Custody and visa

Hello, sorry if this isn't a good place to ask this, but google brought me here.

My girlfriend is from Vietnam and i am coming to meet her in less then a week.

Thinking ahead to what will be the next step has been confusing. She has a 5 yo daughter and if we want them to come here to the USA, will she need a written\notarized letter from the father? In her divorce papers she gets sole custody but i am getting mixed advice on if the divorce papers will be enough to get a fiancee visa and a visa for her daughter. Anyone have experience with this and can give me a for sure answer? I am worried because he will never give permission if we need, he is very bitter and full of hate. I also cant move to Vietnam to be together as i also have children and cant move with them. My ex is an active mother though and the ex father hasn't been in the child's life at all.

Hopefully someone can have some advice and maybe even good news!

Thanks either way.

Well, the only sure answer is yes, if you have the notarized letter you are sure the daughter will make it.  In reality she may be able to do it without the signature with the divorce decree.  Depends on the interviewer.  He has final say.  The good thing is you can try without the signature.  Worst case is you will get an RFE and have to go back and get it and reschedule the interview.  It would cost some time but not kill the visa application.

We are going through CR1 visa right now but my wife's daughter's father is not even listed on the birth certificate.  To be sure we would have to hunt him down and get him to sign off.  In reality, but not for sure, she will be able to come without that signature.  It depends on circumstances and the interviewer.

Also for immigration visa questions there is a very good forum called visajourney dot com.  Individual subforums for each type of visa and a Vietnam section as well.  It's extremely active and helpful.  Use the search function there, everything you want to know about immigration visas has been asked dozens of times in the past.

n8maxima :

Hello, sorry if this isn't a good place to ask this, but google brought me here.

My girlfriend is from Vietnam and i am coming to meet her in less then a week.

Thinking ahead to what will be the next step has been confusing. She has a 5 yo daughter and if we want them to come here to the USA, will she need a written\notarized letter from the father? In her divorce papers she gets sole custody but i am getting mixed advice on if the divorce papers will be enough to get a fiancee visa and a visa for her daughter. Anyone have experience with this and can give me a for sure answer? I am worried because he will never give permission if we need, he is very bitter and full of hate. I also cant move to Vietnam to be together as i also have children and cant move with them. My ex is an active mother though and the ex father hasn't been in the child's life at all.

Hopefully someone can have some advice and maybe even good news!

Thanks either way.

Don’t worry, the “Ex” will sign anything if he’s paid enough.
Hope you’ve got a good poker face because he will read you for what he can bleed out of you.

And then make sure he signs notarised agreements stating that he has forfeited any future rights for claims of any kind.   

Good luck

Ontheroad57 :
n8maxima :

Hello, sorry if this isn't a good place to ask this, but google brought me here.

My girlfriend is from Vietnam and i am coming to meet her in less then a week.

Thinking ahead to what will be the next step has been confusing. She has a 5 yo daughter and if we want them to come here to the USA, will she need a written\notarized letter from the father? In her divorce papers she gets sole custody but i am getting mixed advice on if the divorce papers will be enough to get a fiancee visa and a visa for her daughter. Anyone have experience with this and can give me a for sure answer? I am worried because he will never give permission if we need, he is very bitter and full of hate...

Don’t worry, the “Ex” will sign anything if he’s paid enough.
Hope you’ve got a good poker face because he will read you for what he can bleed out of you.

I don't claim to fully understand Vietnamese culture, but I've got a gut feeling about this.

Trying to outmaneuver the father of the child seems like a loosing bet to me.

Of course. If I were in the OP's position, I'm sure I would speak first with my dear friend and counselor Ciambella, and she would perhaps tell me why my thinking is wrong, but here's my thoughts anyway:

I think the OP is preparing to offer the child, the mother AND THE FATHER AND THE FATHER'S FAMILY an incredibly valuable benefit of his U.S. citizenship.

I also don't think that the mother of the child can automatically be counted on to act in accordance with Western thought on a situation the OP presents from a Western perspective.

I would encourage the OP to NOT PAY ONE Đồng to the father of the child.

