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Immigrant travel during application process

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I just read on another thread that it is apparently a bit risky for the immigrant to visit the US spouse while the K3 is in process. We are about to send in our I-130, and this worries me because my husband already bought a rather expensive plane ticket to visit me this autumn. When he came last month for the wedding (a regular tourist visit), he was barely even spoken to at the POE ... how would they ever know if he had a visa in-process or not?

If the ticket he holds is a round-trip fare, is that not good enough "proof" that he intends to return to England ... or at least as good as anything else he could carry with him?

Is this "can he visit?" thing a question that the USCIS call center could address conclusively? I'm surprised that I have been unable to find anything "official" about this topic on a government website, because I'm sure it's a common question. :(


For CR-1 Process:

CIS

08.17.06 - I-130 mailed to TSC

08.29.06 - NOA-1 generated

09.04.06 - NOA-1 received in the mail from CSC

09.11.06 - *Touch*

09.15.06 - *Touch*

11.01.06 - APPROVED!! [76 days]

NVC

11.20.06 - Case number assigned

11.21.06 - E-mailed Choice of Agent and mailed AOS Bill using James' Shortcuts

11.28.06 - Choice of Agent in NVC system

12.04.06 - IV Bill and I-864 Packet generated

12.06.06 - I-864 mailed using James' Shortcuts

12.12.06 - IV Bill rec'd via USPS and payment sent back to NVC same day

12.21.06 - I-864 in NVC system

12.26.06 - DS-230 generated

12.29.06 - DS-230 mailed using James' Shortcuts

01.08.07 - All paperwork in NVC system.

02.07.07 - Case complete [80 days]. NVC reports our file has left for London

*** Saved total of 29 days using James' Shortcuts***

London Embassy

03.06.07 - Packet arrives with interview date & instructions

04.03.07 - Medical in London - went smoothly

04.12.07 - 10.30 AM Interview at London Embassy - in and out in half an hour!

04.13.07 - Visa arrives at Hubby's home in York, 1.30 PM. WOW!

04.29.07 - Husband arrives in US via Newark. :)

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The foreign spouse waits for the visa in their own country. Better get your heads around this one.

You may find people who'll advise him to "risk it," but being denied and sent back to the U.K. is an expensive proposition. A round trip ticket would be the very least he'd need if he wanted to take the chance. A letter from his employer stating when he's expected to return ... mortgage or lease documents to show where he lives ... bank and utility statements ... etc. Taken together, these do not guarantee entry. It's up to the official he happens to get.

Your alternative is to petition for his visa AFTER his autumn trip.

Edited by Jersey Girl

I-130 sent Mar 30, 06

approved Aug 15, 06

I-129f sent April 24, 06

approved July 27, 06

Montreal interview Jan 18, 07

POE Toronto Jan 28, 07

EAD sent Jan. 30, 07

transferred to Vermont Feb 12

biometrics Feb 22

approved March 13

card returned undeliverable! March 27

called after 6 weeks to have EAD re-sent

AOS sent Jan. 30, 07

biometrics Feb 22

RFE for complete medical (!) Feb 23

Called Senator from NJ - never returned call

Infopass March 19 (no help)

Replied to RFE with duplicate medical March 19

Sent additional evidence (I-693A) March 26

NBC received supplement March 30

touched April 4

Interview July 16

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Thanks so much for you answers, Jersey Girl, and for your very poetic "Sanity Plan."

Well, it has in fact hit home that my husband and I will simply have to wait to file the I-130 until after he leaves here from his next visit. Oh, man. I know this feeling is probably old news to you guys, but if you can remember what it felt like when you first found out then please accept my apologies for thrashing against it in my last couple of posts. Well, I suppose it gives me that much more time to beef up my savings and get some bills paid down. *Think positive, Jen, think positive*

(Another sobering thought is that) Yahoo Personals is apparently considered a Marriage Broker?! Ha! hey, if I met him during a free 7-day trial, does that still count? :P

I keep telling myself that in a few weeks/months I will be as calm and matter-of-fact as the majority of you here. It sure is hard to imagine that now. At least in the end we'll be approved, right? I mean, provided we have no criminal backgrounds, no serious illnesses, can show we are productive members of society and have the resources to support ourselves ... . Please tell me I'm right about this, at least. I really don't want to move to England (beautiful country, but such high COL and such limited opportunities).

