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madmanmike

Seeking advice on path for fiancee

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Hello everyone. I went thru the process 12 years ago, unfortunately, that marriage is over. Over the last 2 years, I met and fell in love again. Beautiful, young Filipina. It took 18 months to get her passport (crazy, right?) And it finally arrived yesterday. We spent a year together in 2017, but I have been back in the USA since Nov 2017, awaiting her passport.  

 

Our plan remains to bring her here, but our options seem to be twofold. I can file the I-129f, wait 5 to 8 months, then bring her here and get married. Or I can return to the Philippines, marry her there, then do the DCF process, wait 6 to 8 months after marrying, then we come back together. 

 

There seem to be good and bad choosing either path, and I am looking for suggestions from those of you that have made this decision, perhaps help us in making ours. 

 

I was also considering a little of both. Submit the 129f here. Wait a couple months to see if it seems to be moving along, then return to her in the PH. If all goes well, accompany her to Manila for her processing and interview and then come back with her after getting the Visa. If the 129f is denied, then we can get married there and staying positive, start the DCF process there. 

 

I do have some issues that will affect either choice, but those can be discussed when a decision has been made regarding the path. 

 

Thank you for reading this, I look forward to hearing your ideas. 

Michael

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3 minutes ago, madmanmike said:

Hello everyone. I went thru the process 12 years ago, unfortunately, that marriage is over. Over the last 2 years, I met and fell in love again. Beautiful, young Filipina. It took 18 months to get her passport (crazy, right?) And it finally arrived yesterday. We spent a year together in 2017, but I have been back in the USA since Nov 2017, awaiting her passport.  

 

Our plan remains to bring her here, but our options seem to be twofold. I can file the I-129f, wait 5 to 8 months, then bring her here and get married. Or I can return to the Philippines, marry her there, then do the DCF process, wait 6 to 8 months after marrying, then we come back together. 

 

There seem to be good and bad choosing either path, and I am looking for suggestions from those of you that have made this decision, perhaps help us in making ours. 

 

I was also considering a little of both. Submit the 129f here. Wait a couple months to see if it seems to be moving along, then return to her in the PH. If all goes well, accompany her to Manila for her processing and interview and then come back with her after getting the Visa. If the 129f is denied, then we can get married there and staying positive, start the DCF process there. 

 

I do have some issues that will affect either choice, but those can be discussed when a decision has been made regarding the path. 

 

Thank you for reading this, I look forward to hearing your ideas. 

Michael

Why did it take 18 months for the passport? That is obscene to say the least. 

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3 minutes ago, Cyberfx1024 said:

Why did it take 18 months for the passport? That is obscene to say the least. 

Goes back to her birth. Some of her paperwork had a middle name, some had middle initial, some had neither. 18 months of lawyers and paperwork to get everything matched up on all paperwork. 

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4 minutes ago, Cyberfx1024 said:

Why did it take 18 months for the passport? That is obscene to say the least. 

Under the old system unless you were willing to pay a "fixer" fee, appointment times were difficult to get.   I ended up flying to palawan to apply because that was the only office with available slots


YMMV

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2 minutes ago, payxibka said:

You must have 6 months legal residence in the PI before you can file dcf 

Must you be married and in residence for the 6 month, or just in residence for 6 months, and perhaps married only the last couple months of the residency?

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3 minutes ago, madmanmike said:

Goes back to her birth. Some of her paperwork had a middle name, some had middle initial, some had neither. 18 months of lawyers and paperwork to get everything matched up on all paperwork. 

Of course the lawyers wanted a premium cut for their "services". 

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1 minute ago, madmanmike said:

Must you be married and in residence for the 6 month, or just in residence for 6 months, and perhaps married only the last couple months of the residency?

Age of marriage is not the requirement.   It's how long the USC has been in residence


YMMV

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32 minutes ago, madmanmike said:

Must you be married and in residence for the 6 month, or just in residence for 6 months, and perhaps married only the last couple months of the residency?

Need to reside in the Phils for 6 months before filing.    Of course you will need the PSA copy of your marriage certificate to file the I-130 for DCF and that can take a few months, so marry early.  ;)  

 

As for fiancee or spouse ... if I were to do choose knowing what I know today and having the ability to stay in the Phils for 6-8 months  I would go the spouse route for sure .. then your wife will receive her GC upon clearing POE .. lot less hassle down the road.


Hank

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40 minutes ago, Hank_ said:

As for fiancee or spouse ... if I were to do choose knowing what I know today and having the ability to stay in the Phils for 6-8 months  I would go the spouse route for sure .. then your wife will receive her GC upon clearing POE .. lot less hassle down the road.

I have read that if you have been married for less than 2 years upon arrival in the states, you still must do the whole adjustment of status. Is that not the case?

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3 minutes ago, madmanmike said:

I have read that if you have been married for less than 2 years upon arrival in the states, you still must do the whole adjustment of status. Is that not the case?

No.  It's called Removal of Conditions which is an entirely different animal


YMMV

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13 minutes ago, madmanmike said:

I have read that if you have been married for less than 2 years upon arrival in the states, you still must do the whole adjustment of status. Is that not the case?

No, not AOS but ROC after 2 years: https://my.uscis.gov/exploremyoptions/remove_conditional_status CR-1 is recommended because K-1 requires AOS and depending on when LPR status is granted then ROC can also be required for K-1 immigrants.

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DCF is definitely the gold standard for visas, it's the quickest of your 3 options and she will have her green card status immediately upon arrival in the US. But, getting them to accept your petition is a bit of a gamble. The driving factor of whether they accept your petition is the residency requirement.

 

Your residency qualification will be based on a decision by the USCIS Manila field office. Their residency guidance is on their website. https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/find-uscis-office/international-offices/philippines-uscis-manila-field-office

 

I was in a similar situation as yours, so I researched the DCF and found anecdotal evidence that my being in the Philippines on a tourist visa was not going to be enough to allow the field office to consider me a resident. Because of that, we delayed our marriage plans and opted for the K-1 because of the timeline advantage it has over the CR-1. 

 

Good luck to you, whichever route you choose

 

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I would concur with Matrix13 that showing valid residency in the Philippines will be the challenge.  The above referenced website says either an ACR card or something showing property ties in the Philippines.   Considering that with a few exceptions foreigners can't own property in the Philippines having property isn't as simple as just buying something.   (You may well be able to buy into a Condo but..... ) .      If you look at what DCF is intended for using it in the way you suggest you can expect some challenges.   While likely legal like many things using a DCF with the intent of only residing in the Philippines for 6 months makes it more difficult for people who have legitimate residency in the Philippines to avail of it in the future.  For that reason alone I'd recommend the K-1 if the goal is to get her to the USA as soon as possible and there is nothing that says you can't file for that while you are in the Philippines and wait out the K-1 while you are there.    Approval of a K-1 should be no issue if there are no red flags.   If, worst case senerio your k-1 is denied you are already in the Philippines and can proceed with CR-1 or depending on how you were able to remain in the Philippines perhaps a DCF at that point.   The disadvantage of K-1 is the need for AOS once she is in the USA and the associated 3-6 month delay after AOS is filed before she could work or leave the USA.   CR-1 or DCF avoids that..  

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You may be able to qualify for a SRV Visa in the Philippines which could give you the ACR card you'd need to approach DCF but you might also find that living longer term there might be attractive.

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