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Visiting my fiance in England while we wait...concerns

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Pardon me if this is the wrong place to post this. I figured you lot might be able to answer this a little better since I'm visiting the UK, rather than my fiance visiting the USA.

Anyway, I'm gonna be visiting my fiance in Birmingham, England for 2 weeks and have a question. He has currently scheduled his medical, we've got his letter from the Embassy in London and are far along in the process.

I have been questioned by the UK customs officers in the past and have a "restricted stay" sticker on my passport from a few years ago when I was staying for 6 months and the officer was wary about me. That sticker now makes the officers look over my stuff a little more thoroughly and ask me more detailed questions. I did not extend my stay or anything though.

My question is...should I be immediately up front with the customs officer about the fact that I'm visiting my fiance to give him necessary paperwork for his interview and to meet his family? I will have proof of all of our visa process with me. I'm just debating on whether I should give as little info as possible (say I'm there for touring and be vague about where I'm staying since I'll be at my fiance's house), or just lay it all out on the table immediately. I wanted to get a second opinion if anyone can help.

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Pardon me if this is the wrong place to post this. I figured you lot might be able to answer this a little better since I'm visiting the UK, rather than my fiance visiting the USA.

Anyway, I'm gonna be visiting my fiance in Birmingham, England for 2 weeks and have a question. He has currently scheduled his medical, we've got his letter from the Embassy in London and are far along in the process.

I have been questioned by the UK customs officers in the past and have a "restricted stay" sticker on my passport from a few years ago when I was staying for 6 months and the officer was wary about me. That sticker now makes the officers look over my stuff a little more thoroughly and ask me more detailed questions. I did not extend my stay or anything though.

My question is...should I be immediately up front with the customs officer about the fact that I'm visiting my fiance to give him necessary paperwork for his interview and to meet his family? I will have proof of all of our visa process with me. I'm just debating on whether I should give as little info as possible (say I'm there for touring and be vague about where I'm staying since I'll be at my fiance's house), or just lay it all out on the table immediately. I wanted to get a second opinion if anyone can help.

Just explain why you are there, and get your fiance to send you a copy of the embassy letter, and maybe a confirmation of the medical thats coming up. A return ticket and these letters should be enough to see you through ok.


“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”― J.R.R. Tolkien

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When I visited, they always asked me "what is the purpose of your trip?" I always said "I'm on holiday." My thoughts are-- Let them ask what else they want to know and tell the true answer to whatever they ask. And have a return ticket and the visa progress documents.


England.gifENGLAND ---

K-1 Timeline 4 months, 19 days 03-10-08 VSC to 7-29-08 Interview London

10-05-08 Married

AOS Timeline 5 months, 14 days 10-9-08 to 3-23-09 No interview

Removing Conditions Timeline 5 months, 20 days12-27-10 to 06-10-11 No interview

Citizenship Timeline 3 months, 26 days 12-31-11 Dallas to 4-26-12 Interview Houston

05-16-12 Oath ceremony

The journey from Fiancé to US citizenship:

4 years, 2 months, 6 days

243 pages of forms/documents submitted

No RFEs

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Hmm, I would say that if you hadn't had a "restricted stay" limitation from a few years back then do as Nich-Nick says and just say that you are here on holiday/ vacation for 2 weeks. They might not question anything further and let you through without any further scrutiny. However, as you've had a previous restricted stay limitation on record, then you will likely be subjected to higher scrutiny. In which case, it may be better to be upfront right from the start about visiting your fiancé, as chances are they will delve much deeper into the purpose of your visit regardless. As long as you have all the documents to prove that you are going through the K1 process (and a return ticket), that may be your best course of action simply as it shows that you intend to have your fiancé come to live with you in the USA. Therefore there is no risk of you being let in to the UK whilst you and your fiancé are going through the K1 application, simply because your ultimate goal (and your fiancé's) is to get married and live in the USA.


K1 VISA APPLICATION AND ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS

08/10/2015 Flight to USA with K1 Visa - POE NYC JFK airport

08/11/2015 Married!

10/15/2015 Moved into our new home in Bradenton, FL

11/02/2015 Filed package for AOS, EAD and AP

11/08/2015 NOA1 (Electronic) received for AOS, EAD and AP

01/07/2016 Biometrics Appointment completed

01/20/2016 EAD/ AP (I-765/ I-131) approved. Text & email confirmation

01/25/2016 EAD/ AP (I-765/ I-131) USCIS confirmed card sent

01/26/2016 EAD/ AP Card received (85 days from filing AOS)

08/05/2016 "New Card Is Being Produced" USCIS Case Status update

08/10/2016 "Card has been mailed" USCIS Case Status Update

08/11/2016 Welcome Letter received

08/12/2016 Permanent Residency/ Green Card delivered by USPS

 

 

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My point was I didn't walk up and gush out my whole story unprompted. I let them ask the questions. And they will have more questions.

