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So, I am a USA citizen who lived in Phuket 2012 through 2019. My wife has a B2 Visa so she can visit up to six months at a time for 10 years but we had planned on her moving over here around March to work and save money with me to pay off our Thai property quickly and retire.  Obviously Covid has affected our plan. My marriage visa expired in February, and the tickets I booked have all been canceled by the airlines.  For now I have a ticket for my wife to come here in August but a new problem has arisen, apparently green cars are not being issued? does anyone have any info or going through the process now of getting a green card for their spouse? Even if she can fly here I'm worried she won't be able to work legally, and her business in Phuket Will be run by her sister while she is gone but the profits are cut in half when she isn't around to manage everything.  From March to me during the lockdown she couldn't run her shop and lost her day job, which put a lot of strain on me because I had to double the amount of money I will send them to cover our mortgages and car payments which usually we split the cost 50-50 while I'm renting a place to here in Jackson Wyoming and I'm trying to keep my American expenses down.   Is anyone else in the process with more information than I have? I was trying to do it without a lawyer on my own and now everything seems to be up in the air. It's been 6 months since I saw my wife and I'd like to visit her if she can't come here, but I'm worried I'll end up having to fork out $1,500 for quarantine and not even see her hardly. Engineering job I have is standard USA two week off per year, they'll offer to be flexible but it will be unpaid leave at a time when I have extra financial strain. I have everything planned so perfect and covid-19 ruined it.

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Your wife has to be in the U.S. when you apply for a Green Card.  Have you checked the USCIS website?

Since your wife is on a B2 visa status, you need to apply for a change of status to get at first an IR1 (Immigrant married to U.S. citizen) and then after two years, reapply to change to a CR1 (Landed Permanent Immigrant).

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Now this may be one where an immigration attorney might come in handy.

 

We keyboard warriors can only give at best opinions.

 

Now my wife got her CR-1 when we were still living in Thailand, so as soon as she entered the US she had a green card.

 

Now my understanding was that USCIS takes a dim view of anyone that enters on a tourist visa and then tries to do an adjustment of status, thats seen as trying to circumvent the immigration process.

 

In the Trump era legal immigration in general has ground to a halt, even before the suspension of green card issuance, so caution is required.

 

My wife filed an I-751 to remove conditions from her CR-1, a process that used to take 6 months in 2015, yet now is forecast to take up to 24 months.

 

Contact a professional is my advice

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My coworker is still waiting for his wife's green card on a K1 Fiance Visa almost 10 months later with no end in sight.  This is due to the freeze put on legal immigration and green card issuance from the Trump Administration.  

 

Now is not a good time to try and come to the States in hopes of working legally.  He was told certain USCIS Visa Processing Centers have a 30 month wait for a green card at this point, they are working cases from May of 2018 with a serious backlog due to the pandemic and general incompetence. 

 

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5 hours ago, GinBoy2 said:

In the Trump era legal immigration in general has ground to a halt, even before the suspension of green card issuance, so caution is required.

 

My wife filed an I-751 to remove conditions from her CR-1, a process that used to take 6 months in 2015, yet now is forecast to take up to 24 months.

Pretty much spot on with everything I have heard and seen as well.  You can actually use the USCIS website tool and it will give you the estimated processing times that have all drastically increased lately.

 

To the OP, you may want to reconsider your plans at this point.  It is almost a certainty she won't be working anytime soon, even if she did manage to get a Visa and fly here.

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24 minutes ago, Maha Sarakham said:

My coworker is still waiting for his wife's green card on a K1 Fiance Visa almost 10 months later with no end in sight.  This is due to the freeze put on legal immigration and green card issuance from the Trump Administration.  

 

Now is not a good time to try and come to the States in hopes of working legally.  He was told certain USCIS Visa Processing Centers have a 30 month wait for a green card at this point, they are working cases from May of 2018 with a serious backlog due to the pandemic and general incompetence. 

 

My wife has a friend in Utah.

 

They actually went for their interview at the US Embassy in Bangkok on the same day. 

 

My wife for her CR-1 her friend for a K-1.

 

Almost 3 years later the lady with the K-1 still has not received a green card!

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You may want to check into getting your wife an I-766 employment authorization card when she arrives in the US.  I don't know what the current backlog is for processing I-766 applications, but I recall when my wife applied many years ago while on a K1 visa, it was issued almost immediately while the green card issuance took several months.

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, DrDave said:

You may want to check into getting your wife an I-766 employment authorization card when she arrives in the US.  I don't know what the current backlog is for processing I-766 applications, but I recall when my wife applied many years ago while on a K1 visa, it was issued almost immediately while the green card issuance took several months.

