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Minion Wrangler


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Hello all!

I thought I would post my introduction here, as I've been reading VJ on and off for a while and I'm seeing hardly anyone posting who appears to be in the same circumstances as me. I'm a British citizen married to a US citizen, in the process of applying for an IR-1. We have been married for about five and a half years and have lived in England for virtually the whole time since we got married; she was still at university in the US for two months after the wedding, she moved to England as soon as she completed her degree. We decided a while ago that we wanted to move to California to live somewhere we both really liked and be near a bunch of our friends.

At this point we are at the stage of gathering documents, principally the I-864s in order to send Notification of Applicant Readiness to the US Embassy in London and get an interview appointment. We filed our I-130 in February; it was approved in late June. My wife is working on her I-864; her dad is acting as joint sponsor and has completed his I-864. I have made an appointment for my medical examination and am awaiting my police certificate. We have the other required documents to hand. We're able to get helpful advice on processes/forms from a university friend of my wife's in the US who is an immigration lawyer.

In addition to the US immigration process we obviously have a lot of experience of the UK immigration process as my wife has had to apply for a Spouse visa (CR-1 equivalent), then Indefinite Leave to Remain (removal of conditions equivalent) after two years. Finally she applied for UK citizenship last year. All of this was interesting to compare and contrast with the US processes. Basically the requirements are very similar indeed, but it takes a vastly shorter time to get through the UK processes.

For instance, to get her spouse visa to move here, we submitted an electronic application on a Saturday evening and sent a huge packet of supporting documentation on the Monday to the British Embassy in New York City. She got an acknowledgement of receipt by email a week later, then an RFE (by phone!) the next day. I faxed the info required later that day. The next day she received an email confirming approval of her and visa and two days later she received her passport back with her visa. Total time from start to finish: 13 days. Processing time from acknowledgement to notification of visa issue: two days. Her citizenship application was approved within three weeks and she had her ceremony a couple of weeks later.

If only it was half as quick to go the other way!

Edited by Minion Wrangler

2006-03-06: married!

2006-05-17: wife moved from USA to UK

2008-05: wife granted Indefinite Leave to remain in UK

2010-09-15: wife became British citizen

2011-02-14: sent I-130 to US Embassy in London

2011-02-17: I-130 filed

2011-02-28: received notification of I-130 filing

2011-06-27: I-130 approved

2011-06-30: received notification of I-130 approval

2011-07-26: medical examination appointment

2011-07-28: sent DS-2001 to US Embassy in London

2011-08-09: received notification of interview appointment

2011-09-13: visa interview

2011-09-29: received request from US Embassy for my passport

2011-09-30: passport sent to Embassy

2011-10-05: received passport containing IR1 visa!

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