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But not because it's convenient…

Home Forums Getting Married But not because it's convenient…

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  • #273620

    TAPper
    Member

    Hello all,

    So I’ve been in Brazil for 13months now (student visa) and have been living with my girlfriend whom I had met in the US. I’ve decided to make my way back to the States in August and my girlfriend and I are trying to figure out our future paths together. I hope someone has some insight about some legal things and any possibilities– generally for us to (potentially, one day) marry and be together in the US, not Brazil.
    My girlfriend will finish her undergraduate degree in electrical engineering likely in December. I think she’ll have an easy time finding a job in the US, but only if we are married. I’m not familiar with any solution for her to live and work in the US while not married, aside from applying for work visas. Anyone have ideas?
    She also has the opportunity to apply for a Master’s program through Brazil’s “Ciencias sem Fronteiras” program. She did this program as an undergraduate and studied in the US 1 year already. She would get a gov’t-all-expenses-paid-for master’s degree in a highly lucrative field and she could study one of the 2 years in the US. I think it’s a no-brainer. In US or Brazil law is there anything that might prevent us from getting married while she is on a student visa in the US?
    There’s also my future I am concerned about. I’d like to enter graduate school (likely for geology) soon after I return to the US. Do I need to meet any requirements (financial, housing, minimum income) to marry her in the US, while she is either on a student visa or fianc√ɬ© visa? Anyone have a price estimate for a fianc√ɬ© visa?
    Ideally, we wouldn’t marry until after we live together in the US for some time and see how things go there. Neither of us are very inclined to marry until we both have jobs and are in a more stable situation. We know this is unlikely but we are trying to maximize our time together without sacrificing our individual goals. Any advice is appreciated!
  • #273623

    Finrudd
    Participant

    I can’t advise on US Visas, and without sounding condescending, do make sure you talk through your future together in detail. Many Brazilians will want to live in Brazil at some point, as the family aspect is very strong here – not all, but many. You have been in Brazil for over a year, so probably have a good idea of what Brazilian life is like, especially with regards to interaction with your would-be-in-laws. That can really be quite hard for some people to adjust to, so make sure you discuss long term plans, and give thought to both your ideas and dreams in terms of your respective families, and where you will live. Good luck!

  • #273632

    Steven
    Participant

    I think that if you can establish a long term dating relationship with her by demonstrating various Christmas photos, vacation shots, different hairstyles, etc. then the simplest thing might be to wait until she’s in the U.S. as a student, marry her in the U.S. in a civil ceremony and then apply for a change of status on her visa. I’m pretty sure that they won’t kick her out while you are waiting for her provisional green card to come through but I’m not a lawyer. I do know, however, that once you apply for a change of status she’s stuck in the U.S. until everything gets straightened out. And the photos, etc. are proof that it’s a real marriage based on a long-term relationship and not simply a marriage of convenience.

    The alternative is to apply for a fiance visa while she’s in Brazil and then wait for 1 to 1 1/2 years until it’s granted. I don’t think that it would be a good idea to apply for a fiance visa while she’s in the U.S. studying. They might kick her out and tell her to wait in Brazil until things are sorted out. However, I doubt that they would kick her out if you get married while she is in the U.S. and then apply for a change of status. Don’t even think of marrying her in Brazil and then trying to sneak her into the country on her student visa. I’m sure that they would boot her out.
    Here’s some even better advice – when you’re in the U.S. on your next visit pay $200 for a consultation with an immigration lawyer and let them help you lay out options.

    Steven2015-03-02 19:32:32

  • #273679

    TAPper
    Member
    Thanks
    We have discussed future plans to a certain degree, though not to the greatest extent that we should. I am concerned she will miss her family too much, and this is something I need to bring up more often. I know her family well, in fact spent the past 2 months with them almost everyday (that was both good and bad, hah). We have discussed kids, where to live and things like this to a greater degree than the majority of people do. I’m generally very level-headed and rational (except for this falling in love part and getting a one way ticket to Brazil).
    We have tons of photos of both of us since the very first date even. I don’t think there is any issue with proving that we are serious. I agree that marrying while she is on a student visa might be the simplest, least headache-free, and cheapest option- but also the riskiest. The trick is her actually getting accepted into the abroad program. We don’t think that it’s that big of a long shot though. And with how our fate and luck has turned out, it seems silly to think that she wouldn’t! *knocks on wood*
    I’ll certainly head the advice on seeking out a lawyer in the US as well.
    Do you happen to know if I am able to marry her on her visa in the US without an income, or a bare minimum one? Like if I am enrolled as a student?
  • #273688

    Steven
    Participant

    The thing that you need to understand is that, although not to the extent of Brazil, there is some flexibility in how laws are applied. A mature individual who has been paying their taxes for many years and wants to marry his long-standing Brazilian girlfriend is less likely to face problems than a young puppy with no income who wants the same thing. You, as a student, with a penniless girlfriend would be more likely to seek free services, like food stamps, welfare, etc. from the U.S. government and, therefore, less likely to succeed in having her visa status changed.

    Best advice is still to have a consultation with an immigration lawyer. They can help you to develop a sound strategy.
  • #273706

    Anonymous

    [QUOTE=Steven]

    Best advice is still to have a consultation with an immigration lawyer. They can help you to develop a sound strategy.

    [/QUOTE]definitely. if they for some reason decide to make things difficult, i have read that planning a change of status (i.e. coming in as a student but planning to marry to switch) can raise flags. the lawyer is def the way to go.

