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Language differences - how much of a problem?

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I am an American citizen by birth, 28 year old guy. She is Brazilian and will be 26 in a month.

 

I started talking to my now-fiance, who is from Brazil and speaks Portuguese, in August 2017 on Facebook. She added me as a friend, I had no idea who she was, but she was pretty so I just started chatting with her and got to know her. During this time, I also studied Portuguese intensely so I could communicate with her more easily (DuoLingo, Pinsleur CDs on the way to work, and when sentences were too long to understand, resort to Google translate).

 

She arrived in the US for a second time on a B1 business Visa in January of this year and we went to Portuguese mass on our first date. Thereafter, we went on dates 1-2 times per week and would spend 10-12 hours together on the weekends. I have lots of pictures of us together, including from when I graduated with my degree. (Unfortunately she was the only one who could make it.)

 

Generally, we would either speak in relatively simple phrases or use Google translate voice when what we wanted to say was beyond our language capacities.

 

We dated like this until I proposed to her in May, which she happily accepted. Unfortunately, I had to leave for a job later that month, and a few weeks later in June she needed to return to Brazil.

 

We've been talking daily either by voice, video, or text ever since, I even "met" her mother on video chat when she went for a vacation to her hometown. Since she is Roman Catholic, I've been taking classes to become a Roman Catholic myself and pray the rosary everyday. Right now I'm paying for her English Wizard classes, which is helping her with English, although she has a long way to go. Overall I would say my Portuguese is better than her English right now. Because of this, I help her out with her English listening skills daily on the phone.

 

I will be flying down there around Christmas, meeting her brother, sister in law, niece, nephew and mother, as well as visiting her hometown and taking lots of pictures together.

 

I'll be submitting the I-129f after I return to the States.

 

Since neither of us are really fluent, or even decently proficient in each other's language, how much of an issue would this be with immigration?

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1 minute ago, Bjh said:

I am an American citizen by birth, 28 year old guy. She is Brazilian and will be 26 in a month.

 

I started talking to my now-fiance, who is from Brazil and speaks Portuguese, in August 2017 on Facebook. She added me as a friend, I had no idea who she was, but she was pretty so I just started chatting with her and got to know her. During this time, I also studied Portuguese intensely so I could communicate with her more easily (DuoLingo, Pinsleur CDs on the way to work, and when sentences were too long to understand, resort to Google translate).

 

She arrived in the US for a second time on a B1 business Visa in January of this year and we went to Portuguese mass on our first date. Thereafter, we went on dates 1-2 times per week and would spend 10-12 hours together on the weekends. I have lots of pictures of us together, including from when I graduated with my degree. (Unfortunately she was the only one who could make it.)

 

Generally, we would either speak in relatively simple phrases or use Google translate voice when what we wanted to say was beyond our language capacities.

 

We dated like this until I proposed to her in May, which she happily accepted. Unfortunately, I had to leave for a job later that month, and a few weeks later in June she needed to return to Brazil.

 

We've been talking daily either by voice, video, or text ever since, I even "met" her mother on video chat when she went for a vacation to her hometown. Since she is Roman Catholic, I've been taking classes to become a Roman Catholic myself and pray the rosary everyday. Right now I'm paying for her English Wizard classes, which is helping her with English, although she has a long way to go. Overall I would say my Portuguese is better than her English right now. Because of this, I help her out with her English listening skills daily on the phone.

 

I will be flying down there around Christmas, meeting her brother, sister in law, niece, nephew and mother, as well as visiting her hometown and taking lots of pictures together.

 

I'll be submitting the I-129f after I return to the States.

 

Since neither of us are really fluent, or even decently proficient in each other's language, how much of an issue would this be with immigration?

Nada


YMMV

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no but i would work on her learning English if shes moving here.... 

 

 


5/7/2018 K1       Application mailed

5/9/2018             Application rec'd and signed for (sent via fedex)

5/14/2018          NOA1 Email notification

5/18/2018          NOA1 Paper copy rec'd (i797C)

11/5/2018          NOA2 ❤️ no RFE's

11/19/2018        NVC Received file

 

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Hardly an issue for immigration. Poor proficiency in each other's language works like any other red flag. Any and all of them can and do complicate a long distance relationship, which is difficult by itself. If I were worried, that would be the cause.

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Just as long as you can show that you are able to communicate with each other, which seems to be the case for you two.

