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Chris and ZhiJia

About to start the paperwork for the K-1 Visa

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First I would like to say that There has been a plethora of information on this website, and with pen in shaky hands We (my Fiance and I) are about to start the process of filling out all the Paperwork and getting ready for submission.

I have printed out 2 blank copies of all documents that need to be filled out per the Step by Step guide, one to be filled out by myself, and one to be filled out by her. The game plan is to bring the papers with me when I return to visit her in October, and fill them out side by side, and then go and make lots of photocopies.

I have spent the past 6 months reading as much as I can from these forums (new register, old lurker), I have called and spoken with lawyers for consultations and advice on the steps.

She wants to come and visit me here, but we are unsure of the best route to go for this part. I have heard conflicting stories from different attorneys, and different people on the internet. So the first question of many that I will have during this whole process, is as follows: Is it easier for her to apply for a Tourist Visa first and then we apply for the K-1 Visa, or should we submit the K-1 Visa documents, and then have her apply for a Tourist Visa. She has every intent of returning home during the process, she still has many loose ends to tie up, family to visit, friends to say see one last time before the journey comes to an end, ect.., we just want to know what our best options are here.

On a side note, and another question, during my last trip to China to visit her, we went to a photo studio and had mock wedding photos taken (we have not married, no ceremony, no paperwork, ect..) Will it be beneficial or detrimental to submit these photos with the paperwork as proof of the relationship.

Thank you all for your time, and I hope not to ruin your fingers with all of my questions from now until acceptance.


Click Below to View my timeline (spoiler added to reduce visible space consumption)

 

Timeline to date:

11/11/14 - Met online through eHarmony
11/12/14 - Started communication through email (1-2 emails daily)
12/20/14 - Communicating through Phone Calls and Video Calls
07/04/15 - First Trip to China to visit her (spent time at her home, her hometown, and Beijing), Met the whole family.
07/18/15 - Sadly I had to return back to the US
10/01/15 - I am returning back to China to be with her again
10/11/15 - She will accompany me back on the same flight for 30 days
11/14/15 - She returns back to China
12/01/15 - I-129F Fed-Ex'd to the Lewisville address
12/03/15 - Packet signed for by the receiver
12/07/15 - NOA1 Generated
12/11/15 - NOA1 Received
01/14/15 - NOA2 Generated (Approved)
01/28/16 - NVC Received (Still waiting papers for official date)
01/29/16 - NVC Case# Assigned (Still waiting papers for official date)
02/03/16 - Case Sent to Embassy
02/04/16 - Case Received by Embassy
03/03/16 - Packet 3 Received
03/03/16 - Packet 3 Sent back to Embassy
03/04/16 - DS-160 Fee paid
03/09/16 - Packet 4 Received (Documents were prepared in advance)
04/02/16 - I return to China to provide moral and emotional support as she goes to her Interview on the 5th
04/05/16 - Interview Date (APPROVED!!!)

04/25/16 - POE Dallas Texas (DFW) smooth sailing through customs

04/25/16 - Arrived in Nashville, TN 10pm
04/29/16 - Marriage Certificate received
SSN filed somewhere after this point (exact date is not remembered, received after a 30 minute wait)
11/16/16 - AoS packet mailed (i-485, i-765, i-131)
11/18/16 - AoS packet received
12/06/16 - Check Cashed
02/28/17 - EAD and AP Approved
03/02/17 - NOA2 for EAD and AP Arrived
03/02/17 - EAD/AP Card Arrived

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First I would like to say that There has been a plethora of information on this website, and with pen in shaky hands We (my Fiance and I) are about to start the process of filling out all the Paperwork and getting ready for submission.

I have printed out 2 blank copies of all documents that need to be filled out per the Step by Step guide, one to be filled out by myself, and one to be filled out by her. The game plan is to bring the papers with me when I return to visit her in October, and fill them out side by side, and then go and make lots of photocopies.

I have spent the past 6 months reading as much as I can from these forums (new register, old lurker), I have called and spoken with lawyers for consultations and advice on the steps.

She wants to come and visit me here, but we are unsure of the best route to go for this part. I have heard conflicting stories from different attorneys, and different people on the internet. So the first question of many that I will have during this whole process, is as follows: Is it easier for her to apply for a Tourist Visa first and then we apply for the K-1 Visa, or should we submit the K-1 Visa documents, and then have her apply for a Tourist Visa. She has every intent of returning home during the process, she still has many loose ends to tie up, family to visit, friends to say see one last time before the journey comes to an end, ect.., we just want to know what our best options are here.

