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Rene T

Advice on our current situation..

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Hello Everyone, 

 

I have written on here a couple of times now and seem to get great advice, let me explain my current situation and hope I can continue to learn from the feedback!

 

I am a 27 year old, female, American Citizen, and I have been traveling on and off for the last five years. Most of my time, since I sold everything to travel in 2015, has been spent in the US Virgin Islands, and during hurricane seasons I have spent time in other countries backpacking. In October 2019 I flew into Auckland, New Zealand alone to spend a year on a Holiday Work Visa. The second day I was here, I met a man that became a very good friend of mine, he is also 27 years old and from the UK, one thing lead to another and we became more than friends. As time went on we started dating and moved into an apartment together in Queenstown, NZ and got jobs. Then COVID happened and being locked in a house together made us much closer and a lot stronger of a relationship. We had plane tickets to fly to the UK and to the states to meet each others families in June, until they got canceled. 

 

Our original plan was to see out our year visa in New Zealand, visit family once while here and then move to Australia on a one year Holiday Work Visa and do another visit to family in that year. After the two years down under we thought about moving back to the Virgin Islands so I can bring him into my wonderful life in the beautiful Caribbean. By that time we were sure we would get married, have him enter the country on a K1 fiancé visa and have our wedding in the islands within the 90 days. Then we planned to start settling ourselves in the islands. I know it sounds like a lot planned in the short 10 months of being together, but we had a lot of time on our hands during lockdown to think about everything and there was no doubt we wanted to be together. 

 

Sounds like a great plan, right?

 

Well.. I am sure some people can agree with me, we did not see COVID-19 affecting most countries borders for so long. Especially because we went through lockdown in NZ and things have pretty much gone back to normal here, minus the border still being closed. Our perfect little two/three year plan is just not going to work out the way we expected. I do not see Australia letting us get a Holiday Work Visa any time soon, neither of us want to go to the UK, so that brings us to the Virgin Islands where my brother still lives, all my friends are, and my old job I can go back too.

 

We didn't plan to get married so fast, we do not have the money to have any type of wedding right now, we can not stay in NZ after our visa expires in October because they do not do second year visas for Americans, realistically we only want to go back to the islands until Australia starts accepting Holiday Work Visas which I am praying is sooner rather than later, we are 100% in love but do not want to rush things. It just so happens we are from different countries and met during a (removed) pandemic...

 

I guess my question for you guys is;

 

what should we do?

 

Does anyone have any suggestions for other countries to get work visas in? Should we go to Florida where my parents live on an ESTA and just hang out for 90 days to give us some more time and free rent? Should we go to the islands on an ESTA and I will work while he gets to put his feet up for 90 days? Should we try and get him another visa like a B1?

 

or..... should we just bite the bullet and go to the dang court house here in NZ and get married so we can actually stay together?

 

and if we did that, would he be able to enter the country while the CR1 is processing? As in.. let's say we go to the court house next weekend, and then immediately apply for the CR1, would he be able to enter the country at the end of October when we have to leave NZ? My fear is, he is still not able to enter the US until the processing goes through which theres no telling how long that could take. Is there a bridging visa or something that allows him in while we wait? 

 

I am sorry to write so much, I have been doing a lot of research and can not seem to find enough info to answer our questions for our specific situation.

 

Thank you!

 

   

Edited by Unlockable
Edited for language

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*** This is a reminder that absolutely no foul language can be used on this site as any time.

 

VJ Moderation


“When starting an immigration journey, the best advice is to understand that sacrifices have to be made... whether it is time, money, or separation; or a combination of all.” - Unlockable

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I would not hold your breath for Australia re-opening. The plans for Australia to reopen look like they may 2 years in the making. Our cases have increased, there state border restrictions -  not going to happen. At this stage I also don’t think American citizens will be allowed to enter Australia for a very long time given how the virus is spreading in the states. 

 

As for other countries, except your own, I don’t foresee travel to be on the cards for many countries until a vaccine is found or the virus has been eradicated. 
 

You can get married in NZ now before you fly home and file the C1/IR1. He can come in and out whilst it’s processing but that’s all dependent on the border officers if they are satisfied Be will go back home. 

