Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
mrsB

Traveling to USA while processing...

10 posts in this topic

Recommended Posts

Alright so... In case you haven't followed my other post here, I'll give you a brief info.

So I'm a Finnish citizen married to an US citizen and we've petitioned for my K3-visa. However, we're currently uncertain if USCIS is processing both our I-130 and I-129F as they had messed up the names in I-129F and never bothered to fix it no matter what we tried. Anyway, I have a visa application pending. We started the process in February 2008. Both me and my husband are now sick and tired of only being able to be together for 2 weeks in a year (which is all the vacation he ever gets). We got married in December 2007, after which we've only seen each other ONCE in October 2008. Now, my parents too are tired of watching me and my misery and have decided to purchase me plane tickets to USA around mid-August. They're aware of the fact that should I run into mean officers at the airport, I might be coming back on the next flight. In which case, my husband will fly over for his luxurious two weeks of vacation later in August.

I've worked all summer as an intern at a local riding school, but my internship will end at the end of July, after which I'll (sadly) be unemployed again as I haven't found anything else as of yet. Due to this, I've planned to go to USA with the visa waiver my country has with them and stay for the maximum amount, which is 90 days. I'll come back to Finland earlier, should our visa case see some progress. Since November 2007 I've lived at my parents' as I haven't had any kind of stability in my life due to this visa process. So I don't have an apartment here or a job which doesn't really help me here. However, I do have possessions in Finland AND my dog and obviously I'd need to come back to Finland for several reasons, such as my asthma check up later this year and for the fact that I don't want any troubles with the visa.

I've never overstayed in the USA and I've been there several times before we got married, for a total of about 10 months - give or take. I plan to have a reasonable amount of money with me and I'm staying at the apartment my husband got us 2 years ago.

Now to the actual QUESTIONS...

At the airport in USA... They'll check my passport, ask for my fingerprints and ask me why I'm there and how long I'm staying. What do I do at this point? Obviously I will have a return ticket with me or at least the proof that I have a flight reserved to take me back to Finland at the end of my stay. The honest reason for my visit is that I'm visiting my family (my USA-family) and friends and we plan to have a "2nd wedding party" among other things. We want to get some more pictures of us at various places etc. in case we'll need the proof for later and obviously just spend some time together finally. Do I go into detail about our visa process? Do I go into detail about the marriage? Or just keep it short and sweet and say I'm there for a vacation and to visit family & friends? Any tips? Ideas? What have your experiences been if you've traveled while your visa is being processed?

There might be more questions as we go...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi mrsB...

I've been following your case from the very start and I wanted to start off by saying that I wish you tons of luck -- your story broke my heart.

My humble opinion? Bring all your ties to Finland with you, anything you can muster, letters from parent's as a sort of rental agreement, bank account statements, anything, anything at all that ties you to your home in Finland. Then, bring a copy of your NOA1, get your husband to scan it and email it to you. Pack light. Even for 90 days, pack light. Don't bring anything that makes it look like you're going to pre-establish yourself in the US. When you're at customs, start small, answer their questions honestly but don't elaborate unless it's asked of you. "Holiday." "Visiting Family." When you'll be back and all the others. If they open up the line of question that entails you to bring up husband say so, and go from there. Your notice of action letter and ties to Finland and return plane ticket are key here. Remember mrsB, you're not doing anything illegal or wrong. You're allowed to go, you just have have to show that you plan to return to Finland. Do NOT lie to the POE officer, but start small and follow their lead as to what they want/need to know. Be calm, make eye contact and keep in mind, you're not a criminal, you're not doing anything wrong here.

I wish you all the luck and I hope you make it and get to spend 90 days with your husband. Please let us know how it went, okay?

PS This is how I have travelled from Canada to the US dozens and dozens of times. Of course, it may be different coming from Canada but they have just as much right to turn me back as they do you -- maybe more as it would be easier to transpose my life from here to there across the border. For what it's worth? This method has always worked for me and when I'm standing in the customs line, I have always had the mantra of, I'm not committing a crime, I am not doing anything wrong and well, it's gone pretty good.

