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Question for all the Europeans

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Ukraine

Hey all,

Just found out about this website. It's a great resource to have.

My girlfriend and I plan on making the move back from Europe to the USA and only one thing concerns us. We have both gotten used to the extreme amount of vacation time offered to us. We live in Prague and I get 8 weeks of vacation and my girlfriend gets 5.

How do you deal with getting less time off? Is it hard to adjust to? I can imagine my girlfriend who has never lived or worked in the USA will be in for a bit of a shock.

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I work for a state employer and I get a 'generous' two weeks plus bank holidays. Some of my bank holidays are worked and the leave moved to between Christmas and New Years so I always get that time off. My husband gets summers off so he gets lots of time but we can't enjoy it due to my leave restrictions.

I am finding it pretty tough, getting home to see family and friends as both myself and my US citizen spouse don't have any family here. So all of our family is back in my country.

I am also used to five weeks as well. I am finding I can't take random days off just because anymore, I have to plan my use of days off over the year. So I recommend planning out all the travel you want to do over the year. Talk now about how often you will go back and how often you will holiday in the US.

I actually get more sick leave than vacation.

Edited by Illiria

K-1 Met:2002 Dating :2003 I-129F Sent : 2013-06-01 I-129F NOA2 : 2013-08-20 Medical: 2013-12-20 Interview Date : 2014-01-22 POE: 2014-02-19 Wedding: 2014-03-18

AOS/EAD Date Filed : 2014-04-04 BioAppt: 2014-05-13 EAD in Production: 2014-07-08 Interview date: 2014-07-14 Green Card received: 2014-07-19

ROC Date Filed: 2016-04-26 Cheque Cashed: 2016-05-10 NOA1: 2016-04-28 Biometrics: 2016-06-30 Approved: 11-08-2016 Green Card Received: 11-18-2016


Citizenship Date Filed: 2017-04-18 Cheque Cashed: 2017-04-24- NOA1:2017-04-21  Biometrics: 2017-05-19 Inline: 2017-07-12 Interview Date: 2018-02-13 Oath: 2018-03-15

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Russia

Honestly, the lack of vacation time is just one of the many things you'll need to re-adjust to concerning life in the US vs Europe.

Basically, you can always take a part time job and then you'll get a lot more flexibility, depending on the field you work in. But then, there's the catch: part time jobs don't offer health insurance, so there's that. And the whole health insurance situation in the USA is a whole other can of worms to deal with vs. Europe.

I think the reality is, you kind of just have to accept it as the "American way of life"....the ONLY chance of getting close to European time off in the US is going to work for a company (usually a small one) run by Europeans, in which case, the tend to give the whole office the true European holiday treatment. But this is pretty rare, however, I had a job with an Italian CEO in NYC and we actually got something close to five weeks off, paid, European style. The job was awful and I hated it, but that was the only perk!

Another option is: look for a "work from home"/telecommute job. Then you can travel and be mobile without office hours. This is probably a more realistic variant than finding the rare unicorn that is the company with a European CEO. So, I'd be looking for that kind of telecommute/freelance/out-of-the-office job if I were her. Best of luck!


 🇷🇺  CR-1 via DCF in Moscow* (Dec 2016-Jun 2017) 🇺🇸 Info about my DCF experience here and here


26-Jul-2016: Married abroad in Russia (USC + Russian husband) 👩‍❤️‍👨
21-Dec-2016: I-130 filed at Moscow USCIS field office*
29-Dec-2016: I-130 approved! Yay! 🎊 

17-Jan-2017: Case number received

21-Mar-2017: Medical Exam completed

24-Mar-2017: Interview at Embassy - approved! 🎉

29-Mar-2017: CR-1 Visa received (via mail)

02-Apr-2017: USCIS Immigrant (GC) Fee paid

28-Jun-2017: Port of Entry @ PDX 🛩️

21-Jul-2017: No SSN after three weeks; applied in person at the SSA

22-Jul-2017: GC arrived in the mail 📬

31-Jul-2017: SSN arrived via mail, hurrah!


