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If my military husband gets orders while our I-130 is still processing, can I travel with him on a Command Sponsored Visa? I am not a US citizen, nor have a green card. But for example, if he gets orders to Germany while our spouse visa is processing, can I just travel with him on the military sponsored visa?

 

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I THINK you should be able to get Command Sponsorship since you are already married. However, as always check with Admin and/or Legal departments. You should also be able to get an expedited I-130 to push your process faster. If you know that your husband is getting orders, but he just doesn't have them yet, get a letter signed by his CO stating that he will be receiving orders overseas and call USCIS to request an expedite. You will also have to call for an expedite at the NVC as well and send the same supporting documentation. They may or may not expedite without the orders in hand but it's worth a try. I was able to get an expedite at the USCIS level with a letter from my CO. I did not end up requesting an expedite though at the NVC level since my orders had changed by that point. 

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


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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Posted (edited)

Command sponsorship is not the same as a visa.

 

For example, while we lived in Japan, I was there on a SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) visa, which is dependent on presence of my husband's orders there. He had to request command sponsorship for me to obtain a SOFA visa. SOFA visa is only for my stay in Japan, it doesn't entitle me to enter the US whenever I please.

 

I don't know what the rules are for Germany, but it differs by country. But, command sponsorship certainly does not entitle you to a US visa.

Edited by ivyanddan

I'm the non-citizen wife! (To see my immigration timeline, click on my profile.)

 

xXvMp9.png3Lq9p9.pngA6MSp9.png

 

Naturalization (married to a US citizen)

04/XX/18 - applied online

04/XX/18 - biometrics appointment

07/XX/18 - interview & testing

08/XX/18 - oath ceremony / newly-minted US citizen / Goodbye, USCIS (for now)! 

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, ivyanddan said:

Command sponsorship is not the same as a visa.

 

For example, while we lived in Japan, I was there on a SOFA (Status of Forces Agreement) visa, which is dependent on presence of my husband's orders there. He had to request command sponsorship for me to obtain a SOFA visa. SOFA visa is only for my stay in Japan, it doesn't entitle me to enter the US whenever I please.

 

I don't know what the rules are for Germany, but it differs by country. But, command sponsorship certainly does not entitle you to a US visa.

Well, sorry if I was not clear, but what I'm asking is if I can get a SOFA visa for Germany even if I don't have a green card yet, not about the visa for the US.

So, were you able to go and live with him in Japan before having your green card? We have been researching online but everything we find is about people that already had their green cards when their spouses were stationed overseas.

We would like to know if it's possible for me to be command sponsored, get a SOFA visa and go with him even if I don't have a green card. 

Thanks!

Edited by Iscir

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, Iscir said:

Well, sorry if I was not clear, but what I'm asking is if I can get a SOFA visa for Germany even if I don't have a green card yet, not about the visa for the US.

So, were you able to go and live with him in Japan before having your green card? We have been researching online but everything we find is about people that already had their green cards when their spouses where stationed overseas.

We would like to know if it's possible for me to be command sponsored, get a SOFA visa and go with him even if I don't have a green card. 

Thanks!

 

A SOFA visa is separate from a US visa. I've never gotten a US visa before I got a SOFA visa for Japan. I would imagine it's also a separate process for Germany. Command sponsorship is required for SOFA. This is based on our experience back in 2012.

 

Who your spouse should be contacting is his/her command. USCIS won't be much help at all.

 

Also, I applied for a CR-1 (immigration) visa from Japan when he got orders to move back to the US nearly 2 years after we got married. So, yes, I didn't have a green card yet when I had a SOFA visa in Japan.

Edited by ivyanddan

I'm the non-citizen wife! (To see my immigration timeline, click on my profile.)

 

xXvMp9.png3Lq9p9.pngA6MSp9.png

 

Naturalization (married to a US citizen)

04/XX/18 - applied online

04/XX/18 - biometrics appointment

07/XX/18 - interview & testing

08/XX/18 - oath ceremony / newly-minted US citizen / Goodbye, USCIS (for now)! 

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57 minutes ago, Jwfisher2006 said:

I THINK you should be able to get Command Sponsorship since you are already married. However, as always check with Admin and/or Legal departments. You should also be able to get an expedited I-130 to push your process faster. If you know that your husband is getting orders, but he just doesn't have them yet, get a letter signed by his CO stating that he will be receiving orders overseas and call USCIS to request an expedite. You will also have to call for an expedite at the NVC as well and send the same supporting documentation. They may or may not expedite without the orders in hand but it's worth a try. I was able to get an expedite at the USCIS level with a letter from my CO. I did not end up requesting an expedite though at the NVC level since my orders had changed by that point. 

Thanks a lot for your detailed response! I We are not sure to who we can ask this questions. But from what we have been reading, it seems we would have to try to expedite our case like you said, and wait until I become a permanent resident. We were hoping that was not the case :(

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1 minute ago, Iscir said:

Thanks a lot for your detailed response! I We are not sure to who we can ask this questions. But from what we have been reading, it seems we would have to try to expedite our case like you said, and wait until I become a permanent resident. We were hoping that was not the case :(

I'm confused. Are you in the US or are you not?


I'm the non-citizen wife! (To see my immigration timeline, click on my profile.)