 

or you can file a K1 and he can come to the US, you marry and file AOs. When the pandemic is over, travel. But if he’s out of the country for longer than a year he may lose his US Residency

 

no one can tell you what to do. Only you know. And unfortunately the world is battling public health crisis which has ruined a lot of plans for a lot of people! 
 

life is short. I’d marry now. Just my 2 cents. 


Our Visa Journey:

 

2 April 2018: Married in Santa Ana, California 💒

6 June 2019: Birth of our daughter 👶👨‍👩‍👧

14 October 2019: Sent I-130 package via AusPost 📮 

18 October 2019: NOA1 received - sent to Texas Service Centre :D

24 October 2019: USCIS processed filing fee 🤑 waiting game 🕰️

22 January 2020: Andy moved back to the USA😞 🇺🇸 - re-establish domicile & to get a job 👨‍⚕️

23 February 2020: Petition transferred from Texas Service Centre to Nebraska Service Centre 😞

15 May 2020: I-130 petition approved! 😭😍 Date changes leading up to the approval were: 1 May, 12 May, 13 May. 

16 May 2020: Received NVC email, paid all fees. Waiting for fees to process so we can upload and submit all documents

19 May 2020: Immigrant visa Fees PROCESSED; affidavit of support fee PROCESSED 

28 May 2020: Submitted VISA application, civil documents & affidavit of support documents. Patiently awaiting DQ. 

2 June 2020: Email received from NVC stating that we have been Documentary Qualified and that they will liaise with US Consulate in Sydney for Interview 🐨

27 June 2020: Expedite request submitted 🤞

7 July 2020: Expedite request APPROVED! 😃😭

15 July 2020: Email received advising of interview date and time. 
20 July 2020: Medical i: n Melbourne CBD 🏥     
28 July 2020: US visa interview at US consulate Sydney - refused 221(g) issued. Request for joint sponsor 😞

31 July 2020: uploaded joint sponsor to NVC, emailed consulate 

5 August 2020: emailed received advising they have received the joint sponsor 

7 August 2020: case i0n “administrative processing” 🤞

10 August 2020: visa ISSUED 😭 

12 August 2020: passport and visa in hand!

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Haiti
Timeline

So I may have missed it but is this your boyfriend or fiancé? Gotta start there. Where do you ultimately want to live your lives for the next day 3-5 years? A permanent resident is not for the nomad life. He can visit the US up to 90 days on his ESTA- it is not recommended to stay the full 90 days and generally he should be out of the US Double what he was in. So say 90 days in US 180 out. So he still needs a home base to go to; he will risk losing his esta if he abuses it. If he loses his esta his chances of obtaining a b1/b2 visa are slim (especially w no ties to home)
 

If you choose CR1 or K1 you need to establish domicile someplace in the US (show you have been paying taxes, job, place to stay etc)

 

A limit for the k1 is he wouldn’t be able to work or travel for approx 6months after he arrives to the US. 

I don’t see the point of him coming to Florida for 90 days just to hang out other than if you are both NOT set on marriage and you OnLY want to hang out- because if he does decide to immigrate down the road you will be separated longer because he’s already spent so much time in the US

 

Yes, he can enter the US on his Esta with a pending CR1 or K1 but his lack of ties to anywhere in the world other than you doesn’t help. It is always up to the CO Ro decide to let people in the US. Is he willing to go back home to the UK and settle there for some time? He CAN NOT stay in the US for the duration of his pending visa. Whichever route you chose there will be separation- that’s part of The immigration Process that everyone goes through. 

Edited by Luckycuds

Our K1 Journey    I-129f

Service Center : Texas Service Center   Transferred? California Service Center on 8/11/14

Consulate : Port au Prince, Haiti             I-129F Sent : 4/14/2014

I-129F NOA1 : 4/24/14                            I-129F NOA2 : 9/10/14

NVC Received : 9/24/14                          NVC Left : 9/26/14

Consulate Received : 10/6/14 CEAC status changed to ready

Packet 3 Received : 10/27/14 packet received by petitioner in USA ( beneficiary never received packet 3)

Medical: 10/30/14 Dr. Buteau                  Medical picked up: 11/3/14

Packet 3 Sent : 11/10/13.. Had to schedule interview appointment and attach confirmation receipt to packet

Interview Date : 12/1/14                           Interview Result : Approved !

