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CR-1 Visa Extension for military spouse

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Hello, I am in the Army in Korea and I just received my wife's visa. Unfortunately, the Visa expires 5 days before my Date Eligible for Return from Overseas (DEROS). I've tried contacting the embassy in Seoul but they did not give me any definitive answers. All they said is that I would have to apply for a new visa! As a servicemember I can't just pack up and leave as easily as a civilian and the marriage and visa process has already been an expensive affair, so applying for a new visa (for 5 more days) seems like a waste of time and money, especially since I would have to get another visa examination (her 3rd in a year as the army required one before I could marry). Has anyone encountered this and is there anything to be done that doesn't require applying for another visa? Or am I stuck trying to convince the Army to allow me to leave before my DEROS? This option is difficult due to the unfamiliarity of army clerks with immigration and will probably take considerable time to accomplish... I've already extended twice (once for two months and the second for six months) to get my wife's visa and now I'm finding that I have to do more paperwork to try to leave early so I don't have to get another visa. I've been very patient with the visa issues before but I thought they would take into consideration that servicemembers aren't always able to leave in the arbitrary timelines set for immigration, and it takes a lot more paperwork on the army side to do this. All I want to do is leave Korea to go to the states with my wife, but it seems that right now the worst possible scenario of her going early without me, and out of my pocket may happen. I really don't want to do that. If only I had waited one week to submit her visa I wouldn't have had to deal with this stress.

Edited by ncerteza

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You should contact USCIS military hotline OR find out from on base whether or not expedited naturalisation is something they do there for you guys. We had it in Okinawa but you have to be there on orders and be there while it's being processed.

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I am considering taking leave to Guam for 5 days a month before my DEROS. Seems like if I have to pay to get a new exam and visa I might as well spend money to go to guam. I heard once her visa is stamped she has 6 months to immigrate to the states. is it true though once she gets back to korea she can only stay 30 days unless she has a tourist visa? Her visa in korea expires in may but there's a possibility that they will extend it until I leave.

Edited by ncerteza

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Moved from IR-1/CR-1 Process & Procedures to Military Immigration-Related Discussion.

Our journey:


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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Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Ask our VJ Immigration Lawyers.

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