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Attorney vs. DIY

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Hi :D

This is my first post.

I'm currently living/working in Thailand, but I'm returning to the US in November and wish to process a marriage visa for my fiancee (we've been together 5 years).

I've contacted a few immigration attorneys who all claim 100% success rates. Am I too gullible to believe them? I'm wanting to make the process as painless as possible (the 6 month separation will be enough) and I'm seriously considering using an attorney, even though it'll cost me close to $2000.

The biggest hurdle is the fact that I am not employed in the US, but my father has volunteered to be the sole supporter (I hope that's possible).

Why have the majority of folks here do it themselves rather than hire an attorney to take care of everything? Cost? Lack of trust?

Thanks!

Brian


I-129F Sent : 2006-09-25

Request for "Original signature": resent signature early October

I-129F NOA1 : November 8, 2006

NOA2: February 1st 2007!!!!

NVC: February 10th 2007

PACKET 3 arrived: February 28, 2007

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Hi Brian and welcome to VJ

You might also like to have a read about DCF seen as you are residing in Thailand. Not sure on their residence requirements but that shouldnt be too hard to find out.

http://www.visajourney.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=27982&hl=thailand

Also have a read of the DCF Guide

As for your question on lawyers or DIY. We did it ourselves because 1) We had the time to do so 2) Had a very straight forward case 3) I love to research which is needed during the immigration process so as not to make mistakes. 4) Because of 1, 2 & 3, a lawyer would of been a waste of $$$$

All the best to you on your journey

Lorelle


You can find me on FBI

An overview of Security Name Checks And Administrative Review at Service Center, NVC & Consulate levels.

Detailed Review USCIS Alien Security Checks

fb2fc244.gif72c97806.gif4d488a91.gif

11324375801ij.gif

View Timeline HERE

I am but a wench not a lawyer. My advice and opinion is just that. I read, I research, I learn.

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Welcome to VJ!

I agree with Lorelle's reasons of not hiring a lawyer. My 2 friends who entered US early this year through a K1 and K3 visas did the processing and the paperworks on their own. All you have to do is to follow the instructions properly and this site provides them. Our lawyer friend told us the same idea. However, if you don't have time to do it then it is best to get a lawyer.

God bless!!! :yes:(F)


May 2007 - arrived in Texas

June 2007 - our "big day"

November 2007 - 2-yr GC received

December 2009 - 10-yr GC received

Citizenship by next year!!!!

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Never occurred to me to use a lawyer.

I also have a 100% success rate.

There are circumstances where no lawyercan succeed, so either they are lying, they only take on cases that are clearly approvable or they have done as many as I have. One.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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I agree with the previous posts regarding the reasoning behind hiring/not hiring a lawyer. We probably would not have hired a lawyer if it weren't for the fact that my fiancee and I live together in a neutral country. This adds some complexity.

Also, it means that I can't be in the US to act as a point of contact. So it is nice to have a lawyer in the US that can act on our behalf.


K-1 VISA:

3/4/06: I-129F Sent to CSC

3/14/06: NOA1

7/21/06: IMBRA RFE received by CSC

8/22/06: NOA2

9/8/06: Case arrives at NVC

9/16/06: NVC departure letter received

9/22/06: Left NVC bound for China

10/6/06: Case arrives at Guangzhou consulate

10/20/06: Received Packet 3

10/26/06: Sent DS-230 back to consulate

11/9/06: Sent OF-169 back to consulate

11/17/06: Received Packet 4

11/25/06: Completed Medical Exam in Beijing

12/15/06: Interview in Guangzhou (Success!!)

12/19/06: Received K-1 visa

1/12/07: Entered U.S. (POE: SFO)

ADJUSTMENT OF STATUS:

1/26/07: Applied for SSN

2/8/07: Medical exam for vaccinations

2/9/07: Received SSN

3/3/07: Married!! (WooHoo!!)

3/16/07: Changed name on SSN

4/3/07: Sent AOS application to Chicago

4/5/07: AOS application arrived in Chicago

4/16/07: Received NOAs for AOS, EAD, & AP (NOA date: 4/12)

4/24/07: Received biometrics appt. letter

5/7/07: Biometrics appointment

5/25/07: Received interview appt. letter

6/25/07: Received AP documents

6/28/07: Received EAD card

7/18/07: AOS Interview (Approved!)

7/30/07: Received 2-year green card

REMOVAL OF CONDITIONS:

4/24/09: I-751 sent to CSC

4/27/09: I-751 arrived at CSC

5/13/09: Received NOA letter (NOA date: 4/27)

6/4/09: Received biometrics appt. letter

6/13/09: Biometrics appointment

8/6/09: Card production ordered

8/12/09: Received card in mail

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We hired a lawyer but only cause our previous case had problems and we were uninformed. I have to admit the lawyer is not only expensive but they do VERY little. You will still be providing the documents and filling in forms. all they do is send it in and collect the money. Since you and you significant other have been together for 5 years you shouldn't have any trouble providing evidence of your relationship. If your father meets the financial requirements to sponsor your partner then he can co-sponsor. I am staying in Japan with my fiance and left my job in USA so when we return I too will have no job. my brother and his wife our co-sponsoring my fiance. Good luck to you in your process.


