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Daniel_B

entering the country while visa pending?

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Dear VisaJourney-ites,

I'm having trouble finding a definitive answer for this question and would be interested to hear what people thought here. I am currently in the midst of applying for a spouse visa for my wife, who is currently living out the country in London. Although we are at the NVC stage already and *hope* to get everything sorted by early April, she wants/needs to fly out to the US to see me in early April. So, my two questions are:

- Is it impossible to enter the US whilst the visa application has not yet been granted? I have yet to see this stated on the USCIS website, but have read about this informally a couple of times.

- Second, if she cannot come in April, is there a maximum time period between obtaining the visa and needing to enter a port of entry in the United States?

Thanks all!

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I will be doing the same in a few weeks. I am bringing letters of employment, rental agreement and anything else that can show ties to UK. Other members have brought this and havent had to use it. The only thing we can do is try. :thumbs:


I love my husband!!

I-130 sent - 9/5/2011

NOA 1 received and routed to CSC - 9/22/2011

Petition Touched - 9/27/2011

Expedite Request sent - 02/24/2012

NOA 2 - 03/21/2012 (without need for expedite)

NVC Receive - 04/09/2012

Case Number Assigned -

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I am currently in the midst of applying for a spouse visa for my wife,

You are not the one applying for a visa, your wife is the one who is applying, you filed a petition.

- Is it impossible to enter the US whilst the visa application has not yet been granted? I have yet to see this stated on the USCIS website, but have read about this informally a couple of times.

She can travel on a tourist visa or the VWP if she has a passport from a VWP eligible country. However, there is no guarantee she will be admitted to the US by CBP.

- Second, if she cannot come in April, is there a maximum time period between obtaining the visa and needing to enter a port of entry in the United States?

The expiration date is printed on the visa, the visa must be used by that date.


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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So am I correct in assuming that she will only be turned away if there is a legitimate concern that she will overstay her tourist visa and remain illegally in the country? What would be the best strategy when speaking to the immigration official at the Port of Entry? To say that she is visiting her husband, her visa is pending and here is proof that she intends to return in a weeks time (showing the necessary documentation?)

I am just worried that we waste a huge amount of money on a flight ticket and then be turned away!

Edited by Daniel_B

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Only offer information if it is directly asked for. If they ask her if she has a visa pending, answer truthfully. If she says she is visiting family and friends and they ask specifics, answer truthfully. Never lie or attempt to cover up anything. If she gets turned away it wont affect the visa according to other VJers (I asked the same question a few weeks back)but lying could mean a lifetime ban.

I am coming prepared and that is the only thing you can do. Its is up to the CBP on the POE


I love my husband!!

I-130 sent - 9/5/2011

NOA 1 received and routed to CSC - 9/22/2011

Petition Touched - 9/27/2011

Expedite Request sent - 02/24/2012

NOA 2 - 03/21/2012 (without need for expedite)

NVC Receive - 04/09/2012

Case Number Assigned -

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I flew to the US while my petition was being processed with USCIS. Since she is living im London im asuming she has a British passport? if this is the case she can visit you in the states on the VWP. i think the price has gone up to $14 now to apply for it but if she already has it sorted then she doesnt have to pay again in the 2 year period.

When getting to the POE make sure she brings ties to the UK so they do not fear her overstaying (i brought a letter of employment) I had a small grilling from the guy about why my husband lived in the USA and i didnt but i just explained to him our situation and he seemed happy enough to let me in. If they dont believe that she is going to leave when she is claiming to she may be asked for a secondary interview, but aslong as she has a return ticket and ties to the UK and is honest she should be okay to get in, but like it says above, there nobody here can promise that because when it comes to it, its down to the CBP official.

But best of luck to you both :) I remember reading so many stories before i left about people getting denied entry when trying to visit and in the end it really wasnt as bad as i thought it was going to be!


February 2010: Met online via social networking site

1st July 2010: Met for the first time in Lake Charles, LA [11 days]

9th August 2010: Got Engaged!

September 2010: Met for the second time in Lake Charles, LA [2 weeks]

December 2010: Met for the third time in Lake Charles, LA [3 months]

18th February 2011: Got Married!