 

When my wife and I first started, we didn't speak the same language at all. Both of us would use a note pad and write our thoughts using a dictionary (she actually preferred this method compared to using an electronic device). This went on during the first trip, and her English improved during the multiple trips I made. By the time she was at her interview stage of the K1, she had a conversational level grasp of English. Be sure your fiancée takes English class at your local community college as it's free/minimal cost. My wife learned a lot going at those classes, and also watching American TV shows.

 

Off topic, but my oldest son understands more Russian than his younger brother from his mom. Our youngest is taking a liking to learning Spanish.

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I've got similar concerns and am being proactive about it in case it comes up at the interview.  Just keep doing what you are doing now--learn each other's language as best you can before the interview in Rio. Our situation is similar, although we chose to get married in Brazil and file an I-130 for a CR1 spousal visa.  While waiting for the visa interview, I used Duolingo for a few months but then ran out of material, so I recently found a native Brazilian for twice-weekly Skype lessons in Portugese, and that has really helped accelerate my fluency.  My husband is learning English to build on what he learned in school years ago, and he is planning on enrolling in an intensive English program in California next year when he moves here.  His interview in Rio will be in Portugese, so it is my goal to understand as much of it as possible, and if needed, to show the CO that we can communicate with each other.  Plus, I just want to be able to speak and understand fluent Portugese without the crutch of Google Translate or technology.  Good luck with your K1 process!

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20 minutes ago, carmel34 said:

I've got similar concerns and am being proactive about it in case it comes up at the interview.  Just keep doing what you are doing now--learn each other's language as best you can before the interview in Rio. Our situation is similar, although we chose to get married in Brazil and file an I-130 for a CR1 spousal visa.  While waiting for the visa interview, I used Duolingo for a few months but then ran out of material, so I recently found a native Brazilian for twice-weekly Skype lessons in Portugese, and that has really helped accelerate my fluency.  My husband is learning English to build on what he learned in school years ago, and he is planning on enrolling in an intensive English program in California next year when he moves here.  His interview in Rio will be in Portugese, so it is my goal to understand as much of it as possible, and if needed, to show the CO that we can communicate with each other.  Plus, I just want to be able to speak and understand fluent Portugese without the crutch of Google Translate or technology.  Good luck with your K1 process!

Thanks, but do you have to attend your fiance's K-1 visa interview? I ask because my job is very restrictive with time off and the timing can be unpredictable...

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2 hours ago, Bjh said:

Thanks, but do you have to attend your fiance's K-1 visa interview? I ask because my job is very restrictive with time off and the timing can be unpredictable...

It’s not required but it is allowed in Rio so I plan on being there for moral support and to show the CO that I can speak and understand Portuguese if they notice or ask  Lots of stories here on VJ of success without the USC fiancé or

spouse at the interview.

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16 hours ago, Bjh said:

I am an American citizen by birth, 28 year old guy. She is Brazilian and will be 26 in a month.

 

I started talking to my now-fiance, who is from Brazil and speaks Portuguese, in August 2017 on Facebook. She added me as a friend, I had no idea who she was, but she was pretty so I just started chatting with her and got to know her. During this time, I also studied Portuguese intensely so I could communicate with her more easily (DuoLingo, Pinsleur CDs on the way to work, and when sentences were too long to understand, resort to Google translate).

 

She arrived in the US for a second time on a B1 business Visa in January of this year and we went to Portuguese mass on our first date. Thereafter, we went on dates 1-2 times per week and would spend 10-12 hours together on the weekends. I have lots of pictures of us together, including from when I graduated with my degree. (Unfortunately she was the only one who could make it.)

 

Generally, we would either speak in relatively simple phrases or use Google translate voice when what we wanted to say was beyond our language capacities.

 

We dated like this until I proposed to her in May, which she happily accepted. Unfortunately, I had to leave for a job later that month, and a few weeks later in June she needed to return to Brazil.

 

We've been talking daily either by voice, video, or text ever since, I even "met" her mother on video chat when she went for a vacation to her hometown. Since she is Roman Catholic, I've been taking classes to become a Roman Catholic myself and pray the rosary everyday. Right now I'm paying for her English Wizard classes, which is helping her with English, although she has a long way to go. Overall I would say my Portuguese is better than her English right now. Because of this, I help her out with her English listening skills daily on the phone.

 

I will be flying down there around Christmas, meeting her brother, sister in law, niece, nephew and mother, as well as visiting her hometown and taking lots of pictures together.

