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I met my wife in October 2016 whilst visiting California with a friend. We hit it off and exchanged contact details and haven't stopped talking to each other since. She came to visit me for New Years in London and our feelings grew. I planned a trip with a friend to travel across the USA and to finish up in LA where she lives. After spending some more time together, we realised we were in love and decided we wanted to marry. 

We got married in LA and soon after i flew back home to England. 

We're now going through the process of filling out the necessary forms (i-130) for me to move to LA and live with her. 

I have booked flights to visit in December and then come back to England in January as i have a skiing holiday in France already booked.

I then plan to fly back to LA to stay pertinently and file for a K-3 Visa.

Whilst we are apart, we're not sure if we should file the i-130 form now or wait until i'm back in the USA in December/January.

If anyone has any advice for our situation, it would be gratefully appreciated.

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File your i-130 as soon as you possibly can (ensuring it is 100% as any mistakes will delay the process), it can take upwards of a year to finalize. I filed in Jan 2017 and it doesn't look like I'll be able to move until December 2017, just shy of a year in total. You won't be able to move over before the i-130 is approved and your visa is issued. K3 is pretty null and void now. People tend to file k3 at the same time as i-130 but as soon as they approve the i-130 at USCIS the k3 gets abandoned. No point as it doesn't save any time. 

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Well that's a tough pill to swallow, but of course thank you for sharing. 

Are there any restrictions on me visiting? My esta runs until August 2018. I thought the k3 was quicker and allowed me to stay until the petition had been approved.

Obviously not from your experience! 

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9 minutes ago, Sausage said:

Well that's a tough pill to swallow, but of course thank you for sharing. 

Are there any restrictions on me visiting? My esta runs until August 2018. I thought the k3 was quicker and allowed me to stay until the petition had been approved.

Obviously not from your experience! 

I know I hate being the bearer of bad news but unfortunately that's the reality with this process! When I first started out this journey I thought k3 was a viable option too, but a bit of research showed that it really is obsolete now. Super disappointing as I had this great notion that I'd be over to the states in no time!

 

No restrictions on visiting. You MAY come into questioning at border patrol considering you're married to a USC, but I have travelled back and forth a few times while the i130 has been processing and not had any problems! Just make sure you bring evidence of ties to the UK with you to the airport incase they want to be tricky. The most I ever brought with me was a letter from work stating when they wanted me back but I never had to show anything. Being open and honest at the border is the best policy, you should be fine.

 

If your esta runs out before the visa is issued you can just renew it again :)

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Thank you so much, I'd rather honesty so I know how to proceed realistically!

I felt i got quite a grilling from boarder control arriving to, and strangely leaving, the States! I'll be sure to come prepared on my visits.

 

So, on my wife's forms, she will have to state that i'll be applying for my immigrant visa at the US Embassy in London (I assume London is the closest, i Live near Bristol).

We were confused on that part, as I planned to be with her in the States whilst it was being processed. 

 

I wish you all the best with yours, I hope you guys can be together permanently soon!

 

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51 minutes ago, Sausage said:

Thank you so much, I'd rather honesty so I know how to proceed realistically!

I felt i got quite a grilling from boarder control arriving to, and strangely leaving, the States! I'll be sure to come prepared on my visits.

 

So, on my wife's forms, she will have to state that i'll be applying for my immigrant visa at the US Embassy in London (I assume London is the closest, i Live near Bristol).

We were confused on that part, as I planned to be with her in the States whilst it was being processed. 

 

I wish you all the best with yours, I hope you guys can be together permanently soon!

 

Yep, when your wife fills in the form they will base your embassy off your address. London is the only embassy that serves England. Im in Belfast and I still have to go over to London for my interview lol. 

 

This forum has a wealth of information and advice. Take a wee look at the step by step guides and you'll be just grand! Good luck with it all 😊

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To be clear, the K3 visa didn't save more than a few weeks from November 2006 and February 2010.  Since then, it's been virtually unobtainable.


Facts are cheap...knowing how to use them is precious...
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