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Lawyer or No Lawyer? Lining up the ducks!

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Hi, there. My name's Jen, and my new husband and I are just beginning the whole K3 process this weekend ... the complexities seem staggering right now, and I'm wondering if we might be better off just hiring an attorney. Would anybody mind sharing some pros and cons about going that route? Regrets for the path you've taken either way? How much will this probably, honestly cost us with and/or without an attorney?

And in case we do go it alone:

Is it true the AOS process can be started well before the K3 is complete? At what point can we begin it? My husband has a good savings and I have a decent job, but we can't wait forever for him to start working, if for no other reason than he is the kind of guy who needs to be busy and feel like he has a purpose!

Also, I just sent my passport to be corrected after our July 2006 marriage, and it will be at least a month before I get it back. Should I wait to send in the I-130, or is the other option of sending in a copy of my birth certificate really just as acceptable? I'll end with the mother of all silly questions ... are color copies preferable to B & W ones when sending in any sort of documentation?

I can't tell you enough how glad I am to find this forum. Ay yi yi, this is crazy stuff. :blink:

Love's a powerful thing, ain't it?

Edited by JenM

For CR-1 Process:

CIS

08.17.06 - I-130 mailed to TSC

08.29.06 - NOA-1 generated

09.04.06 - NOA-1 received in the mail from CSC

09.11.06 - *Touch*

09.15.06 - *Touch*

11.01.06 - APPROVED!! [76 days]

NVC

11.20.06 - Case number assigned

11.21.06 - E-mailed Choice of Agent and mailed AOS Bill using James' Shortcuts

11.28.06 - Choice of Agent in NVC system

12.04.06 - IV Bill and I-864 Packet generated

12.06.06 - I-864 mailed using James' Shortcuts

12.12.06 - IV Bill rec'd via USPS and payment sent back to NVC same day

12.21.06 - I-864 in NVC system

12.26.06 - DS-230 generated

12.29.06 - DS-230 mailed using James' Shortcuts

01.08.07 - All paperwork in NVC system.

02.07.07 - Case complete [80 days]. NVC reports our file has left for London

*** Saved total of 29 days using James' Shortcuts***

London Embassy

03.06.07 - Packet arrives with interview date & instructions

04.03.07 - Medical in London - went smoothly

04.12.07 - 10.30 AM Interview at London Embassy - in and out in half an hour!

04.13.07 - Visa arrives at Hubby's home in York, 1.30 PM. WOW!

04.29.07 - Husband arrives in US via Newark. :)

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Hi, there. My name's Jen, and my new husband and I are just beginning the whole K3 process this weekend ... the complexities seem staggering right now, and I'm wondering if we might be better off just hiring an attorney. Would anybody mind sharing some pros and cons about going that route? Regrets for the path you've taken either way? How much will this probably, honestly cost us with and/or without an attorney?

And in case we do go it alone:

Is it true the AOS process can be started well before the K3 is complete? At what point can we begin it? My husband has a good savings and I have a decent job, but we can't wait forever for him to start working, if for no other reason than he is the kind of guy who needs to be busy and feel like he has a purpose!

Also, I just sent my passport to be corrected after our July 2006 marriage, and it will be at least a month before I get it back. Should I wait to send in the I-130, or is the other option of sending in a copy of my birth certificate really just as acceptable? I'll end with the mother of all silly questions ... are color copies preferable to B & W ones when sending in any sort of documentation?

I can't tell you enough how glad I am to find this forum. Ay yi yi, this is crazy stuff. :blink:

Love's a powerful thing, ain't it?

JenM,

Are you the US Citizen Petitioner? Is your husband in USA or in another country? A born US Citizen's photocopy of the birth certificate is enough for the US Citizenship proof. If your case is straight forward, then you don't need a lawyer. In order to process K-3, you have to start the CR-1 process first by mailing out the I-130 and relevant documents to USCIS. But from your post, I am not sure who is the petitioner and whether the beneficiary is in USA or not.


I-130 Timeline with USCIS:

It took 92 days for I-130 to get approved from the filing date

NVC Process of I-130:

It took 78 days to complete the NVC process

Interview Process at The U.S. Embassy

Interview took 223 days from the I-130 filing date. Immigrant Visa was issued right after the interview

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If you have a straightforward case, no reason to need to hire an attorney. The majority of the paperwork is not much more difficult than a standard job application. There is always someone here that can give you a helping hand if a question arises. The whole CR-1/K-3 process is under $1k, no idea what an attorney would cost you. Black and white copies are fine.

