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Fernb

How do people go over to the states for such long periods?

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So my title says it all really lol I’m often reading people are heading over for months at a time? How can they do this? I mean the most I can go over at this stage is 2 weeks because of work etc? Do people just take leave without pay? What about their mortgage/rent etc? I’m just curious as to how people can afford not to work for months?

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I asked myself that question, too.  I know of only one way....Proper planning.....;)


First career- 20 year Retired E-8, USAF Missileer,

Second career-Retired Registered Nurse, experience in Labor& Delivery, Home Health, Adolescent & Adult Psych

Third career-Retired IT Developer & Database Administrator for surgical services dept.

 

Immigration Journey:

  • Texas Service Center after transfer from Nebraska
  • Consulate :Taipei, Taiwan
  • Marriage: 7/30/2015
  • I-130 NOA1 : 4/27/2016
  • I-130 Approved :9/8/2016
  • Case received at NVC: 10/11/2016                               
  • Case # and IIN#: 10/24/2016
  • AOS Fee Invoiced:10/24/2016  
  • AOS Fee Paid:10/25/2016
  • IV Fee Invoiced:10/24/2016  
  • IV Fee Paid:10/25/2016
  • DS-260 Completed: 10/28/16
  • Scan Date:11/9/2016
  • Supervisor review: 12/21/16 
  • Checklist: 1/13/17 
  • Case Complete: 4/10/17
  • Interview Date: 5/8/17 
  • Visa  "ISSUED": 5/10/17
  • Visa and Passport in hand/Flight to USA Booked!!!: 5/12/17  
  • POE Dallas DFW on June 22, 2017
  • SS Card received : 7/3/2017
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Moved from IR-1/CR-1 Process & Procedures to General Immigration-Related Discussion.


Our journey:

Spoiler

September 2007: Met online via social networking site (MySpace); began exchanging messages.
March 26, 2009: We become a couple!
September 10, 2009: Arrived for first meeting in-person!
June 17, 2010: Arrived for second in-person meeting and start of travel together to other areas of China!
June 21, 2010: Engaged!!!
September 1, 2010: Switched course from K1 to CR-1
December 8, 2010: Wedding date set; it will be on February 18, 2011!
February 9, 2011: Depart for China
February 11, 2011: Registered for marriage in Wuhan, officially married!!!
February 18, 2011: Wedding ceremony in Shiyan!!!
April 22, 2011: Mailed I-130 to Chicago
April 28, 2011: Received NOA1 via text/email, file routed to CSC (priority date April 25th)
April 29, 2011: Updated
May 3, 2011: Received NOA1 hardcopy in mail
July 26, 2011: Received NOA2 via text/email!!!
July 30, 2011: Received NOA2 hardcopy in mail
August 8, 2011: NVC received file
September 1, 2011: NVC case number assigned
September 2, 2011: AOS invoice received, OPTIN email for EP sent
September 7, 2011: Paid AOS bill (payment portal showed PAID on September 9, 2011)
September 8, 2011: OPTIN email accepted, GZO number assigned
September 10, 2011: Emailed AOS package
September 12, 2011: IV bill invoiced
September 13, 2011: Paid IV bill (payment portal showed PAID on September 14, 2011)
September 14, 2011: Emailed IV package
October 3, 2011: Emailed checklist response (checklist generated due to typo on Form DS-230)
October 6, 2011: Case complete at NVC
November 10, 2011: Interview - APPROVED!!!
December 7, 2011: POE - Sea-Tac Airport

September 17, 2013: Mailed I-751 to CSC

September 23, 2013: Received NOA1 in mail (receipt date September 19th)

October 16, 2013: Biometrics Appointment

January 28, 2014: Production of new Green Card ordered

February 3, 2014: New Green Card received; done with USCIS until fall of 2023*

 

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Posted (edited)

Always makes me wonder as well, unless they have a good nest egg or a wealthy US family member.

