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jennie ann

Visiting the US on the VWP while I-130 is pending

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Hi everybody, I filed an I-130 petition for my husband back in August, but now that it is stuck in the black hole that is the Texas Service Center (following the transfer of 35,000 petitions from CSC to TSC in November), there's no telling when we might be approved, let alone make it to NVC or get the interview scheduled. So, my husband and I have decided that for the sake of our sanity, we should just spend as much time as we can together while waiting.

As I understand it, there are no rules against him coming to visit me on the VWP for up to 90 days while our I-130 is pending, as long as he doesn't spend more than 180 days out of a year here (not sure if that's a rolling or a calendar year, but so far, he has only come to the US once in the past few years when he came here to visit for 18 days in June 2010). He does have "immigrant intent", but not on this visit, so I think that technically it should be permissible. I do know, however, that it all depends on the CBP officer and his/her whims, so I wanted to ask all of you VJ experts for your opinions/advice/experiences on a few things.

- I plan to book a return ticket for something like 89 days after his arrival. If he has to go back for his medical and interview before that time, we'll change the flight, but otherwise, we want him here for as long as possible. I imagine this will lead to lots of questions about what he is doing here for so long and what he does back home.

- I'll write a letter stating that he will be staying with me and that I'm going to support him while he is here. I'll also give him a copy of my bank statement showing that I have the funds to do so. Should I explain the I-130/waiting for an interview situation in the letter as well?

- My husband has no proof of ties to his home country. Since he completed his master's degree last September, he hasn't been able to find a job and is now living back at home with his parents, so the only proof of his intention to leave is his return ticket. He'll also bring copies of all of our notices and emails from USCIS. We've already paid the fees for the I-130 and have been waiting so long to do this all legally and legitimately, so why would we jeopardize all of that by trying to circumvent the system now? I can only hope that this reasoning will be convincing enough for the CBP officer.

I really appreciate any thoughts or advice on what to bring/say when coming through the border. Thanks!


USCIS171 days
08.03.2010: Sent I-130 (Received at Chicago Lockbox on 08.05.2010 – Priority Date)
08.24.2010: NOA1 – Notice Date (Case transferred from CSC to TSC on 11.02.2010 and back to CSC on 02.07.2011)
02.11.2011: NOA2 – Approved! (hard copy received on 02.17.2011)

NVC46 days
02.26.2011: Got NVC case number from AVR (entered on 02.24.2011)
02.28.2011: Called operator to give email addresses and get IIN; emailed beneficiary's change of address and DS-3032; received instruction emails from NVC; AOS fee bill invoiced and paid
03.01.2011: AOS fee shown as "paid"
03.03.2011: DS-3032 accepted; beneficiary's address updated by NVC; IV fee bill invoiced and paid
03.07.2011: IV fee shown as "paid"; AOS and IV packets sent out together via USPS Priority Mail (delivered on 03.09.2011)
03.22.2011: AVR and operator tells us we will receive an RFE
03.26.2011: Received RFE checklist via email (asking for PCCs from China and Taiwan)
03.28.2011: Sent checklist response via USPS Priority Mail (explaining/demonstrating that PCC should not be required)
04.10.2011: AVR message says that checklist response was received on 04.08.2011; sign in failed
04.11.2011: Case completed at NVC!
04.13.2011: Interview date assigned, received Packet 4 via email
04.25.2011: NVC sent case to embassy in London

Embassy – London, United Kingdom
05.23.2011: Medical at Knightsbridge Doctors
05.31.2011: Interview - APPROVED! (301 days from filing)
06.02.2011: Visa in hand
06.07.2011: POE at SFO

Removal of Conditions

04.16.2013: Sent I-751 packet to Vermont Service Center

04.18.2013: I-751 packet received at VSC (check cleared on 05.03)

05.04.2013: Received NOA1 (dated 04.19)

05.11.2013: Received biometrics appointment notice for 06.05.2013 (notice dated 05.08)

05.13.2013: Completed biometrics as a walk-in (would have been out of town for scheduled appointment)

08.21.2013: APPROVED! (Received email update that USCIS has ordered production of new card)

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Filed: Lift. Cond. (apr) Country: China
Timeline

You are correct, there is no rule that prohibits him from visiting while the I-130 is pending. You are also aware CPB may have access to information that an immigration benefit has been filed on his behalf and may not be allowed entry.