Thats if his wife came on a K-1

 

This when it gets a little complicated.

 

If they are married in Thailand, then you should apply for either an IR-1 or CR-1.

 

The OP at least suggests that they are already married(legally), which unless I'm totally wrong means a K1 is impossible since they are already married, and the options become a CR-1 or IR-1

 

So lot of variables

Edited by GinBoy2
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I got the green card to my wife and she is on 2 yrs temp card. She is in the States now to file for 10 yrs card and which is she did already.

In your case I am assuming that you applied for your wife's green card while she is in Thailand. If so, it's a big mistake. Not because she can't get it but it will take years to get it (more  less 4 yrs).  Since she doesn't have the temp card then she can't go back to States till she gets the actual card or travel permit. Usually immigration will cancel her visa when you apply green card for her. You need to call immigration customer service and ask them if her visa has been cancelled or she still can go back to US. 

 

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19 hours ago, ProbPossConf said:

Since your wife is on a B2 visa status, you need to apply for a change of status to get at first an IR1 (Immigrant married to U.S. citizen) and then after two years, reapply to change to a CR1 (Landed Permanent Immigrant).

That's not quite right.

 

First, switching from a nonimmigrant category like B2 to an immigrant category like IR1 is called "adjustment of status" - "change of status" means changing between two nonimmigrant category categories (like from B2 to F1). It's not a big deal, but it will be easier for the OP to find information and ask the right questions if he uses the right terms.

 

Second, CR1 is conditional immigrant status for a spouse who has been married to the petitioner for less than two years (which doesn't seem to be the OP's case). After two years in the US, a CR1 immigrant applies to remove the conditions and get permanent residence as an IR1. (When adjusting status in the US, these codes usually have five added to them, so they would be CR6 and IR6, but that doesn't change anything.) The term "landed immigrant" is used in Canada, but not the US.

 

As for the OP, I'm gathering from his post that he wants his wife to enter the US on her B2 and then adjust status and get a green card. As others have noted, much USCIS processing has been indefinitely suspended, so even starting the process may be delayed. Even when normal processing is taking place, though, it's not a quick process, and it's very unlikely that his wife would be able to work anytime within months of her arrival. Employment authorization can be applied for at the time the adjustment application is filed, but I don't know whether it's still routinely granted as it was in the past. (If/when the adjustment application is approved, the wife will be given permission to work immediately, regardless of how long it takes to process and send her physical green card.)

 

Another poster also correctly stated that USCIS can refuse her adjustment application if they believe (correctly, in this case) that she entered as a tourist with the actual intention of adjusting status and remaining permanently in the US. That would NOT be good for her, and could wreck her chances of getting any type of visa in the future.

 

Based on what the OP has told us, I don't think he has a clear idea of the laws and procedures in play here. To avoid getting his wife in trouble, I strongly urge him to study the process in much more detail before going ahead with his plan.

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14 minutes ago, khunjeff said:

That's not quite right.

 

First, switching from a nonimmigrant category like B2 to an immigrant category like IR1 is called "adjustment of status" - "change of status" means changing between two nonimmigrant category categories (like from B2 to F1). It's not a big deal, but it will be easier for the OP to find information and ask the right questions if he uses the right terms.

 

Second, CR1 is conditional immigrant status for a spouse who has been married to the petitioner for less than two years (which doesn't seem to be the OP's case). After two years in the US, a CR1 immigrant applies to remove the conditions and get permanent residence as an IR1. (When adjusting status in the US, these codes usually have five added to them, so they would be CR6 and IR6, but that doesn't change anything.) The term "landed immigrant" is used in Canada, but not the US.

 

As for the OP, I'm gathering from his post that he wants his wife to enter the US on her B2 and then adjust status and get a green card. As others have noted, much USCIS processing has been indefinitely suspended, so even starting the process may be delayed. Even when normal processing is taking place, though, it's not a quick process, and it's very unlikely that his wife would be able to work anytime within months of her arrival. Employment authorization can be applied for at the time the adjustment application is filed, but I don't know whether it's still routinely granted as it was in the past. (If/when the adjustment application is approved, the wife will be given permission to work immediately, regardless of how long it takes to process and send her physical green card.)

 

Another poster also correctly stated that USCIS can refuse her adjustment application if they believe (correctly, in this case) that she entered as a tourist with the actual intention of adjusting status and remaining permanently in the US. That would NOT be good for her, and could wreck her chances of getting any type of visa in the future.

 

Based on what the OP has told us, I don't think he has a clear idea of the laws and procedures in play here. To avoid getting his wife in trouble, I strongly urge him to study the process in much more detail before going ahead with his plan.

