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New and it may be a silly question

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it all depends on the case, if its straight forward i would not use attorney. There are many on VJ that use attorney and others dont

Aapki Nazroan Ne Samjha, Pyaar Ke Kabil Mujhe

Dil Ki Ai Dharkan Thaher Ja, Mil Gayee Manzil Mujhe

I-130 Process

01-29-2006 | Marriage

02-13-2006 | Mailed to NSC

02-27-2006 | NOA1

06-15-2006 | I-130 Approved

I-129F Process

03-08-2006 | Mailed to CHICAGO LOCKBOX

03-13-2006 | NOA1

07-31-2006 | I-129F Approved

09-01-2006 | K3 Interview, Visa Approved

09-14-2006 | Passport recieved from Consulate

01-23-2007 | POE at Chicago

AOS process

07-25-2007 | Mailed to CHICAGO LOCKBOX

08-30-2007 | NOA1

09-07-2007 | Biometrics Appointment

01-28-2008 | AOS interview-More evidence requested

02-07-2008 | AOS approved

02-19-2008 | Recieved Green Card in mail

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We try once with the attorney and being hold back by them not doing anything... we drop the service and we do it oursleve with the information from VJ... if you have a straight forward case, you can do it yourself....

Sheldon (US) & Wendy (Malaysia)

2003-April – Meet my fiancé at work place

2003-July – Engagement

2005-May - Appointed an Attorney to work on our K1 VISA

2005-Aug – Attorney mishandling our case, they told us will expedite our case

2006-02-16 to 2006-03-09 - With my fiancé in US for our new apartment move


2006-03-09 - I-129F Sent to VSC

2006-03-13 - NOA1

2006-03-25 - NOA2

2006-03-27 - NVC Received

2006-03-29 - NVC Left

2006-04-10 - Sent email to Embassy for Packet 3, Consular advice Packet 3 has sent on 10 April

2006-04-21 - Received Packet 3!

2006-04-24 - Sent DS230 Part 1 and Checklist back to Embassy

2006-04-28 – Self collected Packet 4 at Embassy and make appointment for medical

2006-04-29 - Medical check-up

2006-05-11 - Interview Day!!!! - APPROVED!!!

2006-05-15 - Submitted my resignation from work

2006-05-17 - Got a call from Embassy, my visa issuance ON HOLD due to new law IMBRA, they are not able to issue my VISA!!!

2006-05-19 - Pick up my passport without VISA. No information as to when my VISA will be ready...

