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to use a lawyer or not

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Has anyone used a company to get through the whole process? we are looking into using one but not sure wether they are a rip off and we could do it ourselves easy enough or not. do they see you though the petition and visa or just visa?

thanx people, x

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This is a DIY site, so most people here are doing everything themselves.

If you have an easy case and know how to fill in detailed forms accurately, you do not need a lawyer(and they can slow things down as there is an extra step- the lawyer- for all forms and correspondance). But if you have previous immigration issues or a complicated case, or just are not good with bureaucratic forms, a lawyer can be useful.

Bye: Penguin

Me: Irish/ Swiss citizen, and now naturalised US citizen. Husband: USC; twin babies born Feb 08 in Ireland and a daughter in Feb 2010 in Arkansas who are all joint Irish/ USC. Did DCF (IR1) in 6 weeks via the Dublin, Ireland embassy and now living in Arkansas.

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My wife and I are currently going through the system without using a lawyer and have found it easy enough to follow - especially so when using various immigration sites for reference.

If you are fluent in the English language, can read and write and don't have criminal, mental health or childcare (ie, ex-spouse) issues then you should find the system easy enough yourself - if not somewhat frustrating at the timescales, which I've been led to believe are likely to be increased when introducing third party representation.

08/08/2014 - Married
25/08/2014 - I-130 received by USCIS
27/08/2014 - Emailed (NOA1) received
28/08/2014 - Check for I-130 cashed
05/09/2014 - Mailed I-797c Received (NOA1)
18/02/2015 - USCIS case status shows 'I-130 Approved'
21/02/2015 - Mailed I-797 Received (NOA2)
26/02/2015 - USCIS case status shows 'Documents shipped to NVC (DoS)'
07/03/2015 - Case# and IID# assigned
14/03/2015 - Receive welcome package from NVC with Case# and IID#, submit DS-261 and paid AOS fee :)
17/03/2015 - Received email of DS-261 confirmation
17/03/2015 - AOS fee processed
19/03/2015 - NVC site shows AOS fee processed
24/04/2015 - Email from NVC, 'Choice of agent' form (DS-261) accepted
27/04/2015 - IV fee showing as available to pay on CEAC site and paid

10/05/2015 - DS-260 submitted

15/07/2015 - AOS and IV documents mailed to NVC

22/07/2015 - Email from NVC confirming document receipt on 17th July (Scan date?) and advising of 30 day period until case is reviewed.

05/08/2015 - Case complete

12/08/2015 - Email from NVC advising that an interview will be scheduled

26/08/2015 - P4 email from NVC, interview scheduled for 30th September

04/09/2015 - CEAC visa status changed to showing as 'In Transit'

10/09/2015 - Medical attended

11/09/2015 - CEAC visa status changed to 'Ready'

30/09/2015 - Interview, Visa Approved :dancing:

02/10/2015 - CEAC visa status changed to 'Issued'

06/10/2015 - Collected passport from courier and, later, paid $165 Green card processing fee

28/10/2015 - POE

09/11/2015 - SSN card arrives in mail

01/12/2015 - One nice shiny Green Card arrives in the mail :dancing:

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Moved from IR-1/CR-1 Process & Procedures to General Immigration-Related Discussion. Topic is applicable to multiple processes.

Our journey:


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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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 !


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Thanx guys. our case is straight forwards enough but we both have ex partners but have all the paperwork to say we are officially devorced. Would that be classed as a complication?

Nope. Your case sounds simple. You sound like folks who could do this on their own. If you run into a question then come to VJ and ask. Lots of folks here giving back and will answer your question(s). Guess what it's FREE. :joy:

Edited by Greenbaum


Adjustment of Status

AOS March 5, 2014 Submitted AOS with EAD/AP package to Chicago USICS

Delivered March 8, 2014 AOS packaged delivered to USCIS drop box

Accepted March 19, 2014 Text message with receipt numbers

Biometrics April 16, 2014 Biometrics completed

EAD May 23, 2014 Employment Authorization Document approved and went to card production

TD May 23, 2014 Travel Document approved and went for card production

Receipt EAD/AP May 30, 2014 Received combo card EAD/AP

Green Card Approved July 11, 2014 Approved, no interview. Went to card production.

Green Card received July 17, 2014 GC received without interview

Removal of Conditions

Mailed I-751 Dec 16, 2015 Submitted ROC (removal of conditions)

Received Dec 18, 2015 USPS notification of successful delivery

Check Cashed Dec 21, 2015 Check was cashed

NOA-1 Issued Dec 21, 2015 NOA-1 for ROC issued

NOA-1 Issued Dec 26, 2015 NOA-1 Received

Biometrics Appt. Jan 29, 2016 Biometrics Appointment Scheduled [Completed]


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My case, although confusing, isn't really complicated.

My wife is USC, I'm British, we have two adopted UK children.

We looked at filing petitions for all 3 of us, but after doing some research, realised that our two kids have a right to automatic US citizenship by adoption. So we took that path for the kids and an IR-1 immigrant visa and subsequent green card for myself.

I did all the paperwork myself. So long as you're *very* thorough in your reading and preparation, I don't believe you need a lawyer. I used the VJ forums for info, I also participated in a U.S. Embassy London web chat, which was useful for answering most of my queries.

Had I used the same process for my kids as I used for myself, I'd have also paid lots more.

Their process costs $550 per child. Total $1100.

My process cost -

$420 for I-130 petition

$325 for visa fee

£245/$390 for medical

£18/$28 for visa/passport shipping

A total of $1163.

I saved $1226 by doing my own research, not using a lawyer and filling out all my own paperwork. You can do it. :-)

Edited by DaveBrit73

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Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Ask our VJ Immigration Lawyers.

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