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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    1

    Default Engaged to U.S. Citizen but Need to Finish My Ph.D.

    I've been in the US for 3 years on a J1 visa doing research for my PhD. I am heading back to my home country to present my data so that they can verify that I am on track to finish. About a year ago I got engaged to a US citizen. Now that I'm heading back it seems I'm stuck. Here's the problem:

    1. I need to return to the US to finish my research, otherwise I can't get my PhD (that was the original purpose of the J1)

    2. In order to return the US to do this, I need a J1 but it seems that I can't get a J1 if there's intent to marry a US citizen.

    3. I can't apply for a K visa because I am subject to the 2 year home residency requirement.

    4. I can apply for a waiver based on a letter of no objection in order to apply for a K visa but I checked with the embassy. One week later, I was informed that I would be granted the letter once I finish my PhD.

    5. I need to be in the lab (in the US) in order to finish my PhD.

    It sounds like I need to finish my PhD in order to get the waiver + K visa, but I need to waiver to get a visa that will allow me to get my PhD.

    Alternatively, I could go ahead with the J1 visa application, but I don't want problems later one when I get married because there was clear intent to marry before returning to my home country to extend my J1 visa.

    Bottom line, how can I get married AND finish my PhD?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    98,846

    Default Re: Engaged to U.S. Citizen but Need to Finish My Ph.D.

    If you have intent to immigrate, you have intent to immigrate. It doesn't matter specifically if you intend to do so through marriage - when you enter on a non-immigrant visa and claim that you have no intent to immigrate, it's a lie if in fact you intend to immigrate. So if you are intent on worrying yourself in circles, it's easy to do.

    Put marriage plans aside for now. Get your J1 so that you can complete your degree. If and when, after you're back in the U.S. and working on your Ph.D., you decide that you want to get married, you can cross the bridge at that time. Easy enough?

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