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Can I file N-400 (319b) and I-130 simultaneously

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I am a US citizen and my wife is a Hong Kong citizen (she holds a HK Passport). I live with my spouse in Hong Kong as I am stationed here with a US 510c3 doing religious work. My wife is seeking to naturalize via expeditious naturalization under section 319(b). She currently only holds a B1/B2 tourist visa. We would like to only have to return to the US once to establish her LPR status and then immediately take the Interview and Oath Ceremony all in one trip. And then immediately return to HK to continue our work.

 

As I understand, this would be the timeline we’d follow:
1. Simultaneously submit form I-130 and form N-400 while in Hong Kong 

2. Apply for IR1 Immigrant visa at the US Consulate in Hong Kong
3. Take biometrics in Hong Kong at the US Consulate
4. Receive Interview and Oath Ceremony appointment date
5. Fly to the US just before Interview and Oath Ceremony appointment date. This will then establish my wife as an LPR… 
6. Take Interview and Oath Ceremony
7. Apply for expedited US Passport
8. Return to Hong Kong with my spouse to continue work for US non-profit. 

 

Question 1:
Would my wife gain LPR status when the visa is issued in her passport, or only at the moment she enters the US on that visa? 

 

Question 2:
I’m wondering how do we fill out form N-400 with no A-number or LPR status? Or if that is even possible. 
The N-400 form is very clear in asking for this information… however it also clearly states that the applicant must be an LPR only “at time of interview”. It does not say she has to be an LPR at time of application submission. 

 

Question 3:
Also, assuming my timeline listed above is correct, will the visa validity likely expire before we receive the interview date? I’m having difficulting understanding the timing of filing the I-130 and N-400.

 

I have seen clear language used on USCIS publications stating that it is necessary for my wife to be an LPR at time of INTERVIEW. Which is different that at time of APPLICATION.

 

In fact, page two of this USCIS FAQ sheet for 319b says to include a cover letter with your N-400 application stating:
"If you are NOT ALREADY an immigrant and WILL ENTER with an immigrant visa, then you should also indicate that in your letter."

https://hk.usconsulate.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/266/2017/04/acs_wwwf319_a.pdf 

 

Thanks in advance for further insight on this matter! 


 

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Wait... what?

I believe this is NOT how this all work.

You cannot.. file for immigrant visa and citizenship at the same time.

 

@geowrian @missileman This is not a possible scenario at all, right?

 

Question 1.

She has to enter the US, pay the green card fee, wait for green card to arrive.

Question 2.

No... it's not.

You cannot naturalize from... tourist visa.


K1

29.11.2013 - NoA1

06.02.2014 - NoA2

01.04.2014 - Interview. 

AoS

03.2015 - AoS started.

09.2015 - Green Card received.  

RoC

24.07.2017 - NoA1.

01.08.2018 - RoC approved. 

 

 

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What Roel said is correct. First immigrant visa then naturalization. 

Tourist visa is just that - a non-immigrant visa for visiting. 


Removal of Conditions Journey

3/3/2009 - Removal of conditions - sent off packet to CSC

3/5/2009 - I-751 received in CSC

3/9/2009 - Check cashed

3/20/2009 - Biometrics notice received (no NOA1)

4/2/2009 - Biometrics

4/9/2009 - NOA1 date (first undelivered one is 3/5)

4/3/2009 - Touch?

5/6/2009 - ROC Approval - 65 days

6/22/2009 - CRIS Card production ordered email

7/7/2009 - GC arrived!

Naturalization Journey

3/03/2010 N400 sent to Arizona Lockbox

3/15/2010 Check cashed

3/17/2010 NOA1

3/18/2010 - Biometrics notice sent

3/26/2010 Early biometrics done at an ASC different from the one assigned to (Original BIO date was 4/15)

4/30/2010 Yellow letter received and info from USCIS mil line they are working on my interview letter (6/17 appt)

5/1/2010 Text and email interview letter sen

5/6/2010 Interview letter received - scheduled for 6/17/2010 at 10:05am

6/17/2010 Interview appointment - PASSED

6/29/2010 US Citizen

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Correct... the fact that she has a tourist visa is irrelevant at this point. 

 

If it is not possible to file  N-400 (319b) and I-130 simultaneously, then I would ask what is the meaning of this statement found in the USCIS 319b FAQ sheet:

"1. A cover letter (attached to N-400 application) directed to the appropriate USCIS Service Center advising them that you are currently residing
overseas and that you are applying under Section 319(b) of the Immigration Act. If you are not already an immigrant
and will enter with an immigrant visa, then you should also indicate that in your letter. "

https://hk.usconsulate.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/266/2017/04/acs_wwwf319_a.pdf

 

Also another visa site:

"An applicant for expeditious naturalization should fill out the N-400 and submit the standard evidence: 2 passport photos, application fee (or fee waiver), marriage certificate, proof of spouse’s citizenship, and copy of the applicant’s green card (or pending petition)."

http://projectcitizenship.org/expeditious-naturalization/

 

 

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Not possible. 