As you pointed out, correspondence from the USCIS shows that you want to do things the right way which IMO would work in your favor.

Again, just one guy's opinion but I think you have prepared all you can in your circumstances.


Our journey:

Spoiler

September 2007: Met online via social networking site (MySpace); began exchanging messages.
March 26, 2009: We become a couple!
September 10, 2009: Arrived for first meeting in-person!
June 17, 2010: Arrived for second in-person meeting and start of travel together to other areas of China!
June 21, 2010: Engaged!!!
September 1, 2010: Switched course from K1 to CR-1
December 8, 2010: Wedding date set; it will be on February 18, 2011!
February 9, 2011: Depart for China
February 11, 2011: Registered for marriage in Wuhan, officially married!!!
February 18, 2011: Wedding ceremony in Shiyan!!!
April 22, 2011: Mailed I-130 to Chicago
April 28, 2011: Received NOA1 via text/email, file routed to CSC (priority date April 25th)
April 29, 2011: Updated
May 3, 2011: Received NOA1 hardcopy in mail
July 26, 2011: Received NOA2 via text/email!!!
July 30, 2011: Received NOA2 hardcopy in mail
August 8, 2011: NVC received file
September 1, 2011: NVC case number assigned
September 2, 2011: AOS invoice received, OPTIN email for EP sent
September 7, 2011: Paid AOS bill (payment portal showed PAID on September 9, 2011)
September 8, 2011: OPTIN email accepted, GZO number assigned
September 10, 2011: Emailed AOS package
September 12, 2011: IV bill invoiced
September 13, 2011: Paid IV bill (payment portal showed PAID on September 14, 2011)
September 14, 2011: Emailed IV package
October 3, 2011: Emailed checklist response (checklist generated due to typo on Form DS-230)
October 6, 2011: Case complete at NVC
November 10, 2011: Interview - APPROVED!!!
December 7, 2011: POE - Sea-Tac Airport

September 17, 2013: Mailed I-751 to CSC

September 23, 2013: Received NOA1 in mail (receipt date September 19th)

October 16, 2013: Biometrics Appointment

January 28, 2014: Production of new Green Card ordered

February 3, 2014: New Green Card received; done with USCIS until fall of 2023*

 

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: France
Timeline

open bank account statements. open cell phone account statement. any bill that is current (he lives with his parents so he might not have any bills) Where is his source of income? If it's unemployment have him bring his unemployment letter saying that the state requires him to be back. Anything with debt or up coming dues.


USCIS (177 days from NOA1 to NOA2)

08.05.2010 I-130 priority date 08.14.2010 I-130 NOA1 11.03.2010 Transfer from CSC to TSC 01.19.2011 Service Request for out of processing time. Congressional Intervention 02.07.2011 I-130 Approved 02.14.2011 Shipped from TSC to NVC

NVC (33 days from #assigned to CC)
02.17.2011 Case number assigned 02.18.2011 Case # & INN received. Gave email addresses. Emailed DS 3032. Paid AOS Fee 02.22.2011 AOS Fee appeared as paid. Mailed AOS. DS 3032 accepted 02.24.2011 AOS received. IV bill generated and paid 02.25.2011 IV bill fee appeared as paid. Mailed IV 02.28.2011 IV packet received 03.09.2011 AOS entered in the system 03.11.2011 IV entered in the system 03.15.2011 AVR RFE 03.16.2011 Sent RFE response. Service request for supervisor review. Emailed NVC for re-review of document 03.17.2011 Received RFE checklist in email. NVC received RFE response. Emailed US Embassy to review document. 03.18.2011 Embassy confirmed the document was valid. Forwarded Embassy email to NVC. 03.22.2011 Sign In Failed. Case Complete 03.25.2011 Interview assigned

VISA - SS - GC
04.06.2011 Case forwarded to Embassy. 05.02.2011 Medical 05.03.2011 Interview
Review 05.05.2011 Visa 05.16.2011 POE (@Philadelphia) 06.11.2011 SS #. Welcome Letter. 06.17.2011 GC!

ROC
05.06.2013 Packet sent to CSC

05.08.2013 Packet received at CSC

05.17.2013 Packet returned because of no signatures (####### oops8rh.gif )

05.20.2013 Packet sent to CSC again

05.21.2013 Packet received at CSC again

05.24.2013 Check cashed

05.28.2013 NOA one received (Dated 05.21.2013)

06.03.2013 Biometrics appointment letter received (appt 06.19.13)

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Thanks, Ryan and Sarah!

