US Visa for my Chinese Wife

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US Visa for my Chinese Wife

Postby maxedison » Tue Apr 07, 2009 10:49 pm

Will marry in Shanghai in early May. Our "interview" with the U.S. Consulate, to obtain her Visa in order to fly back to the US with me, is several days later. I have heard the bad stories and I am fully prepared to fly back alone, and proceed with the K-3 Visa application, here.

My Wife is a business Woman, there, not without means. Our age difference is 10 years, which should not be an issue. Any "heads up" advice, on what to say and what not to say, will be greatly appreciated!

Trying to make the process as simple as possible.

Jim
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Postby maxedison » Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:07 am

Thanks, Reg, sound advice. Actually, I'm in Florida. The tube socks confused me a bit. But all in all, nice pic for a Blackpool Superstar. Reggin?
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Postby monalisalee » Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:43 am

Well, dont know how long she is planning to stay in U.S.
I applied for a visa for my new, (2 months) Chinese wife to take her to N.Z. to meet my kids. There was a 24 year difference, which was not an issue.
We had to apply to N.Z. Immigration in Beijing, because that is wifes Hukou.
The interview was one hour over the phone, and we had applied for a 3 month visa. We were turned down.
The reasons given were that we MAY not have a stable relationship, as had not been married for long, her English may not be good enough to grant a visa.
(to me that was really stupid, as I was with her, so why does she need top English?)
I approached N.Z. Govt. and the decision was reversed, but should not have had to do that. We made the mistake of applying for a 3 month visa, when a one month would have done.

SO: Do not know about U.S., but are probably as strict.
1. I would advise you throw EVERYTHING at them first up. If you are turned down, for any reason, you will be up the creek............They DO NOT like changing their minds. (losing face).
2. Insist on a personal interview, nothing over the phone.
3. Do not know if you are taking her back to U.S. to live or a visit. If a short visit, I suggest, applying for a one month visa (special purpose), will be Heaps easier than a longer one.
4. If she is going back to live permanently in U.S., that will be a different ball game, and I wish you luck. You will need it. (I think).

Hope this is some help, but good if you can get some U.S. citizens, who have been thru the hoops to comment.

Yep, good luck Jim.

John.
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Postby maxedison » Wed Apr 08, 2009 12:54 am

Thanks much, John. We have a plan B, and yes, of course she will come here to live. NZ may not have much to do with the US, but it seems like any case involving an expat with a Chinese Woman is not easy.

Actually, getting the Visa there, after we marry will be a great convenience for traveling back together. But I have the right to K-3 her from here. It's really about time. As a US citizen, I can marry who and where I want. The nature of the Beast is to not make it easy. Fully understood.

Glad your Visa problem worked out. And, again, thanks.

Jim
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Postby Renovator » Wed Apr 08, 2009 1:36 am

100% accurate disclosure to questions asked by officer. The consulate will check up on the answers given. About a year ago, an individual I deal with wanted a visa to visit the US for 2 weeks. He was asked if he owned his house in China which he said he did. When they checked it was his uncle, not he that actually owned the house and the visa was denied. Since 9/11 it has been getting much harder to get visas to the US.

I would think that you would want to carefully review everything you can about Section 204(c) of the Immigration and Nationality Act which deals with marriages of conveniences for Immigration purposes because if USCIS can make a case for such a marriage, I believe the applicant is barred from future visas to the US for life.
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Postby monalisalee » Wed Apr 08, 2009 1:58 am

Jim: Yes right, seems some of these little Hitlers in high places like to make it as difficult as possible for innocent people. Perhaps they are frustrated wanna be travelors who cannot. Or do not like mixed marriages. Dont know. Mystifies me!
Yes, my wife's visa worked out, after much heartache and delayed travel.
Please report back here on your results. Bound to help others.

John.
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Postby monalisalee » Wed Apr 08, 2009 2:20 am

Yes, as renovator has reminded me: (marriages of convenience), I was told by N.Z. Immigration; all Chinese people trying to gain entry into N.Z. are considered guilty of trying to become overstayers, until they can prove their innocense. This is opposite to the rule of law, where you are innocent, until proven guilty, but sometimes I think these people are beyond the law and common sense.
I think U.S. policy is very similar.
So I suggest, take nothing for granted, cover all your bases, and always tell the truth.
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Postby p1atl10 » Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:39 am

Went the the hoops with Mrs P1ATL10....Who is Thai.
Now a US Citizen
If you think marrying and bringing a Chinese women to the US is a pain...Try Thai.
HUGE prejudice about Thai women!

