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  1. #1

    Default Will Entering a Registered Domestic Partnership Affect J1 Visa Eligibility

    My girlfriend is in the United States on a J1 visa. While here she fell in love with me and now we Are considering declaring a domestic partnership in order to deal with a difficult landlord who wants to prevent us from having a roommate. I am a US citizen and she is from Italy. If she gets a domestic partnership with me, will this hurt her chances of getting a J1 visa in the future? She would only get such a visa in the event that she accepts a PhD program offer from an elite university (she already is seeking a PhD at a foreign university).

    Would getting the domestic partnership hurt our chances of being approved for her lawful residency in the future if we were to get married?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Default Re: J1 Visa in Domestic Partnership

    Having a marriage or domestic partnership is going to show immigrant intent and may bar her from non-immigrant visas.
    She has other issues as well. She should be talking to an immigration attorney.

    When she finishes her J-1 program of studies, she has to leave. If she is subject to the two-year home residency requirement, she must go back to Italy for an aggregate of two years before she can consider applying for any immigrant status (either based on your citizenship, or one of the dual intent visas like an H). Further, if she wants to come in on a subsequent J-1, depending on the characterization of her first J-1 program, there may be a 12 or 24 month bar to that as well.

  3. #3

    Default Re: J1 Visa in Domestic Partnership

    Her visa specifically indicates on the physical visa stamp in her passport that she is exempt from the two-year requirement. We spoke to an immigration attorney today who indicated that so long as her primary reason for staying in the United States is her study and career, then she will be fine, and that you are free to live with whomever you want when you are here. She said that a domestic partnership "is not relevant". Does this seem incorrect to you?

    (To me, it would be odd if the federal government decided that long-term J1 visa residents who are here on 7-year PhD scholarships in Ivy League programs are not permitted to form the kind of indefinite duration relationships of cohabitation and financial interdependency that the domestic partnership is designed to recognize. )

  4. #4
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    Sep 2010
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    Default Re: J1 Visa in Domestic Partnership

    OK, no two year HRR. Did the attorney comment on the issue of getting successive J-1 visas in the mode she is using them?

    For the existing visa, your relationship is not a problem. It MIGHT be an issue when applying for a new visa.
    It's got nothing to do with them getting into relationships when here. The problem is entering the US claiming you have no intent to stay on a non-immigrant visa when that is NOT the case.

  5. #5

    Default Re: J1 Visa in Domestic Partnership

    The immigration lawyer said that so long as your primary intent in securing the J1 visa is to study, then having been in a domestic partnership shouldn't be a problem. And the lawyer also said that it would also help the process of gaining permanent residency if we were to get married, because it would make it easier to show that we were actually living together.

    I am still a bit worried about it in the event that we don't get married and my girlfriend needs to get another J1, but she has gotten an F1, a J1 and a J1 extension (not to mention visas in other countries) so far and her experience is that once they see that you are On scholarship for an American grad program then they just assume you're here for that program and you don't even have to interview. She didn't have to interview for the visa extension; they just gave it to her automatically once she supplied proof of funds.

  6. #6
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    Sep 2010
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    Default Re: J1 Visa in Domestic Partnership

    What state are we talking about?

    First off, a domestic partnership is not just "living together" in most states that recognize it. It's tantamount to being married and has to be dissolved through a court process. True, domestic partnership doesn't count for getting a green card any more than living together, but the fact that she has a very strong tie to you is a basis to assume she might have immigrant intent on a subsequent visa (the fact that she keeps stringing together multiple non-immigrant visas isn't helping).

  7. #7

    Default Re: J1 Visa in Domestic Partnership

    This is in the State of New York in the City of New York. The City of New York City Clerk webpage states that we may terminate the domestic partnership by signing a dissolution form online:
    http://www.cityclerk.nyc.gov/html/ma...ml#termination

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    18,997

    Default Re: J1 Visa in Domestic Partnership

    Thank you, if you'd have bothered to state that as prompted, it would have made things easier. Not all states are as lax as NY.

  9. #9

    Default Re: J1 Visa in Domestic Partnership

    I'm sorry; it didn't prompt me I think because it was the immigration forum. I'm sorry for not having realized that this would be a relevant consideration.

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