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Adie

J-1 to Spouse Visa

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Hi, I have a question. And I would appreciate any help you can provide.

My husband (Brazilian) and I (US citizen) meant when he was in the US on a J-1 visa. He left Dec 2010 and is subject to the 2 yr home residency requirement (HRR). Which means he can Brazil leave after Dec 2012. I moved to Brazil to be with him in Sept 2011 and we got married in Nov 2011. I was under the impression that if you had a J-1 visa previously you could still send in your I-130 before the HHR expired, but today I call the National Customer Service Center and was put on hold forever and told that my husband could not get any type of visa (including a tourist visa) for the US until after this HRR expired or until he gets a wavier. When I was looking around online I found on the USCIS website that there was no mention of not being able to apply for the I-130. It just says he can't change his status or adjust his status. We also have friends in the US that just completed the process last year and sent in their application before the HRR expired with no trouble. The lady sounded like she didn't know much about the subject and had to put me on hold to find an answer so I was wondering if anyone out there can help. I was thinking about calling again on Monday to clarify, because the I-130 would affect his status until after his HRR expired. Also, I don't think it would make sense to file for a J-1 wavier 7 months before it expires.

Thanks!!!

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You can file the I-130 before the HRR period is over. If his interview happens to take place prior to the end of the HRR period, the Consulate would delay issuing the visa until the HRR period was over.


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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Hi - We have the same case here. I completed my J1 in 2010 and left the U.S. around the same time your husband did. My husband also moved to my home country to stay with me. After doing some research and speaking to a lawyer, we went ahead and filed the petition March 2012(so about 10 months before my HRR ends). I've heard that some people went for interview and got their visas issued even with some months still left from the 2-yr hhr, but that really depends the CO that works on your case, and i wouldn't put high hope on that. Most probably the U.S. Embassy/Consulate would delay your husband's interview until he meets the 2-yr requirement. We're also thinking that we can work out the NVC process (in case we get approved soon) by spreading out the submissions of the paperwork so that the interview can be scheduled around or soon after my hrr is met.

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Thanks for the answers!

I also talked to our friends that went through the exact same process here in Brazil. They actually had their interview 3 months before the HRR expired (this was when the whole process was done through the Rio Consulate in Brazil) and the agent just held the passport for 3 months before sending it too them. I am not going to try and do that, but I am a little relieved to hear that. I am starting to learn that no government telephone operator knows anything and no one will give you the answers you need. The only people who you can get reliable advise from is people who are going through the same process.

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