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Joyce and Chris

Lawyer vs. Self file K1

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Philippines
Timeline

We are newbies to filing a K1. I have read alot of posts and different websites. By far this has been the best website for information and we are really getting excited to submit the K1 documents. The question I have is how many people are using a lawyer to submit the documents and how many are going at it by themselves? Also I am curious to know the sucess rate for each. My gal is in the Philippines if that helps out which I have heard is a little tougher.

Thanks all for your help.

Chris and Joyce

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We are newbies to filing a K1. I have read alot of posts and different websites. By far this has been the best website for information and we are really getting excited to submit the K1 documents. The question I have is how many people are using a lawyer to submit the documents and how many are going at it by themselves? Also I am curious to know the sucess rate for each. My gal is in the Philippines if that helps out which I have heard is a little tougher.

Thanks all for your help.

Chris and Joyce

Hi and welcome aboad :)

I don't know the cost of the lawyer route, but I would like to say that personally I would do it yourself. My fiancee is in U.S and I live in U.K, and all my questions were answered on this site. I know there will be times when you question yourself for going it alone with a lawyer, but its worth it. Good luck :)

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: England
Timeline

Hi there....We are chose to use a lawyer as we wanted to make sure we got everything done right first time around and hopefully save time. After sorting out the forms and information that needed to be sent to the USCIS we soon realized that we easily could of done the forms ourselves. So far all they have done for us is type up our information onto to the forms from the rough copies (which we filled out ourselves) along with our evidence and sent them off, and then sent us a scanned copy of our hard copy NOA1. for that little piece of work our cost so far have are at a total of $1800. we have since decided to go it alone now so im keeping my fingers crossed we dont encounter any problems. This said it doesn't mean don't get a lawyer as everyone is different and has different needs i just though i would give you my insite.

Good luck and all


10/30/2010 FIELD I-129F
11/09/2010 NOA1
11/30/2010 TOUCHED
12/29/2010 TOUCHED
03/15/2011 TOUCHED
03/15/2011 NOA2 APPROVED
04/04/2011 NVC RECEIVED
04/12/2011 LEFT NVC
04/15/2011 CONSULATE RECEIVED
04/23/2011 PACKET 3 RECEIVED
04/25/2011 PACKET 3 SENT
05/24/2011 PACKET 4 RECEIVED
06/07/2011 INTERVIEW DATE smile.png
06/07/2011 APPROVED WAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO smile.png)))
06/17/2011 ENTERED THE UNITED STATES
10/12/2011 BIOMETRICS
10/21/2011 WORK AUTHORIZATION AND ADVANCE PAROLE RECEIVED
11/21/2011 AOS INTERVIEW APPROVED smile.png))))))))

10/21/2013 I-751 PACKAGE SENT

10/28/2013 NOA1 RECEIVED 1 YEAR EXTENSION

11/1/2013 BIO-METRICS APPOINTMENT RECEIVED FOR 11/19/2013

02/24/2014 I-751 APPROVED. RECEIVED GREEN CARD IN POST dancin5hr.gifdancin5hr.gif

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Canada
Timeline

The question I have is how many people are using a lawyer to submit the documents and how many are going at it by themselves?

My fiance and I hired a lawyer because we were afraid we'd screw something up and cost us more time and money.


April, 2009 - We met

May, 2009 - We wooed

June, 2010 - We got engaged, looking forward to a small August 2010 wedding

** Reality Check: K-1 Process**

July 22, 2010 - NOA1

**5 months of patient waiting**

December 29, 2011 - call around for information about delay

January 5, 2011 - RFE notice (first online status update yet!)

January 10, 2011 - RFE Hardcopy

January 13, 2011 - RFE Response acknowledged

January 24, 2011 - NOA2 (at last!!)

February 3, 2011 - application sent from NVC to Montreal (aka. the Abyss?)

March 7, 2011 - Packet 3 sent to me

March 10, 2011 - Packet 3 delivered to Montreal

March 21, 2011 - Packet 4 sent to me

April 5, 2011 - Medical

April 13, 2011 - Interview - approved!

