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Ighaepero

That pesky lawyer question again...

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: China
Timeline

Hello to everyone from the new guy. :innocent: I've spent the past two days digging through this and other forums and I'm aware of the consensus: unless you have some significant complication, hiring a lawyer is unnecessary; just fill out the forms yourself. Fair enough. Now, here's what makes me second-guess myself.

I've looked at the VJ guides and they are detailed and helpful, to be sure. And I do not believe she and I have any kind of red flags. We're "free to marry," no legal hassles, etc. But how am I to know if, despite my best efforts, some bureaucrat isn't going to find some error, or some unintentional omission, or WHO knows what, which will send it all spiraling to hell?

Dear VJers, with due respect to your DIY ethic, which I'd much rather adopt rather than spending lawyer fees, I must ask you this, as a complete novice:

Do you not think given my concerns above it would be wise to hire a lawyer, even if he does only end up doing nothing more than filling out paperwork, so that I can at least have my mind clear that we have the best chance possible?

Sorry to bring up this tired old topic again... Kinda nervous here.

Edited by Ighaepero

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ireland
Timeline

If you are uncomfortable with filling forms, then yes, help may be a good idea- it doesn't necessarily need to be a lawyer, who tend to be expensive- a "visa assistance company" should be sufficient and cheaper. Be aware that hiring help may slow things down for you somewhat.


Bye: Penguin

Me: Irish/ Swiss citizen, and now naturalised US citizen. Husband: USC; twin babies born Feb 08 in Ireland and a daughter in Feb 2010 in Arkansas who are all joint Irish/ USC. Did DCF (IR1) in 6 weeks via the Dublin, Ireland embassy and now living in Arkansas.

mod penguin.jpg

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Colombia
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I am sure all of us have those concerns, like what if we do something wrong it will screw everything up. But seriously the forms and the processes itself were designed to be as simple as possible. And let me ask you a question, what can a lawyer do for you that you can't do yourself? You are the only one who knows the information to be put on these forms.

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If you are uncomfortable with filling forms, then yes, help may be a good idea- it doesn't necessarily need to be a lawyer, who tend to be expensive- a "visa assistance company" should be sufficient and cheaper. Be aware that hiring help may slow things down for you somewhat.

USCIS has an opinion on "visa assistance firms". It would be a good idea for moderators of VJ to be aware of this USCIS initiative.

http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/menuitem.e8b24a3cec33ca34c48bfc10526e0aa0/?vgnextoid=a4653ab7b8f3b210VgnVCM10000025e6a00aRCRD&vgnextchannel=b9563ab7b8f3b210VgnVCM10000025e6a00aRCRD


Our journey together on this earth has come to an end.

I will see you one day again, my love.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Nigeria
Timeline

I did fill up mine and i hate filling forms with a passion. it took me a while to fill em up but I did and my fiancee visa just got approved on friday.

I believe if you religiously follow the replica or dummy forms on this site and have all your paperworks in order, you will be ok. Every scrap of information, paperwork or receipts that will help buttress your point on an issue helps. My point being, its easy to do the paperwork yourself. just take your time doing it and be consistent.

So its your decision to hire or not to hire a lawyer.


Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results. ~ George S. Patton

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Nigeria
Timeline

You should make a poll to survey how many people on here have received RFE that had lawyers. Just because you have a lawyer doesnt change anything. Your lawyer ( probably assistant) is literally filing out the forms and sending it. There isnt anything significant a lawyer can do that you cant do yourself. We were nervous about doing it on our own, but the cost of a lawyer made me say well you know what all my years of schooling I should be capable at this point to read a form and fill it out.

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Legal representation does not speed things up. It's not like they'll call USCIS or NVC and say, "I'm the lawyer could you pull our file and be ahead of everyone?" It's a straight-forward process, you don't need one but you're still in doubt and you have spare change then go ahead. Good luck!

