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AOS Costs & Affidavits & LGBT

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Hey guys,

The more I read up on this stuff the more questions I have about all of it... Trying not to freak out but I find that very difficult at the moment, I'm sure some of you will relate :)

Brief background info: I've been in the US since 2011 on F-1 status. Getting married to my same-sex USC fiance this month in Virginia. We're both in college, I graduate in May, he still has another year. We're getting married early so that I can stay here and work after I graduate. (We decided OPT wasn't an option with the limitations it has, since I'm a psychology major and a bachelors in psychology doesn't exactly qualify me for any job... sigh, what a waste of a degree) So, my questions are...

I will bold the question part of the sentence since some of these got pretty long... Sorry.

  1. We know the fees for I-485, I-130 and the biometrics add up to $1,760 after they increase the rates this month. (Given I-765, I-131, I-864, I-693, G-325A and G-1145 are free) How much more on top of this should I expect to spend for things like biometrics photos, medical exams etc.? Just so that we can budget this...
  2. How long has it taken you to gather all of the paperwork and send it through after getting married?
  3. Do we have to submit a G-1145 for every form or just one for me (I-485) and one for my fiance (I-130)?
  4. My fiance has no income, I work as an RA at my university and make about $480 a month but that's going away after I graduate - we were planning on putting his parents on the I-864. I'm not sure how much they make. I could also put a family member who lives in the same town who is a USC and makes six figures, but I'd rather not ask him. I've asked so much of him since I came here, co-signing on pretty much everything... I know we have to submit a I-864 for my fiance as well even if it just shows zero as his income, do we submit other sponsors separately or do we put them on the same form? Also this might be a stupid question but I assume we can't apply for food stamps etc at least until I get my restrictions removed 2 years later, correct?
  5. I don't know if I can get a job in the same town after I graduate until he is done with school. He only has another year and is graduating May 2018. How much of an issue would it be if we had to live in different towns after getting married because of my job? I guess I could always try to get a temporary job in town for a year like driving for uber or whatever, but it would help us if I can get a real job that pays well.
  6. Even now, because of my job as an RA I'm required to live in the dorms. (Until May 2017 at least) He has an apartment in town but he pretty much spends every night here and we stay at his place over breaks and such. We do not have joint tenancy to show on paper though. Would this be a problem since on paper we seem to live apart? (I'm putting down his address as mine also, since receiving mail is much easier that way. Campus mail center is a nightmare, hope this is okay and not perjury)
  7. We plan to change his last name to mine, open joint bank accounts and possibly try to take more photos from now on because we just noticed despite being together for 2+ years we don't have many photos. We just happen to be very camera-shy. Also we plan on a small celebration with friends instead of a big wedding, family attendance would be low considering we are LGBT anyhow. Is this enough evidence of a bone-fide marriage?
  8. We are homoromantic asexuals. This means we seek romantic relationships with the same gender, but have no need for sexuality in our lives. This doesn't invalidate marriage in our minds and it is just as sacred to us. We are each others life companions, and are promising to stand by each other until the day we die. So, there are no questions in our minds about "is this a real marriage" or "what's the point if there's no sex" but you can imagine public reaction isn't the same... (Feel free to express your opinion or ask questions about this, I do not easily get offended lol.) However, we are concerned about the interview. I'm not sure how intimate their questions are. What if they ask when was the last time you had sex and we answer with "never"? Would they even understand what an asexual marriage is? It's beyond two friends getting married.
  9. Is it okay to just send a binder full of these documents and forms? Or do I have to just put them all in one envelope and hope they can sort it all out?
  10. I know it's usually around 60 days for the EAD, but considering we're applying in a busy area like Washington DC, what date should we expect for the interview?

And just to confirm, this all all that I have on the list of documents to send. I'd appreciate if you could tell me if I'm forgetting anything.

