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To proceed or not? More questions than answers, more confusion than clarity. (Cultural knowledge of Uganda helpful)

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Hi everyone, I apologise in advance for this rather long post, but I need to ask someone who has knowledge on the topic, but also who is not part of my family or friends so I can get an outside perspective on if I should continue on with the K1 process and visiting my fiance in the upcoming month or if something is very wrong. This post contains a lot of information and background story leading up to where I am today. If anyone can take the time to help I'd truly appreciate it.

My family is affiliated with a childrens home (similar to oprhange) in Uganda. We have met many of the kids as well as adult leaders and older children because they come to America on tour and do African drumming dancing and singing. We have hosted them many times. Last August I took my very first trip to Uganda, before going though a friend who was my age that I had met through the childrens home informed me of his neighbor and how we would make a great couple. Since I was single at the time and eventually like to get married me and her started talking on a daily basis through whatsapp and calling. We hit it off very well, and she was always messaging to the point where sometimes I felt she would never leave me alone as much as I liked her it was almost too much texts all day long everyday!

Through getting to know her, I learnt she was 24 years old and had a daughter who she didn't live with because the daugther lived with her grandparents on the fathers side.

August came, I met her we hit it off really well. we spent each day together eating wonderful food, relaxing pool side at a resort, shopping, going to church events (she did not stay with me at night) and just talking. Things really went well. I was able to meet her daughter and we began spending much time with her she was 3 years old. I expressed that I'd prefer she take care of her child instead of having her with the childs fathers family. She agreed and since has been living with her daughter.

Towards the end of the trip my fiance took me to her home village over eight away from city life. There the family wanted to discuss the dowery to marry their daughter. I agreed to go and visit the family when I got there there were many many many people to chant me into the village, and to introduce themselves and explain who they were to my fiance (all the women called themselves her mom lol) I was then told that I needed to propose to her right then and there. I hadn't prepared for that and hadn't felt that the time to do so was so soon, however I didn't feel like saying no was an option and we had a good month together. I was told in order to propose i must first give her father money, her uncles money, and her money during proposal (i later was told by friends in Uganda that this is absurd and unheard of. including the bishop of the orphanage that I am affiliated with.) The dowery ended up being 10 cows, 9 goats, and 15 million schillings which I was told was rather high as well but I do not know. she is a northern ugandan from lira if that matters.

When we arrived back in town the following days I was to meet her bishop with her in a private meeting In order to do so I was told that money needed to be put into an envelope and handed to him I think it was like equivilant of $100 or $200 American if i recall correctly. Thinking this was culture I did just that, later to be told that this also was absurd.

Towards the end of my trip I had decided I was going to stay in Uganda I felt madly in love and at the time was playing online poker professionally. I had decent savings, and online poker in uganda would expand upon my income stream as the biggest pokers sites online arent accessible to american players live in the USA. (IE pokerstars) I sat my fiance down and told her I wanted to stay i showed her the cost of living in america and the income at a regular job, or the benefits of staying and strengthening our relationship and how I would be able to support her and her daughter. She opted for me to return home. but told me that if I did stay I would have to go to my bishops church and not her bishops as church members make up lies and would tell me shes cheating on me, I found this rather odd but let it go at the time.

A few days later it was time for me to return on my flight home and reluctently i did so. Since being back a few things have happened.

1) The texts have become less and less frequent, she blames the network at the school she teaches at for this saying service isn't good. We really only talk 5 minutes on average per day if I am lucky. She also says now that her daugther lives with her that she is just too busy teaching and taking care of her to be able to find more time. I do call her everyday but as I said we speak for less than 5 minutes. and its usually the same generic conversation. Oddly enough earlier this year she had me send her money for a top of the line cell phone becuase she said her current one was no good.

2) I have sent her thousands of dollars yet she never seems to be able to have money to eat properly, or purchase anything she needs. Just this year alone I have sent her well over 3,500 USD and she only makes $150 USD per month working. where and how would al the money i send her have gone? THe last time i sent her money was the most I ever sent her at one time and she told me the next day after picking it up that she was robbed.

3) When I was there last August she couldn't kiss me because she is a born again christian (I was fine with it and encouraged her in her walk with Christ she claims she had her kid before knowing God. HOWEVER, I do have a trip planned to go back this August. Shes decided she wants to stay with me make love and she hopes to become pregnant???????????????????????????????????

