I am an American citizen. Both my parents are Colombian. I have been travelling to Medellin for leisure since 1999. On one of my recent visits I met a girl whom I fell in love with. I plan on asking her to marry me and getting married in Colombia by early 2007. My question is, Once married, approximately how long will it take for her to come to the US? Also are there any suggestions anyone may have for this process to speed it up or anything else worth noting etc. Also, she has a very large family and is very family oriented and wants a traditional wedding so getting married in the US is not an option. Thank you for your help.

Posted on October 26, 2005


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Comments:

utopiacowboy is familiar with the k-3 process. He will give you good guidance.



Saludos and congratulations on your future engagement



Silvia

Posted on October 26, 2005


church or civil wedding? it's difficult to predict how long it will take if you start the process in 2007, things seem to change from time to time with either K1 or K3 making it unpredictable to say which is faster. it also depends on where you live because that determines which office handles your petition. also, do you want to marry in colombia or here? if you marry in colombia today and were to do a K3 now, it takes about 7-9 months, but things might change in 2007. also, do you want to marry in the church or have a civil wedding? if by church and you are catholic, make sure you have done all of your sacraments,baptism,first communion and confirmation and that you have proof from your church that you've done them. my fiancee and i will be marrying in the church and i'll be filing a K3 for her sometime next year. good luck and let us know when you propose.

JK

Posted on October 26, 2005


Church Wedding Wow, 7 to 9 months thats a lot longer than I expected. I was under the impression that it was a 3 month process. I want to marry in the US. Would it make sense to marry through civil first then the church?

Posted on October 26, 2005


processing times if you want to marry in the US then the K1 could be faster, only a couple of months,although processing of the I130 has been pretty fast, just remember that it depends on which office handles your state, things may be slower or faster depending on that plus how things are moving in 2007. K3's might be better or faster, just depends on when you are ready to see what the processing times are, the I 130 could be best, she can come here with permission to work and travel right away, with the K1 she stuck here for a while. you can get married here in a civil ceremony then a church wedding in colombia with her family. but if speed is your concern, why not pop the question and start the process now? here's a site that you should bookmark, it has a lot os useful info, especially if you want to do this on your own without a lawyer.

http://www.visajourney.com/



JK

Posted on October 26, 2005


The K-3 does not require the approval of the I-130 and it is not necessary to file for a K-3 after you file an I-130. Normally the I-130 leads to a CR1 visa, which is what Jediknight was talking about above. In the past, it took so long for I-130 petitions to be approved (sometimes years) that Congress created the K-3 so that spouses could come to the US and wait for their I-130s to be approved. Usually after the I-130 is approved, the spouse adjusts status in the US and does not go back to their home country for the CR1. That option is available if there is a long wait in your area for AOS.



You file the I-130 first and after you get the notice back from the USCIS, you file an I-129F as though you were filing for a fiancee visa. All the I-129F petitions for K-3s are handled by one service center in Missouri, the National Benefits Center. Their speed varies. For a while they had a nine month backlog but now they are approving I-129Fs in as little as a month. Add in another couple of months for the NVC and embassy process and it is possible to get it all done in as little as 4 months. Ours took 6 months from wedding in Colombia to arrival in the US.

Posted on October 26, 2005


Thanks For the Help This is great information, I really appreciate it. But still a few more. The general consensus is that the USCIS does not regognize church weddings. Does this mean i will have to marry in Civil in addition to the church?

Posted on October 26, 2005


You have to have the registro civil from the notaria but this does not mean that you have to have two weddings. You can have your Catholic wedding registered with the local notaria's office and that way you can get your registro civil. Have your fiancee check with her local priest and notaria to make sure this goes smoothly.

Posted on October 26, 2005


Get the Fiance Visa Fiance visa is faster...getting married there and then petitioning her is a pain in the ass.





The Pepster



"I'm an American and I'm a Colombian. Not neither or either...so deal with it."

Posted on October 26, 2005


Marry her in the US first !! Get her an engagement visa and take her to the states, marry there and afterwards marry her in Colombia with all the fancy tradition of her family.

Posted on October 26, 2005


Have either of you two previous posters actually gotten married in Colombia and then brought your wife to the US? It's not that difficult or time-consuming. I did it in 2003 and from the date of the wedding to my wife's arrival in the US was 6 months. I highly recommend getting married in Colombia.

Posted on October 26, 2005


I Totall Agree.. with UC's post and advice. But there is not any way to cut the six months for the visas.

Posted on October 26, 2005


If you are a US citizen resident in Colombia for 6 months, you've got it made. You can file your petition directly with the embassy in a process known as Direct Consular Filing. It's the fastest and easiest way. It used to be available to everyone but they restricted it after July 1, 2003. Otherwise we all would have done it. At some point we may choose to live in Colombia but we would certainly wait until after my wife and her children have US citizenship.

Posted on October 26, 2005


1. You can marry anytime. You can only use DCF if you have a Colombian cedula and you have resided in Colombia for 6 months. The whole point of this exercise is to get your wife a green card so she can live in the US. If you don't intend to live in the US why bother? You could just wait on it until you were ready to go back to the US. The DCF process only takes a couple of months.



2. What kind of visa? It depends what my intent was. Just to visit the US, she could try for a tourist visa but it would be tough since she is married to a US citizen. The problem with getting a green card is you just can't stay out of the country indefinitely without losing your permanent residency. Best bet is to live in the US long enough to acquire citizenship. After that you're home free.



3. Your children will be US citizens from birth. You can register them at the US embassy and they get birth certificates for US citizens born abroad.



About the gardening. She lived in Belen Miravalle and her apartment had a very large patio that is not visible from the street. She always had a lot of plants in the apartment and on the patio. A lot of Colombian apartments have these large patio areas in the back.

Posted on October 26, 2005