On a side note, and another question, during my last trip to China to visit her, we went to a photo studio and had mock wedding photos taken (we have not married, no ceremony, no paperwork, ect..) Will it be beneficial or detrimental to submit these photos with the paperwork as proof of the relationship.

Thank you all for your time, and I hope not to ruin your fingers with all of my questions from now until acceptance.

Don't sends those if it looks like a wedding they will think it is one even if you say otherwise.

A tourist visa is completely dependant on the merits that they believe she will go home. She had to show ties to home. If the ties are strong enough it doesn't matter when yoy do it.

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Don't sends those if it looks like a wedding they will think it is one even if you say otherwise.

A tourist visa is completely dependant on the merits that they believe she will go home. She had to show ties to home. If the ties are strong enough it doesn't matter when yoy do it.

Shauneg,

Thank you for the quick reply and the advice on excluding those photos, I will do so.

As for the strong ties to home, I think we should be just fine then. She will not provide notice that she is leaving her job until after the interview, and the visa has been approved, while she waits for it to be delivered. Her current state I hope provides strong enough ties. She does not live with her parents, she owns her own home, and her profession is a language and history teacher at her local high school. She is also well traveled with several stamps already in her Passport showing trips to other countries, and subsequent re-entries back into China after her travels. I cannot say that is enough, but I hope it is.

Again, Thank You for the quick reply.


Click Below to View my timeline (spoiler added to reduce visible space consumption)

 

Timeline to date:

11/11/14 - Met online through eHarmony
11/12/14 - Started communication through email (1-2 emails daily)
12/20/14 - Communicating through Phone Calls and Video Calls
07/04/15 - First Trip to China to visit her (spent time at her home, her hometown, and Beijing), Met the whole family.
07/18/15 - Sadly I had to return back to the US
10/01/15 - I am returning back to China to be with her again
10/11/15 - She will accompany me back on the same flight for 30 days
11/14/15 - She returns back to China
12/01/15 - I-129F Fed-Ex'd to the Lewisville address
12/03/15 - Packet signed for by the receiver
12/07/15 - NOA1 Generated
12/11/15 - NOA1 Received
01/14/15 - NOA2 Generated (Approved)
01/28/16 - NVC Received (Still waiting papers for official date)
01/29/16 - NVC Case# Assigned (Still waiting papers for official date)
02/03/16 - Case Sent to Embassy
02/04/16 - Case Received by Embassy
03/03/16 - Packet 3 Received
03/03/16 - Packet 3 Sent back to Embassy
03/04/16 - DS-160 Fee paid
03/09/16 - Packet 4 Received (Documents were prepared in advance)
04/02/16 - I return to China to provide moral and emotional support as she goes to her Interview on the 5th
04/05/16 - Interview Date (APPROVED!!!)

04/25/16 - POE Dallas Texas (DFW) smooth sailing through customs

04/25/16 - Arrived in Nashville, TN 10pm
04/29/16 - Marriage Certificate received
SSN filed somewhere after this point (exact date is not remembered, received after a 30 minute wait)
11/16/16 - AoS packet mailed (i-485, i-765, i-131)
11/18/16 - AoS packet received
12/06/16 - Check Cashed
02/28/17 - EAD and AP Approved
03/02/17 - NOA2 for EAD and AP Arrived
03/02/17 - EAD/AP Card Arrived

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Taking the papers to fill out together is best idea as one question in there is FILL IN NAME AND ADDRESS IN HER NATIVE LANGUAGE

That section is why i took applicaiton to Morocco as i could not write Arabic at the time

having the assests you speak of should allow her a tourist visa, but do not plan of coming and using that to marry. It is not advisable. USCIS frowns on that being pulled on the immigration process.

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Taking the papers to fill out together is best idea as one question in there is FILL IN NAME AND ADDRESS IN HER NATIVE LANGUAGE

That section is why i took applicaiton to Morocco as i could not write Arabic at the time

having the assests you speak of should allow her a tourist visa, but do not plan of coming and using that to marry. It is not advisable. USCIS frowns on that being pulled on the immigration process.