April 20, 2011 - visa in hand

May 9, 2011 - POE (Buffalo, NY)

May 10, 2011 - wedding :)

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Australia
Timeline

Unless you have complications in your case (previous overstays or criminal convictions that need a waiver) I honestly don't see the need for the expense of a lawyer. There's example forms on this site that you can follow when filling in the paperwork, there's hundreds of people here who have been the same route before you that can answer your questions and with a little common sense its really not too hard. We did our own and yes we got an RFE (request for further evidence) but it was for something so silly that I laugh about it now (only photocopied front of a document instead of all of it - common sense would have dictated photocopying all of it since the important pages were at the back lol). The RFE delayed us 3 weeks which is nothing in the grand scheme of things :) Good luck :)


AOS from K1 Visa

01.20.2011 Posted in AOS, EAD and AP documentation

01.25.2011 Signed for in Chicago

01.31.2011 NOA1s x 3 produced

02.08.2011 NOA1s x 3 hard copies received

02.22.2011 Transferred to CSC

02.28.2011 Biometrics done Fort Worth, Tx

03.18.2011 EAD/AP approved for production

03.24.2011 2 year conditional Green Card approved for production

03.28.2011 EAD/AP card received in the mail

03.29.2011 Welcome to the United States of America letter received in the mail

03.30.2011 Green Card received in the mail.

Removal of Conditions

01.19.2013 Posted I-751 and supporting documentation

01.26.2013 Package delivered to VSC

01.28.2013 NOA1 produced

01.29.2013 Check for filing fee and biometrics cashed

02.02.2013 NOA1 received

02.07.2013 Notice of Biometrics appointment received

02.27.2013 Biometrics done

06.14.2013 10 year unconditional Green Card approved for production

06.19.2013 Congratulations letter received in the mail

06.21.2013 10 year unconditional Green Card received in the mail

Naturalization

07.03.2016 Posted N-400 and supporting documentation

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Filed: Lift. Cond. (apr) Country: China
Timeline

The question I have is how many people are using a lawyer to submit the documents and how many are going at it by themselves?

I will be self-filing. Thanks to the posters here at VJ and over at CFL, I know I can put a good package together myself.

Best wishes to you!


Our journey:

Spoiler

September 2007: Met online via social networking site (MySpace); began exchanging messages.
March 26, 2009: We become a couple!
September 10, 2009: Arrived for first meeting in-person!
June 17, 2010: Arrived for second in-person meeting and start of travel together to other areas of China!
June 21, 2010: Engaged!!!
September 1, 2010: Switched course from K1 to CR-1
December 8, 2010: Wedding date set; it will be on February 18, 2011!
February 9, 2011: Depart for China
February 11, 2011: Registered for marriage in Wuhan, officially married!!!
February 18, 2011: Wedding ceremony in Shiyan!!!
April 22, 2011: Mailed I-130 to Chicago
April 28, 2011: Received NOA1 via text/email, file routed to CSC (priority date April 25th)
April 29, 2011: Updated
May 3, 2011: Received NOA1 hardcopy in mail
July 26, 2011: Received NOA2 via text/email!!!
July 30, 2011: Received NOA2 hardcopy in mail
August 8, 2011: NVC received file
September 1, 2011: NVC case number assigned
September 2, 2011: AOS invoice received, OPTIN email for EP sent
September 7, 2011: Paid AOS bill (payment portal showed PAID on September 9, 2011)
September 8, 2011: OPTIN email accepted, GZO number assigned
September 10, 2011: Emailed AOS package
September 12, 2011: IV bill invoiced
September 13, 2011: Paid IV bill (payment portal showed PAID on September 14, 2011)
September 14, 2011: Emailed IV package
October 3, 2011: Emailed checklist response (checklist generated due to typo on Form DS-230)
October 6, 2011: Case complete at NVC
November 10, 2011: Interview - APPROVED!!!
December 7, 2011: POE - Sea-Tac Airport

September 17, 2013: Mailed I-751 to CSC

September 23, 2013: Received NOA1 in mail (receipt date September 19th)

October 16, 2013: Biometrics Appointment

January 28, 2014: Production of new Green Card ordered

February 3, 2014: New Green Card received; done with USCIS until fall of 2023*

 

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Italy
Timeline

I saw your post on the other thread. DON'T file at Nebraska Service Center, your correct Service Center is California, but you first need to send the petition to Dallas, TX! I-129F Instructions(where to file & more...)

