Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Alk

The process of marrying a Filipina and getting her to the USA

Recommended Posts

Alk

I know this has been covered before, but since i'm about the start the marriage/visa process here in Cebu in a couple of months, I'd thought I'd ask a few specific questions, beyond those I asked a month or so ago.

I've been in the Philippines for  3 years, and I had planned on living here for the foreseeable future, but I'm completely losing my patience over the last 3 months dealing with Cebu traffic, which seems to be  getting worse by the week.  Now that Ayala has partially burned down, my frustration level has risen a bit higher.  The upside of living here  with a permanent partner just isn't really here now.   Living a western lifestyle here in Cebu City in a nice condo is not really that much less than living in parts of the USA...in fact it completely disappears when I add in the fact that my college educated fiance makes $400 in a good month here, and could easily make 5 times that much in the USA, and have a much better life for herself if I should unexpectedly pass on.

So. the plan is to leave the Philippines for the USA in the first half of 2019.   During the interim, I need to get married, fill out all the necessary paperwork for my wife's visas, and then head to the USA..    

Questions.... I'm assuming it is better to get married here in the Philippines rather than in the USA...is that the case?   What is the easiest path for getting my future wife's paperwork in place to move permanently to the USA with me, and how long will that take?    I want to be sure that by around April of next year, I can board an aircraft for the USA with my wife in tow without an legal worries.  

Are there other issues I should be concerned with?   Since I've been with my fiance for 3 years, worries about her leaving me once I arrive in the USA, are fairly low.  I know who she is.

As always, any replies replies I receive are greatly appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RogerDat

I know of 3 girls here that married canos, and are now stuck in RP without getting admitted to US. My advice is to file a fiance vise for her, and marry her there for her sake. Then, if the visa does not work out, she has the option to marry someone else

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
smokey

If married over 2 years an ir1 visa she lands with a 10 years green card.  K1 needs to be adjusted if she gets rejected most often she forgot she has kids is already married or has tb shadow is good at paperwork has done it for me a few times

Edited by smokey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HeyMike

I got hitched here in Cebu 13 years ago. We used an agency to do all the paperwork and give my wife all the ins and out for what to expect at the interview and the medical exam and stuff. I believe it was a little pricey but they guaranteed she would get her spousal visa, and she did. It took 9 months though before the visa came through.

In the past, some have said it is easier and less time to get a fiance visa. I am not sure how things are now.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Headshot

Getting married here and waiting two years to move to the US would probably be best for most women here (because of the immigration status), but as others have pointed out, being married is no guarantee that she will get a visa.

Do your homework, and do enough research to be sure that you aren't caught by surprise (by anything) when it comes time for a visa application. YOU should get a new copy of her birth certificate and CENOMAR. You will need them to get married here anyway, and they will set your mind at ease. Go to a Hi-Precision lab, and gt a full lab workup (get their executive package) done on her (including whatever tests they do for TB). It doesn't guarantee that St. Luke's won't still find something (their x-ray machine sometimes seems to have a spot on their screen that they interpret as TB), but it will at least give you peace of mind.

The spousal visa (applied for in-country by you) is the quickest route to go for visas, and if she is issued an IR-1 visa (married for over two years), she won't have to deal with Immigration again until she is ready to get US citizenship. CR-1 and fiance visas both require extra visits (for extension or change of status).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shadow

Since you live here, the quickest and easiest visa for her to get is the CR1/IR1 filed using DCF method (Direct Consular Filing, you file directly to the Embassy instead of sending it to the USA). The only difference between the IR1 and CR1 is term of validity. The CR1 is issued if you have been married less than two years at the time of entry, the resulting green card is valid for 2 years after entry. The IR1 is issued if you have been married over 2 years, and the resulting green card is valid for 10 years. An IR1/CR1 will now take 6-8 weeks to process, barring any unforeseen problems.

