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Rosie89

American citizen living in UK, wanting to move back to US with British wife

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Hello all,

 

I am married to an American citizen and we both live in London, we hope to move to the US and are about to submit the I-130. I hope someone can help me with 2 questions I have- 

 

1- I am submitting an I-130 to the London field office as that's where we live, the checklist they have online has no mention of extra supporting documentation to prove a bonafide marriage, should I follow these instructions even though they are different to the standard I-130 instructions? 

 

2- my husband has not lived in the US for a long time and has no family there. Will I be granted a visa if he has only shown proof of intending to re-establish domicile (I.e applying for jobs, getting a po box, arranging to stay with friends) rather than actually having a job in the states at the time of my interview? 

 

Thank you in advance for any advice you can give! 

 
Edited by Rosie89

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1- Yes, provide evidence.

 

2- Better to have some evidence of domicile at the time of the interview. Opening a bank account with address at relative's house, driver's license, job applications. If you just have applications you can take a chance, but you might have the interview and they can ask you to submit more information. So at that time the US citizen will have to travel to the US and it can delay your application. 

 

As far as I know, you can add more evidence of intent at the time of the interview so you can submit the forms and do something about it in the meantime.

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24 minutes ago, Coco8 said:

1- Yes, provide evidence.

 

2- Better to have some evidence of domicile at the time of the interview. Opening a bank account with address at relative's house, driver's license, job applications. If you just have applications you can take a chance, but you might have the interview and they can ask you to submit more information. So at that time the US citizen will have to travel to the US and it can delay your application. 

 

As far as I know, you can add more evidence of intent at the time of the interview so you can submit the forms and do something about it in the meantime.

Thanks for your reply coco8, that's very helpful. We will have quite a while before the interview and we intend for my husband to find a job by then but the timings will be difficult and we would prefer to move over together if possible. 

 

Do you know if you can you get a drivers lisence with just a PO box/forwarding address and without ever having driven in the USA? 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Rosie89 said:

Do you know if you can you get a drivers license with just a PO box/forwarding address and without ever having driven in the USA? 

You cannot. But you can open a bank account and put a relative's address. The US citizen will need (1) social security number (2) US passport. Then, take the bank account statement with the address on it and use that for the driver's license. If you guys don't want to do the driving test, you can get a state ID. They usually do them in the same place they do the driver's license and they require the same documents (except driving test).

 

He can also register to vote when he has the ID. That counts as another "establish domicile" document.

 

 

Edited by Coco8

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Thanks coco8, my husband doesn't have any relatives there, would he be able to get a bank account with a po box or a forwarding address? Also, can he get one over the phone/ internet or would he need to go to the bank account in person? Thanks for your advice 

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A US citizen typically can sign up for a bank account online, but I'm not sure if you'd be asked to come in person if they can't verify your address. It's worth a shot, though. If you do decide to do this, make sure to sign up using a US based VPN. Many banks will automatically flag an account application if they detect that the user is signing up from a foreign IP address.

 

19 hours ago, Rosie89 said:

1- I am submitting an I-130 to the London field office as that's where we live, the checklist they have online has no mention of extra supporting documentation to prove a bonafide marriage, should I follow these instructions even though they are different to the standard I-130 instructions? 

 

I'm guessing that the checklist assumes that the I-130 includes everything listed in the official instructions, including the evidence of bonafide marriage.

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On 11/7/2017 at 4:23 PM, Rosie89 said:

1- I am submitting an I-130 to the London field office as that's where we live, the checklist they have online has no mention of extra supporting documentation to prove a bonafide marriage, should I follow these instructions even though they are different to the standard I-130 instructions? 

 

 

Follow the DCF instructions, and ignore any others.

As someone who has done DCF in London, no evidence of a bonafide marriage will be required and if you send it it will more than likely be returned to you.

 

 

 

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18 hours ago, mindthegap said:

 

Follow the DCF instructions, and ignore any others.

As someone who has done DCF in London, no evidence of a bonafide marriage will be required and if you send it it will more than likely be returned to you.

 

 

 

Thanks mindthegap- that's very helpful info! Can I ask also, what did you do about the next steps of the process if you lived in the UK? I'm concerned about the supporting affidavit as we don't have relations in the uk who can support our application. 

