I am a US Citizen and born in the USA. I am a professional baseball agent who specializes in players coming from the DR to the USA. This is actually my 2nd job, I also work in sales in the computer industry for a very large Multi-National Computer company. I have met my future wife in the Dominican Republic (slightly over 1 yr ago). I would like to have her 'visit' me in the USA (Syracuse, NY). We are not married (yet), however it if would help the situation I would marry her. However, currently I am here in Syracuse, NY and do not have any current business/personel travel plans to the DR before her interview that she currently has scheduled with the US Consul in Santo Domingo, DR on the 7th of February.
First and foremost, she's 23 yrs old, never been to the US (nor applied for a non-immigrant Visa before) and never been married. She does have a child, however never married, nor has ever been together with the father of the child. She owns her own Salon/Bridal Shop in the DR (in her name), has significant assets in her bank account, owns her own vehicle. I have also drafted a 'letter of invitation' to the US Consul (signed by me) accompanied by numerous photos of us (her and I) together on various excursions in the DR, requesting that she visit me here in the US. The plane ticket has already purchased the ticket indicating that she would leave the DR on 02/17 and return on 03/03 (two week visit to the USA). She has a copy of the itenerary and proof of the electronic ticket, etc.
First possible problem: She went to an interview today in Santo Domingo with someone who charges for advice on obtaining Visas (non-immigrant) from the DR to the USA. The women (who I actually spoke to on the phone) indicated that she believes that my soon-to-be wife has less then a 3% chance of having her visitation visa approved. The reasons she gave were as following: My girlfriend is too young (only 23); she has never been to the USA before; never married before.
The woman says that the significant funds she has in her bank account (and proof of said funds), title of vehicle in her name, and proof of ownership of the Beauty Salon and Bridal Shop and an original signed copy of the letter of invitation (identical to the one I propose mailing to the DR Consul) with photos of us together in the time we've spent together int he DR, all will not matter. Because during her interview with the Consul JUST BECAUSE OF HER AGE, they won't even ask for the documentation that she plans on bringing with her. Is this true? I'm quite frustrated if that is the case. My girlfriend was just going to ask that she visit the USA for 2 weeks to plan for our wedding. Good idea? Should she go and get marriage paperwork ahead of time in the DR for us? Does the fact that we are boyfriend and girlfriend only compound the requested visa information? Please advise as the calendar is creeping up on us, and her interview is on Feb 7th (2007). I want to make sure she has done everything possible ahead of time, to receive a visa to visit in the USA.
A couple of random thoughts/comments:
1 - Is it better (since we are planning on marrying anyway), that I fly to the DR (quickly) and we get married in the DR before her interview with the Consul? Or can she get the paperwork for marriage in the DR and we complete the process of getting married while she is in the DR and I am here in Syracuse, NY?
2 - Or is it better to wait and get married here in the USA? And just request that she visit. Should she only ask the Consul for a 2 week visit, as she's never been to the USA (or any other country for that matter) before? I was thinking that if she asks for a longer visa, they will never give it too her, or would be viewed by the US Consul that she is asking for 'too much time in the USA' during her proposed visit. True?
3 - Is it a good idea that I make some phone calls or visits to the US Immigration/Consul office(s) here in (Syracuse, NY) if they exist, prior to her interview?
Net Net - I would like to get her here in the USA now, and need to know if my expectations are realistic based on the facts stated above. If she truly only has a 3% chance of getting her non-immigrant visa to visit the USA approved on her apt. on February 7th, then I'm not too excited and need to consider possible alternatives to significantly (to the tune of at least 50-75%) improve the chances of her visa being approved. Please help FAST!