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derwydd-llyn

In Ireland with British spouse--how should I apply for a CR-1 for him?

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Hi, everyone. I'm just really lost and needing help about this entire process of applying for a CR-1 for my husband. 

A little background about our situation: I am a US citizen by birth. I have lived in the US all my life, and in October of last year I married my British husband in the US. In January we travelled to my husband's home country of Wales. We spent six months there, and I was on a visitor visa. We moved to Ireland from Wales and will have been here for two months next week. My husband is working and exercising EU treaty rights, I've applied for a residence card, and just this week I got my Stamp 4 right to work.

 

My main question is: do I still count as a resident of the US or a resident of Ireland? Does my legal residency begin when I get my residence card? I read that you must be legally resident for six months in a foreign country before sending out your I-130 if you want to do Direct Counselor Processing, but Ireland doesn't have a USCIS office and we will have to file through the Chicago lockbox. Does this mean I would file the same way I would if I were in the US? Do I have to wait until I've had legal residence here for six months, or can I submit the application now under my US address (my parents' house where I was resident)? 

 

Also, as far as the Affidavit of Support and meeting financial requirements goes, as one of my parents is willing to joint sponsor my husband, must I still meet financial requirements on my own? It seems unclear what I will need to show financially in this case. If I work in Ireland, will this count towards it, or must it be US based? 

 

One final question: if, during the process, after the I-130 approval, I move back to the US to get a job and prepare for my husband's arrival, can he move back to Britain temporarily or must it all be done out of Ireland since that's where we will be filing from? 

 

I apologise for the novel, but our situation is a little unique, and we are just needing some guidance. Thank you for any help/advice you can offer. 

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Not unique for this site!

 

Welcome. Yes, you file through Chicago since Ireland does not have DCF options. You can file as soon as you have the official copy of your marriage certificate. So get filing! You can use your parents' address. But make sure they check and forward mail to you quickly. If you get an RFE you have a small window of time to respond. So if your parents are out of town a lot or only check their mailbox twice a month, it won't work. 

 

Your husband can have his medical and interview in either Ireland or move back to the U.K. But there is no benefit or disadvantage either way so stick with Ireland to save the travel costs of going back to the U.K. just for a visa process. 

 

You can only count your income if it will continue from the same source when you return to the US. So if you are going to be working for the same company and they are transferring you that would count. But if you are quitting your job in Ireland and taking a new one in the US, it won't count unless you go before him and get the job and start earning before the I-864 is needed by the NVC

Edited by JFH

 

 

 

 

 

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I'm unsure if you're currently residing in Wales or Ireland, so this is all under the assumption that you're in Wales (UK).

 

 

1. As far as residency, the general requirement set out by the USCIS is that you have legal residence (have a residence card) for 6 months. Fortunately each office is allowed to adjust this requirement. I've read on here that the London office only requires that you currently have legal residence in the UK, but are not enforcing the 6 month rule.

 

I ran into the same situation as you. I was living in Mexico but did not have my residence card at the time. I called the Mexico USCIS office and they told me I could submit other evidence. I did and I was approved. The best thing to do is to call the London USCIS office and ask as well as finding others on here who have gone through the same process.

 

2. On the Affidavit of Support, you do not need to meet the requirements on your own. The total income for all cosponsors must be greater than 125% of the federal poverty line for the given household size. If your parent is sponsoring you and their household size is 2 (both parents), you'll need to add yourself and your husband, so the household size is now 4. According to https://aspe.hhs.gov/poverty-guidelines the poverty line for a household this size is $24,600. 125% of that is $30,750. Meaning that all cosponsors' income must be at least this amount.

 

The income for all cosponsors must be US based, so your income in Europe will not count.

 

 


DCF Mexico

06/04/2017: Married

06/24/2017: Mailed I-130

06/27/2017: NOA1 (technically a RFE as we were missing beneficiary ID)

07/06/2017: NOA2

07/12/2017: Case assigned by Juarez embassy

07/17/2017: Packet 3 received

08/15/2017: Interview/Approval!

08/22/2017: Visa received via DHL

09/03/2017: POE

09/16/2017: Permanent Resident Card received

 

Total days from NOA1 to approval: 49

 

I wrote a DCF Mexico guide! http://www.visajourney.com/wiki/index.php?title=DCF_Mexico

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13 minutes ago, Jorge Valdivia said:

If your parent is sponsoring you and their household size is 2 (both parents), you'll need to add yourself and your husband, so the household size is now 4.

 

 

No, it will be 3. The USC is not counted in the household size of a joint sponsor. 

