New York Daily News

Better to marry foreigner in his home country


Iwant to bring my boyfriend here from abroad. I’m a U.S. citizen, so I am considerin­g filing a K fiancé visa petition for him. Is it better for me to bring him here on a fiancé(e) visa or travel to his country and marry him there?

You may get your boyfriend here faster if he comes on a K fiancé visa. However, he’ll get his permanent residence faster if you go to his country and marry him. Here’s why. Processing a K fiancé case is sometimes faster that an immigrant visa case. If you marry him in his country, then file a permanent residence petition for him, U.S. Citizenshi­p and Immigratio­n

Services form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, it could take longer for him to get to the United States. However, he will enter as a permanent resident. Upon entry, he can begin counting time toward U.S. citizenshi­p.

If your fiancé enters on a fiancé(e) visa, he will need to apply for permanent residence here with a wait of another 18 months or so.

My husband came here on a J-1 exchange visitor visa. He was subject to the two-year residence requiremen­t for J-1 visa holders. He applied to have the two-residence requiremen­t waived, but he got tired of waiting and returned to his home country. After he left, the waiver came through. Now he’s considerin­g coming back to New York on new J-1 visa. Is that a good idea? I’m a U.S. citizen born and raised in New York.

N., Brooklyn If your husband enters on a new J-1 visa, he may again become subject to the two-year home residence requiremen­t. The J-1 exchange visitor program allows citizens of foreign countries to study and work here. J-1 visitors include students, researcher­s, camp counselors, even childcare workers (au pairs).

As a condition of their coming here, some J-1 exchange visitors must return home for two years before getting permanent residence or get that requiremen­t waived. Your husband got a waiver. If he comes with a new visa on a program with a home residence requiremen­t, he’ll need another waiver before he can get an immigrant visa. Speak to an immigratio­n law expert about his options.

Allan Wernick is an attorney and Senior Legal Adviser to City University of New York’s Citizenshi­p Now! project. Email questions and comments @allanwerni­ Follow him on Twitter@ awernick.

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