ARR.jpgaug06ayeshaB.jpg

Meeting Online: Yahoo chartroom Aug 2001.

Direct meeting & marriage: Dec 2003 USA, NY

I-130 petition in DCFR Tokyo: March 14th 2004. Case reffered to DHS USCIS

Four visits to japan in 2004: Oct 2004, wife got pragnant.

Wife/Fiance left USA and moved into Japan: Feb 5th 2005.

Baby Born: June 24th 2005(Japan)

I-130 denied: July 17 2005(Divorce was declared not valid)

Refiling Divorce: oJuly 17th 2005 NY State.

Divorce granted: Nov 17th 2005

K-1 application: Mar 1st 2006

Approval: May 23rd 2006

US consulate RFE: June 15th 2006

FRE sent (Original passports, birth certificate, all origional docs): July 10th 2006

Medical: Oct 11th 2006.

Interview: Nov 10th 2006(expected)

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There is a middle ground. I prepared our file. I then paid $175 to have a lawyer review it. That gave me peace of mind that I had done everything correctly. It was so nice to have someone who has done many, many cases available as a resource. (This was before I found VJ.) I then filed it myself. If the process is straight forward, I save money and hassles. And if things do get messy, I have someone who I respect "on call".

Tom


Thank for for updating your timeline. (My Assistant, then edit/add my timeline.)
K1

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Brian,

I did it myself because VisaJourney gave me all the answers, all the examples. timelines, etc. I thought about an attorney in the beginning, but VJ proved to me that it was absolutely unnecessary. If you don't have a criminal past or some really weird life situation, you can do the same thing the attorney can do and KEEP your $2,000!


Fernanda's Timeline

K-1

June 2, 2006 - Mailed K1 Petition

Jun 28, 2006 - NOA1

Oct 05, 2006 - NOA2 - APPROVED after 122 days

Dec 05, 2006 - Received Packet 3 from Consulate

Dec 11, 2006 - Medical Examination in Belo Horizonte

Jan 10, 2007 - Returned Packet #3 to Consulate (SEDEX-10)

Mar 13, 2007 - INTERVIEW SUCCESS! We have our K-1 VISA !!

POE & Texas Wedding

Mar 27, 2007 - POE Houston, TX. No questions. Gone in 10 minutes.

Mar 28, 2007 - Marriage License app

April 4, 2007 - Our Wedding Day!

April 12, 2007 - Apply for SS card with married name

April 20, 2007 - Received SS card

AOS

June 4, 2007 - Mailed AOS

June 6, 2007 - USCIS received

June 11, 2007 - NOA1 for I-485

July 18, 2007 - Biometrics completed

July 20, 2007 - Case transferred from MSC to CSC

July 31, 2007 - AOS Approved - 57 days - Without an Interview!

Aug 06, 2007 - Received Green Card in the mail today!

Jan 8, 2009 @ 8:18PM - Our son was born tonight !!

I-751 - Remove Conditions

July 11, 2009 - Certified Mail to VSC I-751 Package

July 14, 2009 - Check cleared bank

July 20, 2009 - NOA1 & 1 yr extension - Receipt date is July 14. Case# assigned

Sept 1, 2009 - Biometrics completed

Nov 25, 2009 - I-751 is approved. No Interview.

Dec 14, 2009 - 10yr Green Card arrived !

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Translation:

I didn't use a lawyer and you shouldn't either = I'm willing to risk your future with my advice.


05/16/2005 I-129F Sent

05/28/2005 I-129F NOA1

06/21/2005 I-129F NOA2

07/18/2005 Consulate Received package from NVC

11/09/2005 Medical

11/16/2005 Interview APPROVED

12/05/2005 Visa received

12/07/2005 POE Minneapolis

12/17/2005 Wedding

12/20/2005 Applied for SSN

01/14/2005 SSN received in the mail

02/03/2006 AOS sent (Did not apply for EAD or AP)

02/09/2006 NOA

02/16/2006 Case status Online

05/01/2006 Biometrics Appt.

07/12/2006 AOS Interview APPROVED

07/24/2006 GC arrived

05/02/2007 Driver's License - Passed Road Test!

05/27/2008 Lifting of Conditions sent (TSC > VSC)

06/03/2008 Check Cleared

07/08/2008 INFOPASS (I-551 stamp)

07/08/2008 Driver's License renewed

04/20/2009 Lifting of Conditions approved

04/28/2009 Card received in the mail

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I would suggest taking a look at the forms yourself, and determine whether or not you might have any serious roadblocks. If so, perhaps legal advice would be agood idea. If not ..... DIY!!

No matter how much you pay an attorney, you are most likely just paperwork on their desk. They don't have the same sense of urgency that you do. While YOU would probably complete your forms and mail them off as soon as you possibly could, and attorney would likely hold-off until he got down that far in his stack of work. Additionally, I've read several posts on this site of attorneys receiveing correspondence and RFE (Requests for additional Evidence), and either responding very slowly, or not at all. Granted, there are some good attorneys out there that will get the job done, most just aren't in the same hurry that you are.

