How can I get a visa for my girlfriend? 4 Answers as of August 17, 2011

I have been living in China for the past three years and I am returning to the US for graduate school. I want to bring my Chinese girlfriend back with me through a K1 visa. However, since I will be a student, I will no longer have any income. Additionally, while working in China, my income was lower than the federal poverty minimum income for two people. I know it's possible to have someone else sponsor her, but unfortunately my Dad lost his job during the financial crisis and my parents have had a low income the past few years as well. How can I meet the requirements of the K1 visa based on this information? Will student loans suffice for the financial requirements? Are there any other alternative visa options to consider (such as getting her a student visa through a community college)?

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Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC
Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Reza Athari
You will have to find a co-sponsor. If she applies for a student visa, she has to show that she has enough financial support to pay for her expenses in the US without working. Also, she has to show that she has NO intention of staying in the US and will go back to China after graduation.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 8/17/2011
The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu
The Law Offices of Kristy Qiu | Mengjun Qiu
Do you have any friends or siblings that are making more money than your parents or any of your relatives? Make sure you tell them that the sponsor doesn't really have to pay the government a dime. No, student loan won't suffice, because they will ask for either your W-2 or income tax returns. They know that showing a high balance in the bank means nothing. For a F-1 visa, however, that's a different situation. You only need to show a certain balance on your bank accounts. That will be a good way to get her in the country first, then get married, and petition to adjust her immigration status. But you will still need a sponsor with over $35K annual income.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 8/12/2011
Fong & Associates
Fong & Associates | William D. Fong
She can only qualify for the K-1 if she is your fiance, not your girlfriend. Student loans will not help for the affidavit of support. Find another joint sponsor; it does not need to be a parent or a relative. Your fiance is unlikely to be issued an F-1 student visa if she is engaged to a US citizen.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 8/11/2011
Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal
Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal | Alexander Segal
Unfortunately, you will be required to show sufficient income to support your fianc. Though you do not meet the financial requirements, you will still need to file an affidavit of support. You can have a co-sponsor complete an affidavit of support. I understand that your parents do not meet the financial requirements, but you can another family member or even a friend be a co-sponsor so long as they meet the financial requirements. As for your question about other visas, your fiance cannot use a non-immigrant visa to enter the United States if she does not intend to return to China. By applying for a non-immigrant visa knowing she intends to apply for immigrant status, your fiance would be committing misrepresentation and fraud. This would result in her being deemed inadmissible and thus, not eligible to immigrate to the U.S. without a hardship waiver. A hardship waiver requires a demonstration of extreme hardship if she were not allowed to immigrate to the U.S. This is above and beyond living apart. She would also run the risk of having her non-immigrant visa revoked or canceled, which could result in a finding that she entered the country without proper documentation.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 8/11/2011
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