If the OP follows my suggestion, I think he will NOT make the child's mother happy.

I would guess that the child's mother will probably plead with the OP to just go ahead and pay the child's father whatever he wants.

She may even get very angry and threaten to end the plans for marriage with the OP.

If the OP stands his ground, he won't need a poker face because he shouldn't be bluffing.

I would tell the child's mother that this is a deal breaker.

However, if (as the child's father and his family probably believe) the OP is 'whipped' and willing to do anything for his beautiful young Vietnamese sweetheart, then a poker face won't help him.

If the OP is going to give anything to anyone, I would suggest special gifts for the child's grandmothers, both maternal AND paternal.

If my instincts are correct, the OP can get the signature of the child's father without needing to give him any money at all.

The child's father's family WILL make sure that the child reaches the USA.

Ontheroad57

I have first hand experience of this and to be perfectly frank I do not think you have a chance in hell of getting your GF and child a visa.
Will cut the story short, but basically my wife's younger sister suddenly turned up at our door, beaten and quite battered, with her 3yr old rather traumatised son having escaped from her abusive husband. They had nothing but the clothes they stood in.  I did of course take her in. What followed was two years of court battles, several thousands of dollars, crap lawyers etc etc and in the end she got her divorce plus custody. I had paid for everything including the boys schooling etc whilst they were in our house without a single contribution from the father despite his many promises to pay in court. The husband however was still able to make problems and every six months dragged her back to court on all sorts of ridiculous grounds. these court appearances were in his home town, a 6 hour round trip and on most occasions he did not even bother to show up. When she met an American they got married. He is stable with a good income etc etc  . . .. . suffice to say after another 18 months of wrangling her visa and that of the child were refused and her husband is still able to make problems.
I wish I could be more optimistic but you wanted the truth.

Ontheroad . .. . .Sorry , was meant for Maxima.

Indices :

Ontheroad . .. . .Sorry , was meant for Maxima.

The "edit" function allows you to change your post for up to one hour.

Next to "Reply" on the post you made, click the three dots > •••

Indices :

Ontheroad . .. . .Sorry , was meant for Maxima.

That’s ok....

Yep...I’ve seen many similar cases , and they just drag it out.   

When the smell of easy money is around, the innocent child just becomes a pawn in a game .

Doesn’t just happen here either.

Would you believe I was offerred cash to impregnate a woman here,,purely so she could have a child with an Australian passport.   Little did she know I’ve had a vasectomy. 

No matter how hard I tried, it was all to no avail. 😆😆

OceanBeach. Thanks , am still new to this. Appreciated .

Ontheroad
Now that's funny :-))
Get paid to fire a gun with no bullets.

Indices :

Ontheroad
Now that's funny :-))
Get paid to fire a gun with no bullets.

The full story was much worse, very sinister motivation bordering on human trafficking.
However, she’s moved on & snared another sucker. 

Still see her in the street ( she has a business here ) and not a sign of any embarrassment in relation to that.       Life goes on.

Ontheroad57 :
Indices :

Ontheroad
Now that's funny :-))
Get paid to fire a gun with no bullets.

The full story was much worse, very sinister motivation bordering on human trafficking.
However, she’s moved on & snared another sucker. 

Still see her in the street ( she has a business here ) and not a sign of any embarrassment in relation to that.       Life goes on.

Can't Blame her for trying I guess.

OceanBeach92107 :

Of course. If I were in the OP's position, I'm sure I would speak first with my dear friend and counselor Ciambella, and she would perhaps tell me why my thinking is wrong, but here's my thoughts anyway:

Thank you, OceanBeach, for the mention.  We do disagree as often as we agree with each other, do we?

Re: the OP's inquiry, it's unclear to me whether he wants to bring his gf to the US for a visit or to live permanently as his wife.  If it's the former, there's no need to ask for the father's permission.  If it's the latter, the wording of the law is a bit ambiguous. 

On the one hand, the law stipulates that the exit of a child under 14 years of age only requires the consent of a parent or legal guardian. In this case, the mother who has sole custody has the right to take the child abroad without the father's consent.