Visa Received : 12/10/14 picked up at Jacmel location

US Entry : 12/15/14 Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Apply for Social Security Card: 12/30/14 Connecticut

Marriage: 1/26/15

 

Adjustment of Status

CIS Office : Hartford                                  Filed : 3/18/15

NOA : 3/25/15                                            Biometrics : 4/15/15

Approved: 8/31/15                                     Received: 9/8/15

 

EAD

CIS Office : Hartford                                  Filed : 3/18/15

NOA : 3/25/15                                            Approved: 6/12/15

Received: 6/20/15

 

Removal of Conditions I-751

Filed: 8/14/17 at VSC                                 NOA: 8/15/17 Received 8/21 by mail

Biometrics: Dated: 8/25/17   Received 9/2/17   Appointment 9/11/17 

Approved: 10/23/18 -no interview

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6 hours ago, Rene T said:

Hello Everyone, 

 

I have written on here a couple of times now and seem to get great advice, let me explain my current situation and hope I can continue to learn from the feedback!

 

I am a 27 year old, female, American Citizen, and I have been traveling on and off for the last five years. Most of my time, since I sold everything to travel in 2015, has been spent in the US Virgin Islands, and during hurricane seasons I have spent time in other countries backpacking. In October 2019 I flew into Auckland, New Zealand alone to spend a year on a Holiday Work Visa. The second day I was here, I met a man that became a very good friend of mine, he is also 27 years old and from the UK, one thing lead to another and we became more than friends. As time went on we started dating and moved into an apartment together in Queenstown, NZ and got jobs. Then COVID happened and being locked in a house together made us much closer and a lot stronger of a relationship. We had plane tickets to fly to the UK and to the states to meet each others families in June, until they got canceled. 

 

Our original plan was to see out our year visa in New Zealand, visit family once while here and then move to Australia on a one year Holiday Work Visa and do another visit to family in that year. After the two years down under we thought about moving back to the Virgin Islands so I can bring him into my wonderful life in the beautiful Caribbean. By that time we were sure we would get married, have him enter the country on a K1 fiancé visa and have our wedding in the islands within the 90 days. Then we planned to start settling ourselves in the islands. I know it sounds like a lot planned in the short 10 months of being together, but we had a lot of time on our hands during lockdown to think about everything and there was no doubt we wanted to be together. 

 

Sounds like a great plan, right?

 

Well.. I am sure some people can agree with me, we did not see COVID-19 affecting most countries borders for so long. Especially because we went through lockdown in NZ and things have pretty much gone back to normal here, minus the border still being closed. Our perfect little two/three year plan is just not going to work out the way we expected. I do not see Australia letting us get a Holiday Work Visa any time soon, neither of us want to go to the UK, so that brings us to the Virgin Islands where my brother still lives, all my friends are, and my old job I can go back too.

 

We didn't plan to get married so fast, we do not have the money to have any type of wedding right now, we can not stay in NZ after our visa expires in October because they do not do second year visas for Americans, realistically we only want to go back to the islands until Australia starts accepting Holiday Work Visas which I am praying is sooner rather than later, we are 100% in love but do not want to rush things. It just so happens we are from different countries and met during a (removed) pandemic...

 

I guess my question for you guys is;

 

what should we do?

 

Does anyone have any suggestions for other countries to get work visas in? Should we go to Florida where my parents live on an ESTA and just hang out for 90 days to give us some more time and free rent? Should we go to the islands on an ESTA and I will work while he gets to put his feet up for 90 days? Should we try and get him another visa like a B1?

 

or..... should we just bite the bullet and go to the dang court house here in NZ and get married so we can actually stay together?

 

and if we did that, would he be able to enter the country while the CR1 is processing? As in.. let's say we go to the court house next weekend, and then immediately apply for the CR1, would he be able to enter the country at the end of October when we have to leave NZ? My fear is, he is still not able to enter the US until the processing goes through which theres no telling how long that could take. Is there a bridging visa or something that allows him in while we wait? 

