dMy fiance and I are getting married in England on Nov 17th 2012. She is a full british citizen and I am a full US citizen. We are moving from the UK to the US in January for me to take a new job. If we apply in November for her I-130 and her K-3, would she still be allowed to travel (Standard ESTA) to and from the US? We could show return flights, UK bank accounts, home ownership in the UK, etc.. Also, how long would we expect this to take and is it better to apply through Chicago Lock Box or through the US embassy in London (Which has it's own immigration unit)? I have my parents address as well as a home that I own in Chicago, so could apply from there as well. Just want to know what's fastest and keep her out of trouble. Thanks!
I would advise consulting with an experienced immigration attorney about the best immigration options for your fiancee. If you file an I-130 Petition on behalf of your fiancee, and she seeks to consular process her visa, she may have issues with her travels as a visitor to the United States. U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) may claim your fiancee has immigrant (permanent) intent to remain in the United States because she has an I-130 Petition filed on her behalf. She can present proof of her home country ties to the UK, and explain that her current visit is for temporary purposes. Of course, the decision to allow your fiancee to enter as a visitor (with an I-130 Petition pending) is with U.S. CBP.
She probably will not be able to travel well her application is processing. I would highly recommend you hire an immigration attorney to file this for you. They can't speed up the application per se but having it properly filed will ensure there are no delays, which are likely if you try to do it yourself. My firm handles such cases.
Law Offices of Nicklaus Misiti
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Consult with an immigration attorney to ensure that your application is properly filled. If you are going to get married next month, and then enter the US in January, you may think about getting the K-3 visa and filing the paperwork in the US. However, the US embassy may say that since you are married, you should file for permanent residency for your fiance/wife as opposed to getting a visa. Once you enter the US, I would advise that you finish all the necessary applications before travelling back and forth, unless there is a medical emergency.
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