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saicho

Fallen in love with an Algerian man

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Hi everyone,

I met an Algerian man online in January. We met on a dating site called Muslims and we started out at friends but, in June he told me that he loves me and I felt the same. (L):dancing: He is 29 and I will be 28 next month. Well he knows about my situation, I'm divorced and of course, not a virgin. He told me that it doesn't bother him at all by knowing this. He said he has never had a girlfriend or ever been in a romantic relationship. Me on the other hand, only had my one serious relationship and that of course was with my ex. My problem is that I don't know how to break this to my parents and to get them to agree on letting me marry him. What should I do? We love each other. I miss him so much and I miss him more each day. :cry:

I am also concerned about the trip to Algeria. He lives in a town called Tebessa. If I were to fly there, I have to take a flight to Algiers and another to his town. I don't care how long the journey is, I will do whatever to see my honey. I just don't know how I will go and how we can make it happen. I'm afraid to go alone and I don't think anyone will go with me.

Also, can we get married in Algeria? We are both Muslim, so can we do it without parents' permission? Do I need to show my divorce papers? If anyone can help, I would greatly appreciate it.

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Asalaam alaikum,

So first things first - I will caution you to relationships started over the internet. This may be hard for you to hear since you are in the first blush of the relationship. The embassy and consulate are going to be closely looking at your relationship because Algeria is a HIGH visa fraud country as is Morocco - where my husband and I met and currently live.

The man you are currently interested in should do all the work if he is so interested in getting married to you. He should be asking local court officials what paperwork you would need etc They should give him a list and an idea of how much he will have to pay the local judge for the marriage contract.

I would personal suggest drawing up your conditions for marriage with a lawyer in the US and then get a lawyer in Algeria to legalize and submit everything with your marriage contract to the court you get married through - so items such as custody of future children, a clause about parental abduction is included and your freedom of movement in and outside the country is covered (all just in case better safe than sorry parts of the conditions) I wouldnt suggest it unless I personally had a friend who went through such a thing with an ex husband who is Algerian.

I can tell you what paperwork I needed to get married in Morocco - and you will need to get these documents translated into Arabic for the courts and judges.

Birth Certificate

Passport

FBI Background Check

State Background Check

Paperwork from the US Consulate in Casablanca - you in Algiers - stating you are free to marry

Medical Report - stating I am AIDS/HIV Free

Some judges will also want a pregnancy test done.

Legal background check done by the Ministry of Justice in Rabat, Morocco

*Note if any paperwork doesn't have an official seal - it should come with a paper stating why its not embossed with the seal

You need to seriously consider making several trips to Algeria before marriage to make sure this person's intentions are pure and get to know his family, friends, neighbors etc. Especially if your planning on doing a IR/CR1 visa for your future husband in order to establish this is a REAL relationship and have enough history that it does NOT look like a visa fraud case.

InshaAllah everything will work out. Pray Isthkhara before every action moving forward with this man.

Wa Alaikum Salaam

Ally & Omar


Timeline to Immigrate to the United States of America -

Travel back to our Moroccan Home from Casa: 10/17/2014

Husband submits for vacation from Protection Civile: 10/28/2015

Husband submits for demission from Protection Civile :11/10/2014

I travel personally to the Main Office of the Protection Civile in Rabat and submit a Dolence: 12/09/2014

I travel back to the USA in preparation of the birth of our baby - 12/18/2014

Husband travels back to Rabat to the main office of the Protection Civile and meets with "Head of Human resources" and told to resubmit his vacation request - told his request will be approved by 1/15/ 2015: 1/07/2015

Husband asks commander to call main office of Protection Civile to check the status of the new vacation request and is told no one but the general can approve his request and he is on vacation: 1/28/2015

Husband stops going to work for the Protection Civile in protest: 1/29/2015

We hire a lawyer in Casablanca to help my husbands case with regards to the Protection Civile : 02/2015

Lawyer sends letter to the Main office of the Protection Civile - 02/04/2015

Our daughter is born with my husband still stuck in Morocco - 2/09/2015

Direction (Main Office) of the Protection Civile Sends out Alert Letter to my husband and my husband picks it up on- 02/13/2015

