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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Indonesia
Timeline

My fiancee and I work together on a cruise ship, with a US based company. She obtained a work visa to come to the US and join the ship. We work 10 and 11 day cruises through the Caribbean, but when you work on a ship, you're not really considered to be leaving and entering the country when traveling to different ports... we work through something known as a seaman's book.

The long and short of it is that she is technically "in the US" while working on ship, flew into a US airport at the beginning of her contract, etc. It's our intent to get married this Winter while both of us are on ship together, and while I was originally thinking of going the CR-1 route, I'm wondering if we can simply file for an adjustment of status after the wedding, and avoid her having to fly back to Indonesia as soon as our contract is done.

Can anyone advise as to whether this is a feasible route? Do we still file the I-130 in addition to the I-485, and are we responsible for the filing fees for both? (ouch!) Are we better off just having her go home at the end of the contract and going the traditional CR-1 route?

Thanks in advance!

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Canada
Timeline

Unique situation...

So you don't go through customs at all?

If that is the case I don't see why you couldn't just AOS...


July 2005 - met my awesome, hot, amazing love in Lousiana.
July 2006 - Married said love and moved to Canada.
June 2011 - Entered US to visit family, decided to stay.
Feb. 2012 - Sent paperwork to Chicago.

May 2012 - Received green card.

Day 0 - Package sent to Chicago Lockbox - 02/27/2012
Day 2 - UPS Tracking Confirmation - 02/29/2012
Day 4 - NOA Emails Received - 03/02/2012
Day 7 - All Checks Cashed - 03/05/2012
Day 11 - Hard Copy NOA's Received - 03/09/2012
Day 11 - Biometrics Appointment Received - 03/09/2012
--------- - Booked for - 04/03/2012 (day 36)
Day 35 - Early Biometricts Walk-in - 04/02/2012
Day 44 - Received Appointment Letter - 04/11/2012
Day 58 - EAD Approval Online - 04/25/2012
Day 63 - EAD in the mail - 04/30/2012
Day 65 - EAD in hand - 05/02/2012
Day 77 - AOS Interview - 05/14/2012
Day 77 - AOS Approved!
Day 84 - Green Card In Hand - 05/21/2012

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada
Timeline

I am not certain if this is directly applicable to your case, but there were a couple of people on here last year asking about the feasibility of a cruise ship crewmember entering the US on their "crewman's" visa. Basically speaking, if, when she is in the US between cruises, she has entered the US on a crewman's C-1/D visa, she cannot adjust status, even if she is married to a US resident. Crewman's transit visas are apparently very strict, and adjusting status to permanent residence from them simply won't work.

If her US work visa is some other classification, like an H-1B or something, there may be options. We don't have enough information to say for sure from what you've posted so far, but if she has a C class transit visa, she will virtually certainly have to return to Indonesia to interview for the spousal visa. You need to look in her passport and figure out precisely what visa classification she is under - it makes a huge difference.

The Guides here will walk you through both processes - AOS'ing from a non-immigrant visa entry (assuming she isn't on a crewman's visa, in which case that will not work), and the CR-1 process.

In unusual situations, AOSing from a nonimmigrant visa, while usually successful (if it is allowed at all) is somewhat riskier. A denial of a CR-1 (while rare) can always be appealed and appeals are usually successful. Denial of an AOS from a nonimmigrant visa is usually unappealable. Most people here will likely recommend the CR-1 process.

Edited by HeatDeath

DON'T PANIC

"It says wonderful things about the two countries [Canada and the US] that neither one feels itself being inundated by each other's immigrants."

-Douglas Coupland

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Indonesia
Timeline
Unique situation...

So you don't go through customs at all?

If that is the case I don't see why you couldn't just AOS...

Yes and no. For example, when I joined my last ship, it was in Canada, so I went through customs up in Canada to get to the ship. From there, we hit up a number of countries, and in none of them did I ever need anything more than my ship ID to go out and explore. My passport is held by the ship's crew officer, as is my seaman's book. There's no stamps added to my passport (or I'd need new pages every month!), etc.

In her case, she needed to go to the US Embassy in Indonesia to get a work visa to come to the US and join the ship. She cleared customs in Miami, and joined the ship the next day. When her contract is done, she will leave the ship in the US, and will fly out of Miami to head back. I believe for the purposes of immigration, she's in the US on a visa. She's been told by our company that she has 10 days after the contract is done to return to Indonesia, so our initial plan was for her to come visit her new home (I never get sick of saying that!) before flying home. But from what I've read here, when doing an AOS, they ignore overstaying a visa so long as you came here on a legitimate visa, not for the purpose of getting married. She will have a very clearly documented work visa showing 10 months of employment. If we get married and file the AOS paperwork while on ship together, she should be able to come to our home and wait out the process so long as we have confirmation of receipt, correct?

I am not certain if this is directly applicable to your case, but there were a couple of people on here last year asking about the feasibility of a cruise ship crewmember entering the US on their "crewman's" visa. Basically speaking, if, when she is in the US between cruises, she has entered the US on a crewman's C-1/D visa, she cannot adjust status, even if she is married to a US resident. Crewman's transit visas are apparently very strict, and adjusting status to permanent residence from them simply won't work.

I'm waiting to hear back from her on the classification of her visa, but it becomes complicated given that our paperwork is held by a crew officer... Obviously as you pointed out, if her visa is a C-1/D visa, A.O.S. is not an option... But let's keep our fingers crossed!

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You can't AOS from a crewman's visa and furthermore, entering the US on a non-immigrant visa with the intent to immigrate is visa fraud. I'll bet the mortgage she has a crewman's visa anyway, so I'd be looking forward to the CR-1 process.


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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