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Immigration Issues/Marriage to a Foreign National


QUESTION: Hello, I am a US citizen & am engaged to be married to a citizen of the Dominican Republic.  At first we were planning on getting married here & then file the paperwork for the K-3 Visa.  I have gotten conflicting information from USCIS.  I wanted to make sure that we went through the correct steps.  Would it be better to get married in the Dominican Republic & then file the paperwork.  Or get married here in the US, file the I-130, I-131, I-485 & I-765.  He has a current tourist visa.  I understand that the Embassy in the Dominican Republic is horribly backed up.  Would our request be moved ahead in the waiting list?  And once we submit the paperwork does he loose his tourist visa or can he still travel here while his paperwork is being processed.  We are just looking for the quickest way (just like everyone else) for him to live in the US.  I am sorry for all the questions.  I appreciate any information that you can provide.
ANSWER: If he is here legally it would be better to get married here and apply for the visa here.  I don't know what you are talking about regarding the K-3 visa. You want to file the Petition for the visa and the Application to adjust status.

Good luck.

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QUESTION: Thank you for your response.  Just one last question, if he comes here on his tourist visa & we get married.  He is concerned they might question his "intent" during the interview and say that he lied.  Thank you for your time.

That is a valid concern for all visa applications except for marriage to a US citizen.  If you come to the USA and apply to change or adjust status within 30 days of entry, there is a presumption that you entered with fraudulent intent...

With the exception of marriage to a US citizen.  This and many other restrictions are waived.  However, the simple solution for they hyper-nervous is to wait 30 days and then file the petition.  The 30 day period has to do with when the petition is filed, not when you get married.  You can get married 30 minutes after he gets off the runway if you can find a judge.

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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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