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-   -   Realistic questions about K1 (https://britishexpats.com/forum/marriage-based-visas-35/realistic-questions-about-k1-895912/)

reddress Apr 25th 2017 4:42 am

Realistic questions about K1
 
Hi everyone,

I've met someone online at the beginning of the year, a US friend of mine had gone to Scotland, she had a small group of friends there, and I saw this gorgeous guy on her Instagram and reached out to him, not realizing he lived around the world. To my surprise, over the last 5 months, he and I formed a very strong fondness and bond to one another. We video on the phone almost daily for lengthy periods and feel very close to one another. We are now investigating if he were to move here.

He is coming to visit for a week next month from Scotland (UKC), although he has been to the US before, he actually had an American girlfriend for a year and had proposed to her even, he likes Americans. So I think he understands a little about the process.

I know he is worried about his finances, for example I asked to buy him a ticket last month, and he wouldn't take it from me and waited until he could buy his own. I make a decent income, he doesn't know how much I make (well into 6 figures with no debt and a modest cost of living), and I actually suspect he might feel emasculated if he did know. I work in technology. He works in construction though so he has those skills at least. Does he have any chance of working in the US on a K1 before getting married? What about under the table?

Is it possible to get married privately so we can live together for a year or two, then have a ceremony and a "real" wedding? And we would just tell our friends he owns a business instead to maintain privacy about our situation. I just don't think my friends and family would be on board with a shot-gun wedding! Are there any provisions in the visa process against this? As long as we have a prenup, are my assets protected? I'm developing a strong bond towards him but want to move forward smartly. If he doesn't have much money or income, could he get a student visa? He might be interested in going to school. Any other advice for two lovebirds with no idea as to what we're doing? :)

Thanks in advance!

Noorah101 Apr 25th 2017 5:00 am

Re: Realistic questions about K1
 

Originally Posted by reddress (Post 12237578)
Does he have any chance of working in the US on a K1 before getting married?

Probably very little chance. Upon entry with the K-1, he will be work authorized for his first 90 days in the USA, but he won't have any paper proof of such. Most employers would need him to complete an I-9 to verify his work authorization, but that needs paper proof which he won't have. Realistically, he probably won't find employment until after you're married, filed AOS, and has his EAD in hand.


What about under the table?
Sure, if he can find an employer who doesn't require an I-9, it's not illegal for him to work for the first 90 days in the USA. After that, he needs his EAD.


Is it possible to get married privately so we can live together for a year or two, then have a ceremony and a "real" wedding?
Of course! You can get married by a Justice of the Peace and no one needs to know.


And we would just tell our friends he owns a business instead to maintain privacy about our situation. I just don't think my friends and family would be on board with a shot-gun wedding!
What you do is up to you, and is no one else's business, you can tell them whatever you want.


Are there any provisions in the visa process against this?
Against what?


As long as we have a prenup, are my assets protected?
That's a legal question that we can't really answer. Especially if you live in a community property state. The prenup would protect whatever you had prior to marriage, but anything acquired after marriage would be considered joint assets and can be divided 50/50....and that goes for debt, too. If he racks up a lot of debt, even if it's in his own name, after marriage...and you live in a community property state...then you can be held responsible for 50% of that debt. Might be a good idea to consult with an appropriate attorney on this topic.


I'm developing a strong bond towards him but want to move forward smartly. If he doesn't have much money or income, could he get a student visa?
Probably not. He would need to prove he can afford tuition and living expenses for at least the first year of school, and he has to be able to prove he will return home when he's finished studying (of course his plans could change and he might decide to marry and remain in the USA...but in order to get the F-1 visa, he needs to convince the ConOff that he will return home).


Any other advice for two lovebirds with no idea as to what we're doing? :)
No advice other than to spend more time together and see where it goes.

Rene

civilservant Apr 25th 2017 10:39 am

Re: Realistic questions about K1
 
Although the questions you ask are very..... rational, they don't strike me as the questions of someone who is in love. It sounds to me like you expect it to fail and are already taking steps to protect yourself.

If you are 'fond' of this man, consider what leaving him high and dry in a foreign country might do to him if it doesn't work out.

