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How did you prepare for your fiance to arrive in the US?

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I'm just curious what type of prep other petitioners did to get their house/environment/life ready for their fiancé/spouse to arrive?

What things did you have finished before they got here? Was there anything you overlooked at first and wished you could have had ready for them?

Being a little ####### retentive I'm trying to make the transition as easy as possible for my fiancé by having things like his new cellphone, a key to the house, phone numbers for family members in his phone, a copy of our bank card, etc... But I'm curious how others have handled this or are handling it.

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Someone gave me the excellent advice of setting aside money they can use. It's very hard to be stuck without work and having them feel like they are able to contribute a little is a big deal. Also, are bus routes big in your city? Helping them figure those out so they can get around is important, too. And make plans of different things you can see and/or do together so he can learn your city and your country and you can enjoy life together, because they will be stuck in the house most of the day and having some ideas pre-thought out will help keep you from sitting on the couch every night.

Also, my spouse is planning on attending free English classes. He speaks English, yes, but he wants to improve his vocabulary and be able to connect with others.

Edited by jacklynriquelme

Married: 5-July-2015
----------
I-130 Petition Sent: 11-May-2016
NSC Received (Our Priority Date): 12-May-2016
NOA2 Received: 30-September-2016 141 days for I-130 approval
**Note: We received four text messages at 6:45 AM CST (Friday) about our case status update. We never received an e-mail nor alert from the app**
NOA2 Hard Copy Received: 06-October-2016
----------
Petition Sent to NVC: 17-October-2016 17 days for petition to be sent to NVC
**No alert of any kind received for this update; saw the change by logging into USCIS website**
NVC Received: 21-October-2016 4 days to be received at NVC
NVC Case Number Assigned: 31-October-2016 10 days for case number to be assigned
**Called NVC on 2-November-2016 and she said case and invoice number had been assigned 31-October.**
NVC Welcome Letter Received: 3-November-2016 @ 12:10 AM 3 days from case number assigned until Welcome Letter received and invoices unlocked
IV and AOS Fees Unlocked: 3-November-2016 @ 7:00 AM
IV and AOS Fees Paid: 3-November-2016
DS-260 Unlocked: 7-November-2016 2.5 business days for DS-260 to be unlocked
DS-260 Submitted: 8-November-2016
AOS & IV Documents Sent: 9-November-2016
Scan Date: 14-November-2016 5 days to receive scan date due to a holiday/weekend
Medical expedite requested: 14-December-2016
Medical expedite approved at consulate: 19-December-2016 Expedite approved with consulate but denied at NVC; still need to wait for case complete
Case on Supervisor Review: 22-December-2016
Case sent to the Review Department: 13-January-2017
Case Complete: 24-January-2017     10 weeks and 2 days at NVC before case completed
Case arrived at consulate/CEAC status "Ready": 1-February-2017
Interview: 21-February-2017   We scheduled our own interview because we had an approved medical expedite with the consulate. By sheer luck we got such a quick interview date because someone cancelled their appointment less than 20 minutes prior
Interview Result: Approved!!
Visa Issued: 21-February-2017     Visa issued same day as interview
DHL tracking information received: 22-February-2017     DHL tracking number appeared 28 hours after interview, scheduled for delivery the next day
Visa in hand: 23-Feb-2017
US POE (Minneapolis): 26-Feb-2017
 
 
 
 

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Also, my spouse is planning on attending free English classes. He speaks English, yes, but he wants to improve his vocabulary and be able to connect with others.

This is very good advice. Many community colleges offer english classes for free. Check the english class schedules out beforehand so that you don't miss the beginning of a new semester.

I would warn you to not be surprised to find out a whole lot of new information about your spouse, once he arrives. It's easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the long courtship, marriage, and long visa processing wait is enough time to know almost everything about your spouse.

It isn't.

You need to double or triple your listening skills and patience. And most of all, don't assume.

Good luck!


Marriage: 2014-02-23
CR1 started : 2014-06-06
CR1 completed/POE : 2015-07-13
ROC started : 2017-04-14 - CSC

ROC interview/completed: 2018-08-16 - Albuquerque

N400 started: 2018-04-24

N400 interview: 2018-08-16 - Albuquerque

Oath ceremony: 2018-09-24 - Santa Fe

 

April 2017 I-751 Filers Spreadsheet

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1t335PrkwxPk7sRryv02NH3vrWHy0vlkBxjmPy5VYJO8/edit#gid=0

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I'm already a bit OCD with organization.. So i checked, double, and triple checked to make sure I had everything cleaned, organized and all..

