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Unique situation, your opinion is Valued. IR-1 Question

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Hi Guys,

Ok, so, I've read all the guidelines and checked everything but I have a few specific questions regarding preparing my IR-1 visa application for my wife:


1- I live in Costa Rica with my wife. We've been together for 9 years and we've been married since March of last year. I was born to expat parents, so I'm both a US citizen and a Costa Rican. I married my Costa Rican wife in Costa Rica under my Costa Rican citizenship of course.

Before I got married I went to the embassy and verified that the US gov will accept my marriedge as previously described, and that I don't have to get married as a US citizen to use the marriedge as evidence since the US government recognizes dual citizenship and my name is the same in both countries, so there should be no problem.

So in the packaeg I'm sending (I-130) I'm guessing I should include a letter detailing this, as well as providing both my Costa Rican and US citizenship documentation together with my US birth certificate.

Do you guys have a template standard for this type of letter? I mean, I should state name, DOB, address, place of birth and use very specific language, but... any other tips?

Has anyone had any experience with a unique situation such as this?

Before anyone asks, no, there is no Direct Consular filing in Costa Rica unless there are pressing circumstances which I do not seem to qualify for.


2- I live in Costa Rica, I've done so pretty much all my life (only lived briefly in the US). I have relatives in Arkansas and Florida that can allow me to stay when I get there, as well as help by providing an address that can be used for coordinating any documents that need to be sent. I say this because mail in Costa Rica... doesn't work.

So... my question is, what address from the forms do they use to send the documents to? In other words, do they use the petitioners address from the g-325? or how do they know what address to use? No where on the forms does it seem to say something clear, like: Put in an address where we should send stuff to...

They seem to just assume that whatever address they chose will automatically be available for document sending.


3- Regarding the affidavit of support. I have two sole proprietorships I started in Florida as part of online business income I've received. In 2013 and 2014 they were above the 125% line, but for 2012 they weren't. For 2015... I should easily make the cut off. All this can be verified through my tax returns.

My question is, the money came in to different sole proprietorships at different times (so one year one contributed 20%, the other 80%, another year one was a loss and the other was what made the income... you get the picture). Anyway, could this hurt? Or would this be a non-issue?

On top of my online income, I always maintained regular day jobs which put total household income for these year way above the poverty line, but I know that won't count since it won't continue when I move to the US (I'll be quitting since the boss doesn't want me to work remote)


4- This one should be a simple question (simple, I know, what a relief) - On the intending inmmigrants g 325 form, where it says Signature of Applicant, I assume they mean the intending immigrant signature, or do they want the signature of the applicant sponsor?


5- Another simple one: We have been maried for 13 months now. If I put in the papers in the next few days and we have our interview a year from now, which would mean we'd be married for 25 months by then, will we get the IR-1 or the CR-1 upon approval?

Thank you for your kind attention.

If anyone doesn't know the answer to these questions but knows where I can find the answers, I'd be most greatful to get pointed in the right direction. I'm willing to pay for help from an attorney who could answer these questions.

I'm not too confident in attorneys, I've had bad personal experiences with them, so I'd like to keep the process in my control, but I don't mind getting expert ADVICE (I just don't want to depend on $7/hour legal aid fresh out of college who doesn't care about me to handle the paperwork which to me represents my life)

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1. You don't need to write a letter explaining anything your married legally in every country including the U.S all you need to do is prove your u.s citizenship ex. Birth certificate, all pages of your passport etc. that's all so don't have to stress over that .

2. They will use the petitioners address that you put on the forms as your permanent address so like you mentioned use someone you trust mom dad sibling whatever to receive your documents as your address since you are not residing in the U.S at the moment. Me for example im using my parents cause I'm overseas currently. You can always update your adress with uscis if it changes within this process real easy to do.

3. I am not 100% with this one but from what I know it should not be an issue with the 2012 year they mainly care about right now and if you meet the guidelines, if your always a little unsure there is the co sponsor route you can look into down the road when the affidavit of support stage gets closer.

4. You will sign your own g325 and your spouse will sign their own. (Attach a passport picture of you on yours and the spouses on theirs as well)

5. If you are pass the 2 year anniversary for your marriage by approval and Poe then yes it will switch to a ir-1 but through processing until then will read as a cr-1.

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Wow Morganalmonshid94, you are... more than awesome. I'd hug you if I could. You have earned good karma today by putting a worrying soul at ease.

I've been stressing out over the paperwork. I forgot to mention one last thing:

6- We had filed for a I-129F a few years ago. We did not follow through with the process even though we started it. The reason? My mother had cancer in Costa Rica and we staid here to help. We explained this in form I-130 part D, Section 2, by putting in the following info:
First Name Middle Name Last Name Costa Rica X/XX/XX -Process Not Complete Mother had cancer we staid to help

That was all that was allowed based on the space. Should I edit that and put something like: See Attachment and then in an attachment put the info as to why we didn't follow through.