Also consider that you will be required to agree to be his financial sponsor as part of the application process. You will be on the hook (to the point where he can sue you for money to live, and if he claims any benefits so can the US Government) regardless of any pre-nup.

groot Apr 25th 2017 10:49 am

Re: Realistic questions about K1
 
i'd definitely proceed with caution, based on what you've said, and you could always contact an immigration lawyer to help

the striking thing you mentioned was that he had an american girlfriend previously. gotta make sure he's not just looking for a way in, you know? ha

good luck with whatever you decide!

ian-mstm Apr 25th 2017 12:36 pm

Re: Realistic questions about K1
 

Originally Posted by reddress (Post 12237578)
Does he have any chance of working in the US on a K1 before getting married?

No, none at all.



What about under the table?
He is eligible to work for the first 90 days he's in the US, but only if the employer doesn't require an I-9. After that, working illegally in the US is not the best foot forward when starting a new life in a foreign country.



Is it possible to get married privately so we can live together for a year or two, then have a ceremony and a "real" wedding?
Yes.



And we would just tell our friends he owns a business instead to maintain privacy about our situation.
Are you so ashamed of him that you feel it necessary to lie to your friends about him? That's just pathetic!



I just don't think my friends and family would be on board with a shot-gun wedding!
With respect, if your friends and family have any influence on your ability to make decisions for yourself, you're really not mature enough to get married.



Are there any provisions in the visa process against this?
No.



As long as we have a prenup, are my assets protected?
No, and yes. It depends on where you live and the state laws involved.



If he doesn't have much money or income, could he get a student visa?
Not likely. He must demonstrate that he has sufficient money for tuition and living expenses.



Any other advice for two lovebirds with no idea as to what we're doing?
I think you might love the idea of being in love with someone who is "gorgeous" and all that's really on your mind is bedding him... but the fact that you feel it necessary to lie and hide the truth from friends and family tells a completely different story.

Ian

Guindalf Apr 25th 2017 2:40 pm

Re: Realistic questions about K1
 
In agreement with the above, there is a level of maturity required in this situation which, according to your post, you do not have. There are several warning flags...

1) People in love do not describe themselves as 'fond' of each other.
2) His love of Americans doesn't necessarily make him spouse material!
3) You haven't even met yet, let alone spent time together, so all this is a little early anyway.
4) Why should finances matter? If they're an issue now, don't you think it'll escalate and magnify if you were to marry? A tiny crack now would be a huge cavern later!
5) Working 'under the table' is most definitely NOT the way to start a relationship in a foreign country.
6) All this talk of getting married 'privately' really does show a lot of immaturity. It's almost like you'd be ashamed of being married to the guy!
7) Lying to friends and family? Is that REALLY a good idea?
8) There is no shotgun wedding in the offing here. You are either in love and want to spend your lives together or you don't. If not the former, then the answer is simple, and I think you know what it is.
9) Protecting assets is not the way someone in love would talk, so I respectfully suggest you take a good, long look in the mirror and evaluate the situation.

Remember, it's YOU what holds all the cards and therefore it's YOU that has to decide it's what you want. I find it sad that you are not even looking at marriage seriously, rather than as a convenience. There's no such thing as a 'trial marriage', which is what you appear to be looking for.

So, man up (or cowboy up, depending on where you are) and decide what you want. If it's not 100% love, then I suggest you throw all these thoughts out the window and wait until it feels right. The way you're headed at the moment has disaster written all over it.

Rete Apr 25th 2017 3:01 pm

Re: Realistic questions about K1
 

Originally Posted by Guindalf (Post 12238037)
In agreement with the above, there is a level of maturity required in this situation which, according to your post, you do not have. There are several warning flags...

1) People in love do not describe themselves as 'fond' of each other.
2) His love of Americans doesn't necessarily make him spouse material!
3) You haven't even met yet, let alone spent time together, so all this is a little early anyway.
4) Why should finances matter? If they're an issue now, don't you think it'll escalate and magnify if you were to marry? A tiny crack now would be a huge cavern later!
5) Working 'under the table' is most definitely NOT the way to start a relationship in a foreign country.
6) All this talk of getting married 'privately' really does show a lot of immaturity. It's almost like you'd be ashamed of being married to the guy!
7) Lying to friends and family? Is that REALLY a good idea?
8) There is no shotgun wedding in the offing here. You are either in love and want to spend your lives together or you don't. If not the former, then the answer is simple, and I think you know what it is.
9) Protecting assets is not the way someone in love would talk, so I respectfully suggest you take a good, long look in the mirror and evaluate the situation.