Either way, congratulations on finding the love of your life, and good luck with the visa!!


6/29 - NEW I-129 mailed to CSC

7/21 - NOA1 issued

9/21 - finally ... my first touch!!

9/21 - NOA2 issued

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Brian,

Further to my post in your duplicate thread, read this recent post.

http://www.visajourney.com/forums/index.ph...st&p=444882

Yodrak

Hi

This is my first post.

I'm currently living/working in Thailand, but I'm returning to the US in November and wish to process a marriage visa for my fiancee (we've been together 5 years).

I've contacted a few immigration attorneys who all claim 100% success rates. Am I too gullible to believe them? I'm wanting to make the process as painless as possible (the 6 month separation will be enough) and I'm seriously considering using an attorney, even though it'll cost me close to $2000.

The biggest hurdle is the fact that I am not employed in the US, but my father has volunteered to be the sole supporter (I hope that's possible).

Why have the majority of folks here do it themselves rather than hire an attorney to take care of everything? Cost? Lack of trust?

Thanks!

Brian

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There are cases where lawyers have helped and some where they have ROYALLY screwed up...

Just like anything there are pros and cons to either way. I did it myself, and so have others, but it ultimately is your desicion. Look over ALL the forms and instructions...if you feel competent enough and comfortable doing them - them it's TOTALLY doable, but if you feel you need help or you like that bit of security...then spend the money.


Finally finished with immigration in 2012!

familyxmas-1-1.jpg

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There is a middle ground. I prepared our file. I then paid $175 to have a lawyer review it. That gave me peace of mind that I had done everything correctly. It was so nice to have someone who has done many, many cases available as a resource. (This was before I found VJ.) I then filed it myself. If the process is straight forward, I save money and hassles. And if things do get messy, I have someone who I respect "on call".

Tom

I would suggest taking a look at the forms yourself, and determine whether or not you might have any serious roadblocks. If so, perhaps legal advice would be agood idea. If not ..... DIY!!

No matter how much you pay an attorney, you are most likely just paperwork on their desk. They don't have the same sense of urgency that you do. While YOU would probably complete your forms and mail them off as soon as you possibly could, and attorney would likely hold-off until he got down that far in his stack of work. Additionally, I've read several posts on this site of attorneys receiveing correspondence and RFE (Requests for additional Evidence), and either responding very slowly, or not at all. Granted, there are some good attorneys out there that will get the job done, most just aren't in the same hurry that you are.

Either way, congratulations on finding the love of your life, and good luck with the visa!!

I think the "middle ground" idea is the best. That way you are largely in charge, but you have some oversight. Or else having no lawyer at all often works fine too, as long as you are willing to read all the directions and look over everything a few times.

I hired a lawyer because I was worried I would run into some problem or other that would slow the process way down or even end up costing me the visa. Lawyer's websites tend to emphasize that. But most people do end up getting a visa, sometimes sooner, sometimes later. As noted above, a lawyer is not necessarily going to consider your application as much of a priority as you would. In my case, I really wish I had done it myself. I have no idea what the lawyer actually sent in, not having received a copy, and I've been really frustrated having to wait to receive, for example, my last RFE from him, then sending the info to him and relying on him to send it off promptly. Whether he did or not, I do not know. I would MUCH rather be sending the forms myself, so I know what I sent and when!!! If you want a lawyer, just do it for the advice part.


NOA1: April 6, 2006

IMBRA RFE: July 17, 2006

RFE #2: September 25, 2006

OMG a touch!: October 5, 2006

another touch!: October 7, 2006

hey, back up a minute...

APPROVED!!! October 4, 2006, received letter October 16, 2006

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Doing the forms and all the paperwork is the easy part. The hard part is the waiting.


July 7, 2004 - Met Aimee in a chatroom

Dec. 25, 2005 - Went to Phils to meet her the first time

January 7, 2006 - Mailed I-129F to Nebraska Service Center.

January 27, 2006 - Received NOA1.

April 18, 2006 @1859 cst - NOA2 - APPROVED!

July 15, 2006 - Packet 4 received

September1, 2006 - Medical

September 8, 2006 - Interview - APPROVED!

October 15, 2006 - Arrived in USA

November 4, 2006 --- WEDDING!!!

April 20, 2007 - Mailed AOS

May 18, 2007 - Biometrics

July 26, 2007---GREEN CARD!(no interview)

April 13, 2009 - Mailed I-751 for Removal of Conditions

May 5, 2009 - NOA (extension approved)

May 18, 2009 - Biometrics appointment arrived today-scheduled for May 29, 2009

August 13, 2009 - Approval for removal of conditions (originally delayed due to RFE)

August 20, 2009 - 10 year green card arrived in mail

June 9, 2010</ - Treygan Isaiah is born

June, 21, 2010 - My adoption of Nathan is finalized

No lawyers and no problems

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