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fredmeyer

Poll: How did you file the IR-1/CR-1 Spouse Visa

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Hi

I was wondering how many of you hired an attorney to do process the paper work to allow your spouse to stay? Or did you do all the paper work yourself?

Thanks

Fred

Edited by fredmeyer

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I did the whole process myself. Unless you have a complicated case with criminal charges or bans, using a lawyer is a waste of money and usually ends up delaying your case one way or another. It is not difficult if you can read English and follow instructions. A lawyer cannot get the visa any quicker than a regular person, and are often not up to date on this process.

This is a DIY site with all the resourses and help you will need to do the process yourself. Lawyers have been known to complicate things and cause delays. The folks on this site have done it for themselves, for the most part. Some people use a lawyer for their own comfort level. The choice is yours of course, but the general opinion of most members here is to save your money and do it yourself. Read the guides and ask questions, and you will be fine.

Best of luck whichever you choose! :)


ROC

01/18/2017   Sent in I-751

01/26/2017   Check cashed

01/28/2017   Received NOA dated 01/20/2017

02/16/2017   Biometrics done

10/24/2017   Traveled to Minneapolis for I551 stamp

02/26/2018     Case received by Field Office - S. Paul

05/012018     Case transferred to another USCIS office for processing 

N-400

02/02/2018    Filed N-400 online

02/05/2018    NOA online - NOA letter 02/09/2018

02/21/2018     Biometrics walk-in

 

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***Moved from IR-1/CR-1 Process & Procedures to General Polls forum.***

**Moderator hat off**

I did not hire a lawyer.


Our journey:

Spoiler

September 2007: Met online via social networking site (MySpace); began exchanging messages.
March 26, 2009: We become a couple!
September 10, 2009: Arrived for first meeting in-person!
June 17, 2010: Arrived for second in-person meeting and start of travel together to other areas of China!
June 21, 2010: Engaged!!!
September 1, 2010: Switched course from K1 to CR-1
December 8, 2010: Wedding date set; it will be on February 18, 2011!
February 9, 2011: Depart for China
February 11, 2011: Registered for marriage in Wuhan, officially married!!!
February 18, 2011: Wedding ceremony in Shiyan!!!
April 22, 2011: Mailed I-130 to Chicago
April 28, 2011: Received NOA1 via text/email, file routed to CSC (priority date April 25th)
April 29, 2011: Updated
May 3, 2011: Received NOA1 hardcopy in mail
July 26, 2011: Received NOA2 via text/email!!!
July 30, 2011: Received NOA2 hardcopy in mail
August 8, 2011: NVC received file
September 1, 2011: NVC case number assigned
September 2, 2011: AOS invoice received, OPTIN email for EP sent
September 7, 2011: Paid AOS bill (payment portal showed PAID on September 9, 2011)
September 8, 2011: OPTIN email accepted, GZO number assigned
September 10, 2011: Emailed AOS package
September 12, 2011: IV bill invoiced
September 13, 2011: Paid IV bill (payment portal showed PAID on September 14, 2011)
September 14, 2011: Emailed IV package
October 3, 2011: Emailed checklist response (checklist generated due to typo on Form DS-230)
October 6, 2011: Case complete at NVC
November 10, 2011: Interview - APPROVED!!!
December 7, 2011: POE - Sea-Tac Airport

September 17, 2013: Mailed I-751 to CSC

September 23, 2013: Received NOA1 in mail (receipt date September 19th)

October 16, 2013: Biometrics Appointment

January 28, 2014: Production of new Green Card ordered

February 3, 2014: New Green Card received; done with USCIS until fall of 2023*

 

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Lawyers = expensive.
Immigration process = expensive.
Lawyers+Immigration process=OH MY GOD THE PRICE TAG IS ENORMOUS.

We chose the DIY route and have not regretted it in the slightest.


Met in 2010 on a forum for a mutual interest. Became friends.
2011: Realized we needed to evaluate our status as friends when we realized we were talking about raising children together.

2011/2012: Decided we were a couple sometime in, but no possibility of being together due to being same sex couple.

