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  #1  
Old 02-18-2016, 03:10 AM
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Default Yes you can immigrate to the US with a spouse in prison

Ladies and gentlemen, it's now official. After a 17 month long journey filled with forms, fees, delays, fights with US immigration authorities and then finally…. My US spousal immigration visa has arrived. I know there are a lot of MWIs on here wanting to immigrate to the US to be with their spouse and I wanted to let you all know that it’s possible, it can be done and I'll explain how you do it in separate posts below.

If possible, go for the spousal visa (CR/IR-1). This is easier when you have a spouse in prison as you don’t need to include their record/court cases on a spousal visa. Plus you can work as soon as you move to the US, which of course is important to us with a spouse in prison.
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  #2  
Old 02-18-2016, 03:12 AM
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STEP ONE
The US spouse files an I-130 petition with USCIS (http://www.uscis.gov/i-130). Along with the I-130, you also need to include the following forms:

• G-1145 (to get electronic notification)
• G-325A for Petitioner and one for immigrant (http://www.uscis.gov/g-325a)

Next is to include proof with the petition, which should include:

• Proof of US Citizenship for Petitioner (e.g. birth certificate)
• Proof of Relationship, which is a copy of your marriage certificate
• A passport style photo of the petitioner (I scanned a photo of my husband into the computer and cropped it to the size and style of a passport photo)
• A passport style photo of the immigrant
• Evidence of bona fides of marriage. The absolute best thing to send here is a copy of your passport showing the entry stamps to the US when visiting your spouse. Other things include photos of you together as well as with family, joint bank account if you have such, email logs and a few email samples, phone records etc. The I-130 instructions talks about co-mingling of finances but don’t worry about this one, most people doing the spousal visa don’t have co-mingling of finances.

Finally you add a personal check or a banker’s draft with the I-130 filing fee. Check on www.uscis.gov to see what the current fee is.

About two weeks after you sent off your I-130 petition package, you’ll get an email saying USCIS have received it. Then the waiting game begins. Count about five to six months before you hear something. Hopefully it’ll be an approval, called NOA2, and then your case gets shipped to NVC.
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05/14/2011 We met for the first time
05/14/2013 We got married
04/05/2016 I immigrated to the US
10/27/2016 My husband received Presidential clemency




Last edited by Lovebirds; 02-18-2016 at 03:20 AM..
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  #3  
Old 02-18-2016, 03:14 AM
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STEP TWO
Count about four weeks from NOA2 and until your case gets a case number and IIN at NVC. Everything at NVC is done online. Here’s a link to NVC: https://travel.state.gov/content/vis...d/contact.html

First step at NVC is to fill out the DS-261 (choice of agent, i.e. who they should email case updates to) and pay the AOS fee (affidavit of support). Then wait about two weeks for the IV fee to open up online (actual visa fee).

During the time of NOA2 and till the IV fee opens up, get all the documents you need for the NVC stage. You need two packages that go together in one envelope. The first package is petitioner info:

• i-864 from US spouse. This is to show that there is enough money to support the immigrant. For a household of two, the US petitioner needs an annual salary of $20,000, which obviously isn’t possible while in prison so you then need either $60,000 in assets or a joint sponsor. Someone with enough salary that will fill in their own i-864 to take financial responsibility over the immigrant. Just remember that even with a joint sponsor, the US spouse still needs to fill out their own i-864 and then just write unemployed and zero salary.
• A signed and dated statement from the US spouse saying that he or she has been exempt from filing taxes due to his or her incarceration (zero income).
• Joint sponsor needs i-864, proof of US status such as US birth cert or naturalization, IRS transcript and paystubs for last six months.

