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CR-1 / IR-1 filing overseas

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Hello,

I am a US citizen living in Finland with my Finnish husband and we got married a year ago in Finland. We are looking to file CR-1 or IR-1 while both living overseas. We know that filing overseas is possible, however, we have a few questions.

1. How will I be able to file the Affidavit of support if I live and work abroad? Will employment in the US be required?

2. Do I need to have domicile in the US in order to file? How would I reestablish domicile in the US while living abroad?

Do I have to move back to the US in order to file? If so, for how long?

Thank you for your help in advance!

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1) For the affidavit of support you need to make the poverty guidelines in income that will continue after the move, have assets 3x the difference, or have a joint sponsor. So if you don't have a workplace that can transfer you to the USA, or have the assets to cover, you can have a family or friend in the USA also sign an I-864 for your spouse if they make enough money or have enough assets. The AOS isn't needed until the second stage of the processing.

2) no you do not need to live in the USA to file. You will, however, likely need to proof intent to reestablish domicile by the time of the interview.


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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1) For the affidavit of support you need to make the poverty guidelines in income that will continue after the move, have assets 3x the difference, or have a joint sponsor. So if you don't have a workplace that can transfer you to the USA, or have the assets to cover, you can have a family or friend in the USA also sign an I-864 for your spouse if they make enough money or have enough assets. The AOS isn't needed until the second stage of the processing.

2) no you do not need to live in the USA to file. You will, however, likely need to proof intent to reestablish domicile by the time of the interview.

Thank you for your response, however I just found this information on the website http://www.usavisanow.com/spouse-visa-cr1-ir1/

U.S. Domicile Is Required for the CR-1 Spouse Visa

You must have a domicile (residence) in the United States before you are eligible to receive a CR-1 Spouse Visa. This is because a U.S. domicile is required to file an Affidavit of Support, Form I-864, and this form is required for all Spouse of a U.S. Citizen (CR-1 & IR-1) immigration cases.

Now I am wondering how long do I need to be employed in the states before filing?

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I am in the end of the same process as you with USC husband. We also filing from Finland and we both live and work here and are going to move to US together. We are using a joint sponsor from US since my husband's income is here in Finland. As to proof domicile we sent them proof of us bank accounts and credit cards with us address on them. Also sent them a moving quote from cargo company and explaining all the steps my husband has taken to establish domicile like job offer etc. We own a house in US so that helps us, but we have friends from Finland that have been fine with not owning a house there.

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Thank you for your response, however I just found this information on the website http://www.usavisanow.com/spouse-visa-cr1-ir1/

U.S. Domicile Is Required for the CR-1 Spouse Visa

You must have a domicile (residence) in the United States before you are eligible to receive a CR-1 Spouse Visa. This is because a U.S. domicile is required to file an Affidavit of Support, Form I-864, and this form is required for all Spouse of a U.S. Citizen (CR-1 & IR-1) immigration cases.

Now I am wondering how long do I need to be employed in the states before filing?

6 months is safe. 3 months can be acceptable. It depends on the consulate.

Note that to file the I-130 PETITION you do not need US domicile. But for the visa to be granted, at interview (which is when the decision on the affidavit of support is made) then you need to prove you've reestablished domicile to that CO's satisfaction. Each country has different things they may require. The US consulate in Montreal, Canada, can be very strict; to the point where people are given a 221g even with jobs, a good joint sponsor, and a home to move to but the petitioner hasn't yet moved. But many countries overseas are not as strict. It is a little consulate or embassy specific and even CO specific (CO = consular officer).

So keep in mind that CR1 does not equal petition. To send the petition, you do not have to move. To have the visa granted, you need to show reestablishment of domicile to the CO's satisfaction at interview. The I-864 is reviewed on interview day.


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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I am in the end of the same process as you with USC husband. We also filing from Finland and we both live and work here and are going to move to US together. We are using a joint sponsor from US since my husband's income is here in Finland. As to proof domicile we sent them proof of us bank accounts and credit cards with us address on them. Also sent them a moving quote from cargo company and explaining all the steps my husband has taken to establish domicile like job offer etc. We own a house in US so that helps us, but we have friends from Finland that have been fine with not owning a house there.

I'm also living in Finland (ignore the profile, we are married and will be filing CR1) and we'll be filing from here :) I have a US bank account and US credit card but the address is my mother's -- do you think that would work? We'd like to file from here and receive the decision before moving.

If I do move before the visa is granted, do I need to be in Finland for the interview?

Edited by TexDude

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I think it's fine. Our credit card and bank statements are also in my inlaws address since our house is rented. USC does not need to be in present for the interview. This is my second time applying for green card (been married 10y and lived in U.S. Before) last time after getting married here in Helsinki my husband moved ahead and I did do the interview alone. This time we are moving together since I need his help with selling the house and 2kids +dog ?. I hope everything goes smoothly. Now we are just waiting for the interview and we are hopefully done ?.

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