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Expert James
Expert James, Immigration Attorney
Category: Immigration Law
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Experience:  Experienced in all aspects of immigration and nationality law.
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I went to England 5 years ago and stayed for three weeks and

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I went to England 5 years ago and stayed for three weeks and fell in love, and for the past 5 years we have stayed in contact, at times daily for months on end. He is coming to visit me from England for 90 days, which I believe is the maximum time he can come as a tourist and I don't want him to go back, if we decide to marry while he is here, can he stay? If he does not go back after the 90 days what paperwork do I need to do to keep him here with me? I can't imagine being away from him, the last 5 years have been horrible, but he had to stay in England and take care of his Mother who was Ill...she just passed away and he is now without obligation..
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Expert James replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for using this service. I'll do my best to answer your questions as completely and honestly as I can. All I ask in return is that you give me a positive rating for my customer service. This is the only way I get credit for assisting you. If you feel the need to use "poor service" or "bad service," please ask follow-up questions instead, so that I can try to help you further.

Technically, yes, that is possible. But if his purpose of entering the US is to marry you and then stay in the US?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Yes, I would hope that would be the end result. His mom was put in a home, and he was able to get away from work for 3 months so he bought a ticket and is coming here in October. We want to get married, and I was researching it and everywhere I looked it sounded like he would have to go home and maybe not come back for another year while all the paperwork is approved for him to come back as my spouse...Is that true, would he have to leave??


 

Expert:  Expert James replied 1 year ago.

Amber,

 

It is possible to come as a visitor, and then adjust status after marrying a US citizen. But usually only in circumstances where the person came with the intent to visit only, and then later met and married a US citizen and decided to stay. And usually, they are only safe from questioning of intent (discussed below).

 

But the problem in this case is that if he is coming to the US for the purpose of (with the intent to) getting married and staying in the US, then he should not use the visitor visa, as that would be a violation of immigration laws. It could lead to big problems.

 

The reason this is the case is because the US immigration authorities do not want people circumventing the appropriate channels (which take anywhere from 9 months to 1 year (CR-1 spousal visa) or 6 to 9 months (K-1 fiance visa)) so that they can get to the US and get married and stay without waiting these processing times. In other words, there is an appropriate process for this (either K-1 fiance or CR-1 marriage based visas), so using the inappropriate methods to get around long waiting times is a violation of immigration laws.

 

The right way to do this would be to petition for his K-1 fiance visa, and then for him to come in about 6 to 9 months, get married within 90 days, and then apply for adjustment of status to get his green card to live and work in the US. K-1 visa information: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_2994.html.

 

If he enters as a visitor, he must get married and submit the application for adjustment of status before his 90 days expires. Otherwise, he will be asked to leave. The problem with this is that if a person comes as a visitor and within the first 90 days, gets married, then when he submits the application for adjustment of status, it could very well raise questions as to his intent when he entered the US. He would have to show that he did not intend to get married and apply for adjustment of status when he entered the US as a visitor. This is not very easy to do.

 

So if he does what you are planning to do, then he needs to be very prepared to explain that he did not have the intent to get married when he entered with the visitor status. That is not going to be easy to do, so you both will need to get an attorney to help, if that's how you go. But again, this is an illegal process and it is still possible to get a denial. If that's how you go, the longer you wait to get married and submit the documentation and applications and petition, the better.

 

I hope I have answered your questions. Keep in mind that I only get credit for my work if you rate me positively. If you're satisfied with my answer and my professionalism - not the outcome or the state of the law which I cannot control - please select a top-three rating. Again, if you feel the need to use "poor service" or "bad service," please ask follow-up questions instead, so that I can try to help you further. Remember that the bottom two negative ratings are used for Experts or professionals who are rude and/or bad at their job, and I'm confident you'll find me to be professional and truthful with you.

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Thank you!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Thank you for your honesty. I am 50 years old and he is 55...so we are not rash people. If I were to marry anyone it would be him, there have been so many obligations over the last 5 years that have kept us apart...his mom was a huge responsibility, and the first chance in all these years came up when she was taken into care, just this weekend she passed away so he has no obligations to stay in England any longer, and although it has not been our plan for him to come here and marry me, there is a greater opportunity now that he is free. I just wanted to know if that is the case, if he comes here and we feel that we want to spend this second half of our life together and DO decide to marry you are saying he would have to go back to england and we would have to do all of the paperwork to have him brought back as my spouse, and if we dont marry now, we would have to get a k-1 and he would have to come back a second time and marry, and then still have to do more paper work in order to stay?


 

Expert:  Expert James replied 1 year ago.

QUESTION: I just wanted to know if that is the case, if he comes here and we feel that we want to spend this second half of our life together and DO decide to marry you are saying he would have to go back to england and we would have to do all of the paperwork to have him brought back as my spouse

ANSWER: Not necessarily. Take a look at my previous response. There is a chance he would not have to leave, if he can show that his intent was not to stay and get married when he first entered the US. But there is a bigger chance that he would be asked to leave if he can't do that. I can't really predict how the reviewing officer will decide that.