PM me if you have any questions of you want to talk or anything, okay?

LGG

Alright so... In case you haven't followed my other post here, I'll give you a brief info.

So I'm a Finnish citizen married to an US citizen and we've petitioned for my K3-visa. However, we're currently uncertain if USCIS is processing both our I-130 and I-129F as they had messed up the names in I-129F and never bothered to fix it no matter what we tried. Anyway, I have a visa application pending. We started the process in February 2008. Both me and my husband are now sick and tired of only being able to be together for 2 weeks in a year (which is all the vacation he ever gets). We got married in December 2007, after which we've only seen each other ONCE in October 2008. Now, my parents too are tired of watching me and my misery and have decided to purchase me plane tickets to USA around mid-August. They're aware of the fact that should I run into mean officers at the airport, I might be coming back on the next flight. In which case, my husband will fly over for his luxurious two weeks of vacation later in August.

I've worked all summer as an intern at a local riding school, but my internship will end at the end of July, after which I'll (sadly) be unemployed again as I haven't found anything else as of yet. Due to this, I've planned to go to USA with the visa waiver my country has with them and stay for the maximum amount, which is 90 days. I'll come back to Finland earlier, should our visa case see some progress. Since November 2007 I've lived at my parents' as I haven't had any kind of stability in my life due to this visa process. So I don't have an apartment here or a job which doesn't really help me here. However, I do have possessions in Finland AND my dog and obviously I'd need to come back to Finland for several reasons, such as my asthma check up later this year and for the fact that I don't want any troubles with the visa.

I've never overstayed in the USA and I've been there several times before we got married, for a total of about 10 months - give or take. I plan to have a reasonable amount of money with me and I'm staying at the apartment my husband got us 2 years ago.

Now to the actual QUESTIONS...

At the airport in USA... They'll check my passport, ask for my fingerprints and ask me why I'm there and how long I'm staying. What do I do at this point? Obviously I will have a return ticket with me or at least the proof that I have a flight reserved to take me back to Finland at the end of my stay. The honest reason for my visit is that I'm visiting my family (my USA-family) and friends and we plan to have a "2nd wedding party" among other things. We want to get some more pictures of us at various places etc. in case we'll need the proof for later and obviously just spend some time together finally. Do I go into detail about our visa process? Do I go into detail about the marriage? Or just keep it short and sweet and say I'm there for a vacation and to visit family & friends? Any tips? Ideas? What have your experiences been if you've traveled while your visa is being processed?

There might be more questions as we go...

Edited by lgg

USCIS

NOA #2: Approval June 25th, 2009 - 92 days

NVC

July 8, 2009 to August 10, 2009 - 28 days

Interview Assigned - December 3, 2009 - FINALLY!!

Medical - December 14, 2009 - Passed

Embassy/Interview - January 26, 2010 Montreal, Quebec Canada - 167 days PASSED!!!

Port of Entry - February 26, 2010 Baltimore International, Maryland

USCIS -- ROC package sent off

November 26, 2011 to Vermont station November 30, 2011 received NOA1December 16, 2011 received biometrics appointment.

January 04, 2012 Biometrics

September 2, 2012, RFE Received.

September 22, 2012 RFE responded to

October 15, 2012 ROC approved, 10 Green card on its way.

kermit_the_frog1237963302.jpg

"Here's some simple advice: Always be yourself. Never take yourself too seriously.

And beware of advice from experts, pigs, and members of Parliament."

Kermit the Frog

Visit my News Feed Page -- Good Reads for Everyone!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you so much for the prompt and elaborate answer. I think I know now what kind of papers to take with me. And thankfully, I can pack pretty light as I already have quite a bit of clothes in our apartment in USA ;) Then again, I'm a woman... and since when have women been packing lightly? I'll give it a go though. The only "bad" thing to this attempt is that I'm going during fall when one day it may be warm and sunny and next day freezing rain.

