(Updated 16 October 2018)
Here’s a very common question I get here at PhilFAQS … how can a US and a Filipin0 (Phil-Am) couple get together in marriage as quickly and cheaply as possible?
I’ll keep this short and simple and answer this reader’s questions as directly as I can.
If any of you have similar questions which I don’t cover here, feel free to write and ask.
I value all your comments and I appreciate them greatly.
Here are the reader’s questions and my answers, as best I know.
(Please remember, I am not a lawyer, this is NOT legal advice and is my personal opinion only).
My Reader Asks, Please Help:
I’m a Filipina and have an American boyfriend of 5 years. We’re both single and never been married.
OK, great to hear. So many of these sorts of queries come in where the couples are hopelessly mired with former marriages and mother legal issues that make marriage hopelessly complicated. Thank goodness for a simple question this time 😉
He could not afford to visit me before because he had an unstable job, but now he has gotten a high paying job as a repairman for a big car company.
Wow another great piece of news. So many couples write me for advice or help and come up with the “I can’t afford a trip to the Philippines” complaint.
All I can say for those folks, if someone can’t afford a trip to the Philippines, I have grave doubts they can afford to get married at all.
There’s an ancient saying about “two can live as Cheaply as one”. Frankly I don’t know that the saying is always true.
But one thing for sure is, three can not live as cheaply as one … or four or five or however many. You must have an adequate source of income before you get married, whether you will live in the Philippines or migrate overseas. So extra credit to you both for having a handle on this issue.
He’s planning to visit me here and marry me already too.
This is fine if you are both sure it is best for you. Personally, I recommend a different route, but you certainly can do this and still get to the USA with no problem.
I don’t recommend these fly to the Philippines, meet face to face for the first time and then try to get married here in the Philippines immediately.
This puts tremendous pressure on the couple and frankly it costs a lot more than the route I recommend.
- Fly to the Philippines and meet. You have to do this anyway, for either visa option I am going to discuss.
- Meet each other for real, meet your family and get to know them at least a little bit, and learn a bit more about each other than you can via online relationships, no matter how long you have “been together” online.
- Then he then goes home to the USA and files a K-1 fiancée visa to bring you to the USA, and you two marry after you get to the USA.
That’s how my wife and I arranged things and I feel it’s the best way.
But that’s just my view … you two certainly can marry here on his first visit … a Fiancée visa or a Spousal visa will work and they both take roughly the same amount of time.
Marry in the Philippines and Get a Spousal Visa.
My question is if we get married here in the Philippines, can I easily get a visa to follow him in the US because he’s my husband already?
That’s what my boyfriend thinks.
He thinks I could already join him there.
Yes your BF is correct that you two can marry here and then he applies for a CR-1 Spousal visa, and after you wait out the time involved in the application process, you can join him in the USA.
I’m not sure about the use of the word “already” at the end of your sentence, though, because either option … marrying you right away or meeting and then applying for the Fiancée visa both take time.
There is no “instant” way to marry you and then bring you to the States immediately.
What If I Get Pregnant?
Or what if the scenario is we get married here and I get pregnant too.
Then l wait until I deliver our baby. Can I get a visa and follow my husband to the US?
If you get pregnant during his first visit, married or not, the options are still the same.
As an unmarried fiancée with a child you merely ask for a K-2 Fiancée visa which covers your children under 18 years of age, and they come to the US along with you.
Or if you are an already a married spouse with a child, you ask for a CR-1 visa and add the child (or children) come along with you on the same visa.
Either way, fiancee’ or spousal will work fine.
I’m in my mid 30’s and I just don’t wanna wait that long before I could get to the US and so we could start a family.
I’m so confused if there’s really a way that we could be together already.
Well I can certainly understand your feelings of urgency. No one wants to wait.
You two can certainly be together in the USA soon, but not “already”, in the Filipino sense of the word “already”, where it often means something that happens “now” or inearly instantly.
You certainly should be able to get either a Fiancee’ visa or a Spousal visa to join your BF or husand, but either route takes time … currently theprocessing and waiting seems to take around 6 to 9 months for either visa.
When my wife and I did the Fiancée visa the waiting time felt like it would never end.
But it did, and we’re both very happy now.
I just want to caution you there is no immediate way to do what you want to do.
I strongly recommend you join and participate in this Yahoo Group.
It is made up of thousands of Phil-Am couples like you and your BF who have gone through or are going through the same steps you and your BF have ahead of you:
Someone help me.
Another thing you and your BF should consider is professional visa help.
I am going to suggest is, you might want to give these guys a try.
RapidVisa is a commercial service that helps people in your boat submit and process both K-1 and CR-1 or IR-1 Spousal Visas.
Even if you don’t think you’d ever want to use a commercial service, I think you will find a wealth of real, up-to-date visa information on their site. (full disclosure, I DO have a business relationship with this service, but it will not affect your price if you decide to avail.)
Well I hope this has helped. Godspeed to you and your BF on your journey.
Other reader’s comments, suggestions and even contrarian views are welcome.
What can anyone tell us about Is Getting Married a Quick Way to the USA?