I recently have got engaged to a russian girl. she was in the states for 4 months. she went back home to moscow and i went to go see her on a torist visa. we have filed a I-129F application (fiancee visa)and we are now being told it will take up to 9 months for them to approve it. we can not wait this long. I was woundering if anyone knows if this idea i have will work. 1st we need to find a country close to moscow she can travel to without a visa. 2nd I will meet her there and marry her in that country. granted the country will recognize this marriage like an american marriage. then from what i was told she is then considered an american citizen. (as long as we marry) and we can leave that country together and return to the United States. this has to work out so she can still return to Russia and visit her parents. can someone please help or give advise.
Jthemixer do not not do it. Since you have started the Fiance Visa you need to stay that course. Any attempt to marry now could be viewed as an attempt to curcumvent Imigration and they could ban her permantly from the US. Get a lawyer that does this. I am sure they can help speed things up. Do not gamble with your future it will be worth your wait in the end. Good Luck!
Why not marry her in Russia, live there with her till her papers are all straightened out, then move together back to US?
Everyone tells me a few months living there is good to cure the silly smile most western foreigners wear.
If you get married over there add 2 months to the processing time before she can enter the US. Even if you two get married in a different country, I assume she will still have a Russian passport so all the same rules about entering the US will still apply. Last I heard it was about 6 months for fiance visa processing depending on where you live.
If she was here in the states for four months, why didn't you marry her then?
Was she visiting someone else that decided not to marry her before you met her?
If that's the case, the State Dept. will look at her case extremly carefully before letting her back in again.
good luck to you both.
It doesn't work that way. If you marry her it will take longer than a K-1 visa. Unless she is having your baby, don't marry her until she arrives. Depending where you live in the USA it may not take 9 months. I live in the New England, filed in Vermont Oct 30 and I expect the Moscow interview to take place in late Jan or early Feb. My approved petition is already at the visa center. So my friend, cool your jets.
There was a good way out for Americans. I don't know if it is still so. American government recognizes marriages registered at Cyprus as the domestic(US) ones. So it was a matter of a week to go to Cyprus and be happy!:-) For Russian girls it is very easy to go there. Visa is demanded but it is got by any tour agency.
There isn't. I hired an immigration attorney for my wife's visa processing before she came here. Marrying her in another country is not doing any good. In fact, she will have to go through the trouble to have her marriage recognized in her country (she will not be recognized as a married woman in her country). The only clean way to do it is for the girl to stay at her home country until she has a K1 or K3 visa. There is no way around it but to wait. If you try to pull any tricks, she will be deported later when she applies for a permanent US visa (when she is here) or she will have to stay here as an illegal allien (not recommended).
You can become an American citizen by simply getting married with an American citizen. Assuming you married an American citizen, you first have to stay on a conditional permanent residence status for 2 years, then on a permanent residence status for 1 more year, then if you are still married to the same American citizen, you can apply for US citizenship if not then you have to wait 2 more years. So, it takes 3 years after you get the first green card or 5 years if she gets divorce in the meantime. This doesn't account for processing time. You should add a total of approx. 6 months to 1 year for processing between these steps.
I should add that it is very important to have a valid visa before she comes here. If she is deported later, the INS has the right to deny her entry in the future and there is not much you can do about it.
Russia, USA and a 'third country':
I am no expert, but I find it very likely that actions taken in a 'third country' (incl. marriage) will not automatically satisfy the authorities of Russia or USA.
It is adviseable to check with the authorities of Russia and USA.
(It's no good being married in Cyprus if neither Russia nor USA recognises it or will grant citizenship based on the marriage...)
Guys, I am new at this although I have writing to a lady for 8 months. It is time to take the next step and visit her. I have a couple of questions you guys may be able to help me with. The first question is should I seek help from the ladies agency for travel arrangments, or is it cheaper and better to make arrangments on my own? The second question is I have read so much about how long and hard it is to bring a lady to the States,also how different guys accomplish this. Can someone please tell me the best ,fastest,legal way to do this? Step by step would be good and simple. Bob
(a) Do your own search, compare prices. If you are going to a big city like Kiev, Moscow, St. Pete, theer is plethora of apartments to rent (cheaper and preferred over hotel). If you are going to a small city, you have less options and it may be better to rely on an agency or the girl's agency. I always visited indepedently. The one time that I paid a Canadian agent for a tour in Crimea, I discovered later I paid three times the price I would if I made the bookings directly. There might be as many as four markups or more, one for the agent in the US, one for the agent in a big city locally, one for the entity that provides the service directly, and the fee/rent to the entity that owns the apartment. You can avoid the food chain by doing your search on the net. Let us know which city you're visiting, maybe there others who have been there and can give you contacts.
