Immigration Issues/Marriage to a Canadian physician
QUESTION: I'm a U.S. citizen, engaged to a Canadian physician who is currently in her residency in Canada. There is an opportunity for her to transfer to an American program in July of this year. My fiancee is visiting next month, and we need advice on how to proceed and the best possible way -apparently, she is not eligible for a H1 visa, and the J1 visa with it's two year requirment to move back to Canada is unappealing (and so is the waiver for rural physician work) - is it possible to just have a civil marrigage when she visits next month (we are planning our actual wedding in Canada for September and we're hoping traveling back and forth between the U.S. and Canada to plan everything won't be an issue) and then petition her for permanent residency to obviate the need for a visa for her to work if she gets the residency transfer approved? Is there any better way to proceed? And, lastly, if we had to resort to the J1 visa, can we have the status changed once she and I get married to petition for residency so as to avoid the stipulations associated with the J1?
ANSWER: Best way is to marry civilly then file paperwork, which includes work permit and travel eprmit. SHe will ahve to stay here for 2-3 months after marraige and filing until she gets travel permit but then can go back and forth.
Otherwise, if she accpets the J1 with 2 year foreign residency requirement she will need to get a waive rof that requirement which is not easy to get.
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QUESTION: Thanks so much for your help - Just a quick follow up - From your answer, I believe you're indicating that a K3 (spousal) visa is the way to go, and if so, can she get a work permit quickly (do you know the time frame) after we file the K3? Also, I thought with the K3, that she didn't have to stay in the country (I though she could leave liberally between Canada and the U.S.).
I was not referring to a K1 or K3 - they take 9-12 months to get. I was referring to her being here as a toursit and then marrying you and filing the I-130 /I-485. The only downside is that she can nto travel from the time you file the I-130/I-485 until she gets the travel permit which takes 2-3 months.