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Need advice!! Ex J-1 holder with 2 year requirement, when to start the process?

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Hello everyone,

Me and my fiance are in a very delicate situation, and we would really appreciate your advice!

I am a Brazilian who just got back from studying abroad in the US, with a J-1 visa with the 2 year requirement. While I was there we got engaged, and I want to get my K-1 as soon as possible, but unfortunately I can't get a waiver, since I would have to pay back all the money the government invested on me, which is impossible.

We are willing to wait the 2 year requirement (which will end in December 2016), however, there are some questions in our minds that we would hope you could help!

1 - When should we start the process?

We don't want to start too soon because of the I-129F expiration, and we don't want to wait too much and make the time apart even longer. I know it is possible to get the I-129F extended, but what if it's denied? And since my 2 year requirement ends in December 2016, I assume I would have to have my interview after that. So when should we send the first package??

2 - If the I-129F extension is denied, would we need to start the whole process again? And in case we do try again, would it look suspicious to them to see we had tried the same process a few months before?

3 - Is it possible to have the visa interview before the end of the 2-year requirement, and get a visa that starts being valid months after it has been approved?

For example, if we start the proccess now and I have my interview next August; since I have the 2 year requirement, is it possible for them to give me a visa with a condition that I only leave the country in December? Or they would deny my visa until I finish the requirement? Do all visas start being valid in the day after the visa interview?

4 - If I get a tourist visa to visit him in the meantime for a month, would this delay my 2 year requirement in a month? And where can I find the exact date I am legally able to leave the country?

We've tried asking the consulates, but their answers are too general, and our case is very different.

We would really appreciate your opinion and advice!

Thank you!


02/16/17 - Application sent (I-485, I-765, I-131)

02/18/17 - Application arrived at USCIS

02/28/17 - Check cashed

02/28/17 - NOA1 email and text

03/04/17 - NOA1 hard copy received (dated 02/21/2017)

03/10/17 - Biometrics appointment letter received

03/20/17 - Biometrics done

03/30/17 - Received updated NOA1s in the mail with dates fixed

05/09/17 - EAD card is being produced

05/09/17 - AP approved

05/12/17 - EAD card was mailed 

05/16/17 - Received Combo Card (EAD/AP) in the mail 

06/10/17 - AOS card is being produced

06/12/17 - AOS petition approved

06/13/17 - AOS card was mailed

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Any chance fiancee could travel to Brazil and marry?

Since the spouse visa takes considerable longer, you would more than likely be right on time for expiraiton in December 2016. Just a guess and others can weigh in on this.

That sounds a good idea!

“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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