Thank you, we completely intend to follow the process as it was intended from start to finish, we just want to utilize my current 10 year Visa to China, and have her get a Visa to visit the US as a way to break up the separation during the near 1 year filing process. I have already scheduled vacation time, and multiple return trips back to China over the next 10 months, and she wants to do the same, so we can do everything possible to minimize the amount of time we are separated while waiting for the Visa approval.

Our final goal is for me to be in China at the time her Passport is returned back to her with the K-1 visa (should everything go according to plan), and we will return back to the US together on the same flight.


Click Below to View my timeline (spoiler added to reduce visible space consumption)

 

Timeline to date:

11/11/14 - Met online through eHarmony
11/12/14 - Started communication through email (1-2 emails daily)
12/20/14 - Communicating through Phone Calls and Video Calls
07/04/15 - First Trip to China to visit her (spent time at her home, her hometown, and Beijing), Met the whole family.
07/18/15 - Sadly I had to return back to the US
10/01/15 - I am returning back to China to be with her again
10/11/15 - She will accompany me back on the same flight for 30 days
11/14/15 - She returns back to China
12/01/15 - I-129F Fed-Ex'd to the Lewisville address
12/03/15 - Packet signed for by the receiver
12/07/15 - NOA1 Generated
12/11/15 - NOA1 Received
01/14/15 - NOA2 Generated (Approved)
01/28/16 - NVC Received (Still waiting papers for official date)
01/29/16 - NVC Case# Assigned (Still waiting papers for official date)
02/03/16 - Case Sent to Embassy
02/04/16 - Case Received by Embassy
03/03/16 - Packet 3 Received
03/03/16 - Packet 3 Sent back to Embassy
03/04/16 - DS-160 Fee paid
03/09/16 - Packet 4 Received (Documents were prepared in advance)
04/02/16 - I return to China to provide moral and emotional support as she goes to her Interview on the 5th
04/05/16 - Interview Date (APPROVED!!!)

04/25/16 - POE Dallas Texas (DFW) smooth sailing through customs

04/25/16 - Arrived in Nashville, TN 10pm
04/29/16 - Marriage Certificate received
SSN filed somewhere after this point (exact date is not remembered, received after a 30 minute wait)
11/16/16 - AoS packet mailed (i-485, i-765, i-131)
11/18/16 - AoS packet received
12/06/16 - Check Cashed
02/28/17 - EAD and AP Approved
03/02/17 - NOA2 for EAD and AP Arrived
03/02/17 - EAD/AP Card Arrived

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Much more likely to get a B if you apply before filing for a K.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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Much more likely to get a B if you apply before filing for a K.

Thank you, I just sent her a text letting her know she should apply for the Tourist Visa, and then we will submit the paperwork for the K-1 in October.


Click Below to View my timeline (spoiler added to reduce visible space consumption)

 

Timeline to date:

11/11/14 - Met online through eHarmony
11/12/14 - Started communication through email (1-2 emails daily)
12/20/14 - Communicating through Phone Calls and Video Calls
07/04/15 - First Trip to China to visit her (spent time at her home, her hometown, and Beijing), Met the whole family.
07/18/15 - Sadly I had to return back to the US
10/01/15 - I am returning back to China to be with her again
10/11/15 - She will accompany me back on the same flight for 30 days
11/14/15 - She returns back to China
12/01/15 - I-129F Fed-Ex'd to the Lewisville address
12/03/15 - Packet signed for by the receiver
12/07/15 - NOA1 Generated
12/11/15 - NOA1 Received
01/14/15 - NOA2 Generated (Approved)
01/28/16 - NVC Received (Still waiting papers for official date)
01/29/16 - NVC Case# Assigned (Still waiting papers for official date)
02/03/16 - Case Sent to Embassy
02/04/16 - Case Received by Embassy
03/03/16 - Packet 3 Received
03/03/16 - Packet 3 Sent back to Embassy
03/04/16 - DS-160 Fee paid
03/09/16 - Packet 4 Received (Documents were prepared in advance)
04/02/16 - I return to China to provide moral and emotional support as she goes to her Interview on the 5th
04/05/16 - Interview Date (APPROVED!!!)

