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Dags

Travelling on tourist visa whilst waiting for I-130

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hey guys,

 

i've been reading about travelling on tourist visa or visa waiver during I-130 pending approval and I've seen mixed feedback about it. Has anyone here actually travelled to US on tourist visa whilst waiting for approval? If so, did you get some trouble when entering US borders?

 

Thanks! 

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8 minutes ago, Dags said:

hey guys,

 

i've been reading about travelling on tourist visa or visa waiver during I-130 pending approval and I've seen mixed feedback about it. Has anyone here actually travelled to US on tourist visa whilst waiting for approval? If so, did you get some trouble when entering US borders?

 

Thanks! 

@JFH is an esteemed expert member in that area.....I believe she visited many times during the process.

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8 minutes ago, Dags said:

hey guys,

 

i've been reading about travelling on tourist visa or visa waiver during I-130 pending approval and I've seen mixed feedback about it. Has anyone here actually travelled to US on tourist visa whilst waiting for approval? If so, did you get some trouble when entering US borders?

 

Thanks! 

I did it multiple times. Are you traveling on a B-2 or using the VWP? In any event, it’s certainly possible to visit during the process. As with any visit, entry is never guaranteed but having a pending I-130 is no reason not to be admitted. If you are coming from the UK then note that only certain groups of people are allowed to enter the US from the UK at the moment due to infection concerns. Spouses fall into the category of permitted visitors but there have been mixed reports of how successful people have been since proving to an airline employee you are married to a USC is almost impossible. We married in Washington state and nowhere on the marriage certificate does it confirm that my husband is a USC. The average airline employee will not know, or need to know, what an I-130 is. It’s certainly easier right now if both spouses are traveling together. 


Timeline in brief:

Married: September 27, 2014

I-130 filed: February 5, 2016

NOA1: February 8, 2016 Nebraska

NOA2: July 21, 2016

Interview: December 6, 2016 London

POE: December 19, 2016 Las Vegas

N-400 filed: September 30, 2019

Interview: March 22, 2021 Seattle

Oath: March 22, 2021 COVID-style same-day oath

 

Now a US citizen!

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1 minute ago, JFH said:

I did it multiple times. Are you traveling on a B-2 or using the VWP? In any event, it’s certainly possible to visit during the process. As with any visit, entry is never guaranteed but having a pending I-130 is no reason not to be admitted. If you are coming from the UK then note that only certain groups of people are allowed to enter the US from the UK at the moment due to infection concerns. Spouses fall into the category of permitted visitors but there have been mixed reports of how successful people have been since proving to an airline employee you are married to a USC is almost impossible. We married in Washington state and nowhere on the marriage certificate does it confirm that my husband is a USC. The average airline employee will not know, or need to know, what an I-130 is. It’s certainly easier right now if both spouses are traveling together. 

I've got actually both, but i guess I would do that on B-2 visa as it lets you visit for longer than VWP. Yes, we actually would be travelling together at this time, as potentially we actually would travel there if my husband got order to be moved back to States. So I would also be on his orders. 

 

Did you have to show any proof that you were going to come back? I was reading that it's good to have some proofs that you were going back to your country, ie. return ticket.

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8 minutes ago, Dags said:

I've got actually both, but i guess I would do that on B-2 visa as it lets you visit for longer than VWP. Yes, we actually would be travelling together at this time, as potentially we actually would travel there if my husband got order to be moved back to States. So I would also be on his orders. 

 

Did you have to show any proof that you were going to come back? I was reading that it's good to have some proofs that you were going back to your country, ie. return ticket.

Well. you cannot use a visit visa or the VWP with the intention of not coming back. For the VWP you MUST have an onward or return ticket or you will be denied boarding (I work for an airline - hence I was able to visit every 6 weeks) as this is one requirement of the VWP. A B-2 can be used with no return or onward ticket but that will be a huge hurdle to overcome when you arrive at the border with:

- your USC husband who is staying

- a pending I-130

- no plans for your departure 

 

and try to convince the CBP agent - who is paid to assume you are trying to cheat the system - that you have no intention of staying. 
 

