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saralina

Moving back to Europe

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Hi guys,

 

First a short summary of our journey:

I entered the US on a K-1 Visa in September, We got married end of October and sent the AOS first thing in November. I had my biometrics (for the work permit and the travel permit) in December. Now we are waiting.

My social security number was denied. "Because my status is changing". So I can't get insurance. 

 

Now both my husband and I feel that it would be better for us to live in Austria. I can work as a doctor there and it's a lot easier for him to get a permanent resident equivalent.

 

Will we loose everything we did so far (and the money we spent)? 
If we ever decide to move back, will we have to start over?

 

I am aware that it can take years to get a green card. We don't want to wait that long before we move. 

 

Any experience with that? Tips? Important things we have to do?

 

Thank you

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If you plan to live outside of US, the green card is pointless since it's a permanent RESIDENT card for the US.  If you plan to live elsewhere, cancel your AOS and go.  If you get a green card and stay outside the US more than 6 moths out of the year, you will lose it anyway. 

 

Yes, you will have to start all over again to come back to the US.

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~~Moved to AOS Family, from K1 P&P- As the OP has started the AOS process. Even though they are thinking on leaving the US, some of the AOS question may come up.~~

 

Mod hat off

 

Since your 90 days are past you will have to wait for the EAD to get your ssc. There's been many members that are told they cannot get insurance without their ssc. Many of us did get insurance without the card. Either the person you spoke with has no clue or cannot be bothered. 

 

Also for the average AOS it does not take years to get the Green card. Even if it did take longer then the norm, you would have your EAD so working is available. Not sure what you would need to do to be a doctor here but I would think it was something the two of you have thought about.

 

You can also apply for re-entry permit if you think there is a chance you will be back. Many times ppl leave just to realize later that they made a mistake.  

Just things to think about. 

Edited by Ontarkie

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Yes you would lose all the money and time you have invested in the immigration process. Should you leave now and return to the US later you would need to apply for a CR1 visa, which can take a long time, even if you have had a K1 visa before.

 

Your EAD and AP should be approved around 90 days, the green card can be issued anywhere from 3 months to one year so if it were me I would just wait and then decide. 

 

Why can't you work as a doctor in the States? I am a physical therapist and I admit it was a pain in the butt to get my education credentialled to get my professional license, it took 18 months! Also I need to go through a whole process if I want to get licensed in another state, but it is not impossible. I know there is a big need for doctors anywhere so finding a job shouldn't be a problem if you get your license here. I think that for doctors and pharmacists it is not that hard to get a license as for other health professions, but that's hearsay.

 

I don't have a SSN yet, but I have insurance through my spouse's insurance. You can always get a private insurance or an international insurance (e.g. Alliance) for which you definitely don't need a SSN.

 

After Trump got elected my first response was to get back to Europe as well, but I didn't want all the trouble to have been for nothing. Building a new life in a new country is not easy,but it will be worth it in the end. 

 

Edited by glennw84

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My sister (USC) lives in Austria with her Austrian husband and she finds it extremely hard to live there. Even after 5+ years of being there and speaking fluent German, she just finds the people to be really hard to make friends with. She has also struggled to get a job there. Austrians seem to only respect Austrian universities degrees. It might be different if you're in a STEM field, maybe American degrees are more respect in that sphere?

 

So, I don't know what your husband's situation is, but if he hasn't lived in Austria before, despite the fact that the Aufenthaltstitel is pretty straightforward and easy to get compared to the US green card, there can be another set of issues which will make it hard to live there. There are a lot of things to think about, but since you've already come so far on the green card journey, why abandon it now? As the others have said, you'll lose everything and have to start over again from zero if you decide to head back to the States. It's a decision that you should consider with care.

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At what point in the process did  you apply for the SSN? You could have applied any time after arrival up until 14 days before the visa expired. If you didn't (we didn't), then you need to wait for EAD/AP. Could that be what they mean?

