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Rosie89

American citizen living in UK, wanting to move back to US with British wife

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Hello all,

 

I am married to an American citizen and we both live in London, we hope to move to the US and are about to submit the I-130. I hope someone can help me with 2 questions I have- 

 

1- I am submitting an I-130 to the London field office as that's where we live, the checklist they have online has no mention of extra supporting documentation to prove a bonafide marriage, should I follow these instructions even though they are different to the standard I-130 instructions? 

 

2- my husband has not lived in the US for a long time and has no family there. Will I be granted a visa if he has only shown proof of intending to re-establish domicile (I.e applying for jobs, getting a po box, arranging to stay with friends) rather than actually having a job in the states at the time of my interview? 

 

Thank you in advance for any advice you can give! 

 
Edited by Rosie89

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1- Yes, provide evidence.

 

2- Better to have some evidence of domicile at the time of the interview. Opening a bank account with address at relative's house, driver's license, job applications. If you just have applications you can take a chance, but you might have the interview and they can ask you to submit more information. So at that time the US citizen will have to travel to the US and it can delay your application. 

 

As far as I know, you can add more evidence of intent at the time of the interview so you can submit the forms and do something about it in the meantime.

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24 minutes ago, Coco8 said:

1- Yes, provide evidence.

 

2- Better to have some evidence of domicile at the time of the interview. Opening a bank account with address at relative's house, driver's license, job applications. If you just have applications you can take a chance, but you might have the interview and they can ask you to submit more information. So at that time the US citizen will have to travel to the US and it can delay your application. 

 

As far as I know, you can add more evidence of intent at the time of the interview so you can submit the forms and do something about it in the meantime.

Thanks for your reply coco8, that's very helpful. We will have quite a while before the interview and we intend for my husband to find a job by then but the timings will be difficult and we would prefer to move over together if possible. 

 

Do you know if you can you get a drivers lisence with just a PO box/forwarding address and without ever having driven in the USA? 

 

 

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15 minutes ago, Rosie89 said:

Do you know if you can you get a drivers license with just a PO box/forwarding address and without ever having driven in the USA? 

You cannot. But you can open a bank account and put a relative's address. The US citizen will need (1) social security number (2) US passport. Then, take the bank account statement with the address on it and use that for the driver's license. If you guys don't want to do the driving test, you can get a state ID. They usually do them in the same place they do the driver's license and they require the same documents (except driving test).

 

He can also register to vote when he has the ID. That counts as another "establish domicile" document.

 

 

Edited by Coco8

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Thanks coco8, my husband doesn't have any relatives there, would he be able to get a bank account with a po box or a forwarding address? Also, can he get one over the phone/ internet or would he need to go to the bank account in person? Thanks for your advice 

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A US citizen typically can sign up for a bank account online, but I'm not sure if you'd be asked to come in person if they can't verify your address. It's worth a shot, though. If you do decide to do this, make sure to sign up using a US based VPN. Many banks will automatically flag an account application if they detect that the user is signing up from a foreign IP address.

 

19 hours ago, Rosie89 said:

1- I am submitting an I-130 to the London field office as that's where we live, the checklist they have online has no mention of extra supporting documentation to prove a bonafide marriage, should I follow these instructions even though they are different to the standard I-130 instructions? 

 

I'm guessing that the checklist assumes that the I-130 includes everything listed in the official instructions, including the evidence of bonafide marriage.


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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On 11/7/2017 at 4:23 PM, Rosie89 said:

1- I am submitting an I-130 to the London field office as that's where we live, the checklist they have online has no mention of extra supporting documentation to prove a bonafide marriage, should I follow these instructions even though they are different to the standard I-130 instructions? 

 

 

Follow the DCF instructions, and ignore any others.

As someone who has done DCF in London, no evidence of a bonafide marriage will be required and if you send it it will more than likely be returned to you.

