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Relationship of 9 months with Dominican girl - need DR specific advice on starting VISA process

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Sorry for the long post. There's a TLDR at the bottom


In June 2014 I decided to try online dating and gave latinamericancupid.com a try. I messaged quite a few females but only one girl really caught my attention and we hit it off right away. She is one of the few from Dominican Republic that didn't appear to me a money loving sanky panky. We really opened up to each other and she is great and we chatted everyday for about 4 weeks. Then came July 4th and I felt comfortable enough to fly down and spend 3 days to meet her quickly in Santiago, DR to see if she was really what I was looking for. I am 31 and she is 25 by the way. We met when I was 30 and she was 24. Also, I am an American Hispanic and speak pretty much fluent Spanish. She speaks only Spanish.

We hit it off, very well, it was love at first sight both with the online pics and in real life. She said when she first saw my picture online she knew she wanted that man for her right away and then she closed the webpage and went to sleep. Unknowingly at the same time I was looking at her picture and saw something special in her eyes and I messaged her only 10 minutes after she logged off. She had just missed my message but she was hoping to meet me already. Kind of a connection on first picture view.. things only intensified after we met in real life.

She's very warm and loving, much a person I could see myself with for a long time. She knows how to take care of a house, cook, clean, good with children, and has nursing ambitions and is certified to work in emergency rooms. We started the relationship with us both looking for something very serious. I was looking for someone who wanted to come to USA and eventually start a family with me, she was/is also looking for a family life with children. After about 6-7 months of talking and visiting she had begun to agree to come to USA. She's hesitant about leaving her homeland and worried she won't be able to learn english as I try to ease her worries. I tell her that raising kids in USA is much better than in DR because here I have a great job with security and lots of family support more than she has in DR. When she comes I will be ready to buy a house. Every day she sees more and more why she needs to come here, as opposed to me going there. Children education and education cost would be better here as well.

Our relationship is very good. We do video chat everyday and most of the day, when i'm not working. We chat on Whatsapp and do phone/video on LINE. Oh and I have been visiting her around every 6 weeks. (my job allows me to make my own hours) So at first I went for 3 days, then the next time I went in August for 3 weeks, then in Oct for 3 weeks, and in December for 4 weeks, and I am going again soon for a couple weeks. In this time I have moved her out of her home where her step parents were taking care of her and basically using her to do all the housework, meals and food shopping. This girl came from extreme poverty and broken family so she had to rely on kind of step parents to take care of her who ultimately ended up using her like the maid of the house while only allowing her to leave the house for going to university. They really treated her like a slave and I didn't like that. In Oct I offered to move her to an apartment so we could have our privacy and she could try to make her own life. She was hesitant at first but after a while she agreed and now we have an apartment where I bought her the basic things and pay around 200 bucks a month for rent and everything. It's going well, I enjoy my time with her, we are great together, tons of communication just like best friends.. and lovers... I might marry my best friend.

In December we started talking to a popular "multimigracion" lawyer who supposedly helps many Dominicans leave the country with marriage and family stuff. I paid the lawyer 1000 pesos which is around 25 bucks for a consultation to ask questions. The lawyer basically advised us that getting married was our best chance. She specifically said to me that a k1 fiance visa would require 2 years of relationship proof. This is conflicting of what I have read online. I don't know why she is giving me conflicting information but many Dominicans have told me that the consulate there is quick to question a couple's legitimacy and deny people for little reason. She told me I need to prove I make 18,000 or more income which I can by showing my taxes. She advises us to get married right away and start the process.

Below is a link to the image of the paper she gave to us which describes the process, required documents, and the amounts... She wants to charge me 3000 USD for the whole process of a marriage visa. Is 3000 is a lot of money for a marriage visa?


Anyway, I heard about people, instead, hiring a US lawyer for this. Also I have read the instructions on how to do the filing myself. I just want the best chance of a VISA going smoothly as possible because this is a real relationship and I am eager to start a family and believe this to be a suitable person for me.

