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About CatherineA

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  • Immigration Status
    Adjustment of Status (pending)
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    Costa Rica

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  1. In my mind, it basically boils down to where you'd like to do the waiting for your green card. Want to wait for it abroad? CR1. Can wait for it in the US? K1. The time difference between the two visas are more-or-less the length of the wait for the green card. Only you know your logistics from there in terms of money, jobs, need to travel etc. One thing to keep in mind, though, is that the time estimates are from when you submit your paperwork. For the K1, you could send in your paperwork this week because you've probably got all you need already. For need to get married first which while I'm sure it's *possible* you do this week, does not sound likely. So overall, K1 can really save you a lot of time if you're looking at time to immigration. But that's not the end of story for most people and again, really only you know. We did K1 and while I *hated* the process, specifically the need to do a whole second batch of paperwork after we were married, I wouldn't change a thing. But our situation was that my now-husband had just sort of a so/so job in a medium income country, we knew that his potential income here would only be "ok" at first, and plus, I make more than enough to support the two of us, especially with what my living situation was at the time (I had a roommate, who stayed on for the first few months after my husband moved here). Plus, he'd only been out of his own country once, and that was to the neighboring country which while *different*, is not the level of culture shock that you'd expect with leaving a mid-sized city in Central America and being plopped down in the middle of the capital of the United States. Plus he needed to work on his English. In that case, even if he was able to work right off the bat, we'd still have chosen to take a few months for him to take some English classes and get his bearings (volunteered at the local animal shelter and joined a social club) before sending him off to work. So K1 just made sense for us on all sides.
  2. -How much time passed between K1 interview and AOS application? Interviewed 10/13/15, arrived 10/24/15. Didn't apply for AOS until 4/16/16. So just about 6 months. -How long were typical wait times from NOA1 to receiving green card from your local office? I don't remember what our local office was reporting at the time. A year or more I believe. We wound up at not our local office (which was my first clue that we wouldn't have an interview), but which oddly enough had a longer wait time. Couldn't figure that one out. -What was your case status on the USCIS website while you waited? We were part of a weird glitch where the website didn't recognize our numbers. At some point, my husband got them to fix it, but it remained "fingerprint received" the whole time, which I'm guessing is part of the glitch. -Did you at any point know you would be skipping the interview? We got the stupid medical RFE (the one where they ask you for your vaccination records even though they're the ones who have them), it came from the Newark Field Office, which is not our local office. I figured that meant we wouldn't be interviewing. -How long did it take between NOA1 and green card approval? 192days (104 to EAD/AP)
  3. I could be wrong/outdated but I've long been under the impression it's more an embassy/country policy than a CO discretion thing re: joint sponsor for K1. That said, it's easier financially (if they need a co-sponsor) to go CR1, and possibly a better case for the waiver, which is the big concern here.
  4. Check out the guide here. It's a three step process from now to green card (assuming no problems, which you might have): Step 1: You petition USCIS to let her apply for a K1 visa through you. USCIS will make sure that you guys meet the baseline requirements (are legally able to be married to each other, have seen each other in the last 2 years, you do not have certain criminal histories on your record, you as a couple don't set off red flags for human trafficking or terrorism or all the stuff DHS is concerned about). If you pass this test, they pass you along to the State Department, represented by a US embassy abroad, which is Step 2: She applies for the K1 visa. At some point after USCIS sends your application to the embassy, the embassy will contact her with a list of things she needs to do and documents she needs (medical appointments, legal documents, application forms, including an affidavit of support from you demonstrating that you meet the income requirement). This is where there's a deeper dive done on her and her background and your relationship. *If the visa is issued*, she moves to the US on that visa, you get married and move on to... Step 3: Apply for her permanent residency (aka green card aka "adjusting status"). THIS is the step where 100% for sure if you do not meet the income requirement, she will be rejected. The embassy in theory has some leeway on this for reasons (the affidavit of support you submit at that point is not legally binding; the one at this step IS) but in practice, they're not going to issue someone a visa who will be unable to adjust status. The way you solve the income problem is to get a co-sponsor. It can be any US citizen who is able to meet the income requirement for their own household. Your significantly bigger issue is that you may not get through Step 2. Because she has a ban. It's a ban from any visa, fiance, work, spouse etc. If that ban is still in effect, her visa will be denied in Step 2 *and then* you apply for the waiver. So Step 2.5. That's the point at which a lawyer is usually recommended. Here's the forum on Visajourney with other folks going through the waiver process. If you want to go down this road, you simply start out at Step 1: do everything in the guide section and wait for them to forward it off to the embassy.
