What is the fastest way to bring my girlfriend and daughter to the US? 8 Answers as of January 24, 2011

I am currently a green cardholder for 5 years now and I am planning to apply for naturalization here in the US of A. I have a girlfriend and we have a daughter of 6 y/o. They are currently both in the Philippines, my girlfriend and our daughter. My question is, when should I start my application for petitioning them? Is it before or after I become naturalized? Do I have to marry my girlfriend first? If so, is it better for us to get married in a US embassy (if that even makes sense)? Or is the place of marriage not important?

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Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC
Feldman Feldman & Associates, PC | Lynne Feldman
Definitely pursue your naturalization ASAP. You are eligible to file four years and 9 months from the date on your permanent residency card provided you meet the requirements of physical, presence, state residency, continuous residence, and good moral character.

We would be happy to assist you in this process. Contact me as indicated below to obtain the procedures for this process and a fee quote or to set up a paid consultation (will be credited toward the fees for your case) to get more details on your specific case.

Daughter: You may file an I-130 immediately for your daughter as the child of a PR. Once you are naturalized this will be upgraded to the immediate relative category.

Girl friend: There is no petition you can file for her until you are married although she may be eligible for a nonimmigrant visa of some type. Once you are married either before or after your naturalization you should immediately file an I-130 for her. You can get married in any way that would be legal in the country where you are marrying.; it does not have to be at a U.S. consulate.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/24/2011
JCS Immigration & Visa Law Office
JCS Immigration & Visa Law Office | Jack C. Sung
You must apply for citizenship and become a US citizen first before you can petition for your girlfriend for a fiance visa. Or, you may marry her in the Philippines and apply for a spouse visa. Applying for citizenship is the most important step right now because it will cut down the waiting time for your girlfriend to less than one year. As a green card holder and petitioning for your wife, the processing time is more than 2 years.

I believe your girlfriend's visa can be done within one year. It starts with your application for citizenship (4 to 5 months) and right after that the fiancee visa (4 to 6 months). The daughter is automatically included under the mother's visa application. If you are interested in starting the process now, please contact my office.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/17/2011
Fletcher, Tilton & Whipple, PC
Fletcher, Tilton & Whipple, PC | Kirk A. Carter
Apply for Naturalization as soon as possible. It should take you about six months to become a citizen. Once you are a citizen, I would file a K-1 petition and sponsor your girlfriend to come the US under a fianc visa. While you are waiting for your citizenship process to be finalized you should send her the paperwork so that you have it ready to go as soon as you are sworn in. I recommend the fianc process over the I-130 relative petition process because it will get your fianc and child to the US quicker. It will cost more money, but will probably save 4 to 6 months in terms of how soon you get them here. Once here you can then marry and then file to adjust both their status to conditional residence status. If you are not in a big rush to get them here, you could go to the Philippines as soon as your citizenship comes through, get married there, have her sign the forms, and then return to the US and file relative petitions for both your wife and daughter. This will take longer, but will be less costly, as the green card processing will be done there in Manilla where the medical exam costs and filing fees are much lower. I recommend that you consult a qualified immigration attorney who is a member of AILA, the American Immigration Lawyer's Association to assist you with your processing to ensure that everything goes smoothly and as intended.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 1/17/2011
Nicastro Piscopo, APLC
Nicastro Piscopo, APLC | Louis M. Piscopo
If you are not married, you would have to petition her for a fiance visa AFTER you become a U.S. Citizen. If you get married, you can petition her and your daughter while you are LPR and they upgrade the petitions once you become a U.S. Citizen. The US consulate does not marry people. You can get married anywhere in the Philippines. The place of marriage is not important.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/17/2011
Carlos E. Sandoval, P.A.
Carlos E. Sandoval, P.A. | Carlos Sandoval
You should apply for your naturalization, and as soon as you are a United States citizen petition for them.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 1/17/2011
    Calderón Seguin PLC
    Calderón Seguin PLC | Ofelia L. Calderon
    You should wait to apply until you have your citizenship. Where you get married is unimportant. Once you have citizenship, you can either file for a fiance visa and get married here in the U.S. or you can get married in the Philippines and file for a spousal immigrant visa. You can file for your daughter as soon as you have the citizenship. Remember you need to file separate petitions for each of them.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 1/17/2011
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
    Marry the girlfriend. (Makes no difference where.) Apply for naturalization and after being granted citizenship then petition for your wife via the K-3 visa.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 1/17/2011
    Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law
    Law Office of Immigration & International Trade Law | Linda Liang
    The place of marriage is not important.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 1/16/2011
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