March 22, 2019, 01:35:32 AM


Ohmyzip.com From US To Korea - $7.50 (LB)
[SHOP US, SHIP KOREA] From $7.50 (1LB) + $1.74 per pound only! Use the Ohmyzip U.S. a tax-free state address as your shipping address at checkout. Sign up now to get a 10% off coupon on shipping. <Freight Forwarding Service / Courier Service>
http://www.ohmyzip.com/

Author Topic: US Spousal Immigration Visa Thread  (Read 175587 times)

Offline toddc06

  • Super Waygook
  • ***
  • Posts: 251
  • Gender: Male
US Spousal Immigration Visa Thread
« on: July 19, 2013, 10:55:13 AM »
I did a search (albeit short) and didn't see a thread on this.  I was hoping to get some personal experiences and a collection of resources to make this process easier.

I am looking to move to America next year with my Korean wife and plan to start the paperwork this weekend.

If you have gone through this process, how long did it take/has it taken you?  What kind of costs have you incurred.  Any advice or tips?  So far, the steps don't seem too complicated.  If you have any more info, please share.  (Note: All links I shared originate from the embassy's website.  I just simply tried to organize them a little)

To get a spousal visa in Korea -

1.  File  form i-130 by appointment at UCIS field office of the US embassy in Seoul  ($420)
         - Info on the field office (plus a link for the appointment):
            http://photos.state.gov/libraries/korea/187344/DHS/CIS_main.pdf
         - What to bring to the appointment:
            http://photos.state.gov/libraries/korea/187344/DHS/cis_appt.pdf

2.  Receive Packet 3 and complete it and gather required documents?
       I think I remember that you will need your birth certificate, passport, your spouse's family documents showing he/she isn't attached to his/her family anymore (translated), marriage documents (translated), wife's birth certificate(?) I don't have links for this info though.

3.  Attend immigration interview and present all documentation.
 -The links for preparing for the interview and what to do after were not working for me.

Basic websites to get started

http://seoul.usembassy.gov/visas_spouse_of_american.html

http://www.ustraveldocs.com/kr/kr-iv-typeircr.asp

form I-130 info
http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.5af9bb95919f35e66f614176543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=c67c7f9ded54d010VgnVCM10000048f3d6a1RCRD&vgnextchannel=db029c7755cb9010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD

Form I-130:
http://www.uscis.gov/files/form/i-130.pdf
« Last Edit: July 19, 2013, 11:03:25 AM by toddc06 »

Offline taingray

  • Veteran
  • **
  • Posts: 206
  • Gender: Female
Re: US Spousal Immigration Visa Thread
« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2013, 11:08:42 AM »
Hi! My husband and I just finished this process and his visa was approved  ;D I had started a thread with some questions a while back but it didn't get many responses.

I found the U.S. embassy overall very difficult to work with. It was a pain to get answers to simple questions and they were hard to contact by phone. That said, even though the entire process was a pain and very confusing at times, in retrospect it wasn't nearly as hard as I had anticipated it to be. The whole process took us about four months, but if we were in a hurry I think we could have finished it in maybe 2-3 months. I think we spent about $1,000 total for the whole thing.

One suggestion I have is, if you want to start the process soon, order your tax transcripts from the last three years. You can call the IRS but I can't find the number right now. They will mail them to Korea for free, but it takes some time. You are only required to provide your tax transcript (this is for Packet 3) for the most recent year (so 2012) but I had the last three years sent to me just in case they asked for it (they didn't).

I have a link with all the required docs for Packet 3 somewhere; I can send it to you later if you'd like  :smiley:

Anyway, hope that helps! I wish I had had someone who could have helped us with the process, so if you have any other questions, feel free to ask!


Offline toddc06

  • Super Waygook
  • ***
  • Posts: 251
  • Gender: Male
Re: US Spousal Immigration Visa Thread
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2013, 11:17:14 AM »
 You are amazing!  Thanks for the info on the tax transcripts.  I will go ahead and do that so we don't have to wait later.  Also, I would greatly appreciate that link for the Packet 3 documents.

