance! We tried. But that is only one person's experience at one embassy (Bulgaria supposedly only rejects ~11-14% of applicants, but we are now at 84% rejection rate, if you include my husband's kids. Yes we have thrown away a lot of money to that embassy)

In our case, we were trying to get my then-fiance back to the U.S. to meet my family, etc. He was denied a tourist visa (maybe because we were honest and said we were engaged). I ended up marrying him on that trip and bringing him in on a CR-1 visa.

If the intention is to return to the home country, there is nothing to stop a visitor from getting married while visiting. My then-fiance and I almost did this when we were visiting Hawaii (but the difference was that I *met* him while he was here on a tourist visa, he didn't come here planning to marry me).

As long as the visitor intends to go back and process the immigration from their home country, there is no problem to come in on a tourist visa and get married here. What do you have to lose by applying, beyond $160 and a few weeks waiting for an answer? If the intent is to circumvent the immigration process, then it is considered fraud. That might cause problems later when adjusting status. And I have heard of the occasional person being stopped at their Point of Entry and being sent home because somehow the officers decided it wasn't a "visitor" situation. Like a wedding dress in the suitcase maybe? Who knows.

[bTW - you might get more people seeing this topic if you post in one of the spouse forums - this one is for "other" family members, so most of us are here about parents, siblings, children...Back when I was immigrating my husband here, I remember the spouse forums being quite active.]


[i am the USC and the wife/stepmother]
The prelude - 2007
November 22 - Married in Bulgaria.
CR-1 - 2008
January 7 I-130 sent - APPROVED in 106 days.
Interview - APPROVED 175 days from NOA-1 date
ROC - 2010-2011
October 5 - I-751 sent APPROVED 111 days from NOA-1 date, no interview.
NATURALIZATION - 2012
APPROVED 79 days.
May 9 - Oath ceremony - in Oakland, CA.

*************Didn't have enough of the immigration process yet!! Starting again with 16-year-old (step)son****************
IR-2 - 2012-2013
---USCIS---
Nov 15 - I-130 sent. NOA-1 received from MSC.
Jan 22 - APPROVED 65 days from NOA-1. Never transferred to field office.
---NVC---
Feb 4 - received @ NVC
Feb 26 - Got NVC Case # and Invoice ID #
----------------------------------slowing down the process a little... stepson can't come till nearly July-----------------------------
March 19 - Sent e-mail Choice of Agent, without scan of DS-3032. Paid AOS fee ($88).
April 1 - Choice of Agent information accepted (10th "working day" to accept).
April 3 - IV invoice appeared. Paid IV fee ($230).
April 11 - Sent IV package and AOS package TOGETHER. Confirmed delivery April 15.

April 26 - Case Complete (10th working day)

May 14 - Interview date assigned (12th working day)

June 5 - Interview in Sofia - VISA GRANTED!!!

June 16 - POE @ SFO. No problems. He's a citizen now!

Oct 4 - US Passport received. (SS card received some time in the summer; had to go to SSA office to obtain)

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Thank you All for these helpful replies.

The non-US citizen is Syrian with current residency in Europe. He has not been to the US before but has been granted a non-immigrant (tourist) visa.

The two do not want to live in the foreign country. They want to live in the US. However, if a non-immigrant visa is not granted to the non-US citizen, then the only way to my knowledge to get them married would be for the US citizen to go to the non-US citizen’s country of residence and get married there before then applying for a fiancé visa.

It looks like the non-US citizen could opt for the non-immigrant visa or fiancé visa. How long would the latter take to process?

Why wouldn’t the change of status be permitted? As I understood, if a non-US citizen asks for a non-immigrant visa, comes to the US and gets married to a US citizen, his status can be changes to permanent resident. He will not be forced to the leave the US if he marries a US citizen.

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Thank you All for these helpful replies.

The non-US citizen is Syrian with current residency in Europe. He has not been to the US before but has been granted a non-immigrant (tourist) visa.

The two do not want to live in the foreign country. They want to live in the US. However, if a non-immigrant visa is not granted to the non-US citizen, then the only way to my knowledge to get them married would be for the US citizen to go to the non-US citizen’s country of residence and get married there before then applying for a fiancé visa.

Fiance visa is for a fiance - not a spouse. A fiance visa is for someone who intends to marry in the US.

It looks like the non-US citizen could opt for the non-immigrant visa or fiancé visa. How long would the latter take to process?

The average (according to the VJ stats) is about 240 days over the past year and a half, but it's been trending closer to 300 days lately, probably because of deferred status applications. A lot also depends on the efficiency of the consulate in the beneficiary's country of residence, how fast the beneficiary is at submitting the required documents to get the interview scheduled. Any RFE's received along the way can also slow things down.

