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Moving to the US - slightly different circumstances

Moving to the US - slightly different circumstances

Old Jun 6th 2012, 10:47 am
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Default Moving to the US - slightly different circumstances

Hi everyone,

Firstly I'll apologise, posted this in the wrong thread so posting it again in the marriage based visa section now.

I understand there's been plenty of posts about this same situation but I thought I'd ask again as I think we have slightly different circumstances.

My girlfriend and I are looking to marry and relocate from London to California.

I am a British Citizen with no criminal convictions, a bachelors degree and a steady job.
She has dual nationality (born in the UK to an American mother) - an American passport, US Social Security number, can vote in both countries etc... she works at the same place as me in London and also has no criminal convictions and a bachelor's degree.

She has plenty of close family in California and Michigan who would help put us up during the move as I understand we need a US address to start the Visa application process. Her sister is also relocating there in September.

Whilst browsing through the forms, I read that the Visa has to be applied for in the country that you marry in. We were hoping to marry in the US and possibly stay in London during the application process.
Would marrying out there really hinder our application and make it extremely difficult? Applying at the London US Embassy would be far easier as it's a half hour bus journey away from our current flat

A bit unsure about a few other things too, would I need to guarantee a job out there before I would be granted citizenship?

Could someone shed a bit of light on the approximate time frame we're looking at too? I've heard everything from a few months up to 8 years. The fact that she is also a UK citizen and has dual nationality should make things a lot easier for the early stages of the application.

Any information would be much appreciated!

Mike
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Old Jun 6th 2012, 11:52 am
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Default Re: Moving to the US - slightly different circumstances

For starters you wouldn't be granted citizenship. You would be applying for an immigrant visa (the citizenship comes a few years down the like - should you wish to do so.)

As to which is best for you, check our the comparison of marriage visas in the BE wiki (link at topof page) that will give you a good idea of the next step.

As for the time frame, the worst case scenarion is 8-10 months, but more likley you're looking at a maximum of 5. From what you've said it seems the best relevent visa for you will be the 3rd one in the table on the wiki.

http://britishexpats.com/wiki/Compar...ge-based_visas

For what it's worth is has little bearing on your visa where you get married. I got married in the US and and have returned to the UK pending the visa approaval. Nor does it matter that you partner is UKC, although on the plus side this down mean you definatly won't be seperated after marriage, unlike my wife and I

P.s - Third time lucky you found the right forum

Last edited by civilservant; Jun 6th 2012 at 12:03 pm.
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Old Jun 6th 2012, 12:06 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the US - slightly different circumstances

Originally Posted by telecaster86 View Post
I understand we need a US address to start the Visa application process.
You understand incorrectly.


Whilst browsing through the forms, I read that the Visa has to be applied for in the country that you marry in.
Incorrect. You can marry anywhere... you apply for the visa in the country where you live.


We were hoping to marry in the US and possibly stay in London during the application process.
Not a problem!


Would marrying out there really hinder our application and make it extremely difficult?
It'll make no difference whatsoever.


Applying at the London US Embassy would be far easier as it's a half hour bus journey away from our current flat
You can't apply at the US Consulate (not Embassy). You must mail in the application forms regardless of where you file. It would probably be faster to submit the forms to London rather than mail them to the US.


A bit unsure about a few other things too, would I need to guarantee a job out there before I would be granted citizenship?
You won't be a USC for several years... must must first become a US Permanent Resident (= PR = green card). You'll become a PR the day you enter the US with your immigrant visa (the end result of your spouse filing an I-130). You don't need any sort of job or income... your USC spouse, however, will. If she doesn't qualify financially, then you can use a joint sponsor - any USC or PR, over age 18, living in the US.


Could someone shed a bit of light on the approximate time frame we're looking at too?
About 8-10 months from your spouse filing the I-130 petition until you get an immigrant visa.


The fact that she is also a UK citizen and has dual nationality should make things a lot easier for the early stages of the application.
It'll make no difference whatsoever.

