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How long is too long ?

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Hi all, I came to the USA (legally) in October 1995 with the honest intention of taking a look at what this great country had to offer and oh boy, it had a lot compared to my homeland of England. In January of 2006 I met the girl of my dreams and in February 2006 we were married. Nineteen years and two wonderful children later here we are in the state of Missouri by way of Chicago Illinois. Herein lies my/our quandry. We had originally filed for my permanent residency in Chicago but the impending arrival of our first born put a severe burden on our finances and we simply could not afford the fees at the time, fast forward to now and the burden of being here illegally weighs heavily on my shoulders. The thought of deportation from my adopted country and the possible loss of my wife and children has caused many a sleepless night. I have never burdened the system here with claims of unemployment or otherwise, always paid my taxes promptly and never been convicted of any crime other than the odd parking / traffic infingement. I have read many of the highly informative links here but nothing seems to point me in the right direction as regards getting this Albatross of agony from around my neck. Things have changed drastically post 911 and I would greatly appreciate it if someone could kindly point me in the right direction as regards finally gaining legal status.

Sorry for the long winded introduction;

Chris.

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~~Moved to Adjustment of Status from Work, Student, & Tourist Visas , from Introductions - As the OP is in the US this path is available to him.~~


Spoiler

Met Playing Everquest in 2005
Engaged 9-15-2006
K-1 & 4 K-2'S
Filed 05-09-07
Interview 03-12-08
Visa received 04-21-08
Entry 05-06-08
Married 06-21-08
AOS X5
Filed 07-08-08
Cards Received01-22-09
Roc X5
Filed 10-17-10
Cards Received02-22-11
Citizenship
Filed 10-17-11
Interview 01-12-12
Oath 06-29-12

Citizenship for older 2 boys

Filed 03/08/2014

NOA/fee waiver 03/19/2014

Biometrics 04/15/14

Interview 05/29/14

In line for Oath 06/20/14

Oath 09/19/2014 We are all done! All USC no more USCIS

 

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Happens

Basically you just do what you abandoned previously.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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Go to an immigration lawyer. They will help get you legal. This happens more often then you think. My neighbor who was here illegally for two decades is finally going through the process. Good luck!

Thanks for the reply Crystal. My wife and I visited an immigration lawyer yesterday afternoon and while the consultation fee was worth every penny the future fees will be crippling in the short term at least. $1600 upfront to file for us and that doesn't include the government documentation costs. I found this site and was hoping to draw on the collective wisdom herein to guide me through the system without incurring any massive financial burden on my family. Is it feasible to go through the process ourselves or is a lawyer essential to our eventual peace of mind ?

Thanks again to all for your kind words.

Chris.

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This is a DIY site.

Having said that if you want to use a Lawyer that is your call.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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Thanks for the reply Boiler, I see your origins are close to my own. DIY is why I registered here. I'm just a newbie wandering in the dark here but I'm determined to find the correct path through this maze of my own making. Any help and guidance will be most gratefully received and with luck and persistence I may in the future be able to assist others on this arduous path.

Chris.

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Nothing particularly unusual about by our case as shared, you just need to adjust.

The guides are a good place to start.

Anything you do not understand you can then ask for clarification.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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Nothing particularly unusual about by our case as shared, you just need to adjust.

The guides are a good place to start.

Anything you do not understand you can then ask for clarification.

Thanks again. I'm just am unsure where to start. I'll check the guide forum again in more detail and ask questions if I'm unsure. Thank you for the reassurance.

Chris.

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I would say you have painted yourself into the poverbial "corner." I am pretty sure court appearances will be involved as you have broken the law (most likely in Omaha as you are in Kansas City now). If it was me, I would hire a good immigration lawyer because I think you will need them for more than just filing some paperwork. If I make a mistake filing my paperwork for the CR-1, I will get a checklist and worst case scenario denied....but no actual change in my life. If you make a mistake on your case, you will most likely be deported and flagged...making future immigration more difficult. I would expect legal fees at least triple that. But, in the end, whether you decide to use a lawyer or not is up to you. Good luck!!