Edited by Tintin and Mike

K1
05/22/12 - Mailed I-129F
08/17/12 - Approved I-129F NOA2 (85 days)
11/19/12 - Approved Visa!! (179 days)
12/01/12 - POE Honolulu, HI
12/21/12 - Wedding Day!
AOS, EAD and AP
01/05/13 - Mailed I-485, I-765 and I-131
01/09/13 - USCIS accepted case and received text
01/11/13 - Cashed check
01/08/13 - Received NOA1
01/18/13 - Received Biometrics Appointment Notice
01/22/13 - Early Biometrics Walk-in (scheduled Feb 7)
01/27/13 - We're pregnant!!
02/04/13 - Received Appointment Notice
03/04/13 - Approved EAD and AP (58 days)
03/12/13 - Received EAD and AP combo card
03/12/13 - Interview and Approved GC (63 days)
03/20/13 - Received Green Card

10/3/13 - Baby #1 arrived

2/17/14 - Pregnant again! LOL

10/20/14 - Baby #2 arrived
ROC
01/09/15 - Mailed I-751

01/12/15 - NOA

01/16/15 - Received NOA Letter

01/20/15 - Mailed DMV 1yr Extension

02/05/15 - Received Biometrics Letter

02/09/15 - Early Bio (Walk-IN)

02/19/15 - Biometrics Appointment

06/15/15 - Approved
06/15/15 - Card Ordered and Mailed

08/22/15 - Card Received

N-400 on or after 12/15/15



and they'll live happily ever, ever after...
Relationship Journey: Our pursuit to happiness

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Getting a lawyer is your choice, but your statement that one error will send everything "spiraling into hell" isn't correct. If you make a mistake, they will send you a Request for Evidence, and you will answer the question and it will continue. You just need to answer the questions, like you name, address, work history - it's all stuff you know about yourself. Have you looked at the form yet?


AOS for my husband
8/17/10: INTERVIEW DAY (day 123) APPROVED!!

ROC:
5/23/12: Sent out package
2/06/13: APPROVED!

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If you're totally uncomfortable, you can hire help. VJ members do it themselves because it does save time in the long run and you will save money. You mentioned that you read the guides, but have you actually looked at the forms that you need to fill out? It looks like a lot, but it's not as bad as you might think. Plus, if you have any doubts on a question, you can use VJ for your assistance. By using the search function up top, you can type the question number and form you're having trouble with to see if other VJ members have had the same question, or you can start your own topic for advice. I used a lawyer before discovering VJ, and I can tell you that I paid more than a $1000 for someone to type answers that I was giving in a form. And, to top it off, I got an RFE, so I really wish I had done it myself. Whatever way you go, stick with VJ for the moral support at least. It's nice to lean on others going through the same thing when the waiting gets tough. Good luck!


October 2007- Became friends gaming onlineJanuary 16, 2009- Met in person in UKDecember 25, 2011- Ten visits later, engaged!February 24, 2012- I-129F SentFebruary 29, 2012- NOA 1 ReceivedJuly 13, 2012- RFE email sad.pngJuly 20, 2012-RFE response mailed to CSCJuly 24, 2012-RFE response reviewJuly 26, 2012-NOA2!!!!July 30, 2012-NOA2 Hardcopy ReceivedAugust 3, 2012-NVC received case and forwarded to LondonAugust 6, 2012-Case received by LondonAugust 13, 2012-Packet 3 sent out by consulateAugust 15, 2012-Packet 3 receivedAugust 23, 2012-Mailed affidavit and original forms to Rob via express mailAugust 30, 2012-MedicalSeptember 3, 2012-Packet 3 sent to embassy with DS-2001September 4, 2012-Packet 3 and DS-2001 arrive in LondonSeptember 26, 2012-Packet 4 receivedOctober 11, 2012- lnterview- Result: APPROVEDOctober 18, 2012-Visa in handNovember 15, 2012- POE-ORDNovember 21, 2012- Legal wedding!!November 30, 2012- Applied for SSNDecember 7, 2012- SSN card came in mailDecember 20, 2012- AOS/EAD/AP sent outDecember 27, 2012-AOS/EAD/AP Text/email confirmationDecember 31, 2012-AOS/EAD/AP NOA1 received in mailJanuary 22, 2013-Biometrics appointmentFebruary 15, 2013- EAD/AP approvedFebruary 27, 2013- EAD/AP card arrived in mailApril 6, 2013- Big family wedding!!August 12, 2013-AOS text/email- APPROVED!! <p>May 16, 2015- ROC package sent to CSC August 15, 2015- ROC Approved!

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Colombia
Timeline

For me the hardest part was getting information from my Fiancée, she just could not understand why the U.S. Government wanted all this information. At one point I told her just give me the information I ask, not more not less.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Colombia
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Do you not think given my concerns above it would be wise to hire a lawyer, even if he does only end up doing nothing more than filling out paperwork, so that I can at least have my mind clear that we have the best chance possible?

