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werdnum

DCF London residency requirement

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Hi!

I'm US/AU dual, my gf is Finnish. We were planning to get married and apply for DCF in London, but I don't quite understand the residency requirement. It looks like it used to be that you had to live in the UK for six months, but now it *seems* to be that you just have to show evidence that you're *allowed* to live there. Since she's Finnish, once we're married I have that right automatically (and it can be evidenced with an EEA Family Permit).

We're living in Prague now, and we *could* move to London, but I'm wondering how the residency requirement is interpreted. Is it enough to get married, to get an EEA Family Permit, move temporarily, and show the permit with my I-130 petition. We could then move back to Prague and fly in for the appointments. I realise this is probably bending the rules, but is it breaking them? I see that I'm allowed to leave after the NOA1, but I guess I'm a little concerned that moving just for a week might be looked down on as "not bona fide". Otherwise I guess we'll just move to London, better than doing without DCF.

Edited by werdnum

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You do not need a family permit, you can visit visa free.

EEA Family Permit would allow you to get residency.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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You do not need a family permit, you can visit visa free.

EEA Family Permit would allow you to get residency.

Right, also I can visit of my own accord as an Australian (and US) Citizen. My question is about the residency requirement to file DCF in London – would they accept an EEA Family Permit as evidence of residency?

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Why London? If you're in Prague why not Frankfurt, Germany or Vienna Austria?

Both those US Consular Offices have USCIS Field Offices

http://www.uscis.gov/about-us/find-uscis-office/international-immigration-offices


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==========

Dec 11, 2014 - Filed I-130 via DCF @ US Embassy Manila (...and we're on the clock...) - Read about my experience filing DCF here > http://www.visajourney.com/forums/topic/527064-filed-dcf-i-130-for-ir-1-at-us-embassy-manila-aar/

Dec 11, 2014 - NOA1: Not sure what to put here, Dec 11, 2014, Dec 24, 2014 or something in between.

Dec 24, 2014 - NOA2: I called USCIS @ USEM on Jan 5, 2015 and was told the I-130 was approved on Christmas Eve. Thank you Santa!

Jan 13, 2015 - MNL Case Number & Packet 3 Received via email (I emailed the IV Unit-Manila requesting these on Jan 5, 2015 and Jan 12, 2015)

Jan 21, 2015 - NOA2: Mailed (via PhilPost!) paper/hard copy delivered to our place here in Manila.

Jan 22, 2015 - Packet 3: Mailed (again via PhilPost!) paper/hard copy delivered to out place here in Manila.

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Why London? If you're in Prague why not Frankfurt, Germany or Vienna Austria?

Both those US Consular Offices have USCIS Field Offices

http://www.uscis.gov/about-us/find-uscis-office/international-immigration-offices

Vienna requires a residence permit and six months' residency (might as well just apply for the K-3). Frankfurt requires a residence permit (and thus proof of an address in Germany).

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Hi Werdnum,

I've just started looking into this and could use some pointers too. I'm a British citizen and my fiance is a US/Spanish dual citizen. We want to get married here and follow the same process you're suggesting. Would you be able to point me in the right direction for information on how to begin this process?

For the others, my query is similar to Werdnum:

My fiance lives in the US, but we would get married in the UK with the intention of moving back to the US asap. Would his Spanish citizenship allow him to meet the residency requirement to do the DCF in London? Alternatively, could we do it in Spain?

Thanks!

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Hi Werdnum,

I've just started looking into this and could use some pointers too. I'm a British citizen and my fiance is a US/Spanish dual citizen. We want to get married here and follow the same process you're suggesting. Would you be able to point me in the right direction for information on how to begin this process?

For the others, my query is similar to Werdnum:

My fiance lives in the US, but we would get married in the UK with the intention of moving back to the US asap. Would his Spanish citizenship allow him to meet the residency requirement to do the DCF in London? Alternatively, could we do it in Spain?

Thanks!

All the research I've done tells me this: technically you must actually live in the UK; however, practically speaking they only check if you have the right to live there and provide them with a UK address on the application. Since last year there has been no requirement for length of residency.

We plan to move to the UK anyway to be safe.

For more information, Google "DCF London". There is a very comprehensive page on the VJ wiki.

Edited by werdnum

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I wrote the wiki guide.

I emailed them a few months ago about the old "6 month" rule and they said there's no minimum now, so really, I don't know what's going on there in terms of proof of residency. It almost sounds like they just don't care so long as both parties are legally able to live in the UK. London is a notoriously "easy"/straight-talking embassy in terms of DCF processing (they don't ask for relationship evidence, for example)/

The field office there is pretty good about replying to emails, so it might be worth dropping them a note to simply ask what residency requirements are needed if the person is an EU passport holder - do they also want to other evidence, like utility bills or house lease?

If you ask, please do report back so I can update the wiki guide appropriately. If it turns out they *really* don't need anything else, that's fantastic information for people to know.


* I-130/CR-1 visa by Direct Consular Filing in London
3rd May 2013 - Married in London

7th May 2013 - I-130 filed
4th June 2013 - NOA2 (approved)
16th July 2013 - Interview (approved)
30th July 2013 - POE San Francisco
29th August 2013 - 2 year green card arrived

 

* How? Read my DCF London I-130 for CR1/IR1 Spouse Guide

* Removal of Conditions (RoC) via California Service Centre
1st May 2015 - 90 day RoC window opened
6th May 2015 - I-751 filed (delivered 8th May, cheque cashed 18th May)
7th August 2015 - Approved / GC production

27th August 2015 - 10 year green card arrived

* Naturalisation (Citizenship) via Phoenix Lockbox

* San Francisco Field Office:
1st May 2016 - N-400 window opened
20th August 2016 - N-400 filed

26th August 2016 - NOA1
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12th January 2017 - Biometrics (again)
30th May 2017 - Interview (approved)
7th June 2017 - Oath

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I wrote the wiki guide.

