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Thread: Does my wife have to leave?

  1. #1
    I was married to a Colombian girl in June. We dated each other for a little over a year. We fell in love and she came to America last June on a Tourist visa. We married 9 days after her arrival. We also had a ceremony in Colombia with her friends and family before she came up here, however, it was not a legal ceremony so we have no legal documentation of a ceremony in Colombia. It was a large, formal wedding and we do have lots of pictures and even invitations. We gotr married as soon as we returned to the US solely for the purposes of having a legally recognized marriage.
    We lived in Texas and I was told that since we might be moving to another state for reasons of my profession (I am a minister and I actually met her while doing mission work in Colombia) that the best thing to do is to wait to file her papers because a move can jeopardize the papers on file with INS. We have arrived safely in Florida and we just went to work with Catholic Family Services on Friday, June 11. They told us that becasue we got married to early, that INS will reject her forms for a greencard, because she violated "double intention" It is because she had a tourist visa and she intended to get married and she intended to outstay her visa. They said we should have waited a couple of months before making our marriage legally official. Well, now they are saying that she has to go back to Colombia and I have to file for a K-1 Visa (which is like a fiancee visa). We prepared and sent off her I-130 yesterday. The reason they say she has to go home is because she is now illegal, and she has to leave the country before her illegal status goes beyond 6 months (she went illegal on Dec. 20). Evidently if she stays longer than six months after her she was supposed to leave (again, back in December) they can revoke her visa priveleges totally. This is a nightmare and we are both totally devestated. All of this again is because they say that we got married too soon after she came to the United States with me. Is there any way to start working on her permanent Visa without her having to leave the US? Surly there is another answer? Can anyone help me with any ideas?

  2. #2
    I was married to a Colombian girl in June. We dated each other for a little over a year. We fell in love and she came to America last June on a Tourist visa. We married 9 days after her arrival. We also had a ceremony in Colombia with her friends and family before she came up here, however, it was not a legal ceremony so we have no legal documentation of a ceremony in Colombia. It was a large, formal wedding and we do have lots of pictures and even invitations. We gotr married as soon as we returned to the US solely for the purposes of having a legally recognized marriage.
    We lived in Texas and I was told that since we might be moving to another state for reasons of my profession (I am a minister and I actually met her while doing mission work in Colombia) that the best thing to do is to wait to file her papers because a move can jeopardize the papers on file with INS. We have arrived safely in Florida and we just went to work with Catholic Family Services on Friday, June 11. They told us that becasue we got married to early, that INS will reject her forms for a greencard, because she violated "double intention" It is because she had a tourist visa and she intended to get married and she intended to outstay her visa. They said we should have waited a couple of months before making our marriage legally official. Well, now they are saying that she has to go back to Colombia and I have to file for a K-1 Visa (which is like a fiancee visa). We prepared and sent off her I-130 yesterday. The reason they say she has to go home is because she is now illegal, and she has to leave the country before her illegal status goes beyond 6 months (she went illegal on Dec. 20). Evidently if she stays longer than six months after her she was supposed to leave (again, back in December) they can revoke her visa priveleges totally. This is a nightmare and we are both totally devestated. All of this again is because they say that we got married too soon after she came to the United States with me. Is there any way to start working on her permanent Visa without her having to leave the US? Surly there is another answer? Can anyone help me with any ideas?

  3. #3
    The legal way to bring a fiancee to the US is by using a K-1 visa. Once you are married, the way to bring a spouse is through a K-3 visa or CR1. So, obviously now that you are married she can't apply for a K-1.

    You bypassed the INA by using a tourist visa with immigrant intent. That is a big no no in the immigration world. Once she goes out of status, she starts to accrue unlawful presence. 180 days = a 3 year bar from the United States. 365 days = 10 year bar.

    You might want to retain counsel before you get yourself in too deep. It sounds like you aren't too well versed in immigration rules.

    Good luck.

  4. #4
    "they are saying that she has to go back to Colombia and I have to file for a K-1 "

    who is "they"?

    do they have dcf in Columbia?

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    289
    It sounds like you have a pretty good idea of how tings are.

    If you had not married until after a month or two, there would not have been such a problem adjusting, although there could have been. BUt by having married nine days after arrival (along with the evidence of a private ceremony before arrival-if they were to know that), you would have the burden of proof to overcome the presumption that she intended to overstay and apply for residency when she came in. If you lose on this, she will *never* get immigration benefits.

    You are correct that if she overstays by more than 6 months, then she will not be able to return for three years without a waiver.

    If you applied yesterday from Fl., then you sent your form to Texas, which will now forward to California. You should get approvval within a couple of months. As long as you put down a consulate and not a US District office, they will then schedule an interview 4-10 months after approval. If she departs before the 6 months are up, she could then retrun with her residency.

  6. #6
    In response to "Still Learning" the "they" i was talking about was Catholic Family Services. They are the only people I have met with since we began this whole process. I am convinced now that I need to seek professional legal counsel. I had heard that Catholic Family Services was kind of iffy. They helped a friend of mine who married a Russian girl, but they seemed to offer no other soution other than sending her back to Colombia to file for this other visa.

  7. #7
    To continue in my quest for answers, is there anything else that can possibly be done to remedy the situation? Is there anyone out there who knows of other options than sending her away. We had no earthly idea about this consequences of getting married immediately after arriving to the States, and even more than that, we were told that it was okay to marry for her to come in and marry me with only a tourist visa. As a matter of fact, we were told that was okay, AND it was okay to begin the process of a resdent visa afterwards. Sphyrapicus3 was right, I am not very well versed in immigration rules. Again, does anyone else have any further suggestions? Is there any hope out there for the two of us? Thaks for all of your input :-)

  8. #8
    There is no law that says you can't come on a tourist visa and get married. It is the fact that she doesn't plan to leave that is the problem. It would be very difficult to convince USCIS that she did not have immigrant intent if she married so quickly after arriving. As such, I don't see much recourse. You could try and adjust status but you have a mighty uphill climb to make. It would be pretty risky. The safest solution would be to file for the CR1 or K3 (as before, the K1 is out of the picture since you are already married) and have her return to her consulate for the interview before her overstay reaches 180 days.

  9. #9
    I am just having a really hard time accepting this. There are people who enter this country illegally. They commit and are convicted of criminal acts while they are here. They are sent to prison and released and later given visas, and yet the same system that would give them a visa can't take the time to give the benefit of the doubt to a girl who only loves and wants to be with her husband? This is loco!! Hopefully sometime this week I will be able to talk with a lawyer who can give some bright ray of hope in this dismal situation. If any of you are beleivers in God please say a prayer for us, and thank you to all who gave advice and input.

  10. #10
    9 days later??? I'm sure you and I both know that you and her planned on getting married after she entered.

    When she entered the US, she came under the disguise of being a tourist. Someone who comes and then goes back.

    So technically she broke the law. She has to answer to those charges first. If people can just come as tourist and get married, what's the purpose of the K1 visa?

    Since the intention is so obvious (9 days later!) she has no choice but to enter and do things the _right_ way.

    "Unfortunately" we are a nation of laws and procedures. If one breaks them, is it no one else's fault but theirs. You can't pull that stunt in germany or japan or isreal. No reason you should be able to do that in the US.

    -= nav =-

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