Edited by Ella & Octav

27 NOV 2019 - I-129F mailed to Dallas, TX Lockbox

02 DEC 2019 - NOA1

23 MAR 2020 - NOA2

 

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Philippines
Timeline

Usually, the lawyer will not file as quickly as you would. After all, you have incentive to get it done ASAP, whereas the lawyer sees this as just one piece of work in the bundle that he already has.

It is not hard to do it yourself as long as you follow instructions carefully and take some time to read what other filers have written here. If you are nervous about it or doubt your skill at following very detailed and picky instructions, the lawyer will save you from it. Just keep in mind that he does not have the incentive to do this as quickly as you would, so expect some delays.

If your case is a troublesome one, for example if either one of you has a conviction for drug dealing, then I would go the lawyer route.

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Canada
Timeline

I'm in Canada and my fiance is the US and we filed on our own, just being sure to research and double check anything. We filed two months ago and have not heard anything from them about mistakes or RFEs so I think we did alright. I definitely think you can do it on your own.


event.png

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Nigeria
Timeline

We hired an immigration lawyer because Nigeria is a high-risk country. I have heard stories on VJ of petitioners who hired lawyers who don't seem to know what they are doing and giving out wrong information. If you are going to hire a lawyer do your research on the firm, find someone who is successful and experienced. It can also give you peace of mind as AL422 brought out. However, it will cost you several thousand dollars. I probably could have done it w/o the help of my attorney, but I am happy with whom I chose. The paperwork can seem overwhelming but really it's not that difficult to put together yourself. VJ community is very informative and stays up-to-date. You start by going to GUIDES at the top of the page. Best regards on your journey.


02iqn7wnr.png

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I'm from the Philippines and we did it all ourselves without any problems! You can do it :)


My Journey:

We met through a study-abroad program in Shanghai, China in August of 2009

We got engaged March of 2010

I received my K1 VISA in 6 months (June-December 2010)

We were married 04/02/2011
I received my conditional 2-year greencard (AOS) in 2.5 months with no interview (April-June 2011)

Our son was born 02/03/2013

I received my masters degree in Speech-Language Pathology 04/17/2013

I received my 10-year greencard (ROC) in 3 months with no interview (March-June 2013)

My husband returned from deployment 06/20/2013

My naturalization journey took 4 months (April-August 2014)

I became a US citizen on 08/01/2014

Received passport in 3 weeks (regular processing)

Thank you, VJ! smile.png

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada
Timeline

You might want to take a look at this link. A little while ago another VJer asked the same question but in the Polls section - you can look at the results and the comments here:

http://www.visajourn...e-on-their-own/

I think you will find that the majority of VJers do the paperwork and process on their own. There are several good reasons for doing so. One -as was mentioned above - no one is going to be more invested in getting the work done on time and done completely than you are; Two - you will become familiar with the immigration paperwork and will be in a better position to understand what is happening and recognize when there might be a potential problem. Three - most of the applications are gathering up documents and evidence that you have to do anyway because you have access to them, and then filling out the forms with information that you also have. You have to do the lion's share of the work anyway and all a lawyer really does is provide an expensive copyservice for the work you have prepared. In some cases, lawyers have actually caused errors and delays because they haven't taken the care needed to ensure the applications are correct and complete, thus creating unnecessary delays and in some cases, causing serious harm. Finally, a lawyer is a middleman and with any middleman things can get lost or misplaced or re-directed in the process. Doing it yourself, you will deal directly with USCIS and directly with the consulates involved.

If you have a complication in your circumstances - an existing immigration violation or previous petition, a drug or criminal charge or a severe cultural difference (depending on the cultures involved it could be age, older woman, no proper engagement ceremonies, no evidence of family approval, etc.) you may find the services of a knowledgeable and competent immigration attorney useful, but for an uncomplicated application, this is something you can do yourself

My husband and I went through the whole process from K-1 to Naturalization and never once used a lawyer, nor did we ever receive an RFE (Request for Evidence) at any time in the process.