Husband goes to US Consulate to request an extension of his visa - US Consulate says they won't extend his visa however they can issue him a new one at the cost of 3000DH/ $311 -/+ and to come back the last week of the month to get his second visa- 3/08/2015

Husband returns to the US Consulate and picks up *NEW VISA* with expiration date of 09/22/2015 on: 03/26/2015

Husband's first visa expires: 04/08/2015

Protection Civile continues to pay my husband - 04/2015

The lawyer sends letters to the Ministry of the Interior - 04//2015

My husband seeks help from the Prime Minister of Morocco's political party and called the lawyer to set an appointment to check on his case: 05/6/2015

My husband seeks help from a second lawyer when the first one proves unhelpful: 05/07/2015

My husband goes to Parliment to follow up with the Prime Minister's party - set a follow up appointment at a cafe the next day: 05/08/2015

I send a letter to the Moroccan Ambassador to the United States asking for help with my husband's case (registered mail): 05/26/2015

I go to Sen. Diane Feinstein's office seeking help with my husband's demission from the Protection Civile: 05/27/2015

I go to Sen. Barbara Boxer's office seeking help with my husband's demission from the Protection Civile: 05/28/2015

My husband returns to hometown in Morocco and returned his materials, the message awaiting him says "Demission Favorable.": 06/11/2015

Lots of running around to meetings and trying to get the authorization to leave Morocco by my husband: 07/2015

Husband goes to CMN airport trying to get paperwork authorizing him to leave Morocco and with the help of some powerful people GETS THE AUTHORIZATION: 07/23/2015 :dancing:

My husband leaves Morocco and arrives in the U.S.A. and meets his daughter for the first time at SFO airport: 07/27/2015

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So first things first - I will caution you to relationships started over the internet. This may be hard for you to hear since you are in the first blush of the relationship. The embassy and consulate are going to be closely looking at your relationship because Algeria is a HIGH visa fraud country as is Morocco - where my husband and I met and currently live.

Notwithstanding both Algeria and Morocco's reputation for being high fraud consulates (with Morocco pipping Algeria for the crown between those two), it's rather judgmental and condescending to "caution" someone about her beloved, especially couched in language that essentially infers that since you met your husband in person, that's somehow... better? There are more than a few solid couples who met on the internet and are still going strong, even in MENA.

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Even having been married almost six years if we ever decide to go to Iran he will provide me with a paper giving me permission to leave Iran. No getting me there and not letting me leave.

That said, to the OP you will need lots and lots of evidence of your relationship. I suggest when you go to visit you take lots of pictures with his family, neighbors, and friends. Keep all the receipts of things you do together. Make sure you have a way to keep chat logs/phone records to show a history of the relationship. Getting married at the first meeting could be a red flag but if you have a long history of a relationship you should be ok.

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Notwithstanding both Algeria and Morocco's reputation for being high fraud consulates (with Morocco pipping Algeria for the crown between those two), it's rather judgmental and condescending to "caution" someone about her beloved, especially couched in language that essentially infers that since you met your husband in person, that's somehow... better? There are more than a few solid couples who met on the internet and are still going strong, even in MENA.

The Maven, You can feel its judgemental and condescending all you want. The POINT I am making is that she need to not just having a chat based relationship - if said relationship is heading towards marriage - then she needs to A. Meet the Person face to face more than one time and then move on to evaluating if this is a real marriage prospect for her. As you don't know my personal history - let me clue you in - I have tried the online marriage websites - everything from Single Muslim, Half Our Deen to Muslima .com -- and its completely the same but different for Muslims than it is for non Muslims.

There is a cultural and religious subtext that you may or may not be aware of as someone who is married to an individual from the UK where the most popular baby name is Mohammed.

So I don't really care that you feel what I am saying is judgemental - I am being completely honest with her about A what she can do to make sure this guy is 100% on the up and up and B. What she needs to be prepared for when it comes to doing the IR/CR1 visa process in the North African region.