I do have one more question actually.  What kind of time limit is there on the time between approval and when you must enter the US?  I don't want to finish too early!

Offline happySuwon

  • Veteran
  • **
  • Posts: 76
  • Gender: Female
Re: US Spousal Immigration Visa Thread
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2013, 11:24:16 AM »
Taingray , how long where you married when you started the visa process ?We getting legally married soon, and would like to start the visa process soon after .is this advisable, or should we wait six months or so ?Thanks!

Offline taingray

  • Veteran
  • **
  • Posts: 206
  • Gender: Female
Re: US Spousal Immigration Visa Thread
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2013, 12:22:46 PM »
Yay! Glad I could help out  :smiley:

I've attached the pdf for the Packet 3 instructions. Most of it is stuff that your spouse has to get. The I-864 is the form that you, as the petitioner, fill out as proof of your income. It asks for your most recent tax transcript. Also, I forgot to mention before that somewhere in the instructions for that form it says you need to prove that your domicile in the United States and that you are only in Korea temporarily. You can use your tax transcripts as proof of that (to show that you still filed U.S. taxes while living abroad), but I printed out my most recent online bank statement from my American bank too just to be safe, and to show that I still keep up a bank account in the U.S.

Time limit! Your spouse needs to get a medical check-up before she does the interview with the Packet 3 stuff. She must enter the U.S. within 6 months of when she does her medical exam. My husband got his medical check on May 27th. He went for the interview on June 22nd, although he could have gone right after the health check but we weren't in a hurry. The temporary visa they put in his passport expires on November 27th, so he has until then to enter the country.

happySuwon: We got legally married this last February and submitted the I-130 stuff (the initial paperwork) a month after. You don't need to wait; however, since we've been married less than two years, we had to apply for the CR-1 green card visa, which is conditional. After we have been in the U.S. for about a year and a half, we have to fill out some other stuff to switch him to the unconditional green card visa.

Offline iamrhart

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1938
  • Gender: Male
Re: US Spousal Immigration Visa Thread
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2013, 01:24:18 PM »
Hi Taingray, you mentioned the I-864. my understanding was that this is a 'required' document, only when adjusting for a change of status. You can submit the form I134 with the form I130 for the initial application, and then 'wait for further instructions' from the USCIS people.
I know of another person who tried to file for a visa (k-3 visa), and she had to wait until the USCIS sent her a packet with instructions, making her first "i-864" obsolete.

but as you mention, it is always better to be 'safe than sorry'
You only live today once. You wont get a second chance. You wont get to live it twice. So make the most of it.

A sane man in an insane world will appear insane.

Offline ilpunto

  • Adventurer
  • *
  • Posts: 28
  • Gender: Male
Re: US Spousal Immigration Visa Thread
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2013, 01:32:32 PM »
To: Taingray

Do you know if the tax transcripts are absolutely necessary? I didn't file for U.S. taxes while living here in Korea.

Offline ilpunto

  • Adventurer
  • *
  • Posts: 28
  • Gender: Male
Re: US Spousal Immigration Visa Thread
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2013, 01:40:41 PM »
To : Taingray

How difficult was the interview? What kind of questions did the interviewer ask? Was the interviewer nitpicky?

Offline taingray

  • Veteran
  • **
  • Posts: 206
  • Gender: Female
Re: US Spousal Immigration Visa Thread
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2013, 01:54:35 PM »
Hi Taingray, you mentioned the I-864. my understanding was that this is a 'required' document, only when adjusting for a change of status. You can submit the form I134 with the form I130 for the initial application, and then 'wait for further instructions' from the USCIS people.
I know of another person who tried to file for a visa (k-3 visa), and she had to wait until the USCIS sent her a packet with instructions, making her first "i-864" obsolete.

but as you mention, it is always better to be 'safe than sorry'

I've never heard of I-134... so I'm not too sure how to answer that one, sorry. All I know is we didn't have to fill it out for the I-130 stuff as it wasn't listed in the required documents. My husband's visa is the CR-1; maybe different visas have different requirements?

