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  #1  
Old 02.10.2010, 19:32
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To The USA

Hey all,

Im sure it has been asked before but for a question involving a visa it is impossible to search, untill I write this post and look at the bottom of the page.

My question is opposite as normal.

I want to move with the Gf to the USA (MN to be exact)
She : Swiss American and holds both passports
Me : Belgian only

Marriage possible but not yet (she is 22 im 26 so a little young i think)

Is there any other visa possible there? No student onem as I have enough studies under the belt.

I know once I get married the GC will be no issue and I will get the work permit with an allowance of 3 months engagement.


So IS there a loophole somewhere? as it is MN I can ruin into Canada every so often but I need to be legal to work there.

This is something that is in the early stages and im getting all the possibilities sorted out. The website given to look up visa stuff are well a bit confusing..... .

Thanks all!
and I will do much more research, just seeing if it is at all possible basically....
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  #2  
Old 02.10.2010, 19:33
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Re: To The USA

Short answer is student visa or get married.

You should try a forum for those who want to move to America for better answers, however, as they'll have the info you need.
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Old 02.10.2010, 19:47
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Re: To The USA

I'm going to echo what Evilshell just wrote. Your girlfriend is, obviously, no problem since she has a US passport. You, on the other hand, need to research a different forum or government website to find out how you get a visa TO the US.

Remember, all of us Americans on this website already have US citizenship and don't know the specific answers to your questions. (We're all trying to figure out how to stay here in Switzerland, stop paying taxes in two places and never go back!)
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Old 02.10.2010, 19:51
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Re: To The USA

true that,
Im thinking of a fake marriage(for the state) for now and then a real one when we are both a little more stable and then do the real thing....

Yes but as Americans you might know some of the insides of how the system works on the inside haha.

Ill be continuing to look on other sites also.

I always found it interesting how Europeans (the ones I talked to) always want to move back after they have been ( I lived in the states for 5 years as a student)
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Old 02.10.2010, 19:53
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Re: To The USA

I don't know if this Site could help in any way. Found by a stroke of genius. (I Googled 'visa for USA'!)

Before anyone complains, I've moved this to Off-topic as the Visa/Permits section is really about people wanting permission to live here,
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Old 02.10.2010, 20:03
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Re: To The USA

Thanks,

I know it is a general questions but just wanted to get a feel if someone knows some insides basically.

That site is a good source of info tho
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Old 02.10.2010, 20:07
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Re: To The USA

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true that,
Im thinking of a fake marriage(for the state) for now and then a real one when we are both a little more stable and then do the real thing....

Yes but as Americans you might know some of the insides of how the system works on the inside haha.

Ill be continuing to look on other sites also.

I always found it interesting how Europeans (the ones I talked to) always want to move back after they have been ( I lived in the states for 5 years as a student)
What is a "fake" marriage?
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Old 02.10.2010, 23:08
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Re: To The USA

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What is a "fake" marriage?

something many many people do to get the benefits of the country you are trying to get into. you get married in an office and sign something....

Only diff with me is that a real marriage will follow after a while (family friends $$$$$ kinda marriage)
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Old 02.10.2010, 23:50
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Re: To The USA

I know a little about this, having filed for my husband's green card while we were in the US and adjusting his status from a work visa to green card. But it's been about 10 years, and some things have probably changed. There used to be a great online immigration forum-newsgroup. US-Visa or something.

I don't know what you mean about a fake marriage, but in order to satisfy the USCIS, you will have to produce a valid marriage license. A simple civil ceremony is fine, but for all intents and purposes you are married in the eyes of the law, which is what the USCIS wants to know.

If you get married in Europe, make sure you get what's called an international license - it's translated into something like 10 languages.

You can either go to the US married or go to the US as a fiance, and get married within 90 days.

I don't know if you have to file from Belgium (where you're from) or where you're living. You get married here and then wait while they process your paperwork and then you enter on a conditional green card, and you have to stay married for 2 years to have the conditions dropped. I think this could take 3 to 6 months... not up on this as much as I used to be.

If you go as a fiance, you marry within 90 days and file for the green card. You may not travel outside the US while your application is in process without special permission. If you do travel outside the US, your application is considered abandoned. You get in the queue with all the other people waiting for green cards by marriage, could take 18 months more or less.

Unless you can get a student visa (F), your best best is marriage. The only other option is an H1B work permit, but generally speaking, you need to be sponsored by an employer. If you go the student route, make sure you can adjust status - change your visa status from Student to green card. Some student visas (J's I think) require a 2 year break before rentry.

So whatever path you take, here are some questions....

1. How long do the different options take?
2. Can you travel outside the US while your application is in process?
3. If you enter on a student visa, can you adjust status to a green card without leaving the country and re-entering after a time.

Also if you have a criminal record, they will need to know about it. If you have any convictions for drugs, you can pretty much forget it. Something like a DUI, however is ok, if you can prove you've not had any other trouble. By and large, if you've committed a felony (more serious crime), you could have problems.

