Asked in Immigration Law for California

Q: Can my husband enter the US on a visitor's visa, apply for a IR-1 visa and stay in the US until the visa is approved?

I am an American citizen and my husband is South African. We married in the US in 2017 while he was visiting on a visitor's visa and moved back to South Africa 2 months after. We have been living in South Africa for 2 years and now want to move to the US. He qualifies for a IR-1 visa, but we have seen that the entire process can take 8-10 months. I am moving to the US next week and my husband is planning in visiting in May (he has a 10 year visitor's visa). However, is it possible for him to stay in the United States and apply for his IR-1 visa in country? His visitor's visa only allows him to stay in the US for 3 months at a time, but would he be allowed to extend the visitor's visa if he has a pending IR-1 application?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Deron Edward Smallcomb
Deron Edward Smallcomb
  • Immigration Law Lawyer
  • San Diego, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Your question has many variables and you should discuss your situation with a qualified immigration attorney. Based on what you've stated, it seems that under certain circumstances your husband would be able to remain in the USA.

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