About 3 1/2 year ago my Filipina wife and I met for the first time on a dating website. I was living in the UK at that time and she was working in Saudi Arabia as a OFW. We hit it off very quickly as there are so many things we have in common and started a Long Distance Relationship. That went on for approx. 9 months before we finally met up together in Davao, in the Philippines.
My wife already had 4 kids and I had one so we were both pretty family orientated before we even met. We lived together in Davao for 6 months then I went on to the USA to keep an eye on my son who had just left University and moved to San Francisco. I choose to live in Tucson, Arizona as it was only Two hours flight away from San Francisco and the apartment rents were one of the cheapest in the USA at that time.
My wife then went back as a OFW and started working for a new employer in Hong Kong. Her work was very similar to working in Saudi so she coped pretty well. While she was in Hong Kong we decided it would be good to apply for a fiancee visa so she could join me in the USA. The process was estimated to take 9 to 10 months when I first applied so we both knew it would be a long wait. If truth be told we actually applied more in hope than anything else.
After approx 10 months (on Valentines Day) our application file was passed to the US consulate in Hong Kong and my fiancee was invited to a interview there. She went to the interview and things went very well until a female consul officer was not happy and decided not to complete her application there and then. Her fellow Immigration officer had already taken fingerprints and was about to stamp the file approved but she stepped in and stopped that.
She then told my fiancee that as I was in the Philippines on holiday that I would have to return to the USA first before they would let her join me. She also claimed that I was not a USA resident and asked me to provide evidence. I tried to meet her in Hong Kong on the way home to Tucson but she refused to see me even though I had booked a appointment. When I got home I sent her some documents and the application carried on.
Unfortunately for my partner her employment contract had ended by that point so she had to wait in Macau for a month so the US consulate could issue the visa. As soon as her documents arrived she then made the journey to be with me. Her journey was pretty epic too as she started her journey on a ferry from Macau to Hong Kong in a storm. She looked really sick by the time she arrived in Tucson.
By the time she arrived I had rented a small but nice apartment near the University of Arizona so she settled in fairly quickly. We only had a window of three months to get married otherwise she would have to leave. So we made arrangements and were married at the Court House in central Tucson on June 8th 2018. It was a simple wedding with just a few Filipina friends attending. In truth we both loved the whole thing.
Once we were married we then applied for my wife’s Social Security card, work permit and Green Card. The social security card came the first. Though I now hear they no longer issue Social Security cards to newlyweds but rather wait until they have a Green Card. We were both aware of other Filipina brides who had been waiting for over 1 1/2 years to get their Green Card so we were not expecting much. However my wife was invited to have her biometrics taken after just 6 weeks and her Green Card meeting took a further two months to come.
We both attended the interview and the immigration officer was really nice. He explained everything to us even letting us know how long it would take. My wife was approved and a few weeks later she had her Green Card. She can now work legally here in the USA and travel abroad. After two years we will need to apply for the card to be extended to a full 10 year Green Card and my wife can become a full USA citizen.
The whole process from the original fiancee application until the Green Card took about 1 1/2 years. It was quite stressful at times as the process is not as transparent as perhaps it should be. We did understand what was going on though the processing time frames were confusing at times.
Our journey has not ended yet though as we would like the kids to join us in the USA. My wife is pregnant and our baby boy is due in March 2019. After which we will both have to save up so our kids can join us. The actual costs involved were quite high overall. It was probably under $10,000 but maybe not a lot less than that. To bring our 4 kids over to the USA will now require about $5,000 to cover all the costs so we are saving.
This is our story so far and I do hope that it will give you some insight.
If you have any comments or questions, then please comment below or send us a private message. We would both love to hear your stories.