The second package is immigrant info:

• Copy of immigrant’s birth certificate
• Copy of immigrant’s police certificate from every country lived in longer than a year from the age of 16 plus from country of nationality and country of residence
• Copy of biometric page of immigrant’s passport
• Two passport style photos of immigrant

Count about three to four months at NVC, after which you hopefully have case complete and your case will be put for an interview at the US embassy in the immigrant’s country of residence. How long you wait for your interview depends on how busy the US embassy in your country is (meaning how many apply for US immigration visas). Count a minimum of five weeks.
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05/14/2011 We met for the first time
05/14/2013 We got married
04/05/2016 I immigrated to the US
10/27/2016 My husband received Presidential clemency




Last edited by Lovebirds; 02-18-2016 at 03:22 AM..
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Old 02-18-2016, 03:19 AM
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STEP THREE & FOUR
Once your interview’s been scheduled, it’s time for a medical exam from an embassy approved medical clinic. You can find which ones are approved from NVC’s website. The medical exam will include a chest x-ray to check for TB, standard of checking blood pressure, sight etc. You also need to have certain vaccinations. Finally they take a blood test to check for syphilis. Make sure you do your medical at least 10 days before your interview, so they get the results in time.

At the interview, be prepared for questions about how you met, do you have contact with his family, what are visits like etc. The person interviewing me actually said straight out that he wanted to make sure that we had contact visits or it wouldn’t be a bona fida relationship. Also be prepared for them having spoken to your spouse’s prison before the interview. Bring lots of photos to the interview, including photos of you with his family. Also bring more emails and other bona fida evidence from the time you filed the I-130, especially if you've had more trips during the process.

And that’s the spousal visa process.

Hoping for the very best for everyone else going for the spousal visa. And feel free to ask any questions. It's a long and sometimes tough and bureaucratic process. But it is possible, so hang in there. We had to fight and involve our Senator to get our case moving from NVC, so be prepared for extra scrutiny simply because the US spouse is in prison. Yep, it sucks but that's the way it works and if you're prepared for it, it just makes it easier to deal with.
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05/14/2011 We met for the first time
05/14/2013 We got married
04/05/2016 I immigrated to the US
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Last edited by Lovebirds; 02-18-2016 at 03:26 AM..
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  #5  
Old 02-18-2016, 03:40 AM
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I just want to say a HUGE thank you to you for all of the information you share both in your posts and when I have msgd you. You have turned the process from something that quite frankly was scaring the crap out of me into something I now know I can achieve. I am starting the ball rolling in June after my granddaughter is born. You are a star and I know the information will help a lot of people. Thank you so much xx
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Old 02-18-2016, 09:03 AM
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I'm glad you finally succeeded in making it past all of the red tape. They definitely don't make anything easy when dealing with the US government.
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Old 02-18-2016, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by judiwoo View Post
I just want to say a HUGE thank you to you for all of the information you share both in your posts and when I have msgd you. You have turned the process from something that quite frankly was scaring the crap out of me into something I now know I can achieve. I am starting the ball rolling in June after my granddaughter is born. You are a star and I know the information will help a lot of people. Thank you so much xx
Thank you. Good luck on your visa journey. I'm sure you're eager to start it.
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Old 02-18-2016, 12:31 PM
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I'm glad you finally succeeded in making it past all of the red tape. They definitely don't make anything easy when dealing with the US government.
Thank you. It was a long battle, so glad it's over. Now it's on to the next battle with BOP.
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Old 02-18-2016, 01:23 PM
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I'm sure you will face them head on and I really do wish you all the best
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Old 02-18-2016, 01:38 PM
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I will be starting my journey through the visa process in a year or so , thank you for all the information.
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Old 02-18-2016, 07:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovebirds View Post
Ladies and gentlemen, it's now official. After a 17 month long journey filled with forms, fees, delays, fights with US immigration authorities and then finally…. My US spousal immigration visa has arrived. I know there are a lot of MWIs on here wanting to immigrate to the US to be with their spouse and I wanted to let you all know that it’s possible, it can be done and I'll explain how you do it in separate posts below.

If possible, go for the spousal visa (CR/IR-1). This is easier when you have a spouse in prison as you don’t need to include their record/court cases on a spousal visa. Plus you can work as soon as you move to the US, which of course is important to us with a spouse in prison.


