January 31, 2011: Do Not Misrepresent Intent at Entry!

Do Not Misrepresent Intent at Entry!

I am a United States citizen married to an Indonesian (married in U.S.) for seven years. We have been living in China for nine years. We plan to move to the United States after obtaining an Immigrant Visa for her.

Our timetable has changed and the wait for the visa would be too long. She has a tourist visa now. Can we move to the U.S. and apply for a Green Card with the tourist visa?

When a person enters the United States with a tourist (visitor) visa, the person’s intent is to temporarily visit the United States and to return abroad once the visit is over. If a person misrepresents their intentions when applying for admission to the United States at a place of entry, they may be found inadmissible by the Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and turned back to their country of origin.

It is likely that the CBP officer will ask you and your spouse questions about your intentions in the United States and about your ties to the country that you originated from. It is the CBP officer’s job to make sure that persons entering the United States are intending to enter for the purpose allowed by the visa. The government put into place immigrant visa processing to allow persons who are outside the United States to apply to immigrate permanently to the United States.

It may be wise for you to consult with an experienced immigration attorney prior to traveling to the United States.

Michael Shane and Evan Shane, Immigration Attorneys

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