2006-05-22 - Embassy inform that our case has sent back to NVC via FedEx

2006-06-24 - Last day of my job after serving 1 month notice. (Manage to extend my last work day to 6/24)

~~~ Still don't know what they need from us...

2006-06-25 - USC's finace fly to Malaysia...

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That is very much a personal decision and one only you should make. You should read the guides here as to filing a K-1 visa, decide if it's something you think you can handle alone, and then proceed. That's my technical answer. ;)

If you would like my personal OPINION, I would do it yourself. This site is an absolutely wonderful resource. I didn't know a think about immigration when we started our process, and my husband and I managed just fine. It really isn't that difficult, you just have to be careful to be very mindful of details. If you READ THE GUIDES, that is the singlemost important information I can tell you....and then if you are still unclear on anything, post your questions here(after using the search key to find out of the question has already been asked numerous times) you should be just fine.

I wish you well on your journey whatever you decide to do. M. :)

and PS..when you do file, please DO make a timeline(I know you can't as of yet) I really helps people to know what stage of the process you are in and what country your SO is living in(which embassy they are going through) in order to give you proper answers. Good luck! M.


10 year green card received

mid March, 2008. Done 'til Naturalization! WOOT! :)

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We used a lawyer as we hadnt found this site yet, but have found them to very slow to respond to anything and took months after they had all the information to get the petition sent off.

Anyway if you are going to use one dont use *** immigration service as ourselves and another VJ member havent found them to be the best.

Just my two cents

Sent AOS, EAD - 3/27/07

NOA1 for AOS and EAD - 4/03/07

Checks cashed - 4/04/07

touched AOS and EAD - 04/06/07

touched AOS and EAD - 04/09/07

RFE for AOS - 04/26/07

return RFE - 06/20/07

EAD approved - 07/07/07

AOS transfered to CSC - 07/10/07

AOS approved - 08/10/07

Welcome letter arrived - 08/18/07

Green card arrive - 08/18/07

Apply for stolen green card 07/12/09

Apply for I-751 09/31/09

I-751 rejected due to late filling

Resubmit with a letter explaining tardiness 10/01/09

NOA1 - 10/17/09

No BioMetrics

Approval 12/4/09

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I am new here also, but wanted to respond to your post. This is a very personal choice you have to make, but I wish I had filed our K1 myself.

I used an attorney last year to start our process, he had all the money and all of our papers. He did not do a thing and caused us much delay and heartbreak. I figured out that I needed to be very vigilant about the process and the only way to do that was to know as much as possible about the timeline and papers required.

I did not find out about this site until a month ago, so I had already employed a second attorney. I had to send our papers back to the attorney about 5 times for careless errors. Again more time delays.

If I had to do it over, I would do the papers myself and VJ is the perfect place to get all the information you need.

JMHO, but as long as you follow 'exactly' what the forms ask for and check your answers over 5 or 6 times before mailing, you should be able to do this yourself, it will be cheaper and faster.

I wish you all the best.

2manypapers (F)

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I think you can do well with the information posted on this site. The people here have been through all sorts of situations, and you can get a very good idea of the process. IF [VERY BIG IF] you have problems; RFEs, rejection for any reason; you can post here and get good informaiton. If you like, at that point maybe [again, VERY BIG MAYBE] you might decide to use an attorney. The process is very straightforward if complex. There are no secrets of how-to. Just follow the rules to excruciating detail, and you will be fine. Best of luck on your wonderful adventure!

Feb 16, 2006 Sent I-129F

Feb 27, 2006 NOA 1 Notice Date

May 8, 2006 Received NOA 2, Notice date: May 1

May 22, 2006 Received NOA 3, Letter dated May 18! Papers SHOULD be in Bangkok "within a week"!

June 3, 2006 Jat Received Packet 3! But for some reason, they also sent her the I-134. Thanks folks, that's REAL convenient for me!

July 15, 2006 The Young Lady recieved Packet 4! Interview is scheduled for August 15! WOW!!!!

August 15, 2006 Approved! Wow!!! Now on the The Next Step!!!! ;)

September 6, 2006 She's Here!

October 4, 2006 Hitched!

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Its quite simple. If you have the time and patience to find out the details then you can use this site and others (guides, example forms, postings, pinned info etc. etc.) to do the petition and AOS etc. yourself. Also you will save $1000 to $3000 in the process that a lawyer might charge for not really doing much for you and sometimes delaying your application by not doing the correct thing.

If you don't want to fill out these forms and feel out of place with this mumbo jumbo then you can use a lawyer - a frend of mine is using a lawyer and is very happy with him (and the lawyer is probably also very happy with his $3000+ fees :lol:)

Good Luck



March 2 Filed I-129 F

July 21 Interview in Bogota ** Approved ** Very Easy!


Oct 19 Mailed AOS Packet to Chicago


Feb 17 AOS interview in Denver. Biometrics also done today! (Interviewing officer ordered them.)

Apr 25 Green card received


Removal of conditions

March 17 Refiled using new I-751 form

April 16 Biometrics done

July 10 Green card production ordered



Jan 20 filed N400

Feb 04 NOA date

Feb 24 Biometrics

May 5 Interview - Centennial (Denver, Colorado) Passed

June 10 Oath Ceremony - Teikyo Loretto Heights, Denver, Colorado

July 7 Received Passport in 3 weeks

Shredded all immigration papers Have scanned images

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Hello all. I apologize in advance if this is a silly question :blush: . Are any of you utilizing the services of an immigration attorney. My fiance really thinks we should and I am not so sure. Any advice is appreciated.


Its your choice BUT if it were me i would only use a attorney IF i had something like an overstay or some other problem that might require a legal opinion, otherwise NO you can find all the help you need right here on VJ,

Welcome to VJ, & NO question is a stupid question if you dont know the answer, Good Luck on your visa journey :thumbs:

Amanda-England (Yorkshire)- Mark-USA(Michigan)

April/04/2005- Visa journey began!!

We did both K3 & CR1 visa's, got both!!- I returned to England for my CR1 interview after first arriving on a K3 visa!!

May/25th 2006- Green card arrives in the mail................YAY!!

19th June 2006 I Had to go to the Social Security Office to get my number, the DS-230 didnt work for me!!

26-June-2006- Social Security# arrived in the mail....YAY!!

Feb 2008 lift conditions <<<reminder to self!!<<<< went to England for a visit instead, no rush right, 90 days is a long time,LOL

