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lrh

A Bit Of An Unusual One...

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Filed: Timeline

Hi!

I am a very overwhelmed newbie here! I have read hundreds of threads and all the US sites but am still a bit shocked by the enormity of everything involved in this process!

For a little background: my fiance is a dual USC and AUC. He was born in NY and has a US passport and was naturalised as an Australian citizen when he was 7 (his family came back to Australia when he was 2). He hasn't actually been back to the US since 1981. I have spent more time there, living in St Louis as a kid, funnily enough. We met in November 2010, traveled together in 2011 and moved in together on our return in September 2011. We got engaged in July and have plans to get married in Israel on June 9 2013. He was headhunted for a job in Silicon Valley and it has been offered to him and provided the contract ends up making sense for us financially, they want him (us?) there in a month for an indefinite period of up to 5 years.

We had assumed it would all be quite simple and that I could just come in and out on a tourist visa until after we were married and then he'd just have to change my status after getting back from our wedding in Israel. This understanding was based on two conversations with the US Consulate in Sydney. Based on what I have read here and elsewhere, it doesn't seem to be that simple at all. I am actually sick with anxiety about it, to be honest.

The biggest issue for us is this: I am essentially a housewife-to-be. I don't have a full time job, have a very small photography business that I have been building and all our financials are in my fiance's name. If I am stuck in Australia while he is in the US I have literally no clue what I will be doing with myself. With so little proven ties to Australia getting in and out is going to be complicated as well. The frustrating, crazy thing is that if he weren't a US citizen and was being sponsored by his employer I could come in on his visa as a de-facto partner. Because he is a citizen that offer isn't open to us. We seem to fall in this awkward little "crack" in the system.

I feel like our situation is a little unusual and I would love to get some insight from people who have been in our place or a similar situation. Particularly, were you able to get into and out for 90 days at a time or is that unlikely to be possible?

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada
Timeline

Getting in and out shouldn't be your problem getting in as a tourist with immigrant intent should. Entering on the VWP is for tourists, not for those with immigrant intent and changing status when you plan on arriving as a tourist is visa fruad.

Why not file the fiance visa now. Travel to the US when it is approved, marry, adjust your status and have a ceremony in Israel?

If you are set on having your legal wedding in Israel, then you'll be facing months apart.

You could also try for a B2 visa which would permit you to stay for up to 6 months, however if denied you cannot use your VWP again

Good luck


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August 12, 2008 - petition sent
August 16, 2008 - NOA-1
February 10, 2009 - NOA-2
178 DAYS FROM NOA-1


NVC
February 13, 2009 - NVC case number assigned
March 12, 2009 - Case Complete
25 DAY TRIP THROUGH NVC


Medical
May 4, 2009


Interview
May, 26, 2009


POE - June 20, 2009 Toronto - Atlanta, GA

Removal of Conditions
Filed - April 14, 2011
Biometrics - June 2, 2011 (early)
Approval - November 9, 2011
209 DAY TRIP TO REMOVE CONDITIONS

Citizenship

April 29, 2013 - NOA1 for petition received

September 10, 2013 Interview - decision could not be made.

April 15, 2014 APPROVED. Wait for oath ceremony

Waited...

September 29, 2015 - sent letter to senator.

October 16, 2015 - US Citizen

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Filed: Timeline

Getting in and out shouldn't be your problem getting in as a tourist with immigrant intent should. Entering on the VWP is for tourists, not for those with immigrant intent and changing status when you plan on arriving as a tourist is visa fruad.

Why not file the fiance visa now. Travel to the US when it is approved, marry, adjust your status and have a ceremony in Israel?

If you are set on having your legal wedding in Israel, then you'll be facing months apart.

You could also try for a B2 visa which would permit you to stay for up to 6 months, however if denied you cannot use your VWP again

Good luck

Hi,

Thanks for that - I guess I wasn't entirely clear. We were advised to go in on ESTA and then adjust status by the consulate. We had no idea it presented an issue until I started googling the process. We were not intending to commit visa fraud knowingly. That's why I posted here.

Our issue is a little complicated in that if my fiance were not a US citizen, he'd be being sponsored by his new employer and I would get to 'piggyback' that visa. Because he is a citizen and despite the fact that he has been living in Australia for 31 years, it seems that there is not something to cater for our sort of situation wherein a USC returns to America for employment reasons with a fiance/wife/defacto in tow. It seems crazy to me, because if he weren't a citizen I'd just be given a visa.

In order to be with him for the duration of his employment (indefinite for now, but our intention is to move back to Australia eventually) I need to submit immigration forms. The reason we thought I could come in and out as a tourist and then adjust the visa after marriage is because that's what my fiance was told to do by the consulate - they said for me to just use the ESTA and then adjust status after marriage. They made it sound incredibly simple, to be honest. I have investigated more and seen that this presents an issue - my fiance (the USC) seems to think that it won't be an issue because of his conversation with the consulate.

