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Sinatra

Which Direction Do I Go?

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I am an American born male / U.S. Citizen.

In 2010-2012 I was a DoD contractor in Kuwait. While there, I met a Filipino woman. Over the first year our friendship blossomed into a wholly committed and loving relationship. We are deeply in love and we continue to maintain a Godly relationship.

Long story short, I have since returned to the states and I am working on bringing her (Dyn) here. I am ignorant to the immigration / visa processes and have few acquaintances that can offer insight.

Which direction do I go regarding a visa? Where do I start? Do different types of visas have different timelines?

I have been told that the process could take anywhere from 6 months to 5 years and costs thousands of dollars. Is this true.

I am hoping to meet (here) American men and their spouses who have already completed the process. I want to network and gather as many resources as possible to make this process as efficient as possible. I want to know what you did right and I want to learn from your mistakes so i don't make the same.

Can you help?

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Well, I'm not an American male but I have ompleted the process

http://www.visajourney.com/content/compare

check the guides for timeline and costs to figure out the best visa for you

good luck


USCIS
August 12, 2008 - petition sent
August 16, 2008 - NOA-1
February 10, 2009 - NOA-2
178 DAYS FROM NOA-1


NVC
February 13, 2009 - NVC case number assigned
March 12, 2009 - Case Complete
25 DAY TRIP THROUGH NVC


Medical
May 4, 2009


Interview
May, 26, 2009


POE - June 20, 2009 Toronto - Atlanta, GA

Removal of Conditions
Filed - April 14, 2011
Biometrics - June 2, 2011 (early)
Approval - November 9, 2011
209 DAY TRIP TO REMOVE CONDITIONS

Citizenship

April 29, 2013 - NOA1 for petition received

September 10, 2013 Interview - decision could not be made.

April 15, 2014 APPROVED. Wait for oath ceremony

Waited...

September 29, 2015 - sent letter to senator.

October 16, 2015 - US Citizen

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Not just American men "import" a partner. :lol:

You should start by sitting down and reading the VJ guide to decide which option is best for your situation, either the fiancé(e) petition for the K-1 or the spousal petition for the IR-1/CR-1: http://www.visajourney.com/forums/index.php?autocom=custom&page=compare

Both options have their pros and cons. This process will take a number of years when you consider the various steps involved from the initial petition to entering the country to getting the green card to becoming a naturalized citizen. (If your partner decides to go that route.)

On cost, yes, it will cost thousands of dollars when you factor in the costs associated with moving, flying to/from, wedding, housing upgrades, etc.


Part One: The K-1 Visa Journey:

USCIS Receipt of I-129F: January 24, 2012 | Petition Approval: June 15, 2012 (No RFEs)
Interview: October 24, 2012 - Review | Visa Delivered: October 31, 2012



Part Two: Entry and Adjusting Status:

POE: November 18, 2012 (at SFO) - Review
Wedding: December 1, 2012 | Social Security: New cards received on December 7, 2012.
AOS Package (I-485/I-765/I-131) NOA1: February 19, 2013 | Biometrics Appt.: March 18, 2013
AP/EAD Approved: April 29, 2013 | Card Received: May 6, 2013 | AOS Interview Appt.: May 16, 2013 - Approved Review Card Received: May 24, 2013

Part Three: Removal of Conditions:

Coming Soon...

"When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat." – George Carlin

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I would read both VJ and USCIS sites. We did K-1 but in retro would have done IR-1/CR-1, so she arrives with a green card. Maybe a little longer but cheaper in the long run.


In Arizona its hot hot hot.

http://www.uscis.gov/dateCalculator.html

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I truly appreciate the response. Can you offer specifics on wait times and costs?

i have read that a fiancée visa is much quicker than a spouse visa. is this true? One of the options we have considered is getting married in the American Embassy (Philippines) and applying for spouse visa from there. Its my understanding that this process can take two to five years versus six months for a fiancée visa. an you shed some light on this?

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I truly appreciate the response. Can you offer specifics on wait times and costs?

For wait times, check the Immigration Timelines link at the top of the page and look for ones based on the petition/visa type and country. On costs, you'll see an estimate on the comparison chart.

i have read that a fiancée visa is much quicker than a spouse visa. is this true? One of the options we have considered is getting married in the American Embassy (Philippines) and applying for spouse visa from there. Its my understanding that this process can take two to five years versus six months for a fiancée visa. an you shed some light on this?

Wait times for both petitions aren't dramatic. The decision you'll need to make is if you want to file the petition now and then get married in the US (I-129F petition & K-1 visa), or get married first and then file the petition (I-130 petition & CR-1 visa). Again, check the immigration timelines for approximate times, but I'm not sure where you're getting the two to five year number for just the visa stage.


Part One: The K-1 Visa Journey:

USCIS Receipt of I-129F: January 24, 2012 | Petition Approval: June 15, 2012 (No RFEs)
Interview: October 24, 2012 - Review | Visa Delivered: October 31, 2012



Part Two: Entry and Adjusting Status:

POE: November 18, 2012 (at SFO) - Review
Wedding: December 1, 2012 | Social Security: New cards received on December 7, 2012.
AOS Package (I-485/I-765/I-131) NOA1: February 19, 2013 | Biometrics Appt.: March 18, 2013
AP/EAD Approved: April 29, 2013 | Card Received: May 6, 2013 | AOS Interview Appt.: May 16, 2013 - Approved Review Card Received: May 24, 2013

Part Three: Removal of Conditions:

Coming Soon...

