I am a US citizen who just married a Yuxi local. I have been living in Kunming for 9 years now and don't plan to live permanently in the USA anytime soon. I do want to take my wife to the USA for a visit and stay for 2 to 4 weeks... we would like to do this twice a year.
My question is what kind of visa should I help her apply for? I have heard that getting her a long-term residence visa won't work unless we are living in the USA on a permanent basis.
Any insight from those who have a similar situation would be much appreciated.
In a ironic twist, it would be easier to apply for a immigration visa than a tourist visa. Basically when you are applying for a tourist visa, they DO NOT consider your martial status and treat her as any other local, i.e. you have to convince the interviewer that she isn't going to jump ship once she gets to the States. This usually involves lots of affidavits from her job, school, neighbor, etc, along with proof of income, ownership of real estate, money in the bank, and so fourth.
If you were to apply for a immigration visa, than your marital status will giver her priority and is usually sufficient reason to grant immigration status.
Best of luck!
Not sure about that. I met an American teacher in Chengdu in August. He has been married to a Chinese lady for six years. He applied for a residence visa for his wife and they turned it down:
1. They would not recognize the Chinese marriage,
2. He did not have a job in the USA so could not support her.
He was told he would have to divorce her in China, go back to the USA and get employed, then sponsor her on something called a fiancee visa.
It all sounds crazy.
I have been living in China for 9 years this December. I am married to a Chinese woman. I have been to Chengdu to apply for a visa for my wife and I have heard the horror stories from many others who after years of going back and forth to interviews and wasting time and money they are still denied their visa.
I realized, why should I waste my time and money and BEG like a pauper to go to this God forsaken country? Keep it! I can spend (Not waste) a little money and travel and enjoy life in other welcoming countries rather that waste my time to try take my wife to visit the good old USA.
If you guys were Mexicans, you would have been granted a visa, a new house, a big welfare check, and a red carpet to come to the USA.
I work as a CBP Officer in the US and I am so sick and seeing Mexicans take advantage of the system, while hardworking US citizens who marry a foreigner get treated like garbage.
@AlPage48, I stand corrected. You are right, I responded in a hurry and simplified it. Yes, there are other factors to consider and being married isn't the only factor and in it by itself is not sufficient. My point was though it's actually easier to get a residence visa than it is a tourist visa. And you are right, we're so paranoid now that the whole system is convoluted and crazy.
Thanks everyone for replies. It does seem that it will be a troublesome affair! I have had enough income for the last 7 years such that financially supporting my wife (as well as proving it to US govt.) won't be a problem. So at least that should not be an issue!
Tonyaod - Would the Consulate grant an immigration visa for her since we don't plan to reside in the USA for the next few years?
Alpage48 - I am wondering why they would not recognize the chinese marriage!?!
Chinese staff at embassies frequently make up nonsensical rules when they don't know the answer. Not recognizing a foreign marriage is complete and utter manure - especially since they were advised to get divorced in order to remarry. If they don't recognize the marriage, whey would they recognize the divorce?
@cuihulongjing (what an incredibly long screen name)
As JJ will attest - the application process is rather hit or miss. The US State Department will take your application fee and may arbitrarily approve or disapprove without justification. For all outward appearances - the process and the it's implementation appears more like a scam than a genuine government process.
Good luck - wish you both happiness, health, long life, and prosperity...and hopefully an arbitrarily successful green card.
I have a couple of questions. Isn't it possible for his wife to go on her own in a tour group? Wouldn't the tour group make sure that the visa is obtain for the duration of her stay in the USA? He can independently go when she has the visa.
@cuihulongjing the process as I knew it a few years back based the the experience of a friend that married a local is:
Once you go through the process and get the green card for your wife, it's only an temporary one good for a month or something. Once she sets foot in the States she needs to go to a immigration office to register and get a semi-permanent green card good for a year. Within this year, you have to prove to the immigration office that you two are indeed married and it's not a fraudulent marriage scheme to get her to the States. This involves photographic proof that the marriage is in deed real, ie pictures of you with her at various events, at your parents', with friends, on the lake, everything short of pictures of you two actually consummating your marriage. On top of that they want to see financials, her working, you filing joint tax returns, her name and your name on the deed to your house (if owning) or rental contract, etc. During this probationary period it would not be a wise idea for her or you to leave the country as this might give them sufficient reason not to grant you permanent residence.
Once you get your permanent green card, the only stipulation is that you can't be away from the States for more than 6 months, that is she would have to make a twice yearly trip back to the US. Any misstep would mean the provocation of her green card status.
Now, all this is based on 5 year old information and lots of hearsay and horror stories. Your mileage may vary
@Liumingke1234 I don't think she can go independently if she got her visa through the tour group. She would have to enter the US with her group and the tour guide. It would be possible however to enter and leave with the group but travel independently during that period. However, most, as in 99.999% of the travel agency will actually confiscate your passport once you go through immigration and won't let you leave. The reason for this is because they are responsible for you, if any body jumps ship then that tour agency and tour guide will be on a sh!t with the feds.
Editor's note:Most of this is through second hand information is for your evaluation only, do not rely on this post. Please seek professional legal advise.