A couple of things: Under US law, all USCs are required to file a US tax return each year... whether they live in the US or not. Worldwide earnings must be declared. Filing a tax return is not the same as having to pay taxes, but the returns must be filed. When the time comes, your (then) wife will have to file at least the most recent 3 years' worth of past US tax returns, and she will need to demonstrate intent to domicile in the US.

You've got a lot of research ahead of you... do some research. Google is your friend.

Ian

Last edited by ian-mstm; Jun 6th 2012 at 12:13 pm.
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Old Jun 6th 2012, 12:11 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the US - slightly different circumstances

Ian- surely as a UK resident the visa is more likely to take the 3-5 suggested by the 'apply both out of US' track rather the 8-10 with a US resident application.
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Old Jun 6th 2012, 12:25 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the US - slightly different circumstances

3-5 for the I130 approval, yes. Another couple for getting the medical and interview done.6 months has been a good total estimate recently, but that might well slow down over the summer.
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Old Jun 6th 2012, 12:36 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the US - slightly different circumstances

Originally Posted by telecaster86 View Post
Whilst browsing through the forms, I read that the Visa has to be applied for in the country that you marry in. We were hoping to marry in the US and possibly stay in London during the application process.
What you read is incorect. You can indeed get married in the USA and then return to the UK for Immigrant Visa processing.

Would marrying out there really hinder our application and make it extremely difficult?
Not at all.

Applying at the London US Embassy would be far easier as it's a half hour bus journey away from our current flat
Well, the I-130 is sent in by mail anyway....the only thing that makes it easier is that you live close by London for the medical exam appointment and visa interview appointment.

A bit unsure about a few other things too, would I need to guarantee a job out there before I would be granted citizenship?
The first thing you'll get is an Immigrant Visa. Once you arrive in the USA with the Immigrant Visa, you become a US Permanent Resident (i.e., you get a green card). After 3 years as a PR, you can then apply for citizenship. But to answer the real question...no, you don't need to have a job. You don't need a job in the UK or in the USA. That's what the I-864 affidavit of support is for. Your USC spouse is the one who has to show financial support....and if she can't, then she can use a joint sponsor, or you can use joint assets (yours and hers, if they equal 3x what would have been needed in income).

Could someone shed a bit of light on the approximate time frame we're looking at too?
About 6 to 8 months for you, because of filing in the UK.

The fact that she is also a UK citizen and has dual nationality should make things a lot easier for the early stages of the application.
Not really. It only means the I-130 can be filed directly in London, thus bypassing the NVC stage of the process. Might save you a couple of months in the processing (filing in the USA takes about 8 to 10 months).

You have a lot of reading and research to do...you've been running across all kinds of misinformation. Focus your reading on "Immigrant Visa" and "DCF" (direct consular filing). We have a Wiki Guide specially for this, read it over and come on back with any questions.

Two things to be aware of in your particular scenario. 1) make sure your wife is up to date on her US tax returns, especially the most current 3 years (if she earned enough to warrant filing a tax return); and 2) start researching "intent to domicile"...this will apply to your wife as she has been living in the UK for so long.

Rene
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Old Jun 6th 2012, 12:39 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the US - slightly different circumstances

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
Ian- surely as a UK resident the visa is more likely to take the 3-5 suggested by the 'apply both out of US' track rather the 8-10 with a US resident application.
It was taking 3 to 5 months more than a year ago. They have slowed down now, and it typically takes around 6 to 8 months. Somewhere on the US Embassy London website it quotes a waiting time of 8 to 10 months.

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Old Jun 6th 2012, 12:50 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the US - slightly different circumstances

Originally Posted by civilservant View Post
Ian- surely as a UK resident the visa is more likely to take the 3-5 suggested by the 'apply both out of US' track rather the 8-10 with a US resident application.
No.

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Old Jun 6th 2012, 12:59 pm
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Default Re: Moving to the US - slightly different circumstances

Thank you very much everyone, seems I was very misinformed about certain things. I'll have a proper read through the immigrant visas section and have a think about the USC joint sponsor which is a possibility. Many thanks again!
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