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Dima Gordeyev

What is the legal status of beneficiary upon marriage?

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My girlfriend lives in Ukraine, and I am a citizen of the US. Our plan is to go through the K1 Process, and have her come to the US so we could apply for her green card here. But we want to go back to Ukraine immediately after, because we want to spend a couple years living there first, and only then come back to the US for good.

 

What, if any, issues with this plan do you guys see? 

 

For example, what is her legal status with respect to both countries, as soon as we marry in the US? Is her Ukranian passport void, and therefore she can no longer visit for more than 3 months, as is typical for an American? (Ukraine does not support dual citizenship) 

 

Will we be able to make it back to the US with no legal issues after the 2 years of living abroad? 

 

Many thanks!! 

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7 minutes ago, Dima Gordeyev said:

My girlfriend lives in Ukraine, and I am a citizen of the US. Our plan is to go through the K1 Process, and have her come to the US so we could apply for her green card here. But we want to go back to Ukraine immediately after, because we want to spend a couple years living there first, and only then come back to the US for good.

 

What, if any, issues with this plan do you guys see? 

 

For example, what is her legal status with respect to both countries, as soon as we marry in the US? Is her Ukranian passport void, and therefore she can no longer visit for more than 3 months, as is typical for an American? (Ukraine does not support dual citizenship) 

 

Will we be able to make it back to the US with no legal issues after the 2 years of living abroad? 

 

Many thanks!! 

It isn't going to be "fast"   To travel, and stay for a long time, she will need get her green card and then AP for the period of her green card.   Not fast, not cheap.

 

Easier to just get married in Ukraine and file for spousal from there when you are ready.

 

Being married to an American does not change her legs status.  She does not become an US Citizen by just marrying you.


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July 14, 2020 Removal of Conditions submitted by mail  July 12, 2021 Biometrics Completed

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Filed: F-2A Visa Country: Iraq
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17 minutes ago, Dima Gordeyev said:

My girlfriend lives in Ukraine, and I am a citizen of the US. Our plan is to go through the K1 Process, and have her come to the US so we could apply for her green card here. But we want to go back to Ukraine immediately after, because we want to spend a couple years living there first, and only then come back to the US for good.

 

What, if any, issues with this plan do you guys see? 

 

For example, what is her legal status with respect to both countries, as soon as we marry in the US? Is her Ukranian passport void, and therefore she can no longer visit for more than 3 months, as is typical for an American? (Ukraine does not support dual citizenship) 

 

Will we be able to make it back to the US with no legal issues after the 2 years of living abroad? 

 

Many thanks!! 

Besides what others have already states regarding immediate travel - a Greencard is not a convenient access document to be used when living abroad, it's meant for residency in the US. Living abroad for a couple of years puts her at risk to "abandon" this permanent residence status, which is a privilege and not a right. Thumb rule is that 6 months in a row are OK, 12 months outside of the country and the LPR must be prepared to provide enough proof to establish that domicile in the US has been maintained.

There is a waiver (so-called re-entry permit) that can be applied for, and if it gets approved re-entry will be permitted within the approved time frame (I believe up to 2 years). Note that the re-entry permit must be approved before departure.

Sounds like a lot of if's and when's - I am with other posters and recommend living abroad and filing once you're ready for US residency.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Russia
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I agree with everyone else.  It would be a waste of time to go through the K1 process if the plan is to live in the Ukraine.  Get married, live in the Ukraine, and about a year or so before you plan to return to the US, file for the spousal visa.

 

Good Luck!


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21 minutes ago, Dima Gordeyev said:

we want to have a wedding both in the states and in Ukraine

Only the first one counts. If you really want two then do the K1 get married and leave and end up paying twice for VISAs.


March 2, 2018  Married In Hong Kong

April 30, 2018  Mary moves from the Philippines to Mexico, Husband has MX Permanent Residency

June 13, 2018 Mary receives Mexican Residency Card

June 15, 2018  I-130 DCF Appointment in Juarez  -  June 18, 2018  Approval E-Mail

August 2, 2018 Case Complete At Consulate

September 25, 2018 Interview in CDJ and Approved!

October 7, 2018 In the USA

October 27, 2018 Green Card received 

October 29, 2018 Applied for Social Security Card - November 5, 2018 Social Security Card received

November 6th, 2018 State ID Card Received, Applied for Global Entry - Feb 8,2019 Approved.

July 14, 2020 Removal of Conditions submitted by mail  July 12, 2021 Biometrics Completed

August 6, 2021 N-400 submitted by mail

September 7, 2021 I-751 Interview, Sept 8 Approved and Card Being Produced

October 21, 2021 N-400 Biometrics Completed  

November 30,2021  Interview, Approval and Oath

December 10, 2021 US Passport Issued

August 12, 2022 PHL Dual Nationality Re-established & Passport Approved 

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She can always try to get a B2 to get married in the US. $160


March 2, 2018  Married In Hong Kong

April 30, 2018  Mary moves from the Philippines to Mexico, Husband has MX Permanent Residency

June 13, 2018 Mary receives Mexican Residency Card

June 15, 2018  I-130 DCF Appointment in Juarez  -  June 18, 2018  Approval E-Mail

August 2, 2018 Case Complete At Consulate

September 25, 2018 Interview in CDJ and Approved!