Welcome to VJ, and hope you have a speedy journey. :thumbs:


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If you have a straightforward case, no reason to need to hire an attorney. The majority of the paperwork is not much more difficult than a standard job application. There is always someone here that can give you a helping hand if a question arises. The whole CR-1/K-3 process is under $1k, no idea what an attorney would cost you. Black and white copies are fine.

Welcome to VJ, and hope you have a speedy journey. :thumbs:

She might not be aware of the red flags, so maybe we could give her some ideas.

Woman older than man

sponsor just recently divorced

sponsor needs a co sponsor

met on the internet

sponsor knows family of applicant

Now I am not saying that these will necessarily cause you problems. Your SO isn't from one of the high fraud contries, but its still important to really think long and hard about anything in your case that could be interpreted as possible fraud to the consulate.

These are the ones I can think of, any others you can think of?


'Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO HOO, What a Ride'

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Woman older than man

sponsor just recently divorced

sponsor needs a co sponsor

met on the internet

sponsor knows family of applicant

OMG I'm a walking red flag!!! How much do they go by these guidelines and what can one do about it? Do you know?


Jun 26, 06 - 129-F filed

Sep 27, 06 - NOA2

Nov 28, 06 - INTERVIEW SUCCESS!!!

Dec 12, 06 - VISA IN HAND

Dec 29, 06 - MARRIED!!

Jan 8, 07 - filed for AOS and EAD

Apr 3, 07 - EAD approved!!!

Apr 7, 07 - EAD card arrived!

May 10, 07 - Interview....APPROVED!!!

May 23, 07 - GC in hand

Feb 10, 09 - I-751 sent to CSC

Feb 12, 09 - NOA1

Apr 20, 09 - Approved!

Jun 12, 09 - Card Production Ordered

Jun 19, 09 - 10 year GC Received

 

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Hi JenM, Many people here are do-it-yourselfers and handle the paperwork themselves, without an attorney. But that puts the onus on you to understand the process, which can be confusing. Get set for research and tracking your petition.

If it's vital for your husband to work in the U.S. as soon as he gets here, you may want to read the timelines for CR-1 and the U.K. It's the long way, but he arrrives with a greencard. He waits in his own country.

K3 is supposed to unite couples quicker but there has been a new law (IMBRA) and backlogs. Not enough evidence yet to predict timings. Again, he waits in the U.K.

I'm out of my depth on this one, but there may be couples who marry in the U.S. and simply apply for AOS. I believe the foreign spouse has to stay here, will not be able to work, and could be denied if it looks like he entered the States with the intent to immigrate, which is a no no.

No matter which route you choose, get set for a difficult period of waiting and being seperated. It's best to have a plan to retain your sanity.

Edited by Jersey Girl

I-130 sent Mar 30, 06

approved Aug 15, 06

I-129f sent April 24, 06

approved July 27, 06

Montreal interview Jan 18, 07

POE Toronto Jan 28, 07

EAD sent Jan. 30, 07

transferred to Vermont Feb 12

biometrics Feb 22

approved March 13

card returned undeliverable! March 27

called after 6 weeks to have EAD re-sent

AOS sent Jan. 30, 07

biometrics Feb 22

RFE for complete medical (!) Feb 23

Called Senator from NJ - never returned call

Infopass March 19 (no help)

Replied to RFE with duplicate medical March 19

Sent additional evidence (I-693A) March 26

NBC received supplement March 30

touched April 4

Interview July 16

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No matter which route you choose, get set for a difficult period of waiting and being seperated. It's best to have a plan to retain your sanity.

can you please explain the options of the plan

Edited by hafiz

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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can you please explain the options of the plan

Hi hafiz, you can start by mailing your second IMBRA letter, then:

Excuse yourself. If you're having a bad day, give yourself permission to accomomplish little or nothing.

Pamper yourself. Bubble baths, naps, comfort food. Indulge yourself every hour if you need it.

Express yourself. In prayer, in a journal, in a phone call to someone who understands.

Forgive yourself. It's okay to be anxious or down. It's temporary. Reach out to other crazies here.

Take care of yourself. See a family doctor. If you need meds or counselling, let it be part of your plan.

Honor yourself. Be good to the person your finance or spouse loves. For their sake!

Respect yourself. Take time with your appearance (hair, make-up, clothes). It will lift your spirits.