(b) She has to get a K1 (married) or K3 (fiance) visa. K3 is recommended because you avoid the trouble of getting married in her country and has less paperwork. K3 allows you to bring her to the states and you have to marry her within 90 days otherwise she has to return to her country.
There are two parts in the K3 process:
(1) INS approval. This is very tidious process with a lot of paperwork and bureaucracy and it is highly recommended that you engage an attorney. If you make a mistake, the INS will deny your application without giving you a reason and you have to re-submit. The lead time depending which state you live can take several months. You really want the ap filled by someone who understands the bureaucracy.
(2) Embassy interview. After INS approval (make sure you pay the extra fee to expedite communication between the INS and the embassy), she will be invited for an interview in the embassy (Kiev or Moscow). You don't have to be there. You can hire the same attorney for this part as well, but it's not absolutely necessary. They will prepare the girl for the interview, but the interview is not really mind blowing, she should be able to handle it if she speaks basic English.
You begin the process you must visit her. Make sure you take pictures of you and her because you have to prove to the INS that you visited. Be intimate in the pictures, but not too intimate (a sweet hug is good, a French kiss is not). Make sure you take pictures around some easily recognized places such as national monuments, near signs with Russian letters, etc. keep your tickets, passes, itineraries, receipts, everything that can be used as evidence that you actually visited her in her country. Only one visit is required. Also, keep all phone bills, letters, emails, everything that proves you had communication during your online relationship and through the visa application process.
As I mentioned, a good attorney can explain all this in detail to you. Be very detailed oriented in your handling of the process. Lead times are very long and one mistake can easily doble the amount of time required.
The attorney that I used can be found at: http://www.arctec.com/
Make sure whoever handles your application is an attorney because there are many out there who profess capable to fill out forms but they're not attornies.
One more thing: this attorney that I mentioned used to provide (check if they still do it) a package at no cost to you with all the information that you should get during your trip. There are documents that she needs to sign and it's an opportunity to do this when you're there to avoid delays and expenses of doing it later through the mail. It doesn't hurt to have this package before you leave. It helped me a lot.
Re-read what Wtrav says – “apartment preferred over hotel”.
If you’re new to this all you might not know all reasons why he says so, but visitors of the female kind to your hotel-room are generally regarded as prostitutes. You might have to haggle to get her in even, and this kind of insult you really want to prevent hence an apartment is a logical choice, you’ll be your own boss there.
Also very often costing less, and a good way (if you’re going to see 1 woman) is to leave the choice up to her. This way you will find out what type of woman she is (by her choice), and also you involve her actively in your visit. You might want to leave the choice of 1 or 2 rooms up to her, although the latter one I feel is mandatory if she HAS to sleep there (if she’s from another town).
You’ll be required to pay cash, and I’d advice to pay only days in advance, even if you plan to stay longer. This way you keep your options open (there’s plenty of apartments in a big city) without possible hassles to get a refund from your landlord, which in his turn can be kept happy by timeous payments in advance.
An appartment may have the drawback of having to validate your visa yourself, but also here she can help, in fact it makes for a nice visit together to some office. But ask her, get her involved, if you think she’s worth the trip I’m sure she will be very helpful.
Your flight is up to you, the net is full of info. Credit cards are faily useless but for classy establishments and ATM’s, and TC’s can be cashed-in at banks and hotels – and probably you’ll find more of the latter depending where you go.
Regarding the rigmarole to get her into your country take heed and listen to those who’ve done it already. I think it is common knowledge that Americans must be patient, and shortcuts do not really exist. If I had to do it I’d hire a paid expert (and make sure he is!), simply because it is your best bet to do things right first time – and I believe some/certain mistakes will prevent a second chance.
One thing is crucial I’d say, and that is to take a camera with you, and have pic’s made of the both of you, preferrably date-marked, with cliché-backgrounds which are traceable to Russia hence proving you’ve visited her there.
It might be handy (required?) to keep other proof like slips/bills also, but if not necessary they’ll make a nice souvenir.
If you want a step-by-step manual you better consult that expert before you leave for her. Tips and Hints you surely will get here, but the finer details only an attorney will be able to tell you. I suppose that’s why you pay them, not so?