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Travelling on tourist visa whilst waiting for I-130

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9 hours 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! 

Yes you can.   Avoid Atlanta from my experience they give more of a hard time.  

 

FLL/Orlando has been smooth for us. I've been through with my fiance and simple easy. Asked 1 question. " What is your purpose?" Ok have a good trip.   Stayed for 2 months.  4 visits to U.S and 1x in Atlanta gave a hard time and checked her bags even though she brought her work I d and return flight ticket. They were just rude.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Sweden
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I, like so many others, did that when I was in the CR1-process. In total I travelled to the US to visit my girlfriend / wife 8 times during 2 years, and at least 3 of those times were during the I-130 process. No issues at all. Used the passport kiosks at JFK during most of these visits (I think I travelled through Newark which still had manual processing at the time and via pre-clearance at Toronto Pearson too). At JFK they never asked anything more than how long I was staying (about 8-9 days) and at Newark and Toronto they asked a few questions about who my wife was. Very standard questions and really nothing to worry about. 

 

Keep your visits relatively short and make sure that there are significant time between the visits and you will be fine. And even if it will suck like crazy if you would end up getting denied entry (very unlikely), it will NOT affect your visa process. 

Edited by Jens79
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12 hours ago, JFH said:

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. 

That's not impossible to prove. A copy of your marriage certificate and a copy of your spouse' US passport would be enough. Bringing the lastest NOA from the USCIS could be good too. 

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2 hours ago, Jens79 said:

I, like so many others, did that when I was in the CR1-process. In total I travelled to the US to visit my girlfriend / wife 8 times during 2 years, and at least 3 of those times were during the I-130 process. No issues at all. Used the passport kiosks at JFK during most of these visits (I think I travelled through Newark which still had manual processing at the time and via pre-clearance at Toronto Pearson too). At JFK they never asked anything more than how long I was staying (about 8-9 days) and at Newark and Toronto they asked a few questions about who my wife was. Very standard questions and really nothing to worry about. 

 

Keep your visits relatively short and make sure that there are significant time between the visits and you will be fine. And even if it will suck like crazy if you would end up getting denied entry (very unlikely), it will NOT affect your visa process. 

This info is great, also another question, I’m from Belgium (Schengen) and i read in some parts online that people from there cannot travel to the USA I’m planning my trip for end of September for 8 Days to visit my husband. Is this true or is it that spouses are fine and can travel. Also it says you have to quarantine yourself for 14 Days but I’m going 8 so haha I don’t know what to do, im

still confused and read so many different things you know.. 

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18 hours 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! 

Hi,

 

Aside from COVID, I travelled a bunch of times whilst waiting on my Spouse Visa. I carried documents just in case (best to have and not need, than not have and need right?), I had the following:

 

- Copy of my deeds to my apartment

- Letter from my boss confirming my return date to my UK office (also my business card) - tip - my boss added her contact details in case immigration wanted to call her.

- Marriage Certificate

 

The first two were to show I had strong ties to the UK and intent to return, and the last one was to prove my marriage to a USC. Out of about 15 visits, I got asked once at the border (the one in Dublin). Also add I travelled with my husband once into the US during the time we were waiting on the visa stuff. Our process took two years due to certain delays (but that's another story).

 

Hope this helps. 

 

To add, I emigrated during the early days of COVID (end of April). I posted on here my experience, it details the CDC actions.

 

Edited by jennywhite421
Adding info

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19 hours 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! 

Really appreciate you starting this thread - I'm planning to visit my husband in September before his deployment later on this year.

We haven't seen each other since last year, pre-COVID, but my trip in March to see him was cancelled. Of course we're desperate to see each other but didn't want to risk our I-130 process. My plan is to take along or marriage certificate, a copy of his passport and a letter from work showing my employment here. 

 

Fingers crossed for no issues! Will update on how things go if anyone is interested. 

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2 hours ago, jennywhite421 said:

Hi,

 

Aside from COVID, I travelled a bunch of times whilst waiting on my Spouse Visa. I carried documents just in case (best to have and not need, than not have and need right?), I had the following:

 

- Copy of my deeds to my apartment

- Letter from my boss confirming my return date to my UK office (also my business card) - tip - my boss added her contact details in case immigration wanted to call her.

- Marriage Certificate

 

The first two were to show I had strong ties to the UK and intent to return, and the last one was to prove my marriage to a USC. Out of about 15 visits, I got asked once at the border (the one in Dublin). Also add I travelled with my husband once into the US during the time we were waiting on the visa stuff. Our process took two years due to certain delays (but that's another story).

 

Hope this helps. 

 

To add, I emigrated during the early days of COVID (end of April). I posted on here my experience, it details the CDC actions.

 

Was you staying for long? Or was it just quick visit? I'd like to go for a couple months visit. But definitely would be having a return ticket with me.

 

1 hour ago, PBabz said:

Really appreciate you starting this thread - I'm planning to visit my husband in September before his deployment later on this year.