 

xXvMp9.png3Lq9p9.pngA6MSp9.png

 

Naturalization (married to a US citizen)

04/XX/18 - applied online

04/XX/18 - biometrics appointment

07/XX/18 - interview & testing

08/XX/18 - oath ceremony / newly-minted US citizen / Goodbye, USCIS (for now)! 

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Just now, ivyanddan said:

I'm confused. Are you in the US or are you not?

I am not in the US. I am in my country while our I-130 is processing. That is why I ask, were you able to go with your husband before having your green card? We would like to know if it's possible. We know there is a USCIS military help line, but I don't think they can help.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, ivyanddan said:

 

A SOFA visa is separate from a US visa. I've never gotten a US visa before I got a SOFA visa for Japan. I would imagine it's also a separate process for Germany. Command sponsorship is required for SOFA. This is based on our experience back in 2012.

 

Who your spouse should be contacting is his/her command. USCIS won't be much help at all.

 

Also, I applied for a CR-1 (immigration) visa from Japan when he got orders to move back to the US nearly 2 years after we got married. So, yes, I didn't have a green card yet when I had a SOFA visa in Japan.

Thanks! So it is possible. That is what we wanted to know! I will tell him to ask his command then

Edited by Iscir

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So just to potentially aid you by comparing your possible experience with mine, here's a brief timeline for the SOFA, command sponsorship experience for me:

 

2009 - my husband moved to Japan on military orders -- we didn't even know each other yet. So he was single.

June 2012 - we got married in my home country (Philippines); i was living in my home country

July 2012 - i entered Japan on a visit visa, visiting a US military member on a SOFA visa (this was an option for Japan visa applications) and then he started process for command sponsorship through his command

August 2012 - got command sponsorship; went to a Japan immigration office and i immediately got my SOFA visa

mid-2013 until November 2013 - i underwent the process for the CR-1 immigration visa to the US (aka to get my green card)

December 2013 - moved to the US with my husband on a CR-1 visa


I'm the non-citizen wife! (To see my immigration timeline, click on my profile.)

 

xXvMp9.png3Lq9p9.pngA6MSp9.png

 

Naturalization (married to a US citizen)

04/XX/18 - applied online

04/XX/18 - biometrics appointment

07/XX/18 - interview & testing

08/XX/18 - oath ceremony / newly-minted US citizen / Goodbye, USCIS (for now)! 

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2 minutes ago, Iscir said:

I am not in the US. I am in my country while our I-130 is processing. That is why I ask, were you able to go with your husband before having your green card? We would like to know if it's possible. We know there is a USCIS military help line, but I don't think they can help.

 

1 minute ago, Iscir said:

Thanks! So it is possible. That is what we wanted to know!

 

I see! So, i think our difference is that i didn't really apply for the US immigration visa until he got orders that he was going back to the US for his next assignment.

 

You can definitely continue on with your I-130 application, but it sounds like you will have to delay it a bit... since you won't be entering the US and residing there. You can just restart it once you guys know you're moving back.

 


I'm the non-citizen wife! (To see my immigration timeline, click on my profile.)

 

xXvMp9.png3Lq9p9.pngA6MSp9.png

 

Naturalization (married to a US citizen)

04/XX/18 - applied online

04/XX/18 - biometrics appointment

07/XX/18 - interview & testing

08/XX/18 - oath ceremony / newly-minted US citizen / Goodbye, USCIS (for now)! 

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4 minutes ago, ivyanddan said:

So just to potentially aid you by comparing your possible experience with mine, here's a brief timeline for the SOFA, command sponsorship experience for me:

 

2009 - my husband moved to Japan on military orders -- we didn't even know each other yet. So he was single.

June 2012 - we got married in my home country (Philippines); i was living in my home country

July 2012 - i entered Japan on a visit visa, visiting a US military member on a SOFA visa (this was an option for Japan visa applications) and then he started process for command sponsorship through his command

August 2012 - got command sponsorship; went to a Japan immigration office and i immediately got my SOFA visa

mid-2013 until November 2013 - i underwent the process for the CR-1 immigration visa to the US (aka to get my green card)

December 2013 - moved to the US with my husband on a CR-1 visa

Thanks! This helps a lot and gives us hope. Because of our research we thought it wasn't possible to do this because we thought having green card was necessary. Thanks a lot!

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6 minutes ago, Iscir said:

I am not in the US. I am in my country while our I-130 is processing. That is why I ask, were you able to go with your husband before having your green card? We would like to know if it's possible. We know there is a USCIS military help line, but I don't think they can help.

Is he air force? I would recommend he contact the squadron he will be joining as I'm sure someone there might have encountered this issue.

 

If not, at least you know we did it in 2012!

 

FYI, i also have a friend (Japanese) who entered the US on a spouse immigrant visa... before going with her husband to an overseas assignment. But for that, she already got her green card before immediately going overseas, so I don't know if there's enough time for you guys for that.


I'm the non-citizen wife! (To see my immigration timeline, click on my profile.)

 

xXvMp9.png3Lq9p9.pngA6MSp9.png

 

Naturalization (married to a US citizen)

04/XX/18 - applied online

04/XX/18 - biometrics appointment

07/XX/18 - interview & testing

08/XX/18 - oath ceremony / newly-minted US citizen / Goodbye, USCIS (for now)! 

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