May 2011: Met for the fourth time in London, UK [2 weeks]

CR-1 Visa

USCIS

21st July 2011 - 14th December 2011

September 2012: Met for the fith time in Lake Charles, LA [3 months]

NVC

4th January 2012 - 23th January 2012

EMBASSY

25th January 2012 - 23rd March 2012

NEW LIFE IN THE USA

5th April 2012: POE: Houston, TX, USA!!

7th May 2012: Greencard arrived in mail

Remove the Conditions on Residence Petition

USCIS

April 1st - Present

1st April 2014: Filed I-751 (with divorce waiver)

4th April 2014: Received NOA (1 year extension)

April 20th 2014: Filed for divorce

12th May 2015: Received second biometric appointment letter due to rescheduling my first appointment

May 28th 2014: Biometrics taken in Louisville, KY

October 31 2014: Received RFE requesting final divorce judgment

22nd January 2015: Received final divorce judgment & submitted to VSC

25th January 2015: Called USCIS Military hotline to enquire on gaining an extension in order to enlist in United States Army & was advised to make infopass appointment at local office as processing will take longer than 6 months on my application.

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So am I correct in assuming that she will only be turned away if there is a legitimate concern that she will overstay her tourist visa and remain illegally in the country? What would be the best strategy when speaking to the immigration official at the Port of Entry? To say that she is visiting her husband, her visa is pending and here is proof that she intends to return in a weeks time (showing the necessary documentation?)

I am just worried that we waste a huge amount of money on a flight ticket and then be turned away!

She should bring proof of ties back home and any communication with the USCIS to prove you are going through the legal process and she is not likely to overstay and waste all the money and time and effort. I entered 4 or 5 times on the VWP while my visa was pending and never had any problems. I told them honestly I was visiting my wife. If your wife says she is visiting family then they will ask her which family members she is visiting. They are trained to get to the truth. If she then says she is visiting her husband they might think she was trying to hide things and be tougher on her. Better to be upfront from the start.


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"Boston is the only major city that if you f*** with them, they will shut down the whole city, stop everything, an find you". Adam Sandler

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I'll try and add a little review (good or bad, hopefully good) when I get to the POE. Fingers crossed for all of those heading over to the states. :thumbs:


I love my husband!!

I-130 sent - 9/5/2011

NOA 1 received and routed to CSC - 9/22/2011

Petition Touched - 9/27/2011

Expedite Request sent - 02/24/2012

NOA 2 - 03/21/2012 (without need for expedite)

NVC Receive - 04/09/2012

Case Number Assigned -

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Dear VisaJourney-ites,

I'm having trouble finding a definitive answer for this question and would be interested to hear what people thought here. I am currently in the midst of applying for a spouse visa for my wife, who is currently living out the country in London. Although we are at the NVC stage already and *hope* to get everything sorted by early April, she wants/needs to fly out to the US to see me in early April. So, my two questions are:

- Is it impossible to enter the US whilst the visa application has not yet been granted? I have yet to see this stated on the USCIS website, but have read about this informally a couple of times.

- Second, if she cannot come in April, is there a maximum time period between obtaining the visa and needing to enter a port of entry in the United States?

Thanks all!

There's no definite answer, as the final decision is left to the CBP. No guarantee, but most people holding passports from VWP countries here on VJ seem to be successful. I might visit in the next couple of months, and I'll make sure I bring proofs showing that we already paid all the fees related to the visa and that it's almost done. Then it would be really stupid not to go back home for the interview.

Usually a spousal visa is valid for 6 months, unless the expiry date on it says otherwise.

What step in the NVC stage are you in?


USCIS STAGE: 16 days No expedite request but USC residing abroad

NVC STAGE: 19 days from case # to case complete

EMBASSY STAGE
03/27/12: interview - APPROVED

04/12/12: POE San Diego

ROC
12/19/14: received reminder letter from USCIS to file for ROC
01/15/14: sent I-751 application
01/16/14: NOA1/1 year extension
01/21/14: check cashed
01/24/14: received biometrics appointment letter for 02/11

05/14/14: received card production notification by e-mail, approval date 05/13

an1cR1j0es00030MTAwOTQzbHwxMjM0NGxqYXxTa

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I'll try and add a little review (good or bad, hopefully good) when I get to the POE. Fingers crossed for all of those heading over to the states. :thumbs:

Thats a good idea!

