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LauraDP

Preparations for the next stage

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(I posted this originally on the DCF London thread but decided it was best to create a separate post. I apologise for the duplication.)

Our I130 petitions were sent to the London Embassy today. I feel excited but anxious to be officially stepping off the ledge into our own visa journey after months of pondering and waiting.

Anyway, I think it sensible that we start to gather our paperwork for the next stage. What would be the advised order for organising our documents for the next stage based on everyone else's experiences of the time it takes to obtain supporting evidence etc?

Is it wise to fill out our five (4 kids + me) DS230s now so long as we don't sign and date them yet? Do I even need separate ones of these for our sons or do they "piggy-back" on my DS230?

Is it worth applying for the police certificate now or is this a time-sensitive document?

Should our sponsor (husband) and co-sponsor be compiling their documents for the I864 / I134 (five copies, I assume) or should we hold off?

The kids and I are waiting for our GP surgery to have the seasonal flu vaccine in stock and then we will get that shot. I also have to get my second MMR and the kids need to have their final Hep B shot but they cannot get that until February. So the vaccination record thing is ongoing.

We will also be beginning to compile our "intent to domicile" dossier as things progress.

Thanks in advance for any and all responses to my "next steps while waiting" question.

Cheers

Laura


Married a US/UK dual national in 1996 and had four children together.
Immigration Timeline: I130 Approval November 2012; Interview July 2013; Immigration October 2013. (Note, however, that we chose to stall the process for personal scheduling reasons)
As a family of six, we relocated from Argyll in Scotland to Pennsylvania in October 2013. 

I applied for Citizenship in October 2017 and am currently waiting for an Interview date.

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Hi Laura,

I've seen you on here before and you look like a friendly person. I hope your journey has not led you into any dead ends and that you are continuing on with success!

I looked at a post you wrote back in July, all about the intent to establish domicile. Aaaaarggh!! That is a very tough one. I just learned about it last night, and you said it, despondent is just about the right word to describe the feelings about this issue.

In fact, if you contrast the intent to establish domicile to the Applicant's Statement, it seems almost insane. The applicant's statement (which, at least here in Italy, has to be faxed to the consulate before they will even think about giving you an app't for the interview) says something like "I promise not to give up my job, dispose of property, etc. etc." Well=!!= So to establish domicile I'm supposed to be buying a house in the USA but I shouldn't give up my house here in the meantime?? It's crazy.

I am feeling so dejected. Please, someone tell me that the domicile issue can be resolved in a sensible manner.

Sorry for venting, but anyway Laura I will keep watching to see how your journey progresses... Good luck to you and your family.

Molly

(I posted this originally on the DCF London thread but decided it was best to create a separate post. I apologise for the duplication.)

Our I130 petitions were sent to the London Embassy today. I feel excited but anxious to be officially stepping off the ledge into our own visa journey after months of pondering and waiting.

Anyway, I think it sensible that we start to gather our paperwork for the next stage. What would be the advised order for organising our documents for the next stage based on everyone else's experiences of the time it takes to obtain supporting evidence etc?

Is it wise to fill out our five (4 kids + me) DS230s now so long as we don't sign and date them yet? Do I even need separate ones of these for our sons or do they "piggy-back" on my DS230?

Is it worth applying for the police certificate now or is this a time-sensitive document?

Should our sponsor (husband) and co-sponsor be compiling their documents for the I864 / I134 (five copies, I assume) or should we hold off?

The kids and I are waiting for our GP surgery to have the seasonal flu vaccine in stock and then we will get that shot. I also have to get my second MMR and the kids need to have their final Hep B shot but they cannot get that until February. So the vaccination record thing is ongoing.

We will also be beginning to compile our "intent to domicile" dossier as things progress.

Thanks in advance for any and all responses to my "next steps while waiting" question.

Cheers

Laura

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Hi MollyDan

Our situation is a bit clearer now than it was back in July so I am not quite as stressed and despondent as I was then when it seemed like all doors were closing. We still have the annoying issue with Selective Service to overcome but, apart from that, our way forward is clear. Of course, it all absolutely hinges on my husband being able to secure one of the jobs he applies for as we would obviously not be moving without him having a job to go to and we would also not risk moving as a family of six if he did not secure a job at the salary level required. It will require a prospective employer to see that his wealth of UK based experience could make a worthwhile contribution to their organisation but all of that is outwith our control so we just have to wait it out and see what happens.

We are so much more fortunate than many on this forum in that we are at least all able to be together whether it is on the other side of the Atlantic or on this one. That means that we are in a position to be able to accept if the plan is no longer working and we actually have an exit strategy for if it looks as if it is best to abandon the immigration process than continue to throw money and energy into a plan that is not going to work out.