04/25/16 - POE Dallas Texas (DFW) smooth sailing through customs

04/25/16 - Arrived in Nashville, TN 10pm
04/29/16 - Marriage Certificate received
SSN filed somewhere after this point (exact date is not remembered, received after a 30 minute wait)
11/16/16 - AoS packet mailed (i-485, i-765, i-131)
11/18/16 - AoS packet received
12/06/16 - Check Cashed
02/28/17 - EAD and AP Approved
03/02/17 - NOA2 for EAD and AP Arrived
03/02/17 - EAD/AP Card Arrived

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Let us know how it goes.


Let us know how it goes.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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Apply for the B2 before you file the petition.

Do NOT submit the photos, it will likely get you denied if you can't convince the CO that you have not already married, just saying it

is not convincing enough.


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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First I would like to say that There has been a plethora of information on this website, and with pen in shaky hands We (my Fiance and I) are about to start the process of filling out all the Paperwork and getting ready for submission.

I have printed out 2 blank copies of all documents that need to be filled out per the Step by Step guide, one to be filled out by myself, and one to be filled out by her. The game plan is to bring the papers with me when I return to visit her in October, and fill them out side by side, and then go and make lots of photocopies.

I have spent the past 6 months reading as much as I can from these forums (new register, old lurker), I have called and spoken with lawyers for consultations and advice on the steps.

She wants to come and visit me here, but we are unsure of the best route to go for this part. I have heard conflicting stories from different attorneys, and different people on the internet. So the first question of many that I will have during this whole process, is as follows: Is it easier for her to apply for a Tourist Visa first and then we apply for the K-1 Visa, or should we submit the K-1 Visa documents, and then have her apply for a Tourist Visa. She has every intent of returning home during the process, she still has many loose ends to tie up, family to visit, friends to say see one last time before the journey comes to an end, ect.., we just want to know what our best options are here.

On a side note, and another question, during my last trip to China to visit her, we went to a photo studio and had mock wedding photos taken (we have not married, no ceremony, no paperwork, ect..) Will it be beneficial or detrimental to submit these photos with the paperwork as proof of the relationship.

Thank you all for your time, and I hope not to ruin your fingers with all of my questions from now until acceptance.

Just to clear it up--- you don't need to fill out two I-129fs. You need to fill out one I-129f, two G-325as (one per person) and submit two letters of intent. You should photocopy this package before you submit it, but don't make or send two copies. You could start this now if you wanted to--no need to do it together. Just have her do her G-325a and letter of intent and mail it to you.

I also saw below that you think that this process will take a year. It more than likely won't. Anyone more than 10 months is a serious outlier AND that's when there was still a huge backlog at one particular office (Texas Service Center). Now, not only is that office not taking the applications at this point, but also if they do, that backlog will have been addressed. It seems very likely that from now on, I-129fs will be approved in 4 months or less, and then 3 months or less for the visa itself. At least, this is what it seems like now. This is subject to change at any time.

I'd apply for the B2 as soon as is convenient, and probably before the K1. I don't think that it technically matters either way, that she'll get it or not regardless of the K1, but I can't help but think that applying for a "non immigrant visa" when you've already applied for a visa that clearly shows that you eventually intend to immigrate could tip the scales against you. It could look like you're looking for a shortcut.


Marriage/ AOS Timeline:

23 Dec 2015: Legal marriage

23 Jan 2016: Wedding!

23 Jan 2016: "Blizzard of the Century", wedding canceled/rescheduled (thank goodness we were legally married first or we'd have had a big problem!) :sleepy:

24 Jan 2016: Small "civil ceremony" with friends and family who were snowed in with us. December was a bit of a secret and people had traveled internationally and knew we *had* to get married that weekend, and our December legal marriage was nothing but signing a piece of paper at our priest's kitchen table, without any sort of vows etc so this was actually a very special (if not legally significant) day. (L)

16 Apr 2016: Filed for AOS and EAD/AP (We delayed a bit-- no big rush, enjoying the USCIS break)

23 Apr 2016: Wedding! Finally! :luv:

27 Apr 2016: Electronic NOA1 for all 3 :dancing:
29 Apr 2016: NOA1 Hardcopy for all 3
29 Jul 2016: Online service request for late EAD (Day 104)
29 Jul 2016: EAD/AP Approved ~3 hours after online service request
04 Aug 2016: RFE for Green Card (requested medicals/ vaccination record. They already have it). :ranting:
05 Aug 2016: EAD/AP Combo Card arrived! (Day 111)
08 Aug 2016: Congressional constituent request to get guidance on the RFE. Hoping they see they have the form and approve!

