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My parents already have a tourist visa that was issues to them few years ago (which lasts for 10 years, good for multiple entries). They have used it to enter the USA few time during the last few years.

This year the I-130 was submitted and is currently pending.

My question is will they be able to enter the USA with the existing tourist visa they already have (while I-130 is pending)? Or do we need to apply for something else even though the existing tourist visa is still good?

Thank you!

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  • Form I-30 shows immigrant intent, while continued use of a tourist visa requires the US immigration officer at the border to find no immigrant intent. This may be a serious issue for your parents. Read this Expatriates question, answers, and comments to learn more. I would consult an attorney in the US who is familiar with US immigration for specific advice. Nov 27, 2022 at 17:42
  • @DavidSupportsMonica: But intent to immigrate in the future does not mean intent to immigrate during this stay
    – user102008
    Nov 27, 2022 at 20:14
  • @user102008 Yes, that's correct from a logical perspective. But I agree with the info in the earlier question that a CBP officer may well see the I-30 filing, reach a different conclusion, and refuse entry. Nov 27, 2022 at 20:59
  • @DavidSupportsMonica this is counter-intuitive. Why someone with a legitimate path to immigration would decide instead to give up that path and overstay a visa and risk being deported and forever banned? From my experience, the CBP doesn't treat such visitors much differently than any other, and I'm not even sure they're exposed to the pending I-130.
    – littleadv
    Nov 28, 2022 at 6:46

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We cannot predict what the CBP officer may decide, but as long as they can prove that they do not intend to stay beyond their visit this time, the I-130 should not matter. For some it may be pending for decades and it doesn't mean that they cannot come for short visits. From my anecdotal first hand experience it has never been an issue, but YMMV of course.

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  • Thank you everyone. Regarding they can prove that they do not intend to stay beyond their visit this time I assume bank statements, list of assets that own should do that? Not sure what other things might be good to have ready when at front of the CBP officer.
    – van
    Nov 28, 2022 at 22:18
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    @van something that ties them to the country. Job, studies, etc. Something they have to go back to. Bank statements and list of assets show that they can support themselves, but don't necessarily mean that they have to go back.
    – littleadv
    Nov 28, 2022 at 22:26

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