Hi all -
This is my first post in a while as I haven't needed to be on here recently. I got to the US on a K1 last July and filed AOS in Sep 2014. Well this morning I finally received my Green Card welcome letter and it feels great so I had to share!
I'm here not just to be smug: I do have specific circumstances around historic UK police cautions that could have easily derailed this whole endeavour, and so I post here perhaps to give some hope to those in similar situations. Over the past year I have received a whole lot of direct messages from some of those people, so let me say this post is for them.
If you're interested in the long story, here is the thread:
And a little more detail on my case since arriving last summer:
I had my interview 16 days ago, despite initially receiving a letter stating I was unlikely to be interviewed. I attended with my wife and armed with a bag full of evidence of our co-mingling, our finances, our wedding, even wedding ring receipts and signed affidavits from our family and friends stating we are the real thing. We took everything, because why not. The interviewing officer asked for none of these things and simply took copies of some of our wedding photographs. We also faced no further questions about the legitimacy of our relationship, and instead the interview was taken up by my repeating answers to those questions we've all faced on the i-485 and the landing card about whether you've ever been a murderer or a pimp or a nazi. It all seemed a little strange to me but of course very easy to answer a clear NO to everything.
The interview seemed to be plain sailing when suddenly a supervising officer entered the room and explained that he needed further detail from the file regarding my UK police history. Whilst thumbing through the paperwork this second guy was very apologetic about interrupting but that he required further clarification on what constitutes a caution in the UK since there is no comparable charge under US law. I politely offered them a copy of the subject access report which expands further on the police certificate; worryingly they had not seen this despite it being in my application. Lesson learned: be thorough, and speak up if you have information supporting your case, even if its evidenced already! They are human and may have missed it!
I'm surprised the supervising officer was not already knowledgeable on UK police cautions, but its possible these situations don't come through very often. I appreciated his candor and also his apologies for delaying the situation; he could not have been more understanding and supportive even as I started to think the worst.
The interviewing officer concluded the interview and stated a decision would be pending further investigation but that I would receive notification anywhere between 14 - 90 days. I was gutted. It felt horrible to have come this far, to have uprooted my life and started over, only to have this whole fuss come to bite me at the last hurdle. I stressed and stressed all over again for days afterwards.
Well, 16 days later I got my welcome letter, so i'm now officially a legal permanent resident!
Despite the ebb and flow of expectations for coming on two years now, with rattled nerves based on some poor choices in my past, things turned out ok for me after all, and my wife and I can carry on with our blissful lives together in sunny California. Thank you America, and I owe even bigger thank you's to visajourney.com for seeing me through this whole process. Everything here from the guides to the reviews to the timelines and of course all the helpful feedback in the forums has carried us through this grueling process. I honestly do not know if we would have made it without this website. Hooray for the internet, and hooray for all the good people who stick around to pass on their invaluable knowledge.
THANK YOU / PEACE & LOVE