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Thread: Difficult wedding and work visa situation

  1. #1
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    Difficult wedding and work visa situation

    I'll try to make this as short as possible. I'm a US citizen. I've been working in Russia for about six years (so I've been around the block a few times) and everything is set for us getting married on September 9th here in Moscow. From the research I've done, and from friends who are going through the process now, the process for a green card seems to be taking about six months. The plan was that I was going to work here until about November, and then relocate to the US where I have a job offer to get things situated, and my wife would join in three months or so when she received her green card.

    Now, for the kick in the nuts. I don't know if it is just my work or if there are new visa laws, again, but as my visa used to be automatically renewed every year no questions asked, now they are making everyone go through the gauntlet of medical tests, aids, leprosy (or whatever they check for) tuberculosis, etc. And the best part is that they are making everybody now renew their visas in their home country, which means having to fly back to America.

    Thus, my visa expires on October first. I would have to fly back at my own expense, renew the visa, also at my expense, return to Russia sometime in middle of October to finish working for about a month. Fly home again, etc etc. It adds about $2,000+ in excess expenses all for the sweet sweet privelage of working one more month, when we were planning on leaving anyways...

    My soon to be wife already has a three year tourist visa and has been to America before. At this point I am ready to leave with her on October first for good, quitting my job without renewing my visa. I have read that, technically it is possible to marry in the United States on a tourist visa, although it is frowed upon. But what if we are already married here? What are the options for her then getting a green card in the US? Would it be worth it to get a marriage certificate at home too (double whammy), so we have a Russian and U.S. one? I don't know what to do, and its addding a lot of uneeded pressure on this already awkward soon to be ex-bachelor.

    tl;dr

    Is there any way to take my future wife, who already has a tourist visa now on that visa, after we are married here in Russia and have her stay legally in the US, and what is the proceedure for doing so.
    Если не проснусь я однажды по утру то помните я тру, и всегда был тру...

  2. #2
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    Edit. I still see conflicting information.

    According to - http://www.immihelp.com/forum/showth...tting-K-1-VIsa particularly - "On the other hand, if you marry her while she is here, you can turn around and submit I-130 and I-485 packages together", it seems its not the end of the world to adjust status from non-immigrant to immigrant while on tourist visa, although again it is not the best way to go about it.

    But according to this website http://www.visajourney.com/content/i130guide2

    It specifically says to under no circumstances try to adjust the non-immigrant status in the US, or else she can be deported, barred from entry, etc.

    Maybe I'll move this question to the immigration forum, however if anyone is interested I can update our status. It might help someone in the future.
    Если не проснусь я однажды по утру то помните я тру, и всегда был тру...

  3. #3
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    Have you spoken to the US embassy? They will be the people with the definitive answers. All we can do is give you guesses.

  4. #4
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    suggestion

    What kind of a Russian visa do you have now?

    I got a one year RU visa in the UK as a US citizen about two years ago using the help of a London agency. Perhaps the procedures have changed so I suggest you research this carefully before applying.

    Consider the K1 visa. The attached US gov link says "Once issued, the fiancé(e) visa (or K-1 nonimmigrant visa) allows your fiancé(e) to enter the United States for 90 days so that your marriage ceremony can take place. Once you marry, your spouse may apply for permanent residence and remain in the United States while USCIS processes the application. For additional information, see the “Green Card” section." Here is the link:

    https://www.uscis.gov/family/family-.../fiancee-visas

    Before I got immigrant status for my wife I tried going to the US Consulate but was referred to the web site where I got my answers: https://moscow.usembassy.gov/ivisas.html

    I did use a hot line shown in the attached site in the US and peppered them with a lot of questions until I felt I understood the procedure to get residency for my wife.

    https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/conta...service-center

    Also, do a lot of research before taking your wife to the US on any visa other than a K-1 visa, marrying her and applying for US residency.

  5. #5
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    I got narried in Russia, in Moscow in the only ZAGS for foreigners (at Savyolovsky metro as I recall), then direct consular filed for a spousal visa. The turnaround was quick; I applied for the visa in late spring and my wife received her visa in September. There were many plusses to the spouse visa vs. fiance visa, such as ger getting her green card and work authorization (social security card) much quicker. Also I cannot prove it but I felt like we received less scrutiny throughout the US Citizenship application process, from temporary 3 month green card to US passport.

    I highly recommend www.visajourney.com for immigration questions! They even have a Rus/Ukr/Belarus forum. Yes it is possible to do this without a lawyer!!


    Good luck )
    Last edited by nicklcool; 30-09-2016 at 07:41. Reason: Typos; darn cell phone keypad

  6. #6
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    Good comment.

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