Author Topic: $15k and 2 years of expenses for a Green Card Marriage  (Read 66129 times)

PencilThinStash

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Re: $15k and 2 years of expenses for a Green Card Marriage
« Reply #50 on: March 12, 2015, 10:07:22 AM »
UPDATE!

After a few private messages from some of y'all who have actually gone through the system, I talked to her about it again... she was already leaning away from it, and that was just the final nail in the coffin. She's not going through with it.

No, instead she's decided to fly off to Europe for a year. Because nothing says "responsible adult" like an extended vacation when you're already having money problems.

Of course, one of my early retirement goals is to go abroad for massive stretches of time, live like a local, and pick up occasional part time work to supplement my investment income. So maybe she's doing it right, and I'm the idiot. Different discussion for a different day.

KCM5

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Re: $15k and 2 years of expenses for a Green Card Marriage
« Reply #51 on: March 12, 2015, 10:26:06 AM »
UPDATE!

After a few private messages from some of y'all who have actually gone through the system, I talked to her about it again... she was already leaning away from it, and that was just the final nail in the coffin. She's not going through with it.

No, instead she's decided to fly off to Europe for a year. Because nothing says "responsible adult" like an extended vacation when you're already having money problems.

Of course, one of my early retirement goals is to go abroad for massive stretches of time, live like a local, and pick up occasional part time work to supplement my investment income. So maybe she's doing it right, and I'm the idiot. Different discussion for a different day.

Good to hear.

Also, you can both be right! I've flew off to Europe to live when I had no money and I'm going to do it again when I do, so maybe I'm biased.

libertarian4321

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Re: $15k and 2 years of expenses for a Green Card Marriage
« Reply #52 on: March 13, 2015, 05:21:49 AM »
The risk of getting caught and the life implications seem nuts to me for far too low a payoff.

The risk of getting caught is pretty damned low.  It ain't that hard to fool a government bureaucrat, and to bring a case against you, he'd need more than just a "hunch" that it was a sham marriage.

A quick Google search would tell you what you need to do to avoid suspicion.  It ain't that hard.  Just punch the right tickets and play act your way through it.

The government dip stick will NOT require that you perform intimate sex acts in front of him, he'll just have a check list- bank accounts, rental agreements, and the like.




Stash Potato

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Re: $15k and 2 years of expenses for a Green Card Marriage
« Reply #53 on: March 18, 2015, 04:15:14 PM »
Am I the only one who read this and thought ummm I am not even sure what color MY toothbrush is....

I was once offered $40-50K for such a marriage of convenience. I turned it down because
1) I already had plans to leave the country and
2) I wasn't even a citizen of this country so I had to be all yeah I think you are barking up the wrong tree here, don't think it will work.

caliq

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Re: $15k and 2 years of expenses for a Green Card Marriage
« Reply #54 on: March 18, 2015, 06:06:20 PM »
I was also not sure what color my toothbrush was when I first read this but I noted it and the color of my husband's the next time I brushed my teeth -- pink and green!

zephyr911

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Re: $15k and 2 years of expenses for a Green Card Marriage
« Reply #55 on: March 19, 2015, 08:40:51 AM »
*Indecent proposal*

Hi, I'm going to weigh in here. This will be fun.

Background: successfully filed for wife's green card in early 2013. Conditional permanent resident status granted mid-2013; currently building package for release of conditional status (actual permanent residency).

My opinion: the risk to reward is too high. They will have to build real and legally binding connections (joint bank accounts, joint insurance, lease/mortgage/utilities, etc.), and interview at least once, possibly more. Then, if/when he is granted conditional status, they will have to go back and re-validate their status two years later. If the legal appearances are not constructed well enough, there will be awkward questions. The initial interview looks fairly deep - not just financial entanglements, but evidence of actual cohabitation and shared life experiences - and if anything looks sketchy, they put the brakes on the process to look even deeper. If you say she's not ballsy enough to pull it off... she probably isn't.

Also relevant: two years is NOT enough to complete the process. It can take a couple of months post-wedding to compile enough supporting documentation to file the package; it takes a bare minimum of three months to get approved (often 6+); and only then does the two-year conditional clock start ticking. In our case, where literally everything went absolutely right, and the filing-to-approval time was below the theoretical minimum*, it was still almost five months from marriage to green card. So even if she decides to do it, she needs to allow more like three years for shit to go wrong, RFIs to come back, and all kinds of other surprises. There are a million sites out there for hopeful immigrants detailing the horror stories that can and do happen, where the process runs into years just to grant CPR status and start that two-year count.