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Thanks again. I'm just am unsure where to start. I'll check the guide forum again in more detail and ask questions if I'm unsure. Thank you for the reassurance.

Chris.

This http://www.visajourney.com/content/i130guide2guide - no reason to hire a lawyer - you are no different than dozen of people daily here that "accidently got married" and "accidently" overstayed their VVP / B2. Day or ten years of overstay - doesn't matter (unless you leave a country).

I say that with an assumption that you had not done something like claiming to be US citizen.

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Easy adjustment of status. Read the guides ... You can file the papers by yourself. Trust me, you'll be fine !!


Married March 9, 2013
NOA1 I-130 April 12, 2013

Transferred to TSC Nov 27, 2013
APPROVED March 18, 2014 FINALLY ! ! ! !! 11 MONTHS & 6 LONG DAYS FOR MY NOA2
Case shipped from TSC to NVC March 21, 2014
Rec'd NOA2 hard copy March 22, 2014
Case rec'd & Case Number assigned April 1, 2014
AMAZING !!!
PAID IV and AOS fees online April 5, 2014
Fees show paid/DS 260 avail. /DS260 submitted/AOS&IV pkg sent April 9, 2014
FEDEX delivered @ NVC April 11, 2014
Revised AOS pkg delivered April 15, 2014
AOS & IV rec'd& scanned in @ NVC April 15, 2014
Revised AOS scanned April 18, 2014
AOS checklist for income and IV pkg April 30, 2014 (checklist expected due to Lawyers mistakes)
DS260 accepted April 30, 2014
Checklist for Birth cert/police cert May 1, 2014
AOS accepted May 5, 2014

Birth cert scanned MAY 8, 2014

CASE COMPLETE JUNE 4, 2014 CC letter received via email June 11, 2014

INTERVIEW JULY 15, 2014

Waiver finally FedEx'd to Phoenix Lockbox August 21, 2014

WAIVER APPROVED December 17, 2014

Received Instruction Letter via email December 23, 2014

Final Embassy Appointment January 5, 2015 YAY !

Visa ISSUED January 12, 2015

event.png

event.png







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No need for a lawyer. Immigration lawyers charge such high prices because immigration applications are so tedious, as we all know. Start by reading the guides, and downloading all the needed applications. Fill them out one by one, and attach all evidence. Make sure you check and triple check all your work and follow every guideline, ie some forms specify what color ink to use for the signature. Best of luck! We are here to help :)


K-1 Visa

Service Center: Texas Service Center

Transferred? No

Consulate: Mumbai, India

 

Met at University in UK: 2010

Engaged in India: 03/31/2014

I-129F Sent: 06/20/2014

NOA1: 06/25/2014

NOA2: 12/16/2014

NOA2 Hardcopy Received: 12/23/2014

Case Sent to NVC: 12/23/2014

NVC Case Number Assigned: 01/05/2015

Case Sent to Consulate: 01/08/2015

Case "Ready" at Consulate: 01/09/2015

Applied for PCC: 01/20/2015

PCC in hand: 02/23/2015

Medical: 01/23/2015

Completed DS-160 and paid visa fee: 02/20/2015

Interview: 03/13/2015 APPROVED :)--> Same day went into AP

Visa "issued" on CEAC webstie: 03/16/2015

:goofy: :goofy: Visa in hand! 03/18/2015 :goofy::goofy:

POE: 06/04/2015 :dancing: :dancing: :dancing:

AOS Journey

06.11.2015- City Hall Wedding

06.29.2015- Mailed AOS Package

07.01.2015 - Package Delivered at Chicago Lockbox

07.02.2015- Date Received as per USCIS

07.09.2015- NOA1 for EAD/AP

07.24.2015- RFE :ranting:

08.13.2015- USCIS accepted RFE response

09.08.2015- EAD received

Waiting for the interview :clock:

12.19.2015 WE GOT THE GREEN CARD IN THE MAIL!!!!! No interview :)

ROC

10.25.2017 ROC packet received by VT Service Center

11.02.2017- Received NOA dated 10.26.2017

11.29.17- Completed Biometrics

Waiting for the interview :clock:

 

 

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The fact that you're legally married removes a whole heap of burden so far as I can work out; I think you should file yourself; I am in a similar situation in as far as i'm a Brit too, recently married to a USC, with a baby on the way (woohoo! Just entered 2nd trimester). I am not "illegal" just yet, but it may well go that way, but like the other posters said, overstays are forgiven when married to a USC.