 

I'll be submitting the I-129f after I return to the States.

 

Since neither of us are really fluent, or even decently proficient in each other's language, how much of an issue would this be with immigration?

When I had my interview the IO was being chatty regarding what red flags they look for and not being able to speak each others language was one of them but, It sounds like you both understand each other enough to communicate and hopefully they see that too..

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You should look at the language differences as an opportunity. You have the opportunity to show them the documentation for the courses you have taken yourself, and that you have gotten for your fiance. That evidence could show something to the IO about your commitment to each other if the question was raised. I recommend that she makes English a priority for the next year while awaiting the visa, going to a good school as well as the home study. Thinking of the benefit for her when she arrives and easing the transition.

 

Separately, I attended the interview for my wife. Not only does it function as another source of proof IMO, but it also may deflect some of the pressure and questions off of your fiance. It did in our case as we were asked the questions right next to each other and she did not care if I answered or my wife. I was in Cambodia so can't speak to the likelihood it would work for you the same way in Brazil but it is worth checking. 


 


 


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17 hours ago, Bjh said:

I am an American citizen by birth, 28 year old guy. She is Brazilian and will be 26 in a month.

 

I started talking to my now-fiance, who is from Brazil and speaks Portuguese, in August 2017 on Facebook. She added me as a friend, I had no idea who she was, but she was pretty so I just started chatting with her and got to know her. During this time, I also studied Portuguese intensely so I could communicate with her more easily (DuoLingo, Pinsleur CDs on the way to work, and when sentences were too long to understand, resort to Google translate).

 

She arrived in the US for a second time on a B1 business Visa in January of this year and we went to Portuguese mass on our first date. Thereafter, we went on dates 1-2 times per week and would spend 10-12 hours together on the weekends. I have lots of pictures of us together, including from when I graduated with my degree. (Unfortunately she was the only one who could make it.)

 

Generally, we would either speak in relatively simple phrases or use Google translate voice when what we wanted to say was beyond our language capacities.

 

We dated like this until I proposed to her in May, which she happily accepted. Unfortunately, I had to leave for a job later that month, and a few weeks later in June she needed to return to Brazil.

 

We've been talking daily either by voice, video, or text ever since, I even "met" her mother on video chat when she went for a vacation to her hometown. Since she is Roman Catholic, I've been taking classes to become a Roman Catholic myself and pray the rosary everyday. Right now I'm paying for her English Wizard classes, which is helping her with English, although she has a long way to go. Overall I would say my Portuguese is better than her English right now. Because of this, I help her out with her English listening skills daily on the phone.

 

I will be flying down there around Christmas, meeting her brother, sister in law, niece, nephew and mother, as well as visiting her hometown and taking lots of pictures together.

 

I'll be submitting the I-129f after I return to the States.

 

Since neither of us are really fluent, or even decently proficient in each other's language, how much of an issue would this be with immigration?


The fact that you're both taking steps to learn each other's languages is a good thing and small problems with communication right now are less of a red flag than not having a good answer to explain why your fiancee just happened to randomly add you on Facebook one day - if it wasn't via mutual friends or a FB group that you were in together or through a "meet to learn X language" type of thing, then it may imply to a CO that she was casting a net to find a US Citizen to get her a green card (I'm not saying that's what happened, but that a CO may think that if you can't explain how she "randomly added" someone she didn't know).

I'd probably be more worried about that than the language barrier which is more like a short fence that you can step over from the sounds of it :)  Keep up the good work, learning a new language as an adult is HARD!

Edited by dentsflogged

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36 minutes ago, dentsflogged said:


The fact that you're both taking steps to learn each other's languages is a good thing and small problems with communication right now are less of a red flag than not having a good answer to explain why your fiancee just happened to randomly add you on Facebook one day - if it wasn't via mutual friends or a FB group that you were in together or through a "meet to learn X language" type of thing, then it may imply to a CO that she was casting a net to find a US Citizen to get her a green card (I'm not saying that's what happened, but that a CO may think that if you can't explain how she "randomly added" someone she didn't know).

I'd probably be more worried about that than the language barrier which is more like a short fence that you can step over from the sounds of it :)  Keep up the good work, learning a new language as an adult is HARD!

I see...we had like 1 mutual friend, but it was a pretty random add. Does this matter if we have and can demonstrate a bonafide relationship though?

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