 

:pop:

Edited by geowrian

Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

?/?/18: Approved (hopefully)

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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some people just really have a lot of money! :jest:


I-129F     17-Feb Petition sent via FedEx ~ 21-Feb Case received ~ 24-Feb NOA1 ~ 30-May NOA2 12-Jun NVC received / Case and Invoice numbers assigned ~ 20-Jun NVC left

K1 Visa   28-Jun Case ready (No packet 3 received) ~ 22-Jul Medical ~ 02-Aug Interview (APPROVED!) ~ 03-Aug Visa "Issued" ~ 08-Aug VOH ~ 14-Sep POE (Abu Dhabi) ~ 01-Oct Got married! 

EAD/AP   13-Oct Application sent via FedEx ~ 17-Oct Case received ~ 25-Oct NOA1 ~ 17-Nov Biometrics ~ 09-Jan Approved ~ 13-Jan Notice received ~ 18-Jan Combo card received

AOS         13-Oct Application sent via FedEx ~ 17-Oct Case received ~ 24-Oct Fingerprint fee received ~ 25-Oct NOA1 ~ 17-Nov Biometrics ~ 23-Nov Status "We are scheduling your interview" 

                 24-Jul-18 Status "We have scheduled your interview" ~ 28-Jul-18 Interview notice received in the mail ~ 29-Aug-18 Interview 30-Aug-18 Status "Case was approved"

 

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Well lil or no expense for those who have family abroad. (Air ticket is the major cost)

 

Personally get 6weeks holiday a year - a month is doable since SEA is so far away.


ROC Timeline

Service Center: Vermont

90 Day Window Opened....08/08/17

I-751 Packet Sent..............08/14/17

NO1 Dated.........................

NO1 Received....................

Check Cashed....................

Biometrics Received..........

Biometrics Appointment.....

Approved...........................

 

IR-1/CR-1 Visa

I-130 NOA1: 22 Dec 2014
I-130 NOA2: 25 Jan 2015
NVC Received: 06 Feb 2015
Pay AOS Bill: 07 Mar 2015
Pay IV Bill : 20 Mar 2015
Send IV/AOS Package: 23 Mar 2015
Submit DS-261: 26 Mar 2015
Case Completed at NVC: 24 Apr 2015
Interview Date: 22 Sep 2015
Visa Approved: 22 Sep 2015
Visa Received: 03 Oct 2015 

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Posted (edited)

I went to visit my husband (then fiancé) for a scheduled two weeks but we needed a little more time to get married and I just hated the thought of leaving him so soon so I extended my trip another two weeks. I'm going back again this summer and staying for another month. I had a lot of paid vacation time saved up as I've been at my job for 10 years and never really took a vacation until now. 

Edited by PersaisX

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Fernb said:

So my title says it all really lol I’m often reading people are heading over for months at a time? How can they do this? I mean the most I can go over at this stage is 2 weeks because of work etc? Do people just take leave without pay? What about their mortgage/rent etc? I’m just curious as to how people can afford not to work for months?

If you're talking about younger people, may work under the table as a bartender, hostess, waiter, au pair etc.

 

If you're talking older (retiree age), they often own properties and stocks that pay them ongoing rental income and dividends. 

 

Nothing here is meant to condone or encourage unauthorized employment. It is illegal. 

Edited by Teemo

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paul comes down every month for a long weekend. thats not a long time, but last summer we both took a month off for a surgery i had and then i took my son to canada for a vacation. in my case, i have a pension from my ex that covers the majority of my routine bills, my house is paid off, no loans or monthly debt. it was VERY tight right when i got back back, but we lived and the lights stayed on ;) lolol. paul used his credit card for most of the touristy stuff and eating out we did.

 

in (particularly) European countries, they have a larger amount of time off, which may be paid time off.

 

it all depends on your individual circumstances.