Sarah, statements for open cell phone and bank accounts are a good idea, but probably won't be helpful in his case (his cell is a pay-as-you-go type deal, and his bank account is really overdrawn). He doesn't have any bills in his name. He recently signed on for unemployment, but he hasn't gotten any payments for that yet (and he'll have to stop once he comes here because he needs to check in for a meeting every two weeks to keep getting the checks). Since he will be here for nearly three months, I doubt that they will write a letter for him saying that they expect him back in three months. Gah, now I am getting nervous about this. You said before that your husband visited recently without any real problems, right? How long did he stay for? That's the part that worries me a little... it's hard to say that you're staying in the US with your wife for three months and convince them that you still have a life in the UK. But the truth is, he doesn't have a life in the UK... that doesn't mean that he's not going to return to complete the visa process correctly though. Can't they just have faith in our honesty?


USCIS171 days
08.03.2010: Sent I-130 (Received at Chicago Lockbox on 08.05.2010 – Priority Date)
08.24.2010: NOA1 – Notice Date (Case transferred from CSC to TSC on 11.02.2010 and back to CSC on 02.07.2011)
02.11.2011: NOA2 – Approved! (hard copy received on 02.17.2011)

NVC46 days
02.26.2011: Got NVC case number from AVR (entered on 02.24.2011)
02.28.2011: Called operator to give email addresses and get IIN; emailed beneficiary's change of address and DS-3032; received instruction emails from NVC; AOS fee bill invoiced and paid
03.01.2011: AOS fee shown as "paid"
03.03.2011: DS-3032 accepted; beneficiary's address updated by NVC; IV fee bill invoiced and paid
03.07.2011: IV fee shown as "paid"; AOS and IV packets sent out together via USPS Priority Mail (delivered on 03.09.2011)
03.22.2011: AVR and operator tells us we will receive an RFE
03.26.2011: Received RFE checklist via email (asking for PCCs from China and Taiwan)
03.28.2011: Sent checklist response via USPS Priority Mail (explaining/demonstrating that PCC should not be required)
04.10.2011: AVR message says that checklist response was received on 04.08.2011; sign in failed
04.11.2011: Case completed at NVC!
04.13.2011: Interview date assigned, received Packet 4 via email
04.25.2011: NVC sent case to embassy in London

Embassy – London, United Kingdom
05.23.2011: Medical at Knightsbridge Doctors
05.31.2011: Interview - APPROVED! (301 days from filing)
06.02.2011: Visa in hand
06.07.2011: POE at SFO

Removal of Conditions

04.16.2013: Sent I-751 packet to Vermont Service Center

04.18.2013: I-751 packet received at VSC (check cleared on 05.03)

05.04.2013: Received NOA1 (dated 04.19)

05.11.2013: Received biometrics appointment notice for 06.05.2013 (notice dated 05.08)

05.13.2013: Completed biometrics as a walk-in (would have been out of town for scheduled appointment)

08.21.2013: APPROVED! (Received email update that USCIS has ordered production of new card)

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Thanks, Ryan and Sarah!

Sarah, statements for open cell phone and bank accounts are a good idea, but probably won't be helpful in his case (his cell is a pay-as-you-go type deal, and his bank account is really overdrawn). He doesn't have any bills in his name. He recently signed on for unemployment, but he hasn't gotten any payments for that yet (and he'll have to stop once he comes here because he needs to check in for a meeting every two weeks to keep getting the checks). Since he will be here for nearly three months, I doubt that they will write a letter for him saying that they expect him back in three months. Gah, now I am getting nervous about this. You said before that your husband visited recently without any real problems, right? How long did he stay for? That's the part that worries me a little... it's hard to say that you're staying in the US with your wife for three months and convince them that you still have a life in the UK. But the truth is, he doesn't have a life in the UK... that doesn't mean that he's not going to return to complete the visa process correctly though. Can't they just have faith in our honesty?