CONGRATULATIONS

I have been following all of your updates. You are a go getter. I'm truly happy for you and your spouse.

Your post regarding the "HOW TO STEPS" should become a sticky .
I'm sure it will help a lot of ladies abroad. Now and in the future.

Congratulations once again and welcome to the US

HUGS
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Old 02-19-2016, 03:30 AM
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I will be starting my journey through the visa process in a year or so , thank you for all the information.
Wish you the best with your visa journey. Feel free to ask me any questions you might have once you start your process.
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Old 02-22-2016, 09:56 AM
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Congratulations!
Immigration has been in the news so much lately it's nice to hear how you did it and that you shared the steps. It's not impossible. But it's not meant to be easy. People seem to forget that lately. As far as I know it's never been easy. My father came here years back with family. It took a total of 7 years to get it all done with everyone here. Anything you want is within reach. Not necessarily easy, but worth fighting for.
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Old 02-22-2016, 12:45 PM
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Wish you the best with your visa journey. Feel free to ask me any questions you might have once you start your process.
Hi I intend to start my visa journey when he has 12 months left so in 2 years time. I am lucky enough to have the chance of a work secondment to the US and I can see how I get on with a business visa and then maybe change of status if things go well. My LO wants to move to the UK so we also have to look into that. Well done on your progress
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Old 03-08-2016, 02:04 AM
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ladies and gentlemen, it's now official. After a 17 month long journey filled with forms, fees, delays, fights with us immigration authorities and then finally…. My us spousal immigration visa has arrived. I know there are a lot of mwis on here wanting to immigrate to the us to be with their spouse and i wanted to let you all know that it’s possible, it can be done and i'll explain how you do it in separate posts below.

If possible, go for the spousal visa (cr/ir-1). This is easier when you have a spouse in prison as you don’t need to include their record/court cases on a spousal visa. Plus you can work as soon as you move to the us, which of course is important to us with a spouse in prison.
congratulations i am so happy for you!!!!. You have given me hope
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Old 03-08-2016, 07:12 AM
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I don't get contact visits with my hubby �� can you advise?
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Old 03-08-2016, 07:59 AM
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It depends on the rules of that prison. Wardens can alter them, so asking for a "special contact visit" after such a long trip may be granted. Write and inquire before you visit.
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Old 03-08-2016, 09:28 AM
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It depends on the rules of that prison. Wardens can alter them, so asking for a "special contact visit" after such a long trip may be granted. Write and inquire before you visit.

Thank you
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Old 03-11-2016, 03:40 PM
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Nikki, definitely try the Warden like fbopnomore said. It's gonna help you in the visa process plus be nice to have some contact with your husband. 😊
And you never know about the contact visits being a must. The embassy officer doing the interview can use a lot of discretion when making the decision, so just because the person interviewing me felt this way may not mean that the person interviewing you will have the same opinion. Can't hurt with contact visits though.
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Old 03-11-2016, 08:08 PM
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Nikki, definitely try the Warden like fbopnomore said. It's gonna help you in the visa process plus be nice to have some contact with your husband. 😊
And you never know about the contact visits being a must. The embassy officer doing the interview can use a lot of discretion when making the decision, so just because the person interviewing me felt this way may not mean that the person interviewing you will have the same opinion. Can't hurt with contact visits though.
I certainly will, thank you for the advise
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Old 03-12-2016, 01:53 AM
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Lovebirds, I have just been looking at the Visajourney website and some person on there stated your fiancee / husband is the only person who can sponsor you or a member of his family . I dont understand I thought as long as you have a sponsor it shouldnt matter. Can you or someone please explain. Also someone else was asking about her husband on death row , are death row inmates allowed to petition if the crime was murder?
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Old 03-12-2016, 05:35 AM
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Lovebirds, I have just been looking at the Visajourney website and some person on there stated your fiancee / husband is the only person who can sponsor you or a member of his family . I dont understand I thought as long as you have a sponsor it shouldnt matter. Can you or someone please explain. Also someone else was asking about her husband on death row , are death row inmates allowed to petition if the crime was murder?
Your husband must file the petition for you to move over and he needs to fill out the financial form but if he doesn't make enough, any US citizen or LPR can be a joint financial sponsor.