Its not as easy as the London Embassy/Consulate - its much longer and more difficult especially post 9/11 with Homeland Security absorbing USCIS and other branches use to be independent functioning parts of the immigration process.

Ally


Timeline to Immigrate to the United States of America -

Travel back to our Moroccan Home from Casa: 10/17/2014

Husband submits for vacation from Protection Civile: 10/28/2015

Husband submits for demission from Protection Civile :11/10/2014

I travel personally to the Main Office of the Protection Civile in Rabat and submit a Dolence: 12/09/2014

I travel back to the USA in preparation of the birth of our baby - 12/18/2014

Husband travels back to Rabat to the main office of the Protection Civile and meets with "Head of Human resources" and told to resubmit his vacation request - told his request will be approved by 1/15/ 2015: 1/07/2015

Husband asks commander to call main office of Protection Civile to check the status of the new vacation request and is told no one but the general can approve his request and he is on vacation: 1/28/2015

Husband stops going to work for the Protection Civile in protest: 1/29/2015

We hire a lawyer in Casablanca to help my husbands case with regards to the Protection Civile : 02/2015

Lawyer sends letter to the Main office of the Protection Civile - 02/04/2015

Our daughter is born with my husband still stuck in Morocco - 2/09/2015

Direction (Main Office) of the Protection Civile Sends out Alert Letter to my husband and my husband picks it up on- 02/13/2015

Husband goes to US Consulate to request an extension of his visa - US Consulate says they won't extend his visa however they can issue him a new one at the cost of 3000DH/ $311 -/+ and to come back the last week of the month to get his second visa- 3/08/2015

Husband returns to the US Consulate and picks up *NEW VISA* with expiration date of 09/22/2015 on: 03/26/2015

Husband's first visa expires: 04/08/2015

Protection Civile continues to pay my husband - 04/2015

The lawyer sends letters to the Ministry of the Interior - 04//2015

My husband seeks help from the Prime Minister of Morocco's political party and called the lawyer to set an appointment to check on his case: 05/6/2015

My husband seeks help from a second lawyer when the first one proves unhelpful: 05/07/2015

My husband goes to Parliment to follow up with the Prime Minister's party - set a follow up appointment at a cafe the next day: 05/08/2015

I send a letter to the Moroccan Ambassador to the United States asking for help with my husband's case (registered mail): 05/26/2015

I go to Sen. Diane Feinstein's office seeking help with my husband's demission from the Protection Civile: 05/27/2015

I go to Sen. Barbara Boxer's office seeking help with my husband's demission from the Protection Civile: 05/28/2015

My husband returns to hometown in Morocco and returned his materials, the message awaiting him says "Demission Favorable.": 06/11/2015

Lots of running around to meetings and trying to get the authorization to leave Morocco by my husband: 07/2015

Husband goes to CMN airport trying to get paperwork authorizing him to leave Morocco and with the help of some powerful people GETS THE AUTHORIZATION: 07/23/2015 :dancing:

My husband leaves Morocco and arrives in the U.S.A. and meets his daughter for the first time at SFO airport: 07/27/2015

event.png

bzBsm8.png

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The most popular baby name in the UK is OLIVER. Mohammed is like not even top 20.

One of the longest, most heart breaking separations I've seen on VJ came from the UK. Also have seen a whole huge variation in how Muslim couples proceed with their relationships (self included!)on this website. No hard and fast rules there re. approval or relationship longevity anyways.


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The Maven, You can feel its judgemental and condescending all you want. The POINT I am making is that she need to not just having a chat based relationship - if said relationship is heading towards marriage - then she needs to A. Meet the Person face to face more than one time and then move on to evaluating if this is a real marriage prospect for her. As you don't know my personal history - let me clue you in - I have tried the online marriage websites - everything from Single Muslim, Half Our Deen to Muslima .com -- and its completely the same but different for Muslims than it is for non Muslims.

There is a cultural and religious subtext that you may or may not be aware of as someone who is married to an individual from the UK where the most popular baby name is Mohammed.