Be very careful. I got refused entry because I could not show ties to the UK. He MAY well get through, but any mention of marriage to a US citizen, and he could be escorted into secondary. I am told that the Border agency can bring up the visa application on their screen. Buying a return ticket for 2 weeks and then changing the return date once in the USA may be worthwhile. Without showing evidence of a job, mortgage or very strong ties to the UK, it could turn out to be very tricky. People travelling alone, especially people who have a relationship with a US citizen are treated with suspicion.

The question I was asked first was, how much money do you have on you. I had none, and it went downhill from there.

Having said all of that, he may get through just fine. It's all down to the official who interviews him.

Best of luck.

Edited by Val and Gary

04/2010 - Marriage in Weirsdale, Florida

USCIS

07-07-2010 Filed I-130 - K3

07-12-2010 Priority date

07-23-2010 NOA1 (California Service Centre)

11-03-2010 Transfer to Texas Service Centre

01-24-2011 NOA2 NVC

02-26-2011 Case #

02-28-2011 Docs delivered to NVC

03-06-2011 NVC received docs

03-06-2011 NVC SIF & Expedite approved

04-06-2011 Medical exam - Failed (bad cold - shadow on lung)

06-13-2011 2nd Medical exam - Passed

06-22-2011 Interview at London Embassy - denied due to previous overstay (3 year bar)

07-06-2011 I 601 Waiver accepted at London

07-19-2011 MP & Senator wrote to US Embassy to request expedite

08-13-2011 I 601 approved!

08-22-2011 Visa delivered

09-07-2011 POE Orlando - took 20 minutes to be admitted

I-751

08-15-2013 I-751 Received by Vermont service center

08-21-2013 I-751 Application check cashed

08-22-2013 I-751 NOA1 received dated 08-16-2013

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Poland
Timeline

I'm sorry I don't have any valuable advice for you. I am the beneficiary and in a few months will probably face a similar situation as your husband. I do own a flat in Poland and have a few bills in my name but my employment situation is a bit iffy and I believe that would be the strongest argument on my part.

All I can say is give it a try. The only real thing you might lose is the ticket money plus of course a whole bunch of stress on both of you. Fortunately such deportation incident doesn't play a role in the overall process of your approval. But maybe it'll work out? I sure hope it will. I can't imagine the CBPs being so heartless to not let him in after you explain all the mistakes the USCIS has done in processing your application.

I wish you both the best of luck. Please keep us posted on his POE experience.


USCIS Stage (147 days)

12/24/2010 - I-130 Sent

12/28/2010 - NOA1 (Receipt)

05/23/2011 - NOA2 (Approved)

NVC Stage

06-07-2011 NVC received

06-08-2011 Case # and IIN # assigned

06-09-2011 Received DS-3032/AOS bill

06-10-2011 Paid AOS Bill

06-10-2011 Returned Completed DS-3032

06-15-2011 Received I-864 Package

06-16-2011 Returned I-864 Package

06-16-2011 Received IV Bill

06-17-2011 Paid IV Bill

06-22-2011 Returned DS-230 (IV Package)

07-07-2011 Case Closed J

07-13-2011 Interview Date Assigned

US Consulate in Warsaw

08-24-2011 @ 8.45am - - > 240 days from NOA1 --> APPROVED! :-)

POE Chicago ORD --> 9.03.2011

event.png

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I'm sorry I don't have any valuable advice for you. I am the beneficiary and in a few months will probably face a similar situation as your husband. I do own a flat in Poland and have a few bills in my name but my employment situation is a bit iffy and I believe that would be the strongest argument on my part.

All I can say is give it a try. The only real thing you might lose is the ticket money plus of course a whole bunch of stress on both of you. Fortunately such deportation incident doesn't play a role in the overall process of your approval. But maybe it'll work out? I sure hope it will. I can't imagine the CBPs being so heartless to not let him in after you explain all the mistakes the USCIS has done in processing your application.

I wish you both the best of luck. Please keep us posted on his POE experience.

They are heartless alright. We had just returned from a honeymoon in the UK when I was refused entry. I have never set foot in our Florida house since we were married 9 months ago. When it comes to CBP's don't be tricked into thinking they have a conscience. However, if you are ready for the worst - an instant 8 hour flight back to the UK and a ban from ever using the VWP again ( not that he will require it), then it's worth giving it a shot.

As GoshaBee says, it will not affect the process of the approval. It's just a boat load of stress and annoyance.

My advice is go for it, but be very aware of the pitfalls.


