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fantasmal

New to Forum Looking for Advice

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Hello there,

My name is Alex and I am a U.S. citizen. My girlfriend is currently visiting the U.S. on the ESTA program. Her ESTA expires on May 1st. We want to get married in the next two weeks. A few questions we would like to have answered: Can she marry while traveling on ESTA? If yes, what form can we submit, if any, to allow her to stay in the U.S. while an immigration visa is being processed (K3/CR-1/IR1)? Will said form process before her ESTA expires on May 1st? If no form exists, what options do we have from there?

Thank you for all your advice in advance and we look forward to getting to know the community a lot better in the months to follow.

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You can marry her while she is here and you can file the I-130 while she is here, but if she has entered under the VWP she will need to return to her home country once her visit time is up and wait out the rest of the process there. She will have to have a medical and interview in her home country.

Edited by cathy2904

01/27/2011 - Trevor's N400 submitted
02/18/2011 - Married
04/02/2011 - NOA1 hard copy received - priority date 03/30/2011
07/08/2011 - Trevor is now a USC - called USCIS to request upgrade of the petition.
08/02/2011 - NOA2
09/08/2011 - LND case number received, medical booked
09/26/2011 - Case complete at NVC
09/30/2011 - Interview date assigned
11/08/2011 - Interview - approved!!
11/10/2011 - Visa in hand
12/04/2011 - POE in Atlanta
12/12/2011 - SSN number received in mail
12/12/2011 - Welcome notice received
01/06/2012 - Green card received
09/06/2013 - File for Removal of Conditions
10/01/2013 - Biometrics for ROC
02/03/2014 - Card production email received

02/17/2014 - 2nd card production email received

02/28/2014 - 10 year Green card received

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If she did not intend to stay when she entered on the VWP, then she can adjust status and remain in the US while it processes. In fact, she must remain in the US if you go that route. Is that what you are looking to do? Does she have a job back home or a house?


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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If she did not intend to stay when she entered on the VWP, then she can adjust status and remain in the US while it processes. In fact, she must remain in the US if you go that route. Is that what you are looking to do? Does she have a job back home or a house?

We are going to be getting married very soon, this week or next. I would like for her to stay during the process of her new visa but as Cathy said, she needs to be interviewed and examined in her home country. She does not have a job or own a house in the UK. My next question is, once we are married, I file the I-130 and she returns home at the end of her ESTA, can she then come back to visit on a new ESTA after the standard 4-6 week waiting period?

Thank you so much for your advice :)

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If she did not intend to stay when she entered on the VWP, then she can adjust status and remain in the US while it processes. In fact, she must remain in the US if you go that route. Is that what you are looking to do? Does she have a job back home or a house?

And if you would please PM me any information you have on this specific subject I would be greatly appreciative. Thank you :)

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We are going to be getting married very soon, this week or next. I would like for her to stay during the process of her new visa but as Cathy said, she needs to be interviewed and examined in her home country. She does not have a job or own a house in the UK. My next question is, once we are married, I file the I-130 and she returns home at the end of her ESTA, can she then come back to visit on a new ESTA after the standard 4-6 week waiting period?

Thank you so much for your advice :)

I believe your spouse wants to go safe way, she doesn't want to risk the term of tourist AOS. If you get married now in the US then she returns, then you will do the CR-1 visa for her. Once she has intention to immigrate (pending I-130 from you) the chance she is denied entry at point of entry will be big. Or she can come back before her ESTA expires, then you can file K-1 fiancee visa for her (for that you don't have to get married now.) Good luck.


N400

12/06/2014: Package filed

12/31/2014: Fingerprinted

02/06/2015: In-Line for Interview

04/15/2015: Passed Interview

05/05/2015: Oath letter was sent

05/22/2015: Oath Ceremony

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She doesn't have to interview in her home country. You can file an AOS package, although she must remain in the US until she gets the AP, or her green card. It usually is a much quicker process than filing a CR-1.


