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Immigration Issues/marriage vs political asylum to get US passport


Hello Mr. Hay -

I have a question regarding fastest way to get US passport for my girlfriend in order to travel back to home country - Russia. She has a student visa and I have a green card, but a green light to get a passport. I'm going to submit the paperwork this month, and I might get the passport within 6 months (my parents got it that quick two years back) and then marry my girlfriend. I'm getting mixed messages on whether it is quicker to work through political asylum or marriage to get the passport for her. I heard that people, who receives political can't visit their country for time until they get an actual passport. Does it apply to "married" people?
Any input on the mater will be much appreciated!

This is a very complicated question, and I don't think it is appropriate to deal with it in one paragraph. I think you should contact an immigration attorney, show all the facts, and listen to your options, as you have many.  In fact that is the problem. You have too many options. That is a good thing except that it can lead to confusion.

First, in regards to your girlfriend. I would marry her now, not later. The status benefit will be faster that way. When you apply for her greencard, she will get a 2 year conditional greencard, unless you have already been married for two years or more.  

As for asylum vs marriage to a US citizen, asylum is faster, but marriage is better. There is no guarantee you will win an asylum contest, but a marriage to a US citizen is an easy and simple solution.

As for the passport, it will take time no matter what happens. If you petition for her as a US citizen, she will immediately get a work permission while she is waiting, and you can also request to have a parole re-entry permit issues for her so that she can leave the country while the visa is being processed. The passport itself will take much longer.  In regards to asylum the process takes time too.

Best of luck.

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Alexander J. Hay


I am a U.S. lawyer with offices in Houston, Texas and in Belize. I can answer questions on U.S. Immigration, U.S. corporate law, and Offshore Tax and Asset Planning.
If you are on an H or L visa I am NOT GOING TO ANSWER your questions since they are usually highly fact oriented, and also you have a company attorney handling the whole thing. Call your own attorney please! If you disregard this request, don't be surprised if I answer with "homework question".


I am a U.S. attorney with offices in the United States and Belize. I have experience helping to protect assets, reduce taxes, and improve investment performance by utilizing global investment techniques.

Harvard University, A.B. degree; University of Houston Law Center, J.D. Degree; Fulbright Scholar

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