04/2010 - Marriage in Weirsdale, Florida

USCIS

07-07-2010 Filed I-130 - K3

07-12-2010 Priority date

07-23-2010 NOA1 (California Service Centre)

11-03-2010 Transfer to Texas Service Centre

01-24-2011 NOA2 NVC

02-26-2011 Case #

02-28-2011 Docs delivered to NVC

03-06-2011 NVC received docs

03-06-2011 NVC SIF & Expedite approved

04-06-2011 Medical exam - Failed (bad cold - shadow on lung)

06-13-2011 2nd Medical exam - Passed

06-22-2011 Interview at London Embassy - denied due to previous overstay (3 year bar)

07-06-2011 I 601 Waiver accepted at London

07-19-2011 MP & Senator wrote to US Embassy to request expedite

08-13-2011 I 601 approved!

08-22-2011 Visa delivered

09-07-2011 POE Orlando - took 20 minutes to be admitted

I-751

08-15-2013 I-751 Received by Vermont service center

08-21-2013 I-751 Application check cashed

08-22-2013 I-751 NOA1 received dated 08-16-2013

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Poland
Timeline

They are heartless alright. We had just returned from a honeymoon in the UK when I was refused entry. I have never set foot in our Florida house since we were married 9 months ago. When it comes to CBP's don't be tricked into thinking they have a conscience. However, if you are ready for the worst - an instant 8 hour flight back to the UK and a ban from ever using the VWP again ( not that he will require it), then it's worth giving it a shot.

As GoshaBee says, it will not affect the process of the approval. It's just a boat load of stress and annoyance.

My advice is go for it, but be very aware of the pitfalls.

It's off topic here but Gary, I've been following your story (and other CSC to TSC petitioners) for quite some time. I am very happy to see you've finally got your NOA2. Reading that (looooong) thread brings tears to my eyes almost every time. The fight and determination in all of you is quite impressive. I pray for you every day and send whatever vibes/good energy I have toward a prompt completion of your cases. Cheers!


USCIS Stage (147 days)

12/24/2010 - I-130 Sent

12/28/2010 - NOA1 (Receipt)

05/23/2011 - NOA2 (Approved)

NVC Stage

06-07-2011 NVC received

06-08-2011 Case # and IIN # assigned

06-09-2011 Received DS-3032/AOS bill

06-10-2011 Paid AOS Bill

06-10-2011 Returned Completed DS-3032

06-15-2011 Received I-864 Package

06-16-2011 Returned I-864 Package

06-16-2011 Received IV Bill

06-17-2011 Paid IV Bill

06-22-2011 Returned DS-230 (IV Package)

07-07-2011 Case Closed J

07-13-2011 Interview Date Assigned

US Consulate in Warsaw

08-24-2011 @ 8.45am - - > 240 days from NOA1 --> APPROVED! :-)

POE Chicago ORD --> 9.03.2011

event.png

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It's off topic here but Gary, I've been following your story (and other CSC to TSC petitioners) for quite some time. I am very happy to see you've finally got your NOA2. Reading that (looooong) thread brings tears to my eyes almost every time. The fight and determination in all of you is quite impressive. I pray for you every day and send whatever vibes/good energy I have toward a prompt completion of your cases. Cheers!

Thank you so much. It is very much appreciated. Best wishes to you. good.gif


04/2010 - Marriage in Weirsdale, Florida

USCIS

07-07-2010 Filed I-130 - K3

07-12-2010 Priority date

07-23-2010 NOA1 (California Service Centre)

11-03-2010 Transfer to Texas Service Centre

01-24-2011 NOA2 NVC

02-26-2011 Case #

02-28-2011 Docs delivered to NVC

03-06-2011 NVC received docs

03-06-2011 NVC SIF & Expedite approved

04-06-2011 Medical exam - Failed (bad cold - shadow on lung)

06-13-2011 2nd Medical exam - Passed

06-22-2011 Interview at London Embassy - denied due to previous overstay (3 year bar)

07-06-2011 I 601 Waiver accepted at London

07-19-2011 MP & Senator wrote to US Embassy to request expedite

08-13-2011 I 601 approved!

08-22-2011 Visa delivered

09-07-2011 POE Orlando - took 20 minutes to be admitted

I-751

08-15-2013 I-751 Received by Vermont service center

08-21-2013 I-751 Application check cashed

08-22-2013 I-751 NOA1 received dated 08-16-2013

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Just remember that CBP is doing their jobs and are doing the best they can to follow the rules. Calling them names only shows ignorance on the name-caller.


