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N0mad

Traveling the world together while waiting for CR-1 viable?

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After my fiancee and I looked at both K-1 and CR-1 processes, we were very upset with the lengthy times. It's literally as if the government is stealing 1-2% of each of our lives. Since we're both in mid-30s, and eventually want kids, neither of us wants to wait around for 1-2 years while the CR-1 is processing (CR-1 seems like a saner option due to lower rejection rate, fewer headaches, and ability to get her a job here as soon as possible). A crazy idea popped into my head the other day. I'm a software developer, and it's relatively easy to find remote jobs in software. So I could work remotely while the 2 of us travel the world together, as long as CR-1 process allows that. Another option (since I have sufficient savings and investment income) is to not work at all during this time (the cost of living would be cheaper in many of the countries we could travel to, the only one losing out here is Uncle Sam on the tax revenue). This can effectively work as our honeymoon.

 

Before moving forward with this, I have the following concerns:

- Will CR-1 process/interview be negatively impacted by the fact that I (a US citizen) will be abroad for majority of their process?

- Will CR-1 be negatively impacted if I don't work during this time/travel? If the issue is being able to prove that I can provide for my future spouse, can I simply get a job shortly before the final interview (my employer would be happy to have me back)?

- Will CR-1 be negatively impacted by the fact that she travels (legally, using tourist visas) for majority of their process instead of staying in her country?

- For CR-1, can she marry me while visiting on a B-1 she already has? Alternatively, if we get married in one of the countries we travel to, how hard would it be to convert that certificate to US for the purposes of CR-1?

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Nobody wants to wait, but the delays are primarily due to high demand / large backlog. Long term fixes for that are difficult to come by, especially in something so regulated. It is what is it. 🤷‍♂️

 

First, make sure wherever you travel permits remote work on the intended visa, and any tax consequences of doing so. Just because it's available remotely does not mean a country can't consider it as employment within the country. You don't want to get in any trouble while waiting things out, or to end up with unexpected tax documentations and/or liability.

  1. No (caveat below).
  2. Possibly. The CO would look at your current income and work history to make a decision if the beneficiary is likely to become a public charge. It doesn't particularly raises a concern IMO, but others might disagree.
  3. Not directly, although it may or may not trigger extended background checks depending on where, how often, etc. Nobody can say with certainly what triggers these or how long they will take in any individual case.
  4. B-1 or B-2 is fine to marry so long as she intends to leave. Entering with intent to stay would be an issue, but entering to marry then complete the process abroad is permitted fine. No need to register or record a foreign-obtained marriage in the US. If it's not in English, it will need a translation is all.
    1. Specific marriage documentation needed varies by country: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/Visa-Reciprocity-and-Civil-Documents-by-Country.html

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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One thing to keep aware of is the DOMICILE requirement of the petitioner.  Make sure you have sufficient ties back to the states.


March 2, 2018  Married In Hong Kong

April 30, 2018  Mary moves from the Philippines to Mexico, Husband has MX Permanent Residency

June 13, 2018 Mary receives Mexican Residency Card

June 15, 2018  I-130 DCF Appointment in Juarez  -  June 18, 2018  Approval E-Mail

August 2, 2018 Case Complete At Consulate

September 25, 2018 Interview in CDJ and Approved!

October 7, 2018 In the USA

October 27, 2018 Green Card received 

October 29, 2018 Applied for Social Security Card - November 5, 2018 Social Security Card received

November 6th, 2018 State ID Card Received, Applied for Global Entry - Feb 8,2019 Approved.

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8 hours ago, N0mad said:

After my fiancee and I looked at both K-1 and CR-1 processes, we were very upset with the lengthy times. It's literally as if the government is stealing 1-2% of each of our lives. The US Government is not stealing anything from you.  A foreigner is not entitled to live in the US even if that person is married to a USC.  Get over your sense of entitlement.  Immigration is a privilege, not a right.  Since we're both in mid-30s, and eventually want kids, neither of us wants to wait around for 1-2 years while the CR-1 is processing (CR-1 seems like a saner option due to lower rejection rate, fewer headaches, and ability to get her a job here as soon as possible). A crazy idea popped into my head the other day. I'm a software developer, and it's relatively easy to find remote jobs in software. So I could work remotely while the 2 of us travel the world together, as long as CR-1 process allows that. Another option (since I have sufficient savings and investment income) is to not work at all during this time (the cost of living would be cheaper in many of the countries we could travel to, the only one losing out here is Uncle Sam on the tax revenue). This can effectively work as our honeymoon.

 

Before moving forward with this, I have the following concerns:

- Will CR-1 process/interview be negatively impacted by the fact that I (a US citizen) will be abroad for majority of their process?  Possible since you may have a domicile issue for the I-864.

- Will CR-1 be negatively impacted if I don't work during this time/travel? If the issue is being able to prove that I can provide for my future spouse, can I simply get a job shortly before the final interview (my employer would be happy to have me back)?  Check out the requirements for the I-864.  A recent job may not cut it.  

- Will CR-1 be negatively impacted by the fact that she travels (legally, using tourist visas) for majority of their process instead of staying in her country?  Nope.

- For CR-1, can she marry me while visiting on a B-1 she already has?  Yes, it's possible as long as she can prove she has ties to her home country.  Alternatively, if we get married in one of the countries we travel to, how hard would it be to convert that certificate to US for the purposes of CR-1?  You translate the certificate into English.

 

Here are some general rules about immigration.  

 

1.  A foreigner is not entitled to immigrate to the US even when married to a USC.  Immigration is a privilege, not a right.  

2.  Everyone waits.  

3.  Make sure you can meet the I-864 requirements.

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12 hours ago, N0mad said:

After my fiancee and I looked at both K-1 and CR-1 processes, we were very upset with the lengthy times. It's literally as if the government is stealing 1-2% of each of our lives

Really?  Stealing?  But you're making the choice to marry someone from overseas and bring them to the US.....  There is very little mileage to be had here on VJ by being victimized by immigration laws.

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Thanks guys (who stayed on topic), looks like traveling shouldn't be an issue then. Similarly, we're looking at other alternatives for staying together while the process takes place (me working remotely from her country isn't an option since the paperwork for my entry there would similarly take over a year to process - a complication based on my original nationality). One other alternative I'm considering is her also applying for work authorization in Canada (Express Entry), a process that seems to be significantly more streamlined and may only take a few weeks. That way we'll only be a car-drive away from each other during the 14 months that the processing takes place. Do you know if her temporary relocation to Canada would raise any red flags in the CR-1 process?

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I'm not 100% sure, but if she lives in another country, that could change the process/timelines for immigration a bit. I don't really know how it works if you move to another country while in the process of applying (like, if she'll have to go to the consulate from her home country or in the new country). One thing to note, if she moved to Canada and ended up having to finish the process there (IE medical and interview), should would have to go to the Montreal consulate for this. What I've been reading (since my husband is Canadian), is that they have very long wait times for the interviews right now. I'm seeing 6+ months after I-130 approval in some cases. Every place is different. 

And, unfortunately, you won't get too much sympathy on VJ for finding ways to be with your spouse sooner. We're all going through the same thing, and if there were easy ways to be together faster than 1-2yrs, we would all do it. :) The process is tough and there is little wiggle room. My husband and I have been living in separate countries since we started dating almost 4 years ago, we're not happy about the long wait for the visa either, but it is what it is and every day we're one day closer to finally living together. It's tough, sure, but this will all feel like a distance memory one day. 

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I wouldn't expect any red flags with her living in Canada (with the appropriate visa) to wait out the process. She can still move back and interview in her home country when the time comes (since Montreal is quite backlogged).


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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