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Judith, Immigration Lawyer
Category: Immigration Law
Satisfied Customers: 28073
Experience:  34 years as practicing immigration attorney, with non-immigrant and immigrant visa experience.
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My daughter in law is from Northern Ireland. Both my son (who

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My daughter in law is from Northern Ireland. Both my son (who is a U.S. citizen and here are living in Australia (on her Australian student visa). Her visa is expiring this Saturday and, due to financial reason, they are going to need to leave Australia. My son has found a flight for her to Orlando that leaves this Saturday and she is thinking about taking that flight and coming to Florida in a tourist visa. My son will follow in a couple of weeks, after she has a change to pack up their apartment and sell a few things.
My daughter's intention is to later try to apply for a green card in the U.S. and eventually U.S. citizenship. (they got married about a year ago here in Florida and then left to go to school in Australia). Our concern is that her coming here now on a visitor's visa could later affect her in obtaining a permanent residency. Are our concerns founded? If there an alternative in this situation?

Hello,my name is Judith. Thank you for this opportunity to answer your questions.

You have good intuition.

She cannot enter the US on a visitor status with the intention of staying and immigrating.

When she enters she will be asked a lot of questions because the inspector will see she has the visa for Australia as a student and has been out of her country for a significant period of time.

They may send her back to secondary inspection because they will want to question her about what ties she has to Northern Ireland.

She does run the risk of being refused admission and if she is administratively removed she faces a 5 year bar to coming back, even under sponsorship of her husband who is a US citizen.

If the inspector believes that she has lied it could get even worse - a permanent bar.

Often spouses of a US citizen do enter as a visitor and then spontaneously change their mind and stay and file for their adjustment.

But they are not coming here after being away from their country for a year and no longer having any ties there.

If they do things the right way they will face a separation of 6-10 months.

He will file form I-130 with the USCIS here in the US at the lockbox (PO Box)
as per the instructions.

He must include with the form a G-325A for himself and she along with 2 passport
style photos of each of them.

You can find those forms and instructions at this link

Once the petition is approved (it will take 3-5 months) he will be notified
and the petition will be sent to the National Visa Center. In
approximately 2-3 weeks they will send him a bill for the immigrant visa fee
$230 and your Affidavit of Support (I-864) $88.

Once he pays these he will receive instruction on submittin the I-864 and she
will get her instructions on begining the immigrant visa process by submitting
the DS-230 Immigrant Visa Application.

After that is received the USCIS will request her background/security check be
done by the FBI.

When the clearance on her is received her file is forwarded to the US consulate
or Embassy closest to her.

She will then receive her instructions for her medical and visa

She will be told what documentation to bring.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

As a clarification, she does have ties to Northern Ireland. Her entire family lives there. Her dad is a professor at the University and she has her mother and brothers also there. She has been attending Hillsong College in Australia for the last year and a half and just before she did both her and my son (who was also in Australia attending Hillsong at the time) came to the U.S. and they got married here. They then left and went back to Australia to finish her last year, but now due to financial trouble, she is not going to be able to stay for another year. They were planning to apply for a green card while they were there, but now they are faced with having to leave Australia immediately due to her Australian student visa expiring and they not having enough money to stay in school. Does this makes a difference?

No that does not change my answer.

I'm sorry. But I need to be honest.

She is a married woman and she is not coming here to visit, she has no intention of living back in Northern Ireland away from her husband when she enters here.

So it is a misrepresentation for her at entry and vary risky.


Customer: replied 3 years ago.

What if her and our son, who is a US citizen go to Ireland and stay with her family and apply for a U.S. visa there? My son would be able to stay for 3 months in Ireland, would that be long enough for her to get her U.S. visa, if applying from Ireland?

I'm sorry but maybe you missed it in my first answer, it takes 6-10 months for her to go through the immigrant visa process.

He can go and visit there for 3 months but she will not have her visa up to 6 months after that.


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