Remember, it's YOU what holds all the cards and therefore it's YOU that has to decide it's what you want. I find it sad that you are not even looking at marriage seriously, rather than as a convenience. There's no such thing as a 'trial marriage', which is what you appear to be looking for.

So, man up (or cowboy up, depending on where you are) and decide what you want. If it's not 100% love, then I suggest you throw all these thoughts out the window and wait until it feels right. The way you're headed at the moment has disaster written all over it.

1. A person does not have to be in love to have a successful marriage nor for the marriage to lead to a green card. Fond is a positive emotion.
2. Finances are always a part of marriage and can make or break a marriage.
3. A shotgun marriage is when the woman is pregnant and daddy is holding the shotgun until the I dos are said.
4. Many people worldwide and many people who come on BE who have lived together for years without benefit of a ceremony are having a "trial" marriage. It is called living together. Some even have children together. The problem is he cannot live with her in the US without a visa.
5. Protecting one's finances is a mature behavior. I give the OP high marks for that.

PS Both my husband and I looked at marriage as a means to justify an end. We didn't want to get married but had to in order for him to come to the US to live with me. That was 19 years ago.

Noorah101 Apr 25th 2017 3:08 pm

Re: Realistic questions about K1
 
I agree 100% with Rete's comments. Especially protecting ones assets.

Rene

Guindalf Apr 25th 2017 3:18 pm

Re: Realistic questions about K1
 
7

Originally Posted by Rete (Post 12238046)
1. A person does not have to be in love to have a successful marriage nor for the marriage to lead to a green card. Fond is a positive emotion.

True, but when talking about one partner having to leave their old life and move to a different country, it helps! I would say it's MORE important than moving in with someone who lives in the next town over.


Originally Posted by Rete (Post 12238046)
2. Finances are always a part of marriage and can make or break a marriage.

Absolutely. So no partnership should ever be considered without proper discussion and agreement.


Originally Posted by Rete (Post 12238046)
3. A shotgun marriage is when the woman is pregnant and daddy is holding the shotgun until the I dos are said.

Yes. And your point is...?


Originally Posted by Rete (Post 12238046)
4. Many people worldwide and many people who come on BE who have lived together for years without benefit of a ceremony are having a "trial" marriage. It is called living together. Some even have children together. The problem is he cannot live with her in the US without a visa.

No, not many, because as you yourself say, they need a visa to do this.


Originally Posted by Rete (Post 12238046)
5. Protecting one's finances is a mature behavior. I give the OP high marks for that.

Of course it's mature behavior, but the OP's situation is in the early stages of infatuation, where rationalization is normally not even a consideration.


Originally Posted by Rete (Post 12238046)
PS Both my husband and I looked at marriage as a means to justify an end. We didn't want to get married but had to in order for him to come to the US to live with me. That was 19 years ago.

So because it worked for you, it's a good way to do things? I know people who got married while skydiving. Doesn't mean it'll work for me!

< personal remark snipped >

Nutmegger Apr 25th 2017 5:32 pm

Re: Realistic questions about K1
 

Originally Posted by reddress (Post 12237578)
Hi everyone,

I've met someone online at the beginning of the year, a US friend of mine had gone to Scotland, she had a small group of friends there, and I saw this gorgeous guy on her Instagram and reached out to him, not realizing he lived around the world. To my surprise, over the last 5 months, he and I formed a very strong fondness and bond to one another. We video on the phone almost daily for lengthy periods and feel very close to one another. We are now investigating if he were to move here.


It's good that you are thinking ahead, but I'd put everything on hold until you have met in person and spent some time together. The most "gorgeous" person can turn into a frog pretty rapidly if you find that he eats with his mouth open, throws his towels on the bathroom floor (and expects you to pick them up), or sits around drinking beer and belching all evening. Just put the brakes on a little . . .

reddress Apr 25th 2017 5:42 pm

Re: Realistic questions about K1
 
Lol wow thank you for all of the feedback! I won't individually quote each of these, but just to answer...