I am happy to submit for a fiance visa but my concern is that it would not be completed in time for the wedding in June and that I will have to stay in Australia indefinitely while it is processed. We have considered moving the whole wedding to America for convenience sake (US companies seem to give 2 weeks leave instead of the 4 weeks Australians get which makes traveling to Israel for the wedding a bit of a headache for him) but. We are Jewish, so there are only so many times of year we can get married under Jewish law which is why the June 9 date is pretty inflexible.

I guess the question I am largely asking is how can I come and stay with my fiance while we are waiting for the visa to be processed when I don't have many ways of proving my ties to Australia because I am, for intents and purposes, a house'fiance'. I do not really work except for a bit of self-employed photography and the odd casual retail job. I won't have a residence or rental agreement when visiting because I will be staying with friends and family when i have to be in Australia as we cannot afford to run a household in the US and one in Sydney. I guess that our situation doesn't seem that common and I'd appreciate some feedback on how people have managed situations like this.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Vietnam
Timeline

FWIW: Spouses can piggy back on work visas, non-spouses cannot.

Another question: Has he been filing US tax returns? The US taxes on worldwide income. So he will need to get that sorted in order to submit any sort of paperwork for you. At least tax filings for the most recent 3 years. There are treaties that exempt the first ~$90k US from double taxation. Regardless of tax owed, the tax filings must be done. See this link >>> http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers

Also, he will need to establish some sort of US domicile (or show concrete steps to establish domicile).

The fastest and easiest way to obtain the visa/green card would be to marry asap and petition through the US embassy in OZ. A simple civil ceremony would do. That may or may not work for you two. But it would be the fastest way.

This link may be helpful to you both >>> http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_3183.html


I-864 Affidavit of Support FAQ -->> https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/immigrate/immigrant-process/documents/support/i-864-frequently-asked-questions.html

FOREIGN INCOME REPORTING & TAX FILING -->> https://www.irs.gov/publications/p54/ch01.html#en_US_2015_publink100047318

CALL THIS NUMBER TO ORDER IRS TAX TRANSCRIPTS >> 800-908-9946

PLEASE READ THE GUIDES -->> Link to Visa Journey Guides

MULTI ENTRY SPOUSE VISA TO VN -->>Link to Visa Exemption for Vietnamese Residents Overseas & Their Spouses

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Filed: Timeline

FWIW: Spouses can piggy back on work visas, non-spouses cannot.

Another question: Has he been filing US tax returns? The US taxes on worldwide income. So he will need to get that sorted in order to submit any sort of paperwork for you. At least tax filings for the most recent 3 years. There are treaties that exempt the first ~$90k US from double taxation. Regardless of tax owed, the tax filings must be done. See this link >>> http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/International-Taxpayers

Also, he will need to establish some sort of US domicile (or show concrete steps to establish domicile).

The fastest and easiest way to obtain the visa/green card would be to marry asap and petition through the US embassy in OZ. A simple civil ceremony would do. That may or may not work for you two. But it would be the fastest way.

This link may be helpful to you both >>> http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_3183.html

Hi,

Thanks for that - it's odd as a friend of mine told me she was piggybacking her fiance's visa when they were living in SF, she must have been wrong! :)

He hasn't been filing returns. He actually had no idea that he was meant to be filing them until we started looking into the VISA issue for me - he's been back in Australia since he was 2 (31 years) and it had never come up. He has booked a meeting with an accountant in the US for the week he arrives so he can sort it all out. He is annoyed that nobody mentioned it to him in all these years as he would have done the right thing if he knew!

We can't actually marry before he leaves for the job. He has to be there on November 1 and you need 30 days notice to have a civil marriage here, I think. I am going to check that. The annoying thing is that my fiance keeps getting advice from people to just have me enter on VWP and then adjust status at the consulate in Israel after our wedding there. These are people working in various consulates around the world - it is crazy to me that people encourage others to do the wrong thing! I have been getting it through to him that it isn't that simple and doesn't even make sense. That aside, our plan is to do things the right way.

I am going with him on VWP for a couple of weeks at the end of the month and we are going to see an immigration lawyer while we are there. I have a back injury and have to come back to Sydney for surgery for six weeks or so anyway so we are thinking of lodging K-1 once I am back in Australia and he has been able to rent a place, set up bank accounts, get established in his new job.