*Most sources indicate 3-4 months is the minimum time that should be allowed from filing to approval, and with HEAVY caveats that any number of things can add substantially to that. We pulled it off in just under 3 months by going full OCD on the submittal package and lucking out on biometric and final interview appointment timing. This followed 2 months of prep actions like waiting for our stamped marriage certificate, merging our finances, changing her IDs, generally accumulating evidence of a marriage in good faith, and getting her required physical and shots.

All that said, if you promise to keep in touch with her and report on all the hilarity that ensues, I totally, completely, 100%, favor her doing this.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2015, 09:31:57 AM by zephyr911 »

El Marinero

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Re: $15k and 2 years of expenses for a Green Card Marriage
« Reply #56 on: March 19, 2015, 12:59:44 PM »
$15k? That is pretty low sum for so much out of her life.   

Years ago,  I was the recipient of such an offer,  just before Hong Kong reverted to Chinese rule. But I was offered 6 figures.  Either I'm a better catch, or geo-political timing played a part.

It was presented to me this way:  "You get a nice girl to marry, try it out for at least two years.  If it doesn't work, you can keep the money".

Being young and idealistic about love at the time, I declined.  I still wonder how my life would have changed if I'd said yes....

zephyr911

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Re: $15k and 2 years of expenses for a Green Card Marriage
« Reply #57 on: March 20, 2015, 03:06:54 PM »
He was also pretty clear that the best time to visit him was before we were married. By the time they get married, many people have already made costly mistakes.
Do you have any examples? Is it foolish to think that filing forms without a lawyer is possible?

You can definitely do it without a lawyer. In our experience, consulting a lawyer was a worse idea than doing it ourselves because the lawyer gave us this technical way to get around a requirement that ended up causing a 6 month delay. In the end (well, not end I suppose since my husband isn't a citizen yet) we used a lawyer for the K1 visa (lots of issues due to aforementioned technicality), and did the adjusting of status and 10 year green card ourselves with no issues. If you're going to do it yourself I would take a look at the website visajourney.com. Just brace yourself for a lot of mail order bride wtf-ery.
I did our entire package myself and it went fine. Two of our good friends who were married at the same time were totally screwed by an incompetent lawyer and it cost them months of waiting, and countless thousands in lost wages while she waited to become employable again.

That said, I realize these are outlier data points, and a good lawyer can help those who lack the knowledge or confidence to run through this gauntlet alone.

zephyr911

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Re: $15k and 2 years of expenses for a Green Card Marriage
« Reply #58 on: March 20, 2015, 03:23:30 PM »
No, I wouldn't do it.  Putting aside the very real moral issues, the risk of 5 years in prison (and having to explain that to future employers, etc.) would deter me from it. 

However, my daughter has been dating a guy from another country for a long time, and I suspect they'll get married after she finishes college next year.  Let me be clear:  They're really dating.  Everyone who knows them could vouch for their long-time relationship, and they can show plane tickets, etc. going back several years -- if he just wanted to come to America, he could probably find someone else who would move faster!  Several of you have been in such situations:  What's been easy /hard about this?
MrsPete,
This question is harder to answer than I would have expected. I met my wife almost six years ago but have lived with her for less than two now. I was in Iraq and she was in Argentina, and we had mutual friends online that resulted in our having some hilarious conversations, which led to extensive private messages, which led to Skype and an in-person meetup, and almost two years later, a fly-by-night wedding while we were still living in separate states. A few months later we finally settled in together and her green card came the next week.
What's easy? Making the most of your time together. By that, I mean LDRs for me have always meant instinctively making every minute count, and piling up memorable, epic experiences while getting to know each other. The sense of urgency in our time together gives our early years such a wonderful quality in the memory.
What's hard is really getting to know and understand someone, for better or for worse. It's easy to idealize when your time together is limited and you're always super stoked just to have a day or a week to catch up. It took me a year under the same roof to realize how many aspects of her personality I had just never noticed, and vice versa. Fortunately, we had done (just barely) a good enough job of determining our compatibility that none of it has changed our minds or made us question our decision.
For us, the actual green card process was easy... partially because I dedicated myself obessively to initial research and QA on the submittal package, and compiled exhaustive supporting documentation, and partially because we just got lucky on timing. We were traveling a lot that season and we were lucky as hell to be assigned a biometric appointment in the same state as our actual location that week. Ditto with the interview - if either of those things had landed differently, we'd have lost months, and she would have possibly had to go home. It can be frustrating when that happens, and it does happen to many.