K-1 Visa Timeline:

PLEASE NOTE. This timeline was during the period of time when TSC was working on I-129fs and had a huge backlog. The average processing time was 210+ days. This is in no way predictive of your own timeline if you filed during or after April 2015, unless CSC develops a backlog. A backlog is anything above the 5-month goal time listed on USCIS's site

14 Feb 2015: Mailed I-129f to Dallas Lockbox. (L) (Most expensive Valentine's card I've ever sent!)

17 Feb 2015: NOA1 "Received Date"
19 Feb 2015: NOA1 Notice Date
08 Aug 2015: NOA2 email! :luv: (173 days from NOA1)

17 Aug 2015: Sent to NVC

?? Aug 2015: Arrived at NVC

25 Aug 2015: NVC Case # Assigned

31 Aug 2015: Left NVC for Consulate in San Jose

09 Sep 2015: Consulate received :dancing: (32 days from NOA2)

11 Sep 2015: Packet 3 emailed from embassy to me, the petitioner (34 days from NOA2).

18 Sep 2015: Medicals complete

21 Sep 2015: Packet 3 complete, my boss puts a temporary moratorium on all time off due to work emergency :clock:

02 Oct 2015: Work emergency clears up, interview scheduled (soonest available was 5 business days away--Columbus Day was in there)

13 Oct 2015: Interview

13 Oct 2015: VISA APPROVED :thumbs: (236 days from NOA1)

19 Oct 2015: Visa-in-hand

24 Oct 2015: POE !

15 Dec 2015: Fiance's mother's B-2 visa interview: APPROVED! So happy she will be at the wedding! :thumbs:

!

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06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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Let us know how it goes.

Let us know how it goes.

Most definitely, through each step of the process I will provide updates best that I can.

Apply for the B2 before you file the petition.

Do NOT submit the photos, it will likely get you denied if you can't convince the CO that you have not already married, just saying it

is not convincing enough.

Thank you,

I have already removed them from the set of photos I planned to submit with the paperwork. She will submit her B-2 application before the Month is out, and we won't submit the I-129F packet until the Middle of October, so we should be good there.


Click Below to View my timeline (spoiler added to reduce visible space consumption)

 

Timeline to date:

11/11/14 - Met online through eHarmony
11/12/14 - Started communication through email (1-2 emails daily)
12/20/14 - Communicating through Phone Calls and Video Calls
07/04/15 - First Trip to China to visit her (spent time at her home, her hometown, and Beijing), Met the whole family.
07/18/15 - Sadly I had to return back to the US
10/01/15 - I am returning back to China to be with her again
10/11/15 - She will accompany me back on the same flight for 30 days
11/14/15 - She returns back to China
12/01/15 - I-129F Fed-Ex'd to the Lewisville address
12/03/15 - Packet signed for by the receiver
12/07/15 - NOA1 Generated
12/11/15 - NOA1 Received
01/14/15 - NOA2 Generated (Approved)
01/28/16 - NVC Received (Still waiting papers for official date)
01/29/16 - NVC Case# Assigned (Still waiting papers for official date)
02/03/16 - Case Sent to Embassy
02/04/16 - Case Received by Embassy
03/03/16 - Packet 3 Received
03/03/16 - Packet 3 Sent back to Embassy
03/04/16 - DS-160 Fee paid
03/09/16 - Packet 4 Received (Documents were prepared in advance)
04/02/16 - I return to China to provide moral and emotional support as she goes to her Interview on the 5th
04/05/16 - Interview Date (APPROVED!!!)

04/25/16 - POE Dallas Texas (DFW) smooth sailing through customs

04/25/16 - Arrived in Nashville, TN 10pm
04/29/16 - Marriage Certificate received
SSN filed somewhere after this point (exact date is not remembered, received after a 30 minute wait)
11/16/16 - AoS packet mailed (i-485, i-765, i-131)
11/18/16 - AoS packet received
12/06/16 - Check Cashed
02/28/17 - EAD and AP Approved
03/02/17 - NOA2 for EAD and AP Arrived
03/02/17 - EAD/AP Card Arrived

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Just to clear it up--- you don't need to fill out two I-129fs. You need to fill out one I-129f, two G-325as (one per person) and submit two letters of intent. You should photocopy this package before you submit it, but don't make or send two copies. You could start this now if you wanted to--no need to do it together. Just have her do her G-325a and letter of intent and mail it to you.