 

QUESTION: If we dont marry now, we would have to get a k-1 and he would have to come back a second time and marry, and then still have to do more paper work in order to stay?

ANSWER: Correct. Or you can get married while he is here or you are there, and then he can leave and go through the 1 year process from abroad. So the K-1 is the better option of these two, since it takes less time. But once he comes to the US and gets married, he'd have to apply for adjustment of status to get his green card. That can take 6 to 9 months, but at least he'll be here with you.

 

I hope I have answered your questions. Keep in mind that I only get credit for my work if you rate me positively. If you're satisfied with my answer and my professionalism - not the outcome or the state of the law which I cannot control - please select a top-three rating. Again, if you feel the need to use "poor service" or "bad service," please ask follow-up questions instead, so that I can try to help you further. Remember that the bottom two negative ratings are used for Experts or professionals who are rude and/or bad at their job, and I'm confident you'll find me to be professional and truthful with you.

A bonus is appreciated, if you feel I've earned it.

If you want me to answer questions in the future, you can write "FOR LONGHORN" at the beginning of your question, or go directly to my question page here: Ask Longhorn Lawyer

Thank you!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

So in a nutshell there are only two options, and no guarantees unless he does the k-1 right?


 


Option 1- If we decide to marry, he stays and we try to prove his intent was not to marry me when he came here. If all goes well he applies for a green card, but we would need a lawyer to be successful?


 


Option 2, He stays for three months and I am grateful for the time together, he goes home and applies for a k-1 which can take several months, and comes back again, we get married and he can stay while he applies for his green card?


 


 

Expert:  Expert James replied 1 year ago.

Amber,

 

QUESTION: Option 1- If we decide to marry, he stays and we try to prove his intent was not to marry me when he came here. If all goes well he applies for a green card, but we would need a lawyer to be successful?

ANSWER: Correct. You do not require a lawyer. I'm just saying that when questions are raised by the USCIS, as could happen in this case, it is good to have an experienced attorney on your side to help you properly respond and successfully achieve what it is you are trying to achieve. You don't have to have an attorney, I just think it is a good idea.

QUESTION: Option 2, He stays for three months and I am grateful for the time together, he goes home and applies for a k-1 which can take several months, and comes back again, we get married and he can stay while he applies for his green card?

ANSWER: Correct.

 

And the last option would be to get married, he leaves the US and completes the CR-1 marriage based immigration process from outside the US, which can take up to a year on average.

 

I hope I have answered your questions. Keep in mind that I only get credit for my work if you rate me positively. If you're satisfied with my answer and my professionalism - not the outcome or the state of the law which I cannot control - please select a top-three rating. Again, if you feel the need to use "poor service" or "bad service," please ask follow-up questions instead, so that I can try to help you further. Remember that the bottom two negative ratings are used for Experts or professionals who are rude and/or bad at their job, and I'm confident you'll find me to be professional and truthful with you.

A bonus is appreciated, if you feel I've earned it.

If you want me to answer questions in the future, you can write "FOR LONGHORN" at the beginning of your question, or go directly to my question page here: Ask Longhorn Lawyer

Thank you!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Okay, I tried to add to the last question, and it wouldn't let me...


 


This is my last question, I am sorry I have kept you so long..


 


How would he go about staying longer than the 3 months, could he extend his time here for 6 months, and during that time could he apply for his k-1 from here, or does that not make sense? I guess I am trying every avenue not to have him have to go back :( I am fully able to support him, and I guess part of me is concerned that if he goes back we will be apart for maybe a year, it is all so uncertain...

Expert:  Expert James replied 1 year ago.

No problem.

 

No. He can't apply for a visa from within the US. Visas are only issued abroad. Some people can apply for a change of status, but there are two problems here:

 

1) The K-1 visa is not issued in the US. K-1 status can not be requested from within the US and one cannot change his status to K-1 from within the US.

 

2) Even if one could do so, when a person enters the US on the visa waiver program (which he is in this case), he is not permitted to extend or change his status to any other status but permanent resident. So he wouldn't be able to extend his status or do a change of status. That's one of the drawbacks of the visa waiver program.

 

The options I gave you previously are the only options in this case.

 

I hope I have answered your questions. Keep in mind that I only get credit for my work if you rate me positively. If you're satisfied with my answer and my professionalism - not the outcome or the state of the law which I cannot control - please select a top-three rating. Again, if you feel the need to use "poor service" or "bad service," please ask follow-up questions instead, so that I can try to help you further. Remember that the bottom two negative ratings are used for Experts or professionals who are rude and/or bad at their job, and I'm confident you'll find me to be professional and truthful with you.

A bonus is appreciated, if you feel I've earned it.

If you want me to answer questions in the future, you can write "FOR LONGHORN" at the beginning of your question, or go directly to my question page here: Ask Longhorn Lawyer

Thank you!

Expert James, Immigration Attorney
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 7778
Experience: Experienced in all aspects of immigration and nationality law.
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