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A to Z Steps for Bringing Your Wife to the USA

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Take Your Time, Be Realistic and Responsible, and You Can Get A Visa to the USA When You Are Ready

Since we met in the Philippines and then after our marriage moved to the USA, we have personal experience with the process of immigration to the USA. In addition, from the many people we have known in person and through the website, we have continued to learn about this process. Since many of our members ask us about this, we will share some of this information here. Our apologies to our many members from other countries that we do not have as much information in their respective countries of the details of immigration.

It is nearly impossible for any person from the Philippines to travel to the US on a tourist visa because of the requirement in the visa application process that they prove sufficient ties to their home country. There are very long lines every day outside the US embassy in Manila of hundreds of men and women who pay over $100 each to get a 2-minute opportunity to ask for a tourist visa, and almost all of them are immediately rejected because they are considered likely to overstay their tourist visas illegally.

For this reason, any US citizen who considers marriage with a Filipina should plan to get her a fiance or spousal visa and never waste time, money, or tears on attempting to get a tourist visa. Fiance and spousal visas to the US, in our experience, take 8-12 months to process from initial application to the final issuance of the visa. In order to even apply, the US citizen must have income or assets above a certain minimum. In addition, there must be recent photos of the couple together.

As we have written in previous blog entries, we recommend that our gentlemen plan a trip to meet several of our members in person as friends. Then after meeting in person, if one of those develops to the point of engagement or marriage, that’s the time to begin the process of the visa application (unless of course you intend to live together in the Philippines, which many couples do also).

Some of our members ask how much should they save in order to be ready for this process. While everyone’s experience is different, as a very rough guide, here is a minimal budget:

Airfare for one trip $1000
Expenses for one month $1000
Immigrant Visa application fees $1000
Travel expenses for your fiance/wife $1000

In our case, we also paid for an expert to help us with the visa application process, which was less than $1000. We have met some who prefer to do their own applications, but in our case we did not want to waste time with trying to second-guess the visa forms and preferred to have someone to help us get it right the first time.

Technically speaking, according to some interpretations of the immigrant visas, the US citizen is supposed to maintain a residence in the US while the visa is being processed. However, on a personal level, we feel that our choice to live together in the Philippines during that time was best for us. Consider your own situation, and figure out what is best for you.

We apologize if our blog post on this topic cannot answer the specific details of exact timelines (which can vary depending on your situation) or even budget. You can consult an expert or a lawyer or the immigration department website for more information when you get to the point of making your choices.

As one final note, we sometimes hear that a couple is considering whether to get married in the Philippines or the USA (or both), based on the implications for the visa. We think this is backwards and unnecessary. If you are ready, then consider what is right for the two of you before God and in the context of your families. The visas will be available for you whatever choice makes sense on a personal level.

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If you are interested in a free report on immigration visa tips, please request it via our Filipino Visa website, which is part of our trusted and award-winning service Christian Filipina.

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13 Comments »

  1. Any chance for a foreign (man) of moving to the Philippines and living there? What about a new article on this subject?…

    Comment by Jack — January 12, 2011 @ 5:50 am

  2. Hi Jack, Thanks for the suggestion. We previously lived together in the Philippines, and now we live in the U.S.A. Thousands upon thousands of foreigners live there for years; however it requires a considerable adjustment of mindset and expectations, and in our experience many foreigners are not as satisfied living permanently in the Philippines as they are when they visit. We will take up your suggestion and write about that also in the next few months.

    Comment by Christian Filipina — January 12, 2011 @ 6:19 am

  3. Thanks for the answer, Jen, it confirmed what I had guessed browsing the Internet.
    I am sure that many users would be glad to have fresh and frank information on how a foreigner could live in dignity in the Philippines without necessarily being rich or at least retired, and to know some of the facets of living among people with different ethnic, culture and habits (by the way, are aliens married to Filipinos ipso-facto allowed to have permanent residence in your country?)…
    Hope to see a full post on this topic published in the near future, thank you in advance for your help.