If you wish to marry in the US, fiance visas are now taking about 8 months. This is about double of what it took only a year ago. USCIS claims this is due to all the people under the DREAM act, filing petitions to be allowed to stay in the US. This does not effect visas filed using DCF method, which never go to the US but are processed completely at the Embassy here. Fiance visas cannot be filed using DCF method.

There is an old thread regarding DCFs, but there have been  quite a few changes since then;

 

Getting married here can sometimes be very frustrating, as getting anything done here can often be. There is an article on our website that will give you an idea of the process, and some of the pitfalls you may encounter;

http://pinayvisa.com/getting-married-in-the-philippines.html

To the best of my knowledge, we are the only agency that processes IR1/CR1 using DCF method. Filing for IR1/CR1 stateside now will take 10-12 months.

 

  • Like 2
  • Thanks 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Jester

My experience is 11 years old.   After due diligence I decided that marrying in the PI's was not for me as I had decided I did not want to live there.  The fiance visa was far quicker  and much easier than marrying and trying to bring wife to US.  At the time I could not understand why anyone who wanted to bring a Philippina to the US would marry there, it made no sense if you did any research!  IF it is a family thing, put on a faux wedding to keep them happy and do the legal ceremony in the US.

If the current administration in the US has their way there will be a BIG shakeup in immigration and there will be many changes. Will it affect Philippina fiance/wife? We wont know till the dust settles so will be a long time. Current immigration laws seem to be rather lax and designed to allow as many as possible to immigrate, I suspect that is going to change.  If it were me I would get the paperwork in the system as quick as possible and hopefully be grandfathered in before any changes.  If you started today it looks like it would take almost a year to get through the system. 

Only my opinion and worth what you are paying for it, not to be misconstrued as professional or expert advice.        

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
miles-high

We received her K-1 fiancée visa in 3.5 months, from the date we filed a petition to the date we received her visa but that was back in 2014/2015. It may take longer now as Shadow pointed out.

We decided to get married in the US as our divorce would be easier if we ever split haha :D We did a civil marriage in the Governor’s office, with a few of our American and Filipino friends in attendance. We held our wedding receptions there and back in Manila when we visited her relatives a few months later.

I guess you would have to add the number of months it takes to get her a visa, be it a fiancée or immigrant visa, complexity of the documents you have to prepare, then decide the fastest and easiest course of action.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
smokey

Shadow has helped us a few times the paperwork has to be exact

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alk
On 1/14/2018 at 1:21 PM, shadow said:

Since you live here, the quickest and easiest visa for her to get is the CR1/IR1 filed using DCF method (Direct Consular Filing, you file directly to the Embassy instead of sending it to the USA). The only difference between the IR1 and CR1 is term of validity. The CR1 is issued if you have been married less than two years at the time of entry, the resulting green card is valid for 2 years after entry. The IR1 is issued if you have been married over 2 years, and the resulting green card is valid for 10 years. An IR1/CR1 will now take 6-8 weeks to process, barring any unforeseen problems.

If you wish to marry in the US, fiance visas are now taking about 8 months. This is about double of what it took only a year ago. USCIS claims this is due to all the people under the DREAM act, filing petitions to be allowed to stay in the US. This does not effect visas filed using DCF method, which never go to the US but are processed completely at the Embassy here. Fiance visas cannot be filed using DCF method.

There is an old thread regarding DCFs, but there have been  quite a few changes since then;

 

Getting married here can sometimes be very frustrating, as getting anything done here can often be. There is an article on our website that will give you an idea of the process, and some of the pitfalls you may encounter;

http://pinayvisa.com/getting-married-in-the-philippines.html

To the best of my knowledge, we are the only agency that processes IR1/CR1 using DCF method. Filing for IR1/CR1 stateside now will take 10-12 months.

