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Travelling outside US while Green Card application is pending

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  • Travelling outside US while Green Card application is pending

    Hello,

    I have a green card through the lottery process. My boyfriend (of 5 years) and I would like to get married and also at the same time have his green card process started. We want to do a civil wedding here and apply for his green card and then travel to our country Nepal in a couple of months to get married again following all customs. He is currently in F1 status. Can he travel outside the country while his application is pending? His visa has expired and is maintaining status by being in F1 status. Can he still apply for travel document and return to the US without having to apply for visa again? Is there a step by step process we need to follow?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.

  • #2
    Originally posted by usbhero View Post
    Hello,

    I have a green card through the lottery process. My boyfriend (of 5 years) and I would like to get married and also at the same time have his green card process started. We want to do a civil wedding here and apply for his green card and then travel to our country Nepal in a couple of months to get married again following all customs. He is currently in F1 status. Can he travel outside the country while his application is pending? His visa has expired and is maintaining status by being in F1 status. Can he still apply for travel document and return to the US without having to apply for visa again? Is there a step by step process we need to follow?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you.
    It is a bad idea. As an LPR (greencard holder), you can file an I-130 for your spouse. It will take a few years before he will be eligible for a visa from your I-130. IF he is still a valid student then he can stay and wait to apply for adjustment in a few years. As an F-1 student, if he marries you he should not travel until he can file an application for adjustment and gets advance parole. He will be unable to show a non-immigrant intent if he travels and tries to return on a student visa when married to someone in the U.S. (You can file the petition as an LPR then upgrade it after you naturalize but that usually causes delays in processing his case.)

    IF you naturalize soon (how long have YOU had status?), then as a USC you can file concurrently for him as an IMMEDIATE RELATIVE and he can get advance parole very fast.

    If you two can wait for you to naturalize then that would be faster in the long run. You could still get married now, he will just be stuck for a little while until you naturalize (it takes from three to six months in most offices). THEN you file his paperwork and he gets a combo card for work and travel in perhaps one to three months(?) and you can go for the traditional ceremony.

    IF he should fall out of status THEN he MUST wait for you to naturalize BEFORE he can file for adjustment. As the spouse of an LPR he MUST be in status at the time of filing for adjustment. How long until he graduates? Could he get OPT and then a 17 month STEM extension and then an H1-B? What's his major?

    It's really a matter of logistics and planning it right.
    Last edited by BigJoe5; 28th February 2012, 11:35 PM.

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    • #3
      Thank you for your response. I just received my green card last year and I have a while before naturalizing. I have a plan B and was wondering if you could give me your thoughts on this. What if we hold off on our civil marriage and submitting for the I-130 right now - rather go to Nepal first, apply for his visa again, get married and come back to the States and then submit the I-130 then? I just worry about the 'risk' since he would have to apply for his visa again to enter the US.

      He is a PHD student in Science and he just started so he will be in F-1 status for a while. He was in H1b status for 3 years before this.

      Please let me know your thoughts on this.

      Thank you again.
      Last edited by usbhero; 28th February 2012, 11:48 PM.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by usbhero View Post
        What if we hold off on our civil marriage and submitting for the I-130 right now - rather go to Nepal first, apply for his visa again, get married and come back to the States and then submit the I-130 then?
        That is also a problem, as the visa application asks about having a fiancee in the US. If he lies and says he doesn't have a fiancee, they'll catch the lie later after he marries you or if they find out about the religious ceremony you had in Nepal.

        If he's going to marry you he should stay in the US until he can file for adjustment of status or switch back to H1B. Otherwise he risks being stuck outside the US for a long time.

        EB3 ROW I-485 Approved: July 2007
        USC: July 2013
        I am a layman, not a lawyer. What I write here is not official or professional legal advice. In addition, my answers on this forum are specific to the scenarios discussed in each thread and should not be generalized to other situations.

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        • #5
          Entering US with B2 Visitor visa with I-130 pending (and no I-485)

          I'm a US citizen, and I intend to get married to my girlfriend which is in US with a B2 visitor visa. However she needs to leave US in few weeks due to her job, and we have not made our minds about where we are going to live long-term. In 3-4 months we will know based on job opportunities whether or not she will move to US, or if will move overseas.

          We want to start her US green card application either way, and we are planning to get married and file the I-130 immediately. However we will hold off on the I-485 for now, and we think she should be able to enter US again with her B2 visa (she has 5+ years on the visa) in the meanwhile since we still don't know if we will live in US, and hence she doesn't have "intent to immigrate" until we decide.

          Does anyone think there will be an issue with her entering US with the B2 visa, with our I-130 pending(and no I-485)?


          Thanks!

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by SickOfWaiting View Post
            I'm a US citizen, and I intend to get married to my girlfriend which is in US with a B2 visitor visa. However she needs to leave US in few weeks due to her job, and we have not made our minds about where we are going to live long-term. In 3-4 months we will know based on job opportunities whether or not she will move to US, or if will move overseas.

            We want to start her US green card application either way, and we are planning to get married and file the I-130 immediately. However we will hold off on the I-485 for now, and we think she should be able to enter US again with her B2 visa (she has 5+ years on the visa) in the meanwhile since we still don't know if we will live in US, and hence she doesn't have "intent to immigrate" until we decide.

            Does anyone think there will be an issue with her entering US with the B2 visa, with our I-130 pending(and no I-485)?
            Once you file the I-130, the immigration officers will have the information at their fingertips to know that she's married to a US citizen who petitioned for her to immigrate, and she may be refused entry with the B2 visa because of that.

            You mentioned job opportunities ... if offered a US job, does she expect the US employer to file for an L1 or H1B visa for her? If she gets either type of visa, the immigrant intent will not be a problem, as those are dual-intent visas which openly allow entering the US with immigrant intent.

            I also hope she didn't obtain that B2 visa recently, because the visa application asks about having a fiance in the US, so if she gets married within a few weeks after getting the visa it looks suspicious (unless she mentioned having a fiance on the application).
            Last edited by Jackolantern; 19th March 2012, 12:13 AM.

            EB3 ROW I-485 Approved: July 2007
            USC: July 2013
            I am a layman, not a lawyer. What I write here is not official or professional legal advice. In addition, my answers on this forum are specific to the scenarios discussed in each thread and should not be generalized to other situations.

            Comment

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