Distract yourself. See a movie, go to a mall, exercise, volunteer. Get out of your self absorbtion.

Monitor yourself. Gently replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Girl, your visa is on its way!

Love yourself. Your life is a miracle. You're surrounded by so many good things and people. Embrace and enjoy them all.


I-130 sent Mar 30, 06

approved Aug 15, 06

I-129f sent April 24, 06

approved July 27, 06

Montreal interview Jan 18, 07

POE Toronto Jan 28, 07

EAD sent Jan. 30, 07

transferred to Vermont Feb 12

biometrics Feb 22

approved March 13

card returned undeliverable! March 27

called after 6 weeks to have EAD re-sent

AOS sent Jan. 30, 07

biometrics Feb 22

RFE for complete medical (!) Feb 23

Called Senator from NJ - never returned call

Infopass March 19 (no help)

Replied to RFE with duplicate medical March 19

Sent additional evidence (I-693A) March 26

NBC received supplement March 30

touched April 4

Interview July 16

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Hi, there. My name's Jen, and my new husband and I are just beginning the whole K3 process this weekend ... the complexities seem staggering right now, and I'm wondering if we might be better off just hiring an attorney. Would anybody mind sharing some pros and cons about going that route? Regrets for the path you've taken either way? How much will this probably, honestly cost us with and/or without an attorney?

And in case we do go it alone:

Is it true the AOS process can be started well before the K3 is complete? At what point can we begin it? My husband has a good savings and I have a decent job, but we can't wait forever for him to start working, if for no other reason than he is the kind of guy who needs to be busy and feel like he has a purpose!

Also, I just sent my passport to be corrected after our July 2006 marriage, and it will be at least a month before I get it back. Should I wait to send in the I-130, or is the other option of sending in a copy of my birth certificate really just as acceptable? I'll end with the mother of all silly questions ... are color copies preferable to B & W ones when sending in any sort of documentation?

I can't tell you enough how glad I am to find this forum. Ay yi yi, this is crazy stuff. :blink:

Love's a powerful thing, ain't it?

I would assume most of the answers you will get on this forum will be to do it yourselves....since this is mainly a ``do it yourself `` immigration forum. I myself hired a lawyer...and am still going through the process. I guess it all just depends on the people petitioning...and your case. Some people would rather do it themselves, for reasons varying from complexities of their case (meaning their case doesn`t have many)........to the financial concerns of hiring a lawyer.

I wouldn`t tell you either way, what choice to make. But I can tell you that.....

1) Our lawyer charges $1,000 for the I-130.....(plus the costs of the applications themselves)........then another $1,000 for the consular processing when it reaches the embassy (plus costs of applications etc). She gives us the option of continuing to hire her for the second part, which I like. Because if the first part of our case doesn`t go well, I sure as heck wouldn`t want to pay the other $1,000 and continue her services....so it`s like a $1,000 trial period. Not all lawyers offer that, and many ask for everything up front for the entire process.

2) Several lawyers offer free consultations, and you could meet with one and ask whatever questions you have. No one says you have to hire them. But , at least by doing that you will get professional responses to your questions, and can make a decision as to whether hiring a lawyer is what you want to do.

Good luck


April 16, 2004 Married in Saint Augustine, Florida.

March 7, 2005 Wife left for Istanbul to serve J-1 2 year HRR. Was a very bad day at Black Rock.

May 23, 2006 USCIS receives application for I-130

June 12, 2006 Noa1

Sept 7, 2006 Noa2 I-130 approved

Oct 10 ,2006 Received fee bill from NVC

Nov 13 ,2006 Received Packet 2 DS-230

Jan 4, 2007 Mailed Packet 2 to NVC

Jan 22, 2007 RFE from NVC aaarrrrgggghhh!!!!!!!!

Feb 28, 2007 NVC received "checklist" response and original documents for the RFE

March 13, 2007 Case completed at NVC! Whoooohoooo!! Ankara, here we come!!!!

March 15, 2007 Case fowarded to Ankara Embassy

April 4, 2007 Interview. Wife gets handed the little green paper. Not good. Need to submit a few more things.

April 9, 2007 Items mailed back to Embassy. Crossing fingers, rubbing the "rabbit's foot", etc,..that this may FINALLY be the end.

April 14, 2007 Visa delivered! Wife is finally going to be on her way back home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

April 20, 2007 Wife enters through JFK. The days of grabbing my dinners at the WalMart deli....are now officially over!!!