June 26, 2013: DOMA overturned. American married couples ALL have the same federal rights at last! We can be a family!

June-September, 2013: Discussion about being together begins.

November 13, 2013: Meet in person to see if this could work. It's perfect. We plan to elope to Boston, MA.

March 13, 2014 Married!

May 9, 2014: Petition mailed to USCIS

May 12, 2014: NOA1.
October 27, 2014: NOA2. (5 months, 2 weeks, 1 day after NOA1)
October 31, 2014: USCIS ships file to NVC (five days after NOA2) Happy Halloween for us!

November 18, 2014: NVC receives our case (22 days after NOA2)

December 17, 2014: NVC generates case number (50 days after NOA2)

December 19, 2014: Receive AOS bill, DS-261. Submit DS-261 (52 days after NOA2)

December 20, 2014: Pay AOS Fee

January 7, 2015: Receive, pay IV Fee

January 10, 2015: Complete DS-260

January 11, 2015: Send AOS package and Civil Documents
March 23, 2015: Case Complete at NVC. (70 days from when they received docs to CC)

May 6, 2015: Interview at Montréal APPROVED!

May 11, 2015: Visa in hand! One year less one day from NOA1.

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I did it all myself,

following :

1. instructions in the forms

2. instructions here at VJ in the Guides Section

3. Instructions from several Wiki pages here.

We were getting antsy the week prior to the interview, so I engaged someone through Marc Ellis' office in Guangzhou to sit down and talk with my wife about the packet.

but I note, I did all of my research/reading from a PC. If you are using a handphone to visit this website, you miss so much. Heck, even a feckless tablet doesn't show the same landscape.

Edited by Darnell

Sometimes my language usage seems confusing - please feel free to 'read it twice', just in case !
Ya know, you can find the answer to your question with the advanced search tool, when using a PC? Ditch the handphone, come back later on a PC, and try again.

-=-=-=-=-=R E A D ! ! !=-=-=-=-=-

Whoa Nelly ! Want NVC Info? see http://www.visajourney.com/wiki/index.php/NVC_Process

Congratulations on your approval ! We All Applaud your accomplishment with Most Wonderful Kissies !

2mzcunl.gif

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no lawyer for my case


ROC
Service Center : Nebraska Service Center
Consulate : Manila, Philippines
Marriage (if applicable): 2014-05-20
I-130 Sent : 2014-10-06
I-130 NOA1 : 2014-10-09
I-130 RFE for NSO copy of marriage certificate: 2014-11-03
I-130 RFE Sent : 2014-11-18
I-130 Approved : 2014-12-07
NVC Received : 2014-12-23
NVC case number: 2015-02-04
Received DS-261 / AOS Bill : 2015-02-04
Pay AOS Bill : 2015-02-05
Submit DS-261 : 2015-02-05
Sent AOS Package : 2015-02-09
Sent IV Package : 2015-02-09
Scan date : 2015-02-10
Receive IV Bill : 2015-03-03
Pay IV Bill : 2015-03-06
Submit DS-260: 2015-3-12
Case Completed at NVC : 2015-03-20
Receive Instruction and Interview appointment letter: 2015-3-27
Medical complete: 2015-04-08
Interview Date : 2015-05-08
Interview Result : Approved
Visa Received : 2015-05-13

Date of US Entry : 2015-06-09
 

Date of Social Security card receive : 06-2015

Date of Green Card received 07-2015

Date of ROC FILE 05-19-2017

 I-751 NOA Date 05-26-2017

   

http://jerryjja.wix.com/filipinasaswa?_ga=1.194674661.91538870.1441656248

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We did it ourselves. Hubs wanted to hire a lawyer but I'm glad I did all the paperwork myself.


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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Doing it all ourselves. We looked into using a lawyer, we were quoted 3k (I130 for myself and son) and they were very slow to respond to calls so I read up and with the help of this site I figured I could do it myself. We're only at noa1 at USCIS, but I'm confident I can get us through.

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DIY.


