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Moving on Moving on L1, then getting married. Can she get an L2?

Moving on Moving on L1, then getting married. Can she get an L2?

Old Jun 12th 2010, 10:50 am
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Question Moving on Moving on L1, then getting married. Can she get an L2?

Hello everyone,

I am an Italian citizen who has been living in London for the past three years (which I guess sets me outside the "British expat" category - but trust me, you don't want to seek advice in an Italian forum).

I work for a US multinational and rather suddenly - about a month ago - they asked me to move from London to New York on a L1A visa. Not an issue and the paperwork is already underway. I am due to move late July/early August.

My Irish fiancée (a permanent UK resident who's been in London for 20 years) and I are planning to get married May next year in Italy. Although both have a secular mindset, this Irish/Italian business means that our families expect a big fat Catholic wedding and God forbid a civil ceremony to formalise our union in the meantime. That's simply not an option.

(I'm getting to the point) Therefore the plan is for her to move over with me - live with me basically having a long holiday, start looking for a job etc., THEN fly over to Italy, get married, get a L2 visa and live happily ever after, both gainfully employed in New York.

Questions:

- will she have the possibility to instantly and legally apply for an L2 visa as soon as we get married?
- will living with me on a tourist visa for about 6 net months over a 9 month period jeopardise her chances to get an L2 visa when we get married?
- if yes, what other options do you advise? a student visa?
- as a backup plan (this was my favourite option but you'll see why it's frowned upon), will a quick civil marriage in a town hall allow her to apply directly for an L2 as spouse, or will the fact that we're getting married 30 days prior to moving to the US look "suspicious"?

Thanks in advance
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Old Jun 12th 2010, 11:07 am
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Default Re: Moving on Moving on L1, then getting married. Can she get an L2?

Luca,
She will be allowed to apply for her L2 after marriage, be it civil or or secular (marriage licence is all that is required) but it will take an interview at the US Consulate so it will not be instantaneous.
Chances that she will be allowed to stay with you in the US as near to full time till you get married next year are whole dependant on the POE immigration officer.
Student visa will require her to find a college to take her and you pay the fees for her as an out of state student
Civil marriage prior to moving to the US has been done by quite a few BE members as a way for them stay with their partners and has not been seen in a negative light by the consulate, you're simply going to do it sooner rather than later because of this change in work opportunity.
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Old Jun 12th 2010, 1:39 pm
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Default Re: Moving on Moving on L1, then getting married. Can she get an L2?

Originally Posted by lucafromlondon View Post
will she have the possibility to instantly and legally apply for an L2 visa as soon as we get married?
She can instantly and legally apply, yes.


will living with me on a tourist visa for about 6 net months over a 9 month period jeopardise her chances to get an L2 visa when we get married?
It will not jeopardize her chances at an L2 visa, no. However - and this is something you have to be absolutely clear about - she will NOT be living with you. She will be visiting you. There is a huge difference in terms with respect to immigration. If she is eligible to use the VWP, she will only be allowed to enter the US for 90 days - then she must leave. If you can demonstrate that you are long-time cohabiting partners, she may be able to get a B-2 cohabiting visa, but the chance of that happening is, IMHO, less than 50%. Getting a B-2 visa to visit because she wants to be in the US for 6 months, is not a good enough reason for a B-2 to be granted - moreso if she is eligible to use the VWP.


will a quick civil marriage in a town hall allow her to apply directly for an L2 as spouse
Yes.


will the fact that we're getting married 30 days prior to moving to the US look "suspicious"?
No.

Ian
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Old Jun 12th 2010, 8:16 pm
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Default Re: Moving on Moving on L1, then getting married. Can she get an L2?

Does she already have a tourist visa (B-2)?

Have you been cohabiting in the UK? For how long?

Is getting married now, in a civil ceremony, an option or not? You say both.
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Old Jun 13th 2010, 3:10 am
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Default Re: Moving on Moving on L1, then getting married. Can she get an L2?

she wont be able to stay with you for more than 90 days without obtaining a visa of some kind herself. Dont let her overstay as that could make subsequent visas harder to get.

Also note she CANNOT work whilst on the vwp. She can APPLY for work authorisation once she enters the USA with a L2 visa - BUT it can take 90 days to process. So she wont be able to accept a job and begin work for several months after arriving with an L2 visa.

Also note she will need to take the L2 visa interview in her country of residence, so even if she does stay in the USA with you (NOT LIVE) for a less than 90 days - she has to return to do her interview.
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