by Mark Butcher
(Winston Salem, N.C. U.S.A.)
So each reader knows this information is FACT; Good current info = I just returned from Russia for the 4th time. 1st trip was Sept, 7 2016 - Sept, 15 2016. Last trip Nov, 26 - Dec, 12 2016. 2 two week trips in Oct, and Nov also. I and my fiancee have set and read up, studied, and called the U.S. and Russian Government together in Russia, and separately.
In short, I'm aware that tons of scams occur. Or are attempted by Russian women, and other countries in Europe. However things are changing recently. The Russian Federation has relaxed it's posture concerning (Tourist Visas) for Russian women.
But that's NOT to say your particular Russian woman can get one. I've been looking at this scenario and the K-1 fiancee visas for 3-4 months. I'm retired and I've done this full time also.
In my travels, and thru other reliable sources I've networked, and personally meet approximately 4-5 dozen Russian people who have a Tourist Visa. Obviously I'm asking how??
I have a Russian fiancee. I have a translator in Russia. Documents cost much less to translate in Russia, including certifications/notary, and so on. And the USCIS will except these. I could list many sources I've networked. But the topic here is Tourist Visa, and if you and your Russian fiancee should or should not try for one.
Seeing is believing. This is not just some off beat info I've read and I'm now forwarding it here. I'm shocked as I've now meet many couples, and Russians who have recently received a Tourist Visa with no problems. And it's very fast for her to get this Tourist Visa.
Please understand I have not been told this and that. I've seen it with my own eyes in real time. Currently there is a flood of Russian women making good on this. They get a Tourist Visa, go to New York. Meet there fiancee, and cancel their motel rooms. Then either take a plane, or bus with you to your home. Marry and change their status.
By the way; (This is NOT Advice) Just info; and each person makes their own decision. People want a Tourist Visa due to the time it takes for a K-1. If you don't want to gamble $300.00 to $500.00 /STOP now and forget Tourist Visa. I decided in December 2016 to try this. We are prepped up for a K-1, but 1st we are going to get the Tourist Visa. If Tourist fails we are prepared but; I am using my own education about this to make this decision.
One of the HUGE disconnects that throw couples off is as follows. We all go to WWW. whatever will teach us how to do everything. In the U.S. Veers Russia; Online info is inconsistent. What you see as a U.S. Man is very different than what your Russian woman will see on the internet in Russia. Putin has also killed Microsoft in Russia for security. In September I had no problems, but in December 2016 I could not access my online banking to see my balances. Just an example of current changes that are occurring.
The online cost for Tourist in Russia is incorrect as well. It's listed at $265.00 U.S. funds but; It only cost $160.00. She files a D-160 online. Goes to Moscow; (U.S. embassies have mostly closed) so she will go to Moscow. Many women are in fact leaving their interview and going direct to New York.
Before you get excited, or feel positive about this there are some guidelines you'll need to follow. Otherwise you may get scammed, waist money and time, or dislike the outcome of her going for a Tourist Visa.
NOTE: Using a PC in Russia not the U.S. You, She, or both can review the requirements for a tourist visa. Do this first. Because if she doesn't meet the requirements it's pointless. Travel agencies are not involved, and are a RED FLAG= Scam.
If your Russian woman is serious she will hit the streets for you. Getting her necessary documents, and travel plans to Moscow together. Also know that I just went out in Russia with my woman. I saw in real time that it’s small work, but not a huge issue to prep up for a Tourist Visa. Also getting a few documents translated is a must for a K-1 anyway. So if you both want marriage this is very useful. To include that I have copies of my fiancees birth certificate, both her visas for Russia, property deeds, criminal record, (which is spotless to perfection). Her divorce decree and many other documents. Both in Russian and translated to English. In fact I have more of her original papers than she does. Some we have duplicate originals such as a new birth certificate. For your marriage license in the U.S. you need her original divorce decree not a copy.