Removal of Conditions Journey

3/3/2009 - Removal of conditions - sent off packet to CSC

3/5/2009 - I-751 received in CSC

3/9/2009 - Check cashed

3/20/2009 - Biometrics notice received (no NOA1)

4/2/2009 - Biometrics

4/9/2009 - NOA1 date (first undelivered one is 3/5)

4/3/2009 - Touch?

5/6/2009 - ROC Approval - 65 days

6/22/2009 - CRIS Card production ordered email

7/7/2009 - GC arrived!

Naturalization Journey

3/03/2010 N400 sent to Arizona Lockbox

3/15/2010 Check cashed

3/17/2010 NOA1

3/18/2010 - Biometrics notice sent

3/26/2010 Early biometrics done at an ASC different from the one assigned to (Original BIO date was 4/15)

4/30/2010 Yellow letter received and info from USCIS mil line they are working on my interview letter (6/17 appt)

5/1/2010 Text and email interview letter sen

5/6/2010 Interview letter received - scheduled for 6/17/2010 at 10:05am

6/17/2010 Interview appointment - PASSED

6/29/2010 US Citizen

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We're doing the process ourselves. Our case is a little more complicated than normal cases but it's worked out so far. All the information is out there, it's just a matter of reading it and organising. We wouldn't trust anyone else with something as important as us being together.


Met online October 2010


Engaged December 31st 2011


heart.gifMarried May 14th 2013 heart.gif



USCIS Stage


September 8th 2014 - Filed I-130 with Nebraska Service Center


September 16th 2014 - NOA1 received


March 2nd 2015 - NOA2 received :dancing:



NVC Stage


March 28th 2015 - Choice of agent complete & AOS fee paid


April 17th 2015 - IV fee paid


May 1st 2015 - Sent in IV application


May 12th 2015 - Sent in AOS and IV documents


May 18th 2015 - Scan Date


June 18th 2015 - Checklist received


June 22nd 2015 - Checklist response sent to NVC


June 25th 2015 - Put for Supervisor Review


Sept 15th 2015 - Request help from Texas US Senator Cornyn and his team


Sept 23rd 2015 - Our case is moved from supervisor review to NVC's team for dealing with Senator requests


Nov 4th 2015 - CASE COMPLETE!!!! :dancing:



Embassy Stage


Dec 16th 2015 - Medical exam


Dec 21st 2015 - Interview


Dec 21st 2015 - 221(g) issued at interview for updated forms


Jan 13th 2016 - Mailed our reply to the 221(g) to the US Embassy, received and CEAC updated the next morning


Jan 20th 2016 - Embassy require more in-depth info on asset for i-864


Feb 1st 2016 - Sent more in-depth info on assets as requested. Received the next morning


Feb 16th 2016 - Visa has been issued :dancing: :dancing: :dancing: :dancing: :dancing:



In the US


April 5th 2016 - POE Newark. No questions asked.


April 14th 2016 - SSN received


May 10th 2016 - First day at my new job :dancing:


May 27th 2016 - Green Card received


June 7th 2016 - Got my Texas driver's license

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Did it myself.


ROC from CR-1 visa (Green Card expiration date was Nov 24th 2016)

 

Link to the evidence I submitted. Be sure to send evidence spanning your entire marriage (especially for K-1) or as far back as you can. Just one or two bank statements will not cut it. I primarily focused on the two years of living here since I came in on a CR-1. If you don't have the fundamentals (i.e. joint accounts/policies), you can explain why in the covering letter. E.g. "While we do not have joint utilities, we both contribute to them from our joint bank account".

 

September 26th 2016: I-751 package sent to CSC

September 28th 2016: Package delivered
September 30th 2016: Check cashed
October 3rd 2016: NOA1 received with receipt date of 09/28/16
November 3rd 2016: Biometrics received with appointment date of 11/14/16.
November 14th 2016: Attended biometrics appointment
October 30th 2017: Infopass appointment to get I-551 stamp
February 26th 2018: I-751 case number (aka the NOA1 receipt number) becomes trackable
March 14th 2018: Submitted service request due to being outside of processing time.