With regard to the intent to domicile evidence, we will largely have to gather all of that at "last minute" as we are not going to sell our house out from under us without knowing that my husband has secured a job. The job contract in itself would be the chief item of evidence we would use and then we would also add things like our house being on the market (if it has not sold at that stage). We are also in the waiting period for taking out a US bank account and I just wrote to the International Admissions people at the Education department for the relevant county to find information about enrolling our children in school so any reply from them would evidence our intention to enrol our children in a school as soon as we arrive in the US. My husband will be staying with the friend who is our co-sponsor when he moves out ahead of us so we intend to get a letter from him to that effect and then hopefully my husband will be able to get a rental lease on a property we can all live in together in advance of our interview so that I can also use that as evidence. The whole intent to establish domicile thing is unfortunately going to be end-loaded because no way can we destabilise life for us here in Scotland (especially having four kids) when our plan entirely hinges on a job that may not be forthcoming within the timescales we need.

Right now I am trying to sort out how to get us all flu vaccines as that is the one thing my Dr is not prepared to give me on the house and I have my second MMR booked for next week so hopefully the whole vaccination record will be ticked off the To Do list fairly soon. Then I will by applying for the police certificate. Meanwhile my husband and our co-sponsor are gathering all of their records for the I864s.

I don't enjoy being in limbo, not knowing whether ultimately we will be emigrating or not, but right now we are just proceeding as if we are going. We may also delay submitting the next set of paperwork after NOA2 to buy my husband some time for the job application process as the jobs he has applied for so far don't even close until December.

It is hard not to get frustrated and exhausted doing something like this but I have found it best just to treat it like "work" and try to remove our emotions from the equation.

Best wishes

Laura


Married a US/UK dual national in 1996 and had four children together.
Immigration Timeline: I130 Approval November 2012; Interview July 2013; Immigration October 2013. (Note, however, that we chose to stall the process for personal scheduling reasons)
As a family of six, we relocated from Argyll in Scotland to Pennsylvania in October 2013. 

I applied for Citizenship in October 2017 and am currently waiting for an Interview date.

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Yes -- it is difficult to be in limbo and know that there are so many things that still have to be done. Your idea of trying to remove one's emotions from the process was a good one, but.... easier said than done!

Best wishes and keep us all posted. Thanks for your reply,

Molly

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Your idea of trying to remove one's emotions from the process was a good one, but.... easier said than done!

Totally! I can just be logical and dispassionate about it when I am actually focusing on stuff related to our plan but then I wake up in the middle of the night fretting about some detail or making myself anxious about something. A large part of me still thinks we are total wingnuts for even considering moving four kids across the Atlantic and starting so much of life over from scratch after (gulp) 20 years together.

Best wishes

Laura


Married a US/UK dual national in 1996 and had four children together.
Immigration Timeline: I130 Approval November 2012; Interview July 2013; Immigration October 2013. (Note, however, that we chose to stall the process for personal scheduling reasons)
As a family of six, we relocated from Argyll in Scotland to Pennsylvania in October 2013. 

I applied for Citizenship in October 2017 and am currently waiting for an Interview date.

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We have four kids, too. Our youngest is almost two.

I noticed you talking about doing DS 230s for the children too... but if I may ask, why didn't you get US passports for them after their birth? Just curious.

Totally! I can just be logical and dispassionate about it when I am actually focusing on stuff related to our plan but then I wake up in the middle of the night fretting about some detail or making myself anxious about something. A large part of me still thinks we are total wingnuts for even considering moving four kids across the Atlantic and starting so much of life over from scratch after (gulp) 20 years together.

Best wishes

Laura

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We have four kids, too. Our youngest is almost two.

I noticed you talking about doing DS 230s for the children too... but if I may ask, why didn't you get US passports for them after their birth? Just curious.

Frustratingly, our children cannot be granted USC status as my husband did not live in the US for long enough after his 14th birthday to qualify to pass his citizenship down to our sons. He missed the deadline by a mere three months. My husband is a dual national and, since his mother his American and his father British, he and his brother were raised on both sides of the Atlantic. He came back to Britain to complete his education and apply to UK universities which is why he missed the deadline. Believe me, if we could have gone down the route of getting the kids USC status then we would have done. Unfortunately, they just have to take the same route as me.

Best wishes

Laura


Married a US/UK dual national in 1996 and had four children together.
Immigration Timeline: I130 Approval November 2012; Interview July 2013; Immigration October 2013. (Note, however, that we chose to stall the process for personal scheduling reasons)
As a family of six, we relocated from Argyll in Scotland to Pennsylvania in October 2013. 

I applied for Citizenship in October 2017 and am currently waiting for an Interview date.

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Hi Laura,

The police certs are time sensitive, so it's best to wait on that. You only need one Affidavit of Support for the whole family, but the sponsors can start the gather last years tax documents and the like. Not sure about the Ds forms. Glad things are moving!