*NOTE: The USCIS Field Office in Moscow is now CLOSED.


I-90 GC Replacment (for Erroneous GC)

22-Jul-2017: GC arrives in the mail – error in middle name 😕

01-Aug-2017: Sent in I-90 online via website

05-Aug-2017: Biometrics scheduled

23-Aug-2017: Biometrics done @ USCIS office; told to keep GC!

16-Jul-2018: RFE for original card!! 🤬

31-Jul-2018: USCIS Appointment at local field office..

22-Aug-2018: Mailed GC back to USCIS in response to RFE

29-Aug-2018: GC received by USCIS

17-Sep-2018: Received CORRECTED GC in the mail! Finally!! 😂


📑 I-751 Removal of Conditions (Apr 2019-Oct 2019) 📝 Filed via mail, processed by MSC & passed interview


28-Jun-2019: Conditional GC expires

30-Mar-2019: Eligible to apply for ROC

01-Apr-2019: ROC in the mail to Phoenix AZ lockbox! 📫

03-Apr-2019: ROC packet delivered to lockbox

09-Apr-2019: USCIS cashed check

09-Apr-2019: Case number received via text - MSC 📲

12-Apr-2019: Extension letter arrives via mail

19-Apr-2019: Biometrics letter arrives via mail

30-Apr-2019: Biometrics appointment at local office

26-Jun-2019: Case ready to be scheduled for interview 

04-Sep-2019: Interview was scheduled - letter to arrive in mail

09-Sep-2019: Interview letter arrived in the mail! ✉️

17-Oct-2019: Interview scheduled @ local USCIS  

18-Oct-2019: Interview cancelled & notice ordered*

18-Oct-2019: Case was approved! 🎉

22-Oct-2019: Card was mailed to me 📨

23-Oct-2019: Card was picked by USPS 

25-Oct-2019: 10 year GC Card received in mail 📬


*I don't understand this status because we DID have an interview!


🇺🇸 N-400 Application for Naturalization (Mar 2020-????) 🛂 Online filers note: Use INTERNET EXPLORER! Other browsers may not work!


30-Mar-2020: N-400 early filing window opens!

01-Apr-2020: Filed N-400 online 💻 

02-Apr-2020: NOA 1 - Receipt No. received online 📃

07-Apr-2020: NOA 1 - Receipt No. received via mail

05-May-2020: Application transferred to another USCIS field office for review*

16-Jul-2020: Filed Non-Delivery of Notice online**

??-???-????: TBA... 


*NOTE: Moved to another state in May.

**NOTE: Did not receive Change of Address confirmation by mail



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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: France

Which visa type are you or your girlfriend planning to apply for in order to make the move back to the US? As a USC of course you don't need a visa, but your girlfriend will need one to both live and work. There are great guides listed at the top of the menu bar that can help you to decide.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Ukraine

Which visa type are you or your girlfriend planning to apply for in order to make the move back to the US? As a USC of course you don't need a visa, but your girlfriend will need one to both live and work. There are great guides listed at the top of the menu bar that can help you to decide.

We don't plan on moving for another year or two so I still haven't decided whether or not we should do the k1 or CR1.

It seems that since we already live together we should just go the CR1 route as we have no time constraint and we both have decent enough jobs.

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: France

That may be the best route for you since it is less expensive and she would be able to work upon entry into the US if approved. With K-1 there is an additional waiting time and it is more expensive. We are currently waiting on my husband's EAD so he can work. It's a little difficult for him to not work but in the mean time he's going to ESL classes to improve his English.

Good luck!

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Sweden

It takes a while to get used to yes. I'm pretty lucky because I work in a school and get a pretty decent time off in the summer but it's not really useful as my husband only gets about 3 weeks total of vacation (and most of those are federal holidays) and I don't get paid during that time.