    Comment by Jack — January 12, 2011 @ 5:04 pm

  4. For Canadian Immigration information, check http://www.cic.gc.ca. This is the url for Citizenship and Immigration Canada. Everything you need is there, somewhere. Be wary of anyone claiming to be able of fast-tracking your visa application, or doing it cheaper. Other url’s to note are http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/philippines/, http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/philippines/visas/index.aspx?lang=eng, and finally http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca/philippines/index.aspx?lang=eng

    Comment by GC — January 18, 2011 @ 8:04 pm

  5. Presently on temporarily working status in Canada.I am interested to apply for tourist visa on our home country-Philippines. I am worried that application will be denied because I had been denied.I applied here in canada for tourist visa but was rejected due to my status as temporary resident in here. Please advised.
    Thank you.

    Comment by ANNE — June 14, 2011 @ 12:08 am

  6. Sirs & Ladies: I was near being at the point of making a decision, because I am not getting any younger as the days and weeks pass… The ONLY way that I could POSSIBLY work this would be IF my Filipino Lady could get a TOURIST VISA and come to the USA much as on a vacation… WE could, very quickly move to engagement and/or marriage (skipping engagement, and putting the matter into the Hands of God)… I have a very nice home and two nice cars, but I am NOT a RICH man by ANY American standards… I have very little CASH, actually EVER!! Your “news” comes as a SHOCK to me, as I was NOT really expecting this at ALL… I suppose I will LEAVE the Site now, as I cannot face my Lady (actually have it down to between TWO Ladies)… PLEASE send my regards to the Fine Ladies remaining on my “Sent” Messages List, Eva and Tere… May God bless your Site & the Ladies, ALL of them, Rick

    Comment by Rick (private) — August 21, 2012 @ 10:24 am

  7. Hi Rick,
    Sorry to hear that you are not able to cover the expenses of the standard immigration process. Unfortunately, it is impossible that any lady would be able to circumvent the immigration process by getting a tourist visa. Many have tried, and all have failed. If you have two nice cars, why not sell one of them? With a hard-working Filipina at your side, the two of you could buy it back in no time. Just an idea to consider.

    Comment by Christian Filipina — August 21, 2012 @ 11:53 am

  8. Hi Admin of this dating site. .
    Hopefully you can answer to me or any advice that you can tell, of what I want to know.
    I have a foreign man who is from Kentucky USA. He want me to visit here in Cebu but due of his work that he cant leave. And because of that what he decide is he want me to get a tourist visa. How can I apply tourist visa in USA? Is this possible that I can apply for tourist visa? And is there an online visa processing that I can apply online. . if there is site can you tell me please. thank you. . and more power in this site. .

    Comment by shely — January 16, 2013 @ 9:06 pm

  9. Hi Shelly,

    Sorry but as far as we know from personal experience and research, you will not be able to get a tourist visa to the USA. Only an immigrant fiance or spousal visa.

    Comment by Christian Filipina — January 16, 2013 @ 9:42 pm

  10. Ah, OK I understand.
    So, there is possibly that I can apply as fiance visa?
    Or its more important that we meet here first in Cebu and then apply for that immigrant fiance visa? Can I apply online visa application for USA? Do you think, it work out or its helpful if I apply online or I need to go to some travel agency here in Cebu for this matter?

    Comment by shely — January 16, 2013 @ 10:14 pm

  11. Hi Shely,

    First you need to meet in person and be engaged. Only after that are you ready to start thinking about these details. Actually, most of the paperwork will be done by your fiance at that point.

    Comment by Christian Filipina — January 16, 2013 @ 10:35 pm

  12. I and my wife who is philippines have live and have marry in the her home town of davao for many years. She work for the prison system here and I want to take her to the USA for a few week. And then come back What do we need we will leave our kids here in davao

    Comment by Ricky — February 23, 2013 @ 1:31 pm

  13. Hi Ricky,

    Are you a legal resident of the Philippines? The only time we have ever, ever heard of a Filipina married to a US citizen getting a visitor visa was when he was a legal resident of Philippines. Even so, it’s not a sure thing.

    Comment by Christian Filipina — February 25, 2013 @ 1:02 am

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