 

I am sorry to write so much, I have been doing a lot of research and can not seem to find enough info to answer our questions for our specific situation.

 

Thank you!

 

   

There are advantages and disadvantages to each type of visa.  He can VISIT you (with a valid ESTA or B2) during the visa process, although each visit is subject to the discretion of CBP at the border. He cannot live in the US while the visa is being processed.   He cannot enter the US via ESTA or B2 with the intent to stay in the US.  He should be prepared to show strong ties to his home country such as a job, lease, or other commitments.   Here is my simple analysis of the K-1 vs the CR-1:

 

Every couple has their own priorities, and each couple must decide which visa is better for their situation.

K-1
    Slightly faster arrival in the US (currently about 5 months sooner)    
    More expensive than CR-1    
    Requires Adjustment of Status after marriage (expensive and requires a lot of paperwork)    
    Spouse can not leave the US until she/he receives approved Advance Parole (approx 5-6 months)    
    Spouse can not work until she/he receives EAD (approx 5-6 months)    
    Some people have had problems with driver licenses, Social Security cards, leases, bank account during this period    
    Spouse will not receive Green Card for many months after Adjustment of Status is filed.
    A denied K-1 is sent back to USCIS to expire
  

CR-1
    Slightly slower arrival in the US (currently about 5 months later)

    Less expensive than K-1    
    No Adjustment of Status(I-485, I-131, I-765) required.    
    Spouse can immediately travel outside the US    
    Spouse is authorized to work immediately upon arrival.    
    Spouse receives Social Security Card and Green Card within 2 or 3 weeks after entering the US    
    Opening a bank account, getting a driver's license, etc. are very easily accomplished with GC, SS card, and passport.

    Spouse has legal permanent Resident status IMMEDIATELY upon entry to US.

    A denial can be reviewed and rebutted.
  �


 

Edited by Lucky Cat

"The immigration process demands a great deal of knowledge, planning, time, patience, and money.  A deficit in any of these areas can spell heartbreak."

   -GB, "old man of much life experience"

 

Retired 20 year United States Air Force Missileer (Retired E-8)

Retired Registered Nurse with practice in Labor/Delivery, Home Health, Adolescent Psych, Adult Psych

Retired IT Professional, Software Developer, Database Manager

 

 

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21 hours ago, Luckycuds said:

So I may have missed it but is this your boyfriend or fiancé? Gotta start there. Where do you ultimately want to live your lives for the next day 3-5 years? A permanent resident is not for the nomad life. He can visit the US up to 90 days on his ESTA- it is not recommended to stay the full 90 days and generally he should be out of the US Double what he was in. So say 90 days in US 180 out. So he still needs a home base to go to; he will risk losing his esta if he abuses it. If he loses his esta his chances of obtaining a b1/b2 visa are slim (especially w no ties to home)
 

If you choose CR1 or K1 you need to establish domicile someplace in the US (show you have been paying taxes, job, place to stay etc)

 

A limit for the k1 is he wouldn’t be able to work or travel for approx 6months after he arrives to the US. 

I don’t see the point of him coming to Florida for 90 days just to hang out other than if you are both NOT set on marriage and you OnLY want to hang out- because if he does decide to immigrate down the road you will be separated longer because he’s already spent so much time in the US

 

Yes, he can enter the US on his Esta with a pending CR1 or K1 but his lack of ties to anywhere in the world other than you doesn’t help. It is always up to the CO Ro decide to let people in the US. Is he willing to go back home to the UK and settle there for some time? He CAN NOT stay in the US for the duration of his pending visa. Whichever route you chose there will be separation- that’s part of The immigration Process that everyone goes through. 

He is my boyfriend.

We want to eventually end up in the states or the Virgin Islands just depending on where we adjust as a couple, the islands are not for everyone! As of right now we are nomads, honestly I am more than him. However I am a US citizen and want to be near my family when I start to settle down. I have met a man that I am starting to see that future with, and even though we were not exactly ready to go back to my home and settle, this pandemic is making it known that it is our time, if you know what I mean. 