Stay tuned to this channel for further updates..........

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Thanks for that. It was very helpful. I think I will consult an attorney, just so I can at least be assured that our case is a straightforward as we think it is. Knowing that some attorneys might offer a half-and-half plan such as the one you describe is comforting, too. As this process wears on we will no doubt become more confident in the Immigrations environment, so we may not feel the need for help down the line.

Edited by JenM

For CR-1 Process:

CIS

08.17.06 - I-130 mailed to TSC

08.29.06 - NOA-1 generated

09.04.06 - NOA-1 received in the mail from CSC

09.11.06 - *Touch*

09.15.06 - *Touch*

11.01.06 - APPROVED!! [76 days]

NVC

11.20.06 - Case number assigned

11.21.06 - E-mailed Choice of Agent and mailed AOS Bill using James' Shortcuts

11.28.06 - Choice of Agent in NVC system

12.04.06 - IV Bill and I-864 Packet generated

12.06.06 - I-864 mailed using James' Shortcuts

12.12.06 - IV Bill rec'd via USPS and payment sent back to NVC same day

12.21.06 - I-864 in NVC system

12.26.06 - DS-230 generated

12.29.06 - DS-230 mailed using James' Shortcuts

01.08.07 - All paperwork in NVC system.

02.07.07 - Case complete [80 days]. NVC reports our file has left for London

*** Saved total of 29 days using James' Shortcuts***

London Embassy

03.06.07 - Packet arrives with interview date & instructions

04.03.07 - Medical in London - went smoothly

04.12.07 - 10.30 AM Interview at London Embassy - in and out in half an hour!

04.13.07 - Visa arrives at Hubby's home in York, 1.30 PM. WOW!

04.29.07 - Husband arrives in US via Newark. :)

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Thanks for that. It was very helpful. I think I will consult an attorney, just so I can at least be assured that our case is a straightforward as we think it is. Knowing that some attorneys might offer a half-and-half plan such as the one you describe is comforting, too. As this process wears on we will no doubt become more confident in the Immigrations environment, so we may not feel the need for help down the line.

[/quote

Jen, I commend you for wanting to speak with a lawyer, but before you do, let me just suggest a few things. First, click on the link that I have put in here for you. Look at the guides for the K-3 and the CR-1 visas. Then, download the forms for both visas or at least open them up and look at them. Read them thoroughly so you can get familiar with the forms and the process. Secondly, when you look for a lawyer, don't go with just any lawyer that says that they can file for you. Look for a lawyer that specializes in Immigration and only DOES Immigration. Even then, that is still not a guarantee that they won't try to sucker you in by making you think that you will need a lawyer..remember, they want your money and it can be very expensive to hire one for Immigration as it is not an everyday thing. Hence charging you more if you understand what I am saying. My hubby and I contacted 3 different lawyers and they all wanted to charge at least 10 grand. 2 out of three of those lawyers I might add only dealt with Immigration.

Now, remember, you have found a wonderful site to come for help. There are always plenty of helpful ppl aboard that will try to answer your questions as best they can or will at least direct you to someone who is more knowledgable. I would say talk to Aussiewench or Yodrak. Or MDYOUNG, or JerseyGirl. Those are just a few to mention but there are loads more that are full of helpful information and or suggestions. Honestly, I am glad that my hubby and I did not choose to hire a lawyer as the paperwork is pretty much straight forward.

Good luck with your journey!!!! And WELCOME TO VJ!!!

LJ

http://www.visajourney.com/forums/index.ph...amp;page=guides

Also, forgot to add, when you do talk to a lawyer, becareful with them trying to tell you that they can cut the wait for the visa by more than half. As most of us on here know that that is major BULLSHITE! I had 2 of the lawyers tell me that. There is no way to make it go faster unless you have just cause to have your case expidited and even then there is no guarantee. Hope this helps you.

LJ


Love is not an EMOTION or FEELING....

That if made from the heart...will outlast ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING!!!!

http://www.visajourney.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=117 (shortcuts)

TIMELINE

04/29/2006......MARRIED MY VERY OWN CLOWN WOOOHOOOO

Now we are through with immigration until the end of 2008. Please read my timeline to see our process. Remember, patience is a beatuiful thing if you can remember to keep it...I will be damned if we did lol. We are all here on this site for the same reason...lets all help one another...

