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Jen Marie, Esq.
Jen Marie, Esq., Immigration Attorney
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 5207
Experience:  She has worked on all types of U.S. Immigration cases since 2007.
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We got married in May 2105, my wife had a travel visa, she

Customer Question

we got married in May 2105, my wife had a travel visa, she had been going back and forth to mexico for the last 6 years. she is currently in mexico, her visa is still valid what is the best way to get her to stay in u.s. as my wife,
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Jen Marie, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** I will be the immigration attorney helping you today.

The "best" way is subjective. I can just give you information on the ways that exist and you would have to decide which is best for you.

Here are all the options that you currently have with prices and time frames:

A) Since you are married, you would qualify for the The CR-1 visa for her. This one takes about 9 months to 1 year before she is allowed into the US after sending the application. To begin You will submit an I-130 .The fees are $420 for the I-130 and $400 and $120 for the visa processing fee and for an Affidavit of Support fee. The good thing is that once she is approved and she enters, he will already be a permanent resident and doesn't have to apply for anything else. That means you don't pay the $1070 that I mentioned in option A. She will just receive the green card in the mail a few weeks later. As far as visiting, legally she can enter the US as a tourist while the fiance visa is pending. However, whether they will let her in will be up to the CBP officer at the port of entry. There is a high chance they could deny entry as a tourist with the CR-1 visa pending if they think she intends to stay istead of just coming for a visit. Even if her intention is to leave, the fact that she has a CR-1 visa pending, which they will know at the airport, may make the officer suspect that she is trying to enter just to stay and not allow her in to do that. Then she just has to wait to come in was a resident. It could be that she has no issue coming in but there is a risk with that ,if she wanted to visit the US during those months.

B)Another option is that if on one of the trips to the US as a tourist, you and your wife suddenly decide to just stay in the US and do the process here, you can submit the proper applications to get her green card here in the US. However, in this option, she would have to stay in the US without departing for at least 3-4 months until she receives a travel permit. If she leaves the US before that, the process would be considered abandoned and he has to start again. SHe would receive the green card in about 5-6 months total in this option. And total fees is $1490.

The important thing to note in this option is that it is illegal for your wife to be coming to the US as a tourist with intentions to then apply for a green card from here. It is legal for her visit as she may have done before as long as her intentions are to leave after. It's also legal to come in with intentions to visit but then suddenly she decides to stay here after she is already in the US. Keep in mind that Her bags, phone, laptop, person is subject to search and she is subject to questioning if there are any suspicions of her intentions. They do this in order to find proof to try to confirm whether she is coming on that trip to move to the US. It's all about her intention upon entry to the US.

C) The K-3 visa goes hand in hand with Option A. Once you file the I-130 and it is pending, you can file the I129F form to apply for the K-3 visa once you have the receipt from the I-130 to try to get a K-3 visa. The K-3 sometimes saves you about 1-3 months compared to OptionAB. However, if the I-130 gets approved before the I-129F is approved, then the I-129F becomes null and void and you have no choice but to continue with option A. This happens often. If the I-129F gets approved first then she can come into the US with the K-3 visa but she is not entering as a permanent resident as in Option B. Instead she is entering with a visa (like option A) and would still need to apply for permanent residence when she enters for $1070 and wait the 5-6 months for the interview.

Good luck to you during this process and I hope this answer has helped you!

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