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Question about marrying a non-citizen?

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Question about marrying a non-citizen?

Old 04-21-08, 11:47 PM
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Question about marrying a non-citizen?

So thinking about getting hitched, only problem is she is not American. Anyone have any experience with this? We were wanting to get married and get her a green card b/c we are planning on going to Japan for a year and then want to be able to get her back into America?


Suggestions? I am a bit new to all of this.
Old 04-22-08, 01:53 AM
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She's not marrying you BECAUSE of the green card?
Old 04-22-08, 02:11 AM
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We were prob going to get married in a few years anyway but I really wanted to work in Japan and live with her for a year. but if we do that her work visa will run out and she won't be able to come back so I figured we should just get married now.
Old 04-22-08, 02:48 AM
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If you didn't marry and went to Japan, would her visa let her back in after the year was up?

And keep in mind that if you do get married and file the permanent residency papers the next day, it could still be 12 or 18 months before she gets her green card. A couple more things:

http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/usc...0045f3d6a1RCRD

International Travel
A Permanent Resident of the United States can travel freely outside of the US. A passport from the country of citizenship is normally all that is needed. To reenter the US a Permanent Resident normally needs to present the green card (Permanent Resident Card, Form I-551) for readmission. A reentry permit is needed for reentry for trips greater than one year but less than two years in duration.

You can find more information about travel documents from "How Do I Get a Travel Document?"

Maintaining Permanent Residence
... You may be found to have abandoned your permanent resident status if you:

Move to another country intending to live there permanently.
Remain outside of the US for more than one year without obtaining a reentry permit or returning resident visa. However in determining whether your status has been abandoned any length of absence from the US may be considered, even if it is less than one year. ...

Last edited by Heat; 04-22-08 at 02:52 AM.
Old 04-22-08, 02:54 AM
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You will need to file a petition with the INS seeking permanent resident status for her after you get married. You will be the petitioner. It is not difficult to do but if you don't like paperwork or feel intimidated by the process, you can hire an immigration lawyer, probably for an agreed upon flat fee.

So long as your marriage is genuine and not entered into for the purpose of obtaining residency for her, you should be fine. Take lots of pictures of the family enjoying themselves at your wedding, open joint bank accounts, file joint income tax returns, make a baby , etc. You will need to provide some proof of the genuineness of your marriage at an interview with an INS agent sometime after your petition is filed. Again, so long as your marriage is genuine, the interview process will be short and your petition will be granted, allowing your new wife two years as a conditional permanent resident. She can then obtain a work permit.

Prior to the expiration of these two years, you will need to file a second petition seeking to remove her conditional status and making her a permanent resident. If she intends on leaving the country during this two year conditional period, she will need to check with the INS. I don't recall how long she will be allowed to be out of the country, but I believe it is limited in some manner. This is where you might want to consult with an immigration lawyer.
Old 04-22-08, 09:45 AM
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i think there is a law that says if you divorce within 10 years than you have to support her
Old 04-22-08, 09:49 AM
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My boss did this about 8 years ago. He married a Japanese chick he met while living in Japan, and married her so she could stay in the US after he returned. Long story short, he said it was the biggest mistake he ever made.
Old 04-22-08, 10:26 AM
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If there is anything that i learned from RENT, it was that you can't buy love, but you can rent it.

*singing and dancing "I'll Cover You"*
Old 04-22-08, 05:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ResIpsa
You will need to file a petition with the INS seeking permanent resident status for her after you get married. You will be the petitioner. It is not difficult to do but if you don't like paperwork or feel intimidated by the process, you can hire an immigration lawyer, probably for an agreed upon flat fee.
Please, please don't waste your money on an attorney. Yes, there's a lot of paperwork, and it's a bit confusing, but just do it yourself. Your attorney's going to charge you a ton of money, make you do most of the work yourself anyhow, and probably do little to help you. If there's nothing unusual about the marriage -- you're a real couple, you can document your relationship, and you plan to live as a normal husband and wife -- just do the paperwork yourself. Trust me on this. Plus, you can always hire an attorney later if you run into trouble.
Old 04-22-08, 05:51 PM
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Just watch this movie:

Old 04-22-08, 09:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Walter Neff
Please, please don't waste your money on an attorney. Yes, there's a lot of paperwork, and it's a bit confusing, but just do it yourself. Your attorney's going to charge you a ton of money, make you do most of the work yourself anyhow, and probably do little to help you. If there's nothing unusual about the marriage -- you're a real couple, you can document your relationship, and you plan to live as a normal husband and wife -- just do the paperwork yourself. Trust me on this. Plus, you can always hire an attorney later if you run into trouble.
I am finding this out now. Promised to have an agent in China to help my girl fill out paperwork. She speaks great English but it is challenging for someone who doesn't speak English as a 1st language. I ended up helping her fill it out on my last trip there. I just hope it's all done by the end of the year. They promised 7-9 months for a fiancee visa. It's been 3 months now and we are just about to file here in the US.