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Just a suggestion -- our original paperwork was bounced back from USCIS because we used the descriptive "addresses" that are common in Costa Rica rather than street numbers. The second time I added a letter explaining the situation using these exact words, and everything was OK the second time around -- obviously you should modify it based on you individual situation, but it should increase the odds that they accept the non-US addresses in CR first time around. Also,, the embassy will not attempt to send anything in the local mail, but will deal with you by cell phone and email, so no worries there.

This attachment is to specify the street addresses for my three children who live in Costa Rica. There are virtually no street names nor street numbers in Costa Rica. Rather, addresses are descriptive in nature, and are spelled out below for each of my children—first in Spanish which is the way the address would be used in Costa Rica, and then in English:

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Just a suggestion -- our original paperwork was bounced back from USCIS because we used the descriptive "addresses" that are common in Costa Rica rather than street numbers. The second time I added a letter explaining the situation using these exact words, and everything was OK the second time around -- obviously you should modify it based on you individual situation, but it should increase the odds that they accept the non-US addresses in CR first time around. Also,, the embassy will not attempt to send anything in the local mail, but will deal with you by cell phone and email, so no worries there.

This attachment is to specify the street addresses for my three children who live in Costa Rica. There are virtually no street names nor street numbers in Costa Rica. Rather, addresses are descriptive in nature, and are spelled out below for each of my children—first in Spanish which is the way the address would be used in Costa Rica, and then in English:

Thank you for the kind suggestion. Fortunately, I looked up our house on google maps and it stated the street and avenue names for my house (which no one here knows as such, fortunately Google seems to know all). So I managed to put in a 'normal' address of Street #, Av #, Apartment Name, Apartment #, Town, City, Province, Country.

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Lol, no worries . I mean what you put is straight foward while the people at uscis can be dumb sometimes they can understand for a reason such as that staying behind . If you want to attach something you can go ahead it will never hurt but like I said that speaks for itself there is no reading between the lines we didn't finish the process because close family member had cancer that's as black and white as it gets so you will be fine just saying what you said .

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Maybeee just maybe down the road at the interview it might get brought up and if u want to be safe like super safe just have any medical documents if there was treatment and such during the time or anything of that nature and have your spouse bring it to the interview just to be 100% sure it won't become a problem at any point .

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Thanks guys.

Also, I think I'll use my previous NO1 and NO2 as evidence of our relationship! What better evidence than the one provided by USCIS :P

Anyways, bit thanks to VisaJourney.

My previous visa filing was done through an attorney... that was hell (he made mistakes on my form, delayed stuff, took days to get a hold of... just a horrible experience)

Visa Journey and you guys are the best!


Maybeee just maybe down the road at the interview it might get brought up and if u want to be safe like super safe just have any medical documents if there was treatment and such during the time or anything of that nature and have your spouse bring it to the interview just to be 100% sure it won't become a problem at any point .

Thanks, I will do that.

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The visa you'll be getting if married less than two years is a CR-1. It seems that usually, USC living abroad will get expedited so if I were you, I'd drag out the process a little and not move to the US until after your second marriage anniversary. That way you get an IR-1 visa and no need for your spouse to adjust status later.


Met online October 2010


Engaged December 31st 2011


heart.gifMarried May 14th 2013 heart.gif



USCIS Stage


September 8th 2014 - Filed I-130 with Nebraska Service Center


September 16th 2014 - NOA1 received


March 2nd 2015 - NOA2 received :dancing:



NVC Stage


March 28th 2015 - Choice of agent complete & AOS fee paid


April 17th 2015 - IV fee paid


May 1st 2015 - Sent in IV application


May 12th 2015 - Sent in AOS and IV documents


May 18th 2015 - Scan Date


June 18th 2015 - Checklist received


June 22nd 2015 - Checklist response sent to NVC


June 25th 2015 - Put for Supervisor Review


Sept 15th 2015 - Request help from Texas US Senator Cornyn and his team


Sept 23rd 2015 - Our case is moved from supervisor review to NVC's team for dealing with Senator requests


Nov 4th 2015 - CASE COMPLETE!!!! :dancing:



Embassy Stage


Dec 16th 2015 - Medical exam


Dec 21st 2015 - Interview


Dec 21st 2015 - 221(g) issued at interview for updated forms


Jan 13th 2016 - Mailed our reply to the 221(g) to the US Embassy, received and CEAC updated the next morning


Jan 20th 2016 - Embassy require more in-depth info on asset for i-864


Feb 1st 2016 - Sent more in-depth info on assets as requested. Received the next morning


Feb 16th 2016 - Visa has been issued :dancing: :dancing: :dancing: :dancing: :dancing:



In the US


April 5th 2016 - POE Newark. No questions asked.


April 14th 2016 - SSN received


May 10th 2016 - First day at my new job :dancing:


May 27th 2016 - Green Card received


June 7th 2016 - Got my Texas driver's license

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mallafri76 is right, take a look in this thread:

http://www.visajourn...-living-abroad/

Good luck!!