I also saw below that you think that this process will take a year. It more than likely won't. Anyone more than 10 months is a serious outlier AND that's when there was still a huge backlog at one particular office (Texas Service Center). Now, not only is that office not taking the applications at this point, but also if they do, that backlog will have been addressed. It seems very likely that from now on, I-129fs will be approved in 4 months or less, and then 3 months or less for the visa itself. At least, this is what it seems like now. This is subject to change at any time.

I'd apply for the B2 as soon as is convenient, and probably before the K1. I don't think that it technically matters either way, that she'll get it or not regardless of the K1, but I can't help but think that applying for a "non immigrant visa" when you've already applied for a visa that clearly shows that you eventually intend to immigrate could tip the scales against you. It could look like you're looking for a shortcut.

Thank you Catherine,

I have taken notes about the information you helped to clarify. I was basing the 10month time on the general processing time chart showing 247 days average. However she researched journeys from men and women in China, and over the past 2 years from the records that they made available to assist others (similar to visajourney, but on baidu), the processing times they experienced from I-129F submission to interview varied from 4 months to 6 months, very very few exceeded the 6month timeline.

So if the TSC isn't receiving applications at the moment, where should I mail the package because in the guide and subsequent documentation it all says to mail it to the TSC.

Again, Thank you all for your help and support!

Thank you Mr.TB, I gave it a brief skim, but will read a little more in-depth after I get home from work.


Click Below to View my timeline (spoiler added to reduce visible space consumption)

 

Timeline to date:

11/11/14 - Met online through eHarmony
11/12/14 - Started communication through email (1-2 emails daily)
12/20/14 - Communicating through Phone Calls and Video Calls
07/04/15 - First Trip to China to visit her (spent time at her home, her hometown, and Beijing), Met the whole family.
07/18/15 - Sadly I had to return back to the US
10/01/15 - I am returning back to China to be with her again
10/11/15 - She will accompany me back on the same flight for 30 days
11/14/15 - She returns back to China
12/01/15 - I-129F Fed-Ex'd to the Lewisville address
12/03/15 - Packet signed for by the receiver
12/07/15 - NOA1 Generated
12/11/15 - NOA1 Received
01/14/15 - NOA2 Generated (Approved)
01/28/16 - NVC Received (Still waiting papers for official date)
01/29/16 - NVC Case# Assigned (Still waiting papers for official date)
02/03/16 - Case Sent to Embassy
02/04/16 - Case Received by Embassy
03/03/16 - Packet 3 Received
03/03/16 - Packet 3 Sent back to Embassy
03/04/16 - DS-160 Fee paid
03/09/16 - Packet 4 Received (Documents were prepared in advance)
04/02/16 - I return to China to provide moral and emotional support as she goes to her Interview on the 5th
04/05/16 - Interview Date (APPROVED!!!)

04/25/16 - POE Dallas Texas (DFW) smooth sailing through customs

04/25/16 - Arrived in Nashville, TN 10pm
04/29/16 - Marriage Certificate received
SSN filed somewhere after this point (exact date is not remembered, received after a 30 minute wait)
11/16/16 - AoS packet mailed (i-485, i-765, i-131)
11/18/16 - AoS packet received
12/06/16 - Check Cashed
02/28/17 - EAD and AP Approved
03/02/17 - NOA2 for EAD and AP Arrived
03/02/17 - EAD/AP Card Arrived

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Thank you Catherine,

I have taken notes about the information you helped to clarify. I was basing the 10month time on the general processing time chart showing 247 days average. However she researched journeys from men and women in China, and over the past 2 years from the records that they made available to assist others (similar to visajourney, but on baidu), the processing times they experienced from I-129F submission to interview varied from 4 months to 6 months, very very few exceeded the 6month timeline.

So if the TSC isn't receiving applications at the moment, where should I mail the package because in the guide and subsequent documentation it all says to mail it to the TSC.

Again, Thank you all for your help and support!

Thank you Mr.TB, I gave it a brief skim, but will read a little more in-depth after I get home from work.

Not a problem, Chris. This is all very confusing at first, I completely understand (and was in the same boat not long ago).