 

But you CAN get health insurance without an SSN. My husband was added to my family plan within a week, without an SSN. I think we gave them his A-number? If your husband has insurance through his employer and you're eligible to be added, have him talk to the benefits managers there. If you're trying to buy through the exchange, your Notice of Action for AOS *should* be sufficient but the K1/AOS process is really unique and it is possible they missed it. But, try. You may need to see someone in person, this might not be possible online. If for whatever reason you're left out, your EAD DOES make you eligible and you'll get that soon. Or  you can go the private route which does not need an SSN or any immigration information at all.

 

If you leave now, you completely abandon the process, no refunds, nothing and if you want to return to live, you'll need a spouse visa. Same if you leave after getting your green card (which takes about 6 months, not "years"). If you leave the US as a green card holder for more than 6 months,  you've abandoned your green card and will need a visa to return. Not sure if/how this would effect your ability to use ESTA but I'd look into that too. Citizenship (which does take years) is what gives you the ability to come and go as you please and stay away for as long as you like.

 

I understand that each case is unique, but it seems pretty short-sighted to me to change your mind on what country you're going to live in over a few weeks of being uninsured (after how many weeks already?)

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21 hours ago, saralina said:

We are planning on leaving in April. 

 

You can? That's news to me. So far wherever we looked they asked for a SSN and you coulnd't go on without it. 

Yes, we got medical insurance for Noom without a SSN. 

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14 hours ago, glennw84 said:

 

Why can't you work as a doctor in the States? I am a physical therapist and I admit it was a pain in the butt to get my education credentialled to get my professional license, it took 18 months! Also I need to go through a whole process if I want to get licensed in another state, but it is not impossible. I know there is a big need for doctors anywhere so finding a job shouldn't be a problem if you get your license here. I think that for doctors and pharmacists it is not that hard to get a license as for other health professions, but that's hearsay.

 

 

1

It's extremely complicated to become a doctor here if you went to a foreign medical school. There are 4 License examinations which are not only very hard but also expensive. And their focus is quite different from European schools. Not to mention the type of questions. I took the first of the 4 so far. You also can only apply for residency one a year and then wait months until you get matched to any hospital in the US and likely not the specialty you want to go into unless you aced the exams.

 

I guess if you are already a specialist it's easier. If you still need to go through residency? It's not... Sadly.

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48 minutes ago, CatherineA said:

At what point in the process did  you apply for the SSN? You could have applied any time after arrival up until 14 days before the visa expired. If you didn't (we didn't), then you need to wait for EAD/AP. Could that be what they mean?

 

1

I applied a week after our wedding. So there were still at least 50 days of my visa left. It took them over 7 weeks to tell me that it was declined. 

 

Quote

But you CAN get health insurance without an SSN. My husband was added to my family plan within a week, without an SSN. I think we gave them his A-number? If your husband has insurance through his employer and you're eligible to be added, have him talk to the benefits managers there. If you're trying to buy through the exchange, your Notice of Action for AOS *should* be sufficient but the K1/AOS process is really unique and it is possible they missed it. But, try. You may need to see someone in person, this might not be possible online. If for whatever reason you're left out, your EAD DOES make you eligible and you'll get that soon. Or  you can go the private route which does not need an SSN or any immigration information at all.

1

My husband is self employed and has government assisted insurance. Which I can't get, right? I remember some of the forms saying that I am not allowed to have any kind of governmental aid for a while after immigrating.

 

Quote

If you leave now, you completely abandon the process, no refunds, nothing and if you want to return to live, you'll need a spouse visa. Same if you leave after getting your green card (which takes about 6 months, not "years"). If you leave the US as a green card holder for more than 6 months,  you've abandoned your green card and will need a visa to return. Not sure if/how this would effect your ability to use ESTA but I'd look into that too. Citizenship (which does take years) is what gives you the ability to come and go as you please and stay away for as long as you like.