Oh, and JG, congratulations on your approval. That's really wonderful. Gives me hope!

Edited by JenM

For CR-1 Process:

CIS

08.17.06 - I-130 mailed to TSC

08.29.06 - NOA-1 generated

09.04.06 - NOA-1 received in the mail from CSC

09.11.06 - *Touch*

09.15.06 - *Touch*

11.01.06 - APPROVED!! [76 days]

NVC

11.20.06 - Case number assigned

11.21.06 - E-mailed Choice of Agent and mailed AOS Bill using James' Shortcuts

11.28.06 - Choice of Agent in NVC system

12.04.06 - IV Bill and I-864 Packet generated

12.06.06 - I-864 mailed using James' Shortcuts

12.12.06 - IV Bill rec'd via USPS and payment sent back to NVC same day

12.21.06 - I-864 in NVC system

12.26.06 - DS-230 generated

12.29.06 - DS-230 mailed using James' Shortcuts

01.08.07 - All paperwork in NVC system.

02.07.07 - Case complete [80 days]. NVC reports our file has left for London

*** Saved total of 29 days using James' Shortcuts***

London Embassy

03.06.07 - Packet arrives with interview date & instructions

04.03.07 - Medical in London - went smoothly

04.12.07 - 10.30 AM Interview at London Embassy - in and out in half an hour!

04.13.07 - Visa arrives at Hubby's home in York, 1.30 PM. WOW!

04.29.07 - Husband arrives in US via Newark. :)

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Stupid question, perhaps, but can I visit him in the UK?


For CR-1 Process:

CIS

08.17.06 - I-130 mailed to TSC

08.29.06 - NOA-1 generated

09.04.06 - NOA-1 received in the mail from CSC

09.11.06 - *Touch*

09.15.06 - *Touch*

11.01.06 - APPROVED!! [76 days]

NVC

11.20.06 - Case number assigned

11.21.06 - E-mailed Choice of Agent and mailed AOS Bill using James' Shortcuts

11.28.06 - Choice of Agent in NVC system

12.04.06 - IV Bill and I-864 Packet generated

12.06.06 - I-864 mailed using James' Shortcuts

12.12.06 - IV Bill rec'd via USPS and payment sent back to NVC same day

12.21.06 - I-864 in NVC system

12.26.06 - DS-230 generated

12.29.06 - DS-230 mailed using James' Shortcuts

01.08.07 - All paperwork in NVC system.

02.07.07 - Case complete [80 days]. NVC reports our file has left for London

*** Saved total of 29 days using James' Shortcuts***

London Embassy

03.06.07 - Packet arrives with interview date & instructions

04.03.07 - Medical in London - went smoothly

04.12.07 - 10.30 AM Interview at London Embassy - in and out in half an hour!

04.13.07 - Visa arrives at Hubby's home in York, 1.30 PM. WOW!

04.29.07 - Husband arrives in US via Newark. :)

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I just read on another thread that it is apparently a bit risky for the immigrant to visit the US spouse while the K3 is in process. We are about to send in our I-130, and this worries me because my husband already bought a rather expensive plane ticket to visit me this autumn. When he came last month for the wedding (a regular tourist visit), he was barely even spoken to at the POE ... how would they ever know if he had a visa in-process or not?

If the ticket he holds is a round-trip fare, is that not good enough "proof" that he intends to return to England ... or at least as good as anything else he could carry with him?