Edited by Harpa Timsah

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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Hi Laura,

The police certs are time sensitive, so it's best to wait on that. You only need one Affidavit of Support for the whole family, but the sponsors can start the gather last years tax documents and the like. Not sure about the Ds forms. Glad things are moving!

Thanks for taking the time to reply to my query, Harpa.

I understand the police certificates are 12 months so I think I will hold off until the New Year to apply. I see the turnaround times they quote are pretty quick so even if I allow a bit of extra time because I live in Scotland that should not present a problem.

Thanks for the clarification on the I864s and the fact we need just one for the five of us. Our co-sponsor already has all of his tax documents and my husband, as our main sponsor, is going to begin gathering all of the information he needs to provide.

I cannot seem to find an answer about the DS forms. I guess if I don't figure it out by the time they are needed I will just go ahead and assume we need one each. The worst that will happen is they will bin four of the five copies.

We are moving forward but slowly. We want to try and keep our immigration in line with my husband's job applications and, since most of those he has applied for doing even close to applications until the end of the year, we will probably delay a little after NOA2. We are in a privileged position of all being together on these shores so we have that option available to us and him securing a job at a level that will support us (as we will be single income while I convert my qualifications and maybe even beyond depending on my job prospects) is critical to our ability to relocate we have to prioritise that over the immigration process for a while.

Thanks again for your input.

Best wishes

Laura


Married a US/UK dual national in 1996 and had four children together.
Immigration Timeline: I130 Approval November 2012; Interview July 2013; Immigration October 2013. (Note, however, that we chose to stall the process for personal scheduling reasons)
As a family of six, we relocated from Argyll in Scotland to Pennsylvania in October 2013. 

I applied for Citizenship in October 2017 and am currently waiting for an Interview date.

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Good luck Laura, seems thing to be very orderly on your end.

I just wanted to comment about your need to convert qualifications. Do you mean get some sort of paper about what your degree is "worth" in the US? Usually, there is no need to do that. I am not sure how one secures a job in the UK, but here we don't show our diploma to get the job or anything. It is based on past work history and abilities. Of course, a degree is often mixed into that, but a bachelor's degree in the UK is worth a bachelor's degree here, and they will take your word that you have it.

I do know something about the UK education system, and there seems to be a lot of confusion from UK people about that when they come here (usually people trying to say that A levels are some college, which is not true). So, what I am trying to say is that it shouldn't be that big of an ordeal to become hireable in the US. My husband got a great job in his field in around a month, and we just put "Bachelor's degree" in his subject from his uni in Israel on his resume and it was never an issue. At the interview, the people asked about his training (which is normal) and that gives them a good idea of what someone was capable of. This advice might be different for someone from a less-developed country with spurious educational institutions, but from Scotland, it should be a non-issue. PM if you like. Good luck.


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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Good luck Laura, seems thing to be very orderly on your end.

I just wanted to comment about your need to convert qualifications. Do you mean get some sort of paper about what your degree is "worth" in the US? Usually, there is no need to do that. I am not sure how one secures a job in the UK, but here we don't show our diploma to get the job or anything. It is based on past work history and abilities. Of course, a degree is often mixed into that, but a bachelor's degree in the UK is worth a bachelor's degree here, and they will take your word that you have it.

I do know something about the UK education system, and there seems to be a lot of confusion from UK people about that when they come here (usually people trying to say that A levels are some college, which is not true). So, what I am trying to say is that it shouldn't be that big of an ordeal to become hireable in the US. My husband got a great job in his field in around a month, and we just put "Bachelor's degree" in his subject from his uni in Israel on his resume and it was never an issue. At the interview, the people asked about his training (which is normal) and that gives them a good idea of what someone was capable of. This advice might be different for someone from a less-developed country with spurious educational institutions, but from Scotland, it should be a non-issue. PM if you like. Good luck.

Hi Harpa

I am a High School English Teacher to trade and would hope to return to teaching once settled in the US. I have contacted both the MD and VA education departments and they have confirmed that I would need to have my qualifications certified by one of the agencies on a list they supply (my husband just had to do the same thing for his undergraduate and accountancy degrees) and also undergo a sort of conversion course and / or praxis testing. I am pretty confident about what my two degrees and even high school qualifications equate to in the US but apparently the bit of paper is required. So it is no big deal really beyond the paper exercise and a couple of exams but still something I need to prepare and organise myself for.

Best wishes

Laura


Married a US/UK dual national in 1996 and had four children together.
Immigration Timeline: I130 Approval November 2012; Interview July 2013; Immigration October 2013. (Note, however, that we chose to stall the process for personal scheduling reasons)
As a family of six, we relocated from Argyll in Scotland to Pennsylvania in October 2013. 

I applied for Citizenship in October 2017 and am currently waiting for an Interview date.

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Ahh, yes you will need a teaching license, but it will work out fine. Good luck.


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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