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Lawyer or No Lawyer

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I know this question has probably been asked thousands of times, but my fiance and I have been debating about whether we should hire a lawyer. I have found that the blogs, forums and step by step instruction web pages are pretty helpful in regards to the K-1 Visa. Just not sure if we require one or not. Thoughts?

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Any red flags in your case? If not, save the money and do it yourself. Make sure you read, read, read about the process - make yourself acquainted to this forum (it provides invaluable information) and read the USCIS instructions carefully. Good luck. :)

Edited by HK12

K1 Visa
Feb. 29, 2012: I-129F sent
March 8, 2012: NOA1 (VSC)
August 30, 2012: NOA2
Oct. 1, 2012: Packet 3 received
Nov. 3, 2012: Packet 4 received
Nov. 15, 2012: Interview - approved!
Jan. 18, 2013: POE New York Seaport
Feb. 2, 2013: Wedding

AOS
March 6, 2013: AOS Package sent
March 12, 2013: I-485, I-765, I-131 NOA's
March 29, 2013: Biometrics Appointment

May 10, 2013: EAD/AP approved
Sept. 5, 2013: "Potential Interview Waiver Case" letter received
Nov. 2, 2013: AOS approved (no interview)

ROC
Aug. 4, 2015: I-751 sent
Aug. 6, 2015: NOA1 (CSC)
Sept. 4, 2015: Biometrics Appointment
Feb. 10, 2016: ROC approved

 

Dual Citizenship
Aug. 26, 2016: BBG application sent (permit to retain German citizenship)
Nov. 21, 2016: BBG approval notice received (p/u at German Honorary Consulate, OKC: Feb. 6, 2017)
Dec. 8, 2016: N-400 sent
Dec. 12, 2016: Priority Date (NBC)

Jan. 9, 2017: Biometrics Appointment

Aug. 31, 2017: In-Line for Interview

Sept. 6, 2017: Interview Scheduled

Oct. 16, 2017: Interview

Oct. 25, 2017: Oath Appointment Letter received

Nov. 1, 2017: Oath Ceremony

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A lawyer is not required. It's also not even needed, unless you have a really difficult case.

I would suggest reading the K-1 guide here, as it would give you a kind of guideline on things you need to include in your initial petition. You can find the K-1 guide here: http://www.visajourney.com/content/k1guide

Also, to give an overview of the whole process, from filing the initial petition to applying for the K-1 visa to finally getting married and adjust status, check out this flowchart here: http://www.visajourney.com/content/k1flow

If you have any specific questions about the process or anything, feel free to ask.


K-1
NOA1: 04/08/2014; NOA2: 04/21/2014; Visa interview, approved: 07/15/2014; POE: 07/25/2014; Marriage: 09/05/2014

 

AOS

NOA1:  09/12/2014;  Biometrics:  10/06/2014;  EAD/AP Received:  11/26/2014;

Interview Waiver Letter:  01/02/2015;  RFE:  07/09/2015;

Permanent Residency Granted:  07/27/2015;  Green card Received:  08/22/2015

 

ROC

05/23/2017 -- Mailed ROC application

05/24/2017 -- NOA1 date

05/30/2017 -- NOA1 received in the mail

06/05/2017 -- Biometrics letter received

06/13/2017 -- Biometrics appointment

09/05/2018 -- Approved without interview!

09/13/2018 -- 10 Yr Green card Received

 

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a lawyer? yer asking about a lawyer on the #1 DIY for Immigration to USA WebPortal?

nah, you really not ask that question. Right?


Sometimes my language usage seems confusing - please feel free to 'read it twice', just in case !
Ya know, you can find the answer to your question with the advanced search tool, when using a PC? Ditch the handphone, come back later on a PC, and try again.

-=-=-=-=-=R E A D ! ! !=-=-=-=-=-

Whoa Nelly ! Want NVC Info? see http://www.visajourney.com/wiki/index.php/NVC_Process

Congratulations on your approval ! We All Applaud your accomplishment with Most Wonderful Kissies !

2mzcunl.gif

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It's easily doable without a lawyer unless your case is complicated or has things that would be considered red flags.

I've used everything available on this site, and no other information and done well so far.


*More detailed timeline in profile!*
 
Relationship:     Friends since 2010, Together since 2013

The K-1 Process:    Done in 208 days                                               
 

Spoiler

04/27/15- NOA1 Recieved                                                    
06/02/15 - NOA2 Recieved
09/22/15 - Interview       (221g for more documents (a SECOND cosponsor), see profile for more details!)                                            
11/09/15 -  ISSUED!!                                                              
11/10/15 - Passport received                                                
02/20/16 - Wedding!              


