Immigration Issues/Spousal Sponsorship

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Question
Hello,

I met my fiance while living in France.  He is a citizen of Tunisia but currently living in France as a student resident.  He was planning a trip to the US this summer but is having difficulty in getting a tourist visa.

Currently, his French residency has expired.  He is having a difficult time having it renewed because he lost his job at the same time his residency expired.  Apparently he will not be able to apply for a US tourist visa in France until he clears his residency.  The other alternative was for him to return to Tunisia and apply there.  However, he was told he would not be granted a visa as a student because he does not have a steady income, also they are not giving out those types of visas to Tunisians.  

The only other alternative I can think of is to move up our wedding date and get married in France.  Would the US grant a spousal visa if the marriage took place out of the country?  I was told we would have to get married here, which would be impossible since he can't even get a tourist visa just to visit.  

Any information or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Best reagards,
Nancy

Answer
Hi,

You can be married anywhere outside the U.S. and the USCIS will recognize it as a valid marriage. Therefore, you and your spouse can be married in France or Tunisia or anywhere else.

The following is an excerpt from the old USCIS website http://149.101.23.2/graphics/howdoi/spouselive.htm (which is much more informative than www.uscis.gov but the old website may be inactivated soon: Can My Spouse Come to the U.S. to Live While the Visa Petition Is Pending?

If you are a U.S. Citizen, once you file Form I-130, your spouse is eligible to apply for a nonimmigrant K-3 Visa. This will entitle him or her to come to the U.S. to live and work while the visa petition is pending. The Form to file for this benefit is Form I-129F. It is not necessary for your spouse to obtain a K-3 visa in order to come to the U.S. to live and work. Your spouse may wait abroad for immigrant visa processing. However, seeking a K-3 visa can be a method for him or her to come to the U.S. more quickly.

Nancy, although you can get legally married in France, the U.S. Consulate in France will probably not issue the K-3 visa to your husband if he is residing illegally in France. He will be issued the K-3 visa at the U.S. Consulate in Tunisia, which will not be a problem since a K-3 visa is normally issued whereas visitor or student visas are very difficult to obtain in Tunisia.

Regards,
Ajay K. Arora, Esq.
www.h1b1.com  

Immigration Issues

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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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