 

 

 


CR1 / DCF (London): 2012 / 2013 (4.5 months from I-130 petition to visa in hand)

 

I-751 #1 [Denied]

 

Early May 2015 : I-751 Joint filing package sent fedex next day 09:00am from UK ($lots - thanks). 
May 2015: Notice of receipt/1yr extension received, dated day of receipt. This was forwarded to me outside the US, and no issues re-entering multiple times.
June 2015: Biometrics completed - walk in / argument, stressing proof of imminent travel and multiple prior inconvenient appointments & reschedules.
May 2016: Vermont Service Centre updated to processing May 2015 cases, therefore my case is now classed as outside normal processing time
May 2016: Service request sent (whatever that is) after calling to find out why I am still waiting after 12 months. Unable to tell me anything.
May 2016: Letter received in response, stating processing is on hold due to 'pending security checks' with no other information. Not helpful.
May 2016: (7am) - Infopass appointment for I-551 Stamp in passport.  (8am) - Returned to USCIS office for another I-551 stamp after realizing the dumbass put the expiry stamp as 2015 not 2017. Two entire passport pages wasted. Cheers. 

Oct 2016: Infopass appointment (not at local office). USCIS have sent my file to an overseas office, in a country that neither myself or my spouse have ever resided in. It has sat there untouched for five months. Why? Who knows. Internal query requesting urgent clarification is sent by USCIS officer.  
Oct 2016: An identical 'pending security check'  letter received, addressing precisely none of my or the immigration officers legitimate queries. 
Nov 2016: Infopass appointment: My file is now back in the US and at my local office...no other updates or progress. 
Jan 2017: Notification that an interview has been scheduled at a local office. Bizarrely still no RFE... 
Jan 2017: 2hr wait, then interview terminated before it began, due to moving my ID to another state 2 wks prior. New interview 'in a few months...maybe.'       Informed them that divorce proceedings are underway, but not finalised at this time. 
March 2017: An Interview was scheduled - marked as no-show as they didn't actually send out a notification of interview. FML 
April  2017: Filed an official complaint with the ombudsman, and have requested Senator & Congressman assistance - enough is enough. 
May 2017: Yet another infopass. No updates, interview of further progress. Still no response from Congressperson, Senator, or Ombudsman received. 
June 2017: 68 days after contacting them, the Ombudsman finally contacted USCIS. 'It may take up to 60 days to receive a response'.   
July 2017:  A follow up enquiry sent by Ombudsman to USCIS after receiving no response or action after 45 days. I am Jack's complete lack of surprise. 
August 2017: 60 days has come and gone with no response from USCIS. Contacted the Ombudsman who will contact them AGAIN. 
August 2017: Email from Ombudsman - USCIS have scheduled an interview at the very end of August .  
August 2017: Interview - switched to a (finalised) divorce waiver. Told that decision will be made that afternoon, but no problems foreseen with my case. 
September 2017: Now 4 weeks since interview, my file has not moved from the officers desk, and no decision is showing when I call and speak to a Tier 2.  
September 2017: Request filed for Senator assistance (a different senator - maybe I will get a reply & assistance from this one?). 
October 2017: 37 days since interview....and no decision.  W, and indeed, TF is going on???? 
October 2017: Letter of Denial received - reason given as 'I-751 petition was not properly filed'. Discovered ex-spouse made false allegations to USCIS

I-751 #2 [Pending] 

October 2017: Within 72hrs of receiving denial notice, a new waiver I-751, divorce decree & $680 cheque, sent to Vermont via FedEx overnight 9am priority.  

October 2017: I-797C Receipt/extension letter received, dated day of receipt at VSC 

October 2017: Another I-551 stamp obtained at infopass appointment, as the extension letter is useless with a 2yr card that expired 2.5yrs ago! 

November 2017: Biometrics completed (early walk-in) 

2018: Re-entered US multiple times with second I-751 extension letter & stamp. Quick trip to secondary required to verify, and stamped in as normal

  

N-400 [Pending] 

February 2018: N-400 filed online.  $725 paid to the USCIS paperwork wastage fund

February 2018: Biometrics completed (walk-in)

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18 hours ago, mindthegap said:

 

Follow the DCF instructions, and ignore any others.

As someone who has done DCF in London, no evidence of a bonafide marriage will be required and if you send it it will more than likely be returned to you.

 

 

 

Thanks mindthegap- that's very helpful info! Can I ask also, what did you do about the next steps of the process if you lived in the UK? I'm concerned about the supporting affidavit as we don't have relations in the uk who can support our application. 

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1 hour ago, Rosie89 said:

 Can I ask also, what did you do about the next steps of the process if you lived in the UK? I'm concerned about the supporting affidavit as we don't have relations in the uk who can support our application. 