Is this "can he visit?" thing a question that the USCIS call center could address conclusively? I'm surprised that I have been unable to find anything "official" about this topic on a government website, because I'm sure it's a common question. :(

Jen we are in the process of applying for a K-3 as well. I live in Canada and travel to the States often. I have yet to have any problems. I am always prepared when I do travel with recent bills, leave passes ( army ) and whatever else I think may assure the guard I have every intention of returning home.

That along with my charm and good looks does wonders for hassel free crossings. So just be prepared and most importantly be honest and you should have no problems. You can travel.

Good luck with your application.


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Jen, welcome to your journey. It teaches patience and the importance of Plan B. Why not change his ticket to a round trip for YOU to visit the U.K., instead of vice versa? Or simply get a refund? Or have him take his holiday somewhere else?

If he foregoes his autumn trip to the U.S., you can assemble the I-130 now, mail it as soon as he leaves, and get the ball rolling. You could also examine the I-129f now, get his signature wherever it's required, and save time mailing things back and forth later.

Meanwhile, check the IMBRA forum here to see if your Web site is considered a marriage broker. Yahoo may be exempt, since hooking people up is not their mainline business. Find out.

You're going to be fine and come out stronger, so take a deep breath, find a cushy seat in the waiting room, and ask the Canadians here for a good glass of beer.


I-130 sent Mar 30, 06

approved Aug 15, 06

I-129f sent April 24, 06

approved July 27, 06

Montreal interview Jan 18, 07

POE Toronto Jan 28, 07

EAD sent Jan. 30, 07

transferred to Vermont Feb 12

biometrics Feb 22

approved March 13

card returned undeliverable! March 27

called after 6 weeks to have EAD re-sent

AOS sent Jan. 30, 07

biometrics Feb 22

RFE for complete medical (!) Feb 23

Called Senator from NJ - never returned call

Infopass March 19 (no help)

Replied to RFE with duplicate medical March 19

Sent additional evidence (I-693A) March 26

NBC received supplement March 30

touched April 4

Interview July 16

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Jersey Girl, you're a gem. And thanks for your own take on things, CutienPurg.

I'm inclined not to risk it and just wait until the next trip is over. I would gladly change the plan and go to the UK, except that it's a prepaid vacation package with no chance of refund. We'd be losing about $3,500 if we cancel. I'm somebody who has to have something solid to project ahead to, so at least if I tell myself I'll be in the UK for Christmas I won't feel as bad for having to wait to submit the I-130.

My husband probably wouldn't be able to bring enough documentation with him to "prove" he isn't abandoning the UK when he visits. He lives with his parents right now because his father had a heart attack recently and his mom couldn't care for him alone. His dad is better now, but once we met he continued living with them to save money for our own plans. That lack of a mortgage or lease (and utility contracts) would make his chances of getting in very dicey. We want this process to go as well as it can, and to be turned back at a POE would be beyond traumatic, especially since this trip is basically our honeymoon (he had to return to the UK two days after our wedding).

So it looks like I'll be mostly just lurking here for a while. I'll have nothing new to report, so I won't waste everybody's time with my personal chatter! :thumbs:


For CR-1 Process:

CIS

08.17.06 - I-130 mailed to TSC

08.29.06 - NOA-1 generated

09.04.06 - NOA-1 received in the mail from CSC

09.11.06 - *Touch*

09.15.06 - *Touch*

11.01.06 - APPROVED!! [76 days]

NVC

11.20.06 - Case number assigned

11.21.06 - E-mailed Choice of Agent and mailed AOS Bill using James' Shortcuts

11.28.06 - Choice of Agent in NVC system

12.04.06 - IV Bill and I-864 Packet generated

12.06.06 - I-864 mailed using James' Shortcuts

12.12.06 - IV Bill rec'd via USPS and payment sent back to NVC same day

12.21.06 - I-864 in NVC system

12.26.06 - DS-230 generated

12.29.06 - DS-230 mailed using James' Shortcuts

01.08.07 - All paperwork in NVC system.

