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Travelling on tourist visa whilst waiting for I-130

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On 8/27/2020 at 9:53 AM, AlcantarA said:

Hey there!

 

I was about to ask the same thing, I will be flying from the UK to Los Angeles in about 11 days on my ESTA (I too have never bothered for a visa) and my husband and I have a pending i130. Please update your experience traveling, I would very much appreciate it :)

 

I wish you a safe journey and a wonderful trip! 

Please do update. I'm waiting for an interview and want to travel to the states on my ESTA. Last time I went to the US on my ESTA I was pending approval of I-i30 so it was a little different.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Sweden
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On 8/21/2020 at 6:15 AM, bobjennyhitched said:

Hi, I just wanted to add my two cents, pennies whatever..... I travelled multiple times on the ESTA to visit my husband, my longest stay was 7 weeks. I worked remote and in the HQ whilst I was in the US.

 

Unrelated, back in 2014, before I met my husband, I went to work in the states for a short time and at the time I had a B1/B2 and C1/C2 visas as I'm ex-cabin crew. It was in my valid passport at the time and the agent told me I'd get more rights on that visa then the ESTA. My memory is hazy on that lol but thought I'd throw it in there.

 

Good luck!

You are not allowed to work on any of those visas. Not on ESTA, not B1/B2 and not on C1/C2. I assume you just didn't know, but it's definitely NOT legal to do so, and if USCIS found out about you could get in trouble. Be careful and never encourage anyone else to work in the US on anything other than a proper work visa or work permit or a green card. 

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Sweden
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2 hours ago, Lighthouse111 said:

Please do update. I'm waiting for an interview and want to travel to the states on my ESTA. Last time I went to the US on my ESTA I was pending approval of I-i30 so it was a little different.

It's not different. Your situation is exactly the same as you last trip. No difference. Stop worrying.

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1 hour ago, Jens79 said:

You are not allowed to work on any of those visas. Not on ESTA, not B1/B2 and not on C1/C2. I assume you just didn't know, but it's definitely NOT legal to do so, and if USCIS found out about you could get in trouble. Be careful and never encourage anyone else to work in the US on anything other than a proper work visa or work permit or a green card. 

I was not encouraging, and as I was honest, and did not get into trouble as I did not break the law. 

 

You can travel on the ESTA for business purposes. An ESTA is for business and tourism purposes less than 90 days. You cannot work on a tourist visa. B1 is a business Visa, B2 is a tourist, I held both. The B1 I used for Business Visa. C1 is a Crew member visa. I was crew, therefore I needed the B1 for business, C1 for the plane/transit and B2 for tourism.

 

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/tourism-visit/visitor.html

 

I entered the US in 2014 for a legal conference at my company in the US, CBP advised my visa at the time held more rights at the time than my ESTA. Once it expired I used the ESTA.

 

My company uses the ESTA for business purposes - meetings, conferences etc.... https://www.application-esta.co.uk/ten-things-about-ESTA-VWP#:~:text=The ESTA allows you to travel for tourism or business,for pleasure or business purposes.&text=Rather%2C travelling for business purposes,meetings%2C conferences%2C congresses%2C etc

 

To add, I declared this Visa to the USCIS, NVC etc..... I did not seek work on these visas so yes I understand what you mean, but I was attending conferences, meetings etc....  The B1 was fine for this until it expired and then my ESTA took over.

 

I travelled to visit my husband under my ESTA and to attend meetings at the same time, I always made sure I declared both to immigration and every trip during the visa process was documented. 

Edited by bobjennyhitched
Clarifying

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7 hours ago, Lighthouse111 said:

I visited for two weeks on an ESTA visa while my I-130 was pending. It was a little stressful... they took me into another room with some other people and I had to wait for about an hour to be interviewed. They asked me  ALOT of questions about my situation and were very stern. I showed them my letter of employment and paystubs showing that I work in Australia and my return flight home and that I was visiting for two weeks to see my husband and then had to return to work in Australia. I thought they weren't going to let me in but eventually they did. 

This sounds so stressful! Glad you got to enter US in the end. 
 

On 8/24/2020 at 8:29 AM, PBabz said:

I haven't seen any recent accounts of anyone making a trip to the US from the UK and I continue to be nervous.

I planned to see my husband during September, but work restraints meant I needed to move my dates forward so all plans are in place for me to head to the US via Washington DC this Friday. 

 

We are still at NVC stage with our application, July DQ date with a non-expedited case, so much like everyone else, no estimate for when I might be ready for interview at the embassy, but we thought it maybe best to see each other instead of holding out and waiting for my visa. 

 

I'll be travelling on my ESTA waiver as I don't have a visa, all the trips I've made to see him over the years, I've always gone on my waiver and not bothered for a visa.

 

Happy to update everyone on my journey over the weekend if that's helpful. Fingers crossed for smooth dealings with CBP when I arrive!! 

Good luck! I’m sure you will be fine 😊

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9 hours ago, Lighthouse111 said:

Please do update. I'm waiting for an interview and want to travel to the states on my ESTA. Last time I went to the US on my ESTA I was pending approval of I-i30 so it was a little different.

I will do! I am due to fly this Saturday but I am still in the very early stages of my pending I130, we have only received our NOA1. I am not as far in the process as you are so I do not have a pending interview at this particular moment in time (hopefully soon lol!). 