 

https://www.uscis.gov/policymanual/HTML/PolicyManual-Volume12-PartG-Chapter4.html

 

"LPR at the time of filing the naturalization application." 


Widow/er AoS Guide | Have AoS questions? Read (some) answers here

 

AoS

Day 0 (4/23/12) Petitions mailed (I-360, I-485, I-765)
2 (4/25/12) Petitions delivered to Chicago Lockbox
11 (5/3/12) Received 3 paper NOAs
13 (5/5/12) Received biometrics appointment for 5/23
15 (5/7/12) Did an unpleasant walk-in biometrics in Fort Worth, TX
45 (6/7/12) Received email & text notification of an interview on 7/10
67 (6/29/12) EAD production ordered
77 (7/9/12) Received EAD
78 (7/10/12) Interview
100 (8/1/12) I-485 transferred to Vermont Service Centre
143 (9/13/12) Contacted DHS Ombudsman
268 (1/16/13) I-360, I-485 consolidated and transferred to Dallas
299 (2/16/13) Received second interview letter for 3/8
319 (3/8/13) Approved at interview
345 (4/3/13) I-360, I-485 formally approved; green card production ordered
353 (4/11/13) Received green card

 

Naturalisation

Day 0 (1/3/18) N-400 filed online

Day 6 (1/9/18) Walk-in biometrics in Fort Worth, TX

Day 341 (12/10/18) Interview was scheduled for 1/14/19

Day 376 (1/14/19) Interview

Day 385 (1/23/19) Denied

Day 400 (2/7/19) Denial revoked; N-400 approved; oath ceremony set for 2/14/19

Day 407 (2/14/19) Oath ceremony in Dallas, TX

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The FAQ sheet you linked is dated May 4, 2004.  Are you sure that isn't outdated?  I suggest checking with USCIS.

 

The current USCIS page for "Spouses of U.S. Citizens Employed Abroad" mentions twice that LPR status is required at the time of filing --

 

Under "A. General Eligibility for Spouses of U.S. Citizens Employed Abroad", the spouse must establish that he or she meets the following criteria in order to qualify:

  • LPR at the time of filing the naturalization application

Under "E. Exception to Continuous Residence and Physical Presence Requirements":

  • Spouses of U.S. citizens who are regularly stationed abroad under qualifying employment may be eligible to file for naturalization immediately after obtaining LPR status in the United States. Such spouses are not required to have any prior period of residence or specified period of physical presence within the United States in order to qualify for naturalization.

https://www.uscis.gov/policymanual/HTML/PolicyManual-Volume12-PartG-Chapter4.html

 

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7 minutes ago, Ate said:

The FAQ sheet you linked is dated May 4, 2004.  Are you sure that isn't outdated?  I suggest checking with USCIS.

 

The current USCIS page for "Spouses of U.S. Citizens Employed Abroad" mentions twice that LPR status is required at the time of filing --

 

Under "A. General Eligibility for Spouses of U.S. Citizens Employed Abroad", the spouse must establish that he or she meets the following criteria in order to qualify:

  • LPR at the time of filing the naturalization application

Under "E. Exception to Continuous Residence and Physical Presence Requirements":

  • Spouses of U.S. citizens who are regularly stationed abroad under qualifying employment may be eligible to file for naturalization immediately after obtaining LPR status in the United States. Such spouses are not required to have any prior period of residence or specified period of physical presence within the United States in order to qualify for naturalization.

https://www.uscis.gov/policymanual/HTML/PolicyManual-Volume12-PartG-Chapter4.html

 

Yeah this is what I thought. So the only route you can do is:

- Apply for spouse visa. ETA 12 - 14 months.

- Arrive in the US to activate the visa and receive a green card (you need copy of green card for naturalization)

- File for naturalization

- Apply for expedite of naturalization.


K1

29.11.2013 - NoA1

06.02.2014 - NoA2

01.04.2014 - Interview. 

AoS

03.2015 - AoS started.

09.2015 - Green Card received.  

RoC

24.07.2017 - NoA1.

01.08.2018 - RoC approved. 