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Unfortunately the nomad lifestyle really complicates the lives of mixed-nationality couples. The USC partner has to prove that they are well-settled in the US (physically and financially) in order to sponsor their non-USC partner to come to the US. And it doesn't end there. Upon receiving their permanent residency, the non-US partner must maintain their residency in the US (being outside of the US for more than a year raises red flags), or they might lose their green card. As someone who wishes to pursue university faculty positions outside of the US at some point (we love the idea of starting fresh in new countries and cultures and postponing falling into the ordinary life in the US for as long as we can), this forces me to rethink my career goals. 

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I understand, and that is unfortunate because I started my nomadic lifestyle years before I met him. It does not seem fair to punish us because I do not wish to be in the rat race of the career life. However, we both have held a stable income and job while in New Zealand. We can prove that we have paid rent in an apartment for this year and that we have bank accounts and phone bills while here. He can prove that he had a stable job and income in the UK for five years prior to coming to New Zealand. I hope that helps our situation 

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Brazil
Timeline
2 hours ago, Rene T said:

I understand, and that is unfortunate because I started my nomadic lifestyle years before I met him. It does not seem fair to punish us because I do not wish to be in the rat race of the career life. However, we both have held a stable income and job while in New Zealand. We can prove that we have paid rent in an apartment for this year and that we have bank accounts and phone bills while here. He can prove that he had a stable job and income in the UK for five years prior to coming to New Zealand. I hope that helps our situation 

 

Was any of that in the USA?  If not, it does help the domicile part of the requirement for a visa.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Ukraine
Timeline

Hello,

 

You have some difficult decisions to make.  The first decision is if you want to marry him.  It sounds like you are 95% sure?  Try to be 100% sure, or as close as possible.  Also, make sure he feels the same.))

 

It would be easier to be together as a married couple.  So far, spouses have been exempt from travel restrictions.  He can travel to be with you (with a valid visa/ESTA) or you can travel to be with him (also, with a visa/ESTA).  I am not sure Australia would allow temporary work visas anytime soon, but other countries might (France or Spain?)  

 

If you do decide to get married, then I highly recommend a spouse visa.  Get married now in NZ and apply for CR1 online.  You need a domestic address in the US or US territory. If you plan to live in the US Virgin Islands again, then arrange for an apartment soon for Oct/Nov.  Also, eventually, you will need to line up a joint sponsor for the affidavit of support if your current salary does not meet the requirements.

 

As an aside - I envy you guys being in NZ.  Wife and I took a 3 week vacation there in Feb/March, renting a campervan for 10 days for south island.  We returned to our respective countries just as the Covid lockdowns hit - if we stayed a week longer, we could have spent the lockdown with each other in NZ.  But it's been 4+ months now we have been apart, but hopefully we'll be together again soon.

 

 

 

 

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Brazil
Timeline
3 hours ago, Rene T said:

Mostly in the US Virgin Islands, but why should that matter if I am a US Citizen? 

just because you are US Citizen, means you should be filing federal tax returns if you are working (anywhere in the world), and you have the right to vote and to return to USA.

It has no bearing on domicile.  That is covered by the following from the i-864 instructions

 

Screen Shot 2020-07-27 at 7.18.08 PM.png

Screen Shot 2020-07-27 at 7.18.16 PM.png

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Ukraine
Timeline

The I-864 does not factor in until the NVC stage of the spouse visa process.  About 6+ months after filing I-130.  If you move back to the US Virgin Islands, or Florida, then you are golden.

 

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We 100% want to spend the rest of our lives together, there’s no doubt I want to be with anyone else. I’ve waited a long time to meet someone like him. And we have spent every single day together the last year so we have heaps of evidence of our relationship. we just didn’t want to get married right away but then the pandemic happened and we’re thinking if we want to stay together then this is our best option! I am thinking we will get married in NZ and then I will move back to Florida and get a job and start waiting out this visa process there. After it’s all said and done and we can get him over there then we can start our lives together :) thank you everyone for the support and advice! 

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Filed: Lift. Cond. (apr) Country: China
Timeline

Moved from IR-1/CR-1 Progress Reports to What Visa Do I Need - Family Based Immigration forum.


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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