Post on Adjudicators's Field Manual re: AOS and Intent: My link
Wedding Date: 06/14/2009
POE at Pearson Airport - for a visit, did not intend to stay - 10/09/2009
Found VisaJourney and created an account - 10/19/2009

I-130 (approved as part of the CR-1 process):
Sent 10/01/2009
NOA1 10/07/2009
NOA2 02/10/2010

AOS:
NOA 05/14/2010
Interview - approved! 07/29/10 need to send in completed I-693 (doctor missed answering a couple of questions) - sent back same day
Green card received 08/20/10

ROC:
Sent 06/01/2012
Approved 02/27/2013

Green card received 05/08/2013

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I believe your spouse wants to go safe way, she doesn't want to risk the term of tourist AOS. If you get married now in the US then she returns, then you will do the CR-1 visa for her. Once she has intention to immigrate (pending I-130 from you) the chance she is denied entry at point of entry will be big. Or she can come back before her ESTA expires, then you can file K-1 fiancee visa for her (for that you don't have to get married now.) Good luck.

Can you clarify "Once she has intention to immigrate (pending I-130 from you) the chance she is denied entry at point of entry will be big.", what is that in regards to? We are definitely going to marry in the US before her ESTA expires on May 1st, 2012. What would be the smartest step from there? I assume it's to file the CR-1/I-130 as soon as possible? Then she would return to the UK. So if she has pending visa applications, is she allowed to travel here on ESTA or does she have to wait til the visa clears?

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She doesn't have to interview in her home country. You can file an AOS package, although she must remain in the US until she gets the AP, or her green card. It usually is a much quicker process than filing a CR-1.

So how do we go about doing this? Can you link me to the appropriate page or give me the google search terms? I'm very interested in keeping my wife here in the US while her AOS is being processed. That would be amazing! :)

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Post on Adjudicators's Field Manual re: AOS and Intent: My link
Wedding Date: 06/14/2009
POE at Pearson Airport - for a visit, did not intend to stay - 10/09/2009
Found VisaJourney and created an account - 10/19/2009

I-130 (approved as part of the CR-1 process):
Sent 10/01/2009
NOA1 10/07/2009
NOA2 02/10/2010

AOS:
NOA 05/14/2010
Interview - approved! 07/29/10 need to send in completed I-693 (doctor missed answering a couple of questions) - sent back same day
Green card received 08/20/10

ROC:
Sent 06/01/2012
Approved 02/27/2013

Green card received 05/08/2013

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01/27/2011 - Trevor's N400 submitted
02/18/2011 - Married
04/02/2011 - NOA1 hard copy received - priority date 03/30/2011
07/08/2011 - Trevor is now a USC - called USCIS to request upgrade of the petition.
08/02/2011 - NOA2
09/08/2011 - LND case number received, medical booked
09/26/2011 - Case complete at NVC
09/30/2011 - Interview date assigned
11/08/2011 - Interview - approved!!
11/10/2011 - Visa in hand
12/04/2011 - POE in Atlanta
12/12/2011 - SSN number received in mail
12/12/2011 - Welcome notice received
01/06/2012 - Green card received
09/06/2013 - File for Removal of Conditions
10/01/2013 - Biometrics for ROC
02/03/2014 - Card production email received

02/17/2014 - 2nd card production email received

02/28/2014 - 10 year Green card received

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You can visit while the I-130 is being processed and plenty of people on here have done so without an issue. But it is always at the discretion of the CO on the day as to whether you are admitted or not. You should be prepared to show strong ties to home such as a mortgage/rental agreement and a letter from an employer saying when you are expected back. And your return ticket of course. The very fact that you are in the process may in fact help because it shows that you are going about things the legal way so it will be worth having your NOA1/2 with you.

Another thing some people do is travel via Dublin because you complete the immigration and customs formalities there so if you are not admitted you don't have to do the transatlantic flight before you find out.

