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3/20/15

Want to marry a Filipina and live in the US

Two Ways to Visa Approval


This is an Excellent Article written by MilesHigh at Living Cebu Forums.  I Blog this noting the realities faced in marriage and the time frames and advice given.

Visa Approved
Two ways to get Approved


There are basically 2 choices; marriage in the US (K1 visa – other visas possible but not contemplated herein) or in the Philippines (IR1/CR1/K3, IR1 or CR1 is a preferred category as her LPR is an automatic process; DCF for IR1/CR1 is explained in other thread in this forum).

The advantages I see for the K1 visa route are, inter alia:

1) Divorcing in the US would be as easy as marring in the US (the worst case scenario but be prepared and
2) Your prenuptial agreements would be enforceable as to the US properties/assets, etc. This would not be the case if married in the Philippines.

The above depends on the state you live in – consult your lawyer. As to the prenuptial agreement, there are other, more effective ways (again, depending on the state), e.g., will (holographic or otherwise), inter vivos transfer, trust, but you should consult your financial advisor and/or lawyer – I would be generous as long as she is faithful, however…

My petition was filed on November 10, 2014. After 129 days or 4 months and 9 days (we could have taken an earlier interview date which would have shortened the whole process by 20 days), her passport with K1 visa was delivered on March 19, 2015.

While the petitioner’s presence is not required for the consulate interview, I decided to accompany her since I am here in NCR at least a few days or weeks every month. As they say, the petitioner is welcome to attend the interview… Since our docs are perfect the screening officer only asked my name, address, then her how we met, how long ago, where to live in the US. The Consul’s interview was even shorter, my name and address then he asked her if she has been out of the Philippines and that was it – he said “your application is complete”.

In all, it was painless, smooth process and my experience tells me:

1) Submit perfect docs, no errors to be made;
2) Prepare the perfect supporting presentation (but we were never asked to show any); and
3) The petitioner should accompany the applicant (which, I think, shows the genuineness of our relationship and our intended marriage not fraudulent).

My last comment would be: even though the docs/forms appear to be straight forward and probably you can complete them without any help, I would strongly suggest you consult a knowledgeable immigration agent/advisor/lawyer. As I always say, two (or more) sets of eyes/brain are better than one… Even though I was a practicing lawyer in my previous life, I retained the services of one of the most prominent immigration lawyers in the US to help me (and comfort us during the long wait…

Tim Potter Sugar Land Texas