I believe they are. There's something called the Adam Walsh Act, so you might need a waiver to overcome your husband's sentence.
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Old 03-12-2016, 10:59 AM
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Lovebirds thsnk you once again, your advise is extremely helpful to those of us starting this journey. Rank you again
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Old 03-12-2016, 11:28 PM
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STEP ONE
The US spouse files an I-130 petition with USCIS (http://www.uscis.gov/i-130). Along with the I-130, you also need to include the following forms:

• G-1145 (to get electronic notification)
• G-325A for Petitioner and one for immigrant (http://www.uscis.gov/g-325a)

Next is to include proof with the petition, which should include:

• Proof of US Citizenship for Petitioner (e.g. birth certificate)
• Proof of Relationship, which is a copy of your marriage certificate
• A passport style photo of the petitioner (I scanned a photo of my husband into the computer and cropped it to the size and style of a passport photo)
• A passport style photo of the immigrant
• Evidence of bona fides of marriage. The absolute best thing to send here is a copy of your passport showing the entry stamps to the US when visiting your spouse. Other things include photos of you together as well as with family, joint bank account if you have such, email logs and a few email samples, phone records etc. The I-130 instructions talks about co-mingling of finances but don’t worry about this one, most people doing the spousal visa don’t have co-mingling of finances.

Finally you add a personal check or a banker’s draft with the I-130 filing fee. Check on www.uscis.gov to see what the current fee is.

About two weeks after you sent off your I-130 petition package, you’ll get an email saying USCIS have received it. Then the waiting game begins. Count about five to six months before you hear something. Hopefully it’ll be an approval, called NOA2, and then your case gets shipped to NVC.
What would be the reason the USCIS would deny your CR1 application? the prison my husband is at dont allow photos to be taken, since I live in New Zealand it's very expensive to travel to see him, and personally I feel they would be preventing me from being with my husband because it's extremely expensive by not granting me a visa to be closer to him, and surely it's my right to be able to be with my husband, we were both present at our wedding ceremony and I will be flying out in 4 weeks to see him again, we speak on the phone 3 times a week, I have sworn affidavits from from his parents and childhood friends that our marriage is real and based on love, I have emails back and forth from his Mom and Dad to me, photos of his family and I together, boxes of letters. He may be able to have contact visits with me at some stage.
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Old 03-15-2016, 11:48 AM
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What would be the reason the USCIS would deny your CR1 application? the prison my husband is at dont allow photos to be taken, since I live in New Zealand it's very expensive to travel to see him, and personally I feel they would be preventing me from being with my husband because it's extremely expensive by not granting me a visa to be closer to him, and surely it's my right to be able to be with my husband, we were both present at our wedding ceremony and I will be flying out in 4 weeks to see him again, we speak on the phone 3 times a week, I have sworn affidavits from from his parents and childhood friends that our marriage is real and based on love, I have emails back and forth from his Mom and Dad to me, photos of his family and I together, boxes of letters. He may be able to have contact visits with me at some stage.
US citizens have the right to marry whoever they like, they don't have the right to have their spouse immigrate to the US.

From what I can tell, most petitions tend to move past USCIS and it's not really until the interview stage that the actual visa application gets denied. The main reason for a visa application to be denied is due to lack of bona fida evidence (meaning you haven't proved to US immigrations' satisfaction that you are in a bona fida relationship), the beneficiary (you) have a criminal record, the beneficiary (you) have a previous overstay in the US or the petitioner has committed a crime that falls under the Adam Walsh Act. Some of the reasons for denial can be overcome with a waiver.

Make sure you put a good variety of bona fida evidence with the petition; a selection of emails over a period of time, same with phone records, copy of your passport with entry stamps to the US and photos with you and his family. I'm sure you can explain why you don't fly over as much, New Zealand is a long way away.

When are you starting your visa journey?
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