October 7, 2018 In the USA

October 27, 2018 Green Card received 

October 29, 2018 Applied for Social Security Card - November 5, 2018 Social Security Card received

November 6th, 2018 State ID Card Received, Applied for Global Entry - Feb 8,2019 Approved.

July 14, 2020 Removal of Conditions submitted by mail  July 12, 2021 Biometrics Completed

August 6, 2021 N-400 submitted by mail

September 7, 2021 I-751 Interview, Sept 8 Approved and Card Being Produced

October 21, 2021 N-400 Biometrics Completed  

November 30,2021  Interview, Approval and Oath

December 10, 2021 US Passport Issued

August 12, 2022 PHL Dual Nationality Re-established & Passport Approved 

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Sweden
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If she can visit the US (tourist visa or ESTA if eligible) you two can marry in the US. It's not illegal to marry on a tourist visa/ESTA, you don't need a K-1 for that. No reason to apply for a K-1 if you don't plan on living in the US for a few years anyway. Once you're ready to move to the US you file for the spousal visa.


K-1: 12-22-2015 - 09-07-2016

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AOS: 12-20-2016 - 07-26-2017

ROC: 04-22-2019 - 04-22-2020
Naturalization: 05-01-2020 - 03-16-2021

U.S. passport: 03-30-2021 - 05-08-2021

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WBs3G1PvyfM&ab_channel=Sabaton

 

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: New Zealand
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10 hours ago, Dima Gordeyev said:

My girlfriend lives in Ukraine, and I am a citizen of the US. Our plan is to go through the K1 Process, and have her come to the US so we could apply for her green card here. But we want to go back to Ukraine immediately after, because we want to spend a couple years living there first, and only then come back to the US for good.

 

What, if any, issues with this plan do you guys see? 

 

For example, what is her legal status with respect to both countries, as soon as we marry in the US? Is her Ukranian passport void, and therefore she can no longer visit for more than 3 months, as is typical for an American? (Ukraine does not support dual citizenship) 

 

Will we be able to make it back to the US with no legal issues after the 2 years of living abroad? 

 

Many thanks!! 

Marriage to a USC itself confers no legal status.   Doesn't sound like K-1 is the way to go if you don't want to live in the US with her.  There is no point in her getting a green card until you're ready to live here.

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: New Zealand
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8 hours ago, Dima Gordeyev said:

I guess the biggest reason for us wanting to do that, is that we want to have a wedding both in the states and in Ukraine, one for each of the families. Is there any other way to do that around the same time?

One would be a legal wedding, the other a celebration.  She should apply for a B visa in this case.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Ukraine
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Hi,

 

I had a similar situation to yours, but for different issues.  

 

My fiance came to the US last year on a K1.  We married, but before we applied for the Adjustment of Status there was a family emergency that required her attention.  We spoke about the problem and decided that she needed to return right away..  We didn't apply for AOS (as others stated, that would have required her to stay in the US for 4-8 months waiting for at least the advanced parole - AP).  We instead started over and applied for a spouse visa (I-130).

 

In your case, the B2 tourist visa is recommended.  However, it is very difficult for your girlfriend to get one.  She would need to show very strong ties to Ukraine and a history of travelling to other western countries as a tourist and returning in good standing.

 

Alternatively, I would suggest you go to Ukraine and live with her and get married there.  The US embassy can explain what is required and how to register to get married.   Then you can apply for a spouse visa.  That process takes a year or more, but the benefit is that your wife will be a lawful permanent resident the moment she gets to the states.

 

Bear in mind that after your marriage, you will need to leave Ukraine and apply for a residency visa, D-14, at the Ukraine embassy or consulate here in the US.  Then you can use that visa to enter Ukraine and apply for a temporary residence permit.    Entering Ukraine without a visa, as a tourist from USA, allows you to stay only 90 days there.  And you can't apply for a temporary residence permit when you enter as a tourist.

 

The above also applies if you guys marry here in USA.  Whether your girlfriend enters by tourist visa or K-1, after marriage you will need to apply for a D-14 visa at the Ukraine embassy.  The Ukraine embassy will need an apostilled copy of your marriage certificate.  Just being notarized will not be enough.  You can get the marriage certificate apostilled at a state government services office. 

 

It is easier for your family to travel to Ukraine than for hers to come here.  It seems family participation is important to you both.  Get your family to Ukraine and have them at the wedding. It may seem costly, but wedding services in Ukraine is substantially less expensive.  You can apply the savings to the airfare for your family.  When you guys come to the states, have a wedding celebration with your extended family and friends.

