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hendo25

Location when filing the I-129f petition

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I am a U.S. citizen and have been living with my fiancee here in Thailand for the past 2 years. We and her family celebrated our courtship with the traditional Thai religious ceremony, recognized as a wedding of sorts in this country.  We did not, however, register the marriage. As such we are not legally married and eligible to file for a K-1 Visa.

 

Normally, the U.S. citizen petitioner resides in his or her home country during the entire filing and processing period for the visa itself. Since we have been living together here in Thailand, I would like to remain here until my fiancee's visa is granted, and then we would travel to the U.S. together.  She speaks only basic English and is not well traveled.  I would be concerned about her traveling alone.

 

Does anyone know if it is allowed (by U.S Immigration) for me to file the I-129f while I am residing here in Thailand?

 

Thanks in advance for any replies.

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1 minute ago, hendo25 said:

I am a U.S. citizen and have been living with my fiancee here in Thailand for the past 2 years. We and her family celebrated our courtship with the traditional Thai religious ceremony, recognized as a wedding of sorts in this country.  We did not, however, register the marriage. As such we are not legally married and eligible to file for a K-1 Visa.

 

Normally, the U.S. citizen petitioner resides in his or her home country during the entire filing and processing period for the visa itself. Since we have been living together here in Thailand, I would like to remain here until my fiancee's visa is granted, and then we would travel to the U.S. together.  She speaks only basic English and is not well traveled.  I would be concerned about her traveling alone.

 

Does anyone know if it is allowed (by U.S Immigration) for me to file the I-129f while I am residing here in Thailand?

 

Thanks in advance for any replies.

 

Yes it is. But at some point you need to show US domicile and be able to provide sponsorship for your fiance financially. These are things to consider.

 

Also, you said you did a traditional ceremony... be wary. There are countless stories of people doing these "ceremonies" because of local customs/traditions and being denied a K-1 visa. Essentially the embassy views you as "too married" for a K-1, but not "married enough" for spousal visa. So do not be shocked if you wait all the way through tot the embassy part and interview only to get denied because of it. 

 

Search above in the search base about ceremonies and denials and you'll see a ton of stories on it.


08/15/2014 : Met Online

06/30/2016 : I-129F Packet Sent

07/08/2016 : NOA 1 Received

08/25/2016 : NOA 2 Received (48 days)

11/08/2016 : Interview - APPROVED!

11/18/2016 : Visa in hand

11/23/2016 : POE - Dallas, Texas

From sending of I-129F petiton to POE - 146 days.

 

02/03/2017 - Married 

 

02/24/2017 - AOS packet sent

03/06/2017 - NOA1's received via text

03/31/2017 - Biometrics appointment Completed

06/01/2017 - EAD/AP Combo Card Received in mail

12/06/2017 - I-485 Approved

12/14/2017 - Green Card Received in mail - No Interview

 

 

giphy.gifvd9wauve2wlsd9fuctxk.gifgiphy.gif     

 

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I wouldn't bother with an I-129f.   It appears you are married...Just get a marriage certificate and  file the CR-1 paperwork.  

Edited by missileman

"Experience can be a tough teacher to those who fail to heed good advice"- Missileman, 12/6/18

"Only a fool would fail to heed the advice of someone who has walked in his shoes"- Missileman, 2/8/19

"What I am to be, I am NOW becoming"- Benjamin Franklin

First career- 20 year Retired E-8, USAF Missileer,

Second career-Retired Registered Nurse, experience in Labor& Delivery, Home Health, Adolescent & Adult Psych

Third career-Retired IT Developer & Database Administrator for surgical services dept.

