My fiancée resides in Japan. However, even though she is a descendent of Japanese heritage, she was born and raised in Peru and currently holds a Peruvian citizenship. She has applied for a visitor visa from the American Embassy in Tokyo. She was informed because she was not a Japanese citizen it is very unlikely that she would be granted admission into the U.S. even as a visitor.
Would it be advisable for me to go to Japan, marry her there and bring her back to the U.S.? Also, how would we go about proceeding with this plan? What will it entail regarding immigration procedure and policy? What forms would we be required to submit to INS?
My fiancee has attempted to purchase an airline ticket and was told she needed a visa. She submitted a request for a visitor visa to the American Embassy in Tokyo. When she called to check status she was informed that since she was not a Japanese citizen that it was very unlikely that a visa to enter the U.S. would be issued to her.
Is your goal to reside in the US indefinitely or do you intend to just visit briefly?
I am a permanent US citizen. Born and raised in Denver, CO. Our goal is to reside indefinitely in the US.
A visitor visa ("B-2") is a non-immigrant visa available only to those with no "immigrant intent" -- the intent to remain in the US indefinitely. Applicants for non-immigrant visas are presumed by the US consular officers who handle these things to have immigrant intent and leave it up to the applicant to prove otherwise. This truly is "guilty until proven innocent." In your fiancée's case, the B-2 visitor visa is inappropriate, and even if she were permitted to enter on such a visa, you'd have to be very careful to avoid raising the suspicion of visa fraud (i.e, a fraudulantly obtain visa) when trying to remain in the US.As the fiancée of a US citizen, the expected way she would enter the US is on a K-1 Fiancé(e) visa, which you can apply for on USCIS form I-129F, available here. K-1 visa holders are permitted to enter the US for the purpose of conducting a wedding ceremony (which must be done within 90 days of entry) and thereafter can apply for a green card and work authorization. It's a straightforward process but somewhat time-consuming -- K-1s are taking 8 months or so to go through right now -- a frustrating delay.You can fly to Japan and marry her there, which would give you two options on having her enter the US -- the K-3 Spouse visa and "consular processing" of an immigrant visa. A K-3 is the married counterpart to the K-1 -- it permits entry for the spouse of a US citizen for the purpose of applying for a green card inside the US. It takes roughly the same amount of time as a K-1 and uses the same I-129F form. K-3 applications must follow an Alien Relative Petition, filed on USCIS form I-130, available here. That is, first file the I-130, and when you get a receipt on that application, file the I-129F. In the end, it works just like the K-1 -- your then-wife will be allowed to enter the US and file for a green card and work authorization here instead of waiting outside the US."Consular processing" skips the green card and work authorization applications filed in the US. Those who have immigrant visas are permanent resident/green card holders as soon as they enter the US. The down side is that consular processing typically takes longer than a K-1 or K-3. If your goal is to get your fiancée into the US as soon as possible, the K-1 or the K-3 is the way to go. If your goal is to get her a green card as soon as possible, consular processing is the right choice. Really, I don't see much advantage in consular processing. Green card applicants are premitted to work while their applications are being processed (by filing for employment authorization along with the green card), which is the biggest concern most people seem to have. That is, they don't need to have a green card in order to work legally, just an "employment authorization document" (EAD) or "work permit" which you get about 2 - 3 months after filing the complete green card application.Were I in your position, I think I'd file the K-1 and marry here. That should be the fastest way to be reunited with your fiancée and have her enter the US.Good luck and congratulations on your upcoming wedding!Thomas K. Brown, Esq.39848.8220239931
I have gotten green cards for numerous immigrants, both through USCIS and the Immigration Courts.
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