  5. You'll need a waiver showing extreme hardship to you if she can't live here. This is something that lawyers are generally recommended for, but you may also want to check out the waivers forum. And yes. Unless you've got other assets to make up for the lack of income, that low of an income will negatively impact you sponsoring her (you'll definitely need a co-sponsor for the green card process, and likely just to get the visa in the first place). There's no flexibility on this. But your bigger issue is the ban. That can be tricky to overcome.
  6. #1 likely wouldn't have worked for them because they were engaged, not married when he moved. But I agree, yes that HR should have been able to add him without an SSN. There is a box for it, but it's not required. OP: Talk to your HR people and see if there's anything that can be done, but know that it's not likely. You may want to investigate buying him an individual plan for this year, or until your next open season.
  7. She didn't know about the baby. He hid the fact he had a child from her, and the US government.
  8. Yes, and I am sure about "no work" (been there, done that, bought the t-shirt). You apply for temporary work authorization (along with advance parole) when you apply for AOS. It is actually a combo card, if you get both. That card takes 3-4 months after you apply (after your marriage). So, in the first 3-4 months after you're married and apply for AOS (which can be 6 months or more after she arrives, depending on how quickly you get married and then apply for AOS), she can't work or travel. This is a very serious trade-off and is one of the main reasons people who have the choice choose CR1. Now, it IS possible for her to apply for work papers the moment she lands. But, those work papers will expire as soon as her 90 days end. And guess what? It takes 3 or more months (90+ days) for those work papers to arrive. So, if you do this, you've spent $410 filing fee on something that is likely to arrive already expired.
  9. Yep. That and can't work until 3-4 months after the wedding. That is basically the major trade-off between the speed of the K1 and the convenience of the CR1. Essentially, when you choose between the two (if you've got the choice, which not everyone has) you're choosing where you want to wait for your green card-- in the US (K1) or out (CR1). If you choose to wait for it in the US, you've got to deal with living in the US without LPR status which means no work, no foreign travel.
  10. The best piece of advice I can give you, or anyone going through this process, is don't try to "thread the needle" of pinning exactly when every step will happen, it's too difficult and can really set you up for disappointment. Simplify your plans and accept that there will likely be a period of separation. Planning to immigrate without an immigrant visa (ie, adjust status from tourist visa) is immigration fraud and with the state of things at CBP these days, I think that there is a very slim chance that they don't notice and question a married couple with an infant with one half of the couple coming in to "visit" her US citizen husband and infant. From what I can understand, you're trying to figure out exactly when the interview will happen so that you know which embassy to choose to have her interview (because she's a resident in Mexico, she can choose to interview in Mexico or Korea). That's threading the needle there. I think it *may* be possible to request a change but you'll have to dig around on here, or State Department to find that answer because it is pretty unusual. That could possibly help resolve the interview question. You're also trying to have the visa ready to go so that you can live together in Korea/Mexico and immigrate all together with little notice. Visas expire (meaning you need to use them within a certain timeframe) so without a solid answer on the job front, you're again trying to thread the needle on this one. It's not ideal, but I think that you should consider applying soon, requesting the interview in Korea and she either stays in Korea until the interview, or requests a transfer to Mexico (if such a thing is possible). Once she has the visa in hand, she's got 6 months to use it. You can live together abroad for that long and if you happen to get a job in those 6 months, move together. If not, you'll need to file for an extension (which I believe is possible, again check that one), or move together without a job. If you get a job before she has the visa-in-hand, you'll need to handle the separation just as millions of families have before.