5/7/2018 K1       Application mailed

5/9/2018             Application rec'd and signed for (sent via fedex)

5/14/2018          NOA1 Email notification

5/18/2018          NOA1 Paper copy rec'd (i797C)

 

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On 6/6/2018 at 8:12 PM, Fernb said:

So my title says it all really lol I’m often reading people are heading over for months at a time? How can they do this? I mean the most I can go over at this stage is 2 weeks because of work etc? Do people just take leave without pay? What about their mortgage/rent etc? I’m just curious as to how people can afford not to work for months?

Depends on the person's own circumstances, how much they save in advance, if they are boarding with family members, etc.

 

When I was unemployed, I just shaved money off of what I would receive from my husband for household expenses, did paid focus groups, or received monetary gifts (birthday, mother's day etc.) and saved up for trips that way---started to build my own "nest egg" months in advance just for the trip, in other words.   On average would stay a month, maybe a month and a half abroad.

 

When I was working in the school system, I had several weeks off at a time in the Summer and would travel for close to 2 months straight.   

 

Biggest expense for me is airfare, (which really isn't all that expensive since round-trip flights from NY to Canada average about $175 during the off-season if you buy your ticket early) and then the rest is really "play money" since I stay with family members.  Money is a bit tighter for me when I first come back to the US, but that's my own fault really since I tend to go overboard with frivolous spending when on vacation sometimes...

 


Applied for Naturalization based on 5-year Residency - 96 Days To Complete Citizenship!

July 14, 2017 (Day 00) -  Submitted N400 Application, filed online

July 21, 2017 (Day 07) -  NOA Receipt received in the mail

July 22, 2017 (Day 08) - Biometrics appointment scheduled online, letter mailed out

July 25, 2017 (Day 11) - Biometrics PDF posted online

July 28, 2017 (Day 14) - Biometrics letter received in the mail, appointment for 08/08/17

Aug 08, 2017 (Day 24) - Biometrics (fingerprinting) completed

Aug 14, 2017 (Day 30) - Online EGOV status shows "Interview Scheduled, will mail appointment letter"

Aug 16, 2017 (Day 32) - Online MYUSCIS status shows "Interview Scheduled, read the letter we mailed you..."

Aug 17, 2017 (Day 33) - Interview Appointment Letter PDF posted online---GOT AN INTERVIEW DATE!!!

Aug 21, 2017 (Day 37) - Interview Appointment Letter received in the mail, appointment for 09/27/17

Sep. 27, 2017 (Day 74) - Naturalization Interview--- read my experience here

Sep. 27, 2017 (Day 74) - Online MYUSCIS status shows "Oath Ceremony Notice mailed"

Sep. 28, 2017 (Day 75) - Oath Ceremony Letter PDF posted online--Ceremony for 10/19/17

Oct. 02, 2017 (Day 79) -  Oath Ceremony Letter received in the mail

Oct. 19, 2017 (Day 96) -  Oath Ceremony-- read my experience here

 

Applied for US Passport - requested Routine/ Regular Service

Oct. 27, 2017 (Day 00) - Submitted Passport Application, filed in person at Post Office

Oct. 30, 2017 (Day 03) - Online tracker shows application has been received and is under processing

Nov. 08, 2017 (Day 12) - Online tracker shows "in final stages" and projected completion time of 11/13/2017

Nov. 09, 2017 (Day 13) - Passport received in the mail.

Nov. 10, 2017 (Day 14) - Naturalization Certificate received back in the mail.

 

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On 6/7/2018 at 2:12 AM, Fernb said:

So my title says it all really lol I’m often reading people are heading over for months at a time? How can they do this? I mean the most I can go over at this stage is 2 weeks because of work etc? Do people just take leave without pay? What about their mortgage/rent etc? I’m just curious as to how people can afford not to work for months?

They are "sightseeing" on construction sites, in bars, as nannies or cleaning houses.

 


K1

29.11.2013 - NoA1

06.02.2014 - NoA2

01.04.2014 - Interview. 

AoS

03.2015 - AoS started.

09.2015 - Green Card received.  