Offline taingray

  • Veteran
  • **
  • Posts: 206
  • Gender: Female
Re: US Spousal Immigration Visa Thread
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2013, 01:58:38 PM »
To: Taingray

Do you know if the tax transcripts are absolutely necessary? I didn't file for U.S. taxes while living here in Korea.

From what I understand, the most recent transcript IS required. If you didn't file U.S. taxes for 2012, maybe you can still do it somehow? Deadlines have passed but you should probably look into it. You won't owe any tax unless you made over like $92,000, but we are still required to file.

As for the interview, he said it was super easy and they only asked him maybe three questions. He said it lasted only about one minute! They definitely weren't nitpicky at all! For all the trouble they had us go through to get the immigrant visa, I was shocked that his interview was so simple. I didn't have to go, so I'm not sure what they asked him, but he said it was a breeze.

Offline iamrhart

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1938
  • Gender: Male
Re: US Spousal Immigration Visa Thread
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2013, 02:10:46 PM »
Hi Taingray, you mentioned the I-864. my understanding was that this is a 'required' document, only when adjusting for a change of status. You can submit the form I134 with the form I130 for the initial application, and then 'wait for further instructions' from the USCIS people.
I know of another person who tried to file for a visa (k-3 visa), and she had to wait until the USCIS sent her a packet with instructions, making her first "i-864" obsolete.

but as you mention, it is always better to be 'safe than sorry'

I've never heard of I-134... so I'm not too sure how to answer that one, sorry. All I know is we didn't have to fill it out for the I-130 stuff as it wasn't listed in the required documents. My husband's visa is the CR-1; maybe different visas have different requirements?

The term CR-1 is for a conditional residence. that is granted after they arrive in the USA (i think). the first visa/stamp that is issued is the k3/k4 visa. this is for nonimmigrant admission. 

i believe the I-134 is the "Affidavit of support", generic version. where the I-864 is the indepth, tedious, and specific Affidavit.
http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=db029c7755cb9010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD&vgnextchannel=db029c7755cb9010VgnVCM10000045f3d6a1RCRD

Perhaps we are different in documents because our spouses are from different countries. though i dont think that would be a problem...as we are both trying to get the same outcome, having our spouse enter the USA.

im curious though, could you send me a PM about the Packet 3?

as for me, i found this to be useful.
http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_2993.html

You only live today once. You wont get a second chance. You wont get to live it twice. So make the most of it.

A sane man in an insane world will appear insane.

Offline iamrhart

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1938
  • Gender: Male
Re: US Spousal Immigration Visa Thread
« Reply #11 on: July 19, 2013, 02:16:19 PM »
that must have been the difference.

I filled the Nonimmigrant Visa

You (most of the posts here) seem to be filling the Immigrant Visa.

step 1 is the same, file for i-130.
(difference with the I-864 and I-134)

step 2 (to enter early) file a form I-129f (for Fiance) but change the word "fiance" to "spouse". K3 visa is issued.

now, i really want to find out the difference between the two Immigrant and Non-Immigrant visa. i was under the impression i had to do the later.



K3 visa is a nonimmigrant visa, that allows the Married Couple to be together, as they wait for the I-130 to be completed.

so, its a 'stay in the usa while you wait for the CR-1 Visa' type of thing (as per my understanding).

here is more details, via the USCIS
http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.eb1d4c2a3e5b9ac89243c6a7543f6d1a/?vgnextoid=254a3e4d77d73210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD&vgnextchannel=254a3e4d77d73210VgnVCM100000082ca60aRCRD

« Last Edit: July 19, 2013, 02:24:33 PM by iamrhart »
You only live today once. You wont get a second chance. You wont get to live it twice. So make the most of it.

A sane man in an insane world will appear insane.

Offline taingray

  • Veteran
  • **
  • Posts: 206
  • Gender: Female
Re: US Spousal Immigration Visa Thread
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2013, 02:18:06 PM »
Hm... Well, we've been married for less than two years, so we had to get the conditional CR-1 visa. He is entering the U.S. as an immigrant, so maybe that's why we didn't have to do the 1-134?

EDIT: Yeah, you beat me to it!

"that must have been the difference.