  11. How did you answer question 34a? If you described how you met, as in initially met 9 years ago, this is not actually what they're looking for. They're looking for backup to your claim of "yes" in question 34 that you've seen each other in the last 2 years. It's poorly worded and has tripped up more than one person. So, if you submit a description of your story and then describe a "most recent" meeting, with evdience that you yourself were living in Canada, and some photos if you've got them, that could work just fine.
  12. Ah ok, one thing I didn't notice (apologies-- I was on mobile) is that you're applying for a visa, not adjustment of status. That right there could make a difference as you're dealing with the State Department at the interview and not USCIS. Also, perhaps in the case I outlined, it was a "real" SSN (like an active one belonging to someone else-- this I don't know and I don't know if the applicant knew either) and not an "empty" one, as it sounds like yours was. I only shared what I did because first and foremost, the folks I'm talking did expect to be asked about it but were not prepared that it could or would result in admissibility and I was encouraging you to check with your lawyer just in case. Best to be prepared, you know? But always defer to your lawyer. Also, I am still very curious about how this works, both now and previously.
  13. Hey, I asked a question on this thread about an issue some people I know are having but it got split off. I do not want to make anyone worry, so I'm going to start right off saying that it's entirely possible that there is some critical detail that makes their case different than yours that I don't know about. That said, I know a couple in which the foreign national was here having overstayed and was working with a fake SSN. They saw two lawyers before submitting AOS, neither of them prepared them for what happened at the interview (which was shortly after the inauguration). What happened was that the IO saw the list of placed worked in the past 5 years, asked the whens, whys and hows, then asked about papers, and the whens and hows they were gotten. They were totally honest. They were thanked for being honest because the IO says they already knew, but that the fake papers meant that they were inadmissible and now they're going through the 601 waiver of inadmissibility process. These people are under the impression, from the IO, that had the interview happened a few weeks earlier, things may have been different. I came here asking if this was true or if my friends misunderstood the IO (because I'd always been under the impression that fake papers meant inadmissibility), and there is no real consensus to that but most people here seem to think that this would have happened under any president, and they should have been prepared for this. Now, again, I very well could be missing some details in there. I don't think so, but who knows. Also, for all we know, this was always a possibility that doesn't usually happen and these folks just got unlucky. Or maybe things HAVE changed so soon. This is all to say, definitely check with your lawyer. The end of the day is that regardless of what may or may not happen in the interview, your only real shot at normalizing your status is to go through AOS and be completely honest about your history.
  14. Thanks, Boiler. So basically, regardless of the impression they got from the interview (long story but the IO somehow left them with the impression that they'd have been approved on the spot had it been weeks earlier which doesn't sound right to me at all, I think it is a serious misunderstanding), and the failure of two lawyers to alert them to the fact that the fake papers would likely be a problem, this likely would have been a problem? Not just a crime but a grounds for inadmissibility that in most if not all cases would have resulted in inadmissibility? I'm trying--hard--to get it through the panicking half's head that this was the expected outcome of the initial AOS application and not an indication of a swift and severe crackdown in this exact department, indicating the near guaranteed deportation of one of them. Not to say that the 601 will be a "formality" as in days gone by, but that as of now there is zero indication one way or the other. The panicking half is reading this as evidence of an impending knock on the door by ICE because 3 weeks ago it would have been a non-issue. I am pretty much the exact wrong person to say this, though, because it comes off as judgmental for someone in my position (we went through K1 with zero complications in the backstory) to say that.... which is why I dropped the issue pre-AOS and left it to the lawyers to be the messenger. Then when neither of the lawyers mentioned inadmissibility, I figured I'd been wrong. Maybe their new lawyer will shed some light onto this for them. I hope. If this new person doesn't clear this up (that so far, this is the expected course of events), should I assume that the new lawyer knows as little as the first two who checked their AOS package and really push the "famous" names I've seen here on VJ? They went with a recommendation, who they can meet with personally.
  15. Oh, also I'd been reading this forum which is how I wound up in the thread I originally posted this question on. Most of these seem to be about visas not AOS, I can't specifically search for the SSN and AOS stuff etc.