Good luck!

I don't know if Minnesota is a hotbed of immigration, so you may not have to wait too long for a green card. The applications are tedious, but not too bad, and you shouldn't need a lawyer, unless you have a complicated story.
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Old 03.10.2010, 01:01
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Re: To The USA

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I don't know if Minnesota is a hotbed of immigration, so you may not have to wait too long for a green card. The applications are tedious, but not too bad, and you shouldn't need a lawyer, unless you have a complicated story.

Actually, while I can not answer the questions as clearly as this, I want to say that things have changed. Initially my husband was supposed to come live with me in the US rather than me moving here but the application process for visa was long, tedious, expensive and worst of all - confusing.

Every time I had a question and called the immigrations office for clarification, rather than answer my questions they told me to seek an immigration lawyer.


So, Anthony, yes, definitely look for a forum or something where you can ask questions of people who know, particularly since things DID change in the US with regards to immigration within the past 5yrs.

Also, before you go, look closely and hard at state legislation regarding immigration as well as the stance of current politicians and those seeking to gain office "soon" in the area where you wish to live. Some states are tougher than others, lots of states are hardening their immigrations policies virtually as we speak.
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Old 03.10.2010, 02:20
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Re: To The USA

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something many many people do to get the benefits of the country you are trying to get into. you get married in an office and sign something....

Only diff with me is that a real marriage will follow after a while (family friends $$$$$ kinda marriage)
Oh, so you mean a real marriage without a big party?
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Old 03.10.2010, 03:58
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Re: To The USA

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Oh, so you mean a real marriage without a big party?

yes

as for the other responses, thank you sooooooo much, that helps me move on already by alot!!!!

Im gonna get this process started (I remember how hard it was to even get the student visa pfff luckily no convictions etc.

Im in the lottery also but well....when you say expensive, what are we talking about here? 1k-5k?
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Old 03.10.2010, 10:31
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Re: To The USA

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yes

as for the other responses, thank you sooooooo much, that helps me move on already by alot!!!!

Im gonna get this process started (I remember how hard it was to even get the student visa pfff luckily no convictions etc.

Im in the lottery also but well....when you say expensive, what are we talking about here? 1k-5k?

When hubby and I were trying to get him there, some changes happened in the middle of what was going on. We'd already put in a few hundred $$, one of the changes that came up meant we'd have to "immediately" fork out another $1500.

Meanwhile, for me to come here was something around $200 or maybe $300 in fees - some of which was even refunded to me when it was discovered we were married.


I DO want to stress though that my husband and I did not complete the process. Also, it is possible (likely) that some things we did were wrong as I wasn't receiving any helpful information from immigrations AND could not afford a lawyer. Also, we DID stop the process at a point where there were ongoing changes so even the information I had at the time may be less-than-accurate now so definitely seek out information from folks who HAVE completed the process, preferably within the past 2-3yrs.
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Last edited by Peg A; 03.10.2010 at 10:34. Reason: stresses...
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Old 03.10.2010, 11:40
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Re: To The USA

Here's the site from the USCIS

http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis

Along the left side, you can see various things, like "check filing fees." I believe that the fees changed drastically in 2007. My husband became a US citizen in 2007 (right before a lot of fee changes). And, he was lucky - it took exactly 6 months. They tend to go back and forth on processing preference...when green cards get too slow, they work on those, when naturalization slows down too much (and it was taking 2 years a one point), they put aside green cards.

In the middle of the page, click on "green card via family" or something like that. There is a lot of info here, and it should help you.

Just to be pedantic, what it means to get a green card via marriage is this... generally to immigrate to the US, you have to get in line, like taking a number for a visa. However, if you marry a US citizen, you go to the head of the line - there is pretty much always a visa available to you, so submit your application and they give you preference in terms of having a visa available (some people wait years if they are relatives but not spouses). However, you still have to go through the same investigation and evaluation as everyone else.

Apparently you can fill out the forms and submit them online, which is a big advantage.

I'd read the USCIS site carefully, that's really the definitive site. You really should not need a lawyer unless you have some special circumstances. But there are a lot of forms, and they are tedious, which is why people hire attorneys. But forums where people give their experiences are really valuable too.

I was looking at the forms, and they haven't changed much in the last 10 years, except it's just easier to do them online. And the fees have increased. I'd say you're looking at about $2000 to $3000 without an attorney. My understanding is that it might be easier to apply from Europe, as long as you're prepared to stay here till it's all done. Once you get to the US and do the application, remember you can't leave without permission.

One thing to remember. There are a lot of grey areas in immigration, and the person interviewing you, unfortunatley, can have a lot of lattitude. It's not an exact science, which is maddening.

Last edited by edot; 03.10.2010 at 11:51.
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Old 03.10.2010, 17:23
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Re: To The USA

Many thanks again,

I will be looking into these sites and see if I can do it myself... .
I guess marriage is my only option really
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Old 03.10.2010, 22:13
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Re: To The USA

Party!!!!!
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