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Immigration gone nuts Part 2
Old 06-08-2009, 08:51 AM   #1
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Immigration gone nuts Part 2

This is just getting worse and worse....just plain scary how the system has gotten this screwed up. Called up another guy here on base (military base, but civilian like myself) who is in the middle of the process. It seems to be that since I was being responsible and trying to get the process done ahead of time so there wouldn't be a problem when we do go back to the US in a couple years time......big mistake. Turns out if during the interview process you tell them that if you are trying to get this done ahead of time....you are turned down automatically (one guy here already just happened to....he is in the US, wife is here in the UK). The only way I seem to be able to get this done is to go through the process of getting my wife the physical and then during the interview process I would have to lie and say we are heading back to the US very soon and hope that going a year later doesn't set off alarms somewhere. Not a good position to be in.....living in the UK is looking better and better. Nobody to complain to.......just a system that has no clue what it is doing. With hind sight......shouldn't have married the lady, much much much easier to just shack-up and bring her into the US (with or without being your fiance) and then just get married there and start the process. 2 1/2 years of marriage actually hurts you in the process. Ilfracombe is looking better and better....see below....
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Old 06-08-2009, 09:43 AM   #2
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Not to be rude, but if you know the rough lead in time to get the visa issue, why not just wait? ie. if you know it will take 3 months, get your paperwork together now but just apply 4 months before you are ready to go.

Truthfully, given your ages and that you seem happy in the UK, is it really worth going thru the possibility of having to pay inheritence tax in the US just so your spouse can qualify for 50% of your SS entitlement? Are you going to be eligible for free medical in the US? If not, will the SS benefits not get eaten up in those costs?
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Old 06-08-2009, 10:49 AM   #3
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Dangermouse, nothing rude about the question at all. All already in the thought processes (which is why I am drinking a couple of beers now..). The points you make right off the bat are the problem, nobody seems to know what the lead times are. I haven't found anybody yet who seems to know how the process actually works. We put in the paperwork in the first place thinking we were doing the right thing....getting it done ahead of time. There was nowhere in the paperwork that we saw that said what the next steps were....nor what the time lines are. It isn't until you do them they let you know what the next steps are. The whole process is kept....almost hidden. It's almost like they don't want to let you know exactly what you need to do so you can plan ahead.

I also have yet to find a decent answer on the inheritance question. Anything from $2mil down to $100k. I still can't figure out why my wife who I am married to even needs to worry about "inheritance" on her own money. The house we have bought in the US was bought with HER money, not mine. Many questions....no easy answers. Unless of course you or someone else can give them to me in a simple...easy to understand way. As a teacher....that is what is expected of me. As the govt, they don't think that way.
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Old 06-08-2009, 01:21 PM   #4
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US Immigration is a law unto themselves, they never seem to be able to provide a straight answer and despite the high fees they charge the user they don't seem to provide any service to those paying. All our dealings with US Immigration are done through lawyers. We have never so much as completed a form ourselves as from what I can see they are designed to make things difficult. I have a Aussie friend who is married to a US citizen and know that if they wanted to come back here to live I think she told me it would take them about 6 months to get the approval through. I have another Aussie mate who came over on the fiancee visa which took about 6 months to get approved. Seems it is easier to come on a tourist visa, get married in Vegas and apply for change of status.

I'n not certain on the inheritance tax, it's something I need to look at. We were thinking of doing our green cards and eventually doing citizenship, however we are having doubts about doing either as if we stick purely to our Australian citizenship we do not have any inheritance tax.

I might start taking a look at the issue and see what I can find and let you know.
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Old 06-08-2009, 01:27 PM   #5
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The Estate-Tax Waltz, for Foreigners Only - The New York Times

This article is from 1997 so there may have been some changes.

http://www.procopio.com/assets/002/5213.pdf

Once you start reading it sounds really scary unless you have citizenship.
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Old 06-08-2009, 01:28 PM   #6
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Seems it is easier to come on a tourist visa, get married in Vegas and apply for change of status.

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This can be a big mistake... they can refuse the change in status as you 'lied' on your tourist visa...
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Old 06-08-2009, 01:31 PM   #7
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This can be a big mistake... they can refuse the change in status as you 'lied' on your tourist visa...
Don't worry I would never personally suggest to anyone that they do it, nor do I know anyone that did do it. We did ours by the rules. All I am saying is that there are people who have done it and gotten away with it, in effect jumping the queue for those that do the right thing.
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Old 06-08-2009, 01:32 PM   #8
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I think I had mentioned..... go to visajourney.com... lots of info..