Removing Conditions Begins

Mailed I-751 April 12th 2008

signed for @ NSC April 16th

NOA date April 16th

Conditional GC expired May 5th 2008

Biometrics Detroit May 10th 2008

10 year Green card ordered August 20th 2008

Citizenship any time from feb 2009

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You've gotten the point on the personal choice from other responses.

I'd add that since there's an additional investment of time and money and trust, I'd want to do serious checking to see really how successful the service is, lawyer or otherwise.

I did ours with the advice of someone who offers assistance for a few hundred dollars.

In the final analysis, I'd spoken with a couple successful K-1 men petitioners and got their insight.

I researched as best I could on the web including the USCIS web site.

Then I did what I felt was best in filling out and submitting everything.

I did a search yesterday to see if I could find something about the IMBRA implementation.

I found an informative link of a service that you at least should read the advice.

I don't know them; you might contact them; I did to see what services they provide past the K-1.

I've no idea what their credibility is; their advice shown on their web about pitfalls and such is spot on so I'd tend to go in their favor.

And they're less expensive than lawyers.

Here's the link: http://www.apexvisa.us/

Wait for the audio to complete before clicking on links; it's quite informative.

I found on one of the links something that we were doing that could get us disqualified even though it's innocent and nothing wrong. It makes sense looking from the inside of the DHS/USCIS and their mentality.

Another interesting "fact" these people claim is, if I read it correctly, that USCIS business is really to try and find something to deny your petition.

Now, I'd never thought of that; it does make sense; if you're doing an investigation, what are you doing it for if not trying to disqualify -- maybe not malicilously, nevertheless I believe that to be the case.

Their claim is that they, this service for visa support, knows the inside and can and will, for a modest fee, help guide people away from the pitfalls -- like the one we were innocently doing.

All the best on your journey -- it is a journey not for the faint-hearted or not able to willing to make serious investments [money, time, emotions to name a few major ones!]

Larry and Maria

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I don't think your question is silly in the least!

As someone else mentioned, it is your personal decision. That being said, I will put in my "two cents" too.

Recently someone else posted a similar question, and almost everyone said not to hire a lawyer. Well, my fiance (now husband!) and I hired a lawyer. I started looking into the process myself (didn't know about this website), and I felt so overwhelmed. I called a few immigration lawyers in my area, and they all seemed to just want my money. They weren't willing to give me any information over the phone unless I agreed to meet with them. That would've cost about $200-$400 for an initial meeting unless I would've retained their services, then I would get the money back.

Instead I looked through the phone book and called a lawyer who works out of his home. He was so nice and immediately put me at ease. He was an immigrant many years ago from Canada who is now a citizen. His wife came over from Canada on a K-1 visa, so he'd been through the process himself. They'd also adopted a baby from Russia, so he's had a lot of personal experiences with immigration.

Anyway, I'm rambling on...so we decided to hire an immigration lawyer although our case was also very straightforward. Our lawyer does all the paperwork (I usually give him the information via e-mail or when we meet), and then he fills it all out. I then double check to make sure it's all accurate. He does all the photocopying of pictures, documents, everything we submitted that was proof of our relationship. I've realized that we've sent in much more than was necessary, but I'd rather go above and beyond then have anyone who's deciding our future come back and say, "You have to submit this or that..."

Some people say it's a waste of money, but my opinion is that having the support and being put at ease is worth the money! My husband and I didn't want to make any mistakes. We wanted it to be as smooth and possible.

Good luck.

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Unless you have something peculiar in your case, I'd just try doing it myself at first. Just follow the instructions and you'll be fine :)


7/27/2006: Arrival in NYC! -- I-94/EAD stamp in passport

8/08/2006: Applied for Social Security Card

8/18/2006: Social Security Card arrives

8/25/2006: WEDDING!


9/11/2006: Appointment with Civil Surgeon for vaccination supplement

9/18/2006: Mailed AOS and renewal EAD applications to Chicago

10/2/2006: NOA1's for AOS and EAD applications

10/13/2006: Biometrics taken

10/14/2006: NOA -- case transferred to CSC

10/30/2006: AOS approved without interview, greencard will be sent! :)

11/04/2006: Greencard arrives in the mail! :-D

... No more USCIS for two whole years! ...


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Can't add much to what's already been said - just this point: If you choose to use a lawyer, be sure that they are affiliated with the American Immigration Lawyers Association. See their site at:


The initial mystery that attends any journey is: how did the traveller reach his starting point in the first place?

---Louise Bogan, Journey Around my Room

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i did not ....depends on your level of confidence and if there are issues in the petition an attorney maybe needed..

Peace to All creatures great and small............................................

But when we turn to the Hebrew literature, we do not find such jokes about the donkey. Rather the animal is known for its strength and its loyalty to its master (Genesis 49:14; Numbers 22:30).


my burro, bosco ..enjoying a beer in almaty


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We didnt either, we used the guides and example forms on VJ and had no problem. It really is a personal choice but just make sure they tell you in advance what they are going to charge you because some may charge hundreds whilst others charge thousands! :)

P.S. A lawyer cant make things any quicker for you!


Edited by MrsW2B

> Texas have received out application and cashed the cheque!

We got our NOA1 as at 26 Oct 2005!

Sent to CSC 26 Oct 2005

NOA2 26 Jan 2006

Sent to Embassy 9 Feb 2006

Embassy sent pk3 21 feb 2006

Recd and return pk3 27 feb

Medical 8 March

recd pk4 11 April

Interview 10 May

Visa Approved 10 May

Visa Received 13 May

Fly to Memphis 21 june

Married 1 September

AOS NOA1 23 Jan 2007

Case transferred to Missourri

Case transferred back to CSC feb 01

Card in the mail March 05

Case approved March 005

Welcome to America Letters received March 08

Filed for lifting of conditions - received in Vermont Jan 20 2009

I-797C NOA received Jan 26 2009

Visit My Website

A Joy unshared is like and unlighted candle

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