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Alk

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

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shadow
1 hour ago, bounder said:

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. 

No remarkable difference at all. 

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miles-high

It is not a big deal but…

In NCR, foreign consulates are mostly located in the Makati area, a few-minute car ride to visit a consulate to apply for a Schengen visa…

But US is a big country… and foreign consulates are few and far between… your Filipino spouse must go to the consulate of your jurisdiction to get an EU visa for your honeymoon, e.g., if you live in Seattle, you may have to go all the way to LA (Italian, depending on the country you intend to go to)!

So, if you get married in the Philippines, it's easier to get a "honeymoon" visa… it’s more fun in the Philippines!

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USMC-Retired

The process seems more complex than when i did it four years ago.  Best of luck not feeling like having visa in hand.

Edited by USMC-Retired

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shadow
1 hour ago, USMC-Retired said:

The process seems more complex than when i did it four years ago.  Best of luck not feeling like having visa in hand.

The last year things have really started to tighten up. Not only is the paperwork getting more complex, but they are now enforcing requirements that were always on the books but they have always overlooked in the past, and doing a much more thorough investigation of the US petitioners.

Edited by shadow

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davehud

In the US we have a anti-immigrant government in power now. Things are only going to get worse. I would act now.

Edited by davehud
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smokey

Anti immigrant government well we found no problems but then we went the legal route

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RogerDuMond

This may no longer be relevant because my experience was 25 years ago, but....

The fiancée visa used to be at the whim of the investigating agent where a spousal visa could only be denied for specific legal or medical reasons.

Different era I know, but our spousal visa took 3 months.

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Alk
22 hours ago, SkyMan said:

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?

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.

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.  

Hi Skyman,

It sounds like the two of us have different ideas about what is paradise.   I'm all in with that...to each his own.

When I was just out of college, I was in the Peace Corps, in Micronesia..a thousand miles or so from where I am now in the Philippines.  I lived in a one-room elevated hut on a haunted tropical island, without electricity or plumbing.  I remember waking up with a 6-inch spider crawling on a my face..more than once.   I was young and I could deal with that stuff.   Now, the idea of waking up every day in a new, 100% secure condo,in the hills above the city, appeals to me.  It is quiet, clean, the air is fresh, it is insect-free, and it has a great pool and deck with views all way to Bohol, the Camotes and even Leyte on a clear day.  It also has a great gym and pool room.  When the power goes down, generators click in 10 seconds later.  I've yet to be without internet for more than about 5-10 minutes.  Whenever anything breaks, a small army of maintenance people are up to fix it in 5 minutes.   If I'm too lazy to cook or go out to dinner, I order room service from next door at the Marco Polo hotel (they have heavily discounted prices for tenants), which they deliver in about 40 minutes.  I crave nature every month or so.  My fiance and I will be in El Nido next month, and back to Bohol,  Negros, and other places throughout the coming year.   I did try living in a more rural environment in lovely town on Negros in 2016. I enjoyed it, but between the intermittent power (including all-day outages), which made my fiance's online job very difficult,  and the dozens of types of bugs crawling and flying through every nook and cranny of the place I lived in, it left a little to be desired.

At my age, the lifestyle  I'm currently living suits me, but I certainly don't begrudge others for feeling differently.

As far as taking a woman to the USA...i understand the pitfalls as well as anyone else, and realize that any woman no matter how certain you are of her character, can change or turn out to be not the person you thought her to be.   There are no guarantees in life and that is  a risk I'm prepared to take.  At least unlike many who meet a girl online, fly out here, meet them, marry them, and only get to know them once they are both in the USA,  I've actually lived with my fiance for 3 years now. 

As far as the advice regarding the wedding, the visa, and the timeframe...good stuff...thank you very much !!

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USMC-Retired
On 1/18/2018 at 2:45 AM, SkyMan said:

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. 

Some may believe this is a bad thing.  It is a good thing also, my wife is more independent, travels more and happier.  All good things for me makin life easier.   

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contraman
On 18/01/2018 at 7:45 PM, SkyMan said:

.  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.  

Now ain't that so true

You can take the girl out of the Country, but you can not take the Country out of the girl :)

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James Bond
14 hours ago, Alk said:

Now, the idea of waking up every day in a new, 100% secure condo,in the hills above the city, appeals to me.  It is quiet, clean, the air is fresh, it is insect-free, and it has a great pool and deck with views all way to Bohol, the Camotes and even Leyte on a clear day.  It also has a great gym and pool room.  When the power goes down, generators click in 10 seconds later.  I've yet to be without internet for more than about 5-10 minutes.  Whenever anything breaks, a small army of maintenance people are up to fix it in 5 minutes.   If I'm too lazy to cook or go out to dinner, I order room service from next door at the Marco Polo hotel (they have heavily discounted prices for tenants), which they deliver in about 40 minutes. 

2

Sounds nice. The Marco Polo Residences I'm guessing?

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Dafey

Let's stay focused on the topic guys?

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Jersey Jim

My advice/experience is a bit dated. My wife and I were married in Hong Kong in 2002 and then had a church ceremony 8 months later in Cebu.

I was advised by the US Consulate and a immigration lawyer in HK to do the civil ceremony first because it was easier for the US visa to get verified and processed. Overall, it took 2 months in HK to get her visa issued and then we moved back to US in the end of 2003.

Obviously, a long time ago, but if I were doing this today from the Philippines , I would either go the route of an agency or local lawyer, since they know the process of getting things actually done.

Best of luck !

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shadow
7 minutes ago, Jersey Jim said:

My advice/experience is a bit dated. My wife and I were married in Hong Kong in 2002 and then had a church ceremony 8 months later in Cebu.

I was advised by the US Consulate and a immigration lawyer in HK to do the civil ceremony first because it was easier for the US visa to get verified and processed. Overall, it took 2 months in HK to get her visa issued and then we moved back to US in the end of 2003.

Obviously, a long time ago, but if I were doing this today from the Philippines , I would either go the route of an agency or local lawyer, since they know the process of getting things actually done.

Best of luck !

Local lawyers know nothing of the US visa process, but they will gladly take your money. Stateside immigration attorneys charge $5000 to $10,000, and never even look at your paperwork, they just let their paralegals do it, some of them messing things up horribly.

Most people are capable of doing this themselves, if they have the time to do their research and weed through all the bad info on the web. Basically, if you can file a tax return, you can process most family based immigrant visas.

If you want to hire someone to help, look for someone who specializes in the type of visa you want to process, in the country you want to process from. Visa processes are complex and constantly changing, and vary from country to country. All Embassies are not created equal.

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Jersey Jim
6 minutes ago, shadow said:

Local lawyers know nothing of the US visa process, but they will gladly take your money. Stateside immigration attorneys charge $5000 to $10,000, and never even look at your paperwork, they just let their paralegals do it, some of them messing things up horribly.

Most people are capable of doing this themselves, if they have the time to do their research and weed through all the bad info on the web. Basically, if you can file a tax return, you can process most family based immigrant visas.

If you want to hire someone to help, look for someone who specializes in the type of visa you want to process, in the country you want to process from. Visa processes are complex and constantly changing, and vary from country to country. All Embassies are not created equal.

Fair enough, but when I went through this process 15 years ago in HK, got good advice for local Cebu based lawyer on how to proceed and worked out well.

Like you said, I did most of the paper work myself, as the questions on the forms tended to be rather short and to the point. Obviously, it was critical to have your documents in order before submitting. 

Avoided the Philippine consulate, per advice from my lawyer and he maybe charged me $100 for his advice, but times have changed.

 

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