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Expert James
Expert James, Immigration Attorney
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I am marrying a Filipina later in the summer. I have no idea

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I am marrying a Filipina later in the summer. I have no idea where to start I am overwhelmed with the process to bring her to America. I need help with where to start the process, what forms and documents do I need to bring and what is the fastest way to get her to America? if u could chat or call that would be great. I am looking for a detailed step by step answer if possible. Like step 1, then the next step and so on and so forth
Hi there,

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If you are getting married in the Philippines, there is a 3 step process:

Step 1: After marriage, you will return to the US and start the family based immigrant petition process by filing form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on her behalf. The fee is $420. This will be processed in the US and will take approximately 4 to 5 months.

Step 2: Once the I-130 is approved, it will be forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) for processing. You will be asked to submit form I-864, Affidavit of Support with the fee of $88. You and she will be instructed to complete form DS-260, Immigrant Visa Application with the fee of $230.

Step 3: Once the NVC finishes its processing, the case will be forwarded to the US consulate or Embassy where your wife lives. She will be asked to schedule an interview, and instructed to undergo a Medical Examination with a civil surgeon. She will turn in form I-693, Medical Examination, to the examining physician. He will return it to her in a sealed envelope that should not be opened until she is instructed otherwise. Once the visa application is adjudicated by the US consulate and she is approved, she will be eligible to travel to the US. When she enters, she will do so as a permanent resident, and should receive her green card within 4 to 6 weeks.

Generally, the entire process takes approximately 8 to 10 months.

Now with the I-130, you should provide the following documentation:
- Fee
- marriage certificate
- proof of USC status as USC
- divorce decrees or death certificates from previous spouses, if applicable
- birth certificate for alien
- birth certificate for USC
- proof of bona fide, good faith marriage (photos of you together with family, friends, etc., letters from family attesting to the validity and realness of the marriage, copy of wedding invitation, etc. Anything that would indicate that you are in a real relationship is useful for this purpose)
- G-325A for USC
- G-325A for alien
- passport photos for USC
- passport photos for alien

As for all of the other forms, the attached instructions or instructions from the NVC or US consulate will provide guidance on what supporting documents are required.

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