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Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 105614
Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
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I met a lady in Ukraine, have visited her, and will visit

Customer Question

I met a lady in Ukraine, have visited her, and will visit her again. I may want to eventually bring her here as a wife, but first, she needs to come and make sure Our Country is good for her. She has no visa, and has never applied, but is very fearful of the application and interview. She has an 8 year old son that she will not bring with her on her visit. Also, no criminal record, a job and an apartment.
I visited with an Immigration Lawyer who said her chances of a visa were 1 in 10, but when I asked how much money, he said $5000 and it would not be a problem. I think that is a bit fishy.
Question:
Is it so hard to get a tourist visa from Ukraine?
Why would that be hard if we are being honest?
How can I help here since she is a little shy about "our" people in Ukraine?
Should there be an invitation letter?
My government will not answer any questions for me, or even respond, as if I am a criminal. I have been cleared for TSA, Firearms, Public Notary, and a US passport. Why are we reading horror stories on the net? Why would she be denied?
Donnie
Submitted: 6 months ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 6 months ago.

Hello! My name is***** and I am a licensed attorney with more than 14 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.

You are absolutely right to think that is fishy. The chances are probably that low, but throwing money at it is not really going to substantially increase the chances. Let's say depending on her strong ties, a more realistic outlook would be 2 or 3 out of 10 and having an attorney would make that maybe 3 or 4 out of 10. Again, really it depends on her strong ties to her country and if she has a pretty great life over there that one wouldn't normally abandon. But as far as the horror stories, they are pretty much correct. There is no visa available to just see if the U.S. is nice enough to come and live. This is because they don't want people using B-2 tourist visas to come and check things out and then decide to stay (which is legal if they marry a U.S. Citizen and file). So tell me a little bit about how great her life is over there, her financial situation, etc. Also, why couldn't her child stay behind? That's a BIG tie that would make her go back home after a visit.

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 6 months ago.

You are absolutely right to think that is fishy. The chances are probably that low, but throwing money at it is not really going to substantially increase the chances. Let's say depending on her strong ties, a more realistic outlook would be 2 or 3 out of 10 and having an attorney would make that maybe 3 or 4 out of 10. Again, really it depends on her strong ties to her country and if she has a pretty great life over there that one wouldn't normally abandon. But as far as the horror stories, they are pretty much correct. There is no visa available to just see if the U.S. is nice enough to come and live. This is because they don't want people using B-2 tourist visas to come and check things out and then decide to stay (which is legal if they marry a U.S. Citizen and file). So tell me a little bit about how great her life is over there, her financial situation, etc. Also, why couldn't her child stay behind? That's a BIG tie that would make her go back home after a visit.

Customer: replied 6 months ago.
Thank you. Not much "new" information though. Her son WILL stay behind. She has a job and will request vacation, lives in her own appartment and is close to her family there. She will have a round trip flight booked and we will have plans to celebrate her birthday her. She will be 40.
Basically, we should do it on our own? $5000 is a little much that won't increase her chances much. This discusts me because I see so many illegals in OK and Texas. If an american wants to do the "right thing", its been made really hard by cheaters who are now here. Grrrr!
Thank you for responding.
Donnie
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 6 months ago.

Yes, I understand, but you would have to be in their shoes to understand that being illegal isn't a cake walk either. They don't want to be illegal but they did it wrong and sure, they live safe and maybe have semi-good jobs, but they cannot advance in the country or in their lives in general because of their illegal status.

But anyway, I digress. To answer your question, yes, it is hard to get a visitor visa from the Ukraine but not impossible.

You can look at the link below for all the information that you need on the visitor visa:

http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/visit/visitor.html

Essentially, she must have a valid reason for visiting, must have a way to support herself without working illegally, must have significant ties to her home country, and must have the intent to return home.

A letter of invitation helps with some of this as it will help to show why she is coming to the U.S., how much time she will need and that perhaps she will have a place to stay so that she doesn't have to spend money. Usually you want to show that she is going just for a few weeks or so. If it is longer than that, immigration will wonder why and will become suspicious. They are almost sure to deny someone that says they want to visit for 5 or 6 months unless they have very strong evidences of everything else I listed above. So your letter should state why you are inviting her and that you will provide room and board while she is here visiting. But keep in mind that a letter of invitation is a small part of the process and isn't even a requirement (people mistakenly believe it is the most important) and it can sometimes be used against the applicant. For example, if the consular officer believes that the applicant will have too much support meaning that they could stay illegally in the U.S. or if there is a romantic connection, the officer would deny the visa. Sometimes it is better to not even have a letter of invitation. The most important part of a case is to have strong ties to the home country.

Now as to some of the ties, she will need to show that she has significant close family at home, property not easily sold, and a good job for a good company that she has had for awhile that she would not normally abandon.

So if she is young, and without much money or any property or a good job, she would probably be denied. They would see her as a risk for staying illegal. Also, persons that are planning to travel with their spouse and children are a risk as well because some of their significant ties are actually going with them.

I mean some people have been approved with less, but I am trying to give you the idea for the best chance.

If she tries and fails, then she can either apply again, or you can try to get her here through you, and 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 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 those visas:

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

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.

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. If you do not see any stars or smiley faces, please at least leave a THANK YOU for me so I can let the administrators know. Your question thread does NOT close, so you can ask additional questions without additional charge even after leaving a positive rating. Thank you for your understanding.

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 6 months ago.

Hello Donald. 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 6 months ago.

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

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