 

I understand that each case is unique, but it seems pretty short-sighted to me to change your mind on what country you're going to live in over a few weeks of being uninsured (after how many weeks already?)

1

Well, I still have insurance through my parents back in Austria until February. And really that's not the only reason. It does worry me though. I come from a country where you don't even know how much your last doctors visit cost. And paying $700 for a 20 minutes ER visit is something we can't afford right now with me not working.

 

Also thank you for the tip with ESTA - I will have to look into that to make sure I am still able to get that.

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1 hour ago, millefleur said:

My sister (USC) lives in Austria with her Austrian husband and she finds it extremely hard to live there. Even after 5+ years of being there and speaking fluent German, she just finds the people to be really hard to make friends with. She has also struggled to get a job there. Austrians seem to only respect Austrian universities degrees. It might be different if you're in a STEM field, maybe American degrees are more respect in that sphere?

 

So, I don't know what your husband's situation is, but if he hasn't lived in Austria before, despite the fact that the Aufenthaltstitel is pretty straightforward and easy to get compared to the US green card, there can be another set of issues which will make it hard to live there. There are a lot of things to think about, but since you've already come so far on the green card journey, why abandon it now? As the others have said, you'll lose everything and have to start over again from zero if you decide to head back to the States. It's a decision that you should consider with care.

 

I am sorry your sister is having a hard time in Austria! My husband works in social media marketing which is still a relatively new field of expertise. The company he is working for as a contractor would allow him to keep working for them in Austria at least for a while.

My cousin's husband is also American and after his German was good enough he found a good job easily. So we have our hopes up.

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Thank you all for your input!

 

It is a tough decision and losing all the progress we made so far sucks. 

There are a lot of factors we are trying to consider in our decision. And insurance is one of them but obviously not the main problem. It's good to know, though, that I can get it without my SSN. 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, saralina said:

I applied a week after our wedding. So there were still at least 50 days of my visa left. It took them over 7 weeks to tell me that it was declined. 

 

My husband is self employed and has government assisted insurance. Which I can't get, right? I remember some of the forms saying that I am not allowed to have any kind of governmental aid for a while after immigrating.

 

Well, I still have insurance through my parents back in Austria until February. And really that's not the only reason. It does worry me though. I come from a country where you don't even know how much your last doctors visit cost. And paying $700 for a 20 minutes ER visit is something we can't afford right now with me not working.

 

Also thank you for the tip with ESTA - I will have to look into that to make sure I am still able to get that.

 

 

Hrm, interesting on the timing. Maybe that's what they meant....but I still don't think that that would have been grounds for denial. K1 is so unique in the way it works (non-immigrant visa without work authorization that ends in immigration, by design) that it throws a lot standard processes off. I'll dig around a bit but maybe it's possible to try again. Was it the person who told you this or some sort of official denail? Either way, your EAD should be here soon and it's all a moot point. EAD *definitely* qualifies for a SSN.

 

Explain "government assisted insurance"? He purchased through Healthcare.gov and has his fees reduced based on income? You can't receive "means tested benefits" but I don't think that that would qualify. That generally means food stamps and subsidized housing etc. The fee scale based on income is sort of like tax brackets-- the less  you make, the lower your tax rate. Is he on Medicaid (government healthcare for the poor)?

 

I'm not sure how Medicaid works and am pretty sure that you'd be excluded from that. But, if he has a plan through healthcare.gov, his getting married is a "qualifying life event" so he can change from insuring just himself to insuring "the household', of which you are a member. Plus, it' is Open Season right now, so anyone can make changes right now, until January 31. Again, because of your lack of SSN, this may be something you need to take care of in person. That stinks, I know (we had to file taxes in person last year for the same reason) but it's how it is. I would hurry up and get on finding a family plan now, though.

 

I understand your frustrations with our healthcare/insurance system. A good half or more of the people in this country feel the same way.

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