02.07.07 - Case complete [80 days]. NVC reports our file has left for London

*** Saved total of 29 days using James' Shortcuts***

London Embassy

03.06.07 - Packet arrives with interview date & instructions

04.03.07 - Medical in London - went smoothly

04.12.07 - 10.30 AM Interview at London Embassy - in and out in half an hour!

04.13.07 - Visa arrives at Hubby's home in York, 1.30 PM. WOW!

04.29.07 - Husband arrives in US via Newark. :)

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Uh ... I'm no expert on this ... but if he's married, and travelling to the U.S. this Fall, he could get in trouble at the border whether you've petitioned for his visa or not. There's always the chance he spills the beans that he's visiting his wife and the whole house of cards comes down. Especially without documents proving his domicile and reasons to return.

I'm not sure why he can't put an ad in the paper and sell his vacation ticket. Maybe there's someone at work who'd take it off his hands. Or if there's travel insurance, make a cancellation claim based on his father's health. But if he insists on coming, it better be without a wedding ring!


I-130 sent Mar 30, 06

approved Aug 15, 06

I-129f sent April 24, 06

approved July 27, 06

Montreal interview Jan 18, 07

POE Toronto Jan 28, 07

EAD sent Jan. 30, 07

transferred to Vermont Feb 12

biometrics Feb 22

approved March 13

card returned undeliverable! March 27

called after 6 weeks to have EAD re-sent

AOS sent Jan. 30, 07

biometrics Feb 22

RFE for complete medical (!) Feb 23

Called Senator from NJ - never returned call

Infopass March 19 (no help)

Replied to RFE with duplicate medical March 19

Sent additional evidence (I-693A) March 26

NBC received supplement March 30

touched April 4

Interview July 16

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I'm inclined not to risk it and just wait until the next trip is over.

Here's another thought, but I'm new as well so what do I know?

Why not send the I130 just a few days before he arrives? Even if it gets to the Service Center before he enters the USA, looking at people's timelines here it doesn't seem like it would have been put into the system by then. I don't know how long your trip is, but it would save you that whole block of time, at any rate.

Can anyone more knowledgeable see any holes in this idea?

My fiance and I are just beginning this ordeal as well, so I will watch your case with much fascination. Godspeed!

- Cat :luv:

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Now, I have seen this question brought up numerous times and the answers are never the same. Some say it is ok but there are still some risks, and some say not to do it at all. From what I have gathered from other VJers that have travelled to the States while petition is in process is that yes you can, but make sure you have a return ticket in hand, and proof of where you live back in UK or country you are coming from (even if it is a signed and notarised note from your hubby's parents saying that he does live with them), a letter from his employer etc. Now, from what I have read is that because some countries have passports that are on the VWP, then it is easier to come into the States without any hassles. Also, I am under the impression that it would be harder for a K-1 applicant to come to the States while case pending because it is easier for them to just get married(meaning in the States you don't need to show proof of visa that allows you to get married when you go and actually do it. Unlike the UK where you have to show the registars office now your visit for marriage visa just to make your announcement and then get married). If you are already married and you come into the States while case is pending, I have read that someone brought along copies of their petitions for proof that they are in the process. To me, that would show that a person doesn't have intent to come into the country and just stay illegally if you get what I am saying.

Bottom line, it is upto you whether or not you want to try it. I have read a lot of success stories in doing so. More so than bad ones. Not saying that is still couldn't go wrong for you. Personally, I think that your husband would be ok with doing it. But that is only my opinion not fact.

LJ


Love is not an EMOTION or FEELING....

That if made from the heart...will outlast ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING!!!!

http://www.visajourney.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=117 (shortcuts)

TIMELINE

04/29/2006......MARRIED MY VERY OWN CLOWN WOOOHOOOO

Now we are through with immigration until the end of 2008. Please read my timeline to see our process. Remember, patience is a beatuiful thing if you can remember to keep it...I will be damned if we did lol. We are all here on this site for the same reason...lets all help one another...

