Immigration Delays - Please Pray for Us


#1

I am still awaiting the processing of my fiance visa for entry into the United States to marry my fiancee. We have had what was probably our longest and last visit together now before the process is complete, but I’m facing 4-5 months of waiting without her now, and it’s really hard not knowing when we’ll see eachother again.

We’ve now been to see a priest to have the Pre-Nuptial Enquiry, and I have a marriage preparation class to attend on 15th September.

The more I read about the interview process for the visa, the more I begin to worry about the arbitrary nature of it all. I really hope I can convince the US authorities of the truth of our love. Please pray for the immigration officials to be speedy, diligent, and open and receptive both to the truth of our love and the Truth of the gospel.


#2

I will keep you in my prayers. My husband moved here from England and we went through all the immigration steps. They do seem endless. However, we really didn’t do it with a fiancee visa and so that probably made it easier for us in some ways because we were together.

Basically we met online, talked for hours every day for about seven months and he came over just on a regular 90 day visa so we could meet and see how it was in person. We ended up getting married about two months after he arrived and all was fine. It’s just a very long and expensive process.

Have heart though. Even in spite of meeting online, the INS (whatever they are called now) never even batted an eye in our direction. Everything went smoothly and hubby now has his permanent residency.

Hang in there because it is worth the wait to be with the person you love (even if there are tears to cry in the meantime from being separted). When we were talking all those months, it seemed forever until we could meet and be together but now we’ve been happily married for six years, received into the Catholic Church last December and life just keeps getting better.


#3

Thank you BeluvdLily - sounds like you did all this before 9/11 and before the US government got paranoid! I received some good news today in fact, the USCIS received our latest set of papers a month ago and should be back in touch in the next 60 days. Thanks be to God.

I’m hopefully being received into the Church before I emigrate too, so life is pretty busy at the moment (am finishing my MA dissertation too, just cos things weren’t busy enough! :thumbsup: )

Have contacted my priest, and will hopefully be able to use the Pre-nuptial Enquiry form we filled in with him during my fiancee’s last visit as evidence at my visa interview. Let’s face it, if you wanted an easy-come-easy-go sham wedding for a green card, you wouldn’t get married in the Catholic Church, especially since we’ve both converted since meeting, so I think that ought to count in our favour that the relationship is genuine!


#4

You are not experiencing immigration delays - this is just the normal course of how long it takes to go through the process. You will be fine at the interview, it is a very short and painless process, just make sure you have all your proof of relationship documentation ready and you should be all set.

You will be here before you know it and all the immigration stuff will be a distant memory. It will be one year tomorrow that my DH arrived in the States on his K-1 visa, he has his green card now, and I can hardly even remember what it’s like to fill out all those forms. Don’t worry, it will go quickly.

~Liza


#5

Do not be surprised of anything. Long time ago I applied for the green card through a labor certificate.

When I was almost done I got married with a US citizen and the INS decided that I had to start from scratch because they wanted my wife to sponsor me. It would have added at least one more year to the whole thing. I took the help of the senator from my state to straighten things up and I got my green card within a couple of months.

Sometime federal employees understand the regulations in a different manner from the original intent. Just hang in there, and things will move.


#6

Your Senator got involved in your case? Did that really help?

Are you a friend of a Senator or a major donor to one of the political parties, or just an average Joe who wrote to your senator?

I only ask because I’ve had this discussion with my fiancee. I used to work for a Member of Parliament in the UK, and dealt with a lot of immigration casework on his behalf. My fiancee seems to think that that kind of thing doesn’t happen in America, and that writing to her elected representatives is pointless. I’d appreciate knowing what you did exactly - anything that could speed up the process is worth trying.

Thanks for your message of support. We began the process back in February, finally got the petition right on the second attempt in April, and am hoping to hear by October whether I can go to interview. Please keep praying for us.


#7

I agree this isn’t a delay, but rather the normal muck of the process.


**I had/have a good friend who got married while spending the summer with distant relatives in India and it took him nearly 2 years to get his new wife into the US.:eek: **


#8

A senator is not going to assist you if there is no problem with your case. You are experiencing the NORMAL time it takes to immigrate to the US. Just deal with it like all of us have had to do and wait your time in the queue. Be extremely grateful that you are coming here from Britain and not from some other more difficult to immigrate from country like Egypt or Cuba. These people wait YEARS before they can come here - even when separated from children and spouses.

Yes - in EXTREME cases a senator can get involved. But in a situation where is nothing wrong with your case and you are only impatient with the system they will be quite put out that they are being bothered about a situation that is running the normal course. There is no hardship here, there is no break down in the system. Waiting a few months is not the end of the world.

