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Rules for spouses visiting each other waiting for I-130 / immigrant visa?

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  • Rules for spouses visiting each other waiting for I-130 / immigrant visa?


    I was wondering if anyone knows current rules for a U.S. citizen and a spouse who has an ESTA visa visiting each other if submitting the I-130 (with the route of doing consular processing to obtain immigrant visa). I searched through a previous thread on a spouse visiting U.S. during waiting for the approval of I-130, but that was from several years ago, so I wasn't sure if info from there was still valid, and I was also still uncertain about the answers. (From what I gathered it sounded like it was possible, but he could still be denied entry. Someone else said they were able to.) So if I-130 petition is submitted and waiting for approval:

    1) Could he still visit U.S. temporarily on the ESTA visa? And if the ESTA visa expires during waiting for I-130 etc. approval, could he still renew ESTA to visit?

    2) Could I leave the U.S. to visit him? And if so would there be a time limit on how long I could be outside the U.S.?

    Basically I'm just trying to figure out if we went this route whether we could still see each other during this waiting time, or if we wouldn't be able to see each other during the year or more it takes for the whole process of I-130 petitioning through green card to be approved.

    Thank you so much in advance for any help!

  • #2
    1) Could end up like my gf (now wife) who was questioned by the immigration officer for over 15min before being let though. However, in her case she visited me twice in quick succession whihc raised some suspicion and we weren't applying for 130 at the time. My thoughts are the officer is going to thoroughly make sure he isn't planning to circumvent the I-130 process. Would recommend bringing substantial proof of intention to return home in case he gets he gets pulling into a room for further questioning.

    2) I don't see why not. Time allowed depends on the country you're travelling to, not the U.S. The U.S doesn't restrict leaving. You could even have submitted the petition abroad though the requirements may vary.