Immigration Issues/Sticky Situation


Here is the situation.

My fiancee is from Serbia. She has completed grad school and applied for OPT right after. Her OPT expires June 6th. We would like to have our wedding in Bosnia in August. Do you think we can apply for Fiancee visa and have her leave the country to get married in Bosnia. She also has a very good job at the moment. Would the Fiancee visa come quick enough, its April 5th right now. Does the gap when the papers are getting taken care of allow her to work? So in a perfect world she would get her fiancee visa June 1st and we could go middle of August to Bosnia get married with the visa and come back.

Thank you very much for your help.

Dear Marijo,

1. You cannot get married in Bosnia if you apply for fiancee visa.  Getting married will CANCEL the fiancee visa because your wife is no longer your fiancee and therefore doesn't qualify for fiancee visa.

2. Here is what I recommend that you do.  Get married as soon as possible and file for her green card based on marriage to a US citizen.  She should have her green card by August.  You can then go with her to Bosnia and have a wedding there.  She can then use the green card to come back to the United States.

3. This route is doable only if you file the green card application before the end of April. The green card application takes about 4 to 5 months to be processed.

4. I do not recommend that she leaves for the wedding without any document to come back to the US.  Fiancee visa definitely does not work, and spouse immigrant visa takes 10 to 12 months and can only be filed after you are married in Bosnia and she will have to wait there.  It will be difficult for her to come back with you after the wedding in August because she will not have a visa to re-enter the US.

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Jack Sung


Can answer: Immigration and visa issues Can't answer: Everything else


Been a practicing immigration attorney for 4 years.

Taiwanese American Lawyers Association. American Immigration Lawyers Association. Los Angeles County Bar Association

Southwestern International Law Journal

J.D. from Southwestern Univ. School of Law in 2007. Licensed attorney in California

Awards and Honors
LACBA 2011 Outstanding Public Service Award

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