For dealing with the Philippines, there is also a wealth of information in the Philippines Regional forum here on VJ. You will probably find it very useful to read over that forum as you will find the answers to many of your questions there - probably even before you know to ask them. :)

Good luck.

Edited by Kathryn41

“...Isn't it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive--it's such an interesting world. It wouldn't be half so interesting if we knew all about everything, would it? There'd be no scope for imagination then, would there?”

. Lucy Maude Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

5892822976_477b1a77f7_z.jpg

Another Member of the VJ Fluffy Kitty Posse!

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Lawyer? Why?

If you can read and write, you can do it yourself. Lawyers cost between $1500 and $6000 just until POE. All they do is photocopy documents, proof documents and write things out for you. A grade 6 student could do the same thing.

A lawyer is necessary if you are petitioning a beneficiary from a high risk country, or if you have special circumstances which complicate your case. Otherwise VJ is all you need. I am a student doing twice as many courses as full time constitutes, I work part-time and I have a social life. My fiance (the US Citizen) is also a student, works full time, and is in a band. We are finding the process easy, despite all of these other responsibilities. Find a family member to help proof your docs and do it yourself. Save a ton of money in the process.


06-15?-2009: Starting talking on dating website
07-06-2009: Met in person in Roseville, CA
09-09-2010: Sent I-129f to TXS Lockbox
09-13-2010: NOA1 received
02-02-2011: NOA2 Notification Sent - Approved!!!
02-04-2011: NVC Received
02-09-2011: NVS sent to Vancouver consulate
02-14-2011: Received by Vancouver Consulate
02-15-2011: Packet 3 sent by Vancouver Consulate
02-18-2011: Packet 3 received
02-18-2011: Packet 3 sent back to consulate
02-19-2011: Interview date received!!! Letter on its way!
03-23-2011: Medical at Woking Clinic, Vancouver BC (AM)
03-23-2011: Interview at Vancouver Consulate (PM)
03-23-2011: APPROVED for K-1 Visa!!!! biggrin.png
04-27-2011: POE
05-03-2011: Sent AOS, AP applications
05-06-2011: NOA1 received for AOS and AP
05-06-2011: Applied for SSN. Application successful
05-09-2011: Received SSN by visiting local card center
05-10-2011: Biometrics appointment notice, June 1, 2011.
05-13-2011: Received SSN Card in Mail
06-01-2011: Biometrics appt. in Sacramento, CA
09-16-2011: EAD approved
09-26-2011: AOS Interview in Sacramento
09-26-2011: Green Card (2 yr conditional) granted

02-03-2013: Separated - Return to Canada

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My fiance and I hired a lawyer because we were afraid we'd screw something up and cost us more time and money.

And yet your timeline shows an RFE, which cost you time....


England.gif England!

And in this crazy life, and through these crazy times

It's you, it's you, You make me sing.

You're every line, you're every word, you're everything.

b0cb1a39c4.png

ROC Timeline

Sent: 7/21/12

NOA1: 7/23/12

Touch: 7/24/2012

Biometrics: 8/24/2012

Card Production Ordered: 3/6/2013

*Eligible for Naturalization: October 13, 2013*

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Philippines
Timeline

I'm also from the Philippines and my fiancee and I hired a lawyer to help us file the K1 but I tell you it's not worth your money!!!!!!!! just log on to this site if you need to ask some questions cause most of the people have gone through the same experience and have the sufficient knowledge to make your K1 journey hassle free ;) What our lawyer did is they just sent us a file of the step by step procedure like on how to arrange the documents (which you can also see in this site if you browse it) then my fiancee send those files to them together with the check of payment, then they recheck it first to make sure everything is properly filled out ( they don't actually allow abbreviations for it will cause delays) then our lawyer send it to the filling Center...but other couple did the same thing and they don't get RFE! all you have to do is ask here if you have any confusion and the GURUS will assist you ;) Our lawyer actually pissed me cause I tend to ask a lot of questions from them (which is normal :P ) but they sometimes scold me :P not really patient huh? :P and when I knew about this site it helped me all through out the process, the only thing that they've been helpful with us is during the filling! and after that we did it ourselves and now I'm approved and will fly to the States soon. They'll just make it look difficult but the truth is...it's not!! you can do it yourself :) Good luck to both of you!!!!

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