We have much proof so far:

-both normal and intimate pictures together

-an apartment together with receipts of bed, stove, refrigerator, tables, some furniture

-western union receipts

-4+ plane tickets and itinerary

-over 300 pages of chat

-list of video chat call date and times

No bank account together yet. I feel like if someone were to look at all our evidence they would see it's a real relationship.

Our plan for now is to marry and go with the lawyer but I wanted to know what other people here thought? I am willing to wait 1 to 1.5 years and will continue supporting her no matter what, while visiting as much as I can. Does anyone have Dominican Republic specific advice? Experiences? I'm reading all of the interview process for Santo Domingo and am very grateful for this website and all the people here. Thanks for reading

TLDR: (too long didn't read) Met a girl online, now 9 months later, which way to start VISA? is 3000 bucks for a Dominican lawyer to help us a rip off?

Edited by brianhvac

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It is a rip off. The only requirement is that both of you have met within 2 years of knowing each other, not 2 years of a relationship. Do not even talk to that lawyer anymore.It is my advise to you. You can do it your self , research on this site things that need to be done

Edited by j&ana

Service Center : Nebraska Service Center
Consulate : Manila, Philippines
Marriage (if applicable): 2014-05-20
I-130 Sent : 2014-10-06
I-130 NOA1 : 2014-10-09
I-130 RFE for NSO copy of marriage certificate: 2014-11-03
I-130 RFE Sent : 2014-11-18
I-130 Approved : 2014-12-07
NVC Received : 2014-12-23
NVC case number: 2015-02-04
Received DS-261 / AOS Bill : 2015-02-04
Pay AOS Bill : 2015-02-05
Submit DS-261 : 2015-02-05
Sent AOS Package : 2015-02-09
Sent IV Package : 2015-02-09
Scan date : 2015-02-10
Receive IV Bill : 2015-03-03
Pay IV Bill : 2015-03-06
Submit DS-260: 2015-3-12
Case Completed at NVC : 2015-03-20
Receive Instruction and Interview appointment letter: 2015-3-27
Medical complete: 2015-04-08
Interview Date : 2015-05-08
Interview Result : Approved
Visa Received : 2015-05-13

Date of US Entry : 2015-06-09

Date of Social Security card receive : 06-2015

Date of Green Card received 07-2015

Date of ROC FILE 05-19-2017

 I-751 NOA Date 05-26-2017



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Welcome to VJ.

Start by reading the comparison chart for the various types of visas, then decide which one you want to use. There are guides here for each different process. They help a lot, but be sure to always read and follow the instructions for each form you will fill out, if you choose to go it alone. Most people here make that choice.


~ Moved from Introducing our Members to What Visa Do I Need - OP deciding on immigration path~

Link to K-1 instructions for Ciudad Juarez, Mexico > http://travel.state.gov/content/dam/visas/K1/CDJ%20-%20Ciudad%20Juarez.pdf

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Tens of thousands have used self-help information on this site and got it done successfully.

It's easier than filing tax I think...(at least mine). :dance:

10-04-2013 We met online
11-21-2013 We met in person in Shanghai for 2 weeks

12-13-2013 I-129F packet sent via express

12-19-2013 USCIS NOA #1 (text and email) received

12-24-2013 USCIS assigns Alien Registration Number
12-31-2013 USCIS NOA #1 hard copy received
06-02-2014 USCIS web site shows NOA #2 approval
06-06-2014 USCIS web site shows case sent to NVC

06-xx-2014 Fiancee acquired birth, marriage, and police certificates from local police station (wrong)

06-16-2014 NVC creates case with GUZ### number

06-19-2014 NVC sends case sent to Guangzhou, China
06-24-2014 Received packet 3 express mail from embassy
06-25-2014 Completed DS-160 and paid K1 visa fee

