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So we finally received feedback from USCIS for my wife's petition after over 10 months of applying. They sent us an RFE to prove the marriage is Bona Fide and legit, which is normally straight-forward as we've been married for over 9 years now (wow, time flies).

Basically, we can provide them with many solid proof documents, most importantly birth certificates of our three children (including all three US CRBAs with both our names), joint tax returns (filed overseas, as I've mainly worked abroad), a joint bank statement (and debit card). We can also possibly get a few affidavit of support docs from her relatives and my relatives (but that would be a little difficult given they live in Yemen and mailing options are practically non-existent), in addition to a collection of photos throughout the years.

My question here is specifically regarding the photos. Since my wife is a Muslim, she does not prefer to send out personal pictures which include showing her hair and parts of her body (i.e. wedding photos and family occasions). Therefore, will it be OK with USCIS if we somehow scrap these parts manually with a marker (or perhaps even a software) mainly keeping her face only? Or should we just not provide them such pictures and just send them the ones where she's actually wearing the headscarf during our travels?

I'd appreciate any advice you all have.

Thanks!

Edited by NobleKnight

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I would suggest that you do not tamper with the photos, but send a collection of the photos with which she is comfortable. Try to send photos showing you both in a variety of situations, and preferably together with family and friends.

For someone in a long marriage, proof of joint finances, residence and legal matters are the best evidence. Do you have proof of living together (lease, deed, utility bills in both names)? Do you have insurances together or with each other as beneficiaries? Any other joint accounts or memberships?


If it isn't difficult, it isn't worth it.

 

K1 process

9/24/15: I129f sent

9/30/15: NOA1

11/2/15: NOA2

Delayed processing due to work

3/15/16: Medical

4/28/16: Interview (approved)

Delayed entry due to work

8/12/16: POE Detroit

 

9/4/16: Wedding!

 

AOS process:

9/9/16: I485/I131/I765 sent

9/14/16: Received 3xNOAs by text/e-mail (day 2)

9/14-18/16: Received 3xpaper NOAs 

9/23/16: Received biometrics appointment letter (day 11)

10/3/16: Biometrics appointment (day 19)

11/4/16: EAD+AP approved (day 53)

11/16/16: EAD status changed to card shipped (day 65)

11/17/16: EAD/AP combo card received (day 66)

12/30/16: Notice of interview scheduled (day 109)

2/1/17: AOS interview (day 142) - APPROVED

2/8/17: GC received (day 150)

 

ROC process:

11/3/2018: ROC window opens

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I would suggest that you do not tamper with the photos, but send a collection of the photos with which she is comfortable. Try to send photos showing you both in a variety of situations, and preferably together with family and friends.

For someone in a long marriage, proof of joint finances, residence and legal matters are the best evidence. Do you have proof of living together (lease, deed, utility bills in both names)? Do you have insurances together or with each other as beneficiaries? Any other joint accounts or memberships?

Thanks for the response. We'll see what photos we can gather and sort them out accordingly.

Unfortunately, we still don't own anything, and most of the time the companies I work with abroad usually cover the housing and bills and before that we lived in our house in Yemen - which is in my dad's name may he RIP.

Moreover, and just recently we moved to UAE and currently working on adding her to my bank account as a joint holder, as she has her own health insurance from her sponsoring company. But I've made sure to add her to all my tax returns in the last few years.

I was thinking having three kids together and traveling to more than 5 countries would be enough evidence, but you got me worried now. :)

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Thanks for the response. We'll see what photos we can gather and sort them out accordingly.

Unfortunately, we still don't own anything, and most of the time the companies I work with abroad usually cover the housing and bills and before that we lived in our house in Yemen - which is in my dad's name may he RIP.

Moreover, and just recently we moved to UAE and currently working on adding her to my bank account as a joint holder, as she has her own health insurance from her sponsoring company. But I've made sure to add her to all my tax returns in the last few years.