My fees are, I believe $1490.00 - I am doing it all myself; You *do* need to sit down quietly for at least a day - the paperwork can be frustrating, and seemingly go round in circles, but suddenly it will all come together and you'll have a package ready to post to Chicago lockbox.

This is the paperwork I'm filing: I485, I765, G1145, I130, G325A x2, I864 and I131 - You might not want to file I-131, or if you do, don't use it. This is free and allows you to travel from/to the USA whilst your case is looked at; But as you've overstayed there is a chance you wont get re-entry even if parole is given.

Aside from the extended time, you and I are in similar situations!

For what it's worth, I say you file it all yourself; The main problem you have is an overstay, but if you're legally married, that is forgiven. I believe it's the same for work, if you've been working.

I cant imagine how bad the sleepless nights are - I've been having them, and I'm completely legal so far!

Keep us posted, and feel free to PM me if you want.


Oh and you'll need a medical from a state surgeon. Ring around all the offices; I got quotes from over $1,000 to the one I'm having this afternoon - $200 !!!!


05-04-2012 - Met online, chatted regularly after a few months, became best friends by fall; Seemed impossible we'd ever be together

09-04-2013 - Moved in together (with me travelling to & from UK)

10-31-2013 - Got engaged, started talking & preparing for spousal visa

11-06-2014 - Discovered we are pregnant!

12-22-2014 - Decided to get married on B2 visa due to pregnancy

12-29-2014 - Got married :)

01-09-2015 - Went for USCIS medical

01-12-2015 - Collected I693 (sealed) from Doctors Office

01-15-2015 - Sent package to Chicago lockbox (I485, I130, I131, I693, I864, G325A, I765)

01-22-2015 - Received text message saying my package had arrived.

01-27-2015 - Mail received: 4x I797 NOA for I131, I130, I765 & I485)

02-03-2015 - Mail received: I797C, NOA for I485 & I765 - Appointment for biometrics in Boston MA is 02/20/2015

02-16-2015 - Mail received: RFIE for my I485 due to our unusual finances (we own a UK business, but do not work ourselves)

02-20-2015 - Went to USCIS Boston for biometrics; Arrived at 3pm, left at 4.30pm. Went smoothly & told I have "amazingly clear fingerprints!"

-

- Long delay in our response to RFIE, didn't know how to respond; took time to produce compelling evidence of our good financial standing.

-

04-16-2015 - Finalized my response to RFIE; Response was over 120 pages, including 1 years bank statements from USA and UK.

04-24-2015 - myUSCIS case status for I-485 updated to confirm receipt of my response.

05-12-2015 - myUSCIS case status for I-765 updated to "Approved" & case history shows "We ordered your card"

05-13-2015 - myUSCIS case status for I-485 updated to "Case is ready to be scheduled for an interview"

05-16-2015 - Mail received: I-797 NOA for I765 - Confirming my I765 was approved - valid from 05/11/2015 to 05/10/2016

05-18-2015 - text & email received, stating my EAD card has been posted today and should arrive within 30 (!!) days

05-19-2015 - EAD & AP combo card received in the mail

05-21-2015 - Visited local SSA office to apply for SSN - All paperwork accepted and card will arrive 7-10 days.

05-29-2015 - SS card received

08-14-2015 - E-mail received - interview is September 21 2015!!!!

09-21-2015 - Interview at Lawrence, MA - approved on the spot after just a few minutes.

09-25-2015 - Green card received with "Welcome to the USA" document.

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