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frodolives

Marriage after only one meeting?

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I know I’ve asked something similar to this before, but I am just a bit anxious about the process (and I’m just an anxious person in general! Lol). My boyfriend (now fiancé) and I have decided to get married by the end of the year. We have been carrying on a long distance relationship for almost three years now, with only one extremely brief meeting through a mutual friend....and the rest of the relationship has been through hours and hours of video calls and thousands of texts (which I have saved for evidence). He was supposed to visit this summer to meet my family, but when the embassies closed, those plans were ruined. I have since taken this fall semester off so I can go visit him for three months starting in November. We are renting an apartment together, and while we do that, we are going to continue to plan our wedding. We’ve also announced our plans to our family and friends and have contacted a priest (we are Catholic) who will assist us in preparing for marriage and who also needs to give me permission to marry in my fiancé’s country of residence (we are also considering a marriage in Italy if the borders open!). I’ve already gotten my dress and I’m in the process of having it altered. My father and a few family members will attend, and my fiancé’s relatives will be present as well. 
 

Here is my fear: I see all over the internet about how marrying after only knowing each other on the internet is a red flag. That scares me. Will living together for three months help our case at all? Or does it damage our case that we have been prepping for a wedding before having spent a significant amount of time together? The Catholic Church needs to be notified a few months in advance, which is another reason why we’ve started the planning now. 

 

One issue that has prevented me from visiting (other than covid) Is that both of my parents have serious health conditions, particularly my mother who has a rapidly progressing form of dementia. I haven’t been able to just pick up and leave. Also, the reason we are really hoping for a wedding this fall or winter, is because with the unpredictability of covid, we don’t know when we will be able to see each other again. We are all in for this. But will this be a red flag to the visa officer? Thanks in advance! 

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Pre covid - it could have been a big issue.   What is going to matter most is the time you spend together.  Visiting for that three months will help. You are going to want to front load your petition.  Doing things to start commingling assets and interconnecting your lives after marriage and before filing the petition will help.  You can do thing like wills, medical power of attorney, adding as authorized user to accounts etc.   If you get things started even before getting married that can help.


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

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7 minutes ago, Paul & Mary said:

Pre covid - it could have been a big issue.   What is going to matter most is the time you spend together.  Visiting for that three months will help. You are going to want to front load your petition.  Doing things to start commingling assets and interconnecting your lives after marriage and before filing the petition will help.  You can do thing like wills, medical power of attorney, adding as authorized user to accounts etc.   If you get things started even before getting married that can help.

Thank you for your response. Since this might have been an issue before covid, are we likely to be scrutinized for marriage fraud if we go through with it this way? We don’t really see how else to go about this. I can’t keep taking time off from school, I’m already behind now. And with the Possibility of intermittent lockdowns, we don’t know when this will be possible again. But I’m scared they’ll think we’re committing fraud now. 

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2 minutes ago, frodolives said:

Thank you for your response. Since this might have been an issue before covid, are we likely to be scrutinized for marriage fraud if we go through with it this way? We don’t really see how else to go about this. I can’t keep taking time off from school, I’m already behind now. And with the Possibility of intermittent lockdowns, we don’t know when this will be possible again. But I’m scared they’ll think we’re committing fraud now. 

Your talking Italy here (low fraud) and it doesn't sound like there are any red flags.  I personally wouldn't worry about it.  And if you can front load it I would not expect any issue at USCIS and having more time together just makes it easier at the consulate.  I'm not hearing  the red flags of different religions, significant age gap or cultures.

 

Sounds like you have thought it through and are dealing with the limitations the best way.


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.

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

 

Where does your fiance live?  What is his nationality?  You mentioned Italy, but it seems as an alternative destination wedding? 

 

This matters because if he is from a high fraud risk country then your case will be under more scrutiny.  If he's from Italy, then it shouldn't be much of an issue, especially with your plan of living with him for 3 months.

 

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11 minutes ago, Paul & Mary said:

Your talking Italy here (low fraud) and it doesn't sound like there are any red flags.  I personally wouldn't worry about it.  And if you can front load it I would not expect any issue at USCIS and having more time together just makes it easier at the consulate.  I'm not hearing  the red flags of different religions, significant age gap or cultures.

 

Sounds like you have thought it through and are dealing with the limitations the best way.

