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Im a legal us resident since 9/2016 and want to marry my…

Im a legal us...

Im a legal us resident since 9/2016 and want to marry my girlfriend in Colombia of 5 years. We have a child together that is a year and a half old. I want them to come here to live with me as I have established myself in a steady well paying job. What are my options?

Lawyer's Assistant: What steps have you taken? Have you filed any paperwork with the U.S. government?

No

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer about this?

No

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Answered in 5 minutes by:
3/17/2018
Judith Ludwic
Judith Ludwic, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 29,520
Experience: 34 years as practicing immigration attorney, with non-immigrant and immigrant visa experience.
Verified

Hello my name is ***** ***** I am delighted to answer your questions. I am reviewing it and will post your answer momentarily.

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Welcome to JustAnswer! I have 34 years experience as an immigration attorney and I am here to help resolve your immigration issue. Tackling these issues can sometimes get confusing. Should you need to chat on the phone or document review, I am able to do that for an additional cost. Let me know at any time during our question and answer session if you are interested.

I can certainly understand your desire for family unification with your girlfriend and your young child. However, as a permanent resident of 18 months you would not be eligible for them to immigrate immediately.

You can file an Immediate relative petition on their behalf which is form I-130. Here is the link to that form

https://www.uscis.gov/i-130

Since you are not a US citizen and do not qualify for citizenship until you have 5 years as a permanent resident you have to file the petition and they have to wait for a visa number to become available for them. They would fall under the Family Based category of F2A which has approximately a 2 year backlog. Those whose petitions were filed in May 2016 are now eligible for their immigrant visas.

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/legal/visa-law0/visa-bulletin/2018/visa-bulletin-for-april-2018.html

There is no short-cut to this wait. Everyone has to wait their turn and unfortunately this will cause a hardship to you and your family. Before you can file the petition for them you will have to go to Colombia and marry the girlfriend. You are able to file for your child, but I am certain you would not want to bring the child without the mother.

This link will help you understand the visa quota system for permanent residents

https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/USCIS/Resources/B1en.pdf

I hope that helps! Please let me know if you have any other questions. I appreciate this opportunity to help you. I do not receive a salary here at JustAnswer, and am only compensated for my time after receiving a rating. If you are very satisfied with my answer please take a moment to click on the 5 stars at the top of the page. The question thread remains open and you can ask follow-up questions.

Judith

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you, ***** ***** any other options? I was told that she could come as a tourist and then we marry and she would stay and then adjust status, but I feel that this would be a dishonest way of doing it and may lead to other problems. Your thoughts?
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
One other question. Do I have to file an I-130 for both my wife and child separately? If so do I understand correctly that my young daughter will immediately be eligible to receive residency and live here?

First she will have to prove to the consular officer that she is coming to the US for a temporary visit and that she has compelling ties to Colombia such as a steady job she has held for a number of years, a residence she owns or rents, financial ties and other ties that she would not to risk loosing by failing to return to Colombia.

Second, she is only given a 6 month stay. That is far short of the 2 years it will take for a visa number to become available. She can extend the stay for an additional 6 months but that is only a total of a year and she has to return and wait the rest of the time in Colombia or risk a 3 or 10 year bar if she stays beyond her authorized stay by more than 6 or 12 months.

So it is possible for her to come as a tourist but does not totally solve your problem. And she also runs the risk of being accused of lying to get her visa if she comes and gets married within 90 days of arrival. Fraud in obtaining a visa can get her permanently barred.

No you do not have to file a separate petition for the mother and child when they fall under the quota. That only applies if you are a US citizen filing for them.

Your daughter is not immediately eligible for a visa unless you are a US citizen.

If you are very satisfied with my answer please take a moment to click on the 5 stars at the top of the page. The question thread remains open and you can ask follow-up questions.

Judith

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
In looking at the I-130 I do not see where to place the name of the child

Page 6 #25a

If you are very satisfied with my answer please take a moment to click on the 5 stars at the top of the page.

Judith

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Lastly, If I get married and file the I-130 petition then she applies for a tourist visa as she has a good job and a home in Colombia is it likely that she would be granted a tourist visa to visit during the time we are waiting for her immigrant visa?

No because when you file the I-130 there is the expression of her immigrant intent and they will doubt that she will go back since she wants to immigrate.

Better to apply for tourist visa first and then wait 90 days get married and have her go back home and then you file the I-130.

If you are very satisfied with my answer please take a moment to click on the 5 stars at the top of the page.

Judith

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
if we get married in colombia after she has the tourist visa will she be able to come here and visit once and a while using her tourist visa while she is waiting for the immigrant visa?

Technically she could visit more than once. However then they scan her passport at the port of entry the I-130 for her pops up and then they could turn her away saying she is an intending immigrant. Of course she can argue that with the customs officer showing proof of her job and a letter saying she is just on holiday and return to work, proof of her residence and bank accounts. It will be at the discretion of the customs officer.

Judith

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Ah, ok I understand thanks so much for your advice. So, in your professional opinion, it would be the most prudent to get married, file the I-130, I can visit them now and then, and in two years more or less the process will continue and she and my daughter will most likely obtain their immigrant visas?

Yes, you totally understand correctly.

Judith

Judith Ludwic
Judith Ludwic, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 29,520
Experience: 34 years as practicing immigration attorney, with non-immigrant and immigrant visa experience.
Verified
Judith Ludwic and 87 other Immigration Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Thank you so much. That is what we will do. I will give you 5 stars.
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Judith Ludwic
Judith Ludwic
Judith Ludwic, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 29,520
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Experience: 34 years as practicing immigration attorney, with non-immigrant and immigrant visa experience.

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The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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