 My ex spouse had maintained significant ties to the US while living in the UK (valid driving license, voter registration and voting with an absentee ballot, bank accounts and credit cards) and had immediate family there, so not the same situation unfortunately. 

 

The consular officers know that you have to be physically in the US to fully establish domicile, so there is a fair amount of flexibility and subjectiveness applied, but as long as the intent to re-establish is clear - and applying for a spousal immigrant visa is pretty clear intent to re-establish in itself - it should be fine.

 

Things that could help show an intent to re- establish domicile could be done relatively easily, and trip to the US would help a LOT in this regard. 

Off the top of my head, if I wanted to quickly do something to help with that in a few days, I would fly over, visit bank of america, open a solo account, AND also open a joint account with foreign spouse - both registered at a friends address if neccessary, or a PO box if permitted. Then go get some state ID or a learner drivers permit.

With the US bank account and address sorted, then ask American Express in the UK to issue me with a US amex (you need a bank account and address, nothing more) based on UK amex history.

Then, register to vote - even as an absentee would probably help.

Perhaps have evidence of speaking to a realtor, or applying for a few positions or speaking to a recruitment consultant.

 

 

 

 

Unfortunately regarding the I-864, the visa will not be granted without one, so it is imperative that you sort it out in some way.  London are one of the more relaxed embassies regarding certain aspects as above, but the I-864 is non-negotiable. 

 

With no US job offer it could be satisfied in a couple of other ways.

The most obvious would be a co-sponsor in the US, but as you say they have no family that may be difficult.

It could be done with assets - but a higher amount would be needed than if done by income.

The other way would be if the USC has a job in the UK that will continue in the US - from the same funding source that meets the threshold, but working remotely for example - this would be acceptable.

 

He will also need to have filed tax returns for at least the past *three* years (it was five years ago when we did it, so forgive me if I get that number of years wrong).  That doesn't necessarily mean that back taxes will be due - remember that there is the foreign earned income exclusion which for this year is $101,000 and change, and also dual taxation and tax credit agreements. However, he WILL have to produce tax filings at the interview.

 

 

Do not underestimate how fast the DCF process can go - the I-130 will be approved extremely quickly, before most people applying for a normal I-130 would even have their receipt. If it was not for a delay where they appeared to misplace part of my paperwork, it would have been done from start to finish in a shade over 3.5 months for us. Ultimately it took around 4.5.

 

Edited by mindthegap

CR1 / DCF (London): 2012 / 2013 (4.5 months from I-130 petition to visa in hand)

 

I-751 #1 [Denied]

 

Early May 2015 : I-751 Joint filing package sent fedex next day 09:00am from UK ($lots - thanks). 
May 2015: Notice of receipt/1yr extension received, dated day of receipt. This was forwarded to me outside the US, and no issues re-entering multiple times.
June 2015: Biometrics completed - walk in / argument, stressing proof of imminent travel and multiple prior inconvenient appointments & reschedules.
May 2016: Vermont Service Centre updated to processing May 2015 cases, therefore my case is now classed as outside normal processing time
May 2016: Service request sent (whatever that is) after calling to find out why I am still waiting after 12 months. Unable to tell me anything.
May 2016: Letter received in response, stating processing is on hold due to 'pending security checks' with no other information. Not helpful.
May 2016: (7am) - Infopass appointment for I-551 Stamp in passport.  (8am) - Returned to USCIS office for another I-551 stamp after realizing the dumbass put the expiry stamp as 2015 not 2017. Two entire passport pages wasted. Cheers. 

