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avital

2 weeks in the US

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so its been 2 weeks since i arrived and wanted to share my experiences.

my first impression was that the US looks exactly like it is portrayed in the movies and TV shows! i was surprised by how similiar it is.

i met my fiances family (my fiance had his birthday party just a few days after my arrival so i got to meet many of his cousins and other family members), they are all very nice and made me feel very very welcomed :)

my biggest difficulty here is food.

fast food/frozen food/food that comes from boxes/powders was something I very rarely ate back in Israel but here it seems to be the major part of peoples diet.

my diet is very different from my fiances diet and it forces me to buy my own food (mostly vegetables) or go to places that serve more or less normal food, which obviously costs more.

the only people I met so far were my fiances family and people who work in grocery stores/food places so I'm not very familiar with the culture yet, but so far people seem very nice.

the weather here is alright. we are in California, so its chilly in the mornings and evenings and hot in the afternoon. I believe I already managed to get a tan :D

homesickness is not so bad, I talk to my family and send them pictures on a daily basis. the family I have in the US have contacted me when I moved and we are keeping in touch as well.

immigration process wise - we will be getting my SSN sometime this week.

we are planning to get married next month.

so anyways, so far so good. despite the differences between cultures, languages (or in my case, accent :P ) I don't feel like an outsider.

theres a lot more to come but I'm glad everything started well.


✡♥✡

K-1 Visa (CSC) AOS (MSC)

26.1.2014 - Started dating ||||||||| 15.9.2015 - Applied for SSN

17.1.2015 - Met for the first time | 21.9.2015 - Received SSN

26.1.2015 - Got engaged ||| 16.10.2015 - Got Married

6.2.2015 - I-129F sent |||||||||| 11.11.2015 - AOS/EAD/AP sent

11.2.2015 - NOA1 |||||| 24.11.2015 - NOA1

26.2.2015 - NOA2 |||||| 2.12.2015 - Biometrics letter received

17.3.2015 - Case sent to Jerusalem consulate|||8.12.2015 - Biometrics

13.4.2015 - Packet 3 |||||||||| 11.12.2015 - Online RFE notice

28.6.2015 - Medical x

8.7.2015 - Interview - Approved! :luv: |||||||||||| x

31.7.2015 - Visa in hand ||||||| x

31.8.2015 - POE LAX x

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Welcome to the U.S., and thanks for the nice update.


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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I'm so happy to hear from you, as I follow the portal closely and saw that your DOE was coming up! Glad you made it through okay and you seem to be thriving :)

I totally feel you about the food in the US... I miss Israeli food VERY much and cannot wait to visit Israel again, of course to see my fiance, but for the fresh food!


K1 Visa

06-13-2015 - Engaged!

07-17-2015 - I-129F packet sent

09-02-2015 - NVC sent case to U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, packet 3 sent via email

11-04-2015 - Interview (Approved!)

11-19-2015 - K-1 Visa in-hand

12-25-2015 - POE (Atlanta, GA)

AOS/Green Card

01-10-2016 - Got married

01-16-2016 - I-485/EAD application sent (same packet)

03-04-2016 - EAD card arrives in mail (successful expedite)

05-18-2016 - Received AOS letter with interview appointment

06-07-2016 - AOS Interview scheduled (Atlanta) - Approved!

06-15-2016 - Green Card in hand!

ROC

03-24-2018 - Mailed in ROC petition packet

03-27-2018 - NOA (packet received); 1-year extension

05-25-2018 - Biometrics

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I made schnitzels for me and my fiancé the other day :) was really really good!

good thing is there are many jewish communities in the US so hopefully ill be able to find one near my city and have some Israeli food.

btw, if you got any questions feel free to ask :P


✡♥✡

K-1 Visa (CSC) AOS (MSC)

26.1.2014 - Started dating ||||||||| 15.9.2015 - Applied for SSN

17.1.2015 - Met for the first time | 21.9.2015 - Received SSN

26.1.2015 - Got engaged ||| 16.10.2015 - Got Married

6.2.2015 - I-129F sent |||||||||| 11.11.2015 - AOS/EAD/AP sent

11.2.2015 - NOA1 |||||| 24.11.2015 - NOA1

26.2.2015 - NOA2 |||||| 2.12.2015 - Biometrics letter received

17.3.2015 - Case sent to Jerusalem consulate|||8.12.2015 - Biometrics

13.4.2015 - Packet 3 |||||||||| 11.12.2015 - Online RFE notice

28.6.2015 - Medical x

8.7.2015 - Interview - Approved! :luv: |||||||||||| x

31.7.2015 - Visa in hand ||||||| x

31.8.2015 - POE LAX x

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Depending on where you are in California, there may be a farmer's market near you that offers fresh seasonal food grown locally. You can also look up "slow food" in your area to find people that are into eating food that doesn't come with microwave reheating instructions.