First point is that when estimating timelines, you really can't judge based on people who applied more than about 6 months ago. Processing times change all the time. In fact, some of the people you researched from two years ago may have applied when the Vermont Service Center was still taking applications (which they are not anymore, and having been since about the fall of 2013). It's a completely different world now. Also, the country that you're applying from has less to do with it than you'd think.The embassy can make a difference in terms of how strict or difficult they are during the interview and in making their decision (which can lead to some real nightmares, but thankfully those are few and far between), but generally, the only difference among embassies is how busy they are--how many other people need to schedule these interviews. The difference there is maybe a few weeks.

It really comes down to what service center is handling your case and what their workload is like at the time of your application. And *right now* you would be sent to California and *right now* they are averaging 37 days. If they maintain that average, your total time from petition to visa in hand should be less than 6 months. Who knows if they'll maintain that average? Who knows what the effect of sending 100% of applicants to California will do long-term? The good news is that the average is unlikely to balloon to 5+ months anytime soon.

You will still send your petition to the Dallas Lockbox. The Dallas Lockbox is different from the Texas Service Center. The Lockbox just makes sure that you signed the petition, and cashes your check and routes it to your assigned Service Center. I believe that if you send it directly to the Service Center that they will send it back to the Lockbox so you'll just be wasting your time.

Again, right now, the Lockbox is sending 100% of applicants to CSC. Who knows if this will continue or if they'll start sending to TSC or even VSC again? The only good news if that happens is that TSC is nearly finished with its backlog. There are only February and March filers left in line and they seem to finish a month in about 6 weeks. So if you got sent there tomorrow....they only have 8 weeks of work "in line" ahead of you....instead of 7.5 months worth of work in line ahead of you.


Marriage/ AOS Timeline:

23 Dec 2015: Legal marriage

23 Jan 2016: Wedding!

23 Jan 2016: "Blizzard of the Century", wedding canceled/rescheduled (thank goodness we were legally married first or we'd have had a big problem!) :sleepy:

24 Jan 2016: Small "civil ceremony" with friends and family who were snowed in with us. December was a bit of a secret and people had traveled internationally and knew we *had* to get married that weekend, and our December legal marriage was nothing but signing a piece of paper at our priest's kitchen table, without any sort of vows etc so this was actually a very special (if not legally significant) day. (L)

16 Apr 2016: Filed for AOS and EAD/AP (We delayed a bit-- no big rush, enjoying the USCIS break)

23 Apr 2016: Wedding! Finally! :luv:

27 Apr 2016: Electronic NOA1 for all 3 :dancing:
29 Apr 2016: NOA1 Hardcopy for all 3
29 Jul 2016: Online service request for late EAD (Day 104)
29 Jul 2016: EAD/AP Approved ~3 hours after online service request
04 Aug 2016: RFE for Green Card (requested medicals/ vaccination record. They already have it). :ranting:
05 Aug 2016: EAD/AP Combo Card arrived! (Day 111)
08 Aug 2016: Congressional constituent request to get guidance on the RFE. Hoping they see they have the form and approve!

K-1 Visa Timeline:

PLEASE NOTE. This timeline was during the period of time when TSC was working on I-129fs and had a huge backlog. The average processing time was 210+ days. This is in no way predictive of your own timeline if you filed during or after April 2015, unless CSC develops a backlog. A backlog is anything above the 5-month goal time listed on USCIS's site

14 Feb 2015: Mailed I-129f to Dallas Lockbox. (L) (Most expensive Valentine's card I've ever sent!)

17 Feb 2015: NOA1 "Received Date"
19 Feb 2015: NOA1 Notice Date
08 Aug 2015: NOA2 email! :luv: (173 days from NOA1)

17 Aug 2015: Sent to NVC

?? Aug 2015: Arrived at NVC

25 Aug 2015: NVC Case # Assigned

31 Aug 2015: Left NVC for Consulate in San Jose

09 Sep 2015: Consulate received :dancing: (32 days from NOA2)

11 Sep 2015: Packet 3 emailed from embassy to me, the petitioner (34 days from NOA2).

18 Sep 2015: Medicals complete

21 Sep 2015: Packet 3 complete, my boss puts a temporary moratorium on all time off due to work emergency :clock:

02 Oct 2015: Work emergency clears up, interview scheduled (soonest available was 5 business days away--Columbus Day was in there)

13 Oct 2015: Interview

13 Oct 2015: VISA APPROVED :thumbs: (236 days from NOA1)

19 Oct 2015: Visa-in-hand

24 Oct 2015: POE !

15 Dec 2015: Fiance's mother's B-2 visa interview: APPROVED! So happy she will be at the wedding! :thumbs:

!