On the other hand, the court gives the other parent the right to sue if he wants to keep the child in country.  If the father decides to do so, he would have to petition for the custody of the child and prove to the court that he's able to provide a better care for the child's physical and emotional being.

The child in this case is only 5 years old.  If the marriage between the OP and the mother occurs tomorrow, then the father can also cite the child's young age as his discontentment for the separation.

However, if the marriage won't happen for more than 2 years down the road, then there's this phenomenon in Vietnamese family court that doesn't happen often elsewhere:  the voice of the child counts. 

If the child wishes to live with the mother, the judge will have one or two private talks with her about her future (America with only her mother vs Vietnam with all her relative).  The child's opinion is not the final word but holds quite a bit of weight in family court.

The OP didn't mention money as a form of compensation so I'll not talk about that.

At the beginning of this comment, I said I'm unclear about the OP's intention when bringing his gf to the US. 

Re-reading his post, I'm also unclear about his relationship with the gf  ("My girlfriend is from Vietnam and i am coming to meet her in less then a week.")  The word "meet" makes me think he has yet to be with her in person, let alone knowing her well enough to talk about the future.

All of this planning and seeking for information may end up being just conjectures on his part.

Ontheroad57 :

No matter how hard I tried, it was all to no avail. 😆😆

That’s awesome and in the same shoes I would happily try to oblige.

Thank you and others for the responses.

I am going to meet her for the first time and after the end of the week we will have a conversation if we are going to take the next step or one of us doesn't feel the magic we felt talking before we met.

I am just a planner\talk about the future type and assume the best too.

I do not have money to try and pay him to sign so that isn't as options.

My gf has made contact with some of his family asking for them to talk to him and see if he will be reasonable but since he seems to want to punish them both I am not to optimistic about it.

Hopefully he will surprise us and be reasonable and the trip goes well, time will tell i was just curious if others have had this situation and what they did to solve it if he refuses. Probably goes with my need to plan, getting information on something i may not even need to worry about.

Thanks again for the responses and I will just meet her and go from there as far as her and her daughter coming here.

n8maxima :

Thank you and others for the responses.

I am going to meet her for the first time and after the end of the week we will have a conversation if we are going to take the next step or one of us doesn't feel the magic we felt talking before we met.

I am just a planner\talk about the future type and assume the best too.

I do not have money to try and pay him to sign so that isn't as options.

My gf has made contact with some of his family asking for them to talk to him and see if he will be reasonable but since he seems to want to punish them both I am not to optimistic about it.

Hopefully he will surprise us and be reasonable and the trip goes well, time will tell i was just curious if others have had this situation and what they did to solve it if he refuses. Probably goes with my need to plan, getting information on something i may not even need to worry about.

Thanks again for the responses and I will just meet her and go from there as far as her and her daughter coming here.

I hope you will bookmark this thread and give us an update in the future.

Also--not just in Vietnam--there is always a chance of fraud.

You wouldn't be the first man to ask to see the divorce decree.

I had a girlfriend offer to show me her document, and while at first I said that wasn't necessary, when she offered a second time, I asked her to bring it along when she met a friend of mine who reads the Vietnamese language fluently.

The document was genuine and it was never mentioned again.

However, there are tales told of women who are no longer married to their husband, as well as single women never married, who set up a similar situation with a foreigner in order to con him out of his savings.

Best of luck to you!

Well I am a struggling single father myself, and she knows that, so if she is after money i don't think she would have chosen me lol

I agree to be careful as anything can happen though!

n8maxima :

Well I am a struggling single father myself, and she knows that, so if she is after money i don't think she would have chosen me lol

I agree to be careful as anything can happen though!

G’day Maxima,

1. It appears you’ve never been to Vietnam &  you’ve never actually met this woman.
2. You say your already a struggling single father.
3. This woman has a child already & marital problems & highly likely financial problems
4. SE Asia is littered with failed mixed culture relationships
5. If it’s an online hook up....how do you know YOU are the only one “chosen” as you say.