4) I gave her many options on where to stay when I come, many of them in the city and one of them considered one of the nicest resorts in all of Uganda called Kampala Serena which is where we had met and spent all of our time the previous year. Out of all the options she chose a place that is deserted, down a 4 mile abandoned road, in the middle of no where 30-45 minutes outside of the city????????????????????????????????????????????? I feel like if anything were to happen that would be the place to have something bad happen to me? If any Ugandans are reading this and want to nkow what hotel just message me. It is by lake victoria.

5) As much money as I have sent her she continues to purchase things for her apartment she lives in and wants new things such as a bigger better tv etc, out of the thousands of dollars I have sent her she has not thought to process her and her daugthers passport, and to be honest I don't want to tell her to, I feel someone in love should know to do so she knows what the immigration process entails and that shell have to have one. Whenever I do send money I need to send it to some male name who goes and picks it up for her and gives it to her since she has no ID of her own? I have never met this person last year when I was there.

6) a few months ago I was very very sick, she knew that, she called me waking me up, instead of asking how I was doing or feeling she said "sorry to bother you I need that moneygram reference number that you sent the other day." Ironically her networks always so bad yet when shes going to have someone be picking up hundreds of dollars for her shes able to call no problems?

7) I've explained to her family that I would like to get married here first, and then in a year or so once were settled and she has her green card come to pay the dowery or to pay the dowry in private instead of a celebration as I don't want a civil marriage which is what happens at dowery to be considered visa fraud and get us in trouble on a K1. They state if thats the case to come live in uganda court their daugther, and to then pay the dowery get married and then get a spousal visa instead?

8) due to number 7, they had always realized and been okay with my fiances daughter coming to America with us, now I am being told that they do not wish for her to go because they are concerned I will traffic her???????????????? Seriously????????????????? that girl has called me daddy Nick all year, I love her to death I make sure she is well taken care of, but the minute the people don't get their money the way they want when they want how they want they throw this on me???????knowing who I am this is even more insulting I would never consider such a thing and find it completely disgusting that a comment like that would even be made.

9) her daugthers birthday is in August which is when I plan to be there if I do go. Her daugthers been excited for many months planning what she wants for her birthday planning on what to even eat on her birthday, and what to do. I feel I can't dissapint her. she is only 4.

Can you guys help me? Is this normal? Should I go in August? Should I listen to the people around me including the Ugandan bishop that I am affiliated with and run away as fast as possible? How does this sound to you guys?

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~~Moved to Africa: Sub-Saharan, from the K1 P&P as this question is more personal and not asking about the visa process. ~~


Spoiler

Met Playing Everquest in 2005
Engaged 9-15-2006
K-1 & 4 K-2'S
Filed 05-09-07
Interview 03-12-08
Visa received 04-21-08
Entry 05-06-08
Married 06-21-08
AOS X5
Filed 07-08-08
Cards Received01-22-09
Roc X5
Filed 10-17-10
Cards Received02-22-11
Citizenship
Filed 10-17-11
Interview 01-12-12
Oath 06-29-12

Citizenship for older 2 boys

Filed 03/08/2014

NOA/fee waiver 03/19/2014

Biometrics 04/15/14

Interview 05/29/14

In line for Oath 06/20/14

Oath 09/19/2014 We are all done! All USC no more USCIS

 

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~~Moved to Africa: Sub-Saharan, from the K1 P&P as this question is more personal and not asking about the visa process. ~~

I just typed a lot to respond and it has disappeared, must have been while you moved it ? Any recovery chance ?


Spoiler

 

I-129F Sent : 3-31-2014, NOA2: 4-6-2014

NVC Received : some dinkelsberry yehoo in the house of clingons send our petition to the wrong consulate.

Consulate Received : July 30,2014 Transfer to right embassy complete.

Interview Date : Oct 22, 2014

Interview Result : AP , requesting another PC (not expired) and certified divorce decree (was submitted)Stokes interview via phone for petitioner 4 hrs after interview.

Oct 23 email notification visa approved.
Visa Received : Nov. 3 , 2014 VISA IN HAND.

