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I started chatting with a friends sister online. She lives in Sierra Leone..her brother is a very good man, and introduced us. we are in love an want to marry, but have never met in person. I cant leave the US because I have two children and am a single dad. can I get her a visa without having to go over there?

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, jack sandberg said:

can I get her a visa without having to go over there?

No. The K-1 in-person meeting requirement is very strict. It's extremely rare for USCIS to waive that requirement: https://asl-lawfirm.com/blog/unable-satisfy-person-meeting-requirement-fiance-spouse-visa-processing

For CR-1: proxy marriages are only valid after they are consummated.

Quote

Section 101(a)(35) of the Act provides that the term "spouse", "wife", or "husband" does not include a spouse, wife, or husband by reason of any marriage ceremony where the contracting parties thereto are not physically present together at the ceremony, unless the marriage has been consummated afterwards. (Note: Consummation of a marriage can only occur after the ceremony, there is no such thing as “pre-consummation” of a marriage.)

 

Edited by HRQX

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Only if she can come visit you instead. You have to meet (the waiver is extremely difficult and this reason will certainly not suffice).


Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, geowrian said:

Only if she can come visit you instead. You have to meet (the waiver is extremely difficult and this reason will certainly not suffice).

Or meet in a third party country; i.e. Bahamas, Haiti, etc. https://www.passportindex.org/comparebyPassport.php?p1=sl&p2=us&fl=&s=yes (I assume she is a citizen of Sierra Leone)

Edited by HRQX

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She can try to get a tourist visa to visit you. But she cannot adjust status on it and must go back to her country after getting married, and possibly have to prove ties showing she will go back to her country in order to get a tourist visa in the first place considering her reason for visiting is marriage. Proxy marriages are only allowed in 5 states, and only one state allows double-proxy marriage (Montana), the rest of the 4 at least one of you must be present at the wedding. Even then, if you were to obtain a proxy marriage, as already stated it would not be considered valid until consummated aka one of you still has to visit the other. And it will be even harder for her to obtain a tourist visa after you are married vs before you are married.


Our CR1 Journey So Far:
 

USCIS Stage:

  • Feb 8 2019: Sent package
  • Feb 14 2019: Delivered
  • Feb 21 2019: NOA1 (PD Feb 14, 2019)
  • Assigned to Nebraska Service Center (yay... 🙄)
  • Waiting for: NOA2

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1 minute ago, HRQX said:

Or meet in a third party country; i.e. Bahamas, Haiti, etc. https://www.passportindex.org/comparebyPassport.php?p1=sl&p2=us&fl=&s=yes

The main problem OP stated is that he cannot travel out of the country due to his children so a 3rd party country might not really work since he would still have to travel out of the country


Our CR1 Journey So Far:
 

USCIS Stage:

  • Feb 8 2019: Sent package
  • Feb 14 2019: Delivered
  • Feb 21 2019: NOA1 (PD Feb 14, 2019)
  • Assigned to Nebraska Service Center (yay... 🙄)
  • Waiting for: NOA2

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3 minutes ago, geowrian said:

Only if she can come visit you instead. You have to meet (the waiver is extremely difficult and this reason will certainly not suffice).

I have been reading about the waiver. I was in an explosion that nearly cost my leg.A battery exploded in my pocket, and I almost died of poison in my blood. I was taken by Helicopter for emergency surgery. Now I do have panic attacks and am deathly scared to fly. I was scared the only other time I got on a plane. I cant do it again

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5 minutes ago, HRQX said:

Or meet in a third party country; i.e. Bahamas, Haiti, etc. https://www.passportindex.org/comparebyPassport.php?p1=sl&p2=us&fl=&s=yes (I assume she is a citizen of Sierra Leone)

is it easier to get a tourist visa to Canada? I could drive there. does she have to show a lot of money in the bank to leave her country on a visit, or have a good reason to visit?

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2 minutes ago, jack sandberg said:

is it easier to get a tourist visa to Canada?

Canada is about as strict as the US. But I recommend to at least try.

2 minutes ago, jack sandberg said:

I was scared the only other time I got on a plane. I cant do it again

Road trip to Fort Lauderdale and then take a ferry to the Bahamas. If she is a citizen of Sierra Leone, then she can go the Bahamas visa-free for 90 days.

