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PaulnUsa

Visa Service or Do it yourself? Manila Embassy

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Philippines
Timeline

Just wanted to find out if people think when dealing with the Manila Embassy. Is there an advantage going with a K-1 visa service, if so which ones are the best or should you jsut file it yourself? I have noticed from others time lines that many get approved in 4 or 5 months while average is 8 months or longer.

Just looking for any advice on best way to file for it to run smooter and to be approved as quick as possible.

Thanks

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Philippines
Timeline

Just wanted to find out if people think when dealing with the Manila Embassy. Is there an advantage going with a K-1 visa service, if so which ones are the best or should you jsut file it yourself? I have noticed from others time lines that many get approved in 4 or 5 months while average is 8 months or longer.

Just looking for any advice on best way to file for it to run smooter and to be approved as quick as possible.

Thanks

Whether you do it or have a visa service complete it, the timeline will not change. Word of advice; study the K1 visa guide for about two weeks. Think of any potential hangups you would have in obtaining any and all of the supporting evidence required. You will be paying good money to somebody for only arranging the documents that you will send them. Get familiar with the process. Study the guidelines for K1 until you can visualize the process in your mind without reading further. If you have already visited her, then you will need to gather all the required documents, even if you use the visa service. The only task remaining is to arrange the documents according to the K1 guidelines. I have confidence in you. Save your hard-earned money and do it yourself. You can ask questions to all those VJ members who have been through most of the K1 visa process.


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Filed: Other Country: China
Timeline

Just wanted to find out if people think when dealing with the Manila Embassy. Is there an advantage going with a K-1 visa service, if so which ones are the best or should you jsut file it yourself? I have noticed from others time lines that many get approved in 4 or 5 months while average is 8 months or longer.

Just looking for any advice on best way to file for it to run smooter and to be approved as quick as possible.

Thanks

Whether you should do it yourself depends on your own aptitude, attitude and time availability. Timeline from filing to visa interview is not shortened by hiring a service. Whether a service will assist in filing sooner depends on the circumstances and the service.


Facts are cheap...knowing how to use them is precious...
Understanding the big picture is priceless. Anonymous

Google Who is Pushbrk?

A Warning to Green Card Holders About Voting

http://www.visajourney.com/forums/topic/606646-a-warning-to-green-card-holders-about-voting/

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Just wanted to find out if people think when dealing with the Manila Embassy. Is there an advantage going with a K-1 visa service, if so which ones are the best or should you jsut file it yourself? I have noticed from others time lines that many get approved in 4 or 5 months while average is 8 months or longer.

Just looking for any advice on best way to file for it to run smooter and to be approved as quick as possible.

Thanks

I don't really see any advantage using a K-1 Visa Service Company. All petitions go through the same process whether it was put together by a Visa Service Company or put together by you. Plenty of petitioners here have filed for their beneficiary via K-1. If you have the patience to read the excellent guides (go to the top "Guides") here for a couple of days or so, you will have no problems putting the necessary documents/forms/evidences together yourself. The requirements are pretty straight forward.

VJ is an excellent tool also for questions you may run into as there are plenty of knowledgeable people here. Interaction you will have with the USEM is when making an appointment for your beneficiary's interview and the actual interview itself later on in the process.

Depending on the which Service Center your petition is assigned, your petition may get approved a bit sooner or a bit later. The average is 4-6 months if your petition is straight forward. Some have gotten approved in less than 4 months and some after 6 months.

I filed for the petition myself in this way I had full control of preparing the necessary documents/forms/evidences instead of relying on someone else. If and when the petition is adjudicated and approved is entirely up to the USCIS as we are at their mercy.:( The waiting part is the hardest part of this entire process. Plenty of patience is required, but it is all worth it in the end. Good luck on your journey! :D

Edited by dindo and patty

Philippians 4:13...I can do all things through Christ who strengthens meGC Received: 02/04/2012

Useful Links for K-1 Visa Petition for USEM Philippines:

Packet 3 for K-1: http://photos.state....3__rtf2_001.pdf

St Luke's Website: http://www.slec.ph/u...ml#clinic-hours

Link to Schedule Interview: http://cgifederal.force.com/

CFO Website for Seminar: http://www.cfo.gov.p...onals&catid=140

Povery Guideline: http://www.uscis.gov...form/i-864p.pdf

Website to Download DS 156, 156K, & 157: http://travel.state....forms_1342.html

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Ethiopia
Timeline

Just wanted to find out if people think when dealing with the Manila Embassy. Is there an advantage going with a K-1 visa service, if so which ones are the best or should you jsut file it yourself? I have noticed from others time lines that many get approved in 4 or 5 months while average is 8 months or longer.

