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JenMG

Need to travel soon after GC interview, no AP through yet

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Hi all,

I married my wonderful US citizen husband in March and applied for AOS, AP and EAD on March the 14th. I've had my biometrics appointment, and just received my appointment date for the AOS interview on June the 13th. I've not yet been approved for the AP, and heard from an attorney (though we made the application without an attorney) that USCIS sometimes reject AP applications if the AOS is very close to being approved or rejected, and that if the AOS application is approved before the AP would have been (but the passport not stamped), the AP would then be rejected. I'm meant to be traveling to the UK shortly after the interview date to have a blessing ceremony for our wedding, with 70 guests, the church, the big dress, the reception, etc... and now I'm really worried that as my interview is earlier than I had expected, I may not be able to travel at that time.

Also, I think I'm going to have to change my UK passport when I'm in the UK to get a new one in my married name (stupid university rules!), and so would then not have any green card stamp in the valid passport, and I'm guessing I wouldn't be allowed to travel on a stamp in an invalidated passport?

I'm so worried about all of this. We'd thought we'd done the right thing with the whole courthouse wedding here so that we could apply for the AOS and AP and then travel to the UK for a blessing... and now I think we may have got it horribly wrong.

Any information or advice gratefully received.

Jen

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Change your passport in the US after you get back. They do it in Washington, DC by mail. There's a pinned topic in the UK forum with links.


England.gifENGLAND ---

K-1 Timeline 4 months, 19 days 03-10-08 VSC to 7-29-08 Interview London

10-05-08 Married

AOS Timeline 5 months, 14 days 10-9-08 to 3-23-09 No interview

Removing Conditions Timeline 5 months, 20 days12-27-10 to 06-10-11 No interview

Citizenship Timeline 3 months, 26 days 12-31-11 Dallas to 4-26-12 Interview Houston

05-16-12 Oath ceremony

The journey from Fiancé to US citizenship:

4 years, 2 months, 6 days

243 pages of forms/documents submitted

No RFEs

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Hi,

Thanks for the reply. The problem with the DC passport change had been the 4-week wait and the fact I couldn't change my name at my university until I have the new passport, and I didn't want to graduate under my maiden name, BUT it turns out that I will no longer need the passport as proof of name change if and when I have conditional permanent residency - my marriage certificate will be enough.

I am still concerned about the first part of my previous post, though. Does anyone have any experience or knowledge of what happens with AP applications if you may be about to be approved or rejected for AOS, or of how likely it is that I might be able to get my passport stamped at the interview?

Thanks!

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When your AOS is approved, your AP becomes invalid. Even if you did have it, you wouldn't be able to use it anymore once you become permanent resident. Ask for the stamp in your passport at your interview.


My Immigration Journey:

K1: June 2010 - December 2010

AOS: April 2011 - June 2011

ROC: April 2013 - August 2013

Naturalization: March 2014 - August 2014

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Hi. Thanks for your reply. I actually called USCIS this morning and spent a really long time trying to get the answer to that question - if I am approved for the green card, can I still travel on the AP between approval and actually receiving the green card - and the lady I spoke to said yes, I could. However, I must have asked the question 10 times before I got an answer, as she couldn't understand my question and kept saying, "We can't tell you whether you'll be approved for the AP (or AOS); it's still pending", so it's quite possible she still didn't understand my question by the end (must be my accent!), or else didn't really know the answer.

I'll certainly aim to get a stamp in my passport. I just don't want my parents to pay the remaining balance for the venue and then find USCIS won't stamp it and I'm stuck here with no AP or an invalid AP... :-$

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AP is for aliens who have pending applications for certain immigration benefits. After approved AOS you are permanent resident and can't use AP anymore because you are not an alien with pending application anymore.

Explain the situation at your interview and ask for the stamp. Do not leave the US without green card or stamp in your passpord.


My Immigration Journey:

K1: June 2010 - December 2010

AOS: April 2011 - June 2011

ROC: April 2013 - August 2013

Naturalization: March 2014 - August 2014

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Missicy is correct - the "misinformation line" is incorrect. The AP is rendered invalid if you are approved OR denied. The only thing you can do is ask for a stamp in your passport when you are approved at your interview. Bring proof of your trip to the interview in case they want it to give you the stamp. Good luck.


AOS for my husband
8/17/10: INTERVIEW DAY (day 123) APPROVED!!

ROC:
5/23/12: Sent out package
2/06/13: APPROVED!

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Hello Jen,

Where did you guys get married, in the states or in UK. My fiance and I we are trying to see which way is best, any advice will appreciated. Thanks

Hi all,

I married my wonderful US citizen husband in March and applied for AOS, AP and EAD on March the 14th. I've had my biometrics appointment, and just received my appointment date for the AOS interview on June the 13th. I've not yet been approved for the AP, and heard from an attorney (though we made the application without an attorney) that USCIS sometimes reject AP applications if the AOS is very close to being approved or rejected, and that if the AOS application is approved before the AP would have been (but the passport not stamped), the AP would then be rejected. I'm meant to be traveling to the UK shortly after the interview date to have a blessing ceremony for our wedding, with 70 guests, the church, the big dress, the reception, etc... and now I'm really worried that as my interview is earlier than I had expected, I may not be able to travel at that time.