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Glad to hear that you are settling in well!

When my sister was studying in LA, she would get a pretty large Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box of fresh veggies every other week (or maybe it was once a month). Thing is, you never know what you'll find in your box but if you are adventurous about food, you could look into something like that in your area. I don't believe it was too expensive.


USCIS: CR-1 Visa @ Vermont Service Center (Approved in 140 days from NOA1)

03/07/11: I-130 package sent to Chicago Lockbox

03/14/11: NOA1 via text and email (03/21/11: in the mail); petition routed to VSC

07/27/11: NOA2 via text and email (07/30/11: received in the mail)

08/01/11: Case received at NVC

09/19/11: Case complete and forwarded to consulate

10/19/11: Interview (APPROVED!!!)

11/18/11: POE

12/12/11: 2- year Green Card arrives in the mail

12/22/11: Applied for SSN at local office

12/26/11: SSN arrives in the mail

08/20/13: ROC window opens

10/03/13: I-751 package sent to Vermont Service Center

10/05/13: I-751 Delivered (Signed for by Karen Fitzgerald)

10/09/13: Check cleared bank account

10/11/13: NOA1 received (dated 10/07/13)

10/19/13: Biometrics appointment notice received (dated 10/16/13)

11/12/13: Biometrics appointment in Buffalo, NY

11/15/13: Case transferred to CSC

03/04/14: USCIS case status update: Card/Document Production (i.e. APPROVED!!!)

03/07/14: USCIS case status update: Green Card in the postal system; tracking number

03/08/14: Approval notice arrives in the mail (dated 03/04/2014; USCIS Office: Buffalo, NY)

03/10/14: 10-year Green Card arrives in the mail

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One thing that's pretty funny about America is that it's almost become "trendy" to eat clean (cooking with no or minimal processed food items (NO FROZEN FOOD!), which really is the way a lot of countries cook normally!

But due to frozen food being cheaper, and then time constraints, most people eat pre-done or processed foods. Organic veggies and fresh meats do cost most, that adds to another reason as to why we eat the way we do. I recommend buying slow perishable foods in bulk and try to eat as clean as possible. It may not be the best variety of foods, but at least it's more healthy.

People joke a lot about how poor people weigh so much because clearly they shouldn't! They can't afford food! *sarcasm* But its because the food they can afford is awful and unhealthy.

Cali is a good place to be for you! Glad it's working out!

Edited by Ash.1101

*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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today i was driving with my fiances sister and mom and i noticed a store that sells russian and middle eastern food! i got so excited! i talked to the store owner and he gave me a phone number of a guy that runs a russian community in the area. (i am part russian). and i bought some hummus but didnt try it yet, hopefully its good.

a funny thing i learned is that americans put lettuce in a plate and call it a green salad :huh:

ill definitely look up the things you told me about

Edited by avital

✡♥✡

K-1 Visa (CSC) AOS (MSC)

26.1.2014 - Started dating ||||||||| 15.9.2015 - Applied for SSN

17.1.2015 - Met for the first time | 21.9.2015 - Received SSN

26.1.2015 - Got engaged ||| 16.10.2015 - Got Married

6.2.2015 - I-129F sent |||||||||| 11.11.2015 - AOS/EAD/AP sent

11.2.2015 - NOA1 |||||| 24.11.2015 - NOA1

26.2.2015 - NOA2 |||||| 2.12.2015 - Biometrics letter received

17.3.2015 - Case sent to Jerusalem consulate|||8.12.2015 - Biometrics

13.4.2015 - Packet 3 |||||||||| 11.12.2015 - Online RFE notice

28.6.2015 - Medical x

8.7.2015 - Interview - Approved! :luv: |||||||||||| x

31.7.2015 - Visa in hand ||||||| x

31.8.2015 - POE LAX x

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