US Entry : Nov. 21, 2014

Marriage : Dec 27, 2014

AOS send : May 12, 2015, received May 14, 2015 USPS priority

Email &text : May 18, 2015, check cashed May 19,2015, return receipt May 21, 2015 stamped USCIS Lockbox, NOA1 (3x) May 22,2015

Biometrics : June 1, 2015 letter received for appointment June 8, 2015, successful walk-in June 1, 2015

RFE : June 12, 2015 for income not meeting guideline. Income does ( ! ) exceed guideline.

RFE response : June 26, 2015 returned with a boat load full of financial evidence.

UPDATE: July 5, 2015 updated on all 3 cases, RFE received June 30, 2015.

Service request : Aug 12, 2015, letter received that it will be processed within 90 days from receipt of RFE.

UPDATE: Aug 24, 2015, EAD card being produced/ordered. ( 102 days from AOS receipt day and 55 days from RFE response received.) Thank you Jesus !

Emails : Aug 24, 2015, EAD approved, EAD card ordered.

I-797 EAD/AP approval notice received : Aug 27, 2015

EAD/AP combo card mailed : Aug 27, 2015, EAD/AP combo card received: Aug 31, 2015

Renewal application send for EAD/AP : May 31,2016 (AOS pending over 1 year). Received June 2, 2016,Notice date June7, 2016, emails,texts, NOA1 hard copy

Service request for pending AOS April 21, 2016, case not assigned yet.
Service request for pending AOS June 14, 2016, tier 2 said performing background checks.
Expedite request for EAD/AP Aug 3, 2016, Aug10 notification >request was received, assigned, completed. RFE letter requesting evidence for expedite, docs faxed Aug18

*Service request for I-485 Aug 3, 2016, Aug11 notification> request was assigned. Service request Dec 2, 2016.
AOS Interview letter received Aug 12, 2016

AOS Interview September 21, 2016.

Second Biometrics appointment letters received for EAD and AOS on Aug 15, 2016 for Aug 17 ( 2 day notice).

Second Biometrics completed Aug 17, 2016

Third Biometrics appointment letter received Aug 19, 2016 for Sept. 1, 2016. WTH ?!

EAD/AP (renewal) approval Aug 22, 2016, NOA2 received Aug 25, 2016

Renewal EAD in production notification text and online, expedite successful 4 days after RFE request response was faxed, Aug25mailed,Aug29received.

Sept. 21 Interview, 2 hour interview, we were separated and asked about 50 questions each for an hour each. IO was firm but professional, some smiles.
Several service requests made, contacted Senator and Ombudsman. Background checks still pending.
July 21, 2017 HOME VISIT.  Went well. Topic thread in AOS forum.
Waiting to skip ROC and get 10 yr GC due to over 2 year while pending AOS
AOS APPROVED Oct. 4, 2017 * Green card in hand Oct 13, 2017 !!!!!

First K1 denied after 16 month of AP. Refiled. We are a couple since 2009. Not a sprint but a matter of endurance.

 

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It sounds very much like they are using you for you money. That doesn't necessarily mean you are being taken but it doesn't mean the opposite. The girl is sounding like she is wanting a lot more than you are comfortable giving and is having issues keeping in contact , which probably means she is occupied with others. I would seriously consider if this is a relationship I would risk going forward with. I would say there is less than a 50% chance of it working out much past her getting a green card,


This will not be over quickly. You will not enjoy this.

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Welcome to the joys of international relationships. Sounds like you're committed to visiting her and her daughter in August. If so, start setting boundaries now before the visit. Then you can test if she willfully crosses the boundaries, which should raise some red flags for you. As to staying at her choice of resort, be frank with her on your concerns for your safety. There's no rule saying you can't choose the place of stay. Best of luck.


Marriage: 2014-02-23
CR1 started : 2014-06-06
CR1 completed : 2015-07-13 (POE)
ROC started : 2017-04-14 - CSC

N400 started: 2018-04-24

N400 interview: 2018-08-16 - Albuquerque - Approved N400 & ROC

Oath ceremony: 2018-09-24 - Albuquerque

 

April 2017 I-751 Filers Spreadsheet

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1t335PrkwxPk7sRryv02NH3vrWHy0vlkBxjmPy5VYJO8/edit#gid=0

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Edited to add, about the people at her church saying she would cheat on me....you know that was concerning in the sense that we didn't even kiss because shes born again, yet a year later after not seeing her she randomly wakes up one day and decides to go get tested for HIV???????

