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Marriage & Travel Inquiry for my Fiance

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Joined: 13 Mar 2012
Posts: 99

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 3:03 pm    Post subject: Marriage & Travel Inquiry for my Fiance Reply with quote

Hello fellow Teflers,

I'm a US citizen and I met my Filipino fiance while teaching English here in China. We had our precious little baby here in China also. We plan to go back to PI, her home country to marry and start the visa process for her to become a US citizen. I have read the US gov't state website regarding marriage visa process, but it's a bit vague when it comes to marrying and living abroad in a 3rd country. After marrying, we plan to visit both consulates in order to register the marriage. My question is, when applying for the green card, will she receive a US passport with her new surname (mine) in it so she can travel back to China where we plan on continuing to work while the green card application process goes through. If she does get a passport, which kind is it? Non-immigrant? How soon would she get it?
If she doesn't get a US passport right away, is it possible that she just updates her Philippines passport with the new surname (mine) and with marriage certificate allow her to travel to other countries with me, or wherever my work takes me?
I appreciate anyone who hasn't gotten confused up to this point and look forward to some feedback from others who may have treaded these waters before.


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Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8940
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The USA doesn't give citizenship solely based on marriage. There's also a time and residency requirement. A similar topic was just discussed here

Unless you're military or working for the American government overseas, she'll have to be physically in America for a couple of years before even applying for citizenship. And when she does that process can take a while. Last I checked it was 12-18 months to get citizenship and a 3-5 year wait before that. That's once she's in the USA with the proper visa which can take a couple months to get too. An American passport is proof of citizenship. So I don't believe you can get a non-immigrant passport.

As far as updating her PI passport she'd have to contact relevant authorities. Traveling with you to other countries will depend on your employers and the authorities of the countries you'll work in.

Congrats on your baby! Boy or girl?
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Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 212

PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As NG mentioned, citizenship is not automatic.

The process is:
    Do the paperwork. She will likely need her certificate of no marriage (CENOMAR).
    This process will take 2-3 weeks to get done in the Philippines (to get the marriage license) and includes a 10-day pre-marriage posting of your intent to marry at the municipal hall and pre-marriage counseling both of which are required by law).
    - - DO NOT USE A "fixer" to help you.
    - - If you short-cut the process in the Philippines you jeopardize her eventual visa to the US (document dates don't match).

    Get married.

    Then, before she can change her Philippine passport name changed she needs to do the CFO seminar.
    Then she can apply for a new Philippine passport or have her name amended in her current passport (page3) due to marriage.
    You should also get a couple or 4 NSO certified copies of your wedding certificate (the ones on security paper). You will need several over time

Now, when you travel abroad, she can usually travel with you (to those countries where she doesn't need an entry visa) without problems.
In those countries where she does need a visa she can usually obtain one as a dependent family member. The process is usually quite simple since you have your certified copies of the marriage certificate.

The process of getting her to the States is longer, more convoluted and more expensive.
The K3/CR1 visa process to get her to the States usually takes about a year or so.
AFTER she gets to the States she will get a 2 year conditional green card.
2 years after that she gets her unconditional green card.
After that she begins the waiting process to become a US citizen.
After that she can apply for US citizenship.
AFTER that process is complete she gets US citizenship and she can apply for a US passport.

You might want to look up some of the Asawa clubs and Facebook groups for more detailed information about Fil/Am marriages.

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