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CR-1: proof of bona fide marriage / I-864 questions

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Hey Visa Journey!

Currently living abroad and recently proposed to my non-local fiancee. We are due to head back to the States in about 7 months, and are looking for the quickest way to get my fiancee a visa.

Ideally, we would wait and do a proper wedding back in the US, but time is an issue for us and we are reluctant to spend any significant time apart. So we are considering going the DCF route. We are curious, however. If we marry while still abroad, then file the I-130 shortly thereafter, there wouldn't be much evidence of a bona fide and ongoing marriage. Thing is, we have been dating for a number of years and there is ample evidence of that. Would our timeline raise any eyebrows? Either way it would be a genuine marriage, it would just be the timing that's tight for us.

In this event, what could we use as proof? Would evidence of our past relationship count?

Regarding the I-864 - what tax docs do I need? I can't seem to find a straight answer. Is it JUST the 1040, or all like 100 pages of each tax year's return?

Thanks all!

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Here's what I provided for evidence of bona fide relationship/marriage:

1. A one page summary of our story

2. Flight itineraries & boarding passes showing trips taken together or to visit each other.

3. Hotel/Airbnb lodging receipts/Airbnb hosts providing reviews of our stays as a couple.

4. Photos of visits/travels as a couple and with family & friends.

5. Receipt for engagement/wedding ring set

6. Photos of our wedding party event with family & friends.

7. Airline receipt for paid future visit to my spouse.

8. Marriage Certificate

For I-864, best to just get tax transcripts from IRS. You can sign up for it at the IRS website and you can actually pull pdf files of your transcripts.


USCIS

Married: 08/12/2016

I-130 sent: 08/16/2016

NOA1: 08/18/2016

Received email 09/19/2016 that I-130 was approved 09/17/2016.

On 09/21/2016, I-130 approval date changed to 09/19/2016.

I-130 approved: 09/19/2016

Received hard copy NOA2: 09/23/2016

Sent to NVC: 10/11/2016 No text or email from USCIS. Had to log into USCIS account to find out.

NVC

NVC Received: 10/18/2016

Case # and IIN#: 10/27/2016

Choice of Agent -DS-261: 10/27/2016

AOS Fee Invoiced: 10/29/2016

AOS Fee Paid: 10/29/2016

DS-261 reviewed over the phone: 10/31/2016

IV Fee Invoiced: 11/02/2016

IV Fee Paid: 11/02/2016

DS-260 Completed: 11/04/2016

Sent AOS & IV Package: 11/03/2016

Scan Date: 11/07/2016

RFE: 11/09/2016 (NVC wants I-864 instead of I-864EZ)

RFE Response Submittal: 11/09/2016

Case Complete by phone call: 11/10/2016

Case Complete by email: 11/18/2016

Interview Appointment letter by email: 12/01/2016

Left NVC: 12/02/2016

Embassy

Case Ready at Embassy: 12/05/2016

Case Ready and "touched" at Embassy" 12/16/2016

Medical Date: 12/21/2016 Sputum testing required so this sets us back at least a few months.

Interview Date: 01/04/2017  Interview went well.  We are in "administrative Processing" until negative Sputum Test result is received in March.  The consulate will then issue the Immigrant Visa. So there is nothing further for us to do.  We agreed to have the consulate cancel My wife's B1/B2 visa from an older passport and it was stamped "cancelled without prejudice".  We did this now so she would not have to go back to the consulate to have it done later.

Visa Issued:  03/07/2017

Visa in Hand: 03/08/2017

POE:  03/29/2017 Charlotte, NC  Processed quickly at airport (about 20 minutes with CBP) and was not even asked any questions.

Social Security Card:  Received 04/07/2017 (processed through CBP at POE)

Green Card Issued:  4/19/2017

 

Removal of Conditions

File ROC (I-751):  eligible 12/29/2018

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Thanks for your response, but you didn't really answer my questions.

Would a legal, basic marriage ceremony, then an I-130 filing raise any eyebrows (even though our marriage would be genuine)?

Could proof of our relationship before our marriage count, if it shows a relationship over a sufficient period of time?

Thanks

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A legal basic marriage ceremony and then filing I-130 would not raise eye brows. It happens often.

In fact, the time between my marriage(basic ceremony) and filing the I-130 was only 4 days. We have known each other of a year and have spent 1/2 of that time together. Yes, proof of your relationship before marriage helps to establish that there has been longevity in the relationship.


USCIS

Married: 08/12/2016

I-130 sent: 08/16/2016

NOA1: 08/18/2016

Received email 09/19/2016 that I-130 was approved 09/17/2016.

On 09/21/2016, I-130 approval date changed to 09/19/2016.

