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Judith
Judith, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 28201
Experience:  34 years as practicing immigration attorney, with non-immigrant and immigrant visa experience.
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I am US citizen, and my girlfriend is from Mexico. Im

Customer Question

Hello. I am US citizen, and my girlfriend is from Mexico. Im curious to know the steps/ how it works, if we were to get married. Any advice would be much appreciated.
Submitted: 1 year ago via USmarriagelaws.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Judith replied 1 year ago.
Hello, my name is Judith. Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions. I have 34 years experience as a licensed immigration attorney.
Is she present in the US on a nonimmigrant visa?
What visa?
Or she has no visa and you are marrying in Mexico?
Judith
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She is current staying in New Mexico with family. And she has a visitors visa, that expires in December. I'm not sure if getting married in the U.S. Is better. Or in Mexico.
Expert:  Judith replied 1 year ago.
She cannot use her visitor visa to enter the US with the intent to marry and immigrate.
However if she comes as a visitor and after a period of time you and she decide to marry then there is no fraud or misrepresentation on her entry.
Matter of Cavazos, 17 I&N Dec.215 (BIA 1980)
http://www.justice.gov/sites/default/files/eoir/legacy/2012/08/17/2750.pdf
That case held that the presumption of immigrant intent does not apply to immediate relatives if adjust ment is filed within 60 days.
However, that does not mean that the USCIS cannot look at other facts and they have many resources available to investigate whether there was a fraud or misrepresentation to the CBP when questioned at entry. So for example, if the CPB officer asked your father why he was coming and if he was going back home and he answered "yes" but had abandoned all his ties to his home country then the USCIS could consider his statements as being a misrepresentation or fraudulent. So the adjustment could be denied on that basis and not on the immigrant intent issue.
If she enters as a visitor before December and you spontaneously marry she can remain in the US while you and she go through the process to get her green card.
Here is what you will need: Find instructions for each here:
http://www.uscis.gov/forms
I-130 Immigrant Petition (signed by US citizen spouse)
I-485 Application for Adjustment of Status (signed by alien)
I-765 Employment Authorization Application (signed by alien)
I-131 Application for Travel Document (signed by alien- this document permits alien to travel during the pendency of their "green card" case)
G-325A Biographic Sheet (one for alien and one for their spouse)
G-1145
A medical examination in a sealed envelope performed by a civil surgeon (find one here: https://egov.uscis.gov/crisgwi/go?action=offices.type&OfficeLocator.office_type=CIV
I-864 Affidavit of Support
Two passport sized photos of spouse
Six passport size photos of alien
Copy of alien’s passport including all blank pages and I-94
Copy of US citizen birth certificate, natz cert or passport
Copy of spouse's birth certificate
Copy of any divorce decrees
Copy of marriage certificate
One check for the I-130 in the amount of $420
One check for the I-485/765/131 in the amount of $1,070
The packet get filed at the PO box on Page 6 of the instructions
http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-485instr.pdf
You can read about the process at this site
http://www.uscis.gov/green-card/green-card-through-family/green-card-immediate-relative-us-citizen
Conditional Resident status is granted for 2 years. You and your spouse have to file a joint petition to remove this conditional status within 90 days of the 2nd anniversary date of the adjustment approval.
http://www.uscis.gov/green-card/after-green-card-granted/conditional-permanent-residence
If you marry in Mexico she will be turned away at the border as an intending immigrant and will need to wait there for approximately 6-9 months to get her visa to enter as your spouse under a K3 or CR1 visa. The K3 permits her to enter while your petition is still pending and the CR1 is where she enters as a permanent resident.
I will be signing off shortly for the night but will answer any of your follow-up questions tomorrow morning.
I see this is the first time you are using JA and I am eager to make this a positive experience for you. Please ask follow-up questions if my answer is not clear.
Of course, I am sure you understand your positive rating is very important to me as we are not on salary and that is how we receive compensation, you choosing a smiley face, but more importantly, I want you to come back to the site for all your answers from over a 100 categories of experts!
In the future, you may begin your questions with “FOR JUDITH” and I will be your personal immigration expert.
Judith
Expert:  Judith replied 1 year ago.
I know this is a complex subject matter and am available for your follow-up questions today and or a telephone discussion if you think talking on the phone would help clarify matters.
Please let me know what more I can do to help you understand my answer or to provide additional information.
You commence the immigration process to bring your spouse to the US by filing with USCIS in the US..
Unfortunately, you will have to be patient because it will take a total of 6-10 months for you and she to go through the arduous process of her immigrating.
You will file form I-130 with the USCIS here in the US at the lockbox (PO Box) as per the instructions.
You must include with the form a G-325A for you and she along with 2 passport style photos of each of you.
You can find those forms and instructions at this link
http://www.uscis.gov/forms
Once your petition is approved (it will take 3-5 months) you will be notified and the petition will be sent to the National Visa Center. In approximately 2-3 weeks they will send you a bill for the immigrant visa fee $230 and your Affidavit of Support (I-864) $88.
Once you pay these you will receive instruction on submittin the I-864 and she will get her instructions on begining the immigrant visa process by submitting the DS-230 Immigrant Visa Application.
After that is received the USCIS will request her background/security check be done by the FBI.
When the clearance on her is received her file is forwarded to the US consulate or Embassy closest to her.
She will then receive her instructions for her medical and visa appointment.
She will be told what documentation to bring.
Regarding their attempts to identify marriages that are not made in good faith you and she need to document your relationship with pictures, cards, emails, printouts of your skype conversations, etc.
You also need to discuss your personal life details in detail such as where you work, physical address, your position, job duties, details about your family and details about them, such as where your children go to school, work or other information about them. You should converse as much as possible in English as it is best for her to do her interview in English as that is additional evidence of you having a good relationship - that you can communicate in a common language (unless you are fluent in Spanish).
They question marriages where the spouses cannot talk to one another.
AFter her interview she will be told to leave her passport and the immigrant visa packet will to sent back to her withing 2 weeks at which time she may travel to the US. She has 6 months to use the visa.
Upon arrival she is processed as a permanent resident and she will receive her resident card in the mail in 30-60 days. She will be a conditional resident and you and she will have to file to remove the conditions within the 90 day window of the expiration of her 2 year conditional status.
This wait can be shortened by approx 2-3 months by filing an I-129F petition as soon as you have the fee receipt for the I-130. This is approved somewhat faster than the underling I-130 and she can proceed with the consular processing without an approved I-130. Nothing much changes in the consular processing as outlined above except she files for the actual green card in a process here in the US once she arrives because she is given a K3 visa to enter which is not the green card but a visa to enter to file for the green card.
Yes, all this is very very complicated!
Of course, I am sure you understand your positive rating is very important to me as we are not on salary and that is how we receive compensation, you choosing a smiley face or stars.
In the future, you may begin your questions with “FOR JUDITH” and I will be your personal immigration expert.
JJudith