Will my lack of current job be a bad thing in all this? I'd imagine no work place, even here, would just give me 3 months leave anyway... I don't pay my parents actual rent for my stay here... I hope that won't be a problem. I have no reason as to why I would just stay in USA, considering everything. But I'll try my best to make sure the airport personnel know this too.

And yeah, the Embassy says I can travel to USA even while my visa application is pending - but they also say they can just turn me back if they feel like it. I think there should be some kind of changes to all that, but who would make those changes and when...?

Anyway, thank you again, I'll wait for some more info and examples as there are still a few weeks before I'll be flying. Going to book the tickets soon though. I just hope that even if they do send me back, I get to at least see my husband briefly... After all, I haven't seen him since last October, and I'm going to be traveling about 24 hours just to get there...!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You got the best advise from lgg.

Best of luck to you MrsB. I hope you do get admitted and can spend some quality time with your husband. (F)


"you fondle my trigger then you blame my gun"

Timeline: 13 month long journey from filing to visa in hand

If you were lucky and got an approval and reunion with your loved one rather quickly; Please refrain from telling people who waited 6+ months just to get out of a service center to "chill out" or to "stop whining" It's insensitive,and unecessary. Once you walk a mile in their shoes you will understand and be heard.

Thanks!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My wife had a valid 5 year tourist visa when we married back in December, but I went to visit her in April instead of her trying to visit me. However, I was just paranoid about spending a ton of money on a plane ticket for her and then having some grumpy border agent send her back. I think lgg has given you great advice. In your case I would give it a try. You guys deserve to be together. Best wishes and God bless.

Rick

IR-1 / CR-1 Visa

Event Date

Service Center : California Service Center

Consulate : Bogota, Colombia

Marriage : 2008-12-18

I-130 Sent : 2009-01-06

I-130 NOA1 : 2009-01-12

I-130 Approved : 2009-02-27

NVC Received : 2009-03-10

Received DS-3032 / I-864 Bill : 2009-03-17

Pay I-864 Bill 2009-03-17

Receive I-864 Package :

Return Completed I-864 : 2009-03-24

Return Completed DS-3032 : 2009-03-19

Receive IV Bill : 2009-03-31

Pay IV Bill : 2009-04-03

Receive Instruction Package : 2009-06-01

Case Completed at NVC : 2009-05-05

NVC Left : 2009-06-04

Consulate Received :

Packet 3 Received :

Packet 3 Sent :

Packet 4 Received :

Interview Date : 2009-07-13

Visa Received : 2009-07-18

US Entry : 2009-08-14

Comments : Passed interview 13 July 2009!!!!

Processing

Estimates/Stats : Your I-130 was approved in 46 days from your NOA1 date.

Your interview took 182 days from your I-130 NOA1 date.


RickD

http://www.freebizfromhome.com

If you really want things to change, you actually have to DO something!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi mrsB. First I would like to say I have read your link and I sincerely hope you get your situation resolved. No one should have to go through that.

As regards PoE, I can recount my experience. C and I filed the I-130 on June, but I came to the US on VWP a total of about 5 times since Feb this year, during our engagement and post wedding, before the I-130 was filed, and also after. I'm extremely lucky to be in a job where I can take flexi time and also work remote (my Corp HQ is based in her hometown).

