Getting a Visa for your Russian Woman

by Mark

Hi, someone else may have posted on this topic. But I don't think so; I have not seen it. And I've been communicating with this site for nearly two years. I and my Russian Wife went thru the K-1 process.

If 1. your wanting info on how the K-1 process go's, or 2. What to expect before you commit to this process as a possibility for yourself? Here are a few Newer pieces of info, (That are current).

1. First know this info I'm sharing is in addition to what USCIS will tell you. And this info is also stuff USCIS will not tell you. But stick with USCIS and their guidelines first and foremost.

2. In the past; Such as 2017 there were five or more embassies and or consulates in Russia that a Russian citizen could go to. These offices are where your Russian woman applies for an interview. Big thing to know here is this. Many of them have closed. In fact the only one open now is in Moscow. Unless your woman lives close to Moscow be ready to the expense and time to send her to Moscow twice.

3. They're so backed up and busy in Moscow they may misinform you also. She will see on her PC that no appointments are available for weeks now. In 2017 she paid for her interview and it was scheduled in 1-2 days, including that she could go to a hostel, see the doctor in Moscow during one trip and then her interview. Now the interviews come up suddenly and who knows what day she will receive after weeks of trying to get an appointment. SO; Point is; Plan to get the Doctors visit for her medical out of the way quickly once your at that point in the process. As we did; Then have her call them every other day. After three weeks of calling My Natasha got a nice lady that saw we had paid but had a problem. The lady took Natasha's info and the next day Natasha had her interview scheduled. The interviews also come suddenly now (Meaning)= on Friday you'll get an appointment for Tuesday, or even Monday. My Natasha kept a bag ready to run out the door with it and fly to Moscow.

As of the end of March to first of April 2018 she got finished; Meaning she was approved for her K-1 visa. She's here now in the U.S.A. and we're married. Total timeline from filing for the K-1 to her getting it was 20-21 months.

4. Once she got the visa we assumed she could fly the next day if we so desired. So we bought tickets for her to fly into N.Y. at JFK, and me to fly to JFK and meet her. The tickets we're for April 8th. She went to her local airport to show them the crate size she purchased for her cat to fly with her. However that airport in Stavropol told her she couldn't fly out of Moscow internationally on April 8th. Again the back logged work at the embassy in Moscow (So we're told) takes a few extra weeks now to forward the documents, or info technically that shows both her K-1 status, and that her property taxes are paid, plus other things per Russian law. Point; Once your woman gets her K-1 in hand check with Russian airport before you buy any tickets. We had to change all our 4-8-2018 tickets to 4-21-2018 which cost us money.

5. Lastly per our experience; Once she's in the U.S.A. and married the forms to change her status in the States is more complicated than all the K-1 documents, and evidence combined. So; Make an appointment at a local field office for either yourself, or the two of you and study the forms for status change pretty fast. I'd say start this process once she's approved for her K-1 and she's waiting for it to arrive in post. Of course we did not use an attorney or any third parties. We did all of the process ourselves.

We learned the hard way. To know what step or even two steps are in front of you, and learn about them fully before you finish the step your in.

If your just considering if this process is for you or not for you that's good. No need to meet a great woman and them be shocked at what the government requires. 1. Example = ; Once your married in the U.S.A. to her, the cost of filing her status change forms is One Thousand, Two Hundred, and Twenty Five dollars. It's possible on top of that you may have to now pay an additional One Thousand Dollars, and submit four pages of information. Basically I did all this from day one on a budget, and barely got by. I lived in Russia one visa at a time for nearly 20 months.

Comments for Getting a Visa for your Russian Woman

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RE: Getting a Visa for your Russian Woman
by: Bob (Site Owner)

I'm sorry this was so hard for you. My case in 2011 was difficult, but only because there's a lot to learn about the process. We had no delays or special conditions, and the whole process from first papers to her arrival was around 9 months. It would have been faster, but she made some mistakes on the Russia end.

All along I felt like (and said) it would have been a good investment for you to have an immigration attorney especially experienced in fiancee visas for Russian/Ukrainian women handle your case. As I recall they run around $1000 for all "parts and labor".

And this is my advice for most people... If you have the resources, and you aren't really great at web research, understanding lots of bureaucratic crap, etc., PLEASE, DO YOURSELF A FAVOR AND HIRE A PRO! I don't get paid for telling you this. It's just common sense.

At forums like there is often lively debate over the merits of doing it yourself vs hiring a lawyer. There they come down heavily on the Do-It-Yourself side of the question, and that influenced me to "Do it myself".

It worked out, but frankly, if I were going back in time and starting over knowing what I know now, I wouldn't hesitate for a second to part with $1000 to have a peace of mind that it would be done right, first time, without all the stress.

Just Google something like immigration attorney fiancee visa ukraine imbra. I would link to those I like, but they could change over time. Somewhere in the first 2-3 pages of search hits here you'll find someone who can handle your case.

And you should include all those search terms, except "Ukraine" if your fiancee is in another country. But MAKE SURE to get a lawyer who does at least dozens of Russian/Ukrainian fiancee visas every year. Including "IMBRA" in that search can help narrow the field.

IMBRA, while not specific to Russia/Ukraine, is mostly applicable in these cases. Any attorney who doesn't know the details of IMBRA very well isn't qualified.

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