 

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4 hours ago, SteveInBostonI130 said:

Hi,

 

I had a similar situation to yours, but for different issues.  

 

My fiance came to the US last year on a K1.  We married, but before we applied for the Adjustment of Status there was a family emergency that required her attention.  We spoke about the problem and decided that she needed to return right away..  We didn't apply for AOS (as others stated, that would have required her to stay in the US for 4-8 months waiting for at least the advanced parole - AP).  We instead started over and applied for a spouse visa (I-130).

 

In your case, the B2 tourist visa is recommended.  However, it is very difficult for your girlfriend to get one.  She would need to show very strong ties to Ukraine and a history of travelling to other western countries as a tourist and returning in good standing.

 

Alternatively, I would suggest you go to Ukraine and live with her and get married there.  The US embassy can explain what is required and how to register to get married.   Then you can apply for a spouse visa.  That process takes a year or more, but the benefit is that your wife will be a lawful permanent resident the moment she gets to the states.

 

Bear in mind that after your marriage, you will need to leave Ukraine and apply for a residency visa, D-14, at the Ukraine embassy or consulate here in the US.  Then you can use that visa to enter Ukraine and apply for a temporary residence permit.    Entering Ukraine without a visa, as a tourist from USA, allows you to stay only 90 days there.  And you can't apply for a temporary residence permit when you enter as a tourist.

 

The above also applies if you guys marry here in USA.  Whether your girlfriend enters by tourist visa or K-1, after marriage you will need to apply for a D-14 visa at the Ukraine embassy.  The Ukraine embassy will need an apostilled copy of your marriage certificate.  Just being notarized will not be enough.  You can get the marriage certificate apostilled at a state government services office. 

 

It is easier for your family to travel to Ukraine than for hers to come here.  It seems family participation is important to you both.  Get your family to Ukraine and have them at the wedding. It may seem costly, but wedding services in Ukraine is substantially less expensive.  You can apply the savings to the airfare for your family.  When you guys come to the states, have a wedding celebration with your extended family and friends.

 

Very good response. I’m curious. Has your wife made it into the U.S. yet?  I hope that everything worked out for the 2 of you. 

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Filed: Other Country: Saudi Arabia
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20 hours ago, Dima Gordeyev said:

My girlfriend lives in Ukraine, and I am a citizen of the US. Our plan is to go through the K1 Process, and have her come to the US so we could apply for her green card here. But we want to go back to Ukraine immediately after, because we want to spend a couple years living there first, and only then come back to the US for good.

 

What, if any, issues with this plan do you guys see? 

 

For example, what is her legal status with respect to both countries, as soon as we marry in the US? Is her Ukranian passport void, and therefore she can no longer visit for more than 3 months, as is typical for an American? (Ukraine does not support dual citizenship) 

 

Will we be able to make it back to the US with no legal issues after the 2 years of living abroad? 

 

Many thanks!! 

When she arrives in the US you get married, then apply to adjust her status.  Once her status is adjusted she receives her conditional green card then you can apply for a travel document, which will allow you, and her, to come and go from the US for extended periods of time.

Which then comes to lifting conditions (ROC) at the two year mark.

If you live overseas it is difficult to impossible to lift conditions which will make it highly likely that she would lose her green card and you would have to start over.  
What you are trying would be appropriate if she was holding a 10-yr card, next to impossible the way you have it planned out.

Better option:  Marry in Ukraine, do your thing over there, file the I-130 spouse petition when you are ready to return.

Edited by Nitas_man

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I am American and my fiancé is South African (we live in SA) and I have a similar question about the option of getting married while we are visiting the US with My fiancé on his tourist visa.
 

We are busy trying to get married here in SA to then eventually apply for the spouse visa to move to the US next year. Unfortunately, it’s proving to be harder to get a home affairs marriage than we anticipated.. and now with the country in lockdown we have missed both our home affairs marriage appointments. When we can finally get back in the marriage queue we will likely have to wait a handful of months for a next available appointment, best case scenario, which is seriously eating into our ‘get visa and move to the USA’ timeline.
 

We are busy brainstorming options and wondering what it would mean if we decided to fly to the US to visit my parents and then got married while we are there before returning back to SA. My question is how will a marriage certificate from a US courthouse compare with a marriage certificate from a South African home affairs office in regards to ultimately applying for a spouse visa to get us to the US. Would it make the process any different? Would it help the process, hurt the process or be a lateral move just with the addition of expensive flights?
 

If all was going according to plan, the spousal visa was going to be the best option, but given the state of the world right now with lockdowns and travel restrictions, we are also just wondering if it may turn out to be more worthwhile to just wait until we can travel/ move and apply for the fiancé visa?! Our South African wedding (celebration) is likely postponed or cancelled at this rate so just trying to focus on and figure out a plan B for marriage and visas. Any advice would be tremendously appreciated. 

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