 

She said they have moved to Ireland. Husband may move back to the U.K. But she won't be. 


 

 

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, JFH said:

No, it will be 3. The USC is not counted in the household size of a joint sponsor. 

 

She said they have moved to Ireland. Husband may move back to the U.K. But she won't be. 

Right on both counts! Brain fart on the Affidavit of Support, and after rereading the OP they definitely moved TO Ireland from Wales, not the other way around as I had originally read.


DCF Mexico

06/04/2017: Married

06/24/2017: Mailed I-130

06/27/2017: NOA1 (technically a RFE as we were missing beneficiary ID)

07/06/2017: NOA2

07/12/2017: Case assigned by Juarez embassy

07/17/2017: Packet 3 received

08/15/2017: Interview/Approval!

08/22/2017: Visa received via DHL

09/03/2017: POE

09/16/2017: Permanent Resident Card received

 

Total days from NOA1 to approval: 49

 

I wrote a DCF Mexico guide! http://www.visajourney.com/wiki/index.php?title=DCF_Mexico

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Thank you both for your help. This really helps clear up my concerns, and I feel much better about the process now. 

 

One more concern: As I am currently unemployed, would I put that on my I-130? And when it comes time to show financial support, I would just get the Affidavit of Support from our joint sponsor? Would I absolutely need to move back to the US before my spouse and start working there, or would my parent's income, being 125% above the poverty for our household size, be enough on its own? Basically, would it count against us if I had no US income to show, and that I was working abroad? 

 

Thank you! 

Edited by derwydd-llyn

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1 hour ago, JFH said:

Not unique for this site!

 

Welcome. Yes, you file through Chicago since Ireland does not have DCF options. You can file as soon as you have the official copy of your marriage certificate. So get filing! You can use your parents' address. But make sure they check and forward mail to you quickly. If you get an RFE you have a small window of time to respond. So if your parents are out of town a lot or only check their mailbox twice a month, it won't work. 

 

Your husband can have his medical and interview in either Ireland or move back to the U.K. But there is no benefit or disadvantage either way so stick with Ireland to save the travel costs of going back to the U.K. just for a visa process. 

 

You can only count your income if it will continue from the same source when you return to the US. So if you are going to be working for the same company and they are transferring you that would count. But if you are quitting your job in Ireland and taking a new one in the US, it won't count unless you go before him and get the job and start earning before the I-864 is needed by the NVC

Thank you for your response! You've really helped. 

 

Since I can put my parents' address down as my current one, when it comes to the section in the I-130 that asked if we've ever lived together, can I put down our address in Ireland? Or his parents' house, where I stayed with him in the UK? Also he lived with me in a place we rented for three months in the US when he came over on the visa waiver. I just didn't know if any of these counted, or if I should put down that we haven't lived together.

 

Thank you again, you've been a tremendous help. 

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You must declare that you have lived together. So put the address in Ireland as your physical address and also where you last lived together but use your parents' address as your mailing address. I wouldn't refer to his time with you in the USA on the VWP as "living together" - I know what you mean but it's frowned upon by immigration officials for people on visitor status to refer to themselves as "living" in the USA. It opens up a can of worms and they will start looking into whether he worked illegally. You don't need to make reference to it at all but if he is asked in the interview if he has ever visited you, he must be truthful and state he spent 90 days with you on the VWP. Be careful not to refer to it as "living together". He was here as a visitor. 

 

Being unemployed is not a problem. My husband was also unemployed for a short time during our process. You are still required to complete an I-864 even if you have not one cent to your name. You are still the sponsor even if you have no money. Did you file a tax return this year? They will want to see it. Joint sponsors are more common than you think - we had one. Many students, the unemployed and disabled people need joint sponsors to bring family members to the country. I'm just glad the USA allows joint sponsors. The U.K. doesn't and 55% of British women earn less than the minimum amount needed to bring in a family member to the U.K. But I digress....

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, JFH said:

 

 

 

Again, thank you so much for your help. 

 

Yes, I can completely see why referring to him staying with me in the US as a visitor as 'living together' wouldn't be a good idea. We will definitely keep that in mind during the process. 

 

Perfect, I will remember to file the I-864. I didn't file a tax return, as I was tax exempt (I was a full time student at the time, and I made under $10,000 a year). Do I need to find evidence of this? Could this be a problem? And once I start work here, how should I go about filing/reporting taxes? 

 

That's good to know that joint sponsors are common. It makes me feel better about our situation. It is really such a relief and a surprise that the US allows joint sponsors. The lack of joint sponsors in the UK really made things difficult for us, too, so it was a happy surprise to see it offered in the US. 

