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hz2013

Advice needed: F2A or IR

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Dear forum,

I am preparing a petition for my wife who is still under F1. I am a LPR qualified to apply for citizenship.

Now there are two choices for me:

1. Become a citizen, then file i-130 together with i-485. It should get my wife's status adjusted within 8 months.

2. File i-130 as LPR with F2A. It might take almost 28 months per current estimate. I can choose to become a citizen later, upgrade i-130 to IR and file i-485 at that time, which will speed things up.

The dilemma is that I have not made up my mind to be a citizen because it'd lose my current country's citizenship (they don't allow dual-citizenship), and for some reason that's still useful to me.

My question:

1) How much a hassle the i-130 "upgrade" is? Can I file i-485 without waiting for i-130 approval, in which case I assume my wife won't have problem with her status? (assuming nothing is denied). Or do I have to wait for the i-130 to be upgraded (how long does it take), or even approved, before I can file i-485?

2) How predictable is F2A processing? Could it be significantly slower in 2 years? (I know theoretically anything is possible, but I want to have some practical ideas from people with experience)

Basically, is 2 a bad idea?

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*** Thread moved from CR-1 Process forum to Student & Exchange Visitor Visas forum -- OP needs advice from those familiar with F visas. ***


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01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.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

I am preparing a petition for my wife who is still under F1. I am a LPR qualified to apply for citizenship.

Now there are two choices for me:

1. Become a citizen, then file i-130 together with i-485. It should get my wife's status adjusted within 8 months.

2. File i-130 as LPR with F2A. It might take almost 28 months per current estimate. I can choose to become a citizen later, upgrade i-130 to IR and file i-485 at that time, which will speed things up.

The dilemma is that I have not made up my mind to be a citizen because it'd lose my current country's citizenship (they don't allow dual-citizenship), and for some reason that's still useful to me.

My question:

1) How much a hassle the i-130 "upgrade" is? It's easy. A single letter with a copy of your US passport or Naturalization certificate to prove your US citizenship. Can I file i-485 without waiting for i-130 approval, in which case I assume my wife won't have problem with her status? (assuming nothing is denied). Or do I have to wait for the i-130 to be upgraded (how long does it take), or even approved, before I can file i-485? You cannot file the I-485. You don't qualify. You are not a US citizen petitioning a wife. You are an LPR petitioning a wife. There is a 2-3 years wait for an available visa number. Only after you file the I-130, it is approved, and the Priority Date becomes current in 2-3 years, then you can file the I-485. You cannot file now. If you file now, the I-485 will be rejected, you will lose your money, and the grace period covered by filing the I-485 (if she does not have a current visa) will be deemed days of unlawful presence because she was clearly not eligible to file the I-485. Don't do this.

2) How predictable is F2A processing? Could it be significantly slower in 2 years? (I know theoretically anything is possible, but I want to have some practical ideas from people with experience) Yes, it can be slower. There is no way to predict. A few years ago, the wait was one year. Now it is 3 years. It can be longer.

Basically, is 2 a bad idea? No. It is the only choice you have. There is no other choice for you to bring your wife to the US unless you get US citizenship.

Edited by aaron2020

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Thanks Aaron. I understand I cannot file i-485 now; I meant after I'd become a citizen, whether I could file I-485 without waiting for the I-130 to be approved or confirmed upgraded. Or if I could not, how long would it take for the upgraded I-130 to be approved for a USC.

Basically, is 2 a bad idea? No. It is the only choice you have. There is no other choice for you to bring your wife to the US unless you get US citizenship.

My wife is already in the US, so that's not a problem. I do have a choice (1 or 2), and it depends on how much hassle an 'upgrade' is. It seems there is no much hassle, so I could do 2 and choose to become USC later (and per your answer it's probably better that I do become USC at some point).

Thanks.

Edited by hz2013

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