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IR-1/CR-1 petition if a previous L1-B visa was denied.....

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Filed: Timeline

Hi everyone,

This is my first post (of probably many), and I'm not a regular user of forums, so please excuse any newbie mistakes. Thanks!

My full story, with my question/concern at the bottom:

  • I'm a USC, husband is South African.
  • We met in May 2011 and shared a long-distance relationship until November 2012 when we became engaged and I moved to South Africa to be with him. During the long-distance relationship we visited each other multiple times and talked every day, and we have lots of proof available to support our relationship.
  • Shortly after I arrived in South Africa on a 3 month tourist visa, we used a lawyer and petitioned for a South African relatives visa for me and it was approved. At the time we filed, we were engaged, so it was considered a Life Partner visa.
  • In September 2013, we were married in South Africa. I didn't get my Life Partner visa changed, as there isn't much difference between the Life Partner and Spouse visa here in South Africa. It was a small ceremony, but we have photos and videos as proof, as well as our official marriage certificate.
  • In April of 2014, my husband and I decided that we would like to live in the US, as I had been unable to find employment in South Africa. Our goal was for both of us to be employed, whether that be in South Africa or the US, and after me being unemployed for a year and a half here, we thought I might have better luck gaining employment back in my home country.
  • As soon as my husband expressed his interest to relocate to the US to his South African boss, the US office of the company (company he works for is international) stated they would like to offer him employment in their main US office as an Intracompany Transfer. We were very excited for this news, as it meant that my husband would get to come to the US relatively quickly under a L1-B visa, vs the longer IR-1/CR-1 route. We planned to petition for the IR-1/CR-1 once we were both in the US, as thankfully, the L1 category is a dual intent visa.
  • The US office of my husbands company hired a lawyer and began the process of filing for the L1-B Non-Immigrant work visa in June 2014. After months of waiting in limbo and submitting a RFE, his visa was ultimately denied in October 2014 due to insufficient evidence to prove his skills are specialized enough.
  • With that bad news, we decided that we should go ahead and pursue the IR-1/CR-1 visa route. As I started my research (the VisaJourney website has been a wealth of info!!), I discovered that in order to sponsor my husband, I need to be employed and residing in the US (easiest way to prove financial support). Filing for DCF is not an option for us because my visa here in South Africa is considered a temporary visa and I'm not a legal permanent resident. At least, that's how I understand it (maybe I'm wrong?)....
  • So anyway, I've decided to go ahead and head back to the US; I bought my plane ticket, and spoke to my old boss about getting a position back with the team. It sounds promising, so I may be employed back in the US very soon. As of today, I'm still in South Africa (I leave later this month). My husband plans to stay here during the IR-1/CR-1 process, so he can enter the US free to work anywhere.

With our new plan in place, we were excited about moving forward and letting the L1-B visa denial become a thing of the past. Until last night..... The US office for my husbands company has decided they'd like to pursue a different type of work visa in hopes of still employing him as a Intracompany Transfer. With the L1-B visa denial still sitting heavy on our confidence, we're worried that this new work visa (L1-A), may also get denied. If that does happen, we'll have 2 previous visa denials under our belt before we petition for the IR-1/CR-1 visa.

My question: is there a potential that the previous work visa denial will negatively effect our IR-1/CR-1 success rate? If we decide to go through with the new L1-A visa route and it happens to get denied too, will that throw up even more red flags? Also, am I on the right track by deciding to move back to the US before starting the IR-1/CR-1 petition?

Basically, I'm just curious if it sounds like our case will be questioned or if it sounds pretty straight forward. Any thoughts or advice is appreciated.

Thank you!

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Welcome to VJ! :)

I understand your concerns, but they are as of yet unfounded. His previous denials wont' have a negative effect on his ability to apply for a spousal visa. Yes, they do revise previous applications and petitions, but only to check for misrepresentation and such. The fact that they were denied won't have an influence this time because this time he is applying for an immigrant visa. If it were another nonimmigrant visa, past denials are taken into consideration.

That said, the next step is for you to actually petition him, and as you've seen this site is a wealth of knowledge and experience. I will give you links with info about how to start the process. You want to get yourself familiarized with the terms and processes involved.

By the way, you don't have to be employed per se in order to sponsor your husband. You have to have sufficient income and/or assets for your household size. Yes, primarily people depend on employment for income, but having to be employed is another thing. That said, some people sponsor their families with retirement income, assets, disability income, etc.

If you aren't employed or don't have income/assets, you are allowed to use a joint sponsor. This is a person who makes sufficient income that agrees to sponsor your spouse together with you. You aren't allowed to combine your income with this person however in order to meet the income requirements. People on here typically use their parents, siblings, other relatives, friends, and even employers as joint sponsors.

It may seem like a lot of info now, but when you start reading up on the process, you'll understand everything. Good luck!

Here are the links:





This does not constitute legal advice.

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To add to the above, you do not need to live in the US to sponsor your spouse. (Even if you use a joint sponsor, you will still sponsor him.) You will, however, need to show that you either have maintained US domicile or have taken steps to reestablish domicile no later than the date your spouse enters. This wiki has more information on domicile, including a sample letter and some ideas of evidence.

I am afraid that I do not know the requirements for Johannesburg DCF, so cannot pass on their info on whether your visa/permit counts. I checked their site, and it says to inquire directly for information on filing.

2012: Married
2014 2016 2017: I-130 packet direct to Frankfurt

Frankfurt's "steps" to DCF:

Step 1: I-130 Petition Checklist (PDF, from their USCIS page)

Step 2: Immigrant/Fiance(e) & K-Visa Applicant Checklist (PDF, from their Appointment & Interview page)

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Filed: Timeline

Thank you both, Ian H. and Awaywego! I really appreciate the reply, the helpful links, and the advice not to worry too much about the denied visa(s). That makes me feel much better, whew.

So much to read and learn, but thanks for pointing me in the right direction with all the links. Very kind!

Thanks, and I'm sure I'll be back with more assistance as the process moves along. Cheers!

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