Made closet and drawer space for his clothing... cleared some shelving in the closet and just in general for him to have space to place belongings...

Kind of in advance stocked up on food stuff and drinks in the fridge and got some snack stuff also...

The above is a good idea too, something I did not think of honestly, put some money aside for them for spending cash.


08/15/2014 : Met Online

06/30/2016 : I-129F Packet Sent

07/08/2016 : NOA 1 Received

08/25/2016 : NOA 2 Received (48 days)

11/08/2016 : Interview - APPROVED!

11/18/2016 : Visa in hand

11/23/2016 : POE - Dallas, Texas

From sending of I-129F petiton to POE - 146 days.

 

02/03/2017 - Married 

 

02/24/2017 - AOS packet sent

03/06/2017 - NOA1's received via text

03/31/2017 - Biometrics appointment Completed

06/01/2017 - EAD/AP Combo Card Received in mail

12/06/2017 - I-485 Approved

12/14/2017 - Green Card Received in mail - No Interview

 

 

giphy.gifvd9wauve2wlsd9fuctxk.gifgiphy.gif    

 

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Find a good local ethnic market where your partner can purchase food and ingredients that's more suited to their palette.

Print out local maps to places of interest they might enjoy that's commute friendly.

Prepare emergency contact info, hopefully won't be needed but it's nice to know who to call in case something happens.

Find a local library, it's nice to be able to check out easy to read, or to learn new things.

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Find a good local ethnic market where your partner can purchase food and ingredients that's more suited to their palette.

This is definately a good idea. Something I made sure to be aware of before hand. Helps them settle in much easier without such a drastic change as their diet.


08/15/2014 : Met Online

06/30/2016 : I-129F Packet Sent

07/08/2016 : NOA 1 Received

08/25/2016 : NOA 2 Received (48 days)

11/08/2016 : Interview - APPROVED!

11/18/2016 : Visa in hand

11/23/2016 : POE - Dallas, Texas

From sending of I-129F petiton to POE - 146 days.

 

02/03/2017 - Married 

 

02/24/2017 - AOS packet sent

03/06/2017 - NOA1's received via text

03/31/2017 - Biometrics appointment Completed

06/01/2017 - EAD/AP Combo Card Received in mail

12/06/2017 - I-485 Approved

12/14/2017 - Green Card Received in mail - No Interview

 

 

giphy.gifvd9wauve2wlsd9fuctxk.gifgiphy.gif    

 

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All those stuff sound great but I will hope my wife will take a few days off from work so i am not just thrown into lonesomeness right away.

I did that for my wife when she first arrived, and she appreciated it.

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I have to be honest. I am not doing anything lol. I want him to go food shopping with me the day after he gets here so he can get out of the house and well see what we have here. I mean of course, I am taking my stuff out of the closet and all the dressers so he can have half of everything. Oh, I got him a gift basket with his favorite cologne and all the soaps and stuff he uses. Other than that I want to take him to do the other stuff so we can get out of the house and go do things. The second day here he will be going with me to our son's ultrasound so that should be fun for us =).

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Be prepared for the possibility of jet-lag and other physical & emotional exhaustion.

Mrs. T-B.-to-be was quite dazed when she arrived, and soon became very sick.

She had an upper respiratory infection that necessitated a full-price clinic visit + prescription.

She was on zero sleep, having attended 3 despedidas (going-away parties) in 3 Ecu cities in 3 nights.

Later, I kicked myself for not having taken her to the lower-priced Mexican medical clinic:

-- the price was less than half that of the CVS clinic;

-- she could have spoken Spanish with them;

-- she would have seen a real, full-time doctor vs. a randomly assigned nurse practitioner.

Among the good advice above from others, I recommend investigating medical clinics "just in case."

The K-1 entrant won't be on your insurance yet.

Edited by TBoneTX

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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Some of the most simple things can be the most overlooked. Considering your fiancé is literally leaving his home and everything he knows, go out of your way to make your own home as comfortable as possible.

Print pictures from your fiancé's home country / city and frame them (landmarks, historic sites)

Print pictures of your fiancé and his family. Frame the photos and place them strategically around the house.

Find music / movies that are culturally relevant to your fiancé and his home country,

If you've added him to your mobile phone plan, set up the phone with pictures, apps and contacts in advance.

Visit a global market and stock up on snacks relevant to his own country.

Know in advance where Moroccan restaurants are

Have a special house key made with a personalized key chain.