So I don't really care that you feel what I am saying is judgemental - I am being completely honest with her about A what she can do to make sure this guy is 100% on the up and up and B. What she needs to be prepared for when it comes to doing the IR/CR1 visa process in the North African region.

Its not as easy as the London Embassy/Consulate - its much longer and more difficult especially post 9/11 with Homeland Security absorbing USCIS and other branches use to be independent functioning parts of the immigration process.

Ally

I've been on here since 2007. I'm not a noob, and I probably have a better idea of the challenges those going through MENA consulates do than many. I don't condone getting married on the first visit, and cross-cultural relationships are even harder when you are both fluent in each other's language. Establishing a relationship with someone -- sharing a friendship, learning each other's likes and dislikes, sussing out each other's worldview -- takes time. In my opinion, rushing into marriage headlong is a bad idea. Few can tell from meeting once.

Just because I had (I am now divorced, thanks) a UK husband doesn't mean I am fully ignorant of the various hurdles faced in other consulates. Check your condescension.

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Thanks for the replies everyone. Well I am not rushing into marriage. I was just trying to get some idea on which is better: fiance visa or spouse visa? I have noticed from this site that many people are applying for the fiance one, especially for North African countries. Why is that so? Is it harder to get married there?

Anyway I will definitely be sure to document our relationship. I have many emails and chat logs to prove it. We have talked on the phone and video chatted alot so it's not just a chat based relation. But we are not in a rush to marry and taking our time.

I know people think long distance relationships don't work because you never get to see them much. But I think it is that distance that creates a strong bond. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder.

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Hi Saicho,

On the advice of a lawyer, my husband and I applied for a fiance visa. Our lawyer explained that it would allow us to be together sooner (even if maybe only by a few months). Of course it also meant a few more steps after he got to America, which I think ended up costing more. But we were together in America and married about 6 months after applying....so we breezed through the notoriously tough Casablanca. I know people who did the "marry first" then apply for a visa route, that have spent well over a year apart because of all the red tape. Or sometimes they spend years living in the other country. I think a lot of it comes down to how strong your "case" is as far as immigration is concerned. And trust me, they won't just take you word for it that you love each other <_<

To be honest, I think if you have never met in person, you will find some tough challenges in getting either visa. Regardless of how much you genuinely love each other (and I am sure you do) the consulate wants to see tangible, physical evidence that you have had a chance to develop a legitimate relationship. And unfortunately, all the skype chats in the world will probably not be proof enough for them. In fact our lawyer said skype/video chat evidence is not considered "strong" and is seen as weak evidence of a relationship. Phone calls are better, but "in-person" is the only concrete evidence. And again, we breezed through process with her help and advice so I think it was pretty good.

My husband and I met in Morocco while I was traveling, and from there we started a long distance correspondence. And I returned twice to Morocco to visit him before we even thought to apply for a visa. I was totally in love with him after out first meeting, but I'm glad we didn't do anything to rash. And because of that, we ended up unintentionally building a solid case that our relationship was real....because it was (L). And now we have been happily married for 3 years.

Although you will likely find success stories of all situations, if you want a solid visa "case" the more in-person interaction the better. And that doesn't lesson the truth about how you feel now, it just means you understand the USCIS system you are about to get totally sucked into. And I know its highly un-romantic to talk about "building a case" - but when you love someone from another country its kind of part of the deal.

As for going to Algeria - you are wise to be cautious. Travel in foreign country is always something to be prepared for, and traveling alone as a woman is different and can be scary of you don't speak the language etc. Isn't there a way he can meet you in Algiers, pick you up at the airport, and travel with you? Or maybe you both just stay in Algiers on your first visit? Even though I had been traveling solo in Morocco when we met, my husband traveled 12 hours by bus and taxi to pick me up the airport on my second, and all other visits. I think you want to feel like he is investing as much as you to make it happen. You make that international trip, and the moment you touchdown in his country its his turn to take care of you. But if thats not an option, I suppose you just take that leap of faith and make the full trip alone because he's worth it!

