Thursday, April 17, 2014

Why Victor still isn't visiting the U.S.

It's past time for me to update "Why Victor can't visit the U.S."

Last June, the day after the Supreme Court overturned the "Defense of Marriage Act", I heard for the first time about K-1 fiancé visas. It was immediately clear to me that Victor would be able to use this to enter the U.S.

But I had questions. I wasn't sure how to show that Victor would not become a financial burden to U.S. taxpayers. If Victor once entered the U.S. illegally more than 20 years ago (hypothetically speaking!), would that be a problem? What would Victor's citizenship status be, in both Mexico and the U.S. after we married? If he returned to live in Mexico after we're married, could he then easily visit me repeatedly at length for years afterwards? Do I need a prenuptial agreement? And more along these lines.

I eventually did speak with a gay immigration attorney and get some answers. The biggest problem is that the U.S. State Department has a stunted idea of married living arrangements. They make no provision for a married couple who do not want to live permanently together in the U.S.

Victor is not quite ready to retire, and is not ready to move here permanently. We envision some years, maybe many years, of exchanging weeks- and months-long visits in one another's countries.

But if Victor used a K-1 visa to come to Los Angeles and we got married, in the eyes of the State Department, he is immediately an applicant for permanent residency, and could not leave the U.S. for more than six months at a time. We could probably work with that, but it's not ideal.

So we have decided not to pursue the K-1 visa at this time.

Instead, many years after we gave up on it in the past, we might try a simple tourist visa again. Maybe next year, or maybe when Victor retires. And, if that fails again, maybe then we will pursue the K-1 visa.

So there are more possibilities, but there's not yet a perfect solution.

[2015 update]

No comments:

Post a Comment