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Thread: Questions about emigrating (GB->US)

  1. #1
    Hey,

    I have a few basic questions about the immigration process that I haven't been able to find answers for on the internet, or the immigration websites. The websites tend to be too "formal" to give accurate answers, so I'll hope I can find a few answers here?...

    Currently, I'm a legal UK resident(born in UK), I'm 22, My fiancée is a legal US resident(Clearly born in US) she's 22 and currently she is living US again, they is no chance of her moving due to her having a child.

    When she decided it was best to move back to US, we started to look into the Visas and emigrating process, and found quite a bit of information about it. Especially the K1 visas as that one seemed rather suitable.

    However; The information found doesn't really give a "dumbed down" clear explanation of everything, a few questions would be?

    1. If we applied for the K1 Visa, how long would it typically take to get approved (IE: From sending it off, to getting a response saying I can enter US, and stay for x many days before getting married)

    2. While I'm on the K1 Visa, I'm allowed to work, etc, or would I also need another visa to allow that?

    3. Once first questions done, and we're married, I' know we have to apply for another Visa (which?), how long would it typically take for the second Visa to get approved?

    4. *hmm*, After the K1 visa has expired, and we're married, but also waiting for approval from next visa (Greencard I think?), Am I allowed to work, This is much like question 2

    5. I understand that UK/US people are allowed to travel under the VWP (Visa Waiver Program), which means to travel I don't need a Visa, but I'm only allowed to stay for 3 months, this is great if I only planned on visiting then going. But if I'm wanting to stay?... I've read somewhere that the VWP doesn't allow you to apply for "Change in status" - Would this mean, If I planned on travelling to US, I should get a tourist Visa first(Not use VWP), and/or should we just get a apply K1 Visa (Or would I still need a tourist visa?)

    6. Again with Visas, If I'm planning on marring the girl not too long after getting into the US, should we really use the K1 Visa? or should I just travel as a tourist, then get hitched within 3 months?


    - One of my main concerns with this all, if my ability to work while residing in the US and waiting for the Visas to be approved. The last thing I really want to be doing is, well /nothing/ while I'm waiting for the documents to get approved.

    One last question, I've also read that once I'm approved, and I'm granted a greencard, I must carry this with me at all times, What are the consciences if I fail? (IE: I wake up at 6am, throw my cloths on, have a walk to local shops for milk, and get stopped by an officer asking to view it?), Typically is this law enforced and faces some type of punishment, or risk of the card being removed? and would it be more relaxed seeing as I'm from England?
    (With no disrespect there, but the odd's of English guy being an illegal immigrant are rather small compared to other country's such as Mexico)


    Thanks for your time
    iWarrior

  2. #2
    Hey,

    I have a few basic questions about the immigration process that I haven't been able to find answers for on the internet, or the immigration websites. The websites tend to be too "formal" to give accurate answers, so I'll hope I can find a few answers here?...

    Currently, I'm a legal UK resident(born in UK), I'm 22, My fiancée is a legal US resident(Clearly born in US) she's 22 and currently she is living US again, they is no chance of her moving due to her having a child.

    When she decided it was best to move back to US, we started to look into the Visas and emigrating process, and found quite a bit of information about it. Especially the K1 visas as that one seemed rather suitable.

    However; The information found doesn't really give a "dumbed down" clear explanation of everything, a few questions would be?

    1. If we applied for the K1 Visa, how long would it typically take to get approved (IE: From sending it off, to getting a response saying I can enter US, and stay for x many days before getting married)

    2. While I'm on the K1 Visa, I'm allowed to work, etc, or would I also need another visa to allow that?

    3. Once first questions done, and we're married, I' know we have to apply for another Visa (which?), how long would it typically take for the second Visa to get approved?

    4. *hmm*, After the K1 visa has expired, and we're married, but also waiting for approval from next visa (Greencard I think?), Am I allowed to work, This is much like question 2

    5. I understand that UK/US people are allowed to travel under the VWP (Visa Waiver Program), which means to travel I don't need a Visa, but I'm only allowed to stay for 3 months, this is great if I only planned on visiting then going. But if I'm wanting to stay?... I've read somewhere that the VWP doesn't allow you to apply for "Change in status" - Would this mean, If I planned on travelling to US, I should get a tourist Visa first(Not use VWP), and/or should we just get a apply K1 Visa (Or would I still need a tourist visa?)