USCIS:

2015/3/23: I-130 Sent: (Let's start the waiting game!)

2015/3/25: NOA1 Sent by email, case routed to the USCIS California Service Center (hardcopy 2015/6/4)

2015/4/21: NOA2 (email; got hardcopy in 2015/5/6)

NVC:

2015/5/21: Got NVC case # and IIN

2015/5/29: Filled DS261 online

2015/6/1: Payed AOS fee online

2015/6/5: Sent AOS and IV packages

2015/6/8: DS261 reviewed over the phone

2015/6/8: Scan Date

2015/7/5: Payed IV fee online

2015/7/8: Filled DS260

2015/7/23: Checklist!!

2015/7/25: Checklist Scan Date

2015/8/18: NVC CC

2015/9/11: Interview Scheduled for October 8th (no letter yet, just called NVC!)

2015/10/1: Medical

2015/10/8: Interview - Approved!!!

2015/10/30: POE

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That way you get an IR-1 visa and no need for your spouse to adjust status later.

CR-1 visa holders don't adjust status, they remove conditions on residency.


Our journey:

Spoiler

September 2007: Met online via social networking site (MySpace); began exchanging messages.
March 26, 2009: We become a couple!
September 10, 2009: Arrived for first meeting in-person!
June 17, 2010: Arrived for second in-person meeting and start of travel together to other areas of China!
June 21, 2010: Engaged!!!
September 1, 2010: Switched course from K1 to CR-1
December 8, 2010: Wedding date set; it will be on February 18, 2011!
February 9, 2011: Depart for China
February 11, 2011: Registered for marriage in Wuhan, officially married!!!
February 18, 2011: Wedding ceremony in Shiyan!!!
April 22, 2011: Mailed I-130 to Chicago
April 28, 2011: Received NOA1 via text/email, file routed to CSC (priority date April 25th)
April 29, 2011: Updated
May 3, 2011: Received NOA1 hardcopy in mail
July 26, 2011: Received NOA2 via text/email!!!
July 30, 2011: Received NOA2 hardcopy in mail
August 8, 2011: NVC received file
September 1, 2011: NVC case number assigned
September 2, 2011: AOS invoice received, OPTIN email for EP sent
September 7, 2011: Paid AOS bill (payment portal showed PAID on September 9, 2011)
September 8, 2011: OPTIN email accepted, GZO number assigned
September 10, 2011: Emailed AOS package
September 12, 2011: IV bill invoiced
September 13, 2011: Paid IV bill (payment portal showed PAID on September 14, 2011)
September 14, 2011: Emailed IV package
October 3, 2011: Emailed checklist response (checklist generated due to typo on Form DS-230)
October 6, 2011: Case complete at NVC
November 10, 2011: Interview - APPROVED!!!
December 7, 2011: POE - Sea-Tac Airport

September 17, 2013: Mailed I-751 to CSC

September 23, 2013: Received NOA1 in mail (receipt date September 19th)

October 16, 2013: Biometrics Appointment

January 28, 2014: Production of new Green Card ordered

February 3, 2014: New Green Card received; done with USCIS until fall of 2023*

 

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CR-1 visa holders don't adjust status, they remove conditions on residency.

You're right Ryan, wrong wording, I meant remove conditions. Thanks for the clarification.


Met online October 2010


Engaged December 31st 2011


heart.gifMarried May 14th 2013 heart.gif



USCIS Stage


September 8th 2014 - Filed I-130 with Nebraska Service Center


September 16th 2014 - NOA1 received


March 2nd 2015 - NOA2 received :dancing:



NVC Stage


March 28th 2015 - Choice of agent complete & AOS fee paid


April 17th 2015 - IV fee paid


May 1st 2015 - Sent in IV application


May 12th 2015 - Sent in AOS and IV documents


May 18th 2015 - Scan Date


June 18th 2015 - Checklist received


June 22nd 2015 - Checklist response sent to NVC


June 25th 2015 - Put for Supervisor Review


Sept 15th 2015 - Request help from Texas US Senator Cornyn and his team


Sept 23rd 2015 - Our case is moved from supervisor review to NVC's team for dealing with Senator requests


Nov 4th 2015 - CASE COMPLETE!!!! :dancing:



Embassy Stage


Dec 16th 2015 - Medical exam


Dec 21st 2015 - Interview


Dec 21st 2015 - 221(g) issued at interview for updated forms


Jan 13th 2016 - Mailed our reply to the 221(g) to the US Embassy, received and CEAC updated the next morning


Jan 20th 2016 - Embassy require more in-depth info on asset for i-864


Feb 1st 2016 - Sent more in-depth info on assets as requested. Received the next morning


Feb 16th 2016 - Visa has been issued :dancing: :dancing: :dancing: :dancing: :dancing:



In the US


April 5th 2016 - POE Newark. No questions asked.


April 14th 2016 - SSN received


May 10th 2016 - First day at my new job :dancing:


May 27th 2016 - Green Card received


June 7th 2016 - Got my Texas driver's license

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