Ha! Yeah understand the nervousness! The process really is not that difficult once you dig in.. You won't really beleive that until you begin but it is true. The main things people complain about are gathering all the documents, figuring out how to document a "bonafide" relationship, and most of all the long wait times.. A lawyer does not really help you with these three things.. .You will still be the one gathering the documents, you will still have to figure out how to document your relationship (not that hard - lots of topics about it here) and of course you will still wait..

Edited by OnMyWayID

I don't believe it.. Prove it to me and I still won't believe it. -Ford Prefect

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Philippines
Timeline

I had the same worries! In the end, I actually talked to a lawyer. My situation even had one or two things that I 'thought' could be tricky. I found a great lawyer, and you know what he told me? He said "Don't hire me. This is easy enough to do on your own, and if you hire me, I'm going to make you do all the legwork anyway, you have to supply all the information, and if you have it all, all I'll do is be filling out forms for you'. He said the time to contact a lawyer is if you have problems later, or have a really difficult situation involving previous visa denials, deportations, etc.

I honestly think there is usually no need.

That said, IF you have the means, and want the convenience of having someone else help you, then by all means.

Just note that PLENTY of people that have used lawyers still get RFEs and things. I think in the end, you'll take more time and care to fill in the forms than they would.

And we are all here to help with any questions!

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Poland
Timeline

I used a lawyer for the I-129 petition.... he was a good guy..... but as someone said on here earlier its probably an assistant filling it out anyhow! ... I wish I didnt use one though.... I was in a hurry and he wasnt.... as others said as well The lawyers have you fill out forms with all the info anyhow, and then fill out the real forms with that info... visa journey site along with the form examples on here would have saved me a lot of money and I would have had the application in to USCIS a month earlier or more than the lawyer submitted it... I do recommend filling the forms out on you computer in PDF format though.... that way if you fill out a section improperly you can just change it without filling in the whole form by hand again... It also looks much cleaner when typed as opposed to handwritten... I declined to use the lawyer any longer once we received our NOA2. That is when I realized that I could have done the whole thing myself in the first place.... Just be thorough and make sure you understand what you are filling in.... It feels good to know that you have an understanding of the process as you go along rather than just being confused when your lawyer tries to explain. Visa journey is really a great site.... read up and do it yourself..... save the money for the lawyer! you will need it for something else along the way! guaranteed! haha! good luck! keep asking questions and you will be fine!


K1 Visa

Event Date

Service Center : California Service Center

Consulate : London, United Kingdom

I-129F Sent : 2012-05-15

I-129F NOA1 : 2012-05-17

I-129F NOA2 : 2012-08-08

NVC Received : 2012-08-10

NVC Left : 2012-08-15

Consulate Received : 2012-08-20

Packet 3 Received : ONLINE

Packet 3 Sent : 2012-09-18

Packet 4 Received :

Interview Date : 2012-10-25 Submit Review

Interview Result :

Visa Received :

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I had the same worries! In the end, I actually talked to a lawyer. My situation even had one or two things that I 'thought' could be tricky. I found a great lawyer, and you know what he told me? He said "Don't hire me. This is easy enough to do on your own, and if you hire me, I'm going to make you do all the legwork anyway, you have to supply all the information, and if you have it all, all I'll do is be filling out forms for you'. He said the time to contact a lawyer is if you have problems later, or have a really difficult situation involving previous visa denials, deportations, etc.

I honestly think there is usually no need.

That said, IF you have the means, and want the convenience of having someone else help you, then by all means.

Just note that PLENTY of people that have used lawyers still get RFEs and things. I think in the end, you'll take more time and care to fill in the forms than they would.

And we are all here to help with any questions!

That's what I did. I had a consult with a reputable immigration attorney. I went over the details of our upcoming case via telephone. He said the same thing - that we didn't need to hire him.

To this day, I think a consult with a qualified expert is a good idea, especially for the nervous. :P

Reputable lawyers won't try to pressure you into a fee. So if you were unsure about the expert you spoke to, and they do try to pressure you - well you know to get the heck out! Good, qualified lawyers are to busy to take on cases they don't need.


Our journey together on this earth has come to an end.

I will see you one day again, my love.

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