One of my Russian female friends brought a copy of her Divorce decree, and had to fly back to Russia to get the original, or wait for the very slow post/snail mail. This delayed her marriage. Main point is she married a U.S. man in TX while in the U.S. on a tourist visa. In Oct of 2016/ this year.
Off topic also know this. It’s very important. There are forms you can file for her with her change of status. If you file these forms she will have a probationer right to return to Russia with no problems during her immigration. Even though she married you while on a Tourist Visa. Keep in mind her family and life is Russian, and in Russia. Culture shock and depression is less of a problem this way. She will love you even more that you understand all this so she can see her family in real time. Verses being cut off from them and her country for years.
When you file her I-485 look into the following forms for her.
What they don't tell you is what will result in a denial of the Tourist Visa. 1st as example she will need to have 30K Rubles in the bank. Her bank statement must reflect 30K or more in Russian currency. She must have a normal job. She will need a standard document from a local office showing she has had no arrest or legal problems.
On the point of the document she acquires showing no arrest or legal issues; It's super cheap and easy for her to get it. My opinion is that this in itself is a Big Positive. Her willingness to acquire this is a good sign for your relationship. And it's 1 less item to need for a K-1 so it's not a waist of time if your planning marriage.
Here are a few of the reasons Russia denies Tourist Visas. If 2-3 of these add up she's denied.
The 30k in the bank is a definite MUST Have. Often they just deposit money, get a statement, and return the funds. DO NOT GIVE HER THE MONEY FROM YOUR POCKET!!!!!
1. She has children.
2. She is under 28 to 32 years of age.
3. She has no family, or very little family in Russia.
4. She has no mortgage, or paid off property/home.
5. She thinks the visa is related to her time in the U.S. and she ask for more than 2-3 weeks in say New York. (Her visa will be for 1-3 years once received), she should just ask for a reasonable visit = 7-14 days at a motel.
6. Russia even slightly suspects your involved with her.
7. She ask for multiple destinations in the U.S. Such as New York, and additional states in the U.S. Not good. She should ask for a stay in New York in fact. New York is a believable tourist attraction.
8. In her interview she can't speak English words such as; (Brighton beach, Coney island, Statue of liberty, and so on). She will be better off if she studies tidbits of Wiki info. She'll be ask why her interest is in seeing/touring these New York areas.
9. As you see now; Believability is the key after the requirements are meet. After requirements Russia must believe she will return to Russia, and that her desire to Tour is authentic.
The timeline for her to submit a D-160 form/application for Tourist Visa and have her interview is 1-2 months or less. If you get involved in this and decide to send her money. $300.00 is likely all she needs. $160.00 first for the D-160. Tell her to call Moscow also. Her PC will list $265.00, the call will confirm that it's only $160.00 Make sure you see the form she submits. It's in English so you'll likely have to help her with small points. Then once she shows you her email from the Russian Federation which list her day and time for her interview she will need bus fair to Moscow, and food. This is assuming she has access to stay with a friend or family in Moscow as most Russian women do. If not motel expense is an additional factor. What is or is not needed is case by case. I've attempted to core dump four plus months of my experience and knowledge out for you here. Some of this is case by case. Mostly it's fact for everyone. If you respond to this page with a question I will try to answer. But please understand I am in Russia more than the U.S. And I'm unlikely to respond while in Russia. I'm happy to help anyone I can. Getting married is not simple if your fiancee is from another country.
Thanks for the input, but some of this is a little confusing or possibly incorrect.
"The Russian Federation has relaxed it's posture concerning (Tourist Visas) for Russian women" and "Here are a few of the reasons Russia denies Tourist Visas. If 2-3 of these add up she's denied...."
Russia has nothing to do with visas for Russian women. Visas are issued BY the country being visited... Visas for Russian women visiting the U.S. are issued solely at the discretion of the U.S., not Russia. Russia is not in the picture.
And yes, Russians are sometimes issued tourist visas to the U.S., but still more are denied than are approved.
Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Russian Women Advice.