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kellyschwan

Can Australian Spouse to visit USA under VWP?

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Hi there,

 

My Australian husband and I (US Citizen) have our I-130 under processing. We need to get back to the USA for our formal wedding celebration with all friends and family in April 2019. This was already booked before we started the immigration process, based on advice we got from our lawyers. Unfortunately, we can't move the date or postpone as it's all booked and family from Australia already have flights booked to visit.

 

It's a 50/50 shot his visa will be approved by then at this rate, so we have been advised by a few attorneys for him to enter the USA under the Visa Waiver Program. I've read a few reviews on this process, and it seems it's the best way to go, but there's also a pretty good shot he could get denied entry as well. 

 

  • Has anyone done this before with success? We are hearing mixed reviews.
  • What documents/proof of return to Australia should we prepare?
  • If we're traveling together, which line for Immigration should we go into? Is there a specific port of entry that would be better or easier? Dallas/LA?
  • Would a letter from our local representative help our case with the Border Agents?

 

Thanks so much in advance :) 

 

Cheers,

Kelly

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Has anyone done this before with success? We are hearing mixed reviews.

plenty of people.

 

 

What documents/proof of return to Australia should we prepare?

any and everything to convince them he is going to return to AU. family ties, job, property holdings, etc

 

If we're traveling together, which line for Immigration should we go into? Is there a specific port of entry that would be better or easier? Dallas/LA?

doesnt matter

 

Would a letter from our local representative help our case with the Border Agents?

no


5/7/2018 K1       Application mailed

5/9/2018             Application rec'd and signed for (sent via fedex)

5/14/2018          NOA1 Email notification

5/18/2018          NOA1 Paper copy rec'd (i797C)

11/5/2018          NOA2 ❤️ no RFE's

11/19/2018        NVC Received file

 

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Yes of course people have done this successfully.

 

Return flight itinerary, proof of his home/domicile in Aus, documents explaining his employment in Aus and other major obligations that require him to return to Aus.

 

I always would go to the non-citizen line. That's just me though. Others will say they've gone to the US citizen line with their spouses and it was fine. I don't know if one PoE is "easier" or not. I personally don't think it matters. It comes down to the individual agent you end up talking to.

 

A reo has nothing to do with your husband's individual and personal ties to Australia.

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He completes the ESTA application, boards a plane, then gets inspected. Rarely is it an issue to be denied on VWP, but no guarenteees. Good luck.

 

Letters from anybody else won’t help. Go with whatever POE works best for you...don’t try to shop around for a perceived more lenient CBP experience...there’s no evidence it exists.


Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/17/18: Approved

10/24/18: Green card produced

10/31/18: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed entry at any POE for anyone except for USCs.  Lots of people successfully travel in on VWP or B-2 with pending fiance or spouse petitions though.  It would be good to bring plenty of evidence of plans to return to Australia to tie up loose ends before immigrating:  house/car deeds, job evidence, etc.  My kiwi came over just before our K-1 NOA2 (in fact, he was here when it arrived), and I don't believe he was hassled too much, if at all.  He brought along a copy of our NOA1 and petition, but I don't think they even asked for anything.

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31 minutes ago, geowrian said:

He completes the ESTA application, boards a plane, then gets inspected.

@kellyschwan, on the rare case his ESTA application is denied, he'll need to schedule an appointment and go to a US consulate and apply for a B-1/B-2 visa.


Your Input Is Appreciated On This VJ Guide Proposal: 

 

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12 minutes ago, TM92 said:

@kellyschwan, on the rare case his ESTA application is denied, he'll need to schedule an appointment and go to a US consulate and apply for a B-1/B-2 visa.

Well, yes but it is actually illegal for them to issue such a visa to somebody with immigrant intent. (They do make exceptions in exceptional circumstances but wedding plans that can't be cancelled would not be an exception.)

 

I would bring evidence of where you are in the process of getting an immigrant visa.  This will show that you are doing the right thing and will return for the interview in Sydney.

Edited by pushbrk

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There is a very long thread about all those who have visited whilst the process continued.


“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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My wife an I entered after filing I-130 but before it was approved. I took documentation showing my ties to Australia (job, mortgage etc) and advised the officer I had an I-130 pending, he was nice didn't ask to see any further documentation and wished me luck in hearing back soon.

 

Our attorney advised that once you submit your DS 260 during the NVC process entering the US on ESTA becomes a bit more challenging - we were advised not to attempt it. I'm sure I've seen mention of others entering the US after that point though.

 

 

 


12/26/17 - NOA1

06/27/18 - NOA2 (+183 days)

07/11/18 - Case sent to NVC (+14 days)

07/18/18 - NVC Received (+7 days)

08/10/18 - NVC Case Number (+23 days)

09/06/18 - All Docs Submitted (+27 days)

09/19/18 - Case Complete at NVC (+13 days)

10/18/18 -  Interview appointment letter received (+29 days)

11/20/18 - Interview Date (+33 days) - APPROVED!

11/26/18 - Visa Received 

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Bad advice from Lawyers is a common theme on here.


“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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