Jump to content
AlohaMahalo

Japan origin, on F-1 visa currently, want to get married. Please help. (Newbie)

34 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

Hey everyone. This is my first time on the forums. I would sincerely appreciate any knowledge that you all have on the subject.



So my girlfriend of approx. 3 years is from Japan. She has been on an F-1 visa, or student visa, in the state of Hawaii for the past 3 years. She completed her education after 2 years and has spent the last year working for a travel agency on an internship.



Her visa will expire June 30th, 2015. She has never mentioned a grace period to me...but has said that after her visa ends, she could have a "sight-seeing visa" which would be for 2 months, and then after that she will be forced to go back to Japan.



Of course, we want to get married...but I have yet to propose. I am certainly expecting that she will say yes...and so I am trying to do research so I know what were getting into without ruining the surprise. Also - there are financial concerns...meaning I can't afford a wedding/ring at the moment despite my intentions.



With all this being said - I'm asking for your advice on which visa and route to go?



My Goal - To be able to keep her here in Hawaii with me at all costs. I don't want her to go back to Japan even for 6-8 months like I've read that the process takes...is this possible?



The 2 options that I THINK we have:



1 - Fiance visa - So I propose, but we have her file for a K-1 visa and we don't rush the marriage planning, etc...I understand that these visas last for 1 year? This would give us 1 year to prepare for the wedding, etc...but then I'm worried we will be going through all of this process all over again!? She'll need to get a NEW visa AFTER the K-1 expires...and potentially STILL have to be sent back to Japan, right? Again...I want to avoid this if possible.



2 - Immigrant visa - So I propose...and instead of gettin engaged and going through all the lengthy process (only to possibly go through another lengthy process?) we go get married immediately. Now as I said - I don't have the finances to give her the wedding/ring she deserves yet...so this would mean we would be getting married at the courthouse??? I know people usually sign all those papers the DAY OF the wedding...but couldn't we go through the LEGAL process of marriage and just hold off on the ceremony, etc.?



All of this is pretty intimidating to me...and there are so many forms and stuff. I would appreciate any advice you guys can give.



Aloha, and Mahalo.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If she is currently in the USA you can get married and adjust her status. This way she doesn't have to leave at all. Even if it's not the wedding of her dreams, you can plan another ceremony for a later date where family and friends can be there Etc...


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The at all costs way is to go to the courthouse and get married. She can then adjust her status and you can plan a ceremony later for friends or family. The K-1 would require her to go home as that is a visa that allows someone into the country for 90 days to get married.

If her staying here is more important than anything, go have a courthouse wedding.

Once you decide which is best for you, come back on here and there are many people who will help you through everything.

There are other options, but nothing really worth mentioning here for you.

Edited by Shauneg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OMG I've been under the impression you could get a K-1 for 1 year...

Thank you for clarifying that.

So...if we did the courthouse marriage, can you guys elaborate on "change her status?" I'm not sure what that means. Is it a lengthy process?

And then the even more important question - what comes after? Is there more to it than that? e.g. Green card, etc.? This is definitely not our priority, but when we have children that is obviously going to be essential at that point.

Again, appreciate all that you guys can offer. Aloha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She would get a green card and have legal status in the USA.

Follow this guide: http://www.visajourney.com/content/i130guide2


A k1 visa takes from 4-12 months to obtain and she would HAVE to do a medical and interview in Japan. You then have 90 days to get married.


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OMG I've been under the impression you could get a K-1 for 1 year...

Thank you for clarifying that.

So...if we did the courthouse marriage, can you guys elaborate on "change her status?" I'm not sure what that means. Is it a lengthy process?

And then the even more important question - what comes after? Is there more to it than that? e.g. Green card, etc.? This is definitely not our priority, but when we have children that is obviously going to be essential at that point.

Again, appreciate all that you guys can offer. Aloha

The adjusting of status after a courthouse marriage will enable here to legally live here. The adjust of status gives her a green card and can get a work permit if she applies for that also.. The process is typically 3-4 months after filing...which obviously must be done after marriage. This is your at all costs option. Any other way and she would have to return home.

If you two got married in the next week it's concievable that she could have her SSN, Green card and work permit by mid to late July.....

Edited by Shauneg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What!? I don't understand...i thought a green card takes YEARS to get? Even with marriage?

The green card isn't really the concern though...I mean doesn't that only matter if her and I were to (god forbid) divorce one day?

She currently has a SSN from my understanding...because she has been working this internship for a year. I believe it was a temporary one though?

The work permit and SSN are important though, because I'll be taking the financial burdens of all of this...and it would be great for her to be able to get back to work ASAP.

Thanks Shauneg!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What!? I don't understand...i thought a green card takes YEARS to get? Even with marriage?

The green card isn't really the concern though...I mean doesn't that only matter if her and I were to (god forbid) divorce one day?

She currently has a SSN from my understanding...because she has been working this internship for a year. I believe it was a temporary one though?

The work permit and SSN are important though, because I'll be taking the financial burdens of all of this...and it would be great for her to be able to get back to work ASAP.

Thanks Shauneg!

Nope not is you do it as described it doesn't take years. The green card is her proof of legal residence so she would need and get it after you marry and adjust. The SSN may be "temporary" because she's on a work visa, but if she stays and you marry she'll get a permanent card with the sane number. You are really at an advantage here as far as processing times in your current situation.

Edited by Shauneg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What!? I don't understand...i thought a green card takes YEARS to get? Even with marriage?

The green card isn't really the concern though...I mean doesn't that only matter if her and I were to (god forbid) divorce one day?

She currently has a SSN from my understanding...because she has been working this internship for a year. I believe it was a temporary one though?

The work permit and SSN are important though, because I'll be taking the financial burdens of all of this...and it would be great for her to be able to get back to work ASAP.