For all of you who are travling to the USA soon here is what i experienced:

I got off the plane at Houston TX and and made my way to the correct area, I lined up in the visitors que and was then told to pick a smaller one to line up ready. After standing in line for about 5 mins i noticed the line next to me had the happiest CBP official id ever seen, and as i looked over to my desk my heart sank as i noticed a very grumpy and stern looking man sitting behind the desk. But it was too late to change lines by then. lol!

I remember standing there thinking "im going to get refused, im going to get refused" lol!

When i got the the desk i handed over my paperwork and he looked through it and asked me what the intent of my trip was, i told him i was here to visit family and friends. He asked me what family so i told him my husband, mother in law and sister in law. As soon as i said husband he stopped what he was doing and gave me his full atention (to be expected lol), he asked me things like:

"Is your husband a US citizen" - yes.

"Have you been to the USA before" - Yes (i had a brand new passport and a brand new VWP number so it probably wasnt in there systems)

"how long do you plan to stay" - 2 weeks.

"why does your husband live in the usa and you live in the uk" - because hes in the military.

"Do you have a return ticket" - Yes. At that point i jumped in and handed him my employment letter from my boss and he had a quick look over it but i dont think he really read it.

He then took my finger prints and my photo (What a relief) and i was off to catch my next flight! lol

I always find it SO scary standing there speaking to them because i know they have every right to deny me entry, but everything went okay! So i hope everyone else has as much luck as i did :) Just be prepaired but dont tell them things you dont need to (he didnt even ask about my visa!) Good luck! :D


February 2010: Met online via social networking site

1st July 2010: Met for the first time in Lake Charles, LA [11 days]

9th August 2010: Got Engaged!

September 2010: Met for the second time in Lake Charles, LA [2 weeks]

December 2010: Met for the third time in Lake Charles, LA [3 months]

18th February 2011: Got Married!

May 2011: Met for the fourth time in London, UK [2 weeks]

CR-1 Visa

USCIS

21st July 2011 - 14th December 2011

September 2012: Met for the fith time in Lake Charles, LA [3 months]

NVC

4th January 2012 - 23th January 2012

EMBASSY

25th January 2012 - 23rd March 2012

NEW LIFE IN THE USA

5th April 2012: POE: Houston, TX, USA!!

7th May 2012: Greencard arrived in mail

Remove the Conditions on Residence Petition

USCIS

April 1st - Present

1st April 2014: Filed I-751 (with divorce waiver)

4th April 2014: Received NOA (1 year extension)

April 20th 2014: Filed for divorce

12th May 2015: Received second biometric appointment letter due to rescheduling my first appointment

May 28th 2014: Biometrics taken in Louisville, KY

October 31 2014: Received RFE requesting final divorce judgment

22nd January 2015: Received final divorce judgment & submitted to VSC

25th January 2015: Called USCIS Military hotline to enquire on gaining an extension in order to enlist in United States Army & was advised to make infopass appointment at local office as processing will take longer than 6 months on my application.

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I'm currently visiting my wife in the US under the VWP with a pending visa, I had no problems at all with immigration.

I was asked if I had a return ticket and what my job was - which I've always been asked anyway and I made them aware I was awaiting a visa but wanted to visit and it was no problems. The Immigraton officer had already stamped my passport before hearing my answers!

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Thank you guys for posting about your own experiences. I am visiting my husband next week and we have sent off our I-130 form. I am so so nervous to go through immigration but I have plenty of proof to show that I am living and working full time in IReland - hopefully it works out ok!!!

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Thank you guys for posting about your own experiences. I am visiting my husband next week and we have sent off our I-130 form. I am so so nervous to go through immigration but I have plenty of proof to show that I am living and working full time in IReland - hopefully it works out ok!!!

Fingers crossed for you! Let us know how you get on :star: Most importantly, have a great time!


I love my husband!!

I-130 sent - 9/5/2011

NOA 1 received and routed to CSC - 9/22/2011

Petition Touched - 9/27/2011

Expedite Request sent - 02/24/2012

NOA 2 - 03/21/2012 (without need for expedite)

NVC Receive - 04/09/2012

Case Number Assigned -

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