Even after we were married--

What is the purpose of your trip? I'm on holiday

How long are you staying? 13 days.

Who are you visiting? My husband's family.

Where does your husband live? In the US.

Where is your husband now? Standing behind you waiting for me. He went through the short line.

Next time go through the short line with him.

That is different than "what is the purpose of your trip"? I am married to a British guy I met eight years ago. He got a fiancé visa and moved to the US and is now a permanent resident. We have been married almost two years now and this is our first visit back to England to see his family since he moved to America. We have return tickets for June 8 and he has a greencard if you need to see that.


England.gifENGLAND ---

K-1 Timeline 4 months, 19 days 03-10-08 VSC to 7-29-08 Interview London

10-05-08 Married

AOS Timeline 5 months, 14 days 10-9-08 to 3-23-09 No interview

Removing Conditions Timeline 5 months, 20 days12-27-10 to 06-10-11 No interview

Citizenship Timeline 3 months, 26 days 12-31-11 Dallas to 4-26-12 Interview Houston

05-16-12 Oath ceremony

The journey from Fiancé to US citizenship:

4 years, 2 months, 6 days

243 pages of forms/documents submitted

No RFEs

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Nich-Nick, absolutely. A series of question and responses like that would be fine. My concern was when the OP stated:

I'm just debating on whether I should give as little info as possible (say I'm there for touring and be vague about where I'm staying since I'll be at my fiance's house), or just lay it all out on the table immediately. I wanted to get a second opinion if anyone can help.

It's one thing to simply answer the questions directly and not give extra information unless asked, it's another matter to be 'vague' and not mention the true purpose of the trip. If the passport officers feel that the person they are questioning is withholding their true intent, it could raise alarm bells and cause all sorts of unnecessary delays. If she is vague about where she will be staying, and then after further questioning they find out that she is staying with her fiancé they may question why she didn't state that in the first place. As I mentioned above, if the OP had never had any previous issues then I agree with you that she should just answer the questions directly. But as she has previously been subjected to a restricted stay and has a sticker on her passport stating as such, straight away the officers are going to be on alert. When asked what the purpose is for the visit, I would state "I'm here on holiday to visit my fiance". That way they will know right from the start and won't suspect that the OP is not being upfront about her true intentions to visit. That's my humble take on this situation!

Edited by ChasUno

K1 VISA APPLICATION AND ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS

08/10/2015 Flight to USA with K1 Visa - POE NYC JFK airport

08/11/2015 Married!

10/15/2015 Moved into our new home in Bradenton, FL

11/02/2015 Filed package for AOS, EAD and AP

11/08/2015 NOA1 (Electronic) received for AOS, EAD and AP

01/07/2016 Biometrics Appointment completed

01/20/2016 EAD/ AP (I-765/ I-131) approved. Text & email confirmation

01/25/2016 EAD/ AP (I-765/ I-131) USCIS confirmed card sent

01/26/2016 EAD/ AP Card received (85 days from filing AOS)

08/05/2016 "New Card Is Being Produced" USCIS Case Status update

08/10/2016 "Card has been mailed" USCIS Case Status Update

08/11/2016 Welcome Letter received

08/12/2016 Permanent Residency/ Green Card delivered by USPS

 

 

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Pardon me if this is the wrong place to post this. I figured you lot might be able to answer this a little better since I'm visiting the UK, rather than my fiance visiting the USA.

Anyway, I'm gonna be visiting my fiance in Birmingham, England for 2 weeks and have a question. He has currently scheduled his medical, we've got his letter from the Embassy in London and are far along in the process.

I have been questioned by the UK customs officers in the past and have a "restricted stay" sticker on my passport from a few years ago when I was staying for 6 months and the officer was wary about me. That sticker now makes the officers look over my stuff a little more thoroughly and ask me more detailed questions. I did not extend my stay or anything though.

My question is...should I be immediately up front with the customs officer about the fact that I'm visiting my fiance to give him necessary paperwork for his interview and to meet his family? I will have proof of all of our visa process with me. I'm just debating on whether I should give as little info as possible (say I'm there for touring and be vague about where I'm staying since I'll be at my fiance's house), or just lay it all out on the table immediately. I wanted to get a second opinion if anyone can help.

I'll be honest, getting through UK immigration, as you should know can be stressful and can for some, cause nightmares when you've done absolutely nothing wrong. It is especially more difficult on single females that are of the non-EEA variety these days. Yes it does get them to hassle you every time you go through, but if you bring enough proof to satisfy them, and they are feeling in an okay mood they generally let you pass.

