Visa for Girlfriend Dominican Republic to USA
I am a US Citizen and born in the USA. I am a professional baseball agent who specializes in players coming from the DR to the USA. This is actually my 2nd job, I also work in sales in the computer industry for a very large Multi-National Computer company. I have met my future wife in the Dominican Republic (slightly over 1 yr ago). I would like to have her 'visit' me in the USA (Syracuse, NY). We are not married (yet), however it if would help the situation I would marry her. However, currently I am here in Syracuse, NY and do not have any current business/personel travel plans to the DR before her interview that she currently has scheduled with the US Consul in Santo Domingo, DR on the 7th of February.
First and foremost, she's 23 yrs old, never been to the US (nor applied for a non-immigrant Visa before) and never been married. She does have a child, however never married, nor has ever been together with the father of the child. She owns her own Salon/Bridal Shop in the DR (in her name), has significant assets in her bank account, owns her own vehicle. I have also drafted a 'letter of invitation' to the US Consul (signed by me) accompanied by numerous photos of us (her and I) together on various excursions in the DR, requesting that she visit me here in the US. The plane ticket has already purchased the ticket indicating that she would leave the DR on 02/17 and return on 03/03 (two week visit to the USA). She has a copy of the itenerary and proof of the electronic ticket, etc.
First possible problem: She went to an interview today in Santo Domingo with someone who charges for advice on obtaining Visas (non-immigrant) from the DR to the USA. The women (who I actually spoke to on the phone) indicated that she believes that my soon-to-be wife has less then a 3% chance of having her visitation visa approved. The reasons she gave were as following: My girlfriend is too young (only 23); she has never been to the USA before; never married before.
The woman says that the significant funds she has in her bank account (and proof of said funds), title of vehicle in her name, and proof of ownership of the Beauty Salon and Bridal Shop and an original signed copy of the letter of invitation (identical to the one I propose mailing to the DR Consul) with photos of us together in the time we've spent together int he DR, all will not matter. Because during her interview with the Consul JUST BECAUSE OF HER AGE, they won't even ask for the documentation that she plans on bringing with her. Is this true? I'm quite frustrated if that is the case. My girlfriend was just going to ask that she visit the USA for 2 weeks to plan for our wedding. Good idea? Should she go and get marriage paperwork ahead of time in the DR for us? Does the fact that we are boyfriend and girlfriend only compound the requested visa information? Please advise as the calendar is creeping up on us, and her interview is on Feb 7th (2007). I want to make sure she has done everything possible ahead of time, to receive a visa to visit in the USA.
A couple of random thoughts/comments:
1 - Is it better (since we are planning on marrying anyway), that I fly to the DR (quickly) and we get married in the DR before her interview with the Consul? Or can she get the paperwork for marriage in the DR and we complete the process of getting married while she is in the DR and I am here in Syracuse, NY?
2 - Or is it better to wait and get married here in the USA? And just request that she visit. Should she only ask the Consul for a 2 week visit, as she's never been to the USA (or any other country for that matter) before? I was thinking that if she asks for a longer visa, they will never give it too her, or would be viewed by the US Consul that she is asking for 'too much time in the USA' during her proposed visit. True?
3 - Is it a good idea that I make some phone calls or visits to the US Immigration/Consul office(s) here in (Syracuse, NY) if they exist, prior to her interview?
Net Net - I would like to get her here in the USA now, and need to know if my expectations are realistic based on the facts stated above. If she truly only has a 3% chance of getting her non-immigrant visa to visit the USA approved on her apt. on February 7th, then I'm not too excited and need to consider possible alternatives to significantly (to the tune of at least 50-75%) improve the chances of her visa being approved. Please help FAST!
IMO...You are going about this the wrong way. Why would you want her to come and visit, if as you said you're going to marry this girl. Just petition for a fiancee visa (K1 I believe) which is pretty much a sure thing if you are really going to marry her. There's another type of visa which can be also used for these purposes and the process is faster, but can't recall the type right now (you can do a search here or in the USCIS Home Page website). By doing this she can come to the US and you guys can get married here and do all your paperwork while you're living together. If you marry her in The DR then she'll have to wait down there for all the paperwork to go through.
