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6 months/year vs /visit: conflicting legal advice

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I'm American and my fiancée is Brazilian. She visited me twice last year, and once so far this year, for 3 months. We got engaged a few weeks ago (yay!!!!) when I was visiting her in Brazil. We will file the I-129F next week to start the long process.

We know that she can visit while the documents sit in a box for 5 months waiting to be processed. She would like to spend these 5 months visiting me, on her 6-month-per-stay tourist visa, while we wait, and then she'll fly back to Brazil.

(She tried to get into Ph.D. programs here after finishing her master's degree, she didn't get in, and now she's waiting to reapply or to get a job much later after she gets a work permit; she plans to spend these 5 months in the US studying programming and data science on her own while I and her family back in Brazil support her financially).

This seems fine, but our lawyer said he'd be concerned that during her interview a grumpy official could cause her trouble because she was in the US for a total of 8 months in 2015. Is this really a problem? I talked to a separate, more expensive immigration lawyer on an initial phone consultation, and she said that as long as she didn't overstay the visa she would be fine.

So we have conflicting advice. Will she get in trouble if she's here more than 6 months per year on two different trips, with a valid visa?

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As long as she won't overstay the visa, I do not see why there would be any problems. The only questions that would be raised would be the CBP official at POE for her 5 month stay.. Visiting fiancee may be a little flag for some harrassment.

Did the cheaper lawyer explain why it would cause an issue for the K-1? If anything, it proves a pretty bona-fide relationship!


Filed I-129F: 3 November 2014 (CSC)

NOA 1: 20 November 2014

NOA 2: 2 February 2015

Consulate Notification: 8 April 2015

Consular Interview: 19 May 2015
Medical: 20 May 2015
Administrative Processing: 20 May - ???

GLOBAL VISA SHUTDOWN: 9 June 2015
Advised approved for issuance: 24 June 2015
Requested re-validated I-129F (expired during shutdown): 24 June 2015
Advised I-129F revalidation received: 30 June 2015
Administrative Processing: 30 June 2015

Visa Issued: 13 JULY 2015
USA POE: 24 OCT 2015

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Thanks tayurshu,

The lawyer simply said that if we got unlucky at the interview phase, some nosy interviewer might notice the >6 month total time in the US and possibly flag for additional review or deny the application just to be petty. Also he said "While she can legally visit, her already being in the US when the application is being processed is something that will make them delay the process and investigate more carefully."

As long as she won't overstay the visa, I do not see why there would be any problems. The only questions that would be raised would be the CBP official at POE for her 5 month stay.. Visiting fiancee may be a little flag for some harrassment.

Did the cheaper lawyer explain why it would cause an issue for the K-1? If anything, it proves a pretty bona-fide relationship!

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Thanks tayurshu,

The lawyer simply said that if we got unlucky at the interview phase, some nosy interviewer might notice the >6 month total time in the US and possibly flag for additional review or deny the application just to be petty. Also he said "While she can legally visit, her already being in the US when the application is being processed is something that will make them delay the process and investigate more carefully."

Fair enough, and you're welcome!

I'm obviously not an immigration lawyer, nor have I been around this stuff for a long time. I just think that there'd be no reason to cause issues just because she's been validly in the USA during processing times. If she's got a valid visa, hasn't committed visa fraud, and has never over-stayed, I don't think it would have any influence.


Filed I-129F: 3 November 2014 (CSC)

NOA 1: 20 November 2014

NOA 2: 2 February 2015

Consulate Notification: 8 April 2015

Consular Interview: 19 May 2015
Medical: 20 May 2015
Administrative Processing: 20 May - ???

GLOBAL VISA SHUTDOWN: 9 June 2015
Advised approved for issuance: 24 June 2015
Requested re-validated I-129F (expired during shutdown): 24 June 2015
Advised I-129F revalidation received: 30 June 2015
Administrative Processing: 30 June 2015

Visa Issued: 13 JULY 2015
USA POE: 24 OCT 2015

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Makes sense to me. I'm still pretty uncertain though, since I've heard this mysterious "6 month per year, not per visit" thing floating around in various forums, so now that a lawyer mentioned it I'm worried there might be some substance behind it. Or is it just an urban legend? :)

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Makes sense to me. I'm still pretty uncertain though, since I've heard this mysterious "6 month per year, not per visit" thing floating around in various forums, so now that a lawyer mentioned it I'm worried there might be some substance behind it. Or is it just an urban legend? :)

I wouldn't know! I'd say to take your lawyer's advice, but in this case that's a bit difficult ;)


Filed I-129F: 3 November 2014 (CSC)

NOA 1: 20 November 2014

NOA 2: 2 February 2015

Consulate Notification: 8 April 2015

Consular Interview: 19 May 2015
Medical: 20 May 2015
Administrative Processing: 20 May - ???

GLOBAL VISA SHUTDOWN: 9 June 2015
Advised approved for issuance: 24 June 2015
Requested re-validated I-129F (expired during shutdown): 24 June 2015
Advised I-129F revalidation received: 30 June 2015
Administrative Processing: 30 June 2015

Visa Issued: 13 JULY 2015
USA POE: 24 OCT 2015

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