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10 hours ago, AlcantarA said:

I will do! I am due to fly this Saturday but I am still in the very early stages of my pending I130, we have only received our NOA1. I am not as far in the process as you are so I do not have a pending interview at this particular moment in time (hopefully soon lol!). 

Thank you. good luck!

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Wondering if someone from the Philippines has visited while I-130 is in process.  

USCIS                                                                                  

23 Aug 2020: Filed I-130 online                                         
21 Oct 2020: I-130 approved                                    

NVC                                                                                          
25 Oct 2020: NVC received                                                       
1 Dec 2020: Paid AOS and IV fees                                        
6 Dec 2020: Submitted I-864                                                    
9 Dec 2020: Submitted DS 260                                                

16 Dec 2020: Documentarily Qualified 

11 Jan 2021: Expedite request 

21 Jan 2021: Expedite request approved                                   

EMBASSY                                                                                   

1 Feb 2021: Interview letter received  (cancelled; sputum test)    

7 Apr 2021: Medical clearance

3 May 2021: Received interview appointment letter

25 May 2021: Interview (Approved) 

1 June 2021: Visa on hand

5 June 2021: Entered the US

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Chile
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On 8/30/2020 at 9:19 PM, Lighthouse111 said:

Please do update. I'm waiting for an interview and want to travel to the states on my ESTA. Last time I went to the US on my ESTA I was pending approval of I-i30 so it was a little different.

i traveled on my ESTA after i sent my documents to nvc but before i was DQ, and my experience wasn’t any different than when i traveled with a pending I-130. i was asked the same questions as always (how long are you visiting, how much money i had, etc). 

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18 hours ago, Iscir said:

i traveled on my ESTA after i sent my documents to nvc but before i was DQ, and my experience wasn’t any different than when i traveled with a pending I-130. i was asked the same questions as always (how long are you visiting, how much money i had, etc). 

Could you tell me if you went through SFO airport? I'm part of a greencard facebook group and there have been a few posts lately about people getting turned back on ESTAs from LAX and SFO. 

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Chile
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17 hours ago, Lighthouse111 said:

Could you tell me if you went through SFO airport? I'm part of a greencard facebook group and there have been a few posts lately about people getting turned back on ESTAs from LAX and SFO. 

no, i went through houston. i don’t have experience with the sfo airport, because i would always enter via houston, dallas or miami 😕 and of those three, only in the miami airport they asked me a few more questions than usual but nothing bad. 

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Philippines
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On 8/31/2020 at 8:31 PM, angeljolie said:

Wondering if someone from the Philippines has visited while I-130 is in process.  

As long as you have a valid B1/B2 Visa, yes you can.  My daughter always visits us here in the US yearly with an ongoing I-130 processing.

AOS Timeline / Family-based

Feb 24, 2015 (day 0) - Sent Forms I-130, I-485, I-765, I-131 via USPS to Chicago Lockbox
Feb 26, 2015 (day 2) - Package delivered and received.
Mar 03, 2015 (day 7) - Text / email messages from USCIS, receiving Forms I-130, I-485,
I-131 and I-765.
USD 420 and 1,070 Checks were cashed.
Mar 08, 2015 (day 12) - Paper receipts of I-797C for I-130, I-485, I-131 and I-765 from mail.

Mar 13, 2015 (day 17) - Mail notice received for Biometrics appointment on March 25, 2015.

Mar 25, 2015 (day 29) - Completed Biometrics, as scheduled.

May 12, 2015 (day 75) - AP/EAD approved and Card has been ordered.

May 27, 2015 (day 90) - AP/EAD Card received in the mailbox.

June 3, 2015 (day 97) - Received NPIW letter in the mailbox.

Sept 24, 2015 (day 212) - I-130/I-485 approved. No Interview.

Sept 28, 2015 (day 216) - GC mailed.

Sept 30, 2015 (day 218) - GC received.

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12 hours ago, rodeo said:

As long as you have a valid B1/B2 Visa, yes you can.  My daughter always visits us here in the US yearly with an ongoing I-130 processing.

Yay, finally! Thank you. Yes I have a valid B1/B2 visa. It's under my maiden name though. I hope it doesn't pose a problem. I visited the US thrice before on that visa.

USCIS                                                                                  

23 Aug 2020: Filed I-130 online                                         
21 Oct 2020: I-130 approved                                    

NVC                                                                                          
25 Oct 2020: NVC received                                                       
1 Dec 2020: Paid AOS and IV fees                                        
6 Dec 2020: Submitted I-864                                                    
9 Dec 2020: Submitted DS 260                                                

16 Dec 2020: Documentarily Qualified 

11 Jan 2021: Expedite request 

21 Jan 2021: Expedite request approved                                   

EMBASSY                                                                                   

1 Feb 2021: Interview letter received  (cancelled; sputum test)    

7 Apr 2021: Medical clearance

3 May 2021: Received interview appointment letter

25 May 2021: Interview (Approved) 

1 June 2021: Visa on hand

5 June 2021: Entered the US

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22 minutes ago, angeljolie said:

Yay, finally! Thank you. Yes I have a valid B1/B2 visa. It's under my maiden name though. I hope it doesn't pose a problem. I visited the US thrice before on that visa.

Ive got valid b1/2 visa with my maiden name and in my old now passport with maiden name. I’ve been told to carry both passport and marriage certificate and all should be fine 😊

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