Oct 2016: Infopass appointment (not at local office). USCIS have sent my file to an overseas office, in a country that neither myself or my spouse have ever resided in. It has sat there untouched for five months. Why? Who knows. Internal query requesting urgent clarification is sent by USCIS officer.  
Oct 2016: An identical 'pending security check'  letter received, addressing precisely none of my or the immigration officers legitimate queries. 
Nov 2016: Infopass appointment: My file is now back in the US and at my local office...no other updates or progress. 
Jan 2017: Notification that an interview has been scheduled at a local office. Bizarrely still no RFE... 
Jan 2017: 2hr wait, then interview terminated before it began, due to moving my ID to another state 2 wks prior. New interview 'in a few months...maybe.'       Informed them that divorce proceedings are underway, but not finalised at this time. 
March 2017: An Interview was scheduled - marked as no-show as they didn't actually send out a notification of interview. FML 
April  2017: Filed an official complaint with the ombudsman, and have requested Senator & Congressman assistance - enough is enough. 
May 2017: Yet another infopass. No updates, interview of further progress. Still no response from Congressperson, Senator, or Ombudsman received. 
June 2017: 68 days after contacting them, the Ombudsman finally contacted USCIS. 'It may take up to 60 days to receive a response'.   
July 2017:  A follow up enquiry sent by Ombudsman to USCIS after receiving no response or action after 45 days. I am Jack's complete lack of surprise. 
August 2017: 60 days has come and gone with no response from USCIS. Contacted the Ombudsman who will contact them AGAIN. 
August 2017: Email from Ombudsman - USCIS have scheduled an interview at the very end of August .  
August 2017: Interview - switched to a (finalised) divorce waiver. Told that decision will be made that afternoon, but no problems foreseen with my case. 
September 2017: Now 4 weeks since interview, my file has not moved from the officers desk, and no decision is showing when I call and speak to a Tier 2.  
September 2017: Request filed for Senator assistance (a different senator - maybe I will get a reply & assistance from this one?). 
October 2017: 37 days since interview....and no decision.  W, and indeed, TF is going on???? 
October 2017: Letter of Denial received - reason given as 'I-751 petition was not properly filed'. Discovered ex-spouse made false allegations to USCIS

I-751 #2 [Pending] 

October 2017: Within 72hrs of receiving denial notice, a new waiver I-751, divorce decree & $680 cheque, sent to Vermont via FedEx overnight 9am priority.  

October 2017: I-797C Receipt/extension letter received, dated day of receipt at VSC 

October 2017: Another I-551 stamp obtained at infopass appointment, as the extension letter is useless with a 2yr card that expired 2.5yrs ago! 

November 2017: Biometrics completed (early walk-in) 

2018: Re-entered US multiple times with second I-751 extension letter & stamp. Quick trip to secondary required to verify, and stamped in as normal

  

N-400 [Pending] 

February 2018: N-400 filed online.  $725 paid to the USCIS paperwork wastage fund

February 2018: Biometrics completed (walk-in)

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20 hours ago, mindthegap said:

 

Follow the DCF instructions, and ignore any others.

As someone who has done DCF in London, no evidence of a bonafide marriage will be required and if you send it it will more than likely be returned to you.

 

 

 

 

This.  We did our DCF through the London field office and they explicitly said do not send proof.  So, we didn't.


3/2/18  E-filed N-400 under 5 year rule

3/26/18 Biometrics

7/2019-12/2019 (Yes, 16- 21 months) Estimated time to interview MSP office.

 

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Also, just to add (given you still can't edit posts after a certain time :whistle:) that the US citizen does not have to appear at your interview.

Once the I-130 is approved they can go ahead of you and set up home, get a job etc while you remain in the UK for a few months while your immigrant visa is being processed. Would certainly help with the domicile and I-864.

Edited by mindthegap

CR1 / DCF (London): 2012 / 2013 (4.5 months from I-130 petition to visa in hand)

 

I-751 #1 [Denied]

 

Early May 2015 : I-751 Joint filing package sent fedex next day 09:00am from UK ($lots - thanks). 
May 2015: Notice of receipt/1yr extension received, dated day of receipt. This was forwarded to me outside the US, and no issues re-entering multiple times.
June 2015: Biometrics completed - walk in / argument, stressing proof of imminent travel and multiple prior inconvenient appointments & reschedules.
May 2016: Vermont Service Centre updated to processing May 2015 cases, therefore my case is now classed as outside normal processing time
May 2016: Service request sent (whatever that is) after calling to find out why I am still waiting after 12 months. Unable to tell me anything.
May 2016: Letter received in response, stating processing is on hold due to 'pending security checks' with no other information. Not helpful.
May 2016: (7am) - Infopass appointment for I-551 Stamp in passport.  (8am) - Returned to USCIS office for another I-551 stamp after realizing the dumbass put the expiry stamp as 2015 not 2017. Two entire passport pages wasted. Cheers. 