    6. Again with Visas, If I'm planning on marring the girl not too long after getting into the US, should we really use the K1 Visa? or should I just travel as a tourist, then get hitched within 3 months?


    - One of my main concerns with this all, if my ability to work while residing in the US and waiting for the Visas to be approved. The last thing I really want to be doing is, well /nothing/ while I'm waiting for the documents to get approved.

    One last question, I've also read that once I'm approved, and I'm granted a greencard, I must carry this with me at all times, What are the consciences if I fail? (IE: I wake up at 6am, throw my cloths on, have a walk to local shops for milk, and get stopped by an officer asking to view it?), Typically is this law enforced and faces some type of punishment, or risk of the card being removed? and would it be more relaxed seeing as I'm from England?
    (With no disrespect there, but the odd's of English guy being an illegal immigrant are rather small compared to other country's such as Mexico)


    Thanks for your time
    iWarrior

  3. #3
    Hi iwarrior,

    If you haven't already, have a look at this site:

    British expats

    It explains the process of K1 and even K1 through the London Embassy. Helpful tips to prepare before submitting the papers.

    You will find many like you there, so you can read about others and their experiences and/or ask questions on current timelines.

    Wish you all the best mate.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    God Bless America - God Bless Immigrants - God Bless Poor Misguided Souls Too

    National Domestic Violence Hotline:
    1.800.799.SAFE (7233) 1.800.787.

  4. #4
    By law, a permanent resident must have their green card in their possession...but, this doesn't mean that you have to carry it with you at all times. Indeed, I would advise against carrying it with you at all times; it's much safer at home...where it's still in your possession.

    For the most part, a person will initially require their green card when applying for a social security number and their first application for a driver license. Otherwise, only when traveling internationally.

    For every-day purposes, a driver license is sufficient identification

  5. #5
    Unfortunately, all of this could have been done through the embassy in London before you fiancee returned to the US. If she was living in the UK, she could have applied directly to the consulate for your green card.

    K1 usually takes about 4-6 months. Once here, you can work after getting work authorization. You have to get married within 90 days of entry and then apply for the green card through "Adjustment of Status". Once filed, you should get your green card in about 3-6 months. There will be another interview here.

  6. #6
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by SunDevilUSA:
    By law, a permanent resident must have their green card in their possession...but, this doesn't mean that you have to carry it with you at all times. Indeed, I would advise against carrying it with you at all times; it's much safer at home...where it's still in your possession.

    For the most part, a person will initially require their green card when applying for a social security number and their first application for a driver license. Otherwise, only when traveling internationally.

    For every-day purposes, a driver license is sufficient identification </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Sundevil, would like to correct something here. You can apply for Social Security Number without the Green Card.
    You do however need to update with SS when you become a Permanent resident and then again as a US Citizen.

    Some States do things differently, however everyone can apply for a SSN way before a Green card, if papers have been submitted and documents are in order.

    The same applies for Drivers license, you can obtain one with a work permit but SSN is required. Again, each State seems to have their requirements of ID.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    God Bless America - God Bless Immigrants - God Bless Poor Misguided Souls Too

    National Domestic Violence Hotline:
    1.800.799.SAFE (7233) 1.800.787.

  7. #7
    You cannot use any other non-immigrant visa to enter the U.S. to live except the K-1 which you have to marry within 30 days. The other option is an employment based non-immigrant visa such as L or H visas. In the end there is no reason that you should not marry and just go through the immigrant visa process. The K-1 is no shorter or cheaper than the Immigrant Visa process.

    Otherwise the rest of immigration in the U.S. is based on family relations, so there are few other options for a person seeking to immigrate.

  8. #8
    Correction: K1 visa holders have 90 days to marry from date of arrival.
    "What you see in the photograph isn't what you saw at the time. The real skill of photography is organized visual lying."

  9. #9
    Fed, where did you get the 30 days from? Please don't confuse the OP. Hopefully it was just a typo on your part.

    iWarrior, something else I want you to be clear on, if you have not read up about it.
    Marrying a US Citizen doesn't make it clear cut that you can come and live here.

    Your future wife will have to meet the requirements to be able to sponsor you. You said she came back to the US with her child.
    She will need to have enough financial income/savings and/or assets here to meet the sponsorship requirements. If she doesn't, then she needs a co-sponsor.