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My wife has visited me twice during the I-130 AOS process. We have plans for her to visit 2 more times. So far, she has not had any problem at all visiting me in the USA. (fortunately, I will be with her and we`ll be coming back together on one of those trips, in case there is any problem)

I hate to see people be dissuaded from visiting their loved ones, when the process for immigration takes sooooooooooooooooo long.........it is very difficult. I wish I could say that your husband has a 100% chance of getting in, but as others are telling you , there is no guarantee.

All I can tell you is that from my own experience, my wife has been able to visit me with no problems. I also would say that from what I have seen and read on this forum, your chances of your husband entering are good......since most people who have posted on such experiences, have had positive results.

But then................there ARE those ``once in a while`` posts, which for various reasons, tell of being denied entry and their spouse having to go back. It`s and awful prospect to face.

You, like your other post about the lawyer, have to decide for yourself. There is no 100% guarantee he`ll get in, but the odds are good. From there...you`d have to decide if it is worth the risk to try.

For my own wife and I ...being separated for so long, it has been well worth it.


April 16, 2004 Married in Saint Augustine, Florida.

March 7, 2005 Wife left for Istanbul to serve J-1 2 year HRR. Was a very bad day at Black Rock.

May 23, 2006 USCIS receives application for I-130

June 12, 2006 Noa1

Sept 7, 2006 Noa2 I-130 approved

Oct 10 ,2006 Received fee bill from NVC

Nov 13 ,2006 Received Packet 2 DS-230

Jan 4, 2007 Mailed Packet 2 to NVC

Jan 22, 2007 RFE from NVC aaarrrrgggghhh!!!!!!!!

Feb 28, 2007 NVC received "checklist" response and original documents for the RFE

March 13, 2007 Case completed at NVC! Whoooohoooo!! Ankara, here we come!!!!

March 15, 2007 Case fowarded to Ankara Embassy

April 4, 2007 Interview. Wife gets handed the little green paper. Not good. Need to submit a few more things.

April 9, 2007 Items mailed back to Embassy. Crossing fingers, rubbing the "rabbit's foot", etc,..that this may FINALLY be the end.

April 14, 2007 Visa delivered! Wife is finally going to be on her way back home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

April 20, 2007 Wife enters through JFK. The days of grabbing my dinners at the WalMart deli....are now officially over!!!

Stay tuned to this channel for further updates..........

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Could someone please post what happens if you get denied while trying to enter on the VWP? (I can't remember the details, but it would probably be good info for the OP to have.)

I'm going to (try to) visit my husband in 2 weeks. Probably jinxing myself by mentioning it here, but I'm not worried at all. All they can do is say no.

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the only thing that happens is that they turn you around and send you home. Unless you kick up a fuss, there should be no negative affect to your petition or later visa application. Once denied entry however, it is very likely that you will not ever be granted entry until you have that visa in hand.

Being turned around can be costly if you've paid for airfare. Airfare cannot be refunded because of denial of entry. Plus the time of being in the plane for several hours, then having to hop right back into the plane to get home can be rather exhausting I imagine. Not so bad for Canadians as we pass US customs and immigration before we even get on a plane, but for Brits and Euros who don't get to customs until they land in the US rather frustrating. Options are of course to have a connecting flight in (is it?) Dublin, they have a US customs and immigration there. Shorter flight is less agrivation if you are turned back.

That said, I would encourage anyone coming to the US to visit spouse or fiance(e) to Not Ever Lie to a border official. This will Always come back to bite you in the ###. Be honest when you're asked the purpose of your trip, answer with simple replies, do not elaborate unless specifically asked. Always have ample proof with you that you intend to return to your home country. A letter from your employer stating you are on approved holiday/vacation leave and are expected back on xxx date is helpful if you do not have any other evidence of proof of ties.