Also, I think I'm going to have to change my UK passport when I'm in the UK to get a new one in my married name (stupid university rules!), and so would then not have any green card stamp in the valid passport, and I'm guessing I wouldn't be allowed to travel on a stamp in an invalidated passport?

I'm so worried about all of this. We'd thought we'd done the right thing with the whole courthouse wedding here so that we could apply for the AOS and AP and then travel to the UK for a blessing... and now I think we may have got it horribly wrong.

Any information or advice gratefully received.

Jen

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We got married in the States, as I was out here on an F1 (student) visa. That's added certain difficulties (e.g. not being allowed to travel out of the country and back in again between marrying him and hopefully getting my travel permit or green card), but also has certain benefits (e.g. faster GC processing time, no prolonged period stuck in different countries to one another). The problem for me is that you're not allowed 'dual intent' on the student visa, so although I last entered the country legally (we weren't even engaged then), any entry after I'd married him might have been considered illegal because marrying a US citizen can be taken as evidence of intent to stay, and F1 visa holders must be planning on leaving when they stop being in full time education. It seems odd to me that I'm allowed to stay here until 2014 as a student, but I'm no longer allowed to leave and come back again. It's pretty nerve-wracking too!

I don't know if any of that's relevant to you, though. Good luck with your marriage and application!

Jen

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It seems odd to me that I'm allowed to stay here until 2014 as a student, but I'm no longer allowed to leave and come back again. It's pretty nerve-wracking too!

Jen

That's odd, indeed. Perhaps it's odd, because it's not true?

A J1 is allowed to travel in and out of the country, even if married to a US citizen. What's not allowed is to enter the US (again) with a non-immigrant visa and the intent to adjust status to that of a resident, on that very stay (although people do this every day).


There is no room in this country for hyphenated Americanism. When I refer to hyphenated Americans, I do not refer to naturalized Americans. Some of the very best Americans I have ever known were naturalized Americans, Americans born abroad. But a hyphenated American is not an American at all . . . . The one absolutely certain way of bringing this nation to ruin, of preventing all possibility of its continuing to be a nation at all, would be to permit it to become a tangle of squabbling nationalities, an intricate knot of German-Americans, Irish-Americans, English-Americans, French-Americans, Scandinavian-Americans or Italian-Americans, each preserving its separate nationality, each at heart feeling more sympathy with Europeans of that nationality, than with the other citizens of the American Republic . . . . There is no such thing as a hyphenated American who is a good American. The only man who is a good American is the man who is an American and nothing else.

President Teddy Roosevelt on Columbus Day 1915

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That's odd, indeed. Perhaps it's odd, because it's not true?

A J1 [or F1?] is allowed to travel in and out of the country, even if married to a US citizen. What's not allowed is to enter the US (again) with a non-immigrant visa and the intent to adjust status to that of a resident, on that very stay (although people do this every day).

I believe I stated, "any entry after I'd married him might have been considered illegal [by immigration officers] because marrying a US citizen can be taken as evidence of intent to stay".

Also, I was advised by immigration lawyers that although I could probably get away with re-entering, if I then applied to adjust status soon thereafter (even if not on the same trip), it could be taken by USCIS that my recent re-entries had been illegal because I'd been planning on adjusting status AT SOME STAGE (even if not on that very stay). As the lawyers explained it, a condition of entering on the F1 visa is that I could not be planning on adjusting status at any stage. If I'd entered and then applied to adjust status a couple of years later, I could argue that my re-entry had been before I decided to apply, but it would be difficult if it was only a matter of months later.

If you have read in the USCIS information that this really is not true, I would appreciate it if you could point me in the right direction.

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Hi. Everything went pretty smoothly for us. I got the AP no problem, even though a date had been set for the interview. At the interview, I was told my birth certificate was not acceptable, as it was the (standard) short form we were given in the UK at the time of my birth, and did not include my parents' names. They couldn't approve me without the long form, so didn't give me the stamp, of course. I ordered a copy of the birth certificate, but then umm-ed and ahh-ed about sending it in right away, as I knew I was about to travel and was worried about whether they'd let me re-enter on the AP if the application was granted whilst I was away, but too late for anyone to mail the GC to me. In the end, I submitted the birth certificate, and that's exactly what happened. Upon arrival in the US, I was taken to the secondary interview area, where they checked my details, called me up to the desk and then granted me parole into the US and happily informed me that my GC application had been approved and I should receive my GC any day now. I told them my husband actually had it in Arrivals, just in case they needed to see it, and she just said I was allowed to travel on the AP no problem and welcome to the USA! :-)

As an aside, the airline I flew with (British Airways) seemed to have never seen an AP card before, and they refused to let me travel on it. The only reason they finally let me board the 'plane was because they asked to see my invalid F1 visa in my invalid (old name) passport (I told them both were invalid). I was convinced US Immigration would deny me entry because I'd flown on an invalid visa, but they didn't mention it. If I'd not had the old visa, I don't know how I'd have got on the 'plane. Maybe I could have had them call someone else, but they had already called the US specialist and told him that I had a "Work Authorization Card". I tried to convince them that the fact that it said "Also serves as Advance Parole" (or whatever the words are) meant I could travel on it and he should tell the US specialist this too, but he ignored me. Oh well... it worked out for me in the end and I made it back here fine. :-)

Good luck to you - I hope your interview goes well and you get approval there and then and that they stamp your passport for you, or else they give you the AP and let you travel on yours too, even if they then approve the GC application whilst you're gone.

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