06-26-2014 Mailed packet 3 response back to Embassy

06-26-2014 Requested police certificate from Russian embassy

07-08-2014 Received packet 4 email from Embassy

07-17-2014 Picked up Russian police certificate

07-25-2014 Fiancee medical exam (received MMR & Varicella, but they missed required TD shot)

07-31-2014 Picked up medical exam reports

08-01-2014 Request (correct) birth, marriage, and police certificates from Notarial Service (GongZhengChu)

08-06-2014 Picked up birth, marriage, and police certificates from Notarial Service

08-14-2014 Passed Interview Guangzhou embassy

09-01-2014 Received passport, visa, & sealed envelope

09-13-2014 POE

09-17-2014 Went to CBP office to get (US entry) I-94 updated correctly

09-18-2014 Applied for Social Security Card
09-19-2014 Applied for Marriage License (via online)
09-25-2014 Received Social Security Card
09-30-2014 Picked up Marriage License
10-09-2014 Marriage by Justice of Peace
10-09-2014 Got Certified Marriage Certificate Copies
10-17-2014 Received a letter from SS office that they need the marriage license
10-09-2014 Applied to change the social security card name
10-24-2014 Went back to SS office to provide the marriage certificate documents again!!!
12-09-2014 Submitted AOS, EAD, and AP
12-16-2014 Received 16 emails and 16 text NOA messages
01-05-2015 Received Biometrics appointment letter for (01-12-2015)
01-12-2015 Had Biometrics (fingerprint & picture) - Required Marriage Certificate!!!
02-17-2015 EAD and AP is approved
02-23-2015 Received AP is approval letter
02-25-2015 Received EAD/AP combo card (expires 02/16/2016)
02-27-2015 Applied for SS card name change (they took her SS card)
02-27-2015 Driver's learner permit test was denied since the SS card was given to SS office for name change
03-17-2015 Received SS card with married name
03-17-2015 Started to change all her accounts to married name
03-23-2015 Received potential interview waiver letter
03-27-2015 DMV rejects learner's permit due to "legal status=pending" and vision test failure
04-05-2015 Vision test for learner's permit
04-06-2015 DPS sent us letter that DHS cleared my wife's status to acquire driver's license.
04-10-2015 Passed Driver Learner's Permit
04-22-2015 Received Driver Learner's Permit ID card (expires 02/16/2016)
08-27-2015 Green Card approved
08-31-2015 Received Green Card "Welcome Notice Was Mailed" letter
09-05-2015 Received Green card
10-26-2015 Passed Driver's License Road Test (on 3rd attempt)
11-03-2015 Received Driver's License (expires 02/16/2022)
11-06-2015 Applied to remove conditional work remark on SS card
11-23-2015 Received updated Social Security Card.
- - - - - - - - - - Pending Future Processing - - - - - - - - - -
05-27-2017 File 10 Year Green Card
08-27-2017 2 Year Green Card Expires
05-27-2018 File USC

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Welcome to VJ.

Start by reading the comparison chart for the various types of visas, then decide which one you want to use. There are guides here for each different process. They help a lot, but be sure to always read and follow the instructions for each form you will fill out, if you choose to go it alone. Most people here make that choice.


~ Moved from Introducing our Members to What Visa Do I Need - OP deciding on immigration path~

I agree...kick that lawyer to the street (not really just mentally). You dont need her. She is giving you wrong information.

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Don't waste your pesos on a abogado, thank us later! ?

The total amount of days from the date I mailed in our K1 Visa application to the day my fiancé stepped foot into the USA:

1 year, 3 months and 8 days.

The amount of days from the date we mailed in our AOS to the date everything was approved (after 3 RFEs):

7 months & 5 days

Which makes our journey a total of:

2 years, 3 months, and 8 days

(L)"I remember the days I prayed for everything I have now." (L)

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$3000 USD?? more than $100,000 pesos for a visa process?? Even if what she said its right about the 2 years (which is not), it is still too much money,. I am sure that there are more reasonable lawyers in Santo Domingo that I know for a fact that would not charge that amount of money for a simple visa application and follow up. Unless you and your girlfriend have real legal problems, then get a lawyer (not that one you talked to!!).