Although a B-2 allows stays of “up to 180 days” this is at the discretion of the officer upon your arrival. He is well within his rights to only allow 10 days or a week or less.The VWP is always 90 days. 

Edited by JFH

Timeline in brief:

Married: September 27, 2014

I-130 filed: February 5, 2016

NOA1: February 8, 2016 Nebraska

NOA2: July 21, 2016

Interview: December 6, 2016 London

POE: December 19, 2016 Las Vegas

N-400 filed: September 30, 2019

Interview: March 22, 2021 Seattle

Oath: March 22, 2021 COVID-style same-day oath

 

Now a US citizen!

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6 minutes ago, JFH said:

Well. you cannot use a visit visa or the VWP with the intention of not coming back. For the VWP you MUST have an onward or return ticket or you will be denied boarding (I work for an airline - hence I was able to visit every 6 weeks) as this is one requirement of the VWP. A B-2 can be used with no return or onward ticket but that will be a huge hurdle to overcome when you arrive at the border with:

- your USC husband who is staying

- a pending I-130

- no plans for your departure 

 

and try to convince the CBP agent - who is paid to assume you are trying to cheat the system - that you have no intention of staying. 
 

Although a B-2 allows stays of “up to 180 days” this is at the discretion of the officer upon your arrival. He is well within his rights to only allow 10 days or a week or less.The VWP is always 90 days. 

Oh no, of course i'm not planning to stay there forever :) I was just thinking I could go with him and stay as long as I can to get the house sorted etc. I may actually be able to keep my job and work remotely whilst I'm visiting him. My idea was to buy a return ticket regardless what I would use. But to be honest I thought I could buy return ticket for like 4 months after the arrival date, so I would have it ready for the CBP agent. I'm just trying to work out what is my best case scenario.

 

My idea was to go there on B2 visa and stay, hopefully 6 months, and come back for few months. To be fair, I hope that by the time I would be coming back, my I-130 would be approved, so i could go straight to sorting out the green card and next time when I go to US - actually do it with green card :)

Edited by Dags

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19 minutes ago, Dags said:

Oh no, of course i'm not planning to stay there forever :) 

 

I may actually be able to keep my job and work remotely whilst I'm visiting him.

 

My idea was to go there on B2 visa and stay, hopefully 6 months, and come back for few months. To be fair, I hope that by the time I would be coming back, my I-130 would be approved, so i could go straight to sorting out the green card and next time when I go to US - actually do it with green card :)

A pending i130 would suggest there is intention of living in the US 

 

working within the US without the appropriate work authority is not permitted, irrespective of it being done remotely for an overseas employer... check conditions of B2 tourist visa..

 

i recommend you further research how CR1/IR1 works... NVC comes after i130, and you don’t actually get the green card prior to returning to the states... you’ll be provided a visa for entry to the US.

Edited by Duke & Marie

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2 minutes ago, Duke & Marie said:

A pending i130 would suggest there is intention of living in the US 

 

working within the US without the appropriate work authority is not permitted, irrespective of it being an overseas employer... 

 

i recommend you further research how CR1/IR1 works... NVC comes after i130, and you don’t actually get the green card prior to returning to the states... you’ll be provided a visa for entry to the US.

Yeah that what I was reading about too. But as @JFH mention, it sounds like it is possible, and people are doing it. Obviously with assumption they do have return ticket. I can't imagine people not visiting their spouses at all during the I-130 and CR1/IR1 process

 

Oh yes I know that. But We've got office in states as well so I may be able to do something within the company. B2 visa allows you to enter for business purpose as well.

and yes, i meant CR1/IR1 visa, sorry :)

Edited by Dags

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3 minutes ago, Dags said:

Oh yes I know that. But We've got office in states as well so I may be able to do something within the company.

and yes, i meant CR1/IR1 visa, sorry :)

If your planning that, then a B2 is not the visa you need... you’ll need work visa, which has an array of other conditions attached to it.. 

