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Marriage & Travel Inquiry for my Fiance

 
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fpshangzhou



Joined: 13 Mar 2012
Posts: 235

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.

Cheers,

Aaron
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 9034
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 http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/viewtopic.php?t=107859

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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suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 547

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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conwaypk



Joined: 18 Aug 2014
Posts: 38
Location: Indiana, for the moment

PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Listen, this website is amazingly clear and I'll be using it myself personally soon (hopefully within a year! Very Happy )

http://www.filipinafianceevisa.com/

Accredited by BBB, and responded to my e-mail very quickly. Friendly attitude. Best part is my girl's relatives actually used this site to get from the PH to USA through marriage to a foreigner.
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suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 547

PostPosted: Sat Aug 23, 2014 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You'd be just as well off looking for an ASAWA group on Facebook or other social media (get your wife to look - she is a Pinay)

It costs you nothing.
You get timely and current information from people who are doing the same thing you are so they can help you with the process or walk you through it and your files don't get delayed by using some 3rd party in the middle screwing things up and then requiring an immigration attorney to work it all out again.

There is a whole bun of information and some great networking to assist your lady acclimatise after she lands in the land of the red, white and blue.

Not only do you get great, free, immigration advice but you get other great stuff like learning how to send balikbayan boxes for cheap and how your wife can talk to home and stay connected.

.
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fpshangzhou



Joined: 13 Mar 2012
Posts: 235

PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello, I guess the time is getting closer to head to the Philippines to get hitched in the next few months. I was looking at the Manila US Embassy said the following:
"the U.S. Embassy provides an Affidavit In Lieu of Certificate of Legal Capacity to Marry".

It also stated some provincial cities such as Makati, Queson, and Dabao cities rejected the Affidavit issued from the US Embassy. Will this cause any problems or should I try to go to Shanghai US Embassy to see if they offer the 'Certificate of Legal Capacity' before heading to Philippines?


Cheers,
Aaron
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suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 547

PostPosted: Wed Sep 09, 2015 7:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are getting married in the Phils then you need it done in the Phils.

Your side of the paperwork is pretty easy.
Get your affidavit from the embassy that says you are free to marry.

She gets her paperwork done from her local municipal hall and NSO
The two of you then apply for the marriage license.
You wait the 10 days for the bans to be posted.
You get your premarital counseling session done.
You get married at the courthouse.
* if you plan to get married in a church there are more hoops to jump through - church related.
Then you are legally married.

The above process will take from 14-21 days so don't plan on doing things in a rush.
Don't use a fixer to get things done easier or faster. It will become an issue when you apply for her visa to the States.

You will probably need to convert your 21-day entry stamp to a 60-day visa at the local BI (immigration) office.

AFTER you are married you can begin her visa application process at your convenience but do be aware that once she gets it she will have to go to the states within 90 days or she will lose it.

AFTER she gets to the States it can take some time (months) before she gets her conditional green card.

There are residency requirements if she wants to keep her green card.
It can take from 5-10 years after she gets to the US before she becomes eligible for US citizenship.

Contact some Fil-Am groups (google "asawa"). You're going to need their support, experience and advice to get through the stupidity that is the USCIS.

.
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fpshangzhou



Joined: 13 Mar 2012
Posts: 235

PostPosted: Thu Sep 10, 2015 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi there suphanburi,

I appreciate the feedback as many of the rules are muddied up, nothing is exactly black & white. I was talking to my boss the other day and told her that the process will keep there for about 2-3 weeks long, and she told me that the school wouldn't allow that much time off for me without deducting half my salary.
Even though the internet (youtube vids & gov't sites) say otherwise, is it possible for my fiancee to apply for the marriage cert when she is back in the Philippines, especially if I can provide an old passport and photocopy of new passport and my birth certificate and US driver license for proof of identity prior to me coming to the Philippines? I'm sure I can get the single status affidavit from the Shanghai embassy since they issue the same document in all embassies.

Again, thanks for the feedback.

Cheers,

Aaron
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suphanburi



Joined: 20 Mar 2014
Posts: 547

PostPosted: Sat Sep 12, 2015 6:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you ever want her to get a US visa and green card there is nothing muddled up.
1) go to Philippines.
2) get your license to marry (yes, that means collect the correct paperwork).
They are good for 120 days AFTER issuance for you to marry (so you can do it over 2 visits).
Your part is pretty simple - 1 quick stop at the embassy or consulate on the day you arrive.
Hers is a bit more complicated and will include things like her CENOMAR. She can start hers ahead of time.
3) wait for the bans (10 days)
4) get your premarital counseling done (best if you can get it done during your 10-day wait).
5) get married.

The alternative is to get married where you are through the Philippine Embassy.

If you try to shortcut the process you can pretty much be assured that she will never get through the process with USCIS to get a visa to the States (since the paperwork will never match up to dates and stamps in your passports (evidence you will need to hold on to for later)).

.
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fpshangzhou



Joined: 13 Mar 2012
Posts: 235

PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Expats,

I'm going through the marriage process. Does anyone know if its a requirement to make an appointment to get the Affidavit in Lieu of a Certificate of Legal Capacity to Contract Marriage certificate from the Embassy in Manila? I'm looking at available dates, but there aren't any openings showing up for February, or they're not showing on my end anyways. I would think one could just get this by walk-in, or they offer more dates available for this service as there are many Americans getting married so regularly. I appreciate any information as my ticket booking depends on when I can get into the embassy to obtain this certificate.

Cheers,

Aaron
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rtm



Joined: 13 Apr 2007
Posts: 908
Location: US

PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 4:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have an answer for you, but I've found http://www.visajourney.com/ to be a good site to ask questions about US visa issues and processes.
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