Just looking for any advice on best way to file for it to run smooter and to be approved as quick as possible.

Thanks

The time line of the K-1 process never changed whoever did the petition paper work. There is a little process time difference in between the Service Centers. Since the processing service center determined according to the State you are living, you are not able to choose the service center. Based on the timeframe of the USCIS, the process time is not more than 5 months. However there are people that finished the process in less that three months and some took a year. What I can advise you now is, take your time reading the guideline of the petition, collect all the necessary documents, work with the check list of VJ and post your unclear ideas or question so that others will help you to find the solution. The journey will be short or long, depending your organization of the petition and the collection of your evidence.

GOOD LUCK


K-1 Time Line

Service Center:_California Service Center

Consulate: _Frankfurt, Germany

I-129F Sent: _2011-03-20

I-129F NOA1:_ 2011-03-30

I-129F NOA2:_2011-06-18

NVC Received: _2011-07-19

NVC Left:_2011-07-20

Consulate Received:_2011-07-25

Packet 3 Received: _2011-07-28

Packet 3 Sent: _2011-07-29

Packet 4 Received:_ 2011-08-09

Interview Date: _ 2011-08-24

Interview Result:_ Approved(After 3 weeks AP)

Visa Received:_2011-09-21

US Entry:_@ JFK 2011-11-16

Marriage: _2011-12-20

AOS, EAD, AP

Date Filed: _2012-02-07

NOA Date: _2012-02-13

Bio. Appt. Notice recieved_2012-02-17

Bio. Appt.:2012-03-12@ 8:00 AM in Columbus OH

Bio Done:2012-03-05 WALK IN- Columbus OH

State ID: 2012-03-05

DL Permit: 2012-03-08

AOS Transfer: 2012-03-14

AOS Touched @ USCIS: 2012-03-21

EAD/AP Approved & Card Producton: 2012-04-03

EAD/AP on Hand:2012-04-11

AOS_RFE: 2012-09-28

RFE Sent: 2012-11-09

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if you haven't already, I would suggest checking out the Philippine Forum on VJ. there are lots of members going thru, or have gone thru, the same process.

Edited by sunandmoon

US Embassy Manila website. bringing your spouse/fiancee to USA

http://manila.usembassy.gov/wwwh3204.html

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Philippines
Timeline

Do it yourself for sure - The keys are pay close attention to detail, triple check your work, triple check it again, always do your research, and be MORE than prepared. I've successfuly petitioned two K1 visas myself.


photo-103321.jpg?__rand=0.46320700+1304640739

Our Timeline

12/08/10--I-129F Petition sent

12/10/10--Petition received

12/14/10--NOA1

12/31/10--Touched

05/05/11--NOA2 Approved

05/09/11-Received NOA2 hardcopy

05/16/11--NVC recieved case

05/20/11-Manila Embassy received case

06/09-10/11-Medical

06/16/11--Interview

06/17/11--CFO/Prism

06/25/11--Visa Delivered! Thank you Lord Jesus!

07/01/11--POE!!!

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Philippines
Timeline

We did it ourselves too. I, (the beneficiary) even downloaded & reviewed the forms & instructions (from USCIS & travel.state.gov site) that were needed ahead of time; even the AOS for future reference & needed requirements.

I'd print out forms (G325A, DS-156, 156K & 157) & fill them out using a pencil for 'practice' & mark down the questions I needed help answering to avoid mistakes, so when I need to print out the 'final' form, I only need to copy my answers.


K-1 Timeline

2-01-2011 > Mailed 129F

02-09-2011 > NOA1 email & SMS notification

02-12-2011 > NOA1 hardcopy received via mail (official date on NOA1 is 02-07-11)

05-17-2011 > NOA2 email & SMS notification (approved in 99 days from NOA1 date)

06-06-2011 > Got MNL case number

06-08-2011 > Paid Visa fee @ BPI bank (scheduled interview appointment online the same day)

06-13 & 14-2011 > 2-day medical exam

07-08-2011 > Received Letter of Eligibility

08-02-2011 > USEM Interview (rescheduled from July 18) - APPROVED!

