I'm from Indiana. 6 months ago I met Yulia, from Eastern Russia, on myspace.com. We really hit it off and got along well, but I never thought anything would become of it. We usually chat online an hour or two every day. Last month, she applied for a tourist visa to come stay with me for a few weeks, but was denied. She had $2000 in her account and all that, but was told that, other than her mom and dad, she has no serious ties to Russia, and is therefore high risk of not going back to Russia. Oh, she is 22 (I'm 31) and she just finished at the University and has been looking for a job. A couple weeks ago we spontaneously decided to meet in Moscow. We were there for one week, and we both had an amazing time. We are now both thinking that we might be a good match and may eventually want to get married. But, we both feel that we should spend more time together (maybe a month or two) before we make this decision. The problem: She already applied for a tourist visa and was denied. We don't want a fiance visa because we aren't sure that we'll want to get married at the end of the three months. I could go there and visit her, but only for 5 days at a time, and it is expensive....plus I would like us to see how she likes living with me in my environment, as she would move here to me if we got married. We have thought about a work visa (my brother and his wife could use an au pair) and also we have thought about her continuing her school here (for a graduate degree) and getting a student visa. I live only a short walk from Indiana University, which has 4,000 international students. However, out of state (and country) tuition is very high. I can afford it, but it will be abit of a burden. I like the school idea because this way she can spend 9 months here living with me, and she will have responsibility with school, so it will be a more real-life situation compared to the fantasy vacation we had in Moscow (eating out and going out every night). Do any of you have any thoughts on this? Should I talk to a lawyer? Can a fancy expensive lawyer do anything to help her get a tourist visa, or should we just give up on the tourist visa?
Thank you soo much for your help, and sorry for being long-winded.