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Ask Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. Your Own...
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq.
Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq., Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 106932
Experience:  10+ years of experience in various aspects of U.S. Immigration Law.
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My husband is a US citizen, I am from Trinidad & Tobago in

Customer Question

My husband is a US citizen, I am from Trinidad & Tobago in the Caribbean. We have been married 2/12 years but have not yet begun immigration process. I possess a B2 visa and have traveled often on that but now wish to begin the process. I am currently working in the Caribbean; can I begin to regularize my status now while I am not in the US?
JA: What is your official status? Do you have any pending applications or petitions with USCIS?
Customer: No
JA: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?
Customer: Not formally
JA: Anything else you think the lawyer should know?
Customer: Not that I can think of
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Immigration Lawyer about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 8 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.

Please give me a few minutes to review your question and I will be right with you with an answer. Sorry for any delay. I may have to do some research and at the same time I read and type fast, but not that fast! Thank you for your patience.

Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 8 months ago.

Basically, there are two "correct" ways to do this:

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 you enter the U.S., you 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 you enter the U.S., you enter as a Resident and you do not have to file (or pay for) an I-485 nor do you have to attend an additional interview. You just get your 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 you can use to enter the U.S. while that process is pending. You will most likely have to wait outside. You are NOT supposed to use the B-2 tourist visa to come to the U.S. when you have immigrant intent. If you tried and they discovered your intent, then one of three things could happen:

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

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

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

Here is a link to the K-1 and CR-1/IR-1:

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. 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 8 months 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!