 

Immigration Journey:

  • Texas Service Center after transfer from Nebraska
  • Consulate :Taipei, Taiwan
  • Marriage: 7/30/2015
  • I-130 NOA1 : 4/27/2016
  • I-130 Approved :9/8/2016
  • Case received at NVC: 10/11/2016                               
  • Case # and IIN#: 10/24/2016
  • AOS Fee Invoiced:10/24/2016  
  • AOS Fee Paid:10/25/2016
  • IV Fee Invoiced:10/24/2016  
  • IV Fee Paid:10/25/2016
  • DS-260 Completed: 10/28/16
  • Scan Date:11/9/2016
  • Supervisor review: 12/21/16 
  • Checklist: 1/13/17 
  • Case Complete: 4/10/17
  • Interview Date: 5/8/17 
  • Visa  "ISSUED": 5/10/17
  • Visa and Passport in hand/Flight to USA Booked!!!: 5/12/17  
  • POE Dallas DFW on June 22, 2017
  • SS Card received : 7/3/2017
  • 2-year Green Card received in mail: 7/15/17
 

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Bangkok has a USCIS field office...

 

https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/find-uscis-office/international-offices/thailand-uscis-bangkok-field-office

 

File for a spousal in Thailand.  You will be glad you did


YMMV

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11 hours ago, aaron2020 said:

You are now too married for a K-1 fiancee visa and not married enough for a CR-1 spousal visa.

 

Get legally married and file for the CR-1 visa.

I'm not sure that I fully understand what you and several other forum members are saying.  

 

In Thailand, unless you formally "register" your marriage with the local government (Amphur), you are not legally married, either in the eyes of Thailand or the U.S.  I am in Thailand on a "Retirement" visa.  I am not eligible for a "Marriage" visa because I'm not legally married.  I would be denied if I applied for one.  There is no "too married" for this or "not married enough" for that. You aren't married. And there should be no problem filing for the K-1 visa. The CR-1 is a lot more complicated, takes longer to process, and is more expensively front loaded.

 

Several posters have mentioned "many denials" at the embassy interviews.  Have any of these been at the U.S. embassy in Bangkok, Thailand?  

 

I appreciate the answers, but I've spoken to several immigration attorneys who say it's fine to file the K-1 in our circumstances.

 

Thank you for your kind responses to my question.  This forum is an amazing resource for people seeking practical immigration information.

 

Thanks, again.

 

 

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If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it's a duck.  If it looks like a wedding, rings were exchanged, then you're married.  

 

You are incorrect to say that in the eyes of the US government, you are not married.  You had a wedding.  People who are not married do not have weddings.  People who have weddings do it to be married.  It doesn't matter if it was legal or not.  The US Government will presume that you are married and withholding the marriage certificate so you can use the K-1 visa which is a quicker route to the US and cheaper at the front end than a CR-1 spousal visa as you have pointed out.  The K-1 would be denied.  Since you don't have a marriage certificate, you can't get a CR-1 visa.  This is the dilemma.  This is why people are advised not to have non-legal weddings when applying for a K-1 visa.

 

 

Edited by aaron2020

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If you did a traditional marriage in any African or Asian country. In this case Thailand and what it means is that marriage is:

  • Not a legal marriage
  • Not on the Thailand constitution
  • Not on the court registry with Thailand.
  • Not recognized anywhere on earth outside Thailand 

Then that attorney you spoke with was right, by all means go thru with the K-1 visa if you plan to live in the USA and get legally married in the US. Just don't show pictures of that traditional ceremony that you did in Thailand or even mention it at the embassy interview. 

Edited by kingdomcome84

NoA1 - September 26, 2018

NoA2 - February 4, 2019  

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22 minutes ago, kingdomcome84 said:

If you did a traditional marriage in any African or Asian country. In this case Thailand and what it means is that marriage is:

  • Not a legal marriage
  • Not on the Thailand constitution
  • Not on the court registry with Thailand.
  • Not recognized anywhere on earth outside Thailand 

Then that attorney you spoke with was right, by all means go thru with the K-1 visa if you plan to live in the USA and get legally married in the US. Just don't show pictures of that traditional ceremony that you did in Thailand or even mention it at the embassy interview. 

What if the CO asks if they had a traditional ceremony?  They would have to be truthful and the K-1 would be denied.


It's easier to just get legally married and file for the CR-1.  
 

https://www.thethailandlife.com/married-thailand-diy-day

Edited by aaron2020

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2 hours ago, aaron2020 said:

What if the CO asks if they had a traditional ceremony?  They would have to be truthful and the K-1 would be denied.