March 15th 2018: ROC approved. 535 days (1 year, 5 months and 17 days)

March 29th 2018: Card being produced

April 4th 2018: Card mailed out

April 6th 2018: Card in hand. Has incorrect "resident since" date. Submitted service request on I-751 case (typographical error on permanent resident card) and an I-90 online.

April 2018 - August 7th 2018: Tons of service requests, emails and now senator involvement to get my corrected green card back because what the heck, USCIS

August 8th 2018: Card in production thanks to the direct involvement of Senator Sherrod Brown's team

August 13th 2018: Card mailed

August 15th 2018: Card in hand with correct date. :joy:

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My guess will be that less then 1% use a lawyer on here.


ROC
Service Center : Nebraska Service Center
Consulate : Manila, Philippines
Marriage (if applicable): 2014-05-20
I-130 Sent : 2014-10-06
I-130 NOA1 : 2014-10-09
I-130 RFE for NSO copy of marriage certificate: 2014-11-03
I-130 RFE Sent : 2014-11-18
I-130 Approved : 2014-12-07
NVC Received : 2014-12-23
NVC case number: 2015-02-04
Received DS-261 / AOS Bill : 2015-02-04
Pay AOS Bill : 2015-02-05
Submit DS-261 : 2015-02-05
Sent AOS Package : 2015-02-09
Sent IV Package : 2015-02-09
Scan date : 2015-02-10
Receive IV Bill : 2015-03-03
Pay IV Bill : 2015-03-06
Submit DS-260: 2015-3-12
Case Completed at NVC : 2015-03-20
Receive Instruction and Interview appointment letter: 2015-3-27
Medical complete: 2015-04-08
Interview Date : 2015-05-08
Interview Result : Approved
Visa Received : 2015-05-13

Date of US Entry : 2015-06-09
 

Date of Social Security card receive : 06-2015

Date of Green Card received 07-2015

Date of ROC FILE 05-19-2017

 I-751 NOA Date 05-26-2017

   

http://jerryjja.wix.com/filipinasaswa?_ga=1.194674661.91538870.1441656248

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Hi

I was wondering how many of you hired an attorney to do process the paper work to allow your spouse to stay? Or did you do all the paper work yourself?

Thanks

Fred

hey fred,

not sure I understand the part "to allow your spouse to stay?". once you get your ir1/cr1 visa your spouse comes and becomes a permanent resident. its not a temporary thing.

this was our 2nd time around. first time we went the k1 route without a lawyer. we canceled that once i understood potential pension loss so we both agreed it best i remain working for a wee bit long to max the pension. a smart decision. then we got married and filed the ir1/cr1. problems occurred at uscis and after 8 months and 3 transfers later we hired a lawyer just to be sure we weren't getting a run around. after continuous info-pass appts and the lawyer doing a lot of nudging we were able to make some headway with our case. did we need her? not really as i'm sure we could have done all that she could with the expertise available here on VJ but she did help with nudging at the field office. she was persistent yet pleasant and we think it was because of her that we got our case expedited. we could have waited over a year for our NOA2 the way they were moving. turns out there was nothing of the canceled k1 in our files and thus we had to an interview at the uscis field office.

if your case is cut and dry then you will be fine.

Thanks

I guess the advise here is to start the process yourself, and if something comes up, then hire an attorney?

yip, you got it.

hope this helps.




USCIS
30 Jan 2014 - Sent I-130
03 Feb 2014- NOA1

10 months of bologna, we cannot believe this, nor will you if you knew
02 Dec 2014- NOA2

NVC
30-Dec 2014 case received
10-Feb 2015 case and iin # assigned
10-Feb 2015 completed ds 261
11-Feb 2015 paid AOS fee
11-Feb 2015 welcome letter rec'd
15-Feb 2015 emailed AOS & IV package info
19-Feb 2015 paid IV fee
23-Feb 2015 submitted ds260
07-Apr 2015 CC :dancing:
26-May 2015. interview--approval

28-May 2015 noon visa in hand!!

POE-??

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