  • #273712

    doctorlili
    Member

    I never got the point of a fiancee visa. To me it’s bullsh*t. There is no law that forbids a person to marry in Las Vegas no matter how they are in the country. And I do not think F-visas are conditional on a marriage prohibition. Nor are tourist visas. The question is only, what happens when you apply for change of status when you initially entered on a non-immigrant non-work visa.

  • #273714

    Steven
    Participant

    [QUOTE=Squiddie]I never got the point of a fiancee visa. To me it’s bullsh*t. There is no law that forbids a person to marry in Las Vegas no matter how they are in the country. And I do not think F-visas are conditional on a marriage prohibition. Nor are tourist visas. The question is only, what happens when you apply for change of status when you initially entered on a non-immigrant non-work visa.[/QUOTE]

    As 3-C notes, it really raises a flag. However, if you are a solid citizen and can prove that it isn’t a marriage of convenience they generally let things slide. But it helps to have a lawyer sitting next to you during the interviews. But the OP is a kid and his girlfriend is a kid so things might get difficult.
  • #273751

    sven van ‘t Veer
    Participant

    [QUOTE=Squiddie]I never got the point of a fiancee visa. To me it’s bullsh*t. There is no law that forbids a person to marry in Las Vegas no matter how they are in the country. And I do not think F-visas are conditional on a marriage prohibition. Nor are tourist visas. The question is only, what happens when you apply for change of status when you initially entered on a non-immigrant non-work visa.[/QUOTE]

    If you enter on a tourist visa and get married immediately, the other person gets expelled and barred for 5 years. USCIS has very stickt rules on this.
  • #273903

    TAPper
    Member

    [QUOTE=Steven]A mature individual who has been paying their taxes for many years and wants to marry his long-standing Brazilian girlfriend is less likely to face problems than a young puppy with no income who wants the same thing. You, as a student, with a penniless girlfriend would be more likely to seek free services, like food stamps, welfare, etc. from the U.S. government and, therefore, less likely to succeed in having her visa status changed.
    [/QUOTE]

    This made me laugh! I never thought about this before and totally understand your reasoning. I appreciate it. Due to my personal philosophy I never have envisioned a future in which I dig into welfare. I see myself struggling finding work and doing odd jobs under the table my whole life before ever applying for assistance. Though I have taken some financial aid for education.
    I don’t consider myself “penniless” though I get the idea. I’m not sure the gov’t would consider myself as such either, but who knows. I am 27 years old and I have 2 undergraduate degrees in STEM fields. I worked for 4 years after college before quitting a good job to “give us a try”. I’ve got a retirement account and an excellent credit score. I most definitely do not consider myself a “kid” nor act like one. I’ll let that one slide Wink
    Nevertheless, a lawyer is the answer! Thanks all.
  • #273908

    doctorlili
    Member

    [QUOTE=sven][QUOTE=Squiddie]I never got the point of a fiancee visa. To me it’s bullsh*t. There is no law that forbids a person to marry in Las Vegas no matter how they are in the country. And I do not think F-visas are conditional on a marriage prohibition. Nor are tourist visas. The question is only, what happens when you apply for change of status when you initially entered on a non-immigrant non-work visa.[/QUOTE]

    If you enter on a tourist visa and get married immediately, the other person gets expelled and barred for 5 years. USCIS has very stickt rules on this.

    [/QUOTE]

    The key is the good faith. If you exit the US and apply for immigrant visa afterwards it should not be such a problem. Here is a guy who explains it.
    [TUBE]sr4O_8qvlWU[/TUBE]
  • #273909

    agri2001
    Participant

    That guy looks like a faith healer.

    I would not trust him..!
  • #273911

    You canhave your fianc√ɬ© come in on a tourist visa and then propose “spontaneously”, get married and then she stays. I have two friends who’ve done this on the advice of a lawyer. In the interview, just say she was your girlfriend who was coming to visit during the course of your long-distance relationship- and then you “popped the question”. If the US Govt knew you guys were already planning to do this while bringing the fianc√ɬ© in a tourist visa, then you’re in trouble (false intent). But how can they prove this without evidence. I would consult an immigration attorney though for the ins and outs of it all…

  • #273912

    Steven
    Participant

    Squid – thanks for the video. This guy expanded on what I was saying, only with much more clarity. It just proves my point – spend the $200 for a consult with an immigration lawyer before you do anything.

    As donpelon415 says, I too know a guy whose Brazilian long-term girlfriend came for a visit and they took a vacation in Las Vegas. While there, they were caught up in the spur of the moment and decided to get married. No previous planning. To make a long story short – they applied for a change of status on her visa and they are still in the U.S. and married five years later.
    But, this is not a situation without some risk – talk to a lawyer!
  • #273913

    Yeah- I know a Braz/American couple and an old friend from college who just married his childhood sweetheart from Hong Kong this way. Both couples did a formal civil ceremony at City Hall. Both had planned all this in advance and then talked to an immigration lawyer. They were given interview rehearsal questions and coached on what they would be asked. You just have to make it seem like you had no “deceptive intent” on your fianc√ɬ© coming to visit you on a tourist visa. The USCIS are trained BS detectors who are looking for anyinconsistency in your story, so I wouldn’t take it lightly. Anyway, I think even a cursory search online for immi lawyers who specialize in this kind of thing could yield you good results. An affordable video consultation etc etc Good Luck!

  • #273914

    The $200 you might have to pay will probably be completely worth it when you look back on it many years later. Even just for the sake of your own peace of mind!

  • #273919

    ffm
    Member

    [QUOTE=agri2001]That guy looks like a faith healer.

    I would not trust him..!

    [/QUOTE]

    LOL
    He offers ayahuasca journeys in the back of his van!
  • #28287

    TAPper
    Member

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