VISA Information for Americans looking to bring home a Colombian Women
The Fiancée Visa (called K-1) allows a U.S. Citizen man, who meets the minimum qualifications such as financial income requirements and others, to sponsor a Colombian lady to the U.S. for purpose of marriage to her in the U.S. within 90 days. There is a legal process to get the visa, including petitions, documents, photos and signatures. It will take on average about six (6) months from the date of filing of the petition with the Immigration Office in the U.S. to get the visa. There will be a final interview, background check and medical examination of the lady at the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá before they will issue the visa.
This visa is meant for people with a serious intention to marry in the U.S. and most people do get married. However, there is no requirement to marry; a few couples decide that they will not marry. In that case, under the rules, the lady must return home to Colombia within the 90 days.
The Spousal Visa (called K-3) allows the Colombian spouse of a U.S. Citizen who married her in Colombia in a valid and official civil or Catholic Church marriage to travel and live in the U.S. for up to 24 months. The lady spouse is allowed to travel back to Colombia for short visits, but needs to get special permission to work in the U.S. which takes about 90 days.
There is a legal process to get the visa, including petitions, documents, photos and signatures. It will take on average about six (6) months from the date of filing of the petition with the Immigration Office in the U.S. to get the visa. There will be a final interview, background check and medical examination of the lady at the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá before they will issue the visa.
ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS “GREEN CARD”:
If a Colombian lady gets married in the U.S. within 90 days of her K-1 Fiancée Visa, then she must file another legal petition to get something called “lawful permanent residency” to live and work in the U.S. Some people call this “Green Card”.
A Colombian lady who was married in Colombia to her U.S. Citizen husband and arrived in the U.S. with the 24 month K-3 Spousal Visa must also file the same legal petition to get “lawful permanent residency” or “Green Card” before the end of her visa.
There is a legal process to get the Green Card, including petitions, documents, photos and signatures. It will take on average from the petition filing date about 0 days first get TEMPORARY WORK AND TRAVEL PERMISSION, and last another 90 days or so to finally get the Immigration interview and Green Card.
COMMON ISSUES AND PROBLEMS FOR U.S. GENTLEMEN WANTING TO DO A VISA FOR A LADY:
a. No Personal Meeting between the gentleman and lady yet:
The gentleman and lady never met yet. This is required BEFORE they can officially start the visa process. The must have met face-to-face at least one time recently and be able to prove it. This is called the “personal meeting requirement”.
b. No Serious Intention to Marry Yet:
The couple must show a “serious intention to marry” BEFORE they can start the visa process. This means that they must first share enough time together and know about each other. Many gentlemen ask about a Student Visa, Work Visa or Tourist Visa for the lady. These visas are generally very difficult to get for most Colombians and are NOT meant for marriage. When people ask too much about those visas, it usually just means that they couple have not shared enough time together yet. They should do that first and get serious and consider the Fiancée or Spousal Visa which are much more REALISTIC for most Colombian ladies.
c. Insufficient Reported Income on Federal Tax Returns by the gentlemen to sponsor the lady on Fiancée or Spousal Visa:
If the gentleman cannot show enough reported income on his Federal Income Tax returns, he may have difficulty getting a visa for his lady. In that case, he might need to file AMENDED Federal Tax returns and report more money, or try and get another person to sign to financially sponsor the lady. This person is called a “Co-Signer”.
d. Past criminal history or domestic violence history of the gentleman:
If a man has a significant record of criminal offenses such as felonies for violent offenses or fraud offenses, or significant problem with domestic violence court orders, then he may have a lot of difficulty getting a visa for a lady. The lady needs to know about his past record, preferably directly from him or from the Agency.
e. Past immigration and visa history of the gentleman for past ladies:
Under recent new immigration laws called “IMBRA”, there are some limits to how many visas a U.S. citizen man can do for a lady, and there is a 24 month “waiting period” BEFORE he can do a second visa for a second lady. Men with a past immigration or visa history may have more difficulty getting a visa for a lady.
f. Past immigration or visa history of the lady:
If the lady has past immigration or visa history with other visas and other men, then she may have more difficulty in getting a visa.
g. No proof of intention by the gentleman to reside permanently in the with his lady after the visa:
U.S. men who live in Medellin and want to spend the majority of their time in Medellin or Colombia will have more difficulty getting a U.S. visa for a lady because U.S. visas are meant for couples to reside in the U.S. permanently, NOT to live in Colombia most of the time.
The current average waiting time for a fiancée Visa is approximately 6 months.
OTHER USEFUL WEBSITE LINKS TO VISIT:
US Embassy, Bogota, Colombia
USCIS (U.S. Immigration Agency)
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