Sunday, August 26, 2012

Green Living Consulting Q&A: marriage for both love and green card in jeopardy?

Question by Nick: marriage for both love and green card in jeopardy?
A long story, but I believe all the details are important.

A friend of mine is a J-1 visa overstay here in the US.
How did it happen?
She came to this country – a well-educated young scientist, in search of happy life her home country couldn’t offer her. She’s 30 years plus, so it was very difficult to get a visa. And, while here, she learned that the ONLY option to stay in the US was marriage. She consulted an attorney, so no mistake with that. And was already thinking of paying someone for the “green card marriage” while still working here and making some money (not much). But – met a guy she fell in love with. He is an American citizen. He fell in love with her, too. He was probably not ready to get married asap, but he didn’t want to lose her. So he proposed. She never talked him into it, but accepted.
While being on her one-month grace period before the visa and legal ID totally expired, she moved to a different state to live with him and his family. They all like her a lot.
Her fiance started working with his lawyer on the pre-nuptial agreement: being in love doesn’t mean he would let her take away half of his property in case they get divorced. She accepted that and agreed, so the matter was supposed to be done with. But – it’s been 6 months. Her husband-to-be told her he’d take care of everything – she just had to wait. She’s got all the paperwork needed, no problem with that. And, being open with her fiance, asked him, if he really wants to get through it, does he really love her – or feels like he is pressured into a “green card marriage”. She also asked him, if he wants her to leave – or stay with him. He told her he loves her and wants to be with her, even though he didn’t think of himself as a married person often before they met. But he understands he may lose her if they don’t marry.
This guy brings her coffee in bed, cooks for her, lets her do her art projects, etc – since being out of status now she can’t get a job. She helps him and his parents around the house, they are both nice to each other. Sex life is fine, too.
Still, she is worried about how slow everything is going, and consulted an attorney on line: does a pre-nuptial agreement take so long to make? And the answer was – her boyfriend is just stalling, a pre-nup only takes a few hours to compose.
Yesterday she cried her heart out and I was listening – without knowing what to tell her.
Her man’s irrational fear of marriage may cost this girl a future. Now that she has overstayed 6 months in the US, she may get deported without the right to re-enter during the next 10 years.
Her only option to become legal here is marriage, remember. She can either wait for this guy to overcome his fears, or find someone else – a total stranger, just for a green card. That would be horrible, and she is very attached to her boyfriend, his family, their community. Everybody likes her, and wants the two of them to get married.
She’s upset by the fact her prospective hubby didn’t tell her he wasn’t quite working with his attorney… Probably he got into the comfort zone, – what they call “Why buy a cow if the milk is for free?” He knows she can’t go anywhere now, even take a Greyhound, because thay require ID there. He is a good guy, and almost 35 years old, but probably less mature than his girlfriend. Does he realize that she may be taken away from him?

I believe there must be a way out. I’ve known this girl for many years, and have seen her together with her bf many times. My impression is – he loves her and cares for her. And – hell, she deserves it. But he is a bit impulsive, and needs to grow up a little, even though he’s a very sharp guy – and a tall one :) An artist, dj, sound director. As you know, people of these occupations are not fond of social rituals. But he understands the whole situation.

All I could do for my friend is to assure her, that positive thinking works, even though who knows how much time it will take. I can see her here as a US citizen – and happy. What is important – she is making her man happy, too.

Hope it was just a freak out, praying for her.

Best answer:

Answer by AlenaT
Green card is not in jeopardy unless she get caught. The worst about it her bf is not realizing than she might have to wait in jail more than 2 months (especially without any valid document even more) for no other reason just awaiting her deportation. :-(

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Tags:BoTh, Card, Consulting, Green, jeopardy, Living, Love, Marriage

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