Just wait like everyone else and it will be over soon and then you have the rest of your lives together. Allow the waiting period to bring you closer together and bond your relationship, don’t let it become nothing but an aggravation and heartache. It’s not - it’s just time.

~Liza


#9

I now have another, more Catholic related question which I’d like to know what your experiences were with priests and pre-marriage preparation classes.

When I enter the United States, I have 90 days to get married, or my visa expires. The norm is to have 6 months’ marriage prep.

We had one half of the Pre-Nuptial Enquiry with my priest here in the UK, who suggested I attend a single day’s marriage prep on my own here, and my fiancee do the same in America.

My fiancee’s priest is suggesting we have a courthouse wedding to satisfy the US immigration authorities, then do the 6 months marriage prep together, then marry in the Church.

I have 3 problems with this -

  1. having 2 weddings could be a sign to the US authorities that this is a sham wedding.
  2. living apart for 6 months will not be an option (financially or because US immigration will be watching) and living together would be a near occasion of sin.
  3. i was specifically told by a UK priest that that course of action shows a disrespect for the sanctity of marriage, because it reduces the first marriage act to a mere legal formality.

It’s not Church doctrine to have 6 months marriage prep, it’s merely an advisory thing. Both my fiancee and I understand the theology of the body and the Catholic position on marriage, and would be willing to attend Catholic marriage counselling after the wedding. We have already been engaged for more than 6 months. Does anyone have any advice on what to do in this situation? What happened in the cases of those on here who have been through the same immigration process?


#10

I was a state university employee working on a DARPA funded project. The senator was one of the people deciding the DARPA funding at the time. The university contacted the senator on my behalf.

No personal friendship or wealthy enough to be a political donor.:smiley:


#11

I’m praying for you. :gopray:


#12

I agree with you and the priest you spoke with.
The “norm” does not have to be followed in every single case.
Priests are perfectly capable of navigating aroudn that if they feel it proper to do so.


**Is there no way that you and the priest and you fiance could work out a way to do this distantly? Maybe via email? A chat forum? A series of conference calls? Letters? Surely in this day and age and arrangement can be worked out where the priest marrying you can feel assured that you are both ready for the sacrament?:shrug: **


#13

We were engaged for one year prior to our wedding date, deliberately so because of our unique circumstances. On one of his visits here we attended an Engaged Encounter weekend together. We arranged for our respective priests to communicate with each other via the Internet and phone if they desired. I met with my priest at least three times to discuss our marriage prep, and we had a Skype session together with him on one occasion. My husband also met with his priest several times, and his deacon, to discuss the Sacrament of Marriage. We completed our FOCCUS test while he was in England as well. I sent him his copy and he mailed it directly back to the administrator of the test. Our review of the test with her was done via Skype. To satisfy the requirement to be counseled in NFP we both took classes separately at our respective parishes. We fulfilled everything we needed to do, we just were not in the same place at the same time when doing it.

In addition, we used a book called something like 101 Questions to Ask Before You Marry - I would send him a question and we would both answer it and email our answers back at the same time so we couldn’t peek before answering. Then we would discuss our answers by phone in depth - NO topic was off limits. We did this for over a month, covering all of the relevant questions in the book (some just didn’t apply to our situation). In the end, when we finally met with the priest together after he arrived on his visa, he told us that we were far more prepared than most couples who go through the established processes, mostly because of the vast amount of communication we were forced to have being separated by 3,000 miles. Neither one of our priests would have ever suggested having a civil ceremony to satisfy the requirement, nor would we have ever agreed to such a thing. We lived under the same roof as brother and sister for 29 days before the wedding - our priest was aware of this and understood the situation and that of utmost importance to us was waiting until our marriage night to consummate our union - so near occasion of sin was not an issue for us. We had higher priorities.

There is no reason why you should have to have six months of preparation unless one of your priests has reason to believe that in your situation you truly do need that amount of discernment prior to marriage. In that case you follow the directive of your priest.

We made every possible arrangement for the wedding that we possibly could without knowing the date. Not an easy task, I understand. But the second we knew he had the visa we booked his flight and set the wedding for 29 days later, then put everything in motion. The timing is tight, you have to be willing to let somethings go that might take longer preparation like getting the “perfect” place for the reception or that photographer who is booked a year in advance. Just keep your priorities in order and everything will fall in line.

I would try to find a way to get the two priests to speak with one another privately about your situation and see if they will not agree to marry you as soon as possible after your arrival, and give them a full understanding of the time constraint you will be under.

We have separation of church and state in this country - they don’t give a rat’s behind that it takes six months for Catholics to prepare for marriage. All they care about is keeping the country safe and controlling immigration. Something I really don’t have an issue with.

~Liza


#14

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