Travel to America While Your Form I-130 is Pending

An immigrant petition filed on your behalf means you will eventually get an immigrant visa and immigrate to the U.S., if you are eligible. However, you will not get a visa immediately; there is a long wait before you could get one.

This does not only apply to you but to everyone else for whom immigrant petitions have been filed. If you miss your partner who is waiting for you in the U.S., and seek to visit him or her while your petition is pending, you may do so by going to the U.S. on a visitor visa. However, immigration authorities may not issue non-immigrant visas while immigrant petitions are pending. Immigration authorities will have a hard time believing that you will return to your home country at the end of your authorized stay in the U.S.

But there are many who have successfully received B-2 visitor visas and traveled to the U.S. while their immigrant visa petitions were pending. Similarly, you also may get a non-immigrant visa to visit your husband or wife in the U.S., if you provide sufficient evidence that you will return to the U.S. before your nonimmigrant status expires.

An immigrant petition filed on your behalf means your intention is to immigrate to the U.S. and live here permanently. So you are more likely to face greater scrutiny while applying for a temporary visa. To avoid denial of a non-immigrant visa, you will need to provide documents to show that you will not stay back in the U.S. after your temporary visa expires. You will need to prove that you have ties in your home country and that your stay is only temporary. Likewise, it is mandatory to prove that you can afford your expenses during your trip to the U.S.

Make sure to carry the following documents with you to the visa interview to successfully get your nonimmigrant visa.

  • Valid passport
  • Nonimmigrant visa application confirmation page
  • One 5×5 color photograph
  • Proof of income, assets in your home country, business ownership, residence and binding ties, to prove that you have things to take care of in your home country.
  • Explanation about your trip and your travel itinerary.
  • Letter from your employer detailing your authorized vacation, if you are employed. This will help you prove that you will return from the U.S. to return to your job after your vacation.
  • Photocopies of your husband’s or wife’s (the person who has filed an immigrant petition on your behalf) green card or naturalization certificate.

*Depending on your particular situation, you may be required to submit some other documents like criminal or court records, if you were arrested or convicted.

1 thought on “Travel to America While Your Form I-130 is Pending”

  1. Carolina Fontana

    Travel to U.S. while form I-130 is still pending.
    Last October 2016, I filed a form I-130 to petition my mom. My mom is currently living outside of the U.S. The I-130 form status says “Received” when I check on-line, that is, “In Process”. The processing times seem uncertain to us, and we’re wishing to reunite soon for a short 1 – 3 month visit, perhaps as early as this coming March 2017. Are there any particulars that we should be aware of if in fact she can visit the U.S. while we wait for the I-130 petition to be processed? What additional documents if any should my mom have with her at the Port of Entry, other than her passport and Visa Waiver (ESTA) documents?
    Thanks in advance for your help, please do not hesitate to contact me with clarifications.
    \Carolina

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