I-130 approved: 09/19/2016

Received hard copy NOA2: 09/23/2016

Sent to NVC: 10/11/2016 No text or email from USCIS. Had to log into USCIS account to find out.

NVC

NVC Received: 10/18/2016

Case # and IIN#: 10/27/2016

Choice of Agent -DS-261: 10/27/2016

AOS Fee Invoiced: 10/29/2016

AOS Fee Paid: 10/29/2016

DS-261 reviewed over the phone: 10/31/2016

IV Fee Invoiced: 11/02/2016

IV Fee Paid: 11/02/2016

DS-260 Completed: 11/04/2016

Sent AOS & IV Package: 11/03/2016

Scan Date: 11/07/2016

RFE: 11/09/2016 (NVC wants I-864 instead of I-864EZ)

RFE Response Submittal: 11/09/2016

Case Complete by phone call: 11/10/2016

Case Complete by email: 11/18/2016

Interview Appointment letter by email: 12/01/2016

Left NVC: 12/02/2016

Embassy

Case Ready at Embassy: 12/05/2016

Case Ready and "touched" at Embassy" 12/16/2016

Medical Date: 12/21/2016 Sputum testing required so this sets us back at least a few months.

Interview Date: 01/04/2017  Interview went well.  We are in "administrative Processing" until negative Sputum Test result is received in March.  The consulate will then issue the Immigrant Visa. So there is nothing further for us to do.  We agreed to have the consulate cancel My wife's B1/B2 visa from an older passport and it was stamped "cancelled without prejudice".  We did this now so she would not have to go back to the consulate to have it done later.

Visa Issued:  03/07/2017

Visa in Hand: 03/08/2017

POE:  03/29/2017 Charlotte, NC  Processed quickly at airport (about 20 minutes with CBP) and was not even asked any questions.

Social Security Card:  Received 04/07/2017 (processed through CBP at POE)

Green Card Issued:  4/19/2017

 

Removal of Conditions

File ROC (I-751):  eligible 12/29/2018

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If you've been living together and dating for a few years then I think you're good. If you'd just flown into the country, met and gotten married quickly then that might be more tricky but I think you're good. Have you thought about a K1 visa though? Then you could get married in the States. I'm not sure if it's possible when you're living overseas. Might be worth looking into.

When hubby and I submitted our 1-130 the proof I sent in was our marriage certificate and proof of our joint bank account. And we've actually never been asked for anything else.

As for the 1-864, you may need a joint sponsor. Because you need to be able to prove earnings in the US. We also were living overseas, but we were able to use assists to meet the threshold. You should still have tax returns though, even living overseas you might have been exempt but that's fine as long as you can show you filed.

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Have you thought about a K1 visa though?

As for the 1-864, you may need a joint sponsor. Because you need to be able to prove earnings in the US. We also were living overseas, but we were able to use assists to meet the threshold. You should still have tax returns though, even living overseas you might have been exempt but that's fine as long as you can show you filed.

We have considered a K1. For our time frame and financial situation, though we thought the DCF would better suit us. We both really need to just get to work once we get back to the US.

We definitely need a co-sponsor. I'm just unsure of which actual pages we need for the I-864s.

Thanks!

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You do not specify what country you are in, are you sure DCF is available? If it is, a CR1 filed via DCF would be the fastest route to a visa. As for relationship evidence, evidence of your relationship prior to your marriage is totally ok to submit.

For the I864, it is best to provide your last 3 years of tax transcripts.


Spoiler

 

Married December 19, 2014

I-130 Petition sent January 14, 2015
NOA1 date January 20, 2015 (NSC)

NOA2 date May 28, 2015 :dance::dance::dance:

Mailed to NVC June 4, 2015

NVC Received June 10, 2015

NVC Case Number Assigned June 23, 2015

NVC AoS Invoice via Mail June 24, 2015

NVC Selected Agent Over Phone June 30, 2015 (Unable to logon to CEAC)

NVC IV Invoice via email received July 1, 2015

NVC AoS/IV Package Mailed July 2, 2015

NVC AoS & IV Fee Paid Online (CEAC is working) July 6. 2015

NVC Document Scan Date July 6, 2015

NCV AoS & IV Fee marked as paid in CEAC July, 7 2015

NVC DS 260 Completed July 8, 2015

NVC CC July 30, 2015 (24 days after scan date, about 2 months post NOA2)

Interview Scheduled on August 26, 2015

Interview P4 Email Received August 27, 2015

Medical in Islamabad September 2, 2015

Interview Date September 22, 2015 CANCELLED (Embassy is Over scheduled) :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

Interview Scheduled on September 10, 2015

Interview Date October 14, 2015 APPROVED

Visa Issued October 16, 2015, 9 months start to finish

POE JFK October 26, 2015

GC in Hand Jan 8, 2016

RoC I-751 NOA1 August 31, 2017 (Vermont Service Center)

Biometrics October 2, 2017

I551 Stamp in Passport August 2, 2018

18 Month Extension Letter August 3, 2018

Applied for Naturalization N-400 Online July 30, 2018

Biometrics August 23, 2018

10 year GC is in production September 17, 2018

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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We got married on 4the December and filled 28th January. We had 3 children by that time! Haha haha. We just didn't feel that actually doing the ceremony was anything but a paper. In all aspects we were "married", we lived together, had kids etc.