I had one of those interesting stamps in my passport once, and managed to return successfully. Things that make it easier though:

always be honest - if you're there to visit you fiancé then say that, do not lie.. because I mean to tell you.. things can get to be a pain really fast if they think you're conflating tourism with visiting your intended.

if especially worried as a female and have had huge problems in the past and you have the financial means to do so, it can be very good to have your fiancé go with you, and stand with you at the POE. I've found them less likely to argue with your British fiancé or spouse there to back you up.

always have a return ticket and they *love* travel insurance.

know exactly to the day how long you're staying and tell them this.

always have some sort of proof of returning - do you have a job or school letter to supply? (I did not have either of these, but I did emphasize I was a caregiver that needed to get back home after the duration of my trip).

having proof that your fiancé is the one doing the immigrating and not the other way around is certainly good, but it's up to the IO to use actual logic in the matter.

don't be vague about where you are staying. if you are asked where you're staying, say so.

they intend to make you nervous and avoiding in order to trip you up - don't give them the opportunity.

As Nich-Nick says, keeping to the short facts and being honest are the best policy. If you are there to be on vacation say so, if you are there to visit him/the family say so, and if asked state you are staying with the fiancé and their family etc. For me, I wanted to be upfront out the bat, and was surprised I was not questioned too deep on that because of being honest (but I think that is because they can't say you're lying when the fiancé is standing right next to ya. ;)


K-1 - AOS & ROC Timeline  - Immigration and the Health Exchange Price of Love in the UK Thinking of Returning to UK?

 

First met: 12/31/04 - Engaged: 9/24/09
Filed I-129F: 10/4/14 - Packet received: 10/7/14
NOA 1 email + ARN assigned: 10/10/14 (hard copy 10/17/14)
Touched on website (fixed?): 12/9/14 - Poked USCIS: 4/1/15
NOA 2 email: 5/4/15 (hard copy 5/11/15)
Sent to NVC: 5/8/15 - NVC received + #'s assigned: 5/15/15 (estimated)
NVC sent: 5/19/15 - London received/ready: 5/26/15
Packet 3: 5/28/15 - Medical: 6/16/15
Poked London 7/1/15 - Packet 4: 7/2/15
Interview: 7/30/15 - Approved!
AP + Issued 8/3/15 - Visa in hand (depot): 8/6/15
POE: 8/27/15

Wedding: 9/30/15

Filed I-485, I-131, I-765: 11/7/15

Packet received: 11/9/15

NOA 1 txt/email: 11/15/15 - NOA 1 hardcopy: 11/19/15

Bio: 12/9/15

EAD + AP approved: 1/25/16 - EAD received: 2/1/16

RFE for USCIS inability to read vax instructions: 5/21/16 (no e-notification & not sent from local office!)

RFE response sent: 6/7/16 - RFE response received 6/9/16

AOS approved/card in production: 6/13/16  

NOA 2 hardcopy + card sent 6/17/16

Green Card received: 6/18/16

USCIS 120 day reminder notice: 2/22/18

Filed I-751: 5/2/18 - Packet received: 5/4/18

NOA 1:  5/29/18 (12 mo) 8/13/18 (18 mo)  - Bio: 6/27/18

 

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I'll be honest, getting through UK immigration, as you should know can be stressful and can for some, cause nightmares when you've done absolutely nothing wrong. It is especially more difficult on single females that are of the non-EEA variety these days. Yes it does get them to hassle you every time you go through, but if you bring enough proof to satisfy them, and they are feeling in an okay mood they generally let you pass.

I had one of those interesting stamps in my passport once, and managed to return successfully. Things that make it easier though:

always be honest - if you're there to visit you fiancé then say that, do not lie.. because I mean to tell you.. things can get to be a pain really fast if they think you're conflating tourism with visiting your intended.

if especially worried as a female and have had huge problems in the past and you have the financial means to do so, it can be very good to have your fiancé go with you, and stand with you at the POE. I've found them less likely to argue with your British fiancé or spouse there to back you up.

always have a return ticket and they *love* travel insurance.

know exactly to the day how long you're staying and tell them this.

always have some sort of proof of returning - do you have a job or school letter to supply? (I did not have either of these, but I did emphasize I was a caregiver that needed to get back home after the duration of my trip).

having proof that your fiancé is the one doing the immigrating and not the other way around is certainly good, but it's up to the IO to use actual logic in the matter.

don't be vague about where you are staying. if you are asked where you're staying, say so.

they intend to make you nervous and avoiding in order to trip you up - don't give them the opportunity.

As Nich-Nick says, keeping to the short facts and being honest are the best policy. If you are there to be on vacation say so, if you are there to visit him/the family say so, and if asked state you are staying with the fiancé and their family etc. For me, I wanted to be upfront out the bat, and was surprised I was not questioned too deep on that because of being honest (but I think that is because they can't say you're lying when the fiancé is standing right next to ya. ;)

Thank you so much for all the info! I just bought travel insurance--good tip. Also, I never knew my fiance could come to the POE? I thought they had it restricted. How would he go about being there?