May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!

Service Center : Vermont Service Center
Consulate : Bogota, Colombia
Marriage: 2009-08-01
I-130 Sent : 2009-09-29
I-130 NOA1 : 2009-10-06
I-130 Approved : 2010-03-18
NVC Received : 2010-03-23
Case Completed at NVC : 2010-09-16
Interview Date : December 16, 2010
Interview Result : APPROVED
Visa Received : 12/27/10
US Entry :12/29/10
Two-year green card received: 1/19/11
SSN received: 2/2/11
Lifting of Conditions Filed 10/1/12
Lifting of Conditions NOA 10/9/12
Lifting of Conditions Biometrics Appt 10/31/12

Lifting of Conditions Approved 12/10/12

10-yr green card received 1/8/13

N-400 Naturalization Application 10/1/2013
Marital Bliss: Endless

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Just remember that CBP is doing their jobs and are doing the best they can to follow the rules. Calling them names only shows ignorance on the name-caller.

Mmm - where exactly on this thread has anyone called CBP names? It's kind of a high and mighty comment you made, on a thread where someone was simply looking for advice. The original poster should be aware CBP can, and will do their job. CBP do not allow their emotions to interfere with their work, and the OP must be ready for this. If this makes them appear heartless, then so be it. People have a right to free speech on this forum in just the same way as you have.


04/2010 - Marriage in Weirsdale, Florida

USCIS

07-07-2010 Filed I-130 - K3

07-12-2010 Priority date

07-23-2010 NOA1 (California Service Centre)

11-03-2010 Transfer to Texas Service Centre

01-24-2011 NOA2 NVC

02-26-2011 Case #

02-28-2011 Docs delivered to NVC

03-06-2011 NVC received docs

03-06-2011 NVC SIF & Expedite approved

04-06-2011 Medical exam - Failed (bad cold - shadow on lung)

06-13-2011 2nd Medical exam - Passed

06-22-2011 Interview at London Embassy - denied due to previous overstay (3 year bar)

07-06-2011 I 601 Waiver accepted at London

07-19-2011 MP & Senator wrote to US Embassy to request expedite

08-13-2011 I 601 approved!

08-22-2011 Visa delivered

09-07-2011 POE Orlando - took 20 minutes to be admitted

I-751

08-15-2013 I-751 Received by Vermont service center

08-21-2013 I-751 Application check cashed

08-22-2013 I-751 NOA1 received dated 08-16-2013

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Mmm - where exactly on this thread has anyone called CBP names? It's kind of a high and mighty comment you made, on a thread where someone was simply looking for advice. The original poster should be aware CBP can, and will do their job. CBP do not allow their emotions to interfere with their work, and the OP must be ready for this. If this makes them appear heartless, then so be it. People have a right to free speech on this forum in just the same way as you have.

I never said people couldn't call them whatever they want. And it was you who called them heartless....that's a name. They are simply doing a job that isn't always about delivering good news to visitors.


May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life's passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!

Service Center : Vermont Service Center
Consulate : Bogota, Colombia
Marriage: 2009-08-01
I-130 Sent : 2009-09-29
I-130 NOA1 : 2009-10-06
I-130 Approved : 2010-03-18
NVC Received : 2010-03-23
Case Completed at NVC : 2010-09-16
Interview Date : December 16, 2010
Interview Result : APPROVED
Visa Received : 12/27/10
US Entry :12/29/10
Two-year green card received: 1/19/11
SSN received: 2/2/11
Lifting of Conditions Filed 10/1/12
Lifting of Conditions NOA 10/9/12
Lifting of Conditions Biometrics Appt 10/31/12

Lifting of Conditions Approved 12/10/12

10-yr green card received 1/8/13

N-400 Naturalization Application 10/1/2013
Marital Bliss: Endless

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Thanks everyone for the advice. I know how border patrol/immigration officers can be from my own unpleasant and painful experiences with the UK Border Agency. I'd been visiting my husband (before we were married) in London for almost four months when I took a one-week trip to Berlin to visit a friend. When I came back, I was refused entry, detained for 15 hours, and put on a plane back to Berlin. Completely unprepared for this, my husband and I were devastated. I always thought that as long as you are honest and are legitimately not trying to violate any rules, you will be fine, but I understand that the border officials deal with people all day who are trying to cheat the system, and my honest face is not enough.