Why wouldn’t the change of status be permitted? As I understood, if a non-US citizen asks for a non-immigrant visa, comes to the US and gets married to a US citizen, his status can be changes to permanent resident. He will not be forced to the leave the US if he marries a US citizen.

It's illegal to enter the US with the intention of doing this. It's called "preconceived intent". The B2 visitors visa does not permit the foreigner to have the intent to become an immigrant at the time they enter the US. That's called "immigrant intent". The B2 doesn't allow it. The K1 does. The foreigner won't be denied adjustment of status solely for that purpose, but it is negative factor that can be held against them. If they have enough negative factors to outweigh the positive factors then they could be denied.

The ability for the spouse of a US citizen to adjust status in the United States was intended for situations where the circumstances changed after the foreigner arrived in the US, and it would be needlessly bureaucratic to send them back to their home country to apply for a spousal visa. It wasn't meant as an easy alternative to the consular visa process.

It's the job of the immigration officer at the port of entry to sniff out cases like this. If they suspect the foreigner intends to apply for a green card before leaving the US then they'll ask some very blunt questions. They may even pull the foreigner into a secondary inspection room for a lengthy Q&A session. They may even pull his luggage off the carousel and go through it for evidence that might contradict his answers. They have the discretion to deny him entry if they believe he intends to immigrate. They also have the discretion to allow him to enter, but any evidence they find of his intention to immigrate will be entered into his record. If he later applies for a green card then the IO is going to throw that evidence up into his face, and possibly conclude that he's guilty of material misrepresentation for lying about his intent when he entered the US. Not only would the AOS be denied, the foreigner would be summarily deported and banned from returning.

Anyway, it's against the terms of service of this site to recommend or assist anyone in any illegal activity, and using a B2 visa with the preconceived intent to immigrate is illegal.


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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... if a non-immigrant visa is not granted to the non-US citizen, then the only way to my knowledge to get them married would be for the US citizen to go to the non-US citizen's country of residence and get married there before then applying for a fiancé visa.

It looks like the non-US citizen could opt for the non-immigrant visa or fiancé visa.

Well, not exactly ... the nonimmigrant visa is only for a visit, the fiance visa (starting with form I-129F) is to come to the U.S. to get married and the CR-1 visa (starting with form I-130) is to bring a foreign spouse to the U.S. So there are TWO choices for getting married - the fiance visa has the immigrant come in unmarried, get married within 90 days, then adjust status (another fee required for that). The spouse visa has the immigrant go through all the steps in his or her home country, so they enter as a permanent resident, qualified to work immediately. Nothing else required until 2 years later when conditions on the permanent residence have to be removed (this applies to both routes).

Why wouldn't the change of status be permitted? As I understood, if a non-US citizen asks for a non-immigrant visa, comes to the US and gets married to a US citizen, his status can be changes to permanent resident. He will not be forced to the leave the US if he marries a US citizen.

What Jim said! They COULD lie about it and claim they met during the tourist visit and try to adjust status, but there is nobody here who will support going that route. We come to VJ because we have gone through the proper channels for legal immigration and are here to support each other with accurate information. (And to complain about how long everything takes!)


[i am the USC and the wife/stepmother]
The prelude - 2007
November 22 - Married in Bulgaria.
CR-1 - 2008
January 7 I-130 sent - APPROVED in 106 days.
Interview - APPROVED 175 days from NOA-1 date
ROC - 2010-2011
October 5 - I-751 sent APPROVED 111 days from NOA-1 date, no interview.
NATURALIZATION - 2012
APPROVED 79 days.
May 9 - Oath ceremony - in Oakland, CA.

*************Didn't have enough of the immigration process yet!! Starting again with 16-year-old (step)son****************
IR-2 - 2012-2013
---USCIS---
Nov 15 - I-130 sent. NOA-1 received from MSC.
Jan 22 - APPROVED 65 days from NOA-1. Never transferred to field office.
---NVC---
Feb 4 - received @ NVC
Feb 26 - Got NVC Case # and Invoice ID #
----------------------------------slowing down the process a little... stepson can't come till nearly July-----------------------------
March 19 - Sent e-mail Choice of Agent, without scan of DS-3032. Paid AOS fee ($88).
April 1 - Choice of Agent information accepted (10th "working day" to accept).
April 3 - IV invoice appeared. Paid IV fee ($230).
April 11 - Sent IV package and AOS package TOGETHER. Confirmed delivery April 15.

April 26 - Case Complete (10th working day)

May 14 - Interview date assigned (12th working day)

June 5 - Interview in Sofia - VISA GRANTED!!!

June 16 - POE @ SFO. No problems. He's a citizen now!