Also, if his wife applies for her adjustment soon after arriving as a tourist, she'll will likely get in trouble so that brings up another issue. If she arrives on a B2 visa and plans on staying more than a couple of weeks, she could be refused entry and sent back to Thailand. I've seen it happen before to a Thai planning on staying several months on a B2 visa. 

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On 7/8/2020 at 5:53 AM, GinBoy2 said:

Thats if his wife came on a K-1

 

This when it gets a little complicated.

 

If they are married in Thailand, then you should apply for either an IR-1 or CR-1.

 

The OP at least suggests that they are already married(legally), which unless I'm totally wrong means a K1 is impossible since they are already married, and the options become a CR-1 or IR-1

 

So lot of variables

If they are married outside of the States then she or he can't apply for a green card in the States. He can apply for her but She has to wait in Thailand till she gets her interview appointment from the embassy.

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1 hour ago, sencelebi said:

If they are married outside of the States then she or he can't apply for a green card in the States. He can apply for her but She has to wait in Thailand till she gets her interview appointment from the embassy.

The place where they got married isn't relevant. You are correct that in theory, she should be applying for an immigrant visa at a US embassy if she is physically present outside of the United States, but the law has always allowed for people in the US to "adjust status" to get a green card without returning overseas. The issue here is that adjustment is supposed to be for people already in the US, not for people like the OP's wife who are traveling to the US with the intention of staying permanently. Could she "get away with it" by claiming that she came for a visit and only decided to stay after she had been in the US for some time? Quite possibly, but it's a potentially risky move.

 

"Adjustment of status is the process that you can use to apply for lawful permanent resident status (also known as applying for a Green Card) when you are present in the United States. This means that you may get a Green Card without having to return to your home country to complete visa processing.

 

"If you are outside of the United States, you must obtain your visa abroad through consular processing."

 

https://www.uscis.gov/green-card/green-card-processes-and-procedures/adjustment-status

 

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Posted (edited)
On 7/9/2020 at 2:09 AM, khunjeff said:

 Could she "get away with it" by claiming that she came for a visit and only decided to stay after she had been in the US for some time? Quite possibly, but it's a potentially risky move.

 

"Adjustment of status is the process that you can use to apply for lawful permanent resident status (also known as applying for a Green Card) when you are present in the United States. This means that you may get a Green Card without having to return to your home country to complete visa processing.

 

"If you are outside of the United States, you must obtain your visa abroad through consular processing."

 

https://www.uscis.gov/green-card/green-card-processes-and-procedures/adjustment-status

 

Maybe I'm wrong, but I agree that would be a highly risky move.

 

USCIS has always considered that move as trying to circumvent the immigration system, and with the current highly hostile environment to even legal immigration it would, at least in my mind be a disaster for any future prospects of an immigrant visa.

 

We are not in normal times here, so caution is most definitely called for

Edited by GinBoy2
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On 7/9/2020 at 3:09 PM, khunjeff said:

The place where they got married isn't relevant. You are correct that in theory, she should be applying for an immigrant visa at a US embassy if she is physically present outside of the United States, but the law has always allowed for people in the US to "adjust status" to get a green card without returning overseas. The issue here is that adjustment is supposed to be for people already in the US, not for people like the OP's wife who are traveling to the US with the intention of staying permanently. Could she "get away with it" by claiming that she came for a visit and only decided to stay after she had been in the US for some time? Quite possibly, but it's a potentially risky move.

 

"Adjustment of status is the process that you can use to apply for lawful permanent resident status (also known as applying for a Green Card) when you are present in the United States. This means that you may get a Green Card without having to return to your home country to complete visa processing.

 

"If you are outside of the United States, you must obtain your visa abroad through consular processing."

 

https://www.uscis.gov/green-card/green-card-processes-and-procedures/adjustment-status

 

Reality is not like what you say. Yes it's very important where you got married. If married outside of the States then you can't apply in the states. You can hide that you are already married outside of the US but that will be false information. I know cery well bcz friend of mine married outside of the US and they got married again in the states. Some how immigration found out that they were already married before entering into the States and her file was rejected,after a court session she was given 30 days to leave the country. "If you are outside of the United States, you must obtain your visa abroad through consular processing." what this mean is, if you are already married your US citizen spouse can apply for your green card in the US and after some years processing you will get a interview appointment from the embassy, if consul decides to approve your case (it's totally up to the consul) then you will be issued an immigrant visa, you will have 30 days to enter in to the states. Then immigration officer at the airport process your entry and keeps all the document you have been given at the Consulate,ou will receive your green card by mail. 

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