Thank you everyone for the comments and advice. I will absolutely be honest but try not to "over share" until questioned further.

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Thank you so much for all the info! I just bought travel insurance--good tip. Also, I never knew my fiance could come to the POE? I thought they had it restricted. How would he go about being there?

Thank you everyone for the comments and advice. I will absolutely be honest but try not to "over share" until questioned further.

I think she means on site at the airport in arrivals waiting area. There have been some who wanted to speak to the British person as well. You have good evidence that you are working on a future in the US and not UK.


England.gifENGLAND ---

K-1 Timeline 4 months, 19 days 03-10-08 VSC to 7-29-08 Interview London

10-05-08 Married

AOS Timeline 5 months, 14 days 10-9-08 to 3-23-09 No interview

Removing Conditions Timeline 5 months, 20 days12-27-10 to 06-10-11 No interview

Citizenship Timeline 3 months, 26 days 12-31-11 Dallas to 4-26-12 Interview Houston

05-16-12 Oath ceremony

The journey from Fiancé to US citizenship:

4 years, 2 months, 6 days

243 pages of forms/documents submitted

No RFEs

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Thank you so much for all the info! I just bought travel insurance--good tip. Also, I never knew my fiance could come to the POE? I thought they had it restricted. How would he go about being there?

Thank you everyone for the comments and advice. I will absolutely be honest but try not to "over share" until questioned further.

Sorry I know my wording may be confusing so I don't want you to misunderstand. In our case my fiancé always comes to visit me in the states, and then we go back to London together. That way he can stand with me at the POE and provide support. They will allow you to do so if you arrive together. If he's not there with you, absolutely mentioning ''he's in the arrivals area waiting for me'' will help too. Sometimes they like to speak to the person if they are suspicious.

((I know of a man who went to the UK in order to surprise propose to his g/f. She didn't have a clue he was coming.. so when they went to call her number and she didn't respond.. you can only imagine what happened then.))

I do not know if the circumstances of the stamp in your passport were the same as mine. But I know in my case, returning to the UK is always made easier by having him with me.

However, if you have found they have still let you through, even with some extra questioning, and having that stamp -- I'd say you should be fine by yourself. The goal is to be very honest with them and have the proof that you can offer.

Edited by yuna628

K-1 - AOS & ROC Timeline  - Immigration and the Health Exchange Price of Love in the UK Thinking of Returning to UK?

 

First met: 12/31/04 - Engaged: 9/24/09
Filed I-129F: 10/4/14 - Packet received: 10/7/14
NOA 1 email + ARN assigned: 10/10/14 (hard copy 10/17/14)
Touched on website (fixed?): 12/9/14 - Poked USCIS: 4/1/15
NOA 2 email: 5/4/15 (hard copy 5/11/15)
Sent to NVC: 5/8/15 - NVC received + #'s assigned: 5/15/15 (estimated)
NVC sent: 5/19/15 - London received/ready: 5/26/15
Packet 3: 5/28/15 - Medical: 6/16/15
Poked London 7/1/15 - Packet 4: 7/2/15
Interview: 7/30/15 - Approved!
AP + Issued 8/3/15 - Visa in hand (depot): 8/6/15
POE: 8/27/15

Wedding: 9/30/15

Filed I-485, I-131, I-765: 11/7/15

Packet received: 11/9/15

NOA 1 txt/email: 11/15/15 - NOA 1 hardcopy: 11/19/15

Bio: 12/9/15

EAD + AP approved: 1/25/16 - EAD received: 2/1/16

RFE for USCIS inability to read vax instructions: 5/21/16 (no e-notification & not sent from local office!)

RFE response sent: 6/7/16 - RFE response received 6/9/16

AOS approved/card in production: 6/13/16  

NOA 2 hardcopy + card sent 6/17/16

Green Card received: 6/18/16

USCIS 120 day reminder notice: 2/22/18

Filed I-751: 5/2/18 - Packet received: 5/4/18

NOA 1:  5/29/18 (12 mo) 8/13/18 (18 mo)  - Bio: 6/27/18

 

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In case anyone was wondering, I did get through UK customs fairly easily. The customs officer asked where I would be staying, I answered "Birmingham" she asked who with and I said, "My fiance." She asked if he was a UK citizen, I said yes. She asked if I would be moving there, or would he be moving to the US. I said he's moving to the US. She asked if we had already started our visa process, and I said yes and told her I had some of the letters showing how far along we are in the process and said his medical is in the beginning of July. I showed her one letter (NOA2) and she was satisfied.

She seemed to be in a good mood, so that helps. Me and my fiance had a nice two weeks together. :)

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