Thanks Shauneg!

No, a green card does not take years. Even through consular processing (CR1/IR1) it takes about a year total. A K1 visa takes 4-10 months, then you have 90 days to marry, then you adjust your status which takes 6 months to a year (sometimes more or less...) A green card gives her legal permanent resident status. It is what allows her to be legally in the country without another type of visa (like her F1.) If you want to stay together, she needs a green card or another type of visa. She can adjust her status if you are married from F1 to LPR. A green card will be conditional to start, and then you remove the conditions after 2 years.

The only thing that affects you if you two divorce is the I-864. The requirements end if she works 40 works quarters (about 10 years of full time work), leaves the country permanently (gives up her green card), dies, or becomes a citizen. She can become a citizen after being an LPR and married to her petitioner after 3 years, or on her own after being an LPR after 5 years.

She may have an SSN right now but she would need work authorization to work which takes about 90 days to get after applying for the AOS. An SSN is never temporary. You only get one.


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Assuming you do the court house thing, here is what you need to be prepared to do afterwards.....

http://www.visajourney.com/content/i130guide2

It will apply to your case. Like I said before tons of people on here have done and are doing just the same as you and are willing to help...just be sure to fill in your timeline as you go so that people with the most experience can help where they can.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Get married, she can adjust, but you mentioned not having finances for a ring - that is no problem in itself, but if you apply for a green card, you will have to prove you can support her at 125% of poverty level. And the application itself is over $1000. Just something to keep in mind. Cheaper than K-1 though ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

She does not have to leave, since she came here on a (I think) student visa, get married, and file the I-485, which is the AOS Adjustment of Status.

It takes about 60 days to get her EAD/AP card, which is work permit, and travel permit. But I would wait until her 2 year Green Card comes after about 5 months, then 90 days before her 2 year green card expires, you file for ROC, Removal of Conditions.

But, first things first, marry and file the I-485.,.,.then come back here and we can chat some more!

You are one "lucky dude" not to have to go through that K-1 visa fiasco.,.,.,.,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Moved from What Visa Do I Need - Family Based Immigration forum to Adjustment of Status from Work, Student, & Tourist Visas forum.


Our journey:

Spoiler

September 2007: Met online via social networking site (MySpace); began exchanging messages.
March 26, 2009: We become a couple!
September 10, 2009: Arrived for first meeting in-person!
June 17, 2010: Arrived for second in-person meeting and start of travel together to other areas of China!
June 21, 2010: Engaged!!!
September 1, 2010: Switched course from K1 to CR-1
December 8, 2010: Wedding date set; it will be on February 18, 2011!
February 9, 2011: Depart for China
February 11, 2011: Registered for marriage in Wuhan, officially married!!!
February 18, 2011: Wedding ceremony in Shiyan!!!
April 22, 2011: Mailed I-130 to Chicago
April 28, 2011: Received NOA1 via text/email, file routed to CSC (priority date April 25th)
April 29, 2011: Updated
May 3, 2011: Received NOA1 hardcopy in mail
July 26, 2011: Received NOA2 via text/email!!!
July 30, 2011: Received NOA2 hardcopy in mail
August 8, 2011: NVC received file
September 1, 2011: NVC case number assigned
September 2, 2011: AOS invoice received, OPTIN email for EP sent
September 7, 2011: Paid AOS bill (payment portal showed PAID on September 9, 2011)
September 8, 2011: OPTIN email accepted, GZO number assigned
September 10, 2011: Emailed AOS package
September 12, 2011: IV bill invoiced
September 13, 2011: Paid IV bill (payment portal showed PAID on September 14, 2011)
September 14, 2011: Emailed IV package
October 3, 2011: Emailed checklist response (checklist generated due to typo on Form DS-230)
October 6, 2011: Case complete at NVC
November 10, 2011: Interview - APPROVED!!!
December 7, 2011: POE - Sea-Tac Airport

September 17, 2013: Mailed I-751 to CSC

September 23, 2013: Received NOA1 in mail (receipt date September 19th)

October 16, 2013: Biometrics Appointment

January 28, 2014: Production of new Green Card ordered

February 3, 2014: New Green Card received; done with USCIS until fall of 2023*

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey guys.

So we went to talk to a lawyer the other day. He was trying to charge us $3,000 to do our green card application and $1,500 for fees that we will pay I guess (doesn't everyone have to pay the $1,500?

He made it sound like it was a very complicated process. He was showing us massive folders containing a ton of documents that he builds for people. He said we could make one simple mistake and the process could be pushed back 6 months. Is he trying to rip us off?

Can we do it all ourselves comfortably? Should we worry? You guys all made it sound rather easy the last time I was here.

To be clear - we haven't gotten married yet. We want to know how this process is all going to play out before we do that. From what I understand though...we get married at the courthouse, (fairly simple process?), then she fills out a I-485 (adjustment of status) ....

So at what point do I fill out a I-130? What point do we put together a green card application? What does it need to consist of in order to avoid any problems?

--------------------------------------

I am possibly going to take an internship this summer that would require me to move to Chicago (across the pacific ocean and then some) ....I'm worried about the process not being done before I leave (mid June)....and isn't there an interview I need to be there for? I'm worried there will be a requirement for me to be IN HAWAII during this time that I'm gone....

Any help would be greatly appreciated. This is all very stressful on us. The only people we've gone to for help want to take all our money. Also the lawyer said I will need to provide my taxes history. I didn't file for 2014 yet. Is this going to be a problem? Will I need all this documents IMMEDIATELY? Or can this all wait for the interview?

Aloha

Edited by AlohaMahalo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Ask our VJ Immigration Lawyers.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
- Back to Top -


Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.
×