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Old 07.12.2011, 22:08
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Hello,
I am a US citizen and intend to marry a Swiss girl. She is currently attending University of Berne. We are in love, have known each other for years. Our plan is to get married however laws and plans we have for our future seem to be getting in the way.

The Swiss citizen will be finished with her international bachelor degree in 3 years. She plans to come to the states for a 6 month internship under a J-1 Visa Starting this August. Then she will return to study, come back for a second internship 1 year later for an additional 6 months. Then she will return to Switzerland to finish out her degree. We were then hoping to be married so she could come home and start a life with me...

Can she get married in the US on her passport, return to Switzerland, file for a marriage visa, and continue going to school in Switzerland? And can she still travel back and forth for Internships in the US if permitted by her University. She wouldn't want to permanently move to the US until she finishes school (3 years from now). But she would like the freedom to travel back and forth for leisure, and for her internships while she is still in school. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

Also, when you get a J-1 Visa for an internship, there is a law saying you may not return on any visa other than your 3 month Passport stay for 2 years... That is why we were thinking of just getting married to make the process easier and because we plan on getting married ASAP anyway.

I already lived in Switzerland for months, filed for paperwork, and tried to marry her to live there... That was almost impossible. New laws stated I had to come back home to RE-Apply for a tourist Visa before we were eligible... This info is just to let everyone know that this is no scam, we are legitimately trying to get married.

Also, would it be easier if I just few into Switzerland for a wedding and fly back.... I just want her with me.

Thanks

Last edited by jrspet; 07.12.2011 at 22:29. Reason: Merging of successive posts
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Old 07.12.2011, 22:38
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This is complicated. Your girlfriend will enter the US on a J1 visa, which is a non-immigrant visa. The idea here is that her intent is to remain in the US temporarily. If she marries you, and applies for permanent residency/green card, the intent there is that she wishes to be an immigrant. She's what the immigration folk call dual intent. I know you can adjust staus from non-immigrant to immigrant for an H visa or an F to permanent residency, but don't know about a J. These are situations where it is sometimes best to consult an immigration forum, us embassy or immigration attorney for a consult. In the dark ages (the mid 1990's), there used to be a great usenet newsgroup devoted to US Immigration. You migh try to find a more modern version. The US embassy in Bern may help, or a hour spent with an immigration attorney. Good luck.
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Old 07.12.2011, 23:20
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Re: US Marriage Visa vs US J-1 Visa Options. HELP!

We just spoke to an attorney. If my "spouse" were to be granted a green card, then she would have to stay in the states for 51% of the time or else she could lose her greencard status.... So, what we have decided to do is,

Enjoy a 6 month J-visa for her internship and return home.

Come back in July 2013 on her passport and get married.
Return immediately to her home country to begin her paperwork process for the green card/ family relocation.

When approved, she will come back for 7 months to have a second internship.

After completion of her second internship, she will return home to complete her last six months of her Bachelor study and return shortly after while visiting in-between, therefore staying compliant with the 51% rule.

After this lengthy B.S. process she would be living here for good... I hope....

If anyone sees a loop-hole or BIG problem with our plans, let me know...

Also, I understand that the J-1 visa requires you spend 2 years out of the US after completion. There is a few ways to have this rule waived. One of which is marriage to a US citizen... Although its not 100%, it is still possible to have this 2yr rule waived...

I hope this information helps others realize the process of becoming a US Citizen.

And thank you for your response.
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Old 07.12.2011, 23:24
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Re: US Marriage Visa vs US J-1 Visa Options. HELP!

I'd suggest finding a site for US visas, as most of us have not emigrated to the US.
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Old 07.12.2011, 23:27
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Re: US Marriage Visa vs US J-1 Visa Options. HELP!

Im doing that also.... Thanks, I just wanted to use this site since it was so helpful when I tried to move to CH. The US sites I have found are not as informative. I have 2 SN on this forum. I was also SwissWannaBe.


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Old 07.12.2011, 23:46
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We just spoke to an attorney. If my "spouse" were to be granted a green card, then she would have to stay in the states for 51% of the time or else she could lose her greencard status.... So, what we have decided to do is,

Enjoy a 6 month J-visa for her internship and return home.

Come back in July 2013 on her passport and get married.
Return immediately to her home country to begin her paperwork process for the green card/ family relocation.

When approved, she will come back for 7 months to have a second internship.

After completion of her second internship, she will return home to complete her last six months of her Bachelor study and return shortly after while visiting in-between, therefore staying compliant with the 51% rule.

After this lengthy B.S. process she would be living here for good... I hope....

If anyone sees a loop-hole or BIG problem with our plans, let me know...

Also, I understand that the J-1 visa requires you spend 2 years out of the US after completion. There is a few ways to have this rule waived. One of which is marriage to a US citizen... Although its not 100%, it is still possible to have this 2yr rule waived...

I hope this information helps others realize the process of becoming a US Citizen.

And thank you for your response.
The 51% thing might be for a conditional green card, e.g., married less than 2 years when green card is issued. Like so much about immigration to the US, waiving rules, etc is a gray area....it just depends...on what? Who knows.

Your plans seem fine... I'd look for a US immigration forum tho... Lots of people with loads of experience. Maybe not Swiss, but you need the US experience more, IMHO.
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