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How To Prepare For The USA: Before the move and afterwards


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This is great information! Thank you for this post. I know my husband had a rough first few weeks before we could really do anything. I was able to get a second job at a college, which has helped tremendously, but the finances were still out of wack. We are just now getting more stable. I think getting my husband's drivers license was the beginning of him feeling like his life was being built here. He missed the busy bazaars - since America has so much land compared to many countries, our neighborhoods aren't designed like many other countries. I've had many migrant co-workers say they felt isolated by the way Americans drive everywhere and lack of foot traffic - now they are used to it and prefer it after about a year or two.

We planned on enrolling him in college courses soon after he got here and that has helped a lot too. He didn't want to take the bus, but now he's very comfortable with it. He gets to travel to downtown for classes, so he gets that public exposure he is used to. It's hard to prepare someone for a new culture, but try to understand their expectations. Many immigrants tend to idealize American life and movies give the idea that Americans go shopping all the time, have hours of leisure time and have no health concerns - that's simply not the case. The harsh reality is that America is not so much different than where they are from, but at the same time is quite different than where they are from.

Expect relationship issues and stay committed to each other. Listen, listen, listen. Communicate with love and be clear about your needs. You will find that your relationship becomes different. It's up to both your attitudes to make that a positive different, but if it becomes a little negative, don't give up. Remember the love for each other and tackle the problem with your spouse's point of view. Apologize when you need to. Foreign spouses have a lot to adjust to; the excitement of moving to be with the one they love can switch to missing their old life and more importantly - their family. It's normal - try to make them feel safe and don't feel like you made a mistake. If you continue to build a strong relationship, it will all be worth it. You will never stop building - keep thinking about making each other happy, and you both with enjoy a selfless marriage! (F)

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Very handy list. Probably better if it's pinned since many people kept asking a same questions through times on VJ.

Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat

- Sun Tzu-

It doesn't matter how slow you go as long as you don't stop



-I am the beneficiary and my post is not reflecting my petitioner's point of views-


                                       Lifting Condition (I-751)


*Mailed I-751 package (06/21/2017) to CSC

*NOA-1 date (06/23/2017)

*NOA-1 received (06/28/2017)

*Check cashed (06/27/2017)

*Biometric Received (07/10/2017)

*Biometric Appointment (07/20/2017)







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  • 2 weeks later...
Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Philippines

This is exactly the kind of helpful information I've been looking for my fiancee who is coming in May! Thank you Trellick for putting it together and also to Amhara above for the last paragraph -- very true.

My fiancee has taken driving lessons over in the Philippines but, of course, will need to take them again here in the States. I think it's really important that she feels she can get around soon after getting here. I've had the experience of living for five years in Japan and the first few months in Japan, I really didn't know the the city I lived in as I only knew what was around the subway stops. So I know what it's like to feel disoriented and out of place in a new environment.

So much focus is on the before of immigration -- establishing the relationship, getting the visa, and not so much on the after --- what you do after you get to your new country. It's good to see this list. Thank you.

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This is really good information, thanks for sharing!

Removal of Conditions I-751

29 December 2017 - ROC Filing Opening Date (Expiry 29 Mar 2018)

29 December 2017 - I-751 Priority Mail shipped to VSC

2 January 2018 - Package delivered

8 January 2018 - Check cashed in

11 January 2018 - NOA received (DATE of NOA: 3 JAN 2018)

22 January 2018 - Biometrics Appointment letter received

30 January 2018 - Biometrics Appointment

11 August 2018 - 18 Months extension received (Exp on Sept 2019)

8 April 2019 - I751 Approved

12 April 2019 - NOA and greencard received


Help us all by updating your Timeline and Profile!:D

1. Click on your blue nickname on top right corner, there will be a dropdown menu> My Timeline > Edit/Add My Entry.

2. Click on your blue nickname at top right corner, dropdown menu > Account Settings > Profile > Edit Profile (Black button) > change your Filed for and Location.

3. If you would like to update your signature, click on your blue nickname on top right corner, dropdown menu> Account Settings > Left menu click on Signature.

IMPT: If you change address, DO NOT FORGET TO fill up AR-11 Online,for your USC Spouse, fill up I-865! 

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  • 3 months later...
Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Philippines

This is a great post. I was looking for something like this. Annalyn's sister had an awful arrival in the US when her Spousal Visa was completed about 6-7 years ago. He was totally unprepared for her arrival from the Philippines. Heck, she arrived in the middle of winter and he did not even have a coat for her, so we have discussed not just the VISA process, but her arrival process and planning our first few months together besides the required wedding and AOS.

We will be in the DC region so there is so much to do and plenty of public transportation until she can drive. Annalyn does not know how... yet. :) My friends have also already made plans to take her shopping, ouch, there go my credit cards. :crying::rofl:

Being in such a populous region, I have identified the local Filipino stores as well as asian markets that carry plenty of Filipino products..... shout out to H-Mart. I took her sister there when she visited from Kentucky and she went crazy for the Milk fish, shrimp paste, green mango, and ginamus (it is a spicy dried little anchovies). When she found the Datu Puti and Silver Swan, she was very happy, and they are both crazy for canned corned beef, lol, so thankfully that is also available. They had two or three entire aisles with products from the Philippines, including banana ketchup. The first time I went to H-Mart, we skyped so Annalyn could tell me what everything was and had to explain that Banana ketchup did not have bananas as an ingredient.

I have also found the local churches that have Filipino congregations for us to attend.

I am so grateful that she will be joining me here :luv: , I have to consider everything she is giving up by moving to an entirely new country. I know the first couple of weeks will be a whirlwind of emotions and happiness, but it is so important to me that during those quiet moments, she can look around and think to herself that she is home. We know there will be ups and downs and adjustments, we discuss it when we talk of the future, but as you stated Trellick, planning for them can help reduce the stress.

Thanks for the ideas, especially a welcome basket.... us men need help with that occasionally.

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  • 6 years later...
Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ecuador

Bump, for cause.

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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