Thank you! That eases my mind. He actually isn’t from Italy, but we really want to go there to be married, because I have familial roots there and we thought it would be special. 
 

My concern is that because I’ve been a student, I don’t have many assets. But what I can do, like adding him as medical power of attorney and opening joint accounts, I will start working on now. Is this sufficient for now?

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7 minutes ago, frodolives said:

I can do, like adding him as medical power of attorney and opening joint accounts, I will start working on now. Is this sufficient for now?

Yes - you just need to do things like that so that you will have it done before filing the petition, especially adding as an authorized user or a joint account.   I was able to add my wife to a few credit card and checking accounts prior to us getting married and added her a my international cell phone plan.

 

Do let us know what his nationality is because there are some that are problematic.  Where he interviews at matters.

Edited by Paul & Mary

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.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Ukraine
Timeline

Hi,

 

I just read some of your past posts.  Your fiance is Russian?  If so, and you plan to marry in Russia, then you need to go through the ZAGS process.  You can go ahead with the plans for  religious marriage and ceremony, but you will not get a valid marriage certificate without going through the steps which involves the US Embassy, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Civil Registry Office (ZAGS).

 

What you stated, about a priest needing to give you permission to marry in Russia, is not correct.  You can get some information about the real process at the US Embassy in Russia website:  https://ru.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/local-resources-of-u-s-citizens/marriage/

 

I hope you obtained a tourist visa for Russia?  If not, then you still have some time, but not much.  It took me 3 weeks to get my multi-year tourist visa, but I personally visited the visa application office in NYC (you cannot get the visa from the Russian consulate office - they subcontracted this with a private office in NYC).

 

Also, I am not sure if Russia is open to tourists.  Spouses of Russian citizens can travel, but I have not heard if they opened the borders to general tourists.  You can check the Russia, Ukraine and Belarus regional forum here on Visajourney.

 

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Russia
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12 minutes ago, SteveInBostonI130 said:

Hi,

 

I just read some of your past posts.  Your fiance is Russian?  If so, and you plan to marry in Russia, then you need to go through the ZAGS process.  You can go ahead with the plans for  religious marriage and ceremony, but you will not get a valid marriage certificate without going through the steps which involves the US Embassy, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Civil Registry Office (ZAGS).

 

What you stated, about a priest needing to give you permission to marry in Russia, is not correct.  You can get some information about the real process at the US Embassy in Russia website:  https://ru.usembassy.gov/u-s-citizen-services/local-resources-of-u-s-citizens/marriage/

 

I hope you obtained a tourist visa for Russia?  If not, then you still have some time, but not much.  It took me 3 weeks to get my multi-year tourist visa, but I personally visited the visa application office in NYC (you cannot get the visa from the Russian consulate office - they subcontracted this with a private office in NYC).

 

Also, I am not sure if Russia is open to tourists.  Spouses of Russian citizens can travel, but I have not heard if they opened the borders to general tourists.  You can check the Russia, Ukraine and Belarus regional forum here on Visajourney.

 

Last I heard the borders were open to UK, Turkey, Swiss and a few other nationalities, but for the most part remain closed. I assume US passport holders will be among the last let in.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Ukraine
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Currently, only foreign nationals of 7 countries can enter Russia for tourism:

 

Egypt
Maldives
Switzerland
Tanzania
Turkey
United Arab Emirates
United Kingdom

 

Article:  https://www.traveloffpath.com/russia-is-officially-open-to-tourists-from-these-7-countries/

 

Official source (in Russian, use google translate):  https://www.russiatourism.ru/contents/turistam/ogranichenie-vezda-na-territoriyu-rossiyskoy-federatsii-do-1-maya-2020-goda/

 

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Filed: Other Country: China
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Spending three months together in person along with family members from both sides attending the wedding will trump any concerns about the relationship being bona fide.  Lots of successful cases here when marriage was on the only/first visit of a few days to a couple weeks.  That alone is just one thing.  I'd worry more about actually getting married.  Going through ZAGS process often ends in failure after several months of trying.  IF IF IF you can spend time in Italy and marry there, go for it.


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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Ukraine
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3 hours ago, frodolives said:

I know I’ve asked something similar to this before, but I am just a bit anxious about the process (and I’m just an anxious person in general! Lol). My boyfriend (now fiancé) and I have decided to get married by the end of the year. We have been carrying on a long distance relationship for almost three years now, with only one extremely brief meeting through a mutual friend....and the rest of the relationship has been through hours and hours of video calls and thousands of texts (which I have saved for evidence).