I'm less ignorant now about how things work at the border, but I just feel like after everything, something like that just CAN'T happen again. Of course there's no reason to believe this, but I am trying to have faith not so much in their empathy but in their reason. After all we've gone through for this, why would we try to cheat now? We just want to be together now, he'll fly back for his interview, and in a few months, he'll be here, legally able to work and come and go as he pleases. Why would we jeopardize all of that?

Gary, I think you're right about buying a ticket for a shorter stay and then changing the return afterwards. It's more expensive this way, but it's worth it if it increases the chances that my husband will get in.

Any other advice or experiences any of you can share are welcome!

Edited by jennie ann

USCIS171 days
08.03.2010: Sent I-130 (Received at Chicago Lockbox on 08.05.2010 – Priority Date)
08.24.2010: NOA1 – Notice Date (Case transferred from CSC to TSC on 11.02.2010 and back to CSC on 02.07.2011)
02.11.2011: NOA2 – Approved! (hard copy received on 02.17.2011)

NVC46 days
02.26.2011: Got NVC case number from AVR (entered on 02.24.2011)
02.28.2011: Called operator to give email addresses and get IIN; emailed beneficiary's change of address and DS-3032; received instruction emails from NVC; AOS fee bill invoiced and paid
03.01.2011: AOS fee shown as "paid"
03.03.2011: DS-3032 accepted; beneficiary's address updated by NVC; IV fee bill invoiced and paid
03.07.2011: IV fee shown as "paid"; AOS and IV packets sent out together via USPS Priority Mail (delivered on 03.09.2011)
03.22.2011: AVR and operator tells us we will receive an RFE
03.26.2011: Received RFE checklist via email (asking for PCCs from China and Taiwan)
03.28.2011: Sent checklist response via USPS Priority Mail (explaining/demonstrating that PCC should not be required)
04.10.2011: AVR message says that checklist response was received on 04.08.2011; sign in failed
04.11.2011: Case completed at NVC!
04.13.2011: Interview date assigned, received Packet 4 via email
04.25.2011: NVC sent case to embassy in London

Embassy – London, United Kingdom
05.23.2011: Medical at Knightsbridge Doctors
05.31.2011: Interview - APPROVED! (301 days from filing)
06.02.2011: Visa in hand
06.07.2011: POE at SFO

Removal of Conditions

04.16.2013: Sent I-751 packet to Vermont Service Center

04.18.2013: I-751 packet received at VSC (check cleared on 05.03)

05.04.2013: Received NOA1 (dated 04.19)

05.11.2013: Received biometrics appointment notice for 06.05.2013 (notice dated 05.08)

05.13.2013: Completed biometrics as a walk-in (would have been out of town for scheduled appointment)

08.21.2013: APPROVED! (Received email update that USCIS has ordered production of new card)

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: France
Timeline

Every case is different and every officer is different. here's my story.

I was in France with a one year visa. I was with my husband when he passed the officer,. I explained that we just got married and were going to visit my family and friends who hadn't seen us in over year nor as a married couple. It was two people explaining the case against one officer. I had to convince the officer that I didn't have a lot of money and I would be an idiot to pay $400 just to have my husband come in the country and how that would send up red flags and how his logic made no sense and I was OBVIOUSLY not lying. And he said okay basically. Also like Val and Gary said we both had 2 round trip tickets for 2 weeks. I said that I wasn't sure whether or not I was going to stay in the US (which was a lie) and that Luc is for sure going back to France in two weeks (which was a lie). We changed his ticket to a later date and I never used my round trip ticket. Luc also said that he had 1000 euro in his account (which was true) but the officer never looked. He stayed for 89 days exactly and left on the 90th day. We lied to the officer and played the dumb card, but in the grand scheme of things we didn't break any rules.