Oct 2016: Infopass appointment (not at local office). USCIS have sent my file to an overseas office, in a country that neither myself or my spouse have ever resided in. It has sat there untouched for five months. Why? Who knows. Internal query requesting urgent clarification is sent by USCIS officer.  
Oct 2016: An identical 'pending security check'  letter received, addressing precisely none of my or the immigration officers legitimate queries. 
Nov 2016: Infopass appointment: My file is now back in the US and at my local office...no other updates or progress. 
Jan 2017: Notification that an interview has been scheduled at a local office. Bizarrely still no RFE... 
Jan 2017: 2hr wait, then interview terminated before it began, due to moving my ID to another state 2 wks prior. New interview 'in a few months...maybe.'       Informed them that divorce proceedings are underway, but not finalised at this time. 
March 2017: An Interview was scheduled - marked as no-show as they didn't actually send out a notification of interview. FML 
April  2017: Filed an official complaint with the ombudsman, and have requested Senator & Congressman assistance - enough is enough. 
May 2017: Yet another infopass. No updates, interview of further progress. Still no response from Congressperson, Senator, or Ombudsman received. 
June 2017: 68 days after contacting them, the Ombudsman finally contacted USCIS. 'It may take up to 60 days to receive a response'.   
July 2017:  A follow up enquiry sent by Ombudsman to USCIS after receiving no response or action after 45 days. I am Jack's complete lack of surprise. 
August 2017: 60 days has come and gone with no response from USCIS. Contacted the Ombudsman who will contact them AGAIN. 
August 2017: Email from Ombudsman - USCIS have scheduled an interview at the very end of August .  
August 2017: Interview - switched to a (finalised) divorce waiver. Told that decision will be made that afternoon, but no problems foreseen with my case. 
September 2017: Now 4 weeks since interview, my file has not moved from the officers desk, and no decision is showing when I call and speak to a Tier 2.  
September 2017: Request filed for Senator assistance (a different senator - maybe I will get a reply & assistance from this one?). 
October 2017: 37 days since interview....and no decision.  W, and indeed, TF is going on???? 
October 2017: Letter of Denial received - reason given as 'I-751 petition was not properly filed'. Discovered ex-spouse made false allegations to USCIS

I-751 #2 [Pending] 

October 2017: Within 72hrs of receiving denial notice, a new waiver I-751, divorce decree & $680 cheque, sent to Vermont via FedEx overnight 9am priority.  

October 2017: I-797C Receipt/extension letter received, dated day of receipt at VSC 

October 2017: Another I-551 stamp obtained at infopass appointment, as the extension letter is useless with a 2yr card that expired 2.5yrs ago! 

November 2017: Biometrics completed (early walk-in) 

2018: Re-entered US multiple times with second I-751 extension letter & stamp. Quick trip to secondary required to verify, and stamped in as normal

  

N-400 [Pending] 

February 2018: N-400 filed online.  $725 paid to the USCIS paperwork wastage fund

February 2018: Biometrics completed (walk-in)

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22 hours ago, mindthegap said:

 

He will also need to have filed tax returns for at least the past *three* years (it was five years ago when we did it, so forgive me if I get that number of years wrong).  That doesn't necessarily mean that back taxes will be due - remember that there is the foreign earned income exclusion which for this year is $101,000 and change, and also dual taxation and tax credit agreements. However, he WILL have to produce tax filings at the interview.

 

 

Hi mindthegap, I cant thank you enough for all your advice! We now plan for my husband to secure a job in the USA asap as I think that is our only option. If he hasn't secured a job by the time I go for interview can I postpone the interview?

 

Also one last question on the tax filing you mentioned- we didn't realise that he was liable to pay taxes so we're only just looking in to this now and have found that there is a new streamline process. Do you know anything about this and how/where to file us tax returns for expats? 

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21 minutes ago, Rosie89 said:

Hi mindthegap, I cant thank you enough for all your advice! We now plan for my husband to secure a job in the USA asap as I think that is our only option. If he hasn't secured a job by the time I go for interview can I postpone the interview?

 

 

It is likely that you can do that.

 

Any full-time job making above $11/hour will do if it is just the two of you.


3/2/18  E-filed N-400 under 5 year rule

3/26/18 Biometrics

7/2019-12/2019 (Yes, 16- 21 months) Estimated time to interview MSP office.

 

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