It takes 6 to 9 months... according to how many applications they have received and how backed up they are...

You can fill out almost all of them yourself... there really is not a 'trick' except to get all the forms that you need to fill out....

I would NOT put in your application before you plan on moving back... I am not sure if it is different for fiance visa than being married, but the fiance visa is only good for one year... if you do not arrive prior to that, you start all over again...
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Old 06-08-2009, 01:33 PM   #9
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I just found out my BIL's fiancee's visa was denied. They say she must get a police report from Thailand stating she has no criminal record in the city she temporarily lived in while in Thailand (she's not from Thailand). So another 8 hour one-way trip to/from the capital for another round of visa interviews.

In hindsight it would have worked out better to lie about the time she spent in Thailand and not disclose it. A friend of hers with whom she went to Thailand did not disclose it on her application and had her visa issued without any questions about police reports from Thailand. They make the process so difficult to pursue legally, it is no wonder there are so many examples of illegal immigration and so much effort to cheat the system.
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Old 06-08-2009, 01:34 PM   #10
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I would NOT put in your application before you plan on moving back... I am not sure if it is different for fiance visa than being married, but the fiance visa is only good for one year... if you do not arrive prior to that, you start all over again...
I think the fiancee visa is valid only 6 months from date of issuance.
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Old 06-08-2009, 01:37 PM   #11
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I got nothing to add but that photo is so picturesque, Mandolin! Thanks for posting it
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Old 06-08-2009, 02:42 PM   #12
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It really is screwy...I was talking to a guy today who is also in the middle of this. His version is since I have already started the process by putting in the form 130 (and got approval to continue) I NEED to keep going or send them something to say I am putting it off for another year until I am closer to quitting. He says my "cancelling" the procedure will take a year going through the system and won't be able to put in the form 130 to repeat the process until then....works good timewise, but then I am afraid we are "in the system" as having been weird and are then flagged as being weird and who knows with this system. If I continue with the paperwork etc as it is....when we are ok'd to go to the US (a year+ ahead of time). we HAVE to go. If we just go to the US, go through customs etc and come back here for another year it will set off all kinds of hell when we really do want to go to the US for good. Evidently there is a rule that once you get that ok to go to the US you HAVE to go....for good. Doesn't make sense....but nothing about the process makes sense. And of course, we will be coming back here once a year to visit the relatives so there are tons of chances for the crap to hit the fan every time we go back to the US.

Bottom line, financially....it is better for us to go to the US. But we can deal with living here as well....just have to live a bit cheaper.

Bestwifeever......That is the town/area we are thinking about heading to if we have to stay here. Better/warmer weather down there. N Yorkshire is absolutely beautiful, but not for wimps.
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Old 06-08-2009, 04:06 PM   #13
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I think the fiancee visa is valid only 6 months from date of issuance.

Hmmm... I am not at home so I can not look... but I remember that you had up to a year to enter the country... but you did have to have all your other 'stuff' completed by the end of that time...

SOO, looked online and found this:

"The I-129F petition is valid for four months from the date of approval from USCIS. Consular officers can extend the validity of the petition (revalidate the petition) if it expires. "

They either changed it or I do not remember correctly...
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Old 06-08-2009, 06:31 PM   #14
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Hmmm... I am not at home so I can not look... but I remember that you had up to a year to enter the country... but you did have to have all your other 'stuff' completed by the end of that time...

SOO, looked online and found this:

"The I-129F petition is valid for four months from the date of approval from USCIS. Consular officers can extend the validity of the petition (revalidate the petition) if it expires. "

They either changed it or I do not remember correctly...
4 months plus 4 more months upon extension by the consulate/embassy - this refers to validity period of the I-129F petition from USCIS. Approval of this petition merely gives you permission to get the K-1 visa itself from the consulate or embassy (state dept). Once the K-1 visa is issued, then you have 6 months validity to travel to US and apply for admission at the port of entry.

We had to extend the I-129F validity period in our case. Simple email to embassy was sufficient. Tick tock, less than 3 months left for us.

K-3 visas for spouses may have different validity periods based on a quick google search.
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