 

What exactly is an official copy of our marriage certificate? We have our original with us, but it recently gave us some trouble here in Ireland, as they thought it didn't seem 'official' enough. 

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20 minutes ago, derwydd-llyn said:

Again, thank you so much for your help. 

 

Yes, I can completely see why referring to him staying with me in the US as a visitor as 'living together' wouldn't be a good idea. We will definitely keep that in mind during the process. 

 

Perfect, I will remember to file the I-864. I didn't file a tax return, as I was tax exempt (I was a full time student at the time, and I made under $10,000 a year). Do I need to find evidence of this? Could this be a problem? And once I start work here, how should I go about filing/reporting taxes? 

 

That's good to know that joint sponsors are common. It makes me feel better about our situation. It is really such a relief and a surprise that the US allows joint sponsors. The lack of joint sponsors in the UK really made things difficult for us, too, so it was a happy surprise to see it offered in the US. 

 

What exactly is an official copy of our marriage certificate? We have our original with us, but it recently gave us some trouble here in Ireland, as they thought it didn't seem 'official' enough. 

The I-864 is needed for the NVC part of the process. If you were not required to file taxes because you were under the income threshold you just need to provide a statement to state that. 

 

For the I-130 you only need a photocopy of your marriage certificate. But you need the certified copy for the interview (what some people call the original). We married in Washington state and when I used our marriage certificate in the U.K. to get my name changed with the bank etc, many places weren't convinced it was a genuine marriage certificate because it didn't look fancy enough for them like a UK marriage certificate. Ours is just a regular piece of paper, no fancy paper or lettering. 


 

 

 

 

 

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43 minutes ago, JFH said:

The I-864 is needed for the NVC part of the process. If you were not required to file taxes because you were under the income threshold you just need to provide a statement to state that. 

 

For the I-130 you only need a photocopy of your marriage certificate. But you need the certified copy for the interview (what some people call the original). We married in Washington state and when I used our marriage certificate in the U.K. to get my name changed with the bank etc, many places weren't convinced it was a genuine marriage certificate because it didn't look fancy enough for them like a UK marriage certificate. Ours is just a regular piece of paper, no fancy paper or lettering. 

I'm sorry for all my questions! What is the NVC part of the process? The interview? 

 

Oh, good, a photocopy is definitely manageable. It's good to know that your marriage certificate received the same sort of response. Ours is quite fancy looking, but it is regular paper and it didn't have a seal or stamp on it, so I had to bring the license, which did have a seal. But surely it should be satisfactory for the interview with US immigration.

 

If you don't mind me asking, how long did it take you to go through the entire process? Am I right in believing it should be around a year? Do you think I will be able to stay here in Ireland with my spouse trough the whole process, or should we plan on spending some time apart? 

 

All of your help is really appreciated. Thank you so much. 

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Our process took 10 months and 1 day from February 5 (mailing the I-130) to December 6 (my interview day) last year. I arrived in the country 13 days after my interview. 

 

The NVC is where your case is sent after the I-130 is approved. After that it is sent to the local embassy. 

 

You can can stay with your husband throughout, if you wish. He must enter the USA with with or after you, not before you. If you stay overseas with him you will need to demonstrate your intent to re-establish domicile in the USA but that should be easy since you've not been out of the country too long. 


 

 

 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, JFH said:

Our process took 10 months and 1 day from February 5 (mailing the I-130) to December 6 (my interview day) last year. I arrived in the country 13 days after my interview. 

 

The NVC is where your case is sent after the I-130 is approved. After that it is sent to the local embassy. 

 

You can can stay with your husband throughout, if you wish. He must enter the USA with with or after you, not before you. If you stay overseas with him you will need to demonstrate your intent to re-establish domicile in the USA but that should be easy since you've not been out of the country too long. 

Hopefully ours will take around that time frame, as well. That would be ideal. Thank you for the information. Congrats on your successful application! 

 

Is the NVC just one location based in the US? He will have his interview at our local embassy, right? Can I go with him, or is it better he go alone? 

 

That's great news that I can stay here with him. The ideal plan is for us to arrive in the US together, so hopefully we can swing it. What would be the best way to show my intent of re-establishing domicile? I still have my US debit card, if that helps. Beyond that, I'm not sure how else I should show evidence. 

 

I'm sorry to bombard you with questions. 

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The NVC is a singular place located in Portsmouth, NH; it is nothing more than a document intake/routing facility.  Your husband will have his interview in Dublin.  Some embassies allow the spouse to attend, most don't; I don't know what the rule on this is for Dublin so you will need an answer from someone who has personal experience.

 

 


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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