 

Hi Shadow,

Thank you very much for your reply.  Since i actually have 8 months to wait for a Fiance Visa (not planning on moving back to the USA until 2019)....all things considered, do you feel it is easier for an American to get married there rather than here in the Philippines.  Does does so have any effect on getting a Green Card relatively quickly?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SkyMan
On 1/15/2018 at 12:03 PM, Alk said:

Living a western lifestyle here in Cebu City in a nice condo is not really that much less than living in parts of the USA...in fact it completely disappears when I add in the fact that my college educated fiance makes $400 in a good month here, and could easily make 5 times that much in the USA, and have a much better life for herself if I should unexpectedly pass on.

If I lived in a box in the city, I'd hope I was on a high enough floor to make a big splatter in the street.  Granted, I would feel the same if I lived in a similar box in NYC or wherever.  I'm just not a llive in a box kind of guy.  When I was first here I went on a tour of one of the towers of condos and afterwards I just laughed.  Why come half way around the world to live in a box?

On 1/15/2018 at 12:03 PM, Alk said:

Questions.... I'm assuming it is better to get married here in the Philippines rather than in the USA...is that the case?

You can have a big wedding here cheap.  You can have a civil wedding either place cheap.  If you marry there you'll have to do a fiance visa which you have time for but it does take a while.  If you marry here you can do a DCF spousal visa quickly.  Longest delay is getting the NSO MC but that can be accelerated to within 2 months of the wedding.  So whole process from wedding to visa maybe 4 months.

On 1/15/2018 at 12:03 PM, Alk said:

Since I've been with my fiance for 3 years, worries about her leaving me once I arrive in the USA, are fairly low.  I know who she is.

She will westernize in the US to some degree.  2, 3, 4 years after she's there she will not be the same person she is today.  That may or may not change how she is with you.  You may know everything about her now and she may have a heart of gold.  I'm not saying you have cause to worry, just know that she will change.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Headshot
2 hours ago, Alk said:

Since i actually have 8 months to wait for a Fiance Visa (not planning on moving back to the USA until 2019)....all things considered, do you feel it is easier for an American to get married there rather than here in the Philippines.  Does doing so have any effect on getting a Green Card relatively quickly?

If she goes to the US on a fiance visa, she cannot even apply for a green card until after you marry her and have a marriage certificate in hand. If she goes to the US on a DCF spousal visa (either CR-1 or IR-1), she will receive her green card within two to three weeks of arriving. Do you want her to go to work quickly?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
shadow
4 hours ago, Alk said:

Hi Shadow,

Thank you very much for your reply.  Since i actually have 8 months to wait for a Fiance Visa (not planning on moving back to the USA until 2019)....all things considered, do you feel it is easier for an American to get married there rather than here in the Philippines.  Does does so have any effect on getting a Green Card relatively quickly?

 

After she enters on a fiance visa, she has 90 days in which to marry you or leave the country. After you marry, she must adjust status to get a green card. That process is now taking 10-12 months. So with the present timeframes, expect about two years from the time you file a fiance petition for her, to the time she can work in the US.

If her working there soon is a priority, the DCF would be the much better way to go. By marrying here and using the DCF method, she can be in the US and working in as little as 3 months after you file the petition for her. Marrying here can be a pain in the butt, but so can adjusting status in the US. 

Overall, DCF is the easiest, fastest, and cheapest way to get her there, and get her a green card.

 

Keep in mind procedures and timelines change regularly. It is easy to delay the processing of a visa by 1-2 years, but it is impossible to speed it up. All the processes are getting more difficult, as we speak. The old I-129f form was 12 pages including instructions, the new form is 13 pages plus 17 or so pages of instructions. I get a lot of people that say to me "I wish I had filed much earlier". 

The only ones that say "I wish I had waited" are those that had failed relationships.

Edited by shadow
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bounder

So, let's hypothetically say if my Filipina and I were to fly to Cambodia (or any country outside the RP) and get married there, would it make my visa to the US any more difficult to obtain?  

We have been together for over seven years now, but I am just curious as to the pros and cons of marrying outside of the RP and then applying for a visa to the states. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Guidelines. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..