Edited by sarah et luc

USCIS (177 days from NOA1 to NOA2)

08.05.2010 I-130 priority date 08.14.2010 I-130 NOA1 11.03.2010 Transfer from CSC to TSC 01.19.2011 Service Request for out of processing time. Congressional Intervention 02.07.2011 I-130 Approved 02.14.2011 Shipped from TSC to NVC

NVC (33 days from #assigned to CC)
02.17.2011 Case number assigned 02.18.2011 Case # & INN received. Gave email addresses. Emailed DS 3032. Paid AOS Fee 02.22.2011 AOS Fee appeared as paid. Mailed AOS. DS 3032 accepted 02.24.2011 AOS received. IV bill generated and paid 02.25.2011 IV bill fee appeared as paid. Mailed IV 02.28.2011 IV packet received 03.09.2011 AOS entered in the system 03.11.2011 IV entered in the system 03.15.2011 AVR RFE 03.16.2011 Sent RFE response. Service request for supervisor review. Emailed NVC for re-review of document 03.17.2011 Received RFE checklist in email. NVC received RFE response. Emailed US Embassy to review document. 03.18.2011 Embassy confirmed the document was valid. Forwarded Embassy email to NVC. 03.22.2011 Sign In Failed. Case Complete 03.25.2011 Interview assigned

VISA - SS - GC
04.06.2011 Case forwarded to Embassy. 05.02.2011 Medical 05.03.2011 Interview
Review 05.05.2011 Visa 05.16.2011 POE (@Philadelphia) 06.11.2011 SS #. Welcome Letter. 06.17.2011 GC!

ROC
05.06.2013 Packet sent to CSC

05.08.2013 Packet received at CSC

05.17.2013 Packet returned because of no signatures (####### oops8rh.gif )

05.20.2013 Packet sent to CSC again

05.21.2013 Packet received at CSC again

05.24.2013 Check cashed

05.28.2013 NOA one received (Dated 05.21.2013)

06.03.2013 Biometrics appointment letter received (appt 06.19.13)

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Thanks everyone for the advice. I know how border patrol/immigration officers can be from my own unpleasant and painful experiences with the UK Border Agency. I'd been visiting my husband (before we were married) in London for almost four months when I took a one-week trip to Berlin to visit a friend. When I came back, I was refused entry, detained for 15 hours, and put on a plane back to Berlin. Completely unprepared for this, my husband and I were devastated. I always thought that as long as you are honest and are legitimately not trying to violate any rules, you will be fine, but I understand that the border officials deal with people all day who are trying to cheat the system, and my honest face is not enough.

I'm less ignorant now about how things work at the border, but I just feel like after everything, something like that just CAN'T happen again. Of course there's no reason to believe this, but I am trying to have faith not so much in their empathy but in their reason. After all we've gone through for this, why would we try to cheat now? We just want to be together now, he'll fly back for his interview, and in a few months, he'll be here, legally able to work and come and go as he pleases. Why would we jeopardize all of that?

Gary, I think you're right about buying a ticket for a shorter stay and then changing the return afterwards. It's more expensive this way, but it's worth it if it increases the chances that my husband will get in.

Any other advice or experiences any of you can share are welcome!

Changing your ticket once in the USA will increase the cost by maybe a hundred pounds, but I think it will give him at least an 80% better chance of getting in if he is only booked initially for two weeks.. If he can bring some cash with him also, all the better. I don't know what POE he will be using, but he COULD fly via Dublin and use the USA POE there. If he is turned around, then he has only to fly home from Dublin, and not as much money will be wasted.


04/2010 - Marriage in Weirsdale, Florida

USCIS

07-07-2010 Filed I-130 - K3

07-12-2010 Priority date

07-23-2010 NOA1 (California Service Centre)

11-03-2010 Transfer to Texas Service Centre

01-24-2011 NOA2 NVC

02-26-2011 Case #

02-28-2011 Docs delivered to NVC

03-06-2011 NVC received docs

03-06-2011 NVC SIF & Expedite approved

04-06-2011 Medical exam - Failed (bad cold - shadow on lung)

06-13-2011 2nd Medical exam - Passed

06-22-2011 Interview at London Embassy - denied due to previous overstay (3 year bar)

07-06-2011 I 601 Waiver accepted at London

07-19-2011 MP & Senator wrote to US Embassy to request expedite

08-13-2011 I 601 approved!

08-22-2011 Visa delivered

09-07-2011 POE Orlando - took 20 minutes to be admitted

I-751

08-15-2013 I-751 Received by Vermont service center

08-21-2013 I-751 Application check cashed

08-22-2013 I-751 NOA1 received dated 08-16-2013

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