Am not sure what Visa she is applying for....But would bet a buck you will have to do the K-3 route.
If a Tourist Visa, the supposition of the USIS is that she will leave the country again. Which is not the case....so I doubt you will be able to go that route.

The odds on a single Thai women between the age of 14 to 54 being granted a Tourist Visa are about nil. The Immigration Lawyer we hired and consulted with advised us that in the case of a Thai women...best not to get married first. K-3 and then marry in the US.
Not the case I hear with China....lucky for you.
We did try the Tourist route....was denied.
If it had been granted, there is this nice little oddity. When you enter on a Tourist Visa you are given a 90 day stay.
Apparently, the US Gov't has decided that 60 days is enough time to fall in love. Wait 60, get married, and start the Green Card Application process. (5 years of paperwork and waiting on average before a Permanent Resident Card good for 10 years is granted).
Marry before the 60 days...and it is considered fraudulent use of a Tourist Visa. Chancve of Green card go bye-bye.



Get ready for the mountain of paperworK!
And good luck!

http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants ... tml#Spouse

A Spouse of a U.S. Citizen (K-3) Is Also an Immigrant

The spouse of an U.S. citizen applying for a nonimmigrant visa (K-3 applicant) must have an immigrant visa petition on his/her behalf by the U.S. citizen spouse. Therefore, the spouse of the U.S. citizen (the K-3 applicant) must meet some of the requirements of an immigrant visa.

Applying for a Visa

The embassy or consulate where you, the spouse of an American citizen, will apply for a K-3 visa must be in the country where your marriage took place. Here are the procedures to apply. The embassy or consulate will let you know any additional things to do, such as where you need to go for the required medical examination. During the interview process, an ink-free, digital fingerprint scan will be taken. Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a Consular Officer. The following is required:

* Two copies of form DS-156, Nonimmigrant Visa Application
* One DS-156K, Nonimmigrant Fiancé(e) Visa Application form
* Police certificates from all places lived in since the age of 16
* Birth certificates
* Marriage certificate for spouse
* Death and divorce certificates from any previous spouses
* Medical examination (except vaccinations)
* A passport valid for travel to the United States and with a validity date at least six months beyond the applicant's intended period of stay in the United States (unless country-specific agreements provide exemptions).
* Two nonimmigrant visa photos, two inches/50 X 50 mm square, showing full face, against a light background)
* Proof of financial support (Form I-134 Affidavit of Support may be requested.)
* Payment of fees, as explained below

The consular officer may ask for additional information. It is a good idea to bring marriage photographs and other proof that the marriage is genuine.

Documents in foreign languages should be translated. Take clear, legible photocopies of civil documents, such as birth and marriage certificates, to the visa interview. Original documents can then be returned to you.
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Postby trenchwire » Wed Apr 08, 2009 3:30 pm

Hey P1ATL10 and others,
In getting the visa and green card for your wife, were there any guides aside from the official State Dept stuff which you found useful? Or other people that would be useful to talk to...

You mentioned an Immigration lawyer. Was this individual based in the US? How much would you estimate you paid for their services and other expenses in getting the process done? Do you know any good contacts based in Shanghai?

This would be very helpful to me and others in American-Chinese partnerships who are planning on marriage and move to U.S. at some point.

Also appreciated would be info for getting the Chinese partner a temporary visa to the U.S. so she can see what life is like there... planning to move there without ever having taken a trip is really a big step. Let's assume an ordinary Chinese female in 20s-30s with a steady job but not rich, no property or fixed assets in her own name, etc.

I suppose the K-3 visa after we get married is probably the easiest route for that, but K-3 is only for people who are already applying for immigration, right?

What about visa options to visit US before marriage? I could send her on one of those stupid Chinese tour groups which make it easier to get a tourist visa, I suppose, but I would prefer to be the guide myself.
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Postby p1atl10 » Wed Apr 08, 2009 6:22 pm

Actually....State Dept site has been greatly improved over the years, and is a pretty good source.

We used a Thai speaking lawyer in SF (ABT), where we lived at the time of entry...so not much use here!

Just the filing fees and other nonsense is going to cost about USD$1600. I probably dropped another 3 grand on the lawyer.....But Mrs P1ATL10 was much more comfortable having someone to ask questions in Thai. And I was traveling non-stop, so having someone to fill out all the forms and actually stand in the lines to drop off and pick up paperwork, etc...was excellent.

