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Hello, everyone! I finally got everything together and did all the paperwork for the I-130 this weekend. Today I went to the U.S. Embassy in Moscow to file. To prove residency I used my student visa which is issued for one year and a letter from the director of my program that states that my program is in Moscow and that I am here for one whole year. They did not give me any trouble about the residency requirement.

I tried to find information about the first step of the process in Moscow and was unable to find anything.

Therefore, I will post my experience here for future Moscow DCF filers!

1. Make sure you can fulfill the residency requirement. Generally, they want proof that you have been in the country for six months already. In certain circumstances, however, if you have compelling evidence, you may be able to start sooner.

2. I-130 petitions are accepted everyday from 1-4 PM. (Of course, this could change. I found this information on the website, although this is the ONLY mention they have about anything DCF-related)

3. Your foreign spouse does not need to go with you. I read on many sites that you should go together, but at least in Moscow, there is absolutely no need, although I guess it can't hurt. I went alone.

4. They accept payment in both dollars and rubles.

5. You use the same entrance that all the Russians applying for tourist/business visas use. At first I was told to go to the Citizen Services section, which was not correct. They (Citizen Services) told me to go back to where I had seen the huge line of Russians. They told me to show the Russian guards there my American passport and they should let me through. They told me I did not have to stand in the loooong line with all the people for tourist visas. However, when I got there and showed them my passport, they said "get in line." I argued with them for a few minutes and insisted that I was told by Citizen Services that I did not have to stand in the same line as my situtation was different. Because once inside, there is no line for people filing the I-130. I was the only one there. Finally, they decided they would "make an exception" and let me in. Once you get in and go through all the security, after taking a number you do NOT wait for your number to show up on the board on the wall. You just go to Window 20, pick up the phone, and tell the person on the line you're here to file the I-130. I guess they have so few people apply that they don't have someone at the window all the time. But when you call they come right away. So a man came down to look at my papers. He was very nice, and very courteous. He looked over my papers, then took them to an immigration officer so he could make sure everything was there. Once that was approved I went to the kassa to pay the $355 fee, went back to Window 20 with my receipt and documents (you have to take your documents with you to the kassa), handed them in, and that was it! I didn't understand exactly what would happen next, but we were advised to start working on the police certificate right away. It seems that after immigration services approves our paperwork, it will be handed over to the consular section, and I will be filing the I-864 through them, and they will send the interview information to my husband.

If anyone has any other questions I would be glad to help!

June 2002 we met at a mutual friend's birthday party

August 2003 we started dating

August 2006 engaged

July 20, 2008 ZAGS wedding in Moscow

May 18, 2008 church wedding in NY

June 16, 2008 we returned to Moscow for one last year

December 1, 2008 filed the I-130 through DCF at the Embassy in Moscow!

January 13, 2009 called the consulate and found out that I-130 was approved on December 22!! But still waiting for the letter in the mail

January 20, 2009 received an e-mail from the consulate that the interview is scheduled for Feb. 20th at 8AM!

January 24, 2009 received packets 3 & 4 and confirmation letter in the mail!

February 12, 2009 medical passed!

February 20, 2009 interview scheduled, but had to reschedule due to a wounded finger

March 6, 2009 new interview date---passed!!!

March 12, 2009 visa received

August 9, 2009 he arrived! (through JFK) Received IR-1 and now we're done for another three years!

August 31, 2009 permanent green card arrived

July 16, 2012 sent in N-400 for U.S. citizenship

July 23, 2012 NOA

August 10, 2012 biometrics appt.

October 5, 2012 citizenship interview (approved!)

December 7, 2012 oath ceremony. We're done!

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Filed: K-3 Visa Country: Russia

Congrats on getting started! :)

Feb 11, 2005 ZAGS wedding in Moscow

Aug 7,2005 married in the Cathedral in Dmitrov

June 27, 2008 mail I-130

July 11,2008 sent I-129F

Oct 2, 2008 Yuri received packets 3+4 from US Embassy Moscow

Nov 20, 2008 Interview....VISA APPROVED!!!!!!

Dec 10, 2008 Yuri arrived! No problems :)

April 20, 2009 mailed AOS

May 4, 2009 medical exam

May 21, 2009 biometrics done

June 5, 2009 received EAD by mail

Aug 10, 2009 interview-given greencard congradulations letter with stamp

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  • 2 years later...

Thank you for the detailed description! It was very helpful to me ))) I just wanted to update this info and add my experience of DCF in Moscow.

I was worried about the residency requirement because the new visa website says they don't consider "temporary" visas like tourist or students as residency. The people from the Embassy said if you have been in Russia for six months (legally) without leaving, you are fine. When I got there, they just glanced at my student visas and didn't give me any trouble. I also went without my foreign spouse. They accept payment in dollars, rubles, and credit card. They even take American Express. The fee is now $420. There is a citibank ATM in the waiting area. And water fountains, yay!

When I got to the consular section, I just told them I needed USCIS / DHS and they let me in. There wasn't anyone in line or waiting for visas when I went, so I didn't take a number I just walked through to the second floor (walk almost to the exit, then take a right and go upstairs where it says refugees). They have renamed Window 20, now it is room 255. For me they did the same, looked over all the documents and then the immigration officer looked over everything. She then asked me about all my different visas and about when I met my husband, and I had to remember the approximate dates of every time I had left and come back to Russia.

That's all, now we are waiting for approval!

Edited by Pinenut

2008/09/22 Met

2010/01/16 Married

2011/10/11 Filed I-130 at Moscow field office

2011/10/18 Approved I-130 received by Immigrant Visa Unit

2011/11/08 Letter with case number received in mail, scheduled interview at convenient date for us

2012/02/16 Interview!! Approved!!

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