My sister C is in a long term relationship with her boyfriend J. They met four years ago while C was living in Australia. J is finishing his term in the Australian army, then they will be moving in together.
Their ultimate goal is for both of them to move back to Australia and live there permanently. Unfortunately C was deported from Australia due to visa issues while she was attending college there. She is currently on a three year ban from entering Australia and of course this will affect her ability to immigrate there long term. Spousal visas are notoriously hard to get in Australia and if they are denied there is no appeal process.
The interim plan is for J to move here to the US. He's going back to Australia to work for 6 months and then he wants to move here to live with C. During the entire Thanksgiving visit C and J were waxing rhapsodic about this mythical work visa that J was going to get so he could move here. In 6 months. With no job offer. To complicate things further, J does not have a college degree. They might as well have been planning for J to immigrate to the US on the back of a unicorn.
Every time they started talking I had to refrain from poking myself in the eye with the nearest sharp instrument. I have no idea why C is so against getting married, but bottom line, that is J's ticket to living and working here. It's just not going to happen any other way. People have tried to get around it, and they always end up getting married because it is the sure thing. Thing is, it's none of my business. I don't want them to get married if they don't want to get married. However, the reality of the situation is that he does not have any legal status here without her, and vice versa for her in Australia.
Having been through the whole marriage based visa hell with R back in the day, I was ambivalent about ruining their starry-eyed dreams In the end though, I just couldn't hold back any longer. I encouraged them to go ahead and apply for a fiance visa for J before he left to go back to Australia. They take 8 or so months to process, and I didn't want them to be relying on a mythical visa when they could rely on an actual visa. I pointed out that they didn't even have to use the thing, it was flexible, and he could come in and then leave again if that's what he wanted to do... but they needed to apply for it.
I hope it makes a difference for them in the long run.