08-11-2011 > Visa issued (accdg. to USEM email inquiry; 9 days from interview date)

08-15-2011 > 2go site showed Visa is already in transit

08-16-2011 > Visa received! (10 working days from interview date)

08-22-2011 > CFO Seminar

09-02-2011 > POE: SFO

AOS Timeline

10-13-2011 > Obtained marriage license

11-17-2011 > WEDDING

11-18-2011 > Sent AOS packet (with AOS & EAD)

12-01-2011 > Received hard copy NOA 1 for AOS & EAD

12-10-2011 > Received biometrics letter for 12-29

12-29-2011 > Biometrics taken

01-09-2012 > Letter for Request for Initial Interview received scheduled on Feb. 8

01-20-2012 > EAD status - Document/Card production

01-26-2012 > Accdg. to USCIS site: "We mailed you a notice that we have approved this I765 APPLICATION FOR EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZATION."

01-28-2012 > EAD card arrives

02-08-2012 > AOS interview - APPROVED!

02-11-2012 > Welcome Notice received

02-13-2012 > Card production ordered

02-14-2012 > Green card mailed

02-18-2012 > Green card arrives

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Filed: Other Country: China
Timeline

Do it yourself for sure - The keys are pay close attention to detail, triple check your work, triple check it again, always do your research, and be MORE than prepared. I've successfuly petitioned two K1 visas myself.

Beware of any strangers telling you what YOU are capable of and prepared to DO. They don't know your abilities. You do. Use your own best judgment. I encourage strangers from telling other strangers the can for sure do something themselves, when they know NOTHING of the capabilities of those they are advising. Many of them, don't yet know if they themselves will be ultimately successful doing it THEMSELVES either.

The vast majority of both the denials AND the successes we see reported here were ALL do it yourself cases. What does that tell you?

Yes, we did it ourselves and knew NOTHING about it until I started to learn but THAT has NOTHING to do with what ANYBODY ELSE can or should do.


Facts are cheap...knowing how to use them is precious...
Understanding the big picture is priceless. Anonymous

Google Who is Pushbrk?

A Warning to Green Card Holders About Voting

http://www.visajourney.com/forums/topic/606646-a-warning-to-green-card-holders-about-voting/

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Philippines
Timeline

I agree the process dosen't change whether you use a VISA service or not. I used one, not to try to expidite cuz I knew better than that, but for peace of mind because they check your petitions and mail them for you. Its to each his own but for me it was worth the money because they did find and correct a few small mistakes in my 1-129F packet which I sent to them and they corrected them before they sent to the appropriate office. I did not get and RFE. I didn't join VJ until about a month after I sent my packet. I have learned a lot here but would still use the particular service I used for double checking things because here on VJ at times there is conflicting information about somce things and sometimes I find it hard to get the true answer I am looking for or I'm not sure I got the best answer or instruction from some advice. But at the same time I have used much good infoprmation here also. So I use both.

Its a matter of personal preference. If you use a service just try and research their background as much as possible and be sure you get a service that actually performs a service(s) beyond what you yourself could do.

For me their review of my packet alone was worth the cost. But me, if I look at the same documents too many times I know I can still miss things. I work in IT as a programmer and I am used to having code reviews so using a service really worked for me.


10/17/2008 - First Contact via message in CB

03/15/2009 - Engaged

05/15/2009 - First meeting in person (I traveled to Philippines)

10/05/2010 - Sent I-129F package to Fiancee VISA service for review and forwarding

12/08/2011 - Interview - Approved!

12/20/2011 - VISA in hand! (Never showed up in 2go online tracking!)

01/04/2012 - POE San Francisco(SFO)I met her there.

01/05/2012 - We're Home!

02/14/2012 - Married Valentine's Day 2012!

05/04/2012 - Mailed AOS/EAD/AP packages via FedEx ground

07/26/2012 - EAD/AP Combo card received

"TeddyHoney and SqueezyBear"

(Derrick and Ritchie)

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Russia
Timeline

Definitely not visa service. There is no benefit of this. There are two choices:

1) Most cost-effective - do it yourself. Documentation is easy

2) Immigration attorney. This is what I chose. The reason is not really documentation but rather advices and peace of mind and in case of complication you can act fast.

