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Easier to marry in Japan or the US? 2007/11/23 15:45
I'm from the United States and my fiance is from Japan. We've had a long distance relationship for over 3 years now with a lot of traveling going on between the two of us. We're now engaged to one another and ready to "stop the madness" and stay together once and for all and plan to marry sometime next summer. So I'm wondering which country would be easier to marry in, in regards to being able to stay and live with one another? It's my understanding that US immigration is a real pain in the a$$, meaning quite strict, slow with processing paperwork and just a grating process in getting her the visa. Would I be better off just staying in Japan for awhile and processing her paperwork for a US visa while there? We just want to be able to stay together (cheesy sounding, I know) and put an end to all this back and forth between countries. Thanks for any advice, tips, or help provided.
by Lee  

... 2007/11/24 07:49
I don't know about the situation in the US, but as an American married to a Japanese national, you should have little problems qualifying for a spouse visa, which let's you stay and work in Japan. The application process itself usually takes about 2-5 months. You have to be married before applying:
by Uji rate this post as useful

. 2007/11/24 09:38
The US immigration is a real pain, I mean really bad. I know many people who have their spouses in another country and waiting for their visa to be granted. I recommend getting married in Japan and start the paper work as soon as possible for the green card, if you want to move back to the US. It takes up to 3 years, I hear. US immigration got so strict post 9/11 which is understandable.
by Tokyonet rate this post as useful

consult an expert 2007/11/24 12:15
It is not quite a bad as Tokyonet implies. The best way to process the paperwork in the US is to hire an immigration lawyer. You ought to be able to find one who can do it for as little as $500 in addition to the government fees.

by Tilt rate this post as useful

So... 2007/11/24 16:17
would I be able to go to Japan on a regular 90-day tourist visa stint to marry my fiance? After we are officially recognized as married in the eyes of the Japanese government, I'm assuming my fiance will be able to apply for a spouse visa on my behalf. Will it show up before the 90 days? If not, do I just leave the country and come back in? Sorry for so many questions, but I appreciate the advice.
by Lee rate this post as useful

. 2007/11/25 01:41

Hiring a lawyer is not going to change the reality. US immigration requires the applier for a visa to wait outside the US. You cannot be waiting in the US.

When I got my green card 20+years ago, I had a lawyer and waited 20 months! Things are much worse now.
by Tokyonet rate this post as useful

. 2007/11/25 10:28
Immigration is one thing, the actual getting married part is another.

Actually getting married in the US is as simple as getting married in Japan. Gather all your documents go to your local city hall / municipal government building and fill out the paperwork. Have the ceremony and you're married!

If we're speaking about Visa issues etc thats another totally different issue.

Yes its easier to get a spouse visa to Japan then it is to get a spouse visa to the United States.
The US of course has lots of back logs in Immigration for the very fact that the US is an Immigration country and Japan is not.
Immigration offices in the US and abroad are swaped with requests and there's simply not enough manpower.

So the immigration process for Japan is a lot easier, so if you wanted to get married then living in Japan for a while and while living in Japan if your desire is to move to the US you can get the US immigration process going while living in Japan.
Another way of increasing speed time is writing to your congressperson and Senator. It actually helps at times.
by John rate this post as useful

Visa 2007/11/25 12:07
Sorry I didn't clarify more, but I was inquiring more towards the spouse visa issuance in Japan as opposed to the US. It sounds like the majority here think that staying in Japan for awhile, then processing the paperwork to bring my wife-to-be to the states would be the best way to go so that we can be together. I appreciate everyones help. Please feel free to post any more tips or advice. Thank you.
by Lee rate this post as useful

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