    Before submitting any forms please carefully read everything. If she could not sponsor you to come over here and live together, the only way maybe for her and child to move to England (if you also met UK sponsorship requirements).

    Unfortunately they would not take into account you working later on, it is what she has at time of submitting those forms. The affidavit of support is not something that should be signed lightly either, she needs to be aware of what she is signing.

    Good luck


    P.s go and get all dental, eyes, health work done before you move over.
    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    God Bless America - God Bless Immigrants - God Bless Poor Misguided Souls Too

    National Domestic Violence Hotline:
    1.800.799.SAFE (7233) 1.800.787.

  10. #10
    At: davdah -&gt; Lol, *High five*
    UK currently still uses the British pound, so the Euro (thankfully) doesn't effect us as much, Although currently the GBP-&gt;USB is at a 1:1.54 ratio and seems to be steady raising, hopefully that'll work in my favour

    At: Sprint_girl07 -&gt; You're a star, That Wiki is pretty informative.
    + Lol at NHS, I've done the dental part, I'm the proud owner of a nice new filling, and another small one due next week, Didn't know I needed them until the nice dentist pointed them out by sticking the sharp metal thing inside and slowly saying "Do... you want a filling' (While still having the metal thing in my tooth - lol), rest of my health is ok except finding the odd gray hair.

    - With the sponsor thing, is they any guidelines that would need to be met, You say they're some requirements, I'm aware of that, although I'm not sure what those are, and/or, I'm not too sure what I'd need myself, as I think you also need to provide documents that proof you can "support yourself while in the country". I assumed bringing a recent bank statement would do for proving I'm at a lawful residence in UK, and that I can support myself, but I'm unsure how much I'd necessary have to "have" (If that makes sense?), I did plan on converting most to USD before leaving, and once I'm able to seak employment, open a new bank account to avoid charges (As my bank is registered in UK, I'd get charged $x every transaction I make abroad)

    At: SunDevilUSA -&gt; "For every-day purposes, a driver license is sufficient identification", In the UK, You can apply for a provisional driver licence which mostly it used as a form of ID, it allows you to drive a car if you have a fully qualified person in the passenger seat, but overall, In the UK it's used a lot by people who can't drive, just as a form of ID so they don't have to carry their passports with them if they need ID (bars,clubs,interviews, government places) - Would I be right in assuming the US has a type of driver licence which works in the same way, or is the US system straight up "full licence" or "no licence"?

    At: federale86 -&gt; "In the end there is no reason that you should not marry and just go through the immigrant visa process. The K-1 is no shorter or cheaper than the Immigrant Visa process"
    - So what you're saying is, It would be no different (And properly shorter/cheaper) if we skipped the K-1 Visa stage, and I pretty much went to US as a "tourist"(B-2), then we got married before the 3 month period had passed? Then did the process described at: http://britishexpats.com/wiki/K1 in the 'What Next?' section?
    - This kind of relates to my 5'th and 6'th question. If the above (B2 Visa) easier/cheaper/shorter? - It is best to use that? The britishexpats site doesn't have a B2 page. The britishexpats site say the filing for the K1 Visa is $455, getting a B2 Visa would more/so cut out that middle process, saving ~3-6 months time and $500?...
    - As with my 5'th question, If I'd wanted to skip the K1 stage, would I be right in assuming that I'd need to file for the B2 Visa, as VWP doesn't permit you to file for a change in status? - If this is correct, What is the overall charge for filling for B2? and the length of time required? I understand that they is the cost of finger prints, a medical, and the filling?... - Also I'm sure with a B2 Visa, I can't work/apply for SSN, where as the K1 Visa I can (Or am I wrong here?). As I previously said, I'm not really wanting to be sitting around for too long waiting to be allowed to work.

    - And; I think with the B2 Visa, you've got to "prove" you plan on returning to the home country, provide documents that you've still got a lawful residence and such. If my plans were actually not to return, would I be committing a felony (Proof of lawful residence isn't much of an issue either way as I'm living with parents again due to moving back North), Last time I'd need is to be getting kicked out of the country for entering under false premiss.


    I think that is most of my questions, sorry its so long, I'm just a tad nervous about everything being screwed up, I've tried to make sure I've got most of what I need like the ESTA and such, but, A guy can't help but be worried something with go wrong.


    Regards
    iWarrior

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