RoC

24.07.2017 - NoA1.

01.08.2018 - RoC approved. 

 

 

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Uhm in my case, some sacrifice of a proper career ( working jobs part time basis only or flexible jobs that allows me to take a month or two off -unpaid of course), and then living really frugally to save enough (meaning I don’t go out to movies, I don’t spend on new gadgets or games etc., I don’t eat out or grab a Starbucks or similar drinks because  as cheap as it is in USA it’s something that can actually be the price of 2 meal for me here)  for my yearly ticket and some extra cash for my own spending there.

And I have an ‘agreement’ with my husband from when we were just a couple that when he comes over, I’ll pay for everything and vice versa to be fair because of the currency difference. 

 

Mostly we don’t ‘travel’ much when I’m over in USA for a month, he still goes to work, while I’ll stay at home and keep myself occupied with reading/ tv / sewing etc., and we make our own meals as much as possible. Helps that I go over for Christmas/ New Years so he has at least a week off to spend time with family and just chill together. 

 

But yeah, it’s pretty much a lot of planning where he comes over once a year and I go over once a year thing because we probably can’t -responsibly- afford more than that. ;) 

 

 

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Many non us countries have much more liberal holiday practices.  I used to get product from a company in Sweden who shut the entire factory down for the month of July and everyone went on holiday for that month


YMMV

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It can depend on where they are traveling from. Some countries have better paid leave from jobs that the states does. That's the case for my husband. Taking time off his job in Sweden at the time was much easier for him than it was for me and my job here in the states, hence why he has more visits under his belt than I do. He also planned well, and ahead. He didn't take time off for many other things, so it allowed him to visit often, and visit longer.

 

As for money... in most cases, a round trip ticket cost the same whether he was staying two weeks or two months, give or take, so that wasn't really a factor.


Håll ut, y'all.

 

               K1 Process                                                                                AOS Process

July 2015 - met online thanks to Zak Bagans                                                            May 25, 2018 - South Carolina marriage license issued

June 2016 - first in-person meeting                                                                             May 26, 2018 - legally married

August 2016 - stateside visit                                                                                        June 7, 2018 - applied for Social Security Number [manual verification required]

February-April 2017 - stateside visit                                                                           June 18, 2018 - SSN/card received in the mail

April 4, 2017 - got engaged                                                                                          June 30, 2018 - submitted I-485 (AOS)/I-765 (EAD)/I-131 (AP) together

June 5, 2017 - submitted I129F                                                                                   July 9, 2018 - AOS/EAD/AP electronic NOA1 received

June 12, 2017 - received NOA1                                                                                   July 13, 2018 - AOS/EAD/AP hard copy NOA1 received (dated July 6, 2018)

December 1, 2017 - received NOA2                                                                            July 25, 2018 - Biometrics appointment (Charlotte, NC)

January 17, 2018 - NVC received case                                                                      August 1, 2018 - case status updated to "Ready to be Scheduled for Interview"

January 18, 2018 - received NVC case number by phone                                      August 11, 2018 - case status updated to "I-485 Interview Scheduled"

January 24, 2018 - packet received via email                                                           August 16, 2018 - AOS Interview Scheduled letter received

February 15, 2018 - medical appointment                                                                 August 28, 2018 - visited civil surgeon (Winston-Salem, NC) to complete I-693

February-March 2018 - trip to Gothenburg                                                                                                [beneficiary had to get one remaining vaccination stateside]

February 22, 2018 - interview at the US Embassy in Stockholm                            September 18, 2018 - I-485/AOS Interview in Greer, SC

                                    [passed, pending receipt of medical papers]                           September 18, 2018 - case status updated to "Card Has Been Issued/Mailed"

February 27, 2018 - medical papers received by Embassy                                     XXXXX, 2018 - Green Card received in the mail

March 5, 2018 - visa received in the mail with passport                                          October 6, 2018 - traditional wedding with family & friends

May 16, 2018 - POE in Charlotte, NC

 

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