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Immigration Issues/Fiancee visa/spousal immigration

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QUESTION: Hello,

I am a doctoral candidate at a major university doing studies in Spanish Literature. My fiancee is an Indian citizen, living in India. We were planning to get married in India, but after several trips of looking for a place, we decided to just get married in the U.S. I've come back now and would like to bring her here for marriage and settling.


Can you give me information on how the process will work and what requirements need to be met? I have heard something about salary requirements and that does have me a bit worried. As a lowly doctoral student, My salary is in the form of tuition waiver and a stipend that amounts to 14,000 per annum. She makes 100,000 INR per annum, which equates to about 3000 dollars. She has a university degree as well. Can you give a little guidance?

ANSWER: Hi,

Your fiancee would apply for the K1 visa stamp at a U.S. Consulate once you have successfully filed a fiancee petition with the USCIS, which typically takes 3 months for approval by the USCIS. Our website contains information here: http://h1b1.com/k1visa.htm and the following page from the State Department is also helpful in describing the process: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_2994.html

Re. affidavit of support, you would need to make $18,387 as per http://www.uscis.gov/i-864p. Your fiancee's income would not count, as she is not employed in the U.S.

The way to resolve this situation is to find a co-sponsor for the affidavit of support, which can be any U.S. citizen or permanent resident.


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QUESTION: Thank you for the wealth of information. Finding a co-sponsor might be difficult, but might be a viable route. If a co-sponsor cannot be obtained, what are the other options?

Would it be easier to marry abroad and then go for k-3 or IR1/CR1?

Answer
Hi,

Whether K1 or K3, affidavit of support is required, and in your current circumstances a co-sponsor would be essential.

Either you can delay the sponsorship until you start generating more income, or your fiancee can apply for an employment-based visa category that allows for intention to immigrate to the U.S. such as H1B or L1. In either instance, she will require an employer in the U.S. willing to file H1B petition.

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Ajay K. Arora

Expertise

I can answer your questions on employment and family-based U.S. Immigration Law. Expertise in various immigration categories includes the following: H-1B, L-1, O-1, PERM (labor certification), EB-1 to EB-3 I-140 employment-based immigrant petitions, family or fiance(e) or spousal sponsorship, visa extension or change of status, adjustment of status, naturalization (citizenship), etc.

Experience

Ajay K. Arora attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wales at Swansea (United Kingdom), and earned his law degree at Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, in 1993. Mr. Arora has practiced Immigration Law since graduation and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1995.

Organizations
American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) full member since 1995.

Education/Credentials
Ajay K. Arora attended Pennsylvania State University and the University of Wales at Swansea (United Kingdom), and earned his law degree at Temple University School of Law, Philadelphia, in 1993. Mr. Arora has practiced Immigration Law since graduation and is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association since 1995.

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