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keinja

Getting a B2 tourist Visa after 2 denials (plus denial of a spouse visa)

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I am writing on behalf of my wife.  She is a Japanese citizen and I am a US citizen.  We have been married for nearly 3 years, were married in Japan and have lived exclusively in Japan.  A year ago she was denied a spouse visa.  We lacked the finances.  Shortly after the interview both are job situations pleasantly improved and we decided to stay in Japan.

 

Having been denied a spouse visa, we needed to apply for a B2 tourist visa as an ESTA is no longer an option.   We applied quickly after the spouse visa was denied.   She was denied a tourist visa for not demonstrating tries to Japan and intent to return.  We had plane tickets already so we applied again and were denied again.  She was told "it is too soon".  The interviews were short and rather stressful, needless to say.  I traveled to the US alone after that.

 

It has now been a year.  We will apply again.  We have lots of supporting documents as she is now running a shop.  We plan to submit the following:

1. a translated rental contract for her shop.

2. a translated job contract (her main 5 day a week job).

3. letters from her father and her father-in -law confirming residence in Japan and of her intentions to return after travel the US.

 

Also she has bills for her shop in her name that we could also have translated.  Our apartment is rented in my name so that my not be helpful.  I too am employed.  Would my contract translated be of help?

 

I have read that the interview questions are the most important.  She will have stronger verbal proof of her roots in Japan this time as things are much clearer and easier to explain (she didn't have the shop last time).

 

We are looking for any advice.  Have we waited long enough?  Should we get a lawyer before trying a third time for the B2 Tourist Visa?  Is it possible for me to go the US Embassy and get consultation on this matter since she is my wife (I will call and check on this regardless)?

 

Just to clarify all 3 denied visa applications were in February and March of last year.

 

Please advise if you have heard of, or had similar situations.

 

Thank You

 

 

 

 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, keinja said:

Should we get a lawyer before trying a third time for the B2 Tourist Visa?

I once consulted an immigration lawyer when my husband's B1/B2 was denied (I'm a USC and was living abroad with him in his country when he applied, we had zero intentions of immigrating to the US at that time but he was denied and told to seek a spousal visa, they assumed immigrant intent) and the lawyer's response was just *shrug* "Not sure there's much you can do, it's hard to prove ties when the spouse is a USC" so I think bothering with a lawyer for this is really unnecessary and won't help. I might be wrong but that was my experience....and then I found VJ and learned that B1/B2 tourist visas for spouses of USC's are almost as rare as unicorns. :lol:

 

I do think the denied spousal visa is hugely working against her unfortunately. It shows that there was once immigrant intent. It's going to be extremely hard to get over that and convince the CO that there is a reason to return to Japan. What is the reason for going to the US? Is it just a trip to visit your family?

 

18 minutes ago, keinja said:

Is it possible for me to go the US Embassy and get consultation on this matter since she is my wife (I will call and check on this regardless)?

No, this is not possible. She can only apply by herself, there's nothing you can do in terms of the interview. I think you can try to show as much evidence as possible that you have a solid life in Japan and no intentions to return to living in the US. What is your visa status in Japan, do you have residency there, etc?

 

23 minutes ago, keinja said:

3. letters from her father and her father-in -law confirming residence in Japan and of her intentions to return after travel the US.

This might be helpful, but again, I really think what they're looking at is her connection/tie to you, the USC. So it's more about proving that you both live in Japan and will return and have no intentions to move to the US together.

 

25 minutes ago, keinja said:

Would my contract translated be of help? 

I personally think it is worth translating this, it doesn't hurt to have it. Have they ever asked her to look at supporting docs or did they deny the visa based on the interview/application alone?


03639.png                  

 🇷🇺  ♥  CR-1 via DCF in Moscow (2016-2017) 🇺🇸  Read about my DCF experience here and here.

Spoiler

26-Jul-2016: Married abroad 👩‍❤️‍👨
21-Dec-2016: I-130 filed at Embassy
29-Dec-2016: I-130 approved! Yay! 🎊

17-Jan-2017: Case number received

21-Mar-2017: Medical Exam completed

24-Mar-2017: Interview - approved! 🎉

29-Mar-2017: CR-1 Visa received (via mail)

02-Apr-2017: USCIS Immigrant (GC) Fee paid

28-Jun-2017: Port of Entry @ PDX 🛩️

21-Jul-2017: No SSN after three weeks; applied in person at the SSA

22-Jul-2017: GC arrived in the mail 📬

31-Jul-2017: SSN arrived via mail, hurrah!

 

I-90 GC Replacment (for Erroneous GC)

22-Jul-2017: GC arrives in the mail – middle name is cut off 😕

01-Aug-2017: Sent in I-90 online via website

05-Aug-2017: Biometrics scheduled

23-Aug-2017: Biometrics done @ USCIS office; told to keep GC!

16-Jul-2018: RFE for original card!! 🤬

31-Jul-2018: USCIS Appointment at local field office..

22-Aug-2018: Mailed GC back to USCIS in response to RFE

29-Aug-2018: GC received by USCIS

17-Sept-2018: Received CORRECTED GC in the mail! Finally!! 😂

 

📑 I-751 Removal of Conditions (2019-???) 📝

Spoiler

28-Jun-2019: Conditional GC expires

30-Mar-2019: Eligible to apply for ROC

??-???-2019: TBA...