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13 minutes ago, HRQX said:

Or meet in a third party country; i.e. Bahamas, Haiti, etc. https://www.passportindex.org/comparebyPassport.php?p1=sl&p2=us&fl=&s=yes (I assume she is a citizen of Sierra Leone)

I was going by the OP's statement that they cannot leave the US, which made this impossible. But it sounds like now that the issue is flying, not just leaving the US.

 

5 minutes ago, jack sandberg said:

is it easier to get a tourist visa to Canada? I could drive there. does she have to show a lot of money in the bank to leave her country on a visit, or have a good reason to visit?

Have her apply and find out. They do tend to be fairly strict and the US shares visa applicant information with Canada. But there's no chance of getting it if she doesn't apply.

A good reason to visit is rarely an issue. She's a tourist...she wants to visit. They are much, much more concerned if she will leave (or otherwise violate status, such as working).

 

10 minutes ago, jack sandberg said:

I have been reading about the waiver. I was in an explosion that nearly cost my leg.A battery exploded in my pocket, and I almost died of poison in my blood. I was taken by Helicopter for emergency surgery. Now I do have panic attacks and am deathly scared to fly. I was scared the only other time I got on a plane. I cant do it again

Just throwing this out there as a kitchen sink option but....cruise to a 3rd country if the other ideas don't work out?


Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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2 minutes ago, HRQX said:

Canada is about as strict as the US. But I recommend to at least try.

Road trip to Fort Lauderdale and then take a ferry to the Bahamas. If she is a citizen of Sierra Leone, then she can go the Bahamas visa-free for 90 days.

wow! really! She doesn't need a Visa to go to the Bahamas? That I could do. So how does she get into the US with me? do we marry in the Bahamas or what?

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Just now, jack sandberg said:

wow! really! She doesn't need a Visa to go to the Bahamas? That I could do. So how does she get into the US with me? do we marry in the Bahamas or what?

You would marry in the Bahamas (considering to do so in the US she would still need a tourist visa for the US which she doesn't have), and then once you both are back in your respective countries, you send in an I-130 petition for her  CR1 visa. This takes around 12-14+ months right now from start to finish. Then, once she's issued the CR1 visa, she can move to the US. She will not be able to "get into" the US with you during the Bahamas trip without a US visa of some sort. But the whole point of going to the Bahamas is so that she doesn't need a tourist visa for you both to meet. So, just focus on the CR1 and getting married in the Bahamas. She'll get into the US with you once she receives her CR1.


Our CR1 Journey So Far:
 

USCIS Stage:

  • Feb 8 2019: Sent package
  • Feb 14 2019: Delivered
  • Feb 21 2019: NOA1 (PD Feb 14, 2019)
  • Assigned to Nebraska Service Center (yay... 🙄)
  • Waiting for: NOA2

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Just now, jack sandberg said:

wow! really! She doesn't need a Visa to go to the Bahamas? That I could do. So how does she get into the US with me? do we marry in the Bahamas or what?

Once you meet (be sure to have documentation of it to make the process easier), you can start the K-1 (fiance) visa process.

If you marry instead (idk Bahama's laws to marry in terms of how long it takes to get a license), you would do a CR-1 visa process.

 

ETA for a K-1 is roughly 7-10 months right now,  I believe. Sometimes closer to a year.

ETA for a CR-1 is roughly 12-16 months.

 

CR-1 is a much better visa overall (cheaper, faster to a green card, probably faster to working and traveling abroad, etc.). But it does take a little longer. The only* (there's a notable exception in very limited circumstances) advantage of a K-1 is being a little faster.

Read the comparisons and guides (link at the top of every page) on this website to get an idea of what is actually better for you both long term. (Ignore the K-3 option..it's effectively obsolete.)

 

That said, I would just note that filing the petitions for a fiancee or spouse visa after just one visit can raise scrutiny of if the relationship is bona fide or not. How strict they are varies a lot by country, and idk how it is in hers. Do some research. Don't rush into any decision. :thumbs:

 

Best wishes.


Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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5 minutes ago, jack sandberg said:

do we marry in the Bahamas or what?

That is an option after spending 24 hours in the Bahamas: https://www.bahamas.com/marriage-license Then she returns to Sierra Leone to wait for the CR-1 process: https://www.visajourney.com/content/i130guide1/

Or if you don't marry then you collect proof of your meeting in the Bahamas; passport stamps, boarding passes, hotel receipts, pictures, etc. Then she returns to Sierra Leone to wait for the K-1 process: https://www.visajourney.com/content/k1guide/

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