 

note EO and additional work visa issuance restrictions also in place due to covid

Edited by Duke & Marie

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  • NOA1 I-485 June 3 2020 
  • NOA1 EAD 23 April 2020
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  • EAD approved 12 March 2021
  • Interview Completed 24 March 2021
  • EAD Card Received 1 April 2021  
  • Case under review 2 April 2021
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1 minute ago, Duke & Marie said:

If your planning that, then a B2 is not the visa you need... you’ll need work visa, which has an array of other conditions attached to it.. 

Well sounds like I may just remove it from my potential plan 😅  and be there literally for visiting purposes. 

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Just now, Dags said:

Well sounds like I may just remove it from my potential plan 😅  and be there literally for visiting purposes. 

Probably a good idea.. 

 

also note, given from UK... best bet is vwp.. if you apply for b2 and get denied due to having a pending i130 you’ll no longer be eligible for vwp and could end up having to wait the entire process overseas.

 


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  • EAD Card Received 1 April 2021  
  • Case under review 2 April 2021
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Just now, Duke & Marie said:

Probably a good idea.. 

 

also note, given from UK... best bet is vwp.. if you apply for b2 and get denied due to having a pending i130 you’ll no longer be eligible for vwp and could end up having to wait the entire process overseas.

 

I've already got both VWP and B2 visa - i've had it before I've started the whole CR1/IR1 visa process. That's i'm looking for feedback to decide which one is best option, so I could visit my husband for decent duration time.

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5 minutes ago, Dags said:

I've already got both VWP and B2 visa - i've had it before I've started the whole CR1/IR1 visa process. That's i'm looking for feedback to decide which one is best option, so I could visit my husband for decent duration time.

Much of muchness... B2 will probably be used anyway by CBC since they will both come up in the system.. 

 

duration of intended stay and return ticket will be the key focal concerns of CBC.. I visited 7 times during the process, never had a problem, but max length of stay was 5 weeks and always had a return ticket.. and time out of country between visits was always longer than time in country

 

desent length of time eg 6 months may place employment and accomodation at risk, reducing ties to homeland, further more they’ll expect you to be able to afford spending money for the duration of stay... longer the stay, harder it is to convince CBC the visit is for holiday only 

Edited by Duke & Marie

AOS Journey

  • I-485 etc filed 23 April 2020 
  • NOA1 I-485 June 3 2020 
  • NOA1 EAD 23 April 2020
  • Biometrics 5 Jan 2021
  • EAD approved 12 March 2021
  • Interview Completed 24 March 2021
  • EAD Card Received 1 April 2021  
  • Case under review 2 April 2021
  • New Card is Being Produced 25 September 2021
  • 10 Year Green Card Approved and Mailed 27 September 2021 🙌🙌🙌🙌🙌

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Just now, Duke & Marie said:

Much of muchness... B2 will probably be used anyway by CBC since they will both come up in the system.. 

 

duration of intended stay and return ticket will be the key focal concerns of CBC.. I visited 7 times during the process, never had a problem, but max length of stay was 5 weeks and always had a return ticket.. and time out of country between visits was always longer than time in country

When i was travelling to States back in January, I didn't had my B2 visa with me (now old passport with my maiden name, however visa still valid and not destroyed, and can be used with both passport and marriage certificate). I travelled on VWP to make it easier, and they didn't even mention B2 presence in the system. 

 

It's good to know, thanks! I guess I could always move my return ticket if i was allowed in the country longer than 5 weeks, of course on b2 visa.

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Ultimately, you can travel if you show enough proof that you won't overstay/adjust status on whichever visa you use (Inc VWP). At the moment we can fly as spouses of US citizens over the travel ban. Some people have had issues with using their ESTAs for some strange reason and have had to immediately apply for another one to resume travel. I think these may just be flukes. I have travelled twice to see my husband since our application and have had nil concerns. This was with an ESTA and the most recent travel was for the month of June. I had enough proof of return if they had asked, like job and return ticket etc. Therefore planning to stay for an extended time with no real ties to the UK may work against you. Repeat shorter trips may be better, or itineraries with an end date.

 

Like with all travel to the states, there are always risks in being permitted entry however not necessarily due to an ongoing spousal visa.

Edited by Xyrstine
Correction

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