They don't have to be truthful because its none of the CO's business to know. what purpose will it serve in this case other than knowing beforehand that you will get denied. There is no marriage certificate when you do a traditional wedding. Absolutely NOTHING to show to proof other than the beneficiary opening their mouth about it at the interview.


NoA1 - September 26, 2018

NoA2 - February 4, 2019  

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2 hours ago, kingdomcome84 said:

They don't have to be truthful because its none of the CO's business to know. what purpose will it serve in this case other than knowing beforehand that you will get denied. There is no marriage certificate when you do a traditional wedding. Absolutely NOTHING to show to proof other than the beneficiary opening their mouth about it at the interview.

They do have to be truthful if asked.  If they aren't truthful when asked, then they would be lying.  You aren't suggesting they lie if they are asked directly right?  

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2 hours ago, kingdomcome84 said:

They don't have to be truthful because its none of the CO's business to know. what purpose will it serve in this case other than knowing beforehand that you will get denied. There is no marriage certificate when you do a traditional wedding. Absolutely NOTHING to show to proof other than the beneficiary opening their mouth about it at the interview.

 100% inaccurate and very dangerous advice.............and a material lie can result in devastating consequences even at citizenship.


"Experience can be a tough teacher to those who fail to heed good advice"- Missileman, 12/6/18

"Only a fool would fail to heed the advice of someone who has walked in his shoes"- Missileman, 2/8/19

"What I am to be, I am NOW becoming"- Benjamin Franklin

First career- 20 year Retired E-8, USAF Missileer,

Second career-Retired Registered Nurse, experience in Labor& Delivery, Home Health, Adolescent & Adult Psych

Third career-Retired IT Developer & Database Administrator for surgical services dept.

 

Immigration Journey:

  • Texas Service Center after transfer from Nebraska
  • Consulate :Taipei, Taiwan
  • Marriage: 7/30/2015
  • I-130 NOA1 : 4/27/2016
  • I-130 Approved :9/8/2016
  • Case received at NVC: 10/11/2016                               
  • Case # and IIN#: 10/24/2016
  • AOS Fee Invoiced:10/24/2016  
  • AOS Fee Paid:10/25/2016
  • IV Fee Invoiced:10/24/2016  
  • IV Fee Paid:10/25/2016
  • DS-260 Completed: 10/28/16
  • Scan Date:11/9/2016
  • Supervisor review: 12/21/16 
  • Checklist: 1/13/17 
  • Case Complete: 4/10/17
  • Interview Date: 5/8/17 
  • Visa  "ISSUED": 5/10/17
  • Visa and Passport in hand/Flight to USA Booked!!!: 5/12/17  
  • POE Dallas DFW on June 22, 2017
  • SS Card received : 7/3/2017
  • 2-year Green Card received in mail: 7/15/17
 

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The comments about K1 being faster than CR1 are not accurate because there is more to the process than just the initial visa.  Do more research on processing times and you'll see that K1 is taking almost as long as CR1 from filing to visa interview abroad, maybe a couple of months faster but that's getting to the US if successful.  Then once immigrated, the K1 beneficiary cannot work, cannot travel outside the US, cannot get a driver's license, for a long time, typically 4 or 5 months, and the process involves more forms, paying more fees, submitting more evidence, but with CR1 there is none of that.  Study this a bit more and you will see that many who did K1 regret it.  You will need to establish US domicile, and that usually requires that you live in the US for a few months, regardless of the visa you apply for, with adequate US-based income.  You can always travel back to Thailand to accompany your spouse on her trip to the US.  Also, be careful of attorneys.  They charge a lot of money and often give bad advice, make mistakes, and often slow down the process that you can easily do yourself.  Lots of stories here on VJ about bad attorneys.  Why would you want to pay someone who basically sends you the forms to fill out anyway?  Your comments indicate that you need to become more educated about the process and how long and complicated it is.  Good luck!

Edited by carmel34
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