                                                
 AOS   Done in 77 days                                                                            
 

Spoiler

04/08/16 - I-485, I-765, I-131 AOS Application recieved by USCIS
04/12/16 - 3 NOA1's received in mail
05/14/16 - Biometrics for AOS and EAD
06/27/16 - I-485 Case to changed to "New Card being produced"  (Day 77)
06/27/16 - I-485 Case changed to Approved! (Day 77)
06/30/16 - I-485 Case changed to "My Card has been mailed to me!"
07/05/16 - Green Card received in mail! 

 



ROC 

05/09/18 - Mailed out ROC to CSC

05/10/18 - CSC Signed and received ROC package
06/07/28 - NOA1 

06/11/18 - Check cashed

06/15/18 - NOA received in the mail
08/27/18 - 18 month extension received (Courtesy Copy)

09/18/18 - Request for official 18 month extension
10/22/18 - Official 18 month extension received 

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I'll suggest a coupla things, maybe (maybe...) help you to decide whether you need an attorney or not.

a. read the VJ guides. map the steps out on paper and pencil. See if anything doesn't make sense to you.

b. Read the USCIS web portal about the forms. Map out the steps on paper and pencil. See if anything doesn't make sense to you.

c. Practice filling out the forms, at least 5 times. See if anything still doesn't make sense to you.

d. Have any red flags? Practice writing up attestation letters about each red flag.

Now, after doing (with major emphasis on DOING ) all of the above, if you do NOT understand the forms and the process and potential red flags for your petition,

then I'd suggest getting a good IMMIGRATION lawyer. You are concerned with time, I am concerned with your 'knowledge acquisition', as knowledge is power. You can have 'it' good, fast or cheap - pick 2.

Welcome to VJ, btw - this is a GREAT DIY Immigration Web Portal, with emphasis on 'Y', and 'D'.

Edited by Darnell

Sometimes my language usage seems confusing - please feel free to 'read it twice', just in case !
Ya know, you can find the answer to your question with the advanced search tool, when using a PC? Ditch the handphone, come back later on a PC, and try again.

-=-=-=-=-=R E A D ! ! !=-=-=-=-=-

Whoa Nelly ! Want NVC Info? see http://www.visajourney.com/wiki/index.php/NVC_Process

Congratulations on your approval ! We All Applaud your accomplishment with Most Wonderful Kissies !

2mzcunl.gif

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Criminal History?

Immigration History? Deportations, bans etc?


“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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I went with RapidVisa as a Lawyer. The time saved in filling out the forms was worth the money I spent. I guess it matters how much your time is worth. How they work is you fill out everything on a web form and they generate the forms for you. For my situation it was ideal because I could share the login with my fiance and he was able to fill out his portion easily. We filled out our entire application in 2 hours. The time saver was huge, and the ease when on different continents was also significant. Although if you are someone who has more time than money, VisaJourney has many guides and the forum is a nice support system.

Good luck!

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I went with RapidVisa as a Lawyer. The time saved in filling out the forms was worth the money I spent. I guess it matters how much your time is worth. How they work is you fill out everything on a web form and they generate the forms for you. For my situation it was ideal because I could share the login with my fiance and he was able to fill out his portion easily. We filled out our entire application in 2 hours. The time saver was huge, and the ease when on different continents was also significant. Although if you are someone who has more time than money, VisaJourney has many guides and the forum is a nice support system.

Good luck!

to the best of my knowledge, RapidVisa does not employ immigration attorneys in the USA.


Sometimes my language usage seems confusing - please feel free to 'read it twice', just in case !
Ya know, you can find the answer to your question with the advanced search tool, when using a PC? Ditch the handphone, come back later on a PC, and try again.

-=-=-=-=-=R E A D ! ! !=-=-=-=-=-

Whoa Nelly ! Want NVC Info? see http://www.visajourney.com/wiki/index.php/NVC_Process

Congratulations on your approval ! We All Applaud your accomplishment with Most Wonderful Kissies !

2mzcunl.gif

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Or anywhere else.

I have seen no suggestion that they did but may have missed it.


“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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Lawyers can slow you down, VJ is better :)

Many lawyers have no embassy specific experience and can really muddle things up.

We started out with one but I fired him (handpicked from a list of 40) and I finished everything myself with VJ help.

As far as filling out forms is concerned, you do the data gathering and leg work yourself, they just transfer it to the forms and in the

time you fill out their questionnaire you can fill out the real forms yourself. You basically pay for them putting a stamp on it and

mailing it off. I have read enough lawyer disaster stories here to last me a life time. However if there are any serious issues you have going in

as mentioned by other posters, then get a lawyer.

You need to study the guides and follow embassy specific issues in your regional forum.


Spoiler

 

I-129F Sent : 3-31-2014, NOA2: 4-6-2014

NVC Received : some dinkelsberry yehoo in the house of clingons send our petition to the wrong consulate.

Consulate Received : July 30,2014 Transfer to right embassy complete.