But, I agree with the rest, use this site as a reference, and do it yourself. The only fee you will have to pay is like $340 for the I-129f, then there will be other costs for your girlfriend to complete the process in the DR, ..Personally we paid for everything around $800 dollars, between the petition and then visa medical fees, day of the interview in the DR, plus other costs like birth certificate etc and fedex when needed. Not including plane ticket/hotel for the day of the interview at the consulate.

Now, it depends on what you and your girlfriend would like to do, get married first and then apply for her visa , or apply for the K1 visa and then marry in the US. Kay gave you a link, read it and consider your options, and ask questions when in doubt.

Good luck!

Edited by abby12

10/08/2014 - AOS/EAD/AP filed

10/16/2014 - NOAs:

11/18/2014 - Bio. Appointment

11/25/2014 - AOS Update (Ready for Interview)

12/30/2014 - EAD Approved (Card in production)

12/30/2014 - AP Approved

01/06/2015 - EAD/AP Card Mailed

01/07/2015 - EAD/AP Card Received

01/14/2015 - AOS Update (Interview scheduled)

02/18/2015 - AOS Interview (Approved!)

02/18/2015 - AOS Updated (Card is being produced)

02/19/2015 - Welcome Notice Mailed

02/24/2015 - Welcome Notice Received

02/24/2015 - Card mailed



12/27/2016 - ROC filed (California Service Center)

12/28/2016 - NOA

01/08/2017 - Bio. Appointment Notice received

01/25/2017 - Bio. Appointment done.

12/12/2017 - I-551 Stamp on passport

06/12/2017 - "Approval Notice" DHS website (notice mailed)

06/12/2018 - Card in production

06/16/2018 - Approval Notice/Notice of Action received in the mail.


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Also, you can check my timeline, my husband was here in March, and I filed the K-1 paperwork in July. We had our interview at the consulate in February. So it won't take a year for her to be in the US. Unless there are some unforseen delays.

I agree with most of the people here. Definately this is the site to get all the info you need to file by yourself. No lawyer needed. Also USCIS only requires proof of you meeting once in person in the last two years. As long as you send in proof of boarding passes, calling cards, chats, visits to the DR, all of your receipts from the apartment etc. You will have enough evidence.

You can still get married and file a CR1, but it will take about 12 months or more for her to come to the US.


8/22/15 Received notice of interview "call in letter" for September 1st 8am

9/01/15 AOS Interview Houston-APPROVED!

9/01/15 Card in production, Welcome notice has been mailed

9/05/15 Welcome Notice Received

9/08/15 Greencard was mailed

9/10/15 GREENCARD RECEIVED!!!!!!!!



6/2/17 mailed I-751 to csc priority mail

7/1/17 I-751 returned rejected (multiple items)

7/3/17 I-751 mailed again with signature confirmation

7/6/17 second I-751 delivered and signed for by Daniel Manchaca

7/10/17  Check Cashed

7/10/17  NOA

7/22/17  Biometrics letter for 8/2/17

8/02/17 Biometrics appointment DONE

3/05/18 case moved to local office

8/25/18 Extension letter (18 months)

9/29/18 service request submitted

10/06/18 response to service request

10/11/18  approved. No RFE, no interview

10/16/18  approval letter received in the mail

10/19/18 greencard received

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Thank you so much for replying everyone! I am very happy to have found this community and information resource. I will definitely be starting the K1 visa application within a month or two and will look forward to reaching the interview part. We didn't want to be forced into marriage anyway so K1 will please both of us. I'm sure she will be happy to know that, thanks to this website, we can now be completely self sufficient and not be scammed by any lawyer especially for 3000USD (majority of dominicans don't earn close to that in 1 year and this lawyer wants to make it from 1 client :| )

Again thank you so much and any questions I have I will be sure to post. I enjoy reading all of your experiences. Bless you all, thanks again!

-brian & yani

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