I suggest you cancel the February appointment and go the fiancee visa route. The reason is that if she gets denied (pretty much assured) she will have a much harder time to get the fiancee or permanent resident visa. Also I'm not completely sure, but I believe that if you get denied you have to wait a year before you can apply again.
She may get lucky and get the visitor's visa, but I doubt it. She pretty much has no ties that will force her to return to The DR, which is what consuls look at to make sure you will return (i.e. married to a Dominican man who lives in The DR). The kid and the business are things that maybe the consul could consider, but don't count on it as these guys have seem so many scams they don't believe almost anyone unless you own or work for a large well known business.
I will try the website link you mention, and based on your recommendation we might cancel her appointment, as in the event that her visitation visa gets denied I don't want her not to be able to apply again
Here is the best website for your specific kind of information:
Dominicans to the USA
Immigration issues regarding the heart is all they discuss...in excruciating detail.
While her age might work against her, the fact that she is a successful business person should be an asset. What the consuls are looking for is a justifiable reason for her to return. You might want to tell her to walk proud to the interview. Look the person right in the eye. Insist that the interviewer read all of the paperwork from the bank, of her property and so forth.
When he asks her "Why do you want to go to Syracuse (good question, IMO)"
She better have a good answer.
"My boyfriend and I are thinking of getting married, but he cannot do his job and live here. I do not know if I can live in all that snow and cold up in Syracuse! I'd like to see the place before we take the final steps. I don't want to go the K-1 visa way because if I don't or can't live up there, what's the use?""""
While these might not be the best things to say, in a general way, honesty is much better than bull sh~t....
I think you better find out first if she gets denied if she has to wait another year before applying for the K1 visa. I know you DO have to wait a year before applying for another visitor's visa. If she doesn't then I would say go to the interview and do as HB suggested.
While I agree with the general premise of what you said HB, the minute she says the first two words "My boyfriend" they will have denied her. Think about this. What reason would she have not to stay in Syracuse or anywhere else in the USA for that matter. Hey I know she may indeed be legit, but from the consul's point of view, once she is there she's staying. You know what I mean? But honesty is still the best way to go.
Originally Posted by Hillbilly
I do not think her application for the tourist visa will hurt her chances for any other form. We have had members on our board who have done this.
The OP should be aware the K1 is not the only way to go, and IMHO is not the best way to go in his case. he says they want to get married anyway, so I believe they should get married in the DR and then he should file for the CR1(I-130) and the K3. K3s are just as fast as the K1 right now and there are so many advantages of the marriage route, not the least of which is having your green card upon entry into the USA. We have also discovered that the LIFE act specifically says the K3 MUST be adjudicated in the country where the marriage took place. What this means is that if he marries her in another country with a shorter wait time, she can travel to the US and wait for her I-130 to be processed there, and in fact she can even elect to adjust her status in the states intead of coming back to the DR to do the interview. We haven't tested this yet but that's what the law says. Would be interesting to see how it works.
HB, the e-mail address I have for you is bouncing and is preventing your ID from being activated on our board. If you PM me the right one I will fix it. I have also manually enabled your profile so you can log on.
She doesn't. She can apply for the K-1 visa the day after getting rejected for the visitor's visa.
Originally Posted by suarezn
One of the disadvantages of getting married in the DR, is the cost and difficulty in obtaining a pre-nuptial agreement.
Originally Posted by twincactus
That's interesting. have you spoken to any lawyers to get their opinions on that?
Originally Posted by twincactus
This is actually where I got the idea and then checked it out. Waaayyyy back when I started the process before the big waiting list, a lawyer suggested getting married in another country to cut off a month from the process. Since my wife wanted to get married with her family there and a month wasn't much, we didn't bother. I also didn't know much about the whole process then either. I decided to go without a lawyer (good choice) and it didn't hit my mind again until I saw this on the I-129F (K3) petition instructions:
Originally Posted by rellosk
The LIFE Act requires applicants to apply for a K-3 visa inthe country where their marriage to the U.S. citizenpetitioner occurred. Petitioners should make sure toidentify the appropriate consulate, in the same countrywhere they married the alien for whom they are petitioning,in block 20 to avoid lengthy delays. In the event thepetitioner and alien were married in the United States, theyshould list the country of the alien's current residence. SeeU.S. Department of State regulations at 21 CFR 41.81.
This is right from the form itself and actually quotes the subsection of the law. What more proof do you need?
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