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Lawyer needed??? Conditions removal...

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Filed: Other Timeline

Hello, first time post here. My wife is here on a CR1 visa, she's from Costa Rica. We have no kids yet and she's approaching the time frame to file the I-751 form. I'm seeing some great information here on VJ but I'm still nervous and concerned about how it's gonna go down when I try to remove the conditions from her visa. We have a mortgage together, bank account, pictures, health insurance, auto insurance, etc. I've seen how to fill out the form, what info to collect, etc but I'm still nervous because of the horror stories I've heard about how picky the USCIS is about how the paperwork is done, exactly what evidence is included, etc. I hired a lawyer to get us this far but do i need to hire one again? Is this a fairly easy process? If we can do it ourselves then obviously that's what we want to do. Sorry to ramble, just concerned and don't know what to expect. Thank you for any info you can give...

Edited by smitj82

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All about evidences and typing in the forms. Lawyers do nothing more than that.


12/06/2014: Package filed

12/31/2014: Fingerprinted

02/06/2015: In-Line for Interview

04/15/2015: Passed Interview

05/05/2015: Oath letter was sent

05/22/2015: Oath Ceremony

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Filed: Other Timeline

My lawyer told me at the beginning to save plane tickets, wedding ring receipts, of course pictures, ANYTHING basically. My wife has been on my health and auto insurance for a while now but the internet, utilites,etc. she hasn't been on, I'm adding her now. Do you think they will accept without the evidence of her on the small bills we recieve every month? We also have joint filed taxes.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ecuador

You should provide evidence of your merged financial and personal lives since you got married. What you now have sounds pretty good, so I think that you're sweating unnecessarily.

The forms are straightforward to fill out if you read carefully, interpret literally, and answer completely and honestly.

Some often overlooked and excellent evidence: Wills, medical powers of attorney, HIPAA releases, and similar documents. You can pay a lawyer to craft these, or you can look on self-help legal sites for templates (appropriate for your state of residence!) that you can plug your information into.

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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Filed: Timeline

If you've got a straightforward joint I-751 case (you're filing jointly and not requesting any type of waiver, there's no criminal history or other adverse factors involved, etc.), a lawyer usually isn't necessary. You might still want to hire one if you are just terrible with paperwork, or don't have the time to put into doing it yourself, but otherwise it's pretty manageable, and you can always get a lawyer involved later on if you get an RFE or otherwise feel like things are going south.

If you're really, really nervous about it and just want a second set of (professional) eyes to look things over, you could also ask your attorney if they would be willing to review it for the price of a consultation before you submit it. Not every attorney is willing to do that, but if you are an existing client (meaning they already know your case well and obviously know/believe you are a bona fide couple), there's a good chance they will agree.

TBoneTX is right about wills, medical powers of attorney, etc. As he pointed out on another thread, those things are also just good to have in general, as well as being good evidence of your lives together, so it's a win/win situation.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Russia

Is this a fairly easy process? If we can do it ourselves then obviously that's what we want to do.

From the stories of people on VJ I got an impression that in most of the cases lawyers cause more harm than help because they don't care and often don't know what they're doing. There is no rocket science in any USCIS petitions/applications so I think average adult is capable of doing it himself as long as you read all instructions and paying attention to details. Nobody is guaranteed from mistake (and then you get RFE) but neither lawyers. For anybody who has pretty much standart situation I highly recommend to not involve lawyer, it's a big waste of money and possibly making process even harder/longer. If you want to do it right, do it yourself. Lawyer might be needed only if you need really complicate, unusual case, where deep knowledge of immigration laws and legal procedures might be needed.

- Victor from Russia

Our timlines K1 visa - Citizenship (06.28.2011 - 08.01.2016)

K1 Visa Timeline (06.28.2011 - 04.07.2012)

  • 06-28-2011: I-129F sent to Dallas
  • 07-05-2011: NOA1 (CSC)
  • 01-05-2012: NOA2 (184 days since NOA1)
  • 01-13-2012: NVC passed
  • 01-19-2012: Embassy received our case
  • 02-14-2012: Interview PASSED! :D K-1 Visa Approved! :D
  • 03-08-2012: POE
  • 04-07-2012: Wedding!

AOS/EAD Timeline (04.26.2012 - 12.13.2012)

  • 04-26-2012: I-485 and I-765 sent to Chicago Lockbox
  • 05-02-2012: NOA1 (both I-485 and I-765)
  • 05-23-2012: Biometrics taken
  • 07-02-2012: Employment Authorization Issued (07-09-2012 - received in the mail)
  • 12-03-2012: Made Service Request for I-485, because case is beyond processing time
  • 12-07-2012: I-485 APPROVED! 219 days since NOA1. No interview/RFE
  • 12-13-2012: GreenCard in the mailbox, done with AOS!

Lifting of conditions Timeline (09.04.2014 - 01.14.2015)

  • 09-04-2014: I-751 sent to CSC
  • 09-08-2014: NOA1
  • 11-10-2014: Biometrics taken
  • 01-07-2015: Approved! Only 122 days since NOA1. No interview/RFE
  • 01-14-2015: GreenCard in the mailbox

Citizenship Timeline (09.03.2015 - 01.08.2016)

- 09-03-2015: N-400 sent to Phoenix

- 09-10-2015: NOA1

- 10-08-2015: Biometrics taken

- 10-28-2015: Case is in line for an interview

- 11-02-2015: Letter with Naturalization Interview Appointment

- 12-07-2015: Interview passed

- 01-08-2016: Naturalization Oath Ceremony, I'm a US citizen now!


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