I emailed them a few months ago about the old "6 month" rule and they said there's no minimum now, so really, I don't know what's going on there in terms of proof of residency. It almost sounds like they just don't care so long as both parties are legally able to live in the UK. London is a notoriously "easy"/straight-talking embassy in terms of DCF processing (they don't ask for relationship evidence, for example)/

The field office there is pretty good about replying to emails, so it might be worth dropping them a note to simply ask what residency requirements are needed if the person is an EU passport holder - do they also want to other evidence, like utility bills or house lease?

If you ask, please do report back so I can update the wiki guide appropriately. If it turns out they *really* don't need anything else, that's fantastic information for people to know.

I emailed them too, specifically about the residency requirement – they just referred me to the embassy website. I'm almost tempted to just apply now and give my sister's address to be honest, but I think we'll play it safe and actually move there bona fide.

EDIT: My question:

I would like to file an I-130 petition on behalf of my future wife in the near future, and would like to lodge it at the US Embassy in London. I have the right of residence in the United Kingdom by virtue of her Finnish nationality under EU law.

What documents will you accept to prove my right of residence in the UK, and, thus, my eligibility to file my I-130 petition directly with the US Embassy/USCIS field office in London?

Their response: In order to file the Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) with the London Field Office, go to http://london.usembassy.gov/dhs/uscis; click on Filing I-130.

Be sure to utilize the attached “Checklist for Spouse

Edited by werdnum

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I sent London an email on Friday asking this same question.

I am British, my wife has dual US/Swedish nationality and we live in Sweden but were married in the UK. My parents live in the UK, so I can provide a UK address and it's a simple matter to fly over to London from Copenhagen for medical/interview.

If it is true that all that is required is the 'right' to reside in the UK, then we qualify for DCF since my wife is an EU citizen.

I need to do some more research, since we are due to imminently file our I-130 and I was going to send it to the Chicago dropbox. But if we can do it in London, it may save our family from an enforced separation as my wife is due to start a job in the US on 1st October.

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This is from the London website:

Who can file Form I-130 with the London Field Office?

The USCIS Field Office London will only accept Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) filed by United States citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents who are legally resident in the United Kingdom.

  • US citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents whose principal residence is not in the United Kingdom and/or who entered the United Kingdom as a tourist or visitor must file the Form
    I-130 with the Chicago or Phoenix Lockbox.
  • US citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents who reside in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, or Sweden) must also file the Form I-130 with either the Chicago or Phoenix Lockbox.

It seems pretty clear that the principal residence rule (I've underlined) is not met if you don't live in the UK, and they specifically mention Sweden as needing to file in Chicago. I'll see how they reply and maybe take it further, since if we went for a K3 visa that would have to be processed in London anyway owing to the 'country of marriage' rule.

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This is from the London website:

Who can file Form I-130 with the London Field Office?

The USCIS Field Office London will only accept Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) filed by United States citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents who are legally resident in the United Kingdom.

  • US citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents whose principal residence is not in the United Kingdom and/or who entered the United Kingdom as a tourist or visitor must file the Form

    I-130 with the Chicago or Phoenix Lockbox.

  • US citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents who reside in Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Norway, or Sweden) must also file the Form I-130 with either the Chicago or Phoenix Lockbox.

It seems pretty clear that the principal residence rule (I've underlined) is not met if you don't live in the UK, and they specifically mention Sweden as needing to file in Chicago. I'll see how they reply and maybe take it further, since if we went for a K3 visa that would have to be processed in London anyway owing to the 'country of marriage' rule.

Right. My conclusion was this:

  • They don't routinely check if you actually live in the UK, just that you are allowed to.
  • However, there are lots of ways that they could eventually find out that you had lied about living in the UK
  • Therefore: you should be prepared to make a defensible claim that you lived in the UK at the time of filing. There's no set standard for how long or how seriously you live there, just that if a consular or immigration official asks you at any point in the process if you live in the UK, you should be able to say yes with a straight face.

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Right. My conclusion was this:

  • They don't routinely check if you actually live in the UK, just that you are allowed to.
  • However, there are lots of ways that they could eventually find out that you had lied about living in the UK
  • Therefore: you should be prepared to make a defensible claim that you lived in the UK at the time of filing. There's no set standard for how long or how seriously you live there, just that if a consular or immigration official asks you at any point in the process if you live in the UK, you should be able to say yes with a straight face.

I think that's pretty much my conclusion as well, and it (unfortunately) won't work for us since we can't move to the UK for filing - at least not until after the summer and even then it would mean pulling our daughters out of school until the visa was issued which isn't really an option.

Perhaps London will take pity on us, but as someone who used to work in a (British) embassy and knows how the visa sections operate there I have little optimism.

I understand why the process takes time for immigration of spouses - the flaunting of this system just to get people into the country on a green card - but for bona fide relationships, especially where children are concerned, it creates stress (I haven't slept properly for over 2 weeks) and breaking up a family for any length of time is a terrible shame.

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Also the K3 is basically a dead visa.

I know, I've read the forum discussions on K3; how it's unlikely to beat the I-130 application to NVC processing. But if there's a chance it might get through first and speed things up I'll take it. We'll deal with the Adjustment of Status processes in the US if/when we cross that bridge.

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