Either way, I think although you are in love, you have to understand the nature of the immigration beast, and the more you know, the better your chances of avoiding an even longer and lonelier, frustrating separation. Cheers! :)

Edited by SaharaSunset

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Hi thanks for the reply. I was thinking it's best to go for the k1 fiance visa. I heard the Algiers consulate is strict and tough. I don't think I could go through the rough process of the spouse visa. Do you suggest we get a lawyer? Of course I won't be starting the process without meeting him face to face first.

Also how do I keep records of our Skype chats and phone conversations? And how do you present that to the interviewer?

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So I thought a lawyer was awesome for the K-1. I didn't have a clue where to start and she did it all. We have done the rest of steps and applications on our own and been fine, and sometimes I think we could have done the K-1 okay on our own. But I also think the other applications have been doable because we had a model application to look at. It was a couple thousand for the lawyer, but worth it for us. A good lawyer will know what the consulates want and how to make the process smooth. But they are pricey.

As for skype records, I think its tricky, and that's why our lawyer actually didn't use our skype stuff. She said that the nature of skype is not very concrete, meaning, you could be anyone and it just doesn't prove much. Whereas phone records are tied to real people with accounts and names etc. We also texted multiple times a day, everyday, and we printed all those records off through my account. He would call me and my cell phone records showed those calls...I can't remember exactly how we got those records, but I think it was just online in my account history. I also had an international phone card that also showed the records of the time and date of every time I called him. She also had us submit emails, but not every email, just a monthly sampling that showed our ongoing contact.

There was other stuff, affidavits, letters telling our story etc. But her big focus was our in-person meeting evidence: Plane ticket info, receipts from stores & restaurants, train tickets etc. So when you do make that first visit - keep ALL that stuff. And take lots of pictures of you in "landmark" kinds of places that show you together in noticeable locations....not just selfies of you close up, that kind of thing. And don't forget you have to have proof of a solid income to be his "sponsor." I'm a teacher so I was just barely okay, but you have to make above a certain amount or you'll also need to find somene else to "sponsor" him when he comes to the US. And you'll compile all this stuff into your application along with a million other forms and things required on his end. Its kind of overwhelming.

Sorry I'm getting ahead of myself and telling you more than you asked. But I just hate the immigration process !! :angry: You just want to be together and you have to jump through all these hoops and pay all this money and wait and wait and wait. However, in the end - so worth it to be together! :wub:

Edited by SaharaSunset

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Thanks so much! You are very helpful. Do they ask about your parents or even get your parents involved in the immigration process? Sorry so many questions just going through my head now. :(

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Thanks so much! You are very helpful. Do they ask about your parents or even get your parents involved in the immigration process? Sorry so many questions just going through my head now. :(

In the consulate interview, they asked my husband what my parents names are, and what they do for a living. But nothing more. My father offered an affidavit regarding our relationship since he happened to be able to go to Morocco and meet my husband on one of my visits pre-application. But that was the only way my parents were involved. And there was nothing about his parents, and no involvement on their part. Algeria may be different than Morocco though.

And don't worry about questions. I remember not even knowing you needed a marriage visa and once we started talking marriage and where we would live, I was just thinking that he'd come as a visitor to America and we'd get married and live happily ever after. It was my parents who suggested I talk to a lawyer to make sure we did it right. My first meeting with her was free and she kinda laid out the whole thing - and I realized what a big deal it was to get a visa in the first place. Its crazy and questions are good :)

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If you choose to go to Algeria to meet him face to face, be aware that you need a visa to enter Algeria. I sent in my application August 22 and I haven't heard anything from them yet. :(



04/08/2013 Met online
10/16/2014 Met in person
05/04/2015 Mailed I-129f packet
05/07/2015 NOA 1
06/11/2015 NOA 2
07/14/2015 At Embassy
09/09/2015 Interview (on AP waiting to complete Medical)
09/16/2015 Medical
09/17/2015 Completed Medical and returned sealed envelope to Embassy
09/20/2015 CEAC status updated to READY
10/08/2015 "TOUCHED"
10/13/2015 Updated to Non-Immigrant READY
10/13/2015 Updated to Non-Immigrant AP
10/14/2015 ISSUED!
10/29/2015 VISA IN HAND

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