Interview Date : Oct 22, 2014

Interview Result : AP , requesting another PC (not expired) and certified divorce decree (was submitted)Stokes interview via phone for petitioner 4 hrs after interview.

Oct 23 email notification visa approved.
Visa Received : Nov. 3 , 2014 VISA IN HAND.

US Entry : Nov. 21, 2014

Marriage : Dec 27, 2014

AOS send : May 12, 2015, received May 14, 2015 USPS priority

Email &text : May 18, 2015, check cashed May 19,2015, return receipt May 21, 2015 stamped USCIS Lockbox, NOA1 (3x) May 22,2015

Biometrics : June 1, 2015 letter received for appointment June 8, 2015, successful walk-in June 1, 2015

RFE : June 12, 2015 for income not meeting guideline. Income does ( ! ) exceed guideline.

RFE response : June 26, 2015 returned with a boat load full of financial evidence.

UPDATE: July 5, 2015 updated on all 3 cases, RFE received June 30, 2015.

Service request : Aug 12, 2015, letter received that it will be processed within 90 days from receipt of RFE.

UPDATE: Aug 24, 2015, EAD card being produced/ordered. ( 102 days from AOS receipt day and 55 days from RFE response received.) Thank you Jesus !

Emails : Aug 24, 2015, EAD approved, EAD card ordered.

I-797 EAD/AP approval notice received : Aug 27, 2015

EAD/AP combo card mailed : Aug 27, 2015, EAD/AP combo card received: Aug 31, 2015

Renewal application send for EAD/AP : May 31,2016 (AOS pending over 1 year). Received June 2, 2016,Notice date June7, 2016, emails,texts, NOA1 hard copy

Service request for pending AOS April 21, 2016, case not assigned yet.
Service request for pending AOS June 14, 2016, tier 2 said performing background checks.
Expedite request for EAD/AP Aug 3, 2016, Aug10 notification >request was received, assigned, completed. RFE letter requesting evidence for expedite, docs faxed Aug18

*Service request for I-485 Aug 3, 2016, Aug11 notification> request was assigned. Service request Dec 2, 2016.
AOS Interview letter received Aug 12, 2016

AOS Interview September 21, 2016.

Second Biometrics appointment letters received for EAD and AOS on Aug 15, 2016 for Aug 17 ( 2 day notice).

Second Biometrics completed Aug 17, 2016

Third Biometrics appointment letter received Aug 19, 2016 for Sept. 1, 2016. WTH ?!

EAD/AP (renewal) approval Aug 22, 2016, NOA2 received Aug 25, 2016

Renewal EAD in production notification text and online, expedite successful 4 days after RFE request response was faxed, Aug25mailed,Aug29received.

Sept. 21 Interview, 2 hour interview, we were separated and asked about 50 questions each for an hour each. IO was firm but professional, some smiles.
Several service requests made, contacted Senator and Ombudsman. Background checks still pending.
July 21, 2017 HOME VISIT.  Went well. Topic thread in AOS forum.
Waiting to skip ROC and get 10 yr GC due to over 2 year while pending AOS
AOS APPROVED Oct. 4, 2017 * Green card in hand Oct 13, 2017 !!!!!

First K1 denied after 16 month of AP. Refiled. We are a couple since 2009. Not a sprint but a matter of endurance.

 

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I know this question has probably been asked thousands of times, but my fiance and I have been debating about whether we should hire a lawyer. I have found that the blogs, forums and step by step instruction web pages are pretty helpful in regards to the K-1 Visa. Just not sure if we require one or not. Thoughts?

Hi :)

Is your case complicated? Do you have lots of available time in processing the paper works and double checking it up with your fiance? If yes, then you can do it yourself by all means :) Just check on this website and you'll find all the necessary list and things that you need to do, step by step .

FYI, we have a lawyer during my K1 visa process since we have little time on doing the paper works by ourselves and we're very conscious of the whole K1 process since we've been on a long distance for 6 years so we don't want to waste our time on risking it that's why we hired a good immigration lawyer. Our process got approved too and having a lawyer helps a lot too. But on the whole AOS process, we opted to do it ourselves this time and it also went great w/o having a lawyer this time too. So I guess, it's really up to you and your fiance on how to make time for this. Just double or triple check everything before submitting.