I could go on,,but personally , I reckon this woman will be more trouble than a 2nd hand lawnmower.

As Kenny Rogers would say.🎶🎶    You’ve got to know when to hold em & know when to fold em.🎶

Put the money for that airfare to Vietnam back in your pocket & spend it on your own kids.
They need you , more than this woman does.  She’ll simply “choose” another one online.

I’m assuming a bit there mate,,,but I reckon I’m pretty close.

n8maxima :

Well I am a struggling single father myself, and she knows that, so if she is after money i don't think she would have chosen me lol

I agree to be careful as anything can happen though!

Yeah, I'm hoping for the best for you too.

Just please understand, money is not always the precious prize that some Vietnamese women hope to receive from an American husband.

Your ability to get her (and especially, her daughter) into the United States is considered by many Vietnamese to be invaluable.

This is not the first discussion on this forum with an American man in a similar situation.

One "test" that's often recommended:

Tell her you are giving serious consideration to living in Vietnam and not returning to The States.

You can explain by stretching the truth just enough to get her attention but not so much that she would eventually know you to be totally deceptive:

Tell her it's becoming a dream you are only considering.

Explain how a family member is "probably" willing to have your children live with them.

Just convince her there is a possibility you will want to live out your life as an English teacher with her here in Vietnam.

If she drops you like a hot potato or gets angry, it's a good clue as to what she considers most important.

n8maxima :

Well I am a struggling single father myself, and she knows that, so if she is after money i don't think she would have chosen me lol

A struggling American is still better off financially than a middle class Vietnamese.  The average monthly salary here is 6M - 7M ($260 - $300) so whatever income you have, you're still considered a rich man here. 

Ontheroad57 :

3. This woman has a child already & marital problems & highly likely financial problems

Put the money for that airfare to Vietnam back in your pocket & spend it on your own kids.
They need you , more than this woman does.

I don't know Ontheroad well, but his advices are spot on, especially the part about spending the airfare on your children.  Frankly speaking, a struggling single parent spending precious money to chase a fleeting future with someone with whom he has never met is neither wise nor sensible.

n8maxima :

I am going to meet her for the first time and after the end of the week we will have a conversation if we are going to take the next step or one of us doesn't feel the magic we felt talking before we met.

Your plan is to meet this woman the first time ever, spend one week with her, wait for magic to strike, and if it does, plan a future with her.  Is it correct?

Ahem.  With a failed marriage behind you, don't you think you ought to be a bit more careful in your planning? 

The magic of which you speak is caused by pheromones and known as chemistry, a desirable factor in a relationship.  However, chemistry almost always fades, and when it does, what will be left is a bedmate whose culture mystifies you at the best of times, whose value system you don't share, whose language you don't understand, whose thoughts and beliefs are alien to you, and whose social maturity may never be comparable to yours. 

This is someone who will be your dependent when you bring her to your home country, a child in an adult body and with adult needs whom you'll have to support 24/7 because she'll not be a good helpmate to you for at least a few years, longer if her English is not proficient enough to earn a decent living.  Adding her daughter to the list and you'll have another child for whom you'll be responsible in the next 13 years.

The problem with the father will be trivial comparing to what you'll face in the future.

OceanBeach92107 :

Tell her you are giving serious consideration to living in Vietnam and not returning to The States.

If she drops you like a hot potato or gets angry, it's a good clue as to what she considers most important.

A very good idea from OceanBeach

You could tell her there's not much left for you in the States except your children (who are living with your ex) to whom you can send child support monthly and visit twice a year (while living in a low COL country such as Vietnam, fulfilling your financial obligations in the States would become a whole lot easier than before.)  So, instead of dealing with her ex and his demands, instead of jumping through hoops to bring her to the US, perhaps it would be better if you and she have a life together in Vietnam.  You could present to her the idea that she would teach you her language and custom, and how this simple life in Asia was something of which you've always dreamed.

You wouldn't be telling a lie because many expats are already living that life in contentment here, so it would be natural to discuss the above scenario with her to see how she think and from there, to determine whether she's the person with whom you wish to spend the rest of your life.

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