Hi @frodolives.

 

Disclaimer:  The below is just my person opinion, so please feel free to consider it or not consider it, as you see fit.  

 

These couple of sentences is a huge red flag to me.  Not about the visa, but about your relationship.  You have met "briefly" once, through a friend - like a chaperone?  The rest of the time has been online, texting mostly with weekly video calls and perhaps voice calls as well?

 

The online version of my wife is different from her in real life.  Online, through texts, video and voice, she is the most incredible, romantic, thoughtful, considerate...the most perfect woman in the universe.  She always responds right away, always replies with thoughtful or humorous messages, as the situation warrants, and is kind and loving.  When we video or voice call, she is so excited to talk to me, her face and voice lights up, and she makes me feel like I'm the most important person in the world.

 

In real life, well....she is a real person.  She is the most wonderful woman I have ever met, but she's not perfect.  She gets tired or distracted and doesn't always have time to respond to me instantly.  She wants to do things I'm not keen on but I do it for her, and I know she's not into everything I do.  If she's under stress she can get irritated, if I act too silly she gives me the Look (like I'm an alien from space), and if I mess up she lets me know (in not uncertain terms).  She is still kind, considerate and loving, but in the morning her breath stinks until she brushes, her hair is not perfect all the time, she has bags under her eyes when she is tired....in essence, a normal person.

 

So, to read what you wrote, about your enthusiasm to get married to your wonderful boyfriend....whom you have not really spent any meaningful time together....  Maybe the idea and the romance of the wedding is getting ahead of you evaluating your relationship?  

 

 

Anyway, good luck in these difficult times.  Stick in there, and you will find a way to get together.   Perhaps just focus on spending time together for now, instead of the whole marriage and immigration thing.

 

Edited by SteveInBostonI130
typos

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Algeria
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My dear fellow VJ member, I was in a VERY similar situation to you when we first applied. I had the exact same fears as you. I met my now husband online in 2015 and we had our first meeting in 2018, in which we got married one week later. We are Muslim and both firm in our faith, so that was one of the reasons we got married during the first in person meeting (we didn’t want to jeopardize our beliefs by being together without being married.) And on top of that, we just knew, without doubt, that we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. Hey, when you know, you just know. Only you know the legitimacy of your own relationship. And when it’s real, don’t let others make you think you “rushed” into things. Everyone has their own timelines in life, and it’s your life to live. SO! Long story short, Alhamdulillah (all praise/thanks to God), they accepted our I-130 petition and a few months later, we finally got DQ in March 2020. We are just waiting for the interview now. In the interview, you get to prove to the officer that your relationship is legitimate. You are talking to a real person, not just submitting papers online or through the mail. So therefore, it’s easier to make them understand why you got married on the first visit, if they even ask at all. The number of visits to your soon to be husband CAN be a major factor proving your relationship is real, but it’s not the only factor! You have already been talking to your fiancé for 3 years, that’s great evidence. When you submit your petition, gather every single piece of evidence you can think of to prove that your relationship is real (Ex: Proof of: Any bank accounts in both names, any type of living will with your fiancé as the beneficiary, any  Insurance paper that has your husband as your beneficiary, any credit cards that you have a joint account with your fiancé, pictures you have taken after you have your first meeting together- including ones taken with the both of you and family, screenshots of conversations you’ve had together throughout the years, letters that you’ve sent to each other, etc.) Of course every situation is unique but I truly believe you will be fine, God-willing. Just be patient through this long process and keep visiting each other through out the process as much as you can, once airports open again. Because this process is long, about 1 year + ,  so you have plenty of time to get a few more visits in that you can bring as proof by the time your interview day comes 🙂 Feel free to message me if you ever have any questions. Best of luck!!

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Haiti
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15 hours ago, frodolives said:

Thank you! That eases my mind. He actually isn’t from Italy, but we really want to go there to be married, because I have familial roots there and we thought it would be special. 
 

My concern is that because I’ve been a student, I don’t have many assets. But what I can do, like adding him as medical power of attorney and opening joint accounts, I will start working on now. Is this sufficient for now?

You didn't clarify where he is from, that matters. Italians- low fraud and wouldn't worry. Morocco- high fraud, 1 visit is not nearly enough. Country of origin matters.


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