I am a U.S. Citizen. My wife is in Manila, PH awaiting her visa. The I-130 was filed >1 month ago and the I-129 >1 week ago. My attorney tells me this will take ~6 months at USCIS and 12-24 months at the consular in Manila. So a total of up to 2.5 years before my wife is allowed to legally enter the U.S. I find this to be appalling and unacceptable. I was also told by my attorney that my wife will not be eligible for any government assistance/programs upon arrival, yet I see in the news all the time about how illegals can be on welfare, food stamps, and all kinds of other sweet programs. At this point I see more incentive to bring her here illegally than legally. If i were to do this, what could potentially go wrong, and what would be the consequence?
The short and sweet answer is do not try to bring her in illegally if that is possible from Manila.
Most people who cross over the border illegally do not live in Manila!
You are welcome to use the link provided below.
Sir, I will try not to lecture you, but when dealing with the CIS, you must be patient. To their credit, the CIS has worked hard to clear up backlogs as well as ensure quick processing. Processing times stateside run about 4 to 6 months. After that the local processing at Manilla determines how long it will take to issue an immigrant visa to your wife. Although I cannot say how long that will take, you should budget another 6 months. My point is that it will probably take less than 24 months.
The wait is frustrating for couples who are eager to be reunited. Yes your wife will not be eligible for government assistance programs, but tell me sir, why should you marry a wife so that the government can start supporting her the moment she steps into the US. Regarding what you saw on the news, please do not believe all of it. First, no one is illegal. Second, the law does not allow social welfare benefits for the undocumented. A lot of the news outlets do not have the facts entirely correct. To get a better idea, I would suggest that you speak to members of various immigrant communities.
Everyone wants a reform of our immigration laws. The quotas and numerical limitations which cause excessive delays need to be addressed. You have pointed out in so many words that these delays cause people to try to sidestep the proper channels. Please be sure to call your reps on Capitol Hill to demand reform. Write the President as well.
I am not sure how you might accomplish it, but bringing your wife without permission will only complicate the situation.
The consequences for misrepresenting non-immigrant intent, when entering married to a U.S. Citizen can prove a challenge. The estimated 2.5 year delay may be a bit conservative.
I strongly recommend an appointment or teleconference with a candid and experienced immigration attorney, where you need a second opinion.
The above is general information and does not create an attorney client relationship.