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1 hour ago, Rosie89 said:

 Can I ask also, what did you do about the next steps of the process if you lived in the UK? I'm concerned about the supporting affidavit as we don't have relations in the uk who can support our application. 

 My ex spouse had maintained significant ties to the US while living in the UK (valid driving license, voter registration and voting with an absentee ballot, bank accounts and credit cards) and had immediate family there, so not the same situation unfortunately. 

 

The consular officers know that you have to be physically in the US to fully establish domicile, so there is a fair amount of flexibility and subjectiveness applied, but as long as the intent to re-establish is clear - and applying for a spousal immigrant visa is pretty clear intent to re-establish in itself - it should be fine.

 

Things that could help show an intent to re- establish domicile could be done relatively easily, and trip to the US would help a LOT in this regard. 

Off the top of my head, if I wanted to quickly do something to help with that in a few days, I would fly over, visit bank of america, open a solo account, AND also open a joint account with foreign spouse - both registered at a friends address if neccessary, or a PO box if permitted. Then go get some state ID or a learner drivers permit.

With the US bank account and address sorted, then ask American Express in the UK to issue me with a US amex (you need a bank account and address, nothing more) based on UK amex history.

Then, register to vote - even as an absentee would probably help.

Perhaps have evidence of speaking to a realtor, or applying for a few positions or speaking to a recruitment consultant.

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately regarding the I-864, the visa will not be granted without one, so it is imperative that you sort it out in some way.  London are one of the more relaxed embassies regarding certain aspects as above, but the I-864 is non-negotiable. 

 

With no US job offer it could be satisfied in a couple of other ways.

The most obvious would be a co-sponsor in the US, but as you say they have no family that may be difficult.

It could be done with assets - but a higher amount would be needed than if done by income.

The other way would be if the USC has a job in the UK that will continue in the US - from the same funding source that meets the threshold, but working remotely for example - this would be acceptable.

 

He will also need to have filed tax returns for at least the past *three* years (it was five years ago when we did it, so forgive me if I get that number of years wrong).  That doesn't necessarily mean that back taxes will be due - remember that there is the foreign earned income exclusion which for this year is $101,000 and change, and also dual taxation and tax credit agreements. However, he WILL have to produce tax filings at the interview.

 

 

Do not underestimate how fast the DCF process can go - the I-130 will be approved extremely quickly, before most people applying for a normal I-130 would even have their receipt. If it was not for a delay where they appeared to misplace part of my paperwork, it would have been done from start to finish in a shade over 3.5 months for us. Ultimately it took around 4.5.

 

Edited by mindthegap

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20 hours ago, mindthegap said:

 

Follow the DCF instructions, and ignore any others.

As someone who has done DCF in London, no evidence of a bonafide marriage will be required and if you send it it will more than likely be returned to you.

 

 

 

 

This.  We did our DCF through the London field office and they explicitly said do not send proof.  So, we didn't.

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Also, just to add (given you still can't edit posts after a certain time :whistle:) that the US citizen does not have to appear at your interview.

Once the I-130 is approved they can go ahead of you and set up home, get a job etc while you remain in the UK for a few months while your immigrant visa is being processed. Would certainly help with the domicile and I-864.

Edited by mindthegap

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22 hours ago, mindthegap said:

 

He will also need to have filed tax returns for at least the past *three* years (it was five years ago when we did it, so forgive me if I get that number of years wrong).  That doesn't necessarily mean that back taxes will be due - remember that there is the foreign earned income exclusion which for this year is $101,000 and change, and also dual taxation and tax credit agreements. However, he WILL have to produce tax filings at the interview.

 

 

Hi mindthegap, I cant thank you enough for all your advice! We now plan for my husband to secure a job in the USA asap as I think that is our only option. If he hasn't secured a job by the time I go for interview can I postpone the interview?

 

Also one last question on the tax filing you mentioned- we didn't realise that he was liable to pay taxes so we're only just looking in to this now and have found that there is a new streamline process. Do you know anything about this and how/where to file us tax returns for expats? 

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21 minutes ago, Rosie89 said:

Hi mindthegap, I cant thank you enough for all your advice! We now plan for my husband to secure a job in the USA asap as I think that is our only option. If he hasn't secured a job by the time I go for interview can I postpone the interview?

 

 

It is likely that you can do that.

 

Any full-time job making above $11/hour will do if it is just the two of you.

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