 

 

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Definitely an uphill battle, sorry. The past immigrant visa attempt is a strong indicator of intent to immigrate still. The CO does not know your full circumstances and why you abandoned that plan and decided to remain in Japan instead.

 

There's nothing you can do directly. It's not you who needs the visa. She has to show the ties to return home on her own.

I do think that there would be no harm in including some evidence of ties that you have to remain in Japan, if any. They very likely will not look at it, but it's better than nothing.

 

There's nothing an attorney can do. Immigrant intent is presumed by law and a determination 100% in the hands of the CO. Unfortunately, this is the struggle non-VWP countries go through.

 

I wish her good luck.


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

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

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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37 minutes ago, millefleur said:

What is the reason for going to the US? Is it just a trip to visit your family?

Yes!  We just want to visit family.  And fix here situation for the future.  

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40 minutes ago, millefleur said:

What is your visa status in Japan, do you have residency there, etc?

I am on a one-year work visa at the moment.  My situation really improved as of March.  I am directly hired by my school.  I should receive a 3-5 year visa next time here in Japan (i hope).  From there I plan to apply for permanent residency.  So, until this is done, my situation is not much of a help either.

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17 minutes ago, Timona said:

Since your financial situation improved,  why not apply for her to get the GC and wait till you get it then travel?

My financials and my wife's have greatly improved.  Ironically we would qualify for the Immigrate Visa now.  But we just want to travel and visit family every year or so.  How does a green card differ from an immigrant visa?  Is this really an option for just traveling..?

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25 minutes ago, keinja said:

My financials and my wife's have greatly improved.  Ironically we would qualify for the Immigrate Visa now.  But we just want to travel and visit family every year or so.  How does a green card differ from an immigrant visa?  Is this really an option for just traveling..?

An immigrant visa is used to become a permanent resident upon entry into the US. The green card is just evidence of permanent resident status.

 

A green card is not used to visit. A permanent resident must maintain permanent residency within the US. Otherwise it will be deemed abandoned.

I'm not suggesting this necessarily, but...one could get a green card, voluntarily abandon it, then apply for a tourist visa. That does seem to be strong evidence of non-immigrant intent. It's just a very long, tedious, and expensive process for a tourist visa with no guarantee of getting the tourist visa at the end.


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

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

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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32 minutes ago, keinja said:

Is this really an option for just traveling..?

Unfortunately there is no other option for visiting family in the US other than the "one size fits all" B1/B2 or the lucky ones who have the VWP.


03639.png                  

 🇷🇺  ♥  CR-1 via DCF in Moscow (2016-2017) 🇺🇸  Read about my DCF experience here and here.

Spoiler

26-Jul-2016: Married abroad 👩‍❤️‍👨
21-Dec-2016: I-130 filed at Embassy
29-Dec-2016: I-130 approved! Yay! 🎊

17-Jan-2017: Case number received

21-Mar-2017: Medical Exam completed

24-Mar-2017: Interview - approved! 🎉

29-Mar-2017: CR-1 Visa received (via mail)

02-Apr-2017: USCIS Immigrant (GC) Fee paid

28-Jun-2017: Port of Entry @ PDX 🛩️

21-Jul-2017: No SSN after three weeks; applied in person at the SSA

22-Jul-2017: GC arrived in the mail 📬

31-Jul-2017: SSN arrived via mail, hurrah!

 

I-90 GC Replacment (for Erroneous GC)

22-Jul-2017: GC arrives in the mail – middle name is cut off 😕

01-Aug-2017: Sent in I-90 online via website

05-Aug-2017: Biometrics scheduled

23-Aug-2017: Biometrics done @ USCIS office; told to keep GC!

16-Jul-2018: RFE for original card!! 🤬

31-Jul-2018: USCIS Appointment at local field office..

22-Aug-2018: Mailed GC back to USCIS in response to RFE

29-Aug-2018: GC received by USCIS

17-Sept-2018: Received CORRECTED GC in the mail! Finally!! 😂

 

📑 I-751 Removal of Conditions (2019-???) 📝

Spoiler

28-Jun-2019: Conditional GC expires

30-Mar-2019: Eligible to apply for ROC

??-???-2019: TBA...

 

 

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Did you actually apply for ESTA approval or just assumed?


“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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40 minutes ago, Boiler said:

Did you actually apply for ESTA approval or just assumed?

In the denial letter for the Spouse Visa it clearly states she can no longer use the ESTA visa...

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ESTA requires you to declare if you have had a prior visa denial, which may or may not preclude an ESTA being approved.


“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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Usually not recommended but in this case your ties to Japan would also be helpful. She is being denied because they think you are trying to avoid the year long wait for a spousal visa by her coming on a tourist visa and then adjusting status.

Of course documents of her ties to the country are most important but also showing your ties to the country will help prove she is not coming with immigrant intent, why would she try to immigrate while you are still living long-term in Japan. Therefore it might be best to wait until you have your long term permit (visa) to stay in Japan and provide a copy of that at her interview.

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Thank you everyone for your replies.  It is a lot to process.  But it is mostly as I expected.  

Here is a follow-up question:   Is there harm in being continually denied the B2 travel visa at this point?  My thought is to gather the documents and apply.  If we are denied, try again next year.  What do you think about this? 

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