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General Questions:Visitor Visa to U.S., Fiance Application, Minor Child/Custody

edited September 2013 in - Tunisia
Firstly, I would like to thank you in advance for your responses/replies to my questions, any information would be greatly appreciated. I will give you some basic background information on my situation, if it helps facilitate answering any of the questions. I met a Tunisian man via the internet about 1.5 years ago, we started talking as friends and have now developed feelings for one another. We are not engaged at this point (Although, he has expressed his wishes to make me his wife). We have decided to meet in March/April 2014 in person; However, we talk everyday via skype and the telephone. I would like to stress that this is in no way any sort of "bezness" and do not feel as though that is an issue. He is 37 yrs old, I am 39, we are both middle class & working individuals. He has never asked for money, and states it is dishonorable for a man to take $$ from a woman. I have sent him 1 package over the course of 1.5 years and the majority of the boxes content was for his daughter who is 5 yrs old in celebration of her birthday. He was married 6 years ago, and is legally divorced (as of about 5.5 years) He has custody of his daughter, and she visits her mother every other monday. But he takes full financial responsibility for her, paying her schooling, general care, insurance, etc....He has never claimed financial hardship of any kind, has been with his current employer for 4 years, has a work history starting at approximately 21 years of age (that contains no gaps), he is college educated, and responsible. He is Muslim (However, not hardcore-he's kinda a chitan, his sense of humor, way of thinking is very "western" i can't explain it...since he has never left Tunisia or tells me even thought about leaving Tunisia...But he gets it, and his wit and ability to keep up with my convo is pretty impressive, there does not seem to be "huge" cultural differences in the way we connect and think and we spend a lot of time talking.

1. As previously stated, we have decided to meet MarchApril 2014: I know the particulars of the application process for a visitors visa, But is it extremely hard to obtain a visitors visa to the United States? He does not own property (as he currently lives with his family), but has been employed 4 years, holds a bank account, and will leave his daughter there upon visiting (so he will be returning) The plan is for him to come visit approx. 7-10 days and then return to Tunisia. His employer has stated that he will help him obtain the visa, but i am not exactly sure of how he can help (possibly writing a letter of some sort or I am under the impression from my friend that his employer has ties to the embassy in some way)

** The back-up plan to the visa falling through on his end (if he cannot obtain one) Is to wire me the money for air fare to Tunisia & I will visit him there: if this occurs, I would be flying into Carthage and would appreciate suggestions as to what resort city is closest and nicest to the airport. I do not want to travel too far from the general area of the airport. I do not have extensive plans to tour the country, only to meet him and spend time with him alone there...So a nice quiet/safe resort town close to where i will depart would be good. 

2. After meeting and spending time with him, I will make a determination as to whether I want him to come stay here with me in the United States (If i decide to apply for a fiance visa for him) How long is the average process of application? and is it difficult to obtain his passage here to the U.S?

3. The third question is very important: If i decide to apply for a fiance visa for him, I refuse to allow him come here unless he is able to bring his daughter with him. Since he has had full custody of his daughter for the past 4.5 years, would it be difficult for him to apply for her to come with him. I do not believe there are any strict laws that will prevent him from bringing her under these circumstances from Tunisia (although i think women in general have more liberal rights to their children in Tunisia) I do not want him to violate any law that may cause him to be in trouble for abduction, etc... I am worried about that. And is this something he handles completely on his end or do i include her as well on the fiance visa application?

Thank you again for any help ~Tiffany


  • Tiffany ,as it is so difficult for people from poor countries to obtain visas for many countries , its usual in long distance relationships for the US, UK, European, partner to travel to the poorer country as there is no visa problem.

    In Tunisia, Tunisians are not allowed to share rooms with foreigners if they are not married, so you would be better to rent an apartment. Airbnb is one of the best sites to find apartments

    Tunis is the capital city of Tunisia and Tunis airport also called Carthage International is the premier airport in Tunisia. I suggest you stay in an apartment in Tunis as it is easy to travel by taxi bus or train to other places.

    Here is information about fiancé visas for the USA

    Children can travel with their parent on the same visa, your fiancé will have to have his documents translated into English and he needs to check what documents he needs to show that he has sole custody and responsibility for his child. 

    I hope this helps you good luck
  • YES...THANK YOU...The information does help, especially in regards to "renting an apartment" as opposed to staying in a resort/hotel. Can i ask you? I looked at the site, would it be respectful when contacting the individuals renting the apartments to let them know that we are "not married".....I do not want anyone to be uncomfortable about this issue...if i travel there.
  • Hi Tiffany I read your comments and I have a few questions for you to think about.

    According to your comments you have not met and are planning to meet in 2014 have you concidered that this may be a scammer?

    Have you been asked to send him money or items? Have you been asked to pay for his (and daughter's) flight to you? If he has asked for any of this then he is a scammer. Hopefully you have not sent any money to him yet.

    Tiffany perhaps no-one asked this yet of you but what is the reason he wants to move his child away from her mother? That would mean she wont be able to have access with her child most parents don't like to just willingly give that up. But this is a questionable thing to keep in mind because if he can do that with this child remember he can do the same with you just as fast. I appologize in advance but its more true than you may realize as I dealt with a second spouses group and have seen this be an issue not just accross a city but accross countries too.