Oh and to add, when I go there her family wants me to go to her aunts house to have a "family meeting" it will be all of her brothers, her sister, her father, and her aunt. I asked if I can please have an elder from the orphangae im affiliated with attend so that I can have someone who understands culture and can advocate for me while there, they had a problem with that and said why not bring an elder from her church instead? Um because the elder has her best interest in mind and would screw me any day of the week?

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When I read your post I thought he is already traditionally married but doesn't know it yet (10 cows, 9 goats, 15 M sch.) because that was already a

dowry paid when it was requested before you proposed ? Now they want another dowry/bride price ? Maybe I misunderstood.

My thoughts and I may be wrong:

1. She is using you for money. You should have set firm boundaries from day one. You send a limited amount for the bare necessities. No TV's.

2. She may already be preoccupied with a boyfriend or the child's father because now that she thinks she "got you" the calls dwindle.

3. She wants a baby because she thinks it will help her with immigration somehow and to draw you in further so you "won't easily get away."

4. The out of town hotel is just that...hiding you from someone, unless she believes jealous people will see her and 'juju her destiny with you'.

5. You must have your elder present or refuse to go to their 'meeting'. Period. Be tough, be assertive, don't be so timid.

Have an elder from your church or investigator check things out, you would be surprised what can be found out that way.

Have them make several unannounced visits on the weekend when she will be home, it can be total stranger to her, asking for her husband.
Then see where she says he is. It can be someone popping in to say hi. Been there done that story 10 years ago and it wasn't pretty ;)

My advice, if you still want to visit then do a surprise visit. Pop in. Swirl their minds around a bit and mess with their agenda. See

what floats to the top and what sinks, they are all wanting a share of the money tree. Put a stop to it and take a step back for now to re evaluate,

re group and asses this all. Stop being Mr. Nice Guy.


Spoiler

 

I-129F Sent : 3-31-2014, NOA2: 4-6-2014

NVC Received : some dinkelsberry yehoo in the house of clingons send our petition to the wrong consulate.

Consulate Received : July 30,2014 Transfer to right embassy complete.

Interview Date : Oct 22, 2014

Interview Result : AP , requesting another PC (not expired) and certified divorce decree (was submitted)Stokes interview via phone for petitioner 4 hrs after interview.

Oct 23 email notification visa approved.
Visa Received : Nov. 3 , 2014 VISA IN HAND.

US Entry : Nov. 21, 2014

Marriage : Dec 27, 2014

AOS send : May 12, 2015, received May 14, 2015 USPS priority

Email &text : May 18, 2015, check cashed May 19,2015, return receipt May 21, 2015 stamped USCIS Lockbox, NOA1 (3x) May 22,2015

Biometrics : June 1, 2015 letter received for appointment June 8, 2015, successful walk-in June 1, 2015

RFE : June 12, 2015 for income not meeting guideline. Income does ( ! ) exceed guideline.

RFE response : June 26, 2015 returned with a boat load full of financial evidence.

UPDATE: July 5, 2015 updated on all 3 cases, RFE received June 30, 2015.

Service request : Aug 12, 2015, letter received that it will be processed within 90 days from receipt of RFE.

UPDATE: Aug 24, 2015, EAD card being produced/ordered. ( 102 days from AOS receipt day and 55 days from RFE response received.) Thank you Jesus !

Emails : Aug 24, 2015, EAD approved, EAD card ordered.

I-797 EAD/AP approval notice received : Aug 27, 2015

EAD/AP combo card mailed : Aug 27, 2015, EAD/AP combo card received: Aug 31, 2015

Renewal application send for EAD/AP : May 31,2016 (AOS pending over 1 year). Received June 2, 2016,Notice date June7, 2016, emails,texts, NOA1 hard copy

Service request for pending AOS April 21, 2016, case not assigned yet.
Service request for pending AOS June 14, 2016, tier 2 said performing background checks.
Expedite request for EAD/AP Aug 3, 2016, Aug10 notification >request was received, assigned, completed. RFE letter requesting evidence for expedite, docs faxed Aug18

*Service request for I-485 Aug 3, 2016, Aug11 notification> request was assigned. Service request Dec 2, 2016.
AOS Interview letter received Aug 12, 2016

AOS Interview September 21, 2016.

Second Biometrics appointment letters received for EAD and AOS on Aug 15, 2016 for Aug 17 ( 2 day notice).

Second Biometrics completed Aug 17, 2016

Third Biometrics appointment letter received Aug 19, 2016 for Sept. 1, 2016. WTH ?!

