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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    6

    Default My Au Pair Girlfriend Wants Permanent Residency in the U.S

    My girlfriend is au pair with J-1 Visa in the US, I am US citizen. Her visa expires in 71 days, and I want for her to stay, she wants to stay, and naturally I want her to stay too. Marriage is on the table, but both of us would rather not rush into that just for residency, and we'd rather have a proper wedding at our leisure, when both of our families can attend, which would take months of coordination. However if her visa were to expire she would be forced to leave for a minimum of two years, which absolutely no one wants. I have a family law lawyer, but he doesn't know about this. I'd like to do as much paperwork myself as possible, but I can have him do my filings for me. As normal with bureaucracy, I understand things take time, but we're getting down to a deadline.

    I appreciate any help that anyone can provide.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    26,534

    Default Re: My Au Pair Girlfriend Wants Permenent Residency in the U.S

    Marriage does not automatically negate the 2-year requirement on the J1 visa to begin with.

    read this thread
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: My Au Pair Girlfriend Wants Permenent Residency in the U.S

    I was afraid of that. I searched all over, and every indication pointed that it did, however nothing was concrete in saying so. It is hard to find information on this though. Thank you for the clarification.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    26,534

    Default Re: My Au Pair Girlfriend Wants Permenent Residency in the U.S

    In practice, a waiver for a J1 is not easy to obtain unfortunately.

    Have you discussed your options with an immigration attorney? It may well be worth the initial couple of hundred dollars for a consultation. Failing that, do you have the option of returning to her home country with her?
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: My Au Pair Girlfriend Wants Permenent Residency in the U.S

    I have not discussed with an immigration lawyer yet, the end of her visa has gone from 6 months to just over two in what seems like over night.

    I can't return to her home country with her for more than 1-2 week's time at most, as I have a career, house, mortgage here, and more importantly, children, an ex-wife, and elderly parents who I don't provide constant care for, but they live close and I am able to go over in the event of an emergency. And our lives are here. And before it's asked, the children and the fact that she works as an au pair have absolute zero bearing on each other. We met by coincidence, and dated for a while before I was aware she was au pair. Also, I'm 28, she's 26, so this is not a 40-20 age gap.

    It seems like I'm going to be meeting with an immigration lawyer sooner rather than later. I assumed that the J1 clause of hardship on spouse by separation would be easier to obtain, but I guess not. However one could easily argue that newly-weds being immediately separated for 2 years would be pretty catastrophic to the marriage.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Somewhere near Canada
    Posts
    26,534

    Default Re: My Au Pair Girlfriend Wants Permenent Residency in the U.S

    That's not hardship - at least not in terms of what USCIS will consider to be a hardship.

    If, for example, she was the only breadwinner, you were disabled, and without her you and all of your mutual children would be left homeless and without any real support? THAT is hardship.

    If SHE was the one supporting two elderly citizen/resident parents - that might also be a hardship.

    See where I'm coming from? Her leaving the country doesn't cause any real hardship to you that cannot be resolved otherwise. Not in the legal sense at least (and please understand that I do know where you're coming from; I'm also an immigrant to this country).
    An intelligent hell would be better than a stupid paradise - Victor Hugo

    Do not microwave grapes

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: My Au Pair Girlfriend Wants Permenent Residency in the U.S

    Thank you for the clarrification. I was only thinking marriage as a last resort anyway, but it's good to know that it wouldn't be as easy as I thought it would be. Alternatively, are there any other ways for her to remain here? Student visa is not really an option, as she has no sponsor, and I don't have $20k sitting in the bank to put up as collateral to pay for the college if she was unable to.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    6,559

    Default Re: My Au Pair Girlfriend Wants Permenent Residency in the U.S

    Marrying is going to make it worse. Immigration will see it as "she came here to marry you".

    I've been there....brought over a Canadian to the US....it takes time and money, but it can be done yourself. I would recommend consulting a lawyer for sure. If you don't have time to do all the paperwork, hire one. It took me 4 months to do it myself, but it is possible. Then the waiting begins.

    During that time, you have these inventions called Cell Phones, Internet, and Instant Messenger.

    If you do go for a visit, be honest that you are engaged, you do not intend to stay, and pack minimal.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    6

    Default Re: My Au Pair Girlfriend Wants Permenent Residency in the U.S

    Yes, but Canada is a little closer than Thailand, it'd be a lot easier to hop over for a visit. My biggest concern is the J-1 status, which prevents re-entry for two years. That I do not like the thought of.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    73,105

    Default Re: My Au Pair Girlfriend Wants Permenent Residency in the U.S

    No, it does not prevent reentry for two years. It requires two years of home country residence before she's eligible to try to immigrate. She can get a nonimmigrant visa, such as a tourist visa or a student visa during that time, although that will also serve to delay the resolution of the two year home residency.

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