Engaged and Soon to Relocate-- Marry Before Heading to India?

#1 Dec 24th, 2010, 03:40
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#1
I am engaged, and my partner just got a job in India. We'll be moving in 6 months or so. We hadn't even started planning the wedding, and frankly aren't really in a rush.

I can get insurance and all the other employment benefits through my fiancee's employer without actually being married, but I am wondering if anyone can chime in with some ideas about difficulties I might face if we put off the wedding.

We are coming from the US, and I am an artist, but also have my Masters in International Development work and would eventually like to work at an NGO in India. I figure I will not be able to get a work permit until I am actually married. Is this true?

What would the general visa differences be if I come as an official spouse vs. a fiancee? Is it completely obvious that we should rush and get married? Or is it reasonable to wait a bit, and not let a new job dictate when we get married, of all things?

Any info would be helpful. Many thanks.
#2 Dec 24th, 2010, 03:44
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#2

Also, we are both citizens of the US.

Just to clarify!
#3 Dec 24th, 2010, 04:08
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What would the general visa differences be if I come as an official spouse vs. a fiancee?
In terms of granting a visa to the partner of a person on an employment visa, the only relationship India recognises is marriage.

On the basis of your husband's employment visa, you should get a type "X" ("Entry") visa, for the same period. However, it does not permit you to work in India.

You could, independently, just get a tourist visa, and US citizens can get five or ten year visas --- but your maximum stay in India would be limited to 180 days, with no return for two months, and there is always the possibility of an immigration official wondering why you are returning yet again at some time in the future.
#4 Dec 25th, 2010, 22:08
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#4

I read that being married can hurt my chances of a work permit, though.

What is the word on this? I'd hate to rush a wedding, and then find out that I am suddenly in a worse position for finding a job than I was before.

I am reasonably confident that I can find some job of some kind, considering my field is Development, but I'd like to avoid the pitfalls of being seen as a 'dependent' who is expected to fill my time with anything but paid work. Any thoughts?
#5 Dec 25th, 2010, 22:17
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Your marital status should have no effect with the visa authorities - as Nick noted, the only meaningful difference for you would be that as a fiance you'd qualify for only a Tourist visa (with the built-in six month stay limit) while a spouse of an E visa holder would qualify for an X or Entry visa, which is typically issued for the same period of time as the E visa.

The sucky part of the latter is that it would not permit employment, even volunteering for an NGO. For you to work you'd have to 1) generate an offer, 2) return to your home country and apply for the E visa (with the inherent risks of it not being granted), 3) re-enter India with the E visa.

The useful part might be that you'd be job-hunting while already in the country rather than doing it from afar, which certainly couldn't hurt.
“She was not quite what you would call refined. She was not quite what you would call unrefined. She was the kind of person that keeps a parrot.” – Mark Twain
#6 Dec 30th, 2010, 23:22
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#6
Sorry if I am being obtuse, but then doesn't it make sense to just come in with a tourist visa, and try to find work?

The thread I read on getting a work permit after having a spousal entry visa really sounded discouraging. It seemed like if I can avoid it, I would have a better chance at a successful work permit if I am not married to someone with a work permit themselves.

(Last question: If I come in with a tourist visa, and find a job in India, do I still have to return to the US again and apply for a work permit, and then try to re-enter?)
#7 Dec 30th, 2010, 23:45
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I would have a better chance at a successful work permit if I am not married to someone with a work permit themselves.
Some time back, there was talk of India actually discouraging both partners having employment visas. I posted on this, but no idea where, now, so could be rated as rumour if no-one has anything up to date.
#8 Dec 30th, 2010, 23:50
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Originally Posted by pomegranate View Post (Last question: If I come in with a tourist visa, and find a job in India, do I still have to return to the US again and apply for a work permit, and then try to re-enter?)
Yes, you'd have to return to the States and apply for an Employment visa.
#9 Dec 30th, 2010, 23:51
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#9
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Originally Posted by pomegranate View Post (Last question: If I come in with a tourist visa, and find a job in India, do I still have to return to the US again and apply for a work permit, and then try to re-enter?)
Yes, that's the procedure.
#10 Jan 14th, 2011, 10:06
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#10
Thank you for your replies. It's a bit discouraging, since I can't imagine simply leaving my fiance (or husband, depending) in India while I return to the US to apply for a work visa. At the same time, I have no intention of just lazing around without work for 2+ years. Well, thanks again for taking the time to answer.
#11 Jan 14th, 2011, 11:20
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I have no intention of just lazing around without work for 2+ years.
No? I can seriously recommend it!
#12 Jan 14th, 2011, 14:46
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#12
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Originally Posted by pomegranate View Post Thank you for your replies. It's a bit discouraging, since I can't imagine simply leaving my fiance (or husband, depending) in India while I return to the US to apply for a work visa.
You are in a much better situation (just a few months away from your loved one); imagine my friend in Lima, Peru awaiting to join her american husband in New Hampshire, for more than eons.
#13 Jan 14th, 2011, 22:02
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Yes, nycank, many people have it very hard. I've heard lots of nightmarish stories like that. The intersection of marriage and government bureaucracy is pretty chilling.
#14 Jan 14th, 2011, 22:12
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#14

Smile

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Originally Posted by Nick-H View Post No? I can seriously recommend it!
Well in theory it sounds good, but my unrepentant feminist sensibilities do not mesh with lounging around all day while my husband toils away! If we were both lazing about, I'd totally be on board though! Hopefully that part will come after this job ends!
#15 Jan 14th, 2011, 22:21
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#15
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Originally Posted by pomegranate View Post Well in theory it sounds good, but my unrepentant feminist sensibilities do not mesh with lounging around all day while my husband toils away! If we were both lazing about, I'd totally be on board though! Hopefully that part will come after this job ends!
Quote:
Originally Posted by pomegranate View Post Yes, nycank, many people have it very hard. I've heard lots of nightmarish stories like that. The intersection of marriage and government bureaucracy is pretty chilling.
Which feminist pedagogy outlines a framework whereby unpaid humantarian work is equated to "lounging around all day" ?

Remember, some post-cultural feminists argue that "paid work" and one's worth is a male construct of worth.

Take inspiration from the fact that every time you dine out from Park Slope to Park Ave., someone is toiling hard for hours, months years without having seen his/her children and spouse, and do the right thing take a trip back home and get an Employment Visa once you get a job offer.

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