    I'm not understanding another part of this but maybe someone could explain how the country you are visiting how the hotel would know if you are legally married or not? Do you have to show a marriage licence? Most people don't carry it around with them. It just got me curious to ask.

  • hopingforanswers

    Thank you for responding...NO...he has not asked for money for him or his daughter. I sent 1 package to his daughter/him..the contents were $40-$50 worth of hello kitty items for her birthday and some snack type items only available in the U.S.. I have not been asked for airfare for anyone...if he travels here, or i go to visit him...he will pay for the flight. AND I am not inclined to send him $$...if he wants to see me, he is welcome on his own expense.

    In regards to his daughter...he has been "legally" divorced for 4.5 years. he pays support in the amount of $200 per month to his ex spouse. he has full physical custody of his child. He has not even spoken to his ex-wife since they separated. His father takes his daughter to visit her mother 2 Mondays every month. Like most young women in Tunisia...since they are raised to believe sex is "HARAM" many marry to have sex, and believe they are in love. They were neighbors who married in 9 months had a child and separated when the little girl was 6 months old (She wanted to leave) She is now 26 years old and has a new fiance...he just turned 37.

    I'm not sure about others that are lured by scammers, although i have read many stories. I can assure you I have no issue meeting a man in my own country and would not under any circumstance fund a man here in the United States or abroad.

  • Sorry Tiffany the question had to be asked because there are way too many stories similar to yours that have all ended in being scammed. Hope you understand.

    Good luck and I hope you are one of the lucky ones. Be cautious and careful.

    Let us know how it goes with your progress.

  • It's ok, I was not offended by the response...I just wanted to be clear about my personal situation. As i stated i have read many stories about these occurrences, and hope that women would use their discretion more in dealing with men in general (in their own countries as well) 

    Thank you again for your reply...always cautious and careful :)
  • Tiffany I would mention to the vendor who is renting the apartment that it is for you and your fiancé as a courtesy, but you do not have to tell them your personal circumstances.
    Make sure someone you trust back home in the US has your travel details and can contact you regularly to ensure your safety.

    One thing that I do find odd is if he has full custody of his child why he is paying his ex wife $200 a month that's quite a chunk out of the average Tunisian salary. Just a thought.

  • Hi Alethia;
    Perhaps I spoke out of turn when i referred to us "both" as middle class....I do not know the average persons salary in Tunisia..he may make more than the average working class man in that country as he is an electrical engineer who works for a foreign based company that operates within the country...French or German I believe. his salary is equivalent to about 1,700-2,000 U.S. dollars..paid once per month (I am not sure of the conversion of $ into Tunisian Dinar) But here in the U.S. that is not a large amount of $, I would consider myself a middle class/possibly below the poverty level citizen here (meaning I am not wealthy) I am a Licensed vocational nurse who earns approx. $4k per month U.S. here in the states. I do not know the entirety of the arrangement within the court, because i do not feel like prying into all of his financial business is necessary; I do trust him, as he has not given me reason "not" to as of now. Without sounding like a soap opera...I know there was some question as to her "purity" when they married after the fact and an admission to him that she may have had a sexual experience prior to their marriage. He stated without telling me directly, this amount was agreed upon between them in a private arrangement and added to the divorce decree at their request to help pay $ to her family for support so she would not seek custody of the child. Prior to their marriage she was employed as a fashion designer of some sort there and when they wed she stopped working. Beyond that I do not have any other answers.Since he has not had any communications with her in many years he assumes she is still not working, and has only learned of her fiance through his father taking the child for visitation via brief conversation. I do know that his child lives with him permanently, because of the time difference, when we speak on the skype, his daughter is present and there consistently. His PC is also centrally located in his families home, so i see his family everyday as they go about their normal business. This is not a case of he is potentially living with his wife and chatting on line, it's not suspicious enough to me and everything is out in the open. I also have never been told I can only contact him at certain times, or called and his phone has been off...he stays consistently available to me (no matter when i call) whether he is home, at work, in the coffee, or even asleep at 2 a.m. etc... (he always receives my calls)

    I ALSO thank you for the information about protocol involving the rental and courtesy to the hosts. At this time, I am not sure which route we are taking in the initial meeting.   
  • edited September 2013
    P.S. when I mentioned in the other comment about obtaining the Visa to visit here, I had mention his employer having some sort of connection to someone in the embassy...I do not know all of the specifics, but he may be applying for a business Visa and somehow arranging to come here stating his employer is sending him or hosting him in some way. I definitely know his boss is aware that his desire is to come here to meet me and he has vacation time at that point with his company (In March/April 2014) and he told his employer he will return. I will not allow him to come here and try to stay at this point in time. He is also not bringing his daughter here when we first meet.She will stay with his family.

    **He did tell me that he will have a face to face conversation (with his ex wife/daughters mom) about coming here with her when the time is right (But says he doesn't really want to see her). But he said he will tell her he is coming to work here and that their daughter will be going to school here, (AND HE IS CERTAIN SHE WILL ASK TO STILL SEND THE MONEY...HE SEEMS CONVINCED IF HE AGREES THAT SHE WILL BE OKAY WITH IT) I asked him specifically not to mention anything regarding me, or our friendship. He also said he will tell her he promises to bring her back to see her mom; he seems to want to be fair for his child.
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