However that "paper" was pretty important to the US government when it came to immigration.

We were not asked for anything to prove a bona fide marriage by the Embassy.

However this will depend on your Embassy, the country you are filling from (i.e. is it a high fraud country?) And other factors. I have learned from my time here that things are different from country to country when it comes to DCF


Click "spoiler" below for a detailed account of our journey to a CR1 visa via DCF in Athens, Greece.

 

2011 - Met hubby online and became friends
Early 2013 - Confessed our love for each other * Late 2013 - I got pregnant with our daughter
2014 - Our baby was born in Athens, Greece and completed our family. We now have two boys and a girl!! 2013 - 2015 - Looking for jobs in Greece, none were available (due to socioeconomic crisis) 2015 - Decided only way to feed our family was to immigrate and started the process December 2015 - Got married (Greece has a LOT of red tape for foreigners marrying Greeks)
January 2016 - Finished gathering all documents and getting them translated
* * DCF in Athens, Greece * *

28th January 2016 - Finally filed I-130s
29th June - ISSUED!!!!!!1st July - Visa packages and passports delivered to DHL.4th July - Visas in hand! CU in two weeks USA!!
19th July- POE Detroit. All went well!! (excluding our screaming, jet lagged toddler!!)

 

After Arrival in the US

September 2016 - Hubby is diagnosed with congestive heart failure
October - February 2016 - Battle with drug use, overdosing, bringing home a tiny paycheck

March - July 2017 - I am working 80 hr weeks to make ends meet. Discovered hubby's affair. Still overdoses and is hospitalized. Has quit working all together.
July - October 2017 - Marriage counseling. Revealed hubby has "several" mental conditions. Is started on several mental meds.

October 2017 - Got accepted for a college course. Got better job to help raise my kids.

October 2017 - March 2018 - Situation at home is toxic. He files for divorce.

July 2018 - Divorce is final. I have full custody of our daughter.

 

ROC (GC expires July 19th 2018)

July 16th - Package for ROC is delivered to the CA service center (divorce waiver).

August 30th - NOA1 received with 18 month extension (fee waiver approved).



**Our DCF journey to an IV took 5 months and 1 day from turning in the I-130 to getting "Issued"**


.event.png

event.png
 

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DCF is not available in all countries and you haven't said what country you are in.


AOS for my husband
8/17/10: INTERVIEW DAY (day 123) APPROVED!!

ROC:
5/23/12: Sent out package
2/06/13: APPROVED!

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You are confused in thinking that the CR1 requires a particular length of marriage. It doesn't. In fact, that's why its CR1, for less than 2 years of marriage. Couples married 2+ years when the immigrant arrives in the US get an IR1 visa and don't have to do Removal of Conditions in the future.

You prove a bonafide marriage by showing you've been dating and together.

Edited by Harmonia

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Hey Visa Journey!

Currently living abroad and recently proposed to my non-local fiancee. We are due to head back to the States in about 7 months, and are looking for the quickest way to get my fiancee a visa.

Ideally, we would wait and do a proper wedding back in the US, but time is an issue for us and we are reluctant to spend any significant time apart. So we are considering going the DCF route. We are curious, however. If we marry while still abroad, then file the I-130 shortly thereafter, there wouldn't be much evidence of a bona fide and ongoing marriage. Thing is, we have been dating for a number of years and there is ample evidence of that. Would our timeline raise any eyebrows? Either way it would be a genuine marriage, it would just be the timing that's tight for us.

In this event, what could we use as proof? Would evidence of our past relationship count?

Regarding the I-864 - what tax docs do I need? I can't seem to find a straight answer. Is it JUST the 1040, or all like 100 pages of each tax year's return?

Thanks all!

I'm a CPA, and I'm going to answer the tax question. :)

You can obtain transcripts from the IRS website. Attach those to your application. Two, three pages max per year.

Best of luck!

I'm a CPA, and I'm going to answer the tax question. :)

You can obtain transcripts from the IRS website. free of charge no less! Attach those to your application. Two, three pages max per year.

Best of luck!

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