I was thinking having three kids together and traveling to more than 5 countries would be enough evidence, but you got me worried now. :)

It was not my intention to worry you, sorry about that! The evidence you already have is good, just wanted to give you some ideas to make it even better. In general, having children is not considered as good of evidence as one might hope for.

You could also consider using mail addressed to both of you at the same address to show joint residence. Any paperwork from your employer identifying your wife could also be used

Edited by A'n'L

If it isn't difficult, it isn't worth it.

 

K1 process

9/24/15: I129f sent

9/30/15: NOA1

11/2/15: NOA2

Delayed processing due to work

3/15/16: Medical

4/28/16: Interview (approved)

Delayed entry due to work

8/12/16: POE Detroit

 

9/4/16: Wedding!

 

AOS process:

9/9/16: I485/I131/I765 sent

9/14/16: Received 3xNOAs by text/e-mail (day 2)

9/14-18/16: Received 3xpaper NOAs 

9/23/16: Received biometrics appointment letter (day 11)

10/3/16: Biometrics appointment (day 19)

11/4/16: EAD+AP approved (day 53)

11/16/16: EAD status changed to card shipped (day 65)

11/17/16: EAD/AP combo card received (day 66)

12/30/16: Notice of interview scheduled (day 109)

2/1/17: AOS interview (day 142) - APPROVED

2/8/17: GC received (day 150)

 

ROC process:

11/3/2018: ROC window opens

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What did you send originally and what are you planning on sending besides photos? (Btw do not alter photos)


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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No, do NOT temper with any photos.


Spoiler

 

I-129F Sent : 3-31-2014, NOA2: 4-6-2014

NVC Received : some dinkelsberry yehoo in the house of clingons send our petition to the wrong consulate.

Consulate Received : July 30,2014 Transfer to right embassy complete.

Interview Date : Oct 22, 2014

Interview Result : AP , requesting another PC (not expired) and certified divorce decree (was submitted)Stokes interview via phone for petitioner 4 hrs after interview.

Oct 23 email notification visa approved.
Visa Received : Nov. 3 , 2014 VISA IN HAND.

US Entry : Nov. 21, 2014

Marriage : Dec 27, 2014

AOS send : May 12, 2015, received May 14, 2015 USPS priority

Email &text : May 18, 2015, check cashed May 19,2015, return receipt May 21, 2015 stamped USCIS Lockbox, NOA1 (3x) May 22,2015

Biometrics : June 1, 2015 letter received for appointment June 8, 2015, successful walk-in June 1, 2015

RFE : June 12, 2015 for income not meeting guideline. Income does ( ! ) exceed guideline.

RFE response : June 26, 2015 returned with a boat load full of financial evidence.

UPDATE: July 5, 2015 updated on all 3 cases, RFE received June 30, 2015.

Service request : Aug 12, 2015, letter received that it will be processed within 90 days from receipt of RFE.

UPDATE: Aug 24, 2015, EAD card being produced/ordered. ( 102 days from AOS receipt day and 55 days from RFE response received.) Thank you Jesus !

Emails : Aug 24, 2015, EAD approved, EAD card ordered.

I-797 EAD/AP approval notice received : Aug 27, 2015

EAD/AP combo card mailed : Aug 27, 2015, EAD/AP combo card received: Aug 31, 2015

Renewal application send for EAD/AP : May 31,2016 (AOS pending over 1 year). Received June 2, 2016,Notice date June7, 2016, emails,texts, NOA1 hard copy

Service request for pending AOS April 21, 2016, case not assigned yet.
Service request for pending AOS June 14, 2016, tier 2 said performing background checks.
Expedite request for EAD/AP Aug 3, 2016, Aug10 notification >request was received, assigned, completed. RFE letter requesting evidence for expedite, docs faxed Aug18

*Service request for I-485 Aug 3, 2016, Aug11 notification> request was assigned. Service request Dec 2, 2016.
AOS Interview letter received Aug 12, 2016

AOS Interview September 21, 2016.

