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Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 105684
Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
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I am a natural US citizen, my wife is Colombian. We got

Customer Question

I am a natural US citizen, my wife is Colombian. We got married in Sept. In the staes While she was on a tourist visa, the returned to Colombia to live. My job will end at the end of December this year and I will move back to the US. She is planning to move to the states the end of February. We have not yet started any type of immigration paperwork.
Our queations are can she come on a tourist visa and stay? Can I start her paperwork when I start my new job in Janurary? Or is it better to start while she is here? She qill need to travel back and forth to Colombia, due to her family business obligations and such. I know we need an lawyer, I started most of the paperwork, and there are a few other items that I will need to bring up. For example, she received a social security number while a high school exchange student around 1980, never worked or used in any way.
Thanks.
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 12 months ago.

Hello! My name is***** and 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.

The problem is that she is not supposed to use a tourist visa to enter the U.S. if her intent is to stay. They may just wave her on through, but if they look her up and see she is married to a U.S. Citizen or if they question her and figure it out, one of three things could 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.

To be safe, I would start one of the two processes now:

1) The K-3 spouse visa takes 6 to 9 months. The I-129F will cost $340 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.

2) The CR-1 visa (or IR-1 if your marriage is more than 2 years old) takes about 1 year or so. 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-3 is 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 both:

http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/immigrate/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

My goal is to provide you with excellent service – if you feel you have received anything less, please reply back as I am happy to address follow-up questions and there is no additional charge. Also, should you need to chat on the phone, private email or need help reviewing documentation, I am happy to do so for a small additional cost. Let me know if you are interested in these – I am happy to give you more details! When we are done, if you would be so kind as to leave a positive rating for my service, I would sincerely ***** ***** 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. You can even ask additional questions without additional charge even after leaving a positive rating. Thank you for your understanding.

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 12 months ago.

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

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 11 months ago.

Thank you for your kindness and respect. Good luck to you.

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