I didn't try to do it because I was warned the last time I went in before we filed that I clearly had immigrant intent and they wouldn't admit me again under the VWP.


01/27/2011 - Trevor's N400 submitted
02/18/2011 - Married
04/02/2011 - NOA1 hard copy received - priority date 03/30/2011
07/08/2011 - Trevor is now a USC - called USCIS to request upgrade of the petition.
08/02/2011 - NOA2
09/08/2011 - LND case number received, medical booked
09/26/2011 - Case complete at NVC
09/30/2011 - Interview date assigned
11/08/2011 - Interview - approved!!
11/10/2011 - Visa in hand
12/04/2011 - POE in Atlanta
12/12/2011 - SSN number received in mail
12/12/2011 - Welcome notice received
01/06/2012 - Green card received
09/06/2013 - File for Removal of Conditions
10/01/2013 - Biometrics for ROC
02/03/2014 - Card production email received

02/17/2014 - 2nd card production email received

02/28/2014 - 10 year Green card received

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Okay, so update! My fiance and I were married this past Saturday, March 31st, 2012 :). I spoke to USCIS about what I could do to keep my wife here in the US while our forms are pending. She said we needed to submit the I-130 (of course) and the I-485. The I-485 doesn't make any sense to me though. It doesn't have our category. Perhaps someone could help me out here? She said on the phone that as long as the status was pending for those forms, she entered lawfully into the country (ESTA), that she could stay through processing. Does all of that sound correct?

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AOS, which is what the previous posters also suggested for you, is the same process as filing the I-130 and I-485 concurrently. If your wife (congratulations, btw!) does not have any loose ends she needs to tie up back home within the next 2-4 months, you an file for AOS, and she can remain in the US for the whole process. She in fact cannot leave, until she has the Advance Parole travel document, which will arrive usually within 90 days from when you file the paperwork.

Once you have filed for AOS she is no longer under VWP status, but enters a new period of authorized stay which will continue until you have received a final decision on your AOS application.

Regarding the I-485 categories, the correct choice for you would be A: An immigrant petition giving me an immediately available immigrant visa number that has been approved (attach a copy of the approval notice, or a relative, special immigrant juvenile, or special immigrant military visa petition filed with this application that will give you an immediately available visa number, if approved)

The I-130 is the relative visa petition, which you will file together with the I-485 application, and which will give your wife an immediately available visa number, if approved.

You should take your time reading through the VJ guide for AOS, link to which was posted earlier by both ValeriA and Cathy. It will tell you pretty much everything you need to know to embark on this process.


Adjustment of Status from F-1 to Legal Permanent Resident

02/11/2011 Married at Manhattan City Hall

03/03/2011 - Day 0 - AOS -package mailed to Chicago Lockbox

03/04/2011 - Day 1 - AOS -package signed for at USCIS

03/09/2011 - Day 6 - E-mail notification received for all petitions

03/10/2011 - Day 7 - Checks cashed

03/11/2011 - Day 8 - NOA 1 received for all 4 forms

03/21/2011 - Day 18 - Biometrics letter received, biometrics scheduled for 04/14/2011

03/31/2011 - Day 28 - Successful walk-in biometrics done

05/12/2011 - Day 70 - EAD Arrived, issued on 05/02

06/14/2011 - Day 103 - E-mail notice: Interview letter mailed, interview scheduled for July 20th

07/20/2011 - Day 139 - Interview at Federal Plaza USCIS location

07/22/2011 - Day 141 - E-mail approval notice received (Card production)

07/27/2011 - Day 146 - 2nd Card Production Email received

07/28/2011 - Day 147 - Post-Decision Activity Email from USCIS

08/04/2011 - Day 154 - Husband returns home from abroad; Welcome Letter and GC have arrived in the mail

("Resident since" date on the GC is 07/20/2011

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