If you celebrate Christmas, buy (in advance) his first Christmas ornament.

Organize a welcome party of friends, family and coworkers to meet him at the airport upon arrival.

When Dyn arrived here in the states, I had already hung several photos of her small island in the Philippines. I took care in knowing she would be missing home. With pictures of her house, some historic landmarks in the Philippines, and photos of family, she felt like she had a little piece of the Philippines right here in DC. I even added a Pandora app to her phone and set it up with some of the music she likes. Trust me, little things like this are HUGE.


MEETING

12 March 2012: Met Dyn at a coffee shop in Kuwait

Summer 2012: I returned home to the U.S. to prepare a way for Dyn

Fall 2014: Dyn returns home to Philippines after seven years in Kuwait

ANNULMENT

February 2014: Engaged while I visited Philippines

March 2014: Officially hired attorney and filed for Dyn's annulment in Bohol, Philippines

December 2015: Bohol District Court issues decision in our favor

December 2015: Judge sends transcript of his decision to OSG for processing

February 05 2016: OSG returned receipt and approval to district court in Bohol. CoF to be issued end of second week in February

February 09 2016: Dyn is presented with the Entry of Judgment and her Certificate of Finality via the local court.

February 15 2016: LCR issues annotated marriage certificate, and necessary documents are forwarded to the NSO / PSA visa LBC

April 19 2016: Received CENOMAR and Annotated MC from PSA via private courier. DONE! COMPLETE! FINISHED! OFFICIAL!

I-129F / K1 VISA APPLICATION PROCESS

April 04 2016: I-129F sent to Texas Lockbox via USPS Priority Mail

April 12 2016: Email from USCIS acceptance confirmation

April 17 2016: Official NOA1 hard copy received

July 12 2016: NOA2 Approval hard copy received

July 14 2016: Post Decision Activity email from USCIS

THE LONG WAIT (USCIS misplaced approved petition)

September 16 2016: NVC received approved I-129F petition and assigns case number

INTERVIEW / MEDICAL PROCESS

October 04 2016: Day 1 of medical at SLEC in Manila

October 05 2016: Psychiatric evaluation off-site due to psychological incapacity annulment (10 hour eval with 800 question profile test)

October 13 2016: CFO Seminar completed successfully and certificate awarded (CFO stamp not issued until visa is presented).

October 20 2016: Return to SLEC complete psychological evaluation with resident psychologist (less than ten minutes)

October 21 2016: Vaccination day at SLEC (medical finally complete)

October 25 2016: Visa interview at USEM in Manila (APPROVED)

HOMECOMING

November 19 2016: Dyn's arrival at POE Dulles IAD in Washington DC

December 01 2016: Married

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All great advice here, totally agree with the spending money and making sure he has his own space for clothing, etc in your home. I researched where to find halal meats and such, so he has some easy places to go. Any public transit maps/apps you can download on the phone and key phone numbers. Small things like toothbrush, kleenex, soaps. I spent the day after he arrived giving him basics on navigating, then having him "practice" getting to destinations while I was with him.

BEFORE he comes, you should have him pop by the pharmacy in Morocco for a few rounds of antibiotics to have on hand. It will save you a ton of money vs going to a doctor in the states and chances are, he might get sick once exposed to the new flora/fauna in our country. Also, any dental work will be less expensive there. My fiance bought several sweaters, coats and thermals to get ready for the winter here. If there was any money you allocated to buy those things here, just send it over on MoneyGram or Western Union. The money goes a lot further in Morocco, so stock up! He can bring his favorite spices and things he enjoys cooking with (tajines, utensils).

If it's your fiance's first time flying, give him a rundown of what to expect when he gets to the airport in Morocco and what will happen when he lands (customs/immigration/baggage claim). Make sure he is carrying your address/phone number, a pen to fill out the landing papers, warmer clothes for the plane, headphones, no liquids in his carry-on.

Good luck!

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I'm just curious what type of prep other petitioners did to get their house/environment/life ready for their fiancé/spouse to arrive?

What things did you have finished before they got here? Was there anything you overlooked at first and wished you could have had ready for them?

Being a little ####### retentive I'm trying to make the transition as easy as possible for my fiancé by having things like his new cellphone, a key to the house, phone numbers for family members in his phone, a copy of our bank card, etc... But I'm curious how others have handled this or are handling it.

Congrats :dancing: a month ago we were in the same boat of AP. thanks Allah it took us about 3 weeks to get issued.

all the best for you guys.

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