Second Biometrics appointment letters received for EAD and AOS on Aug 15, 2016 for Aug 17 ( 2 day notice).

Second Biometrics completed Aug 17, 2016

Third Biometrics appointment letter received Aug 19, 2016 for Sept. 1, 2016. WTH ?!

EAD/AP (renewal) approval Aug 22, 2016, NOA2 received Aug 25, 2016

Renewal EAD in production notification text and online, expedite successful 4 days after RFE request response was faxed, Aug25mailed,Aug29received.

Sept. 21 Interview, 2 hour interview, we were separated and asked about 50 questions each for an hour each. IO was firm but professional, some smiles.
Several service requests made, contacted Senator and Ombudsman. Background checks still pending.
July 21, 2017 HOME VISIT.  Went well. Topic thread in AOS forum.
Waiting to skip ROC and get 10 yr GC due to over 2 year while pending AOS
AOS APPROVED Oct. 4, 2017 * Green card in hand Oct 13, 2017 !!!!!

First K1 denied after 16 month of AP. Refiled. We are a couple since 2009. Not a sprint but a matter of endurance.

 

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It was not my intention to worry you, sorry about that! The evidence you already have is good, just wanted to give you some ideas to make it even better. In general, having children is not considered as good of evidence as one might hope for.

You could also consider using mail addressed to both of you at the same address to show joint residence. Any paperwork from your employer identifying your wife could also be used

Thanks, I'll keep this in mind while gathering evidence, as with all the travel and most recently fleeing due to war, we may not have taken everything we could.

What did you send originally and what are you planning on sending besides photos? (Btw do not alter photos)

We sent the marriage contract and registrations (both in original language and legally translated and attested by the foreign ministry of Yemen, along with two Yemen embassies and two foreign ministries of other countries. In addition, and now that I'm thinking about it, we did send the children's CRBAs.

No, do NOT temper with any photos.

Agree and obviously this is the most sensible thing to do.

...

...

...

All in all I just contacted NCSC and they advised that I arrange an appointment with the Embassy and seek their advice as I'm currently abroad and the closest USCIS office is three countries away.

I don't know what the embassy's role is at this point, and I'm not sure if they can even help, but I'll definitely try nonetheless. For one, I'll ask about the photos, and for another, I'll bring all the documents with and check if this is sufficient to submit. :-)

Edited by NobleKnight

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What did you send originally and what are you planning on sending besides photos? (Btw do not alter photos)

Already Sent:

What we sent was just the initial I-130 petition form along with proof of marriage, such as the marriage contract and registration copies, legally translated and attested as explained above. Actually, the birth certificates were sent along the I-129F petition, so I guess they didn't look into that since this is only focused on the I-130 - which means I'll have to send them again.

Planning to Send:

We're planning to send the following:

1- Several Years of Joint Tax Returns

2- Recent Joint Bank Account (will finalize next week)

3- Children's Consular Reports of Birth Abroad (CRBA) - along with the original Yemeni birth certificates which are legally translated and attested as well.

4- Passport Visa Stamps to places we visited with the children along with some ticket itineraries and boarding passes - which we can hopefully find some here or there.

5- A Qatari Residence Page on her passport stating my name as her "Sponsor" and Resident Entry Purpose "Family" - even though it's cancelled as we left Qatar.

6- A Saudi Short Term Visa Page on her passport stating my name as her companion and (Wife) as my relative.

7- Affidavit of Support from family members (nominated my mom and brother, and her father and brother) - still to be confirmed as it will be difficult for her family to send us originals of the letters due to the war in Yemen and mail services being abandoned.

8- A Collection of Photos of Us and the Kids to some of the places we've been to (Yemen, Qatar, UAE, Kuala Lumpur, etc.).

Like I said earlier, we still don't own anything, and the places we lived in were either our family's house, or company sponsored homes overseas, so we don't have any joint asset or lease to show.

Do you think this is sufficient enough?

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