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I would guess you could go either way with or without a lawyer since you are working through UK. Any one of us could do this process ourselves. And one of the main reasons I got a lawyer is my husband was in Morocco and I hoped it would prove my seriousness to hire a lawyer for the process even if I thought I could do it just as good as myself. I've never seen anyone do a survey to find out especially in higher denial Consulates if having a lawyer helped or not, but my husband was approved. Not saying it was the reason, but I sure tried to think up everything I could to prepare myself and my husband for the interview so we succeeded. If we were out of UK I would've relaxed and not worried so much, plus I would've been able to see my husband since UK citizens can travel easily to the USA unlike Moroccans.

With whatever decision you make do some research, if you do hire a lawyer check them out too so you don't hire an idiot. But you will need to do all your research and become an export anyway on your case is my best advice. So maybe just save your money and do it yourself since you are lucky your country is the UK.

Wish you the best of luck.

Paula

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Woman older than man

sponsor just recently divorced

sponsor needs a co sponsor

met on the internet

sponsor knows family of applicant

OMG I'm a walking red flag!!! How much do they go by these guidelines and what can one do about it? Do you know?

I would like to talk to you further about this. Go to the middle east forum, and discuss it there. There are several of us that have experience with this consulate, and hopefully we can help you through this.

Thanks for that. It was very helpful. I think I will consult an attorney, just so I can at least be assured that our case is a straightforward as we think it is. Knowing that some attorneys might offer a half-and-half plan such as the one you describe is comforting, too. As this process wears on we will no doubt become more confident in the Immigrations environment, so we may not feel the need for help down the line.

It certainly doesn't hurt to talk to a lawyer. We had all the evidence that a person could want to prove our relationship but they caught us on one that hadn't been discussed here that I know of. He had a relative here, and I never knew that this could cause us any problems, but it did.

If I were to go to a lawyer now I would make sure they are very experienced with immigration and what the consulates look for in fraud. You have to be careful because they might alarm you just to scare you into hiring them. Its not an easy process to find a good lawyer....good luck!


'Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways - Chardonnay in one hand - chocolate in the other - body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming 'WOO HOO, What a Ride'

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If you have the time to do the research and paperwork, you do not need an attorney. I wasted money on an attorney and I still ended up doing all of the work myself. The attorney was little or no help at all at best. Good luck!

Edited by henry34florida

Our first child, Henry III was born on August 29, 2009!

Thank You Jesus!

MARRIED IN LIMA, PERU 02/21/2004

I-130 TIMELINE

I-130 Receipt Date 03/15/2004

I-130 Approved 11/26/2004

I-129F TIMELINE

I-129F Receipt Date 04/09/2004

I-129F Approval 10/08/2004

NVC TIMELINE

I-129F Received By NVC 10/13/2004

Case Number Assigned 10/14/2004

Case Forwarded To US Embassy In Lima, Peru 10/20/2004, E-mail Notification 10/20/2004

Case Forwarded To US Embassy In Lima, Peru 10/20/2004, Postal Mail Notification, 10/23/2004

US EMBASSY, LIMA, PERU

I-129F Received by Embassy 10/26/2004

Interview Date 11/23/2004, Visa denied, Pink paper issued requesting husband's presence at interview.

Went to Peru, 11/25/2004

Visa approved by Embassy, 11/26/2004

Picked up Visa at Embassy, 11/29/2004

ARRIVED IN MIAMI, FLORIDA, USA

12/03/2004 Thank God!

ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS PERMANENT RESIDENT

Approved 07/27/2006, Orlando, Florida

Thank God!

US CITIZENSHIP, NATURALIZATION

N-400 Received 06/03/2009

Fingerprint Notification 06/11/2009

Yellow Letter 07/29/2009

Interview Letter Received 08/15/2009

Interview Scheduled For 09/21/2009

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I suggest what Laura and IanM suggested you. It will cost money to hire a lawyer, plus they can not make the process faster for you. Do lots of reading on this site regarding K-3, CR-1 and ask questions. Even ask questions when you fill out any forms. I am sure, you will make friends here. By the way, I have met some wonderful people here and lot of people here mail me with their questions and I do my best to answer them. You can save the money that you would use for the lawyer for airline tickets.


I-130 Timeline with USCIS:

It took 92 days for I-130 to get approved from the filing date

NVC Process of I-130:

It took 78 days to complete the NVC process

Interview Process at The U.S. Embassy

Interview took 223 days from the I-130 filing date. Immigrant Visa was issued right after the interview

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