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AOS Questions

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I will start out by saying I am very stressed with the current situation I am in, and any advice would be great.

My wife arrive in August on a K-1 Visa, we were married within 90 days, and we are now applying for AOS. Although she is here after her 90 days has expired. I have a few concerns as to what do I have to show she is here legally since her visa is now expired and we have not sent of the AOS packet as of yet. Also I would like to know how I would go about getting approved, as we currently live with my parents while I am finishing up my degree. I am stressing that this may cause my petition to be denied. I also would like to know if it is possible for my wife to travel with me to Puerto Rico, although she does not have a green card yet, while Puerto Rico is considered part of the US, as a territory, I am just curious if there is a risk of taking her there, and having a problem trying to reenter the mainland USA.

I am also wondering if after applying for AOS, is there any document that will be sent to show that her application is currently being reviewed, and she is not here ilegally.

Any answers would be appreciated.

Thank you.


1-26-2011 - I-129F recieved at USCIS, Lewisville, TX signed for by J. Cates

01-27-2011 - NOA 1 Recieved

06-09-2011 - NOA 2 Recieved

07-11-2011 - Medical Screening - Passed

07-22-2011 - Interview for K1 Visa - US Embassy Manila - APPROVED!

08-18-2011 - POE - Los Angeles, California USA

11-12-2011 - Wedding!

12-22-2011 - Filed for AOS

04-12-2012 - Biometrics Complete

06-20-2012 - Interview @ ATL Field Office (Approved!)

06-27-2012 - Received Green Card

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Ok she can't even travel from state to state or to Puerto Rico?


1-26-2011 - I-129F recieved at USCIS, Lewisville, TX signed for by J. Cates

01-27-2011 - NOA 1 Recieved

06-09-2011 - NOA 2 Recieved

07-11-2011 - Medical Screening - Passed

07-22-2011 - Interview for K1 Visa - US Embassy Manila - APPROVED!

08-18-2011 - POE - Los Angeles, California USA

11-12-2011 - Wedding!

12-22-2011 - Filed for AOS

04-12-2012 - Biometrics Complete

06-20-2012 - Interview @ ATL Field Office (Approved!)

06-27-2012 - Received Green Card

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Yes, she can travel to Puerto Rico and to other states. She just can't leave the U.S.


Naturalization

November 10th, 2014 (Day 0) - Mailed N-400 to Arizona Lockbox

November 13th, 2014 (Day 1) - Application received in Phoenix

November 14th, 2014 (Day 2) - Priority date on NOA

November 17th, 2014 (Day 5) - Check cashed

November 19th, 2014 (Day 7) - NOA received

November 29th, 2014 (Day 17) - Biometrics appointment letter received

December 1st, 2014 (Day 19) - Walk-in biometrics completed

December 6th, 2014 (Day 24) - Yellow letter received

January 7th, 2015 (Day 56) - Online notification of in line for interview

January 8th, 2015 (Day 57) - Online notification of interview scheduled

January 15th, 2015 (Day 64) - Interview letter received

February 13th, 2015 (Day 93) - Naturalization interview: APPROVED!

February 17th, 2015 (Day 97) - Online notification of oath ceremony scheduled

February 20th, 2015 (Day 100) - Oath ceremony letter received

March 5th, 2015 (Day 113) - Oath ceremony: U.S. CITIZEN!

ROC

November 15th, 2013 (Day 0) - Mailed I-751 to California Service Center

November 18th, 2013 (Day 1) - Application received at CSC; NOA date

November 20th, 2013 (Day 3) - Check cashed

November 22nd, 2013 (Day 5) - NOA received

November 25th, 2013 (Day 8) - Biometrics appointment letter received

December 13th, 2013 (Day 26) - Biometrics appointment

March 24th, 2014 (Day 127) - Card production ordered!

March 31st, 2014 (Day 134) - 10-year green card received!

AOS from F-1 Visa (June 2nd, 2011 - Wedding)
November 9th, 2011 (Day 0) - Mailed I-130/I-485/I-765/I-131 to Chicago Lockbox
November 10th, 2011 (Day 1) - Application received in Chicago
November 15th, 2011 (Day 6) - E-mail notification

November 16th, 2011 (Day 7) - Checks cashed
November 18th, 2011 (Day 9) - NOAs received
November 21st, 2011 (Day 12) - Biometrics appointment notice received
November 23rd, 2011 (Day 14) - Walk-in biometrics completed
January 5th, 2012 (Day 57) - Interview scheduled notice AND notice of card production for EAD and AP
January 13th, 2012 (Day 65) - Combination EAD/AP card received
February 7th, 2012 (Day 90) - Interview: APPROVED!
February 10th, 2012 (Day 93) - Green card production ordered
February 15th, 2012 (Day 98) - Green card received!