EAD/AP (renewal) approval Aug 22, 2016, NOA2 received Aug 25, 2016

Renewal EAD in production notification text and online, expedite successful 4 days after RFE request response was faxed, Aug25mailed,Aug29received.

Sept. 21 Interview, 2 hour interview, we were separated and asked about 50 questions each for an hour each. IO was firm but professional, some smiles.
Several service requests made, contacted Senator and Ombudsman. Background checks still pending.
July 21, 2017 HOME VISIT.  Went well. Topic thread in AOS forum.
Waiting to skip ROC and get 10 yr GC due to over 2 year while pending AOS
AOS APPROVED Oct. 4, 2017 * Green card in hand Oct 13, 2017 !!!!!

First K1 denied after 16 month of AP. Refiled. We are a couple since 2009. Not a sprint but a matter of endurance.

 

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I just typed a lot to respond and it has disappeared, must have been while you moved it ? Any recovery chance ?

I'm sorry I wish there was a way to get it back.


Spoiler

Met Playing Everquest in 2005
Engaged 9-15-2006
K-1 & 4 K-2'S
Filed 05-09-07
Interview 03-12-08
Visa received 04-21-08
Entry 05-06-08
Married 06-21-08
AOS X5
Filed 07-08-08
Cards Received01-22-09
Roc X5
Filed 10-17-10
Cards Received02-22-11
Citizenship
Filed 10-17-11
Interview 01-12-12
Oath 06-29-12

Citizenship for older 2 boys

Filed 03/08/2014

NOA/fee waiver 03/19/2014

Biometrics 04/15/14

Interview 05/29/14

In line for Oath 06/20/14

Oath 09/19/2014 We are all done! All USC no more USCIS

 

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thanks everyone the thing is she never does ask for money, but my parents say thats because she knows ill automatically send.

i have not yet paid dowry due to fearing visa fraud

I'm confused. In your previous posts you say that she has called you to ask for money and that she mysteriously needs money all the time despite the large amounts you send for tv etc.






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thanks everyone the thing is she never does ask for money, but my parents say thats because she knows ill automatically send.

i have not yet paid dowry due to fearing visa fraud

When you gave the animals (cows, etc.) that is considered a dowry.

I also wholeheartedly agree with Ebunoluwa...take your Elder with you to this "meeting". Do not go without him. As you already stated he would have your best interest at heart, and could reasonably tell you if something was on the up and up or not. Also an investigator (your Elder or someone else professional) wouldn't be a bad idea either. Sending a male to pick up funds you send, that popped out of no where isn't good either. Who is he to her that she has not mentioned him before now?

There definitely seems to be a lot of red flags, but I would never tell someone they are getting scammed...don't know either party to come to such a conclusion. However, I would be recommend in being very cautious, ask questions, and make boundaries known. This is to protect you...from whatever. Oh and yeah, I agree, just because she picked that hotel, doesn't mean you have to stay there. Most likely you are paying, so you can demand to stay wherever you wish.

God Bless....


Toni

 

07/17/2008.......WEDDING DAY!!!!
USCIS STAGE (for me):
06/09/2010.......SENT I-130 TO USCIS
06/15/2010.......NOA1 & RECEIPT DATE (CSC)
11/03/2010.......NOA2 Email received-APPROVED!!-141 days

NVC STAGE (for him):
11/08/2010.......NVC Case # Assigned
11/19/2010.......DS-3032 received via email
07/02/2011.......IV (DS-230) Package mailed//NVC Received-7/5/2011
07/14/2011........CASE COMPLETE!!!
07/15/2011........SIF!!!

EMBASSY STAGE (for us):
8/23/2011.........Medical-Part 1
8/24/2011.........Medical-Part 2(Completed!)
9/12/2011.........INTERVIEW @ 10:00AM - APPROVED!! (IR-1 Visa)

POE: DECEMBER 3rd, Washington, D.C. (IAD)!!!

1/10/2012........Green Card in Hand!
02/07/2012........Rec'd. Social Security Card

Naturalization Journey:

09-27-2016................Mailed N-400

11-03-2016................Biometrics

Notified 2/13/2017........2-8-2017.....Case Is In Line For An Interview

3/23/2017 @ 9AM......Interview

4/13/2017...................OATH CEREMONY!!

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