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my cousin's spouse, naturalized USC ended up paying 2k usd for the service, they discovered visajourney at the latter part of their visa processes, as per what he told me, whatever they did, people fr vj forums fill in details better than what immig services can provide. so my hubby and i went to do everything on our own :D we're still waiting to see if it was a good decision or not :innocent:


SERVICE CENTER : California

CONSULATE : Manila

MARRIAGE : Feb 15, 2010

I -130 SENT : April 26, 2011

NOA 1 : May 1, 2011

TOUCHED : May 5, 2011

NOA2 : August 1, 2011

Our I-130 was approved in 92 days from our NOA1 date.

CASE NUMBER ASSSIGNED : Sept. 12, 2011

EMAILED DS3032 : October 6, 2011

AOS FEE BILL PAID : October 11, 2011

IV FEE BILL PAID : October 24, 2011

NVC received AOS and IV packs = Nov. 3, 2011

NVC RESPONSE = Nov. 8, 2011 - RFE for missing proof of relationship with co-sponsor

Mailed RFE file = Nov. 9, 2011

NVC received RFE = November 14, 2011, 9:54 am, PORTSMOUTH, NH 03801

CASE CLOSED = Nov. 18, 2011 :D

MEDICAL EXAM = Dec 20-21, 2011 = PASSED!!!

INTERVIEW DATE = January 6, 2012 = APPROVED!!! ----Our interview took 250 days from our I-130 NOA1 date.

VISA PRODUCTION = January 6,2012

VISA DELIVERY = January 11, 2012

POE = Feb.18, 2012

SSN Received = Feb 25, 2012

GC received = April 5, 2012 (incorrect data entry :((, sent back April 9, 2012)

CORRECT GC RECEIVED = August 22, 2012, granted IR1 (10 year gc)

that's where our USCIS process ends for now.. will wait for the next 3-4 years what we'll do next...

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My Wife and I together compiled documents, filed out the forms and were successful. As for your abilities, I do recommend reading very carefully the instructions. They are very precise in what they require. If you feel safer or more confidant in allowing a service then by all means. But for us, it was an accomplishment that we ourselves wanted the satisfaction of knowing we did it!

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Denmark
Timeline

Even if you decide to hire a lawyer I'd recommend to read about the process(click guides, then K1) and to know what you're dealing with. You'll have to gather documents before and during. Most likely, a lawyer will not text you to get your vaccination record 2 month before it's needed.

Being in charge and knowing the next step is what made me more relaxed. I knew exactly why and what I was signing, same goes for my fiancé.

Personally I'd recommend you read a couple of "K1 stories" to see if you have any red flags, complications you might not have thought of before or if it's just a walk in the park.

Good luck - and don't hesitate asking questions or use the search engine on Visa Journey.

:)


K1 process, October 2010 > POE, July 2011

I-129F approved in 180 days from NOA1 date. (195 days from filing to NOA2 in hand)

Interview took 224 days from I-129F NOA1 date. (241 days from filing petition until visa in hand)

From filing I-129F petition until POE: 285 days

Click timeline or "about me" for all details.

AOS process, December 2011 > July 2012

EAD/AP Approval took 51 days from NOA1 date to email update. (77 days from filing until EAD/AP in hand)

AOS Approval took 206 days from NOA1 date to email update. (231 days from filing until greencard in hand)

From filing I-129F petition until greencard in hand: 655 days

Click timeline or "about me" for all details.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Russia
Timeline

Even if you decide to hire a lawyer I'd recommend to read about the process(click guides, then K1) and to know what you're dealing with. You'll have to gather documents before and during. Most likely, a lawyer will not text you to get your vaccination record 2 month before it's needed.

Being in charge and knowing the next step is what made me more relaxed. I knew exactly why and what I was signing, same goes for my fiancé.

Personally I'd recommend you read a couple of "K1 stories" to see if you have any red flags, complications you might not have thought of before or if it's just a walk in the park.

Good luck - and don't hesitate asking questions or use the search engine on Visa Journey.

:)

Completely agree with this. When you hire a lawyer (and my lawyer was great and reasonably priced) you have to stay on top. Lawyer is just a supplemental tool, one of 3-4. Before making every move I used the following tools:

1) USCIS/Embassy directions/publications. This is by far most important

2) Lawyer

3) VJ tools

4) Common sense.

If you use all 4 you guaranteed success.

Edited by san diego

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