Remember, US customs and immigration is going to assume that Anyone crossing the border has intent to stay illegally. Its up to each and every traveller to prove otherwise. If you have family, fiance(e) or spouse in the US, that is more difficult to prove. However, it is NOT illegal to visit the US once a petition has been submitted for you, it does make it more difficult tho.


divorced - April 2010 moved back to Ontario May 2010 and surrendered green card

PLEASE DO NOT PRIVATE MESSAGE ME OR EMAIL ME. I HAVE NO IDEA ABOUT CURRENT US IMMIGRATION PROCEDURES!!!!!

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The thing that bugs me is that I've been looking all over the official gov't sites and nowhere do they address this issue. That doesn't seem right, does it? If they prohibit it, then say so! If not, then lay out the ground rules. To leave it in the hands of an individual border jockey seems downright unfair.

Write your senator, JenM. Immigration is a hot issue this year, and everybody wants the good guys to get in and the bad guys to stay out. Your situation is a vote waiting to happen.

Cat :luv:

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The thing that bugs me is that I've been looking all over the official gov't sites and nowhere do they address this issue. That doesn't seem right, does it? If they prohibit it, then say so! If not, then lay out the ground rules. To leave it in the hands of an individual border jockey seems downright unfair.

Write your senator, JenM. Immigration is a hot issue this year, and everybody wants the good guys to get in and the bad guys to stay out. Your situation is a vote waiting to happen.

Cat :luv:

Can`t agree with you more, but I really don`t know what we could do to change it. You are supposed to `prove`` you will return to your home country .....and yet.....nowhere is it written or stated just HOW you are supposed to SPECIFICALLY do that.

You could technically bring every kind of document available to convince US Customs that you will return, and even after all that.......you could still be turned right around, losing thousands of dollars on plane fare etc, not to mention the heartache of not being able to see your spouse.

It`s ironic in that US Customs would send anyone back, when THEY are part of the reason people would try to remain to begin with. If they would just make it a law..........and stick to it (unlike how they monitor the borders and kind of turn a blind eye) ....that anyone who enters the USA on a tourist visa or VWP, (or crosses the border illegally) can NOT adjust status once they get here......and make sure that there is nothing to gain by staying, so many of these problems could be avoided.

But instead.....the USA allows people to do AOS, even when they overstayed their visas and remained . THEY are the ones giving people incentive to do so.....which in turn makes it so much harder for others who are not going to stay to convince them.

No ONE should be allowed to become a US citizen and stay by entering illegally.........the only exception should be an EXTREME emergency.

Then the rest of us would never have to worry about our spouses being turned back.

Such a hypocritical system.


April 16, 2004 Married in Saint Augustine, Florida.

March 7, 2005 Wife left for Istanbul to serve J-1 2 year HRR. Was a very bad day at Black Rock.

May 23, 2006 USCIS receives application for I-130

June 12, 2006 Noa1

Sept 7, 2006 Noa2 I-130 approved

Oct 10 ,2006 Received fee bill from NVC

Nov 13 ,2006 Received Packet 2 DS-230

Jan 4, 2007 Mailed Packet 2 to NVC

Jan 22, 2007 RFE from NVC aaarrrrgggghhh!!!!!!!!

Feb 28, 2007 NVC received "checklist" response and original documents for the RFE

March 13, 2007 Case completed at NVC! Whoooohoooo!! Ankara, here we come!!!!

March 15, 2007 Case fowarded to Ankara Embassy

April 4, 2007 Interview. Wife gets handed the little green paper. Not good. Need to submit a few more things.

April 9, 2007 Items mailed back to Embassy. Crossing fingers, rubbing the "rabbit's foot", etc,..that this may FINALLY be the end.

April 14, 2007 Visa delivered! Wife is finally going to be on her way back home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

April 20, 2007 Wife enters through JFK. The days of grabbing my dinners at the WalMart deli....are now officially over!!!

Stay tuned to this channel for further updates..........

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