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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 3963
Experience:  Private practice in several areas, including immigration
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Customer Question

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Immigration Law
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year 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.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am sorry! I wanted to direct my question to Jennifer. Can you please pass this along to her?Hello Jennifer,Thank you for answering this past question.
My gf and I have arrived in the US.
Unfortunately, when we were leaving the airport we were taken aside and questioned.
My gf was asked if I was her boyfriend to which she responded "no" and that we were just friends.
She was also asked her reasons for visiting, if she intended to work, etc.
Afterwards, we were allowed to enter with no problem.
Do we need to be concerned about this interview? Will it have any affect on when I petition for her green card after we get married? Thank you very much for your help. I do not know if you have our previous correspondence on file, so I will paste it here:Also, although I know it is not recommended by the consulate, is it possible to travel stateside, get married and try and work it out in the US? As a Japanese citizen she is entitled to an ESTA/visa waiver which she just has to register for online to travel to the US without a visa. That being said, she can come to the US to visit as a tourist if she gets the ESTA. However, it is unlawful for someone to travel to the US as a tourist (nonimmigrant visa) while having the intentions of staying/immigrating in the US to apply for their green card. BUT if a person comes as a tourist and only has tourist intentions when they enter the US, but once they are inside the US (say a few weeks later), that person suddenly decides to remain in the US, that is actually legal and allowed to be done. It all turns on the "INTENTION" upon entering the US. In order to know what a person's true intentions are, the Customs officers at the airport have a lot of leeway and discretion with questioning people who are entering the US, if they are suspicious of their intentions. An officer can choose to take someone to the questioning room and talk about their plans in the US, ask them if they are planning to stay in the US, and they can even search belongings (phone, laptops, bags) for clues as to whether it seems that person is coming permanently. It doesn't happen all the time and she may be able to come in very easily, but it's important to keep in mind that it is a possibility.If you fiance does come to the US as a tourist with only tourist intentions and then once she's in the US she decides to stay here and marry you, then yes, that is the fastest and most direct route to her green card.YES I AM 100% CERTAIN. I CANNOT SPEAK TO YOUR FRIEND'S CASE. I DO NOT KNOW WHAT COMPLICATIONS THEY FACED, BUT IN GENERAL, IF A FOREIGNER ENTERS THE US LEGALLY WITH A VISA OR VISA WAIVER AND THEY MARRY A US CITIZEN (in GENUINE REAL RELATIONSHIP) THEN ONCE the foreigner is INSIDE THE US, THEIR SPOUSE CAN PETITION FOR THEIR GREEN CARD. ON AVERAGE IT TAKES ABOUT 6 MONTHS TO RECEIVE THE GREEN CARD.BUT AGAIN, AS AN ATTORNEY I MUST EMPHASIZE THAT IT IS UNLAWFUL FOR A FOREIGNER TO ENTER THE US ON A TOURIST VISA OR VISA WAIVER WITH INTENTIONS TO STAY AND APPLY FOR A GREEN CARD. IT IS CONSIDERED TO BE FRAUD. HOWEVER, IF THE FOREIGNER IS ABLE TO ENTER THE US, AND ONCE THEY ARE HERE, HE/SHE THEN SUDDENLY LATER DECIDES (UNPLANNED) TO REMAIN HERE AND APPLY FOR A GREEN CARD, THAT IS LAWFUL. ALSO NOTE THAT THERE IS A PRESUMPTION OF FRAUD OF A FOREIGNER APPLIES FOR THEIR GREENCARD WITHIN 30 DAYS OF ENTERING. AFTER 60 DAYS, THE PRESUMPTION IS REBUTTED.2)If we were to begin this route, would we need to get married in the same state that we intend to live in?IF YOU DECIDED TO MARRY ONCE SHE IS IN THE US, YOU DO NOT NEED TO MARRY IN THE STATE THAT YOU WILL LIVE.Would we have to pretend that we met stateside to immigration officials? NO, THERE IS NO ISSUE WITH HAVING MET IN JAPAN.
Expert:  Guillermo J. Senmartin, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

Sure, I will Opt Out. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
thank you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hello, still waiting to be connected to Jennifer Marie Esq. Could you please put through my request? Thank you.