  • Form I-130
    • Form I-864 of spouse
    • Form I-864 of other sponsors
    • His birth certificate as proof of citizenship
    • My birth certificate (Translated to English)
    • Marriage Certificate
    • Form G-325A for spouse
    • Form G-325A for me
    • Form G-1145 for spouse
    • Biometric photo of spouse
    • Biometric photo of me
    • Joint bank account statements
    • Possibly joint ownership of a car (trying to figure this part out)
  • Form I-485
    • Form I-94 Copy
    • Form G-325A for me
    • Form G-1145 for me
    • Form I-765
    • Form I-131
    • Form I-693
    • My birth certificate from the embassy (Translated to English)
    • Marriage Certificate
    • Biometric photo of me (x2)
    • Copy of old passport's ID page, F-1 visa page and stamp pages (was going to expire in June, so I renewed it at the embassy)
    • Copy of new passport's ID page (has no stamps in it - issued this month)
    • Should I include a copy of my social security card and Virginia DL?
    • Should I include old I-20s? At least the ones I can find? I'm not sure where all of them are. There should be at least 3 (high school, community college and university) Also my first I-20 for high school and my B1/B2 visa is on an even older passport, should I include copies of that too?

I know this is a long post, and I don't expect much from it. If you can answer any of these, it would help us greatly. I can't express what a relief it was to find this wonderful community, at least I can find some comfort knowing I'm not alone going through this stressful process...

Thank you all so much! You all are amazing! I will continue to help others on this forum with the knowledge I gain from this for years to come, it's the least I can do! :) Maybe this thread can be like an FAQ and help others as well :)

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I didn't went through the same process as you, but I will try and answer some questions.

1. Medical examinations vary, could start from 200 and end in 400$. I paid almost 400$ for mine. You can also get your own passport picture taken with your phone and get it printed out, or go to a local store (Walgreens, CVS, Fedex etc.)

3. For the G-1145, you can fill them separately. But it actually doesn't matters as long as one of you has this sort of notification.

4. This part is very important, you should sit down and work it out with your fiance. Look up for minimum yearly income requirements for Affidavit of Support.

9. Best thing is to keep everything organized and simple, because that affects processing time.

10. It always varies, no matter where you file.

On 6. 7. 9.

I see some red flags here. And that will likely to be questioned at the interview.

I would consider gathering more evidence and proof till the interview.

Good luck!

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I didn't went through the same process as you, but I will try and answer some questions.

1. Medical examinations vary, could start from 200 and end in 400$. I paid almost 400$ for mine. You can also get your own passport picture taken with your phone and get it printed out, or go to a local store (Walgreens, CVS, Fedex etc.)

3. For the G-1145, you can fill them separately. But it actually doesn't matters as long as one of you has this sort of notification.

4. This part is very important, you should sit down and work it out with your fiance. Look up for minimum yearly income requirements for Affidavit of Support.

9. Best thing is to keep everything organized and simple, because that affects processing time.

10. It always varies, no matter where you file.

On 6. 7. 9.

I see some red flags here. And that will likely to be questioned at the interview.

I would consider gathering more evidence and proof till the interview.

Good luck!

For the affidavit part, I think we'll get as many sponsors as we can just to be sure.

I'll try to keep the papers neatly organized - hopefully this makes it easier for the officers to understand what form each document goes with.

As for the red flags, we expect some questions at the interview, but I think it's all explainable... At the end of the day, it's not a fraudulent marriage so we shouldn't have anything to worry about. All of these things are circumstantial. We will however try to gather more hard proof on paper.

Danke schön!

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You can only have one co sponsor. The rule for multiples is for whole families where you have say 7 people coming and you need to split them up. The try to base your marriage proof on what is normal. The fact that same sex is new to them you may want to show some proof that same sex couples are less apt to have big affairs ( if this is true )

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You can only have one co sponsor. The rule for multiples is for whole families where you have say 7 people coming and you need to split them up. The try to base your marriage proof on what is normal. The fact that same sex is new to them you may want to show some proof that same sex couples are less apt to have big affairs ( if this is true )

I assume @NigeriaorBust is joking when commenting about "what is normal" and wondering if same-sex couples are "less apt to have big affairs". I'm pretty sure opposite-sex couples are as abnormal as the rest of us and I know for sure they've been having the yugest of affairs since the dawn of time. People are people, whether gay or straight. USCIS isn't going to treat you differently than any other couple.