 

 

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Your wife has to be a legal permanent resident of the US (green card holder) first, to be eligible for 319(b) expedited naturalization application abroad.  In other words, you will have to file I-130, go through that process (14-16 months currently), move to the USA together, so that she can get her green card and become an LPR.  You can't become an LPR living abroad, and because you live in HK, you will have to immigrate with her, establish a US domicile, meet US income requirements, etc.  319(b) is intended for LPRs married to USCs who are stationed abroad AFTER becoming an LPR in the US.  Do some more research and you will understand this better.  Since she has a B2 and you live in HK now, I would suggest that you wait until you are ready to move to the US permanently, then file the I-130 a year and a half before the planned move.  

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Agreed with everybody else...that's not going to work.


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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10 hours ago, carmel34 said:

you will have to file I-130, go through that process (14-16 months currently), move to the USA together, so that she can get her green card and become an LPR.  You can't become an LPR living abroad, and because you live in HK, you will have to immigrate with her, establish a US domicile, meet US income requirements, etc.

 

If they are able to get a spouse visa, the immigrant spouse will become an LPR as soon as they are admitted into the US.  Then the LPR spouse can immediately file N-400 with 319(b).  There is no requirement for the USC to establish domicile in the US at the time of their spouse's filing.

 

What 319(b) naturalization does require for the USC is to be employed abroad at the time of their spouse's N-400 filing and to remain employed abroad at the time of their spouse's naturalization.  Refer to section D. Calculating Period "Regularly Stationed Abroad".

 

OP, the thread below has more details on filing N-400 with 319(b), including same-day naturalization(!) which sounds like what you would like to do.  Good luck.

 

 

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36 minutes ago, Ate said:

If they are able to get a spouse visa, the immigrant spouse will become an LPR as soon as they are admitted into the US.  Then the LPR spouse can immediately file N-400 with 319(b).  There is no requirement for the USC to establish domicile in the US at the time of their spouse's filing.

The I-864 has this requirement, and the petitioner must provide a valid I-864.

Edit: The above is not as of the time of filing, but before the visa can be issued. Definitely a difference in general, but not really in the OP's case.

 

That said, typically foreign deployments will qualify. I will defer to others who deal with the military area more on the specifics here.

Edited by geowrian

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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33 minutes ago, geowrian said:

The I-864 has this requirement, and the petitioner must provide a valid I-864.

That said, typically foreign deployments will qualify. I will defer to others who deal with the military area more on the specifics here.

 

Thank you for clarifying.  I should have said: There is no requirement for the USC to reside in the US at the time of their spouse's filing.

 

As for the I-864, here are the exceptions that may be relevant to the OP --

 

A sponsor who is not currently living in the United States may meet the domicile requirement if he or she can submit evidence to establish that any of the following conditions apply:

  • The sponsor is employed by a certain organization.

A U.S. citizen who is living abroad temporarily is considered to be domiciled in the United States if the citizen is employed by certain organizations, including:

  • Employment temporarily stationed abroad with a religious denomination/group having a genuine organization within the United States.
  • Employment temporarily stationed abroad as a missionary by a religious denomination/group or by an interdenominational mission organization within the United States.

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/the-immigrant-visa-process/collect-and-submit-forms-and-documents-to-the-nvc/establish-financial-support/i-864-affidavit-faqs.html

 

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19 hours ago, Hong Kong 1 said:

We would like to only have to return to the US once to establish her LPR status and then immediately take the Interview and Oath Ceremony all in one trip. And then immediately return to HK to continue our work.

What you mentioned above is an ideal situation (IF I130 and N400 can be filed simultaneously), but too much to coordinate - Being admitted entry as LPR+ Citizenship interview+Oath all happen in one trip is hard to imagine. 

 

We wondered about this as well, but couldn't find any solid info. Even 319b for non-military cases alone are rare on the internet. So we decided to file I-130 first, then move on to file N400 under 319B.  We both live in Singapore, and we filed both cases from Singapore. I130 took 14 months, a couple months later I sent my N400 package in, and now waiting for N400 interview. During the waiting time for I-130, we traveled back to the U.S. three times using my B2 visa, and never had a problem. Now I travel with my GC, when I explain that I'm residing in Singapore with my husband, and we are going file/have filed N400 under 319B, CBP officers all get it.

 

I would suggest go for I130 first then N 400. Fees are the same, extra months to wait but no stress and doesn't have any impact on your travels either. 

Edited by Qian

Expeditious Naturalization 319B (Experience Report)

N-400 NOA: Dec 24 2018 (Day 1)

Interview scheduled: Mar 5 2019  (Day 71)

Interview scheduled for: Mar 26 2019 (Day 92)

Oath scheduled: Mar 29 2019

Oath: Apr 11 2019  (Day 108)

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