Getting married in March ’11 to a filipina currently living in South Korea where we plan to get married. She mentioned a Sofa Visa to me but has no information on it and I’m having difficulty myself. What is it? And what would be the quickest route to get my wife to the states? Do laws change since…
a SOFA visa would be issued by Korea or some other country to the spouse or child of an active duty military person to allow that person to reside with you overseas. it has nothing to do with actually living in the US. if you’re currently living in Korea, what you really need to do is get yourself down to the US embassy and talk to the USCIS office there on what you need to do to file an I-130 immigrant petition for her. once that’s approved, it will be sent over to the immigrant visa section there and scheduled for an interview. if you’re living in the US, they won’t let you file a petition there and you’d have to do that in the US after you marry. it would take quite a while to process in the US though, up to a year, so if she has a visa to allow her to stay in Korea while waiting, she can be processed for her immigrant visa there. otherwise, she may have to go back to the Philippines to be processed in Manila. the K-3 is a nonimmigrant visa for spouses of US citizens. it’s not all that fast really, and if she comes in on it, she’ll have to apply for adjustment of status after she arrives. the filing fee for that is over $1,000. you’re generally a lot better off filing an I-130 immigrant petition in the CR-1 category. it takes about the same amount of time and she’s eligible for a green card once she arrives in the US.
if you are US Military member subject to the Status of Forces Agreement in South Korea then you MAY be eligible to gain a SOFA visa. However, it sounds as if you are not.
Her status in the ROK will make a big difference also. As I understand Filipinos have problems getting a visa at all, even a tourist visa. your best advise will come from an immigration attorney in the USA.
You won’t qualify for any other type of visa other then a K-3 Spousal visa. It takes 9-12 months right now. A SOFA Visa wouldn’t apply as I understand it.
get a divorce , those filipina’s are trouble