Anyway, point is, reading stuff online just freaked me out too much so I rushed to get the lawyer. Try it yourself.
Old 04-23-08, 02:16 AM
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Originally Posted by MBoyd
I am finding this out now. Promised to have an agent in China to help my girl fill out paperwork. She speaks great English but it is challenging for someone who doesn't speak English as a 1st language. I ended up helping her fill it out on my last trip there. I just hope it's all done by the end of the year. They promised 7-9 months for a fiancee visa. It's been 3 months now and we are just about to file here in the US.

Anyway, point is, reading stuff online just freaked me out too much so I rushed to get the lawyer. Try it yourself.
Yes this thread has made me a bit worried too.

Oh and that movie might have had a small part in my subliminal decision making process....
Old 04-23-08, 04:11 AM
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Originally Posted by al_bundy
i think there is a law that says if you divorce within 10 years than you have to support her
One of the many documents you file with the petition is a declaration to the effect that you agree to support your new spouse for 10 years. This is designed to prevent immigrants from becoming wards of the state and such. In my experience, it doesn't seem to have much impact, but then I am in a state that has liberal spousal support rights in the event of divorce.

As far as the expense of an attorney, some people feel better having an attorney help steer them through what can be a confusing and scary bureacratic process, just as many people hire CPAs and the like to prepare their income tax returns, even though most tax returns really aren't all that complicated if you spend some time reading the instructions. It's a case of YMMV.
Old 04-23-08, 04:55 AM
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Where did you meet her? Tell me you've met her in person before and this is not an 'internet' thing...

= J
Old 04-23-08, 10:27 AM
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I think we are going to need pics of her to determine proof of the relationship.
Old 04-23-08, 12:09 PM
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I am a Brit who married a US citizen and believe me that its a long process. She will have to get a SSN, a work visa and also residence. Once thats all done you can proceed with citizenship. Throughout the process of getting residence she will not be able to leave US soil. It took me about a year to get temporary US residence (and this was quick compared to most people), and it will take even longer to get citizenship. The whole process is costly and takes a hell of a lot of time and effort. You just have to make sure that you are both very serious about the whole thing and that you have the money and the means.

I also agree with the poster about forgetting a lawyer. It can all be done by yourself. Just make sure you have a tonne of evidence to back up your case. We submitted a hell of a lot of pictures, letters plus joint bills and such things. I also remember that i had to have a physical and also my fingerprints done which was yet more money. They don't make it easy. The only up side for you is, like myself, she is coming from a country that is in a financially good position. As a result her process will be a lot easier than most. The whole process for me took about 4 years before i got full residence, but i know people that have been in the process for almost twice as long and still don't have full residence.

Last edited by james2025a; 04-23-08 at 12:17 PM.
Old 04-23-08, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Tarantino
Where did you meet her? Tell me you've met her in person before and this is not an 'internet' thing...

= J
No we met in class about a year and a half ago, and I had noticed her around campus awhile before that.

Originally Posted by achau9598
I think we are going to need pics of her to determine proof of the relationship.
I'm not sure she would be comfortable with that, but I do have lots and lots of pictures
Old 04-23-08, 03:17 PM
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Originally Posted by james2025a
I also agree with the poster about forgetting a lawyer. It can all be done by yourself. Just make sure you have a tonne of evidence to back up your case. We submitted a hell of a lot of pictures, letters plus joint bills and such things. I also remember that i had to have a physical and also my fingerprints done which was yet more money. They don't make it easy. The only up side for you is, like myself, she is coming from a country that is in a financially good position. As a result her process will be a lot easier than most. The whole process for me took about 4 years before i got full residence, but i know people that have been in the process for almost twice as long and still don't have full residence.
We don't really have any joint bills or accounts, perhaps we should start?
Old 04-23-08, 03:26 PM
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Handling immigration stuff legally. Sucker....

Old 04-23-08, 06:54 PM
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Originally Posted by SterlingBen
We don't really have any joint bills or accounts, perhaps we should start?
Everything helps. The photos you have will help, and pictures from your wedding will help too. You can start by adding her name to your bank accounts, and having her add your name to her accounts. Basically, the more evidence you have that your lives (and thus finances) are intertwined, the more they believe your marriage is real and not just a sham to get her residency.
Old 07-18-08, 01:05 PM
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Currently filling out paperwork.
Old 07-18-08, 01:26 PM
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Man. Getting Italian citizenship by marriage is easy. One form and a trip to the consulate with an apostilled marriage certificate.

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