Oct 4 - US Passport received. (SS card received some time in the summer; had to go to SSA office to obtain)

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The chances of a Syrian getting a B2? Seriously.....

Plus of course AP.

Have they met?


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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They have met and have known each other for about a year.

Also, this is not the case of a Syrian living in Syria applying for a visitor visa; it is the case of a Syrian living in a prosperious country and who has roots in that country applying for a visitor visa. As I understand, the fact that he is Syrian should not impact the visa application (it would be different if he were living in Syria).

If the non-US citizen applied for a visitor visa and was denied and then two months later, applies for a fiancé visa, will the former refusal count against his ability to get the fiancé visa?

What if the US citizen came to the non-US citizen's country of residence and got married there. Will the former denial impact the ability to get a spousal immigrant visa?

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They have met and have known each other for about a year.

Also, this is not the case of a Syrian living in Syria applying for a visitor visa; it is the case of a Syrian living in a prosperious country and who has roots in that country applying for a visitor visa. As I understand, the fact that he is Syrian should not impact the visa application (it would be different if he were living in Syria).

If the non-US citizen applied for a visitor visa and was denied and then two months later, applies for a fiancé visa, will the former refusal count against his ability to get the fiancé visa?

What if the US citizen came to the non-US citizen's country of residence and got married there. Will the former denial impact the ability to get a spousal immigrant visa?

Right, as Asia said, being denied a tourist visa will not affect the outcome of other petitions. My husband was denied a tourist visa THREE times [single male, 30s, from a "poor" country = Hard to get a tourist visa] and we had no problem with his immigrant visa.

Side note: At least in Bulgaria, the officers conducting the immigrant vs. nonimmigrant visa interviews are completely separate. Non-immigrant visa officers won't even let you speak or look at any documents you have and imply that you are a lying scammer trying to circumvent immigration rules (sorry, that's my family's experience with them!). Immigrant visa officers smile and laugh and joke with you and want to see all of your photos. :)

Good luck to your friends - tell them to join and post here themselves. In the spouse forum! They will find lots of company there. Having that camaraderie was the single thing that kept me sane while waiting for my husband's visa.


[i am the USC and the wife/stepmother]
The prelude - 2007
November 22 - Married in Bulgaria.
CR-1 - 2008
January 7 I-130 sent - APPROVED in 106 days.
Interview - APPROVED 175 days from NOA-1 date
ROC - 2010-2011
October 5 - I-751 sent APPROVED 111 days from NOA-1 date, no interview.
NATURALIZATION - 2012
APPROVED 79 days.
May 9 - Oath ceremony - in Oakland, CA.

*************Didn't have enough of the immigration process yet!! Starting again with 16-year-old (step)son****************
IR-2 - 2012-2013
---USCIS---
Nov 15 - I-130 sent. NOA-1 received from MSC.
Jan 22 - APPROVED 65 days from NOA-1. Never transferred to field office.
---NVC---
Feb 4 - received @ NVC
Feb 26 - Got NVC Case # and Invoice ID #
----------------------------------slowing down the process a little... stepson can't come till nearly July-----------------------------
March 19 - Sent e-mail Choice of Agent, without scan of DS-3032. Paid AOS fee ($88).
April 1 - Choice of Agent information accepted (10th "working day" to accept).
April 3 - IV invoice appeared. Paid IV fee ($230).
April 11 - Sent IV package and AOS package TOGETHER. Confirmed delivery April 15.

April 26 - Case Complete (10th working day)

May 14 - Interview date assigned (12th working day)

June 5 - Interview in Sofia - VISA GRANTED!!!

June 16 - POE @ SFO. No problems. He's a citizen now!

Oct 4 - US Passport received. (SS card received some time in the summer; had to go to SSA office to obtain)

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The Syrian national only needs to prove he/she did not intend to marry when they arrived in the USA. If he/she then gets married while on the B-2, they can stay and not go home. In order to prove this, there are rules about how long they need to be here before getting married (I think its under 60 days = denial). Also should live in separate addresses and both have mutual friends. Its a risk but depending on the circumstance it may be worth taking.

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The Syrian national only needs to prove he/she did not intend to marry when they arrived in the USA. If he/she then gets married while on the B-2, they can stay and not go home. In order to prove this, there are rules about how long they need to be here before getting married (I think its under 60 days = denial). Also should live in separate addresses and both have mutual friends. Its a risk but depending on the circumstance it may be worth taking.

Nope


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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But if he applies for a fiancé visa, won't the immigrant visa officer say:

"You just applied for a non-immigrant visa last month. Now you are applying for a fiancé visa. This further proves that you just wanted to go to the US on a visitor visa to get married and circumvent the immigration process. You were trying to defraud the system. Therefore, we will not grant you the fiancé visa."

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