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Partner is in India. I am stuck in US.

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Hey all,

I am a US citizen and my boyfriend is Indian.

 

We have been dating for four years now. For the most part of our relationship, I have been in India on a tourist visa. Other times, my boyfriend has come to US twice (once on a F1 visa and once on a B1/B2). I was in India last year when the lockdown was announced and left on a repatriation flight. We waited for almost a year hoping India would open its borders for tourists, but we aren't waiting any longer.

 

Since my boyfriend has a valid tourist visa and US is allowing tourists in, we are considering that my boyfriend fly down to US, we get married here in Virginia, I get an OCI card and we both fly back to India. We intend to live in India for a few years and may move to US in the future. (Our families have met. We lived with his parents in India. All cool.)

 

How do we go about doing this and how long will the entire process take?

 

Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

 

 

 

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: India
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Just fyi you have to be married for 2 years before you qualify for OCI card. It might be ok to get married on a tourist visa but usually if you are applying for any sort of green card or status for him in the USA they are more suspicious of that, but if your plan is not to apply for any of those right away it may be ok. You may have to wait until India opens up for tourists until you are able to go...otherwise you  guys could meet in a another country that is allowing tourists. 

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1 minute ago, Akipog said:

Just fyi you have to be married for 2 years before you qualify for OCI card. It might be ok to get married on a tourist visa but usually if you are applying for any sort of green card or status for him in the USA they are more suspicious of that, but if your plan is not to apply for any of those right away it may be ok. You may have to wait until India opens up for tourists until you are able to go...otherwise you  guys could meet in a another country that is allowing tourists.

Oh! Damn, I didn't know there was a two year waiting period. Thanks for the reply.

So I can only travel to India on a tourist visa even after marriage (for two years), is that what you are saying?

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: India
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Yes, or another visa if that applies, but OCI is only issued after 2 years of marriage. If you are part Indian or have other ties to India beyond OCI you could travel via emergency visa. 

Edited by Akipog

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: India
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On 3/17/2021 at 12:43 PM, US-INDIA said:

Oh! Damn, I didn't know there was a two year waiting period. Thanks for the reply.

So I can only travel to India on a tourist visa even after marriage (for two years), is that what you are saying?

That is correct

 

I'll be eligible for my OCI next week...though sadly my spouse has been stuck in India for almost 2 years now waiting on his IR1 (thanks to a series of pandemic delays)

It's very frustrating...but the purpose of my OCI would be for ease of travel in the future to visit his friends and relatives, and maybe to purchase a vacation home.  I don't think I could live there unless I absolutely had to

 

 

Edited by CaraF

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: India
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On 4/1/2021 at 12:12 PM, amegster said:

Once you get married, you can apply for an Entry (x) visa. That's currently what I am on. Came back to India in August 2020 while we wait for our green card application.

Just to provide some clarification, the Entry X visa is a "Multiple entry Tourist Visa may be granted for a period of 10 years to the nationals of USA, Canada and Japan with a stipulation that “continuous stay during each visit shall not exceed 180 days"

This information comes from the Ministry of Home Affairs. 

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48 minutes ago, CaraF said:

Just to provide some clarification, the Entry X visa is a "Multiple entry Tourist Visa may be granted for a period of 10 years to the nationals of USA, Canada and Japan with a stipulation that “continuous stay during each visit shall not exceed 180 days"

This information comes from the Ministry of Home Affairs. 

The Entry visa is not a multiple entry Tourist visa. I have had both after living in India over the last 11 years. The Entry visa is given to those who are Indian origin, but don't have an OCI card yet, those who are spouses of Indian citizens or those whose spouses are on employment, student or other type of long-term visa. Last year, I got a 5 year X-1 Entry visa and I am allowed to stay over 180 days, which I've already done during this trip. I also received a residence permit, which you can't do on a Tourist visa.

 

You can see all the different visa categories on the attached document by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

AnnexI_01022018.pdf

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: India
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32 minutes ago, amegster said:

The Entry visa is not a multiple entry Tourist visa. I have had both after living in India over the last 11 years. The Entry visa is given to those who are Indian origin, but don't have an OCI card yet, those who are spouses of Indian citizens or those whose spouses are on employment, student or other type of long-term visa. Last year, I got a 5 year X-1 Entry visa and I am allowed to stay over 180 days, which I've already done during this trip. I also received a residence permit, which you can't do on a Tourist visa.

 

You can see all the different visa categories on the attached document by the Ministry of Home Affairs.

AnnexI_01022018.pdf 107.3 kB · 0 downloads

But the entry (X) visa only lasts for 5 or 6 years, while the multiple entry tourist visa lasts for 10, if I'm not mistaken.  The X visa runs about 120 usd and the other is about 85

 

It's also important to mention that "foreigners visiting India on long term (X) visa need not register themselves with Foreign Regional Registration Offices (FRRO)/ Foreign Registration Office (FRO) as long as their visit does not exceed more than 180 days on a single visit. However, if they intend to stay in the country for more than 180 days, they should get themselves registered in one of the two aforementioned offices before the expiry of the 180 days."  not sure if this there are any additional fees involved with the FRRO process.

 

So if she doesn't really plan on staying beyond 180 days at a time, the multiple entry visa would be a better investment (cheaper and valid for a longer period of time overall).  Just throwing that out there

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33 minutes ago, CaraF said:

But the entry (X) visa only lasts for 5 or 6 years, while the multiple entry tourist visa lasts for 10, if I'm not mistaken.  The X visa runs about 120 usd and the other is about 85

 

It's also important to mention that "foreigners visiting India on long term (X) visa need not register themselves with Foreign Regional Registration Offices (FRRO)/ Foreign Registration Office (FRO) as long as their visit does not exceed more than 180 days on a single visit. However, if they intend to stay in the country for more than 180 days, they should get themselves registered in one of the two aforementioned offices before the expiry of the 180 days."  not sure if this there are any additional fees involved with the FRRO process.

 

So if she doesn't really plan on staying beyond 180 days at a time, the multiple entry visa would be a better investment (cheaper and valid for a longer period of time overall).  Just throwing that out there

Yes, you're partially right. Except they aren't usually giving out 10 year tourist visas anymore. I've had multiple friends apply for 10 years and only get 5. Even when I applied for my X visa the officials said I'd probably only be approved for 2 years. They are moving away from the long-term visas, so you can apply for a 10 year tourist, but might not get that long.

 

The other piece is that it's misrepresentation. If you are married to an Indian you are not supposed to be on a tourist visa. That's what the x-1 and x-2 visas are for. And the OP said, "We intend to live in India for a few years " so a tourist visa when you are intending to live there is definitely misrepresentation.

 

And yes, you don't need to register with the FRO if you don't stay longer than 180 days, but it is so easy to register and free. Just send one form online, upload documents and they email you your residence permit and you can stay as long as your visa. It's also so much easier at immigration check points (airport + land borders) now with an X visa. I was taken to the back room for questioning twice when I was on a tourist visa because I was in the country for so long. Best to get on the correct visa and avoid any of those headaches, even if it is a bit more expensive.

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