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Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 107654
Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
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I'm a US Citizen and my girlfriend is coming here to see me

Customer Question

I'm a US Citizen and my girlfriend is coming here to see me again and she wants to know what documents from Colombia are needed for marriage? Or, can I have her to contact this firm for further questions? I have been sponsoring her for 1 year now and capable of supporting her. What will be the total legal fees to make our dream come true?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello! Thank you for requesting me. I am a licensed attorney with more than 13 years of experience. I am here to assist you with your questions. Please understand that if I ask you for additional information, you are NOT charged again and our communications are NOT timed. So please see this as a relaxed conversation between friends. I am here to help.

How have you been "sponsoring" her? What visa has she been using to enter the U.S.?

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

I do not know why you are not responding, but you are not charged per question, per response, nor per answer. So after I give you my answer, you can continue to ask me questions without additional charge until you are satisfied. I apologize if it is a site issue that you posted and the post did not go through.

First, let me explain that she is not supposed to use a B-2 tourist visa to enter the U.S. if she has the intent to stay. This is very dangerous. Why? Because if they stop her and question her and discover that her intent is to marry you and stay, one of three things can happen:

a) They will allow her to withdraw her request to enter the U.S. and she can go home, no penalty.

b) They will not allow her to withdraw her request to enter the U.S. and will order her excluded. This has a 5 year penalty that she cannot come back unless she gets a very hard to get waiver.

c) They will not allow her to withdraw her request to enter the U.S. and they catch her in a lie and they exclude her with a permanent bar due to fraud and/or misrepresentation and with that charge she cannot come back unless she gets a very hard to get waiver.

There are essentially three ways to bring her and none are really fast, unfortunately:

1) The K-1 fiancee visa takes 6 to 9 months, but you must have met before at least once during the last two years in order to process it. The I-129F will cost $340 plus a $350 fee for the visa processing fee. After she enters the U.S., then you have to marry and then you have to pay $1070 for the I-485 and she will have to wait about 5 to 7 months and gets another interview that you attend with your new spouse so that she can get Residency.

2) The K-3 spouse visa takes 6 to 9 months, you must be married. The I-129F will cost $340 plus $420 for the I-130, and $350 for the visa processing fee. Then after she enters the U.S., she must still file the I-485 for $1070 and wait for the marriage interview about 5 to 7 months later.

3) The CR-1 visa (or IR-1 if your marriage is more than 2 years old) takes about 1 year or so. You must be married. The fees are $420 for the I-130, $330 for the visa processing fee, $88 for an Affidavit of Support fee. But once she enters the U.S., she enters as a Resident and she does not have to file (or pay for) an I-485 nor does she have to attend an additional interview. She just gets her green card in the mail a few weeks later.

So the K-1 and K-3 are faster but generally more expensive. The CR-1 (and IR-1) are slower, but generally cheaper. And no, there is no middle-visa that she can use to enter the U.S. while that process is pending. She will most likely have to wait outside.

Here is a link to all three:

http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/immigrate/types/family/fiance.html

and another link:

http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Resources/Resources%20for%20Congress/Congressional%20Reports/I-129F%20Petition%20for%20Alien%20Fiance%28e%29.pdf

I know you do not want to wait. I know it is very inconvenient. I know you want to be together sooner rather than later, but I have this same conversation two or three times per day on this website. No one ever likes it and believe me, if there was an easier or faster way, I would tell you. I know you will probably say, “but what about this...?” or “but what about that...?” But I will most likely continue to have bad news for you. I am truly sorry. The problem is that the U.S. concerns over security and fraud in this area are more important than a 6 to 9 months inconvenience to you. The way they see it is that if it truly is a real relationship, it will survive that length of time apart. Again, I am truly sorry. I wish I had a faster and easier way to tell you about.

If you don't care about the risk and she uses her B-2 visa to enter the U.S. and she is able to make it in, then after you marry, you will need to file an adjustment package. This includes the following forms: I-130 (Petition for family member), I-485 (application for Lawful Permanent Residency), I-765 (Application for work permit), I-131 (Application for Advance Parole), G-325a (Biographic data - one for each of you), I-693 (Medical exam that a certified doctor must fill out), and I-864 (Affidavit of support). You will need to file each form with supporting evidence and appropriate filing fees. You can find these forms at www.uscis.gov/forms.

The supporting evidence that you would file would be birth certificates, marriage certificate, divorce certificates if either of you have been married previously, proof of your U.S. Citizenship, proof of your spouse's legal entry into the U.S., and financial documents to prove your income over the last year at least.

In about 3 to 5 months after filing, she should get a work permit and Advance Parole. About 5 to 7 months after filing you should get a marriage interview (though now it is taking longer, so maybe closer to 7 to 9 months). If all goes well, a few weeks later she should get a Residency status (green card).

I will now send you a low-cost offer so that I can pass on my personal phone number and email. Check your email for that and follow the directions. These are my favorite cases to do. I enjoy them and have been doing them for many years. I cannot discuss my services on an open forum, but if you accept, you will see I have multiple services available to you from document review to full representation and all economical. You won't be disappointed. If you want to decline it, no problem, you can ask additional questions without any additional charge. But if you do decline it, PLEASE remember to leave a positive rating for me. You can do that by clicking on the 3rd, 4th or 5th stars if you see them, or the smiley faces if you see them. Since I am not given a salary, it is the only way that I am compensated by the website. Use those smiley faces or stars. Also, a bonus is always appreciated if you feel I earned it. And finally, your question does NOT close just because it says, To finish… I can still answer additional questions for you without additional charge. Thank you for your understanding.

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello. I'm just following up with you to see how everything is going. Did my answer help? Please let me know. Thank you!

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