I filled the Nonimmigrant Visa"

So it looks like the K-3 visa is for if your partner wants to enter the country before you're actually married, right?
« Last Edit: July 19, 2013, 02:21:24 PM by taingray »

Offline iamrhart

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1938
  • Gender: Male
Re: US Spousal Immigration Visa Thread
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2013, 02:39:55 PM »
Hm... Well, we've been married for less than two years, so we had to get the conditional CR-1 visa. He is entering the U.S. as an immigrant, so maybe that's why we didn't have to do the 1-134?

EDIT: Yeah, you beat me to it!

"that must have been the difference.

I filled the Nonimmigrant Visa"


So it looks like the K-3 visa is for if your partner wants to enter the country before you're actually married, right?

No, we are married.
As you mentioned, it is difficult to contact the USCIS people, and Customer Service is more like Customer Counceling....repeating everything i said and not answer questions....grrr.

my understanding (from what they 'counseled me in') is that the K3 is to make things 'faster' as the CR takes a longer time. granted the I-129f is for a fiance, but it is also used for a K3 visa, whilst the I-130 is pending. 

The CR is the 'result' of the I-130.  once the I-130 is finished, the 'CR' visa is issued.

yes, though, i was informed that once we enter the USA, the Spouse would await the CR visa and/or change status to a permanent resident. 

"maybe" this is one of those "kill a bird with two stones" things?  (two different ways to get the same out come)....or "more than one way to skin a cat" (sorry cat lovers, but it's an OLD idiom).

OH, on another note "So it looks like the K-3 visa is for your partner to enter the country before you're actually married, right?"
this would be the I-129f visa, for a Fiance, and it is one of the MOST difficult ones to complete, as it requires soooo much proof that the fiance is not going to just 'leave you' once given a visa.   
*the I-129f has two purposes.   1) it is for a Fiance.     2) it is used as a follow-up for the I-130 to issue a K3 visa and get your SPOUSE to the USA faster.  If you file the I-129f for your FIANCE, it costs money.  but if it is filled as a support document after the NOA it is free
« Last Edit: July 19, 2013, 02:53:02 PM by iamrhart »
You only live today once. You wont get a second chance. You wont get to live it twice. So make the most of it.

A sane man in an insane world will appear insane.

Offline taingray

  • Veteran
  • **
  • Posts: 206
  • Gender: Female
Re: US Spousal Immigration Visa Thread
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2013, 02:52:49 PM »
Hm... Well, we've been married for less than two years, so we had to get the conditional CR-1 visa. He is entering the U.S. as an immigrant, so maybe that's why we didn't have to do the 1-134?

EDIT: Yeah, you beat me to it!

"that must have been the difference.

I filled the Nonimmigrant Visa"

So it looks like the K-3 visa is for if your partner wants to enter the country before you're actually married, right?

No, we are married.
As you mentioned, it is difficult to contact the USCIS people, and Customer Service is more like Customer Counceling....repeating everything i said and not answer questions....grrr.

my understanding (from what they 'counseled me in') is that the K3 is to make things 'faster' as the CR takes a longer time. granted the I-129f is for a fiance, but it is also used for a K3 visa, whilst the I-130 is pending. 

The CR is the 'result' of the I-130.  once the I-130 is finished, the 'CR' visa is issued.

yes, though, i was informed that once we enter the USA, the Spouse would await the CR visa and/or change status to a permanent resident. 

"maybe" this is one of those "kill a bird with two stones" things?  (two different ways to get the same out come)....or "more than one way to skin a cat" (sorry cat lovers, but it's an OLD idiom).

How long have you been married? If it's been less than two years, could you just apply for the CR-1? We completed the I-130 stuff, then waited about two weeks for them to email us with Packet 3 instructions (that pdf I attached earlier), and then couple months later my husband went for the interview and he was approved on the spot. He got his passport with the visa in the mail five days later. If we had really been in a hurry, we could have finished the whole process in like two months, provided we had all the paperwork ready. I was so paranoid that we wouldn't have enough time for everything, but it went so much faster than I thought!