But you'll get used to it to some extent. Sometimes it's frustrating and sometimes it's okay.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Denmark

I don't work so I get all the vacation I want, but my Danish husband doesn't really mind the 3 weeks unpaid versus 6 weeks he got before. He could even take less vacation time and 2 weeks of it was a special favor because we had already booked a trip to Denmark before changing jobs.

His father runs a side business in Denmark and it is immensely hard for him to get 2 weeks off to come and visit us and had to work when we were there. He earns more at his side business than his regular job, so it is important. My husband also used to be self employed for a long time and there was no excess vacation then either.

tl;dr is that the Danish half doesn't notice and doesn't care.

Edited by N-o-l-a

3/2/18  E-filed N-400 under 5 year rule

3/26/18 Biometrics

7/2019-12/2019 (Yes, 16- 21 months) Estimated time to interview MSP office.


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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ecuador

Welcome to the forum.

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 found it a very hard adjustment - along with other work/labor views and issues over here. Maternity leave is very, very short over here (think six weeks max compared to six months in the UK), and paternity leave practically nonexistent.

If we'd had the option or had the chance to do over then I would have preferred to have been pregnant and given birth in the UK before moving to the US. (although the maternity wing at the American hospital was super fancy and comfortable - we were lucky to have excellent healthcare - would have cost around $80,000 without coverage)

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Depending on what you do for work, vacations are negotiable. I have been able to keep 4+ weeks with all my employers in the USA. Paid now, got one of them unpaid with previous employer. I need time more than I need money...

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Turkey

Welcome to the "no vacation land". It is the way it is. Less vacation, more work. Expensive to travel home.

You'll learn how to make use of the long weekends, roll-over vacation days to next years, etc but you will ever never get anything close to what you currently have. First few years would suck but you'll adjust. Hopefully family and friends would be able to visit you guys here too.

I recommend finding job in a city whose airport offers variety of non-stop flights both domestic and international. That way you could dodge taking extra days off on days of your travel.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Sweden

It's a pain but it is what it is. You'll either have to get used to it or live somewhere else. Or negotiate more vacation. :)

Met online October 2010

Engaged December 31st 2011

heart.gifMarried May 14th 2013 heart.gif


September 8th 2014 - Filed I-130 with Nebraska Service Center

September 16th 2014 - NOA1 received

March 2nd 2015 - NOA2 received :dancing:

NVC Stage

March 28th 2015 - Choice of agent complete & AOS fee paid

April 17th 2015 - IV fee paid

May 1st 2015 - Sent in IV application

May 12th 2015 - Sent in AOS and IV documents

May 18th 2015 - Scan Date

June 18th 2015 - Checklist received

June 22nd 2015 - Checklist response sent to NVC

June 25th 2015 - Put for Supervisor Review

Sept 15th 2015 - Request help from Texas US Senator Cornyn and his team

Sept 23rd 2015 - Our case is moved from supervisor review to NVC's team for dealing with Senator requests

Nov 4th 2015 - CASE COMPLETE!!!! :dancing:

Embassy Stage

Dec 16th 2015 - Medical exam

Dec 21st 2015 - Interview

Dec 21st 2015 - 221(g) issued at interview for updated forms

Jan 13th 2016 - Mailed our reply to the 221(g) to the US Embassy, received and CEAC updated the next morning

Jan 20th 2016 - Embassy require more in-depth info on asset for i-864

Feb 1st 2016 - Sent more in-depth info on assets as requested. Received the next morning

Feb 16th 2016 - Visa has been issued :dancing: :dancing: :dancing: :dancing: :dancing:

In the US

April 5th 2016 - POE Newark. No questions asked.

April 14th 2016 - SSN received

May 10th 2016 - First day at my new job :dancing:

May 27th 2016 - Green Card received

June 7th 2016 - Got my Texas driver's license

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