Which brings me back to my main question: how do I legally get in and out of the US on VWP while I am waiting for the K-1 to be processed? I won't have a job or residence here as we can't afford to run two houses and I don't even have a job now (other than periodic wedding photography assignments) while he is living here. I want to be able to be with him but I am not sure how to prove ties to Australia given our situation. Would contracts of weddings or events I have to shoot (there aren't many, my business is in its infancy) suffice? I don't plan to work while I am there - just do what I do here, be a house'wife' and hang out, plan our wedding trip, go see family in various cities etc. Pretty much what I have done on previous trips to the US when I have visited friends and family, frankly.

Edited by lrh

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Vietnam
Timeline

Hi,

Thanks for that - it's odd as a friend of mine told me she was piggybacking her fiance's visa when they were living in SF, she must have been wrong! :)

He hasn't been filing returns. He actually had no idea that he was meant to be filing them until we started looking into the VISA issue for me - he's been back in Australia since he was 2 (31 years) and it had never come up. He has booked a meeting with an accountant in the US for the week he arrives so he can sort it all out. He is annoyed that nobody mentioned it to him in all these years as he would have done the right thing if he knew!

We can't actually marry before he leaves for the job. He has to be there on November 1 and you need 30 days notice to have a civil marriage here, I think. I am going to check that. The annoying thing is that my fiance keeps getting advice from people to just have me enter on VWP and then adjust status at the consulate in Israel after our wedding there. These are people working in various consulates around the world - it is crazy to me that people encourage others to do the wrong thing! I have been getting it through to him that it isn't that simple and doesn't even make sense. That aside, our plan is to do things the right way.

I am going with him on VWP for a couple of weeks at the end of the month and we are going to see an immigration lawyer while we are there. I have a back injury and have to come back to Sydney for surgery for six weeks or so anyway so we are thinking of lodging K-1 once I am back in Australia and he has been able to rent a place, set up bank accounts, get established in his new job.

Which brings me back to my main question: how do I legally get in and out of the US on VWP while I am waiting for the K-1 to be processed? I won't have a job or residence here as we can't afford to run two houses and I don't even have a job now (other than periodic wedding photography assignments) while he is living here. I want to be able to be with him but I am not sure how to prove ties to Australia given our situation. Would contracts of weddings or events I have to shoot (there aren't many, my business is in its infancy) suffice? I don't plan to work while I am there - just do what I do here, be a house'wife' and hang out, plan our wedding trip, go see family in various cities etc. Pretty much what I have done on previous trips to the US when I have visited friends and family, frankly.

Adjust status at an embassy? blink.gif That's an odd bit of advice. Adjusting status happens inside the US.

As with any US entry, you want to have some proof of ties to home if the CBP officer asks. Don't be surprised if the conversation does occur that there will be notes written in the system and maybe in your passport by the entry stamp. Frankly, the contracts won't be much proof. Docs like that would be easy enough to fake. That being said, bring what you can (contracts, drivers license, bank account info, etc.) and hope for the best.

The Guides section here on VJ is quite helpful. You both should look through there.


I-864 Affidavit of Support FAQ -->> https://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/immigrate/immigrant-process/documents/support/i-864-frequently-asked-questions.html

FOREIGN INCOME REPORTING & TAX FILING -->> https://www.irs.gov/publications/p54/ch01.html#en_US_2015_publink100047318

CALL THIS NUMBER TO ORDER IRS TAX TRANSCRIPTS >> 800-908-9946

PLEASE READ THE GUIDES -->> Link to Visa Journey Guides

MULTI ENTRY SPOUSE VISA TO VN -->>Link to Visa Exemption for Vietnamese Residents Overseas & Their Spouses

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Filed: Timeline

Adjust status at an embassy? blink.gif That's an odd bit of advice. Adjusting status happens inside the US.

As with any US entry, you want to have some proof of ties to home if the CBP officer asks. Don't be surprised if the conversation does occur that there will be notes written in the system and maybe in your passport by the entry stamp. Frankly, the contracts won't be much proof. Docs like that would be easy enough to fake. That being said, bring what you can (contracts, drivers license, bank account info, etc.) and hope for the best.

The Guides section here on VJ is quite helpful. You both should look through there.

Yeah, that's what I keep saying. It seems like bizarre advice. Then again, people in Citizen Services in Sydney advised my fiance to have me come in with on VWP and then adjust status after our wedding in Israel. Another told us to just have a civil ceremony when we get there and adjust status. With advice like that from people who should be presumed to be in the know, it is no wonder people end up making mistakes.

I have read all the guides but seem to come across horror story after horror story on here with people who haven't been allowed to come in and out while they wait for their K-1 visa to be processed. We were reconsidering just getting married but it is too late as he has to be in CA for his job in three weeks - 20 days to be exact.

It is really frustrating - particularly when you compare it to Australia where you can get a 12 month working visa, renew it for another year usually, and most people who apply for permanent residence status can do it here while living and working in Australia with their fiances/husbands/boyfriends.

Edited by lrh

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