I have used both Newark and Detroit to come though to the US and I have been completely open and honest with them. I decided that I would give the fullest honest answer to each question and not give them any cause to think I was being evasive, so I was always up front about saying "visiting fiancé, visiting wife.." etc. I was a little blasé about the whole thing until my entry after the wedding at Newark, but before the I-130 was filed. Until then I got asked maybe 2, 3 questions at most and was sent on my way, the fiancé thing never raised an eyebrow. However, after the wedding I got taken to secondary. This was a bit of a jolt as I had no proof I intended to leave on me! The PoE officer was friendly though, was never rude and said if I had of had my return itinery with me he'd have let me in. As it was, he asked me about 12 questions, of which 2 or 3 were duplicates, trying to catch me out, and then same thing at secondardy. However, I was never asked to produce any proof beyond my itinery, which I didn't have on me. They let me in however. Interestingly, the PoE officer said to me when we were having a chat in the elevator going down to secondary that having the i-130 filed makes them suspicious of intent, however not having it filed at that time was worse because he wasn't sure of my intentions at all, since at least with it filed there is no ambiguity about what I want to do. Maybe he thought it was another piece of evidence that I wanted to entry using VWP and adjust, who knows?

I came through Detroit last Thursday and this time I was prepared. I had a letter from HR at work, my car finance statement, copy of NOA1, mortgage agreement for my house and a few other bits and bobs showing ties to the UK. PoE couldn't have been easier, the officer had what I think was a trainee with him, he asked me a few questions, only 1 duplicated near the end and wished me a happy stay. No requirement to produce anything. I felt a lot better knowing I had the stuff though.

One point about Detroit. Customs queue was loooooong and a lot of people were sent to have their bags checked. When I got to the customs officer I got asked

"Purpose of visit" - visiting wife

"Anything foodstuff or meat" - just cheese (bought some from Schipol

"Don't you know we HAVE food here?" - (said rather rudely)

"You are visiting your wife, do you have an i-130 filed?" - yes

"How long do you plan on staying for?, or are you staying here until the visa is approved?

At this point I am thinking #######.... Am I being given a chance to trip myself up?! It was said into the conversation so naturally that it *could* have caught me out if I had been trying it on.

So here is a question, if I had of been caught out at this point and said "yeah, plan to stay" given I have already been let in, can they at that point haul me out of line and send me back?


USCIS & NVC

05-04-09 - Married

09-05-09 - I130 Approved (CSC)

12-09-09 - Case Completed (NVC)

01-08-10 - Approved (LND)

01-20-10 - PoE PHL

I-751

01-10-12 - Filed I-751, VT Service Center

01-17-12 - NOA1

02-08-12 - Biometrics at Alexandria, Va

10-04-12 - RFE

11-16-12 - Sent additional evidence (5.5lbs of evidence!)

12-04-12 - Approved

12-10-12 - Card arrived

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh wow, NotworkSte... You've been to some adventures :D I'm glad everything has worked out for you, I hope everything works out for me too. I don't mind them asking me tons of questions, as long as that results in me being able to stay. I think that if they would just use their brain, they'd realize that I'm not staying. After all, I've filed all the neccessary paperwork in order to go for the visa and I could've just stayed in the USA years ago, married there and waited. But I wanted to do everything the legal way - no matter how painful it is now... I'm going to bring copies of documents... ones that I can. Sadly I won't be having a job here waiting for me, my internship ends at the end of July. I do plan on going for another job once I get back, but that's just my word against theirs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
 
Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Ask our VJ Immigration Lawyers.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
- Back to Top -


Important Disclaimer: Please read carefully the Visajourney.com Terms of Service. If you do not agree to the Terms of Service you should not access or view any page (including this page) on VisaJourney.com. Answers and comments provided on Visajourney.com Forums are general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional medical, psychiatric, psychological, tax, legal, investment, accounting, or other professional advice. Visajourney.com does not endorse, and expressly disclaims liability for any product, manufacturer, distributor, service or service provider mentioned or any opinion expressed in answers or comments. VisaJourney.com does not condone immigration fraud in any way, shape or manner. VisaJourney.com recommends that if any member or user knows directly of someone involved in fraudulent or illegal activity, that they report such activity directly to the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement. You can contact ICE via email at Immigration.Reply@dhs.gov or you can telephone ICE at 1-866-347-2423. All reported threads/posts containing reference to immigration fraud or illegal activities will be removed from this board. If you feel that you have found inappropriate content, please let us know by contacting us here with a url link to that content. Thank you.
×