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Judith Ludwic
Judith Ludwic, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 28865
Experience:  34 years as practicing immigration attorney, with non-immigrant and immigrant visa experience.
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Hello Judith, My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am a US citizen. I have

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Hello Judith,
My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am a US citizen. I have a girlfriend that is currently in Bolivia. We would like to marry in the US and I would like to know the procedures to bring her to the US and marry her here. We both would greatly appreciate you helping us with our questions. Thank you very much!


Hello Marion, thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions.

May I ask if there is any possibility of her coming back to the US on her student visa to study for a semester?


How long ago did she leave?



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She has been out of the country for almost 2 months now. She has no plans to continue studying here. She would come back to marry and settle down.


And I am glad to rate you for your credit service. Thank you for the fast reply.

Well Marion, it is going to take a great deal of time for her to come back on a K1 fiancé visa.

That is why I suggested she enter again for a semester of school to come here more quickly.


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
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-129F 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

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 notice and instructions for her to begin the visa
process by submitting the DS-156 & 156K Visa Application.

After that is received the USCIS will request her background/security check be
done by the FBI she will then receive her instructions for her medical and visa

She will be told what documentation to bring.

She should 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 if you had a family previously. 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).

After her interview she will be told to leave her passportand the immigrant visa packet will to sent back to her within 2 weeks at which time she may travel to the US. She has 4 months to use the visa.


Here is a great link to a flowchart with timelines


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

okay so if she comes back to the states for a semester and we try to marry then, will it be less papers ? less time?

Yes, she will only need a new I-20 and she can enter on her F1 visa stamp if she is not outside the US for more than 5 months.

She would need to report to school and stay in at least the one semester and should wait at least 2-3 months before you marry.

She cannot enter on the student visa with the intent to immigrate. The presumption is that after being in the US for 60-90 days she did not intend at entry to marry.



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

She would only need her documents (passport, etc) as well as her I-20 and F1 to get married? Would the 6-10 wait time be shortened significantly then?

The 6-10 month wait time is for processing for a K1 visa to be issued.

Since she is entering as a student again to resume her studies, she does not have to wait for a visa, she already has it in her passport.

She needs to wait to marry because a student has to have the intent to return home at the end of her studies. So when she enters she cannot intend to marry and immigrate.

She can however, change her mind after entry and decide to marry while a student.

The presumption is that is she does not change her mind for 60-90 days after entry she had no intention to marry when she entered.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much that makes a lot of sense now.


What happens if she is not able to come back within the 5 months?

She would have to apply for a new student visa at the US Embassy.



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you.

Would you know the procedure if I were to get married in Bolivia instead of her coming to the states (vise versa)?


No, I only know US immigration law.



Customer: replied 3 years ago.

The 5 month period, could it be somehow "extended" or "reset" if she came back to the states to visit? What I mean is that if she cannot be accepted into another school within the 5 month period, could she come up to visit the country, then leave again and have another 5 months?

No, she has to re-enter as a student within 5 months to use her current visa.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you very much for your help! You have done a lot for us. God bless you!


I will rate you after you reply to this message. I just wanted to tell you thanks before the conversation ends

You are very welcome.

You can always have me as your personal immigration law expert by starting a new question thread with "FOR JUDITH" and I will be at your service. I appreciate your business.


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