Good luck and God Bless on your journey :)


710-23-2014 - K1 interview (Phils): Approved
10-31-2014 - K1 Visa received
01-20-2015 - POE
02-20-2015 - Marriage
03-20-2015 - AOS/EAD/AP Packet Submission (day 0) ** date I submitted ***
03-24-2015 - NOA1 received (day 4)
03-27-2015 - NOA1 hard copies received (day 7)
04-06-2015 - Biometrics letter hard copy received (day 17)
04-16-2015 - Biometrics Appointment (day 27)
05-01-2015 - USCIS changed to Interview is scheduled (day 42)
05-06-2015 - Hardcopy of interview notice received ( I-797 C, NOA) (day 46)
06-02-2015- Conditional GC got approved (day 82) 
06-08-2015- Hard copy of Welcome notice received via mail (day 88)
06-10-2015- Actual GC received via mail  (day 90)
ROC
4/06/17 - Sent package (day 0)
4/7/17 -  USCIS received package (day 1) NOA date
4/14/17 - check encashed (day 😎
4/15/17 - NOA 1 received (day 9)
4/22/17 - Biometrics notice date (day 16)
4/29/17 - Biometrics notice letter received (day 23)
5/9/17 - Biometrics done (day 33)
3/19/18 - Case approved
3/23/18 - Approval letter received
4/6/18 - Actual 10-yr GC received 
N400 (under 3-year rule)
4/27/18 - filed N400 online (Friday) (day 0)
4/27/18 - paid/payment received (day 0)
4/27/18 - NOA date
5/21/18 - Biometrics done
7/25/18 - Interview letter date
8/31/18 - Scheduled interview. Got approved!
9/20/18 - Naturalization ceremony in Faneuil Hall, Boston, MA
 
"Seasons of waiting are designed to prepare you, stretch your faith, and get you ready for everything that's coming next" - curiano quotes life

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I went with RapidVisa as a Lawyer. The time saved in filling out the forms was worth the money I spent. I guess it matters how much your time is worth. How they work is you fill out everything on a web form and they generate the forms for you. For my situation it was ideal because I could share the login with my fiance and he was able to fill out his portion easily. We filled out our entire application in 2 hours. The time saver was huge, and the ease when on different continents was also significant. Although if you are someone who has more time than money, VisaJourney has many guides and the forum is a nice support system.

Good luck!

Rapid visa is not a lawyer, nor do they employ them



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If you're considering a lawyer then it probably means you can afford a lawyer. If you discover that you don't have any significant red flags and decide to do it yourself, then I would use the saved attorney fees by perhaps shoring up the evidence of a real relationship. Mostly that means meeting up, in person, taking lots of pictures, keeping receipts, etc. The more the better. Also, if you haven't met his/her parents then do that on your very next trip. Again, take pictures, videos, etc.

Also, make sure your fiance tells you everything. Every traffic ticket, every visit to USA, every attempt to apply for a visa, every time they were jailed for peaceful protests. You don't want any surprises on a police report. Asking all these questions, in person, can be helpful because then you can read body language. Just tougher to fib when you're looking someone in the eye.

Good luck!


Marriage: 2014-02-23
CR1 started : 2014-06-06
CR1 completed/POE : 2015-07-13
ROC started : 2017-04-14 - CSC

ROC interview/completed: 2018-08-16 - Albuquerque

N400 started: 2018-04-24

N400 interview: 2018-08-16 - Albuquerque

Oath ceremony: 2018-09-24 - Santa Fe

 

April 2017 I-751 Filers Spreadsheet

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1t335PrkwxPk7sRryv02NH3vrWHy0vlkBxjmPy5VYJO8/edit#gid=0

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Honestly unless you have some of the red flags previously mentioned, I wouldn't bother. There generally isn't a hard time to get approved from Canada.


Met 2008. Moved in together 2010. Married 2015. Baby Z joined us 2017 . :wub:

AOS Timeline 350 days

 

May 31/15 - Sent AOS/EAD/AP to USCIS

June 4/15 - Email and text notifications they were recieved

June 10/15 - NOA1 for AOS/EAD/AP Dated June 1

June 17/15- Change of address confirmation

June 22/15- Biometrics appointment received

July 1/15- Biometrics appointment done(5 minute appointment, 8 hour round trip drive <_< )

August 5/15 - Change of address submitted for new location

August 8/15 - Mobile/E-mail notifications for approved EAD/AP :)

August 17/15 - Change of address confirmation after calling in

August 17/15 - EAD/AP Combo card mailed out(To the wrong address, and then lost by USPS)

September 3/15 - Contacted USCIS and was told to re-apply with a new application and fees?! Put in a service request online for lost card, and a complaint

September 8/15 - USPS found & returned card to USCIS

September 15/15 - Ombudsman contacted USCIS

September 17/15 - Card mailed back out

September 19/15 - EAD/AP Combo card finally in hand

September 22/15 - NPIW letter received, dated September 9/2015 estimated 6 month wait

October 13-21/15 - Traveled using AP to visit parents & ship the rest of our belongings out west

November 27-30/15 - Traveled using AP

December 28/15- RFE hard copy, waiting on documents from Canada

January 31-February 7/16 - Traveled using AP

February 10/16 - Sent in RFE, delivered Feb 16

April 16/16 - Service request filed, RFE was never updated online

May 12 - Approved email and status update dated May 10. Service request never was assigned or solved, though.

May 14 - Greencard in hand!

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