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Old 28-09-2008, 07:24   #1
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What do you do about visas?

I know I'm not alone with this. I know there are other guys in my position, so I'm asking.

I'm a US citizen. My wife is Indonesian. We've been married 8 years. Much of that time we have both been overseas with my work. What recent experiences do other people have getting non US citizen wives to join them cruising outside of the US?

When she has joined me going to other countries for my work, we've always had time to process getting her visas. I'm thinking that cruising is going to be radically different in that, you show up, apply and get to enjoy yourself.

Out boat is currently in dry storage in Mexico. My wife has lived on it with me and is a great 1st mate. She did not get to join me sailing it to Mexico last January, so I don't know what I would have been up against if she had been with me for that. But when I went to bring her back to Mexico from Australia with me, I had to buy her a-one way- "visa ticket" for $6,400 before Qantas would let her on the plane. It was all refundable if not needed, but I later learned that Mexico demands it so they can immediately deport little brown people who don't have the paperwork they like. Since she did not have a Mexican visa (which gringo can get upon arrival), I would have had to kiss her and the $6,400s goodbye right on the spot when we landed in Mexico.

We never got that far and she wound up going back to Indonesia and waiting for me while I went to another job. But when we were still trying, all I could get for her was a 20 day Mexican visa.

Obviously things have changed as the rule continues to get tweaked. But I'm asking if there is any experience out there that might help me know what to look out for. Like I said, she has joined me flying into other countries, but never sailing. Is there any other set of rules that kick in?

Thanx
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Old 28-09-2008, 12:53   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minggat View Post
... I'm a US citizen. My wife is Indonesian. We've been married 8 years. Much of that time we have both been overseas with my work. What recent experiences do other people have getting non US citizen wives to join them cruising outside of the US?...
Without having established her US residency, is there a problem getting her US citizenship (dual) ?
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Old 28-09-2008, 15:39   #3
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I'm thinking that we may just go that way. I don't know all the different status options. But to get her permanent residency (I think that's the one) I am told she has to stick around for 3 years. We just haven't done that. Would citizenship not have a similar requirement?

I am getting an immigration attny involved. I just never that I'd be going down this road and don't know the right questions to ask.
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Old 28-09-2008, 16:30   #4
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citizenship for the US requires 5 years residency i'm pretty sure...
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Old 28-09-2008, 16:50   #5
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Under section 319)b) of the Immigration and naturalization Act (INA) expeditious citizenship can be obtained for people who cannot meet the residency requirements for certain reasons.

My wife and I did the paperwork for her more than 20 years ago. There are hoops and requirements but it was a lot easier than living in the states waiting for the clock to tick. Ultimately we were not in a rush but she got her citizenship as we lived in Malaysia (she was a Filipino citizen) in less than 3 years.

http://www.hoodmwr.com/ACS/Media/Pro...n/319b_FAQ.pdf
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Old 28-09-2008, 23:04   #6
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Wow!

Thanx for that. Sounds like what I was looking for.

And I hope that having a pending application would make getting visa into other countries easier as well. Did you stay in Malaysia the whole 3 years? I'd like to get her to Mexico ASAP.
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Old 29-09-2008, 00:42   #7
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If you are not military, and I wasn't, it's a bit tougher. Working for a US corporation engaged in trade (or whatever the words are) was what we used. My company contract "proved" that I could not be based in the US and go the standard route.

We had the typical interviews to prove legitimacy of the marriage but by the time we got going we'd been married 2 years anyway so they were pretty easy. From the time we started it it took about 9 months. There was no US embassy in Kuala Lumpur so we were mailing stuff to Singapore. We did the final processing in the Federal courts in Ohio.

If you have already retired or left contractual obligation you may have a problem.

We really weren't going anywhere so we didn't have to push it along so quickly. I did all the paperwork myself so you really can do it without lawyers. Of course this was a long time ago and homeland security may have added a twist or two.

We did get her a B1/B2 multiple entry visitor visa first so she could come and go as we pleased to the USA.

As far as other countries, there was no problem anywhere we wanted to go (mostly Asia) except Australia. I incuded a letter of sponsorship for there and had no real issue getting a visitor visa. A third country probably won't give any credence to a pending application for US citizenship - that's just the way governments are.

To be in Mexico you are going to have to deal with Mexico as a completely separate subject from the USA.
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Old 29-09-2008, 04:09   #8
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You have given me some good direction. One big problem is the "twist" you mention from the organization that didn't even exist when you went thru this. They keep twisting and tweaking the rules and you don't know what to expect anymore. Like I said in the beginning, demonstrating that you are worthy of one visa does not assure you get another one. This last attempt felt pretty bad. I can take your input and compare it to the present day rules for a different approach though. All I really wanted was visitor visas, but the rules make it more likely that I can do better if I go for citizenship.

Thanks again.
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