Man, the USCIS and the embassy in general are useless when it comes to questions. I never once had anyone answer the phone at the USCIS office and the embassy people just sent me around in circles, telling me what I already knew instead of answering my questions. They kept re-directing me to the USCIS number, which was infuriating because I could let it ring for hours and no one would answer!

Offline Madmartigan

  • Adventurer
  • *
  • Posts: 60
  • Gender: Male
Re: US Spousal Immigration Visa Thread
« Reply #15 on: July 19, 2013, 03:38:33 PM »
To OP (toddc06) as well as to the other people asking questions in the discussion (happySuwon and ilpunto), I can help and tell you about my experience.

Please PM me with any questions, as I am getting close to wrapping up the last step for my wife.  She is Korean, so I think I can help anyone in the same situation.

I have received helpful tips from other Waygook users, and I will pass those tips along to anyone else - thanks should especially go to (username) SMOE NSET (and taingray in this discussion)!!

I really want to post a lot of advice on here, but I am leaving town for a couple of days and won't have time to add to the discussion.  I will check back in on Sunday and add what I can!

I do have time to say that taingray is on the money about everything she has has posted so far:
-You NEED tax info for the most recent tax year (and YES, if you haven't filed, you can still file for previous years and do it NOW!)
-Get some proof that you have kept your domicile (permanent address) in the states - I am also using bank and credit card statements
-You have 6 months from your medical check to enter the US (and after passing the interview)
-It doesn't matter how long you have been married, you can (and probably should) start the process sooner rather than later
-We will have spent just over $1,000; however, we haven't included travel expenses to get to Seoul, so for us it will be a bit more ...
-It is definitely hit-or-miss with the USCIS in Seoul in terms of help via phone or email, but you should at least try to direct some questions to them

Offline toddc06

  • Super Waygook
  • ***
  • Posts: 251
  • Gender: Male
Re: US Spousal Immigration Visa Thread
« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2013, 04:42:48 PM »
I just want to say thanks to everyone who has been replying.  I am sure you have helped many people by posting here.   I will be sure to post here whenever I find out something new or have details that weren't included in previous posts.

Offline iamrhart

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1938
  • Gender: Male
Re: US Spousal Immigration Visa Thread
« Reply #17 on: July 19, 2013, 05:08:30 PM »
I hope my advice has been helpful, my wife is NOT korean. so that might have some impact.
Thus far i have been married less than a year. I recieved my NOA on June 11, so it has been in the "reviewing" stage for about a month.

I received my NOA (email) for the I-129F (to get the K3 visa) just the other week, and am awaiting the hard-copy NOA.

i think, best bet is to choose a path and stick to it.

Immigrant Visa
Nonimmigrant Visa

i "think" they both lead to the same "CR" stamp at the end. As stated before, the Nonimmigrant Visa (k3) is a 'im waiting for the I-130 to finish" status.  where-as the Immigrant Visa is the "Finished" I-130 status.

You only live today once. You wont get a second chance. You wont get to live it twice. So make the most of it.

A sane man in an insane world will appear insane.

Offline deweybeach

  • Veteran
  • **
  • Posts: 238
Re: US Spousal Immigration Visa Thread
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2013, 02:27:44 PM »
I want to have my wife immigrate to the states in May 2014.  We have been married 7 years and will be 8 years in May. We also have two children which both have US passports. I made an appointment for the embassy on July 29th to file a I-130. Is this too early, can we stall the process if we want?

I am also worried about the domicile thing. I am worried that my state may want state  taxes for my time in Korea.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2013, 02:29:39 PM by deweybeach »

Offline iamrhart

  • Hero of Waygookistan
  • *****
  • Posts: 1938
  • Gender: Male
Re: US Spousal Immigration Visa Thread
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2013, 09:19:15 PM »
I see that some of you have mentioned a packet 3.  after 2 weeks of waiting.

this has not been the case for me, and i was wondering, if you have a contact number i could reach? other than the customer service numbers (they are so stressful).
thanks
You only live today once. You wont get a second chance. You wont get to live it twice. So make the most of it.

A sane man in an insane world will appear insane.