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Moving to US with my American wife

Moving to US with my American wife

Old Jul 1st 2015, 3:46 pm
  #16  
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Default Re: Moving to US with my American wife

It's 5 years old, nearly 6

I'm still puzzled on my comment above though.
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Old Jul 1st 2015, 3:48 pm
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Default Re: Moving to US with my American wife

Originally Posted by Spanknap View Post
I say, I am moving back to spend time with my wife while she settles in and files an I-130 for my green card. - Am I right so far?
No. She should file the I-130 prior to leaving. If you're visiting, the I-130 will have already been submitted. Also, she's not petitioning for a green card. She's petitioning for an immigrant visa. Once you enter the US with that immigrant visa, you'll get a green card. It helps to keep the terminology straight!


I am under the impression that once the I-130 is filed I am in some kind of "holding space" where I cannot move around, i.e. I cannot leave the US or the UK, wherever I happen to be.
Once the I-130 is filed, you're still free to travel. There is no restriction on that whatsoever. However, if you visit the US, you're restricted to 90 days.


So what happens when the ESTA runs out?
You must return to the UK prior to the end of 90 days. There is no option for you to remain past that.

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Old Jul 1st 2015, 4:00 pm
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Default Re: Moving to US with my American wife

Ian, thank you... I think that clears it up. Can I just confirm this is how it would actually play out with hypothetical timelines:

1. Wife accepts job offer (today)
2. Wife files I-130 here in London (tomorrow)
3. Wife and I fly out to US (1st October). She goes on Citizenship, I go on ESTA for max 90 days.
4. I return to London once I have my interview date at the US embassy (unless I have already had it before heading out on 1st October)
5. I have the interview
6. I am granted an immigrant visa and fly to the US
7. On arriving in the US I am given a Green Card
8. We live happily ever after
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Old Jul 1st 2015, 4:07 pm
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Default Re: Moving to US with my American wife

Originally Posted by Spanknap View Post
1. Wife accepts job offer (today)
2. Wife files I-130 here in London (tomorrow)
3. Wife and I fly out to US (1st October). She goes on Citizenship, I go on ESTA for max 90 days.
4. I return to London once I have my interview date at the US embassy (unless I have already had it before heading out on 1st October)
5. I have the interview
6. I am granted an immigrant visa and fly to the US
7. On arriving in the US I am given a Green Card
8. We live happily ever after
Essentially, correct! There's a few other things you need to do in the UK... mostly dealing with logistics: you'll need to arrange for a medical once you have an LND case number, and you'll need to get an ACPO certificate (which you have to take with you to the medical). Your visa will be valid for 6 months from the date of the medical, so you don't want to have that too soon. You need to have the medical prior to the interview and you'll be required to submit a "readiness form" telling the US Consular Service that you're ready to be interviewed. It'll be expensive to hop back and forth across the pond but it's quite doable.

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Old Jul 1st 2015, 4:11 pm
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Default Re: Moving to US with my American wife

Reminder, everytime you visit the US using vwp/esta you are doing just that visiting you are most certainly not "moving with your wife".
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Old Jul 1st 2015, 4:13 pm
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Default Re: Moving to US with my American wife

Understood, thank you guys. I think that clears it all up for me
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Old Jul 1st 2015, 4:13 pm
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Default Re: Moving to US with my American wife

Originally Posted by Spanknap View Post
5. I have the interview
Oh... one other thing that I haven't seen mentioned yet. Your wife will need to complete form I-864 as your financial sponsor. She'll be required to show sufficient income to support you and she'll need to provide the most recent 3 years' worth of tax returns. If she hasn't been filing US taxes (which, by US law, she was actually required to do), she'll need to take care of that ASAP! The US Consular Service is very helpful with this - which is great, considering they aren't very helpful with most other things!

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Old Jul 1st 2015, 4:15 pm
  #23  
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Default Re: Moving to US with my American wife

Does that change if I also end up with a job offer before I move over?
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Old Jul 1st 2015, 4:23 pm
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Default Re: Moving to US with my American wife

Originally Posted by Spanknap View Post
Does that change if I also end up with a job offer before I move over?
No, your wife will be your sponsor, not your future employer.
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Old Jul 1st 2015, 4:25 pm
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Default Re: Moving to US with my American wife

Originally Posted by Spanknap View Post
Does that change if I also end up with a job offer before I move over?
No. Your wife has to be your sponsor, irrespective of her own income. If she goes ahead of you and starts working, then she *may* be able to use that income, but the Consular Officer who interviews you has the discretion to not accept that if she's only be in the US job for a short while. In that case, your wife will need a joint sponsor, which can be any US-resident US citizen or permanent resident.

Occasionally, the non-USC applicant can have their income counted as well if it "continues from the same source" but for employment, practically the only way that can happen is if they transfer their job with the same employer for the UK to the US. That was actually what I did, but I was in the lucky position of working for a US-headquartered company in the UK and they were willing to let me transfer.

I'd strongly suggest your wife talking to US-based family to have someone lined up a joint sponsor should her new US job income not be accepted: if that happens, just whip out the second set of forms for the joint sponsor and give them to the Consular Officer.
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Old Jul 1st 2015, 4:25 pm
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Default Re: Moving to US with my American wife

Ok, so regardless of the green card and a job offer prior to picking up the green card. We'd still need I-864 filed.

Awesome, thanks!
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Old Jul 1st 2015, 4:27 pm
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Default Re: Moving to US with my American wife

Originally Posted by Spanknap View Post
Does that change if I also end up with a job offer before I move over?
Not really. Your wife, as the USC, must be your sponsor. Go to www.uscis.gov and take a look at the following forms and their respective instructions: I-130, I-864, I-864P. Familiarize yourself with the process because even though you're on a tight timeline, you're about to learn a new language: immigration-speak!

If you do get a job offer before you move, you'll be able to work the day you enter the US with your immigrant visa. You can't work if you're in the US as a visitor.

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Old Jul 1st 2015, 4:28 pm
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Default Re: Moving to US with my American wife

Originally Posted by Spanknap View Post
Ok, so regardless of the green card and a job offer prior to picking up the green card. We'd still need I-864 filed.
Correct.

Ian
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Old Jul 1st 2015, 4:33 pm
  #29  
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Default Re: Moving to US with my American wife

Brilliant... I love this forum. Literally spent days stressing over this trying to decipher everything.

One final question, for now, am I right in thinking these 2 things:

1. I am the only person required to attend that interview at the US embassy. So if my wife is already in the US working, she won't need to return with me.

2. There's a possibility that if we file now. I could have that interview before 1st October when she moves out there.
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Old Jul 1st 2015, 4:38 pm
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Default Re: Moving to US with my American wife

Originally Posted by Spanknap View Post
Brilliant... I love this forum. Literally spent days stressing over this trying to decipher everything.

One final question, for now, am I right in thinking these 2 things:

1. I am the only person required to attend that interview at the US embassy. So if my wife is already in the US working, she won't need to return with me.
Correct

2. There's a possibility that if we file now. I could have that interview before 1st October when she moves out there.
Unlikely, but stranger things have happened. Last time I looked at the DCF timeline thread it appeared to be taking people approx 4-6 months from filing the I-130 to having the visa in hand. That's about as fast as it's ever been in the time I've been on this forum, and it can get slower (these things are often seasonal).

If you're prepared to react immediately you get any notification from the embassy, who knows, you may be able to shave a bit of time off. Also, there have been very occasional mentions here of people getting expedited processing of the DCF process, but that has always, as far as I can recall, been in the context of someone involved being seriously ill.
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