"When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat." – George Carlin

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Wow. The information you have provided already is valuable and it adds great insight. Thank you so much.

I suspect that I might be using the wrong term (visa) when referencing 2 to 5 year wait times. What my objective is (and I know that every situation is different): how long will it take from when we begin the process to when she steps foot on American soil?

In my experience I am confusing the visa process with immigration and other factors.

Again, the links you provided will offer some wonderfully insightful information. Would you also be willing to share more of your personal experience throughout the process? Did you make mistakes along the way? What would you do differently?

THANK YOU FOR YOUR WISDOM, EXPERIENCE AND WILLINGNESS TO HELP

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In looking at the time line for the Vermont Service Center, the I-129F (financee visa) is 5-6 months and the I-130 is almost a year. The California Service Center is showing approximately 5 months for each. I'm not sure how the Texas Dropbox decides where to send to send the application. I'm thinking eastern half of US goes to Vermont, western half goes to California, but I could be mistaken.

Estimate timelines from visajourney can be found here: http://www.visajourney.com/content/times

Good luck on your journey - I started my applications in Mid November.

This place has a lot of great information for you to learn what you need to do.


Aug 2, 2011 - Met online via a mutual friend.
Dec 2, 2011 - Vivian traveled to USA to attend a medical conference and had our first date. On Dec 10, 2011 - Vivian returned home.
May 15,2012 - Vivian traveled to USA to spend a month with me. smile.png
Sep 15,2012 - Met Vivian in Frankfurt Germany and on to Prague Czech Republic to celebrate our birthdays.
Sep 24, 2012 - Left Viena Austria. The last time I was with Vivian.
Nov 11, 2012 - Mailed in I-129F
Nov 19, 2012 - NOA1 recieved

June 13, 2013 - NOA2 approved.

June 17, 2013 - NOA2 hard copy received.

June 25, 2013 - Consulate received
July 7, 2013 - Packet 3 received

July 13, 2013 - Packet 3 sent

July 28, 2013 - Packet 4 received

Aug 22, 2013 - Interview scheduled and APPROVED!!! kicking.gif

Sept 17, 2013 - Visa in hand

Sept 18, 2013 - Traveled to USA - Arrived at Dulles Airport in Virginia.

Sept 20, 2013 - Wedding!!!

event.png

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We went for a costly K1 vs CR1 route, for the sole reason that we didn't like the idea that will be separated after marriage. We're married now, just 9 days to be exact. We'll do adjustment of status in a couple of weeks but at least we're together now while we wait for the approvals.

Which ever route you'll pick, good luck!


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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THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR EXPERIENCE and INFORMATION.

I am learned quite a bit today.

THANK YOU FOR SHARING YOUR EXPERIENCE and INFORMATION.

I am learned quite a bit today.

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Whichever one you decide on, the best advice given to me was to frontload the petition. Meanwhile start saving all your chats, texts, emails, snail mail, call logs. Good luck and welcome to the journey.

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In looking at the time line for the Vermont Service Center, the I-129F (financee visa) is 5-6 months and the I-130 is almost a year. The California Service Center is showing approximately 5 months for each. I'm not sure how the Texas Dropbox decides where to send to send the application. I'm thinking eastern half of US goes to Vermont, western half goes to California, but I could be mistaken.

Estimate timelines from visajourney can be found here: http://www.visajourney.com/content/times

Good luck on your journey - I started my applications in Mid November.

This place has a lot of great information for you to learn what you need to do.

That information is outdated and incorrect. VSC is not currently processing new I130s and the wait time for a CR1 is less than a K1 for those who have filed in the last 4 months.

All I130s are being routed to NBC and then to field offices if necessary.

Current process for either is between 6 months ( min with CR1) and 10 months with K1 if all goes smoothly. The CR1 is a little more variable now with field offices with some I130s being approved in 40 days and others 90 or more.

Correct and informed answers are better. ;)


3/2/18  E-filed N-400 under 5 year rule

3/26/18 Biometrics

7/2019-12/2019 (Yes, 16- 21 months) Estimated time to interview MSP office.

 

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I can't thank you enough for sharing with me. This provides a wealth of information and is very encouraging. Congratulations on completing your own Visa Journey

Whichever one you decide on, the best advice given to me was to frontload the petition. Meanwhile start saving all your chats, texts, emails, snail mail, call logs. Good luck and welcome to the journey.

AGAIN - Thank you for taking a few minutes to point me in the right direction. It feels good to know that there are others out there.

What does it mean to "Frontload" the application? Can you offer more information?

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I'm not sure what is the driving factor to where petitions go, but I live in Indianapolis, IN and mine went to the California Service Center. The same goes for Michigan.

So it's a crapshoot ;)


01/15/12 - Sent Aya a message on a dating site
03/10/12 - We became "exclusive"
03/15/12 - We told each other "I love you"
08/17/12 - 2 week trip to the Philippines to be with her
08/27/12 - I asked her to marry me (in Cebuano), she cried and said yes
09/02/12 - I came back to the USA

Started on the paperwork

09/22/12 - Mailed I-129F
09/25/12 - Saw on USPS that the package was delivered in Texas
09/28/12 - NOA1
10/08/12 - Received hard copy NOA1
12/19/12 - CFO Counseling Session (to get it out of the way)
04/27/13 - NOA2
05/06/13 - NVC Received and MNL # assigned
05/21/13 - Medical Exam Day
06/04/13 - Interview Day
xx/xx/xx - Visa Arrived
xx/xx/xx - Off to Chicago

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Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Ask our VJ Immigration Lawyers.

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