So I doubt they are going to ask about the last time you had sex or who takes which position or anything else along these lines. They will simply ask about how and when you met, what you know about each other's lives and other ordinary, boring stuff. At least this is what happened when we had our interview, and that was in late-2013 so interviewing a same-sex couple was still very new.

Good luck and keep us posted!

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Hi

I'll try to answer most of your questions, but you had so many I might forget a few things :)

I'm in the same kind of boat like you. I came to the US on a visit with my American boyfriend and ended up staying. We thought it would be not much of a problem to get married and change my status, but we found out afterwards that that is illegal so I did a lot of research to make sure it would stick should it come to an investigation.

For the interview, have your stories lined up, but don't make it sound rehearsed. If you are not the type of couple that takes a lot of pics than don't start now. Just a few once in a while. Make sure that you have other evidence like plane tickets of trips you took, go over the important things you did together, when and how you met, know personal stuff. When they ask about the sex you just be honest and say that you're both asexual. No biggie. The people who do these interviews do this hundreds of times a year so they are trained to see when a marriage is real in a couple minutes. Also we took the same last name, got a joint bank account and are registered on the same address. If there is a legit reason for not physically living together (like for work reasons) I think that is fine, but I think it's an obligation to be registered at the same adress.

EAD takes closer to 90 days. I'm on day 67 and still no news.

Cost for combination package was $1450, you need around 8 passport pics and 1 of your spouse. I had two taken and ordered 10 extra for $5 from an online company. Medical was $250 at MDnow. Look online for coupons!!! I had one $50 off. I mailed everything priority mail which was $25 or so. Make sure you have all the documents like birth certificate of yourself, your spouse and co sponsor. This might cost something too, $50-$100.

You only need 1 G1145

Sponsorship. Your spouse needs to be the principal sponsor. He will need his tax return from last year, preferably from the last three. If his income is not enough or you just want to make sure you can use one joint sponsor. I first thought this had to be an in-living family member, but this was not the case. I got my mother-in-law as co sponsor.

Tip for filing. Print all documents, fill them out by hand first and then fill the same ones out on the computer and print those out to send them to USCIS. That way you can doublecheck.

It took me a couple of weeks to get everything filled out. I needed to get birth certificates, medical records from Belgium, etc. But if you have everything prepared you can get it done quickly. Just keep in mind that the medical is three visits with some days in between and that you have to wait for the report a couple of days.

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I assume @NigeriaorBust is joking when commenting about "what is normal" and wondering if same-sex couples are "less apt to have big affairs". I'm pretty sure opposite-sex couples are as abnormal as the rest of us and I know for sure they've been having the yugest of affairs since the dawn of time. People are people, whether gay or straight. USCIS isn't going to treat you differently than any other couple.

So I doubt they are going to ask about the last time you had sex or who takes which position or anything else along these lines. They will simply ask about how and when you met, what you know about each other's lives and other ordinary, boring stuff. At least this is what happened when we had our interview, and that was in late-2013 so interviewing a same-sex couple was still very new.

Good luck and keep us posted!

I'm pretty sure NigeriaorBust meant a "big affair" to mean a "big wedding" not a cheating kind of affair.

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Yes I was referring to the size of the party not any strange thing. I am older so have seen many changes in wedding styles. Having a transgender child I am also aware they still have issues about having people that want to make a public stand against what they see as unnatural and would probably not respect a wedding so they will not invite people that would create that kind of conflict.

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I really think your sex life is none of USCIS's concern, well at least they didn't ask me. We also had a small wedding with few witnesses, no biggies. We didn't have joint bank accounts or leases or bills and I didn't change my last name. You will be fine!

I did my medical for $70 if you have all your shots up to date. I didn't so I got it all done at CVS and paid for by the insurance company. For passport pictures, I took it with my phone with a white background and had it printed at CVS for 29 cents a piece. You can really keep your cost low if you want it to!

And congrats on the marriage.

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