Waiting for your marriage-based green card can be frustrating, but you don’t have to stay separate from your spouse while you wait. The beautiful thing is that it is very possible to visit your spouse in the US while waiting for approval. To do so, all you need to do is apply for a tourist visa, which will grant you temporary entry. However, there are risks and challenges involved in this and which you must know before you apply.
For instance, the immigration officer that will handle your case needs to be convinced that you will return. That is, you must convince them that you don’t intend to stay there permanently. You only want to visit for a few months and leave before the expiration date on your tourist visa. Apart from convincing the immigration officer, there are other hurdles you will need to overcome to obtain this visa.
Can Visiting Your Spouse Jeopardize Your Marriage Green Card Application?
Visiting your spouse with a valid, legal tourist visa cannot jeopardize your marriage green card application. However, you do need to be careful throughout the process to avoid doing anything that can indeed jeopardize the application. For instance, misrepresenting your reason for going to the US can jeopardize your eligibility for a green card if you’re yet to apply. This misrepresentation covers the forms as well as during your interview with the immigration officer.
Additionally, you should never lie about being married to a green card holder or a US citizen. Even if you have a valid tourist visa, there is no guarantee that you will be granted admission. More often than not, marriage green card spouses are denied entry for certain misrepresentation reasons. For instance, when a CBP agent discovers that the applicant is married to a US resident and has a pending green card application.
If you have applied for a marriage green card, you will face additional scrutiny when applying for a tourist visa. This is mostly because the immigration officer in charge of your case could think you’re trying to bypass the green card process. They could suspect you want to boycott the “long” process because you want to be with your spouse sooner. Therefore, you need to convince the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer that you won’t be settling down in the US.
If you’ve quit your job and sold your property in your home country before now, this convincing can be hard. Hence, many couples visit the United States before quitting their jobs and selling all of their property. The important thing is to present strong evidence that you will return home after your visit.
What If You Have Not Filed Form I-130?
If you’ve not filed form I-130 yet, there’ll be no need to prove that you’re not settling in the country. However, you will also face additional scrutiny because the CBP agent could suspect that you want to avoid the entire process. They might think you want to enter through a tourist visa and then apply for an adjustment of status once there. Thus, you will need to be clear that you don’t have any immediate plans to live in the US permanently in your application.
Additionally, you will need to prove that you have educational and employment commitments in your home country. These are commitments that will keep you from moving permanently to the US at the moment. Also, you need to prove that you have a confirmed travel plan with a clear return date to your country.
Meanwhile, you should also not lie about being married to a US citizen or green card holder. This is a misrepresentation, and it can jeopardize your ability to apply for and obtain a green card in the future.
What You Need to Prove to Get a Tourist Visa?
The immigration officer who will review your tourist visa application will carefully look for certain proofs. The first is proof that you will return to your home country once your visit to the US is over. Next, they want proof that your visit will be short and temporary, and that you can support yourself financially while you’re there. Apart from these, you will also need to show that you have strong ties to your home country.
Some documents that can help you prove these include a copy of an unexpired home mortgage or lease and owned property title deeds. You can also tender a letter from your employer stating your vacation dates and when you will return to work.
How Can Herman Legal Group, Dallas, Help?
Herman Legal Group is an Ohio-based international law firm with over 100 years of combined experience in immigration matters. We are based in Ohio, but we have offices in Dallas and across the United States. We have a team of dedicated and experienced lawyers who can help you steer clear of common mistakes. Our lawyers will ensure your forms and documents are well-filled, complete, and ready for attorney review.
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Applying for a tourist visa to visit your spouse while waiting for your green card can be a difficult process. However, if you can prove you’re not trying to boycott the immigration process, you should be fine.