Choices for Visa?
Tourist...To your point, Group is easier.

If you file for a trip yourself, there are two approaches.
Understand that the basic supposition of the Immigration Service is that you are going to "jump" your Visa and stay. The burden of proof is on the applicant to provide sufficient evidence to prove that they have strong enough ties (family, financial, etc) in their home country that would make them leave the US at the conclusion of their Visa.

Approach One
- Owns a business, works in an office in a professional capacity, owns property, sole support of their parents who are living with them, etc. A strong, documented list of family, financial, and professional reasons to stay.

Approach Two
Mrs P1ATL10 and I used this when I was living in Singapore and applied for a Tourist Visa to visit my sister in the US.
We established that:
- I was employed in Singapore, and would remain employed there for quite some time.
At that time 18 year employee of the company, was 2 years in to a 3 year contract. In other words....proved that I was tied to Singapore and would certainly be returning to work.
- Established through pictures, airline tickets for trips we had taken together, friends testimonials, etc...that we had a two year relationship and that the reason that the future Mrs P1ATL10 would be returning to Thailand after the visit was me.

Good Luck!
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Postby Renovator » Wed Apr 08, 2009 10:10 pm

I met a Chinese woman on one of my flights between US and Shanghai a while back who had married an American in Shanghai and planned to move back to the US with her husband. She went to the US for 2 visits to stay with her husband and inlaws in northern Maine. When I asked her when she planned to move permanently to the US, she said never. When I asked her what was the problem. She said in the US she would have to work, do the shopping, no housekeeper, no driver, no Chinese community, and be away from her extended family here in China.

She said it made a lot more sense for her husband to move permanently to China where they do not make as much money but live twice as well as they would in the US on what they do make. She then said a woman has much too much she needs to do in the US, all without help.

It is probably a good idea for a woman to visit the US before lifelong plans are made.
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Postby trenchwire » Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:03 pm

Thanks for info P1at!o...

$1600 for filing fees plus the lawyer... all the paperwork and running around, and this is for probably the easiest and most guaranteed form of immigration to the US-- marrying a US citizen. Our system really is a mess. But at least it's not like China where they don't even really give you a chance to become permanent resident, even with marriage, job, etc.

Needless to say renovator has a point... but in my opinion the downsides of living in China long-term will always be greater. Just the environment and population problems alone could settle that score! But yes, many Chinese don't seem to mind the pollution, crowds, World Expo mascots, and food/water safety issues at all. To each his own!
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Re: US Visa for my Chinese Wife

Postby underh20 » Thu Apr 09, 2009 2:20 pm

maxedison wrote:Will marry in Shanghai in early May. Our "interview" with the U.S. Consulate, to obtain her Visa in order to fly back to the US with me, is several days later. I have heard the bad stories and I am fully prepared to fly back alone, and proceed with the K-3 Visa application, here.

My Wife is a business Woman, there, not without means. Our age difference is 10 years, which should not be an issue. Any "heads up" advice, on what to say and what not to say, will be greatly appreciated!

Trying to make the process as simple as possible.

Jim
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Maybe I missed it somewhere in the thread, but is the visa you are applying for a standard tourist visa or the immigrant visa?
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Postby p1atl10 » Thu Apr 09, 2009 7:18 pm

trenchwire wrote:Thanks for info P1at!o...

$1600 for filing fees plus the lawyer... all the paperwork and running around, and this is for probably the easiest and most guaranteed form of immigration to the US-- marrying a US citizen. Our system really is a mess. But at least it's not like China where they don't even really give you a chance to become permanent resident, even with marriage, job, etc.


Forgot the fun part....to go from Permanent Resident to Citizen...Another couple of years of paperwork.
Then at the interview you must pass a history test and show you can speak and write English.

UnderH20...I was wondering the same thing.
But as his "fall back" was a Fiancee Visa...I assumed his wife was applying for a Tourist Visa.
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Postby underh20 » Fri Apr 10, 2009 7:14 pm

By law, all visa applicants are presumed to have tendency to immigrate. There are no exceptions.

You will need to show that your spouse will return to China. If she has real estate and she has a very good job, that is an advantage.

Now the bad news. Unless you are in China with legal employment, it is highly unlikely she will be able to overcome the tendency to immigrate no matter how many properties she owns or how good her job. The fact that you two are married indicates that she has legal standing to immigrate and you not being based in China indicates an extremely strong presumption that she will remain with you in the US.
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