Yes, we are absolutely in the early stages of infatuation, and I think we both recognize this and want to move forward cautiously optimistically. Children are important to both of us, and I'm already in my early 30s, he in his late 30s, so for that reason, we don't really have the luxury of dating online for a few years at first. But I think at our age levels, we also know what we want in a partner and what we don't want, and that's allowing us to connect pretty quickly. If we were to move in together next year, date for a year or two (while married by the state), and then decide to move forward, that would put me in my mid-30s.

My pre-nup question really only applies while we're still "dating" one another, I have little reservations about my finances once we've decided to lifelong partner up. I would never leave him, or any other friend, high and dry in a foreign country, even if things went awry.

The only flag for me (can't even call it a red flag really) is that he's been engaged to an American girl before. He speaks about it pretty openly, and since I was the one who originally pursued him, and not the other way around, I'm giving the benefit of the doubt for now. I think our nationalities absolutely played into the initial attraction novelty, but at this point, we've connected well beyond that, and I hope to deepen our connection and bond as we figure this out together.

Really appreciate all of the input guys. This site is a phenomenal resource, and it's nice to talk to people instead of looking through a bunch of technical immigration documents.

Noorah101 Apr 25th 2017 5:50 pm

Re: Realistic questions about K1
 
I know you'd like to call it "dating", but the truth is that you will be legally married, with all the legalities that come with it. So best not to think of it as dating or just living together, because if things don't work out, you'll be getting a divorce, not just simply walking out of a relationship. And divorce does not relieve you of your I-864 Affidavit of Support responsibilities (until certain conditions are met).

Rene

reddress Apr 25th 2017 5:55 pm

Re: Realistic questions about K1
 

Originally Posted by Noorah101 (Post 12238199)
I know you'd like to call it "dating", but the truth is that you will be legally married, with all the legalities that come with it. So best not to think of it as dating or just living together, because if things don't work out, you'll be getting a divorce, not just simply walking out of a relationship. And divorce does not relieve you of your I-864 Affidavit of Support responsibilities (until certain conditions are met).

Rene

Totally valid. Will look into the I-864 and appreciate the info.

ian-mstm Apr 25th 2017 7:08 pm

Re: Realistic questions about K1
 

Originally Posted by reddress (Post 12238195)
If we were to move in together next year, date for a year or two (while married by the state)...

Sorry - but that's not the way it works. You can get married and live together all you want... but it's not dating. It's real married life... and there are financial considerations involved in US immigration. You must sign a binding contract with the US government for support for this guy... and there are only 5 ways to be relieved of that responsibility: 1) he becomes a US citizen; 2) he earns 40 quarters of social security credits (roughly 10 years); 3) he leaves the US permanently; 4) you die; or 5) he dies. This last one should not be considered a goal. :) Divorce does not relieve you of the responsibility... and it is completely feasible that none of these 5 things ever happens. That puts you on the hook for a very, very long time!



My pre-nup question really only applies while we're still "dating" one another...
With respect, that's a naïve attitude. The pre-nup is pretty much irrelevant while you're dating, but takes full force once you're married.

Note: words have meaning... and the good people here who help you make every effort to be specific in their responses. You should be equally specific in your questions/comments. Words have meaning!



I would never leave him, or any other friend, high and dry in a foreign country, even if things went awry.
It must be beautiful to live in your world... but it's not realistic. Those of us who have been following US immigration for a long time know that as much as you want it to happen, life doesn't always work like that.

Please understand that none of us want to see you take a path that leads to something other than what you intend - and while it may be all romantic and dreamy just now, real life happens very quickly. We don't want to see you get hurt; we don't want to see either of you get hurt.

Ian

jeffreyhy Apr 27th 2017 5:22 pm

Re: Realistic questions about K1
 
To echo what a few other posters have pointed out, getting "married privately" is the real wedding. Any subsequent ceremony is just for show.



Originally Posted by reddress (Post 12237578)
...

Is it possible to get married privately so we can live together for a year or two, then have a ceremony and a "real" wedding?

...



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