We haven't seen each other since last year, pre-COVID, but my trip in March to see him was cancelled. Of course we're desperate to see each other but didn't want to risk our I-130 process. My plan is to take along or marriage certificate, a copy of his passport and a letter from work showing my employment here. 

 

Fingers crossed for no issues! Will update on how things go if anyone is interested. 

Wow, that's a long time no see!  sorry to hear it and i hope your visit will go great! :)  and keep us posted!

 

8 hours ago, Jens79 said:

I, like so many others, did that when I was in the CR1-process. In total I travelled to the US to visit my girlfriend / wife 8 times during 2 years, and at least 3 of those times were during the I-130 process. No issues at all. Used the passport kiosks at JFK during most of these visits (I think I travelled through Newark which still had manual processing at the time and via pre-clearance at Toronto Pearson too). At JFK they never asked anything more than how long I was staying (about 8-9 days) and at Newark and Toronto they asked a few questions about who my wife was. Very standard questions and really nothing to worry about. 

 

Keep your visits relatively short and make sure that there are significant time between the visits and you will be fine. And even if it will suck like crazy if you would end up getting denied entry (very unlikely), it will NOT affect your visa process. 

What was the longest visit you did?

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If the OP's company has an office in the States, they could enter on VW business. I've done it many times over the years as my company has subsidiaries in the US. With regards to entering with I-130 this is one of those things I think everyone often worries about, but 99.9% of the time it goes fine. Clearly the OP has a job in the UK and on the small chance they do ask "are you planning on living in the US" (30+ visits on an ESTA i've never been asked this) just reply with "Yes we are going through the process from the UK and are doing it the legal way".  Good ties back home, honest and a good in and out record plus shorter visits = super high chance of success.

 

WRT travelling at present as spouse, there has been a lot of stuff on flyertalk about this, almost everyone I saw on there have pulled it off. The US embassy webpage states if using at ESTA, do not check in online. Get to the airport extra early and the airline will resolve it with CBP. Take marriage certificate and copy of spouse US passport BIO page. Apparently CBP overide the ESTA and authorise you to fly. A larger carrier such as BA and AA from a hub airport like Heathrow is obviously the better choice as these guys know the deal. 

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23 minutes ago, Dags said:

Was you staying for long? Or was it just quick visit? I'd like to go for a couple months visit. But definitely would be having a return ticket with me.

I used to go for three-four weeks at a time, but did extend my trip to almost two months. If on a VWP, you can stay for up to 90 days.

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49 minutes ago, Morgan5698 said:

If the OP's company has an office in the States, they could enter on VW business.

There is no such thing as a Visa Waiver program for you to work 

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Filed: Lift. Cond. (apr) Country: China
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To all,

 

This thread has been pinned as it will now serve as the "yes you can visit, CR-1 version" thread.  Any and all questions pertaining to visiting during the spousal visa process by any member as well as replies to said queries can be posted here.

 

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On 7/31/2020 at 12:55 PM, Morgan5698 said:

If the OP's company has an office in the States, they could enter on VW business. I've done it many times over the years as my company has subsidiaries in the US. With regards to entering with I-130 this is one of those things I think everyone often worries about, but 99.9% of the time it goes fine. Clearly the OP has a job in the UK and on the small chance they do ask "are you planning on living in the US" (30+ visits on an ESTA i've never been asked this) just reply with "Yes we are going through the process from the UK and are doing it the legal way".  Good ties back home, honest and a good in and out record plus shorter visits = super high chance of success.

 

WRT travelling at present as spouse, there has been a lot of stuff on flyertalk about this, almost everyone I saw on there have pulled it off. The US embassy webpage states if using at ESTA, do not check in online. Get to the airport extra early and the airline will resolve it with CBP. Take marriage certificate and copy of spouse US passport BIO page. Apparently CBP overide the ESTA and authorise you to fly. A larger carrier such as BA and AA from a hub airport like Heathrow is obviously the better choice as these guys know the deal. 

Nice one, thanks! I'm thinking about using my B2 visa so there is no issue with ESTA not being active or something. 

 

On 7/31/2020 at 1:17 PM, jennywhite421 said:

I used to go for three-four weeks at a time, but did extend my trip to almost two months. If on a VWP, you can stay for up to 90 days.

Yeah i'm thinking about buying some return ticket for 6 weeks after my arrival and then just extend if possible :)

 

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On 7/31/2020 at 1:45 PM, designguy said:

There is no such thing as a Visa Waiver program for you to work 

Business. Lots of people enter on VWP for business purposes.  

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3 hours ago, Morgan5698 said:

Business. Lots of people enter on VWP for business purposes.  

You said if OP's company has an office here. That would imply OP would go and work at said office. That is not allowed on VWP

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20 hours ago, designguy said:

You said if OP's company has an office here. That would imply OP would go and work at said office. That is not allowed on VWP

If he was going to the US for business purposes, attending the office of a subsidiary and working there temporarily in a limited capacity for the benefit of the group, while paid from the source company in the foreign country, he'll be fine. 

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