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Puerto Rico should be fine seeing it's a US territory but I wouldn't risk it myself unless absolutely necessary and even then I would wait until AP, just to be safe.

There's nothing to show that she's here legally after her I-94 expires because technically she's not. She's out-of-status. The only reason she's not deportable is due to her marriage to you. She can still be detained by ICE and placed in immigration jail until she goes before an immigration judge (or you pay the bond) who will order you to AOS immediately (or if you already have to wait for it to finish).

Once AOS is filed you can show the NOA1 to show that you filed. However that also isn't proof of her status and there have been instances where ICE has locked up the person (same as above). likelihood of that happening though is quite low (but it would be irresponsible of me to tell you there wasn't even the smallest chance).

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You married within the 90 days, which is the saving element because, although she's newly out of status, she's eligible for adjustment, and you can relax quite a bit.

There's no formal time limit by which you need to file for AOS. However, your sidebar says that you're near El Paso, and that means inland CBP checkpoints where the agents may not be tolerant or in a good humor. If they ask for her papers, and you have none, you'll be lectured (at best) on why you haven't filed for AOS yet, or (at worst) you'll be pulled over and she could be detained until she appears before an immigration judge, who will instruct you to file for AOS immediately. Should you encounter CBP, they should be more tolerant because you were married within the month and she's been out of status for only a couple of weeks -- but you must have a copy of your marriage certificate with you in order to mollify them.

File for AOS now, and until you receive your NOA1 (our shorthand here for the USCIS notice of receipt for your AOS package), have your wife keep a photocopy of your cover letter (& check) for the AOS application on her person at all times, along with a copy of your marriage certificate. When the NOA1 arrives, replace the photocopied cover-letter with a copy of the NOA1 in the papers that she carries at all times, which includes a copy of your marriage certificate. When the green card comes, she needs to carry only that, at all times (regardless of what any other VJ member, one in particular, may claim). It's the law.

You don't need to prove the bona fide nature of your marriage for AOS except to send a copy of the marriage certificate along with the other minimal requirements -- read the instructions carefully, interpret them literally, and respond accurately. The depth of proof of the bona fide nature of your marriage is required in a couple of years, when you file for ROC (removal of conditions on the 2-year green card). For that, even if you're living with your parents and have no lease agreement, for example, you can provide copies of your wills & medical powers of attorney, mail addressed to the both of you at your parents' address, printouts of joint medical insurance from your employer-to-be, etc. Begin collecting items like this now, and as you get them, and throw them into a box. Come two years, you'll have plenty of proof. :)

Until the green card is in hand, avoid traveling to Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or anywhere not within the 50 actual United States. The scrutiny regarding re-entry into the U.S. is higher in the U.S. territories.

Also, avoid going through the CBP inland checkpoint south of Alpine, Texas for any reason at any time.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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You married within the 90 days, which is the saving element because, although she's newly out of status, she's eligible for adjustment, and you can relax quite a bit.

There's no formal time limit by which you need to file for AOS. However, your sidebar says that you're near El Paso, and that means inland CBP checkpoints where the agents may not be tolerant or in a good humor. If they ask for her papers, and you have none, you'll be lectured (at best) on why you haven't filed for AOS yet, or (at worst) you'll be pulled over and she could be detained until she appears before an immigration judge, who will instruct you to file for AOS immediately. Should you encounter CBP, they should be more tolerant because you were married within the month and she's been out of status for only a couple of weeks -- but you must have a copy of your marriage certificate with you in order to mollify them.

File for AOS now, and until you receive your NOA1 (our shorthand here for the USCIS notice of receipt for your AOS package), have your wife keep a photocopy of your cover letter (& check) for the AOS application on her person at all times, along with a copy of your marriage certificate. When the NOA1 arrives, replace the photocopied cover-letter with a copy of the NOA1 in the papers that she carries at all times, which includes a copy of your marriage certificate. When the green card comes, she needs to carry only that, at all times (regardless of what any other VJ member, one in particular, may claim). It's the law.

she better stay away from the state of arizona also!

You don't need to prove the bona fide nature of your marriage for AOS except to send a copy of the marriage certificate along with the other minimal requirements -- read the instructions carefully, interpret them literally, and respond accurately. The depth of proof of the bona fide nature of your marriage is required in a couple of years, when you file for ROC (removal of conditions on the 2-year green card). For that, even if you're living with your parents and have no lease agreement, for example, you can provide copies of your wills & medical powers of attorney, mail addressed to the both of you at your parents' address, printouts of joint medical insurance from your employer-to-be, etc. Begin collecting items like this now, and as you get them, and throw them into a box. Come two years, you'll have plenty of proof. :)

Until the green card is in hand, avoid traveling to Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or anywhere not within the 50 actual United States. The scrutiny regarding re-entry into the U.S. is higher in the U.S. territories.

Also, avoid going through the CBP inland checkpoint south of Alpine, Texas for any reason at any time.

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