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Not a problem, Chris. This is all very confusing at first, I completely understand (and was in the same boat not long ago).

First point is that when estimating timelines, you really can't judge based on people who applied more than about 6 months ago. Processing times change all the time. In fact, some of the people you researched from two years ago may have applied when the Vermont Service Center was still taking applications (which they are not anymore, and having been since about the fall of 2013). It's a completely different world now. Also, the country that you're applying from has less to do with it than you'd think.The embassy can make a difference in terms of how strict or difficult they are during the interview and in making their decision (which can lead to some real nightmares, but thankfully those are few and far between), but generally, the only difference among embassies is how busy they are--how many other people need to schedule these interviews. The difference there is maybe a few weeks.

It really comes down to what service center is handling your case and what their workload is like at the time of your application. And *right now* you would be sent to California and *right now* they are averaging 37 days. If they maintain that average, your total time from petition to visa in hand should be less than 6 months. Who knows if they'll maintain that average? Who knows what the effect of sending 100% of applicants to California will do long-term? The good news is that the average is unlikely to balloon to 5+ months anytime soon.

You will still send your petition to the Dallas Lockbox. The Dallas Lockbox is different from the Texas Service Center. The Lockbox just makes sure that you signed the petition, and cashes your check and routes it to your assigned Service Center. I believe that if you send it directly to the Service Center that they will send it back to the Lockbox so you'll just be wasting your time.

Again, right now, the Lockbox is sending 100% of applicants to CSC. Who knows if this will continue or if they'll start sending to TSC or even VSC again? The only good news if that happens is that TSC is nearly finished with its backlog. There are only February and March filers left in line and they seem to finish a month in about 6 weeks. So if you got sent there tomorrow....they only have 8 weeks of work "in line" ahead of you....instead of 7.5 months worth of work in line ahead of you.

Awesome, Thank you so much for helping to clarify the information regarding the Lockbox vs the TSC. Fingers crossed for a 5-6 month completion, but as you said you never know until you know.


Click Below to View my timeline (spoiler added to reduce visible space consumption)

 

Timeline to date:

11/11/14 - Met online through eHarmony
11/12/14 - Started communication through email (1-2 emails daily)
12/20/14 - Communicating through Phone Calls and Video Calls
07/04/15 - First Trip to China to visit her (spent time at her home, her hometown, and Beijing), Met the whole family.
07/18/15 - Sadly I had to return back to the US
10/01/15 - I am returning back to China to be with her again
10/11/15 - She will accompany me back on the same flight for 30 days
11/14/15 - She returns back to China
12/01/15 - I-129F Fed-Ex'd to the Lewisville address
12/03/15 - Packet signed for by the receiver
12/07/15 - NOA1 Generated
12/11/15 - NOA1 Received
01/14/15 - NOA2 Generated (Approved)
01/28/16 - NVC Received (Still waiting papers for official date)
01/29/16 - NVC Case# Assigned (Still waiting papers for official date)
02/03/16 - Case Sent to Embassy
02/04/16 - Case Received by Embassy
03/03/16 - Packet 3 Received
03/03/16 - Packet 3 Sent back to Embassy
03/04/16 - DS-160 Fee paid
03/09/16 - Packet 4 Received (Documents were prepared in advance)
04/02/16 - I return to China to provide moral and emotional support as she goes to her Interview on the 5th
04/05/16 - Interview Date (APPROVED!!!)

04/25/16 - POE Dallas Texas (DFW) smooth sailing through customs

04/25/16 - Arrived in Nashville, TN 10pm
04/29/16 - Marriage Certificate received
SSN filed somewhere after this point (exact date is not remembered, received after a 30 minute wait)
11/16/16 - AoS packet mailed (i-485, i-765, i-131)
11/18/16 - AoS packet received
12/06/16 - Check Cashed
02/28/17 - EAD and AP Approved
03/02/17 - NOA2 for EAD and AP Arrived
03/02/17 - EAD/AP Card Arrived

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