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Hi.

I am about to file for CR-1 for my husband from Azerbaijan. I was wondering how long it might take for him to get his visa at the interview because I heard that in some countries it is faster than in others, so would Azerbaijan process things faster? I would appreciate any helpful advice regarding way that I could speed up the process? I haven't petitioned myself yet, so I'd like to see if I can get some don't and do's to help me out. Any helpful advice would be appreciated! Also, in which instances would he get denied his spousal visa? I heard that there's a chance for that too, so that got me worried. We are planning to meet up around my birthday again somewhere in Europe in a couple of months and I was wondering how I would submit those future additional evidence of our bonafide relationship since the case would probably be at the NVC or at his embassy? Do I still submit it or will he have to take those additional boarding passes with him to the interview at that point? Another question that I have is at which point do I file for I-864? As far as I know, I only need to file I-130 and include our bonafide evidence. Also, is it true that we are not allowed to staple documents when sending it to the service center? For example, I got my divorce decree from the court that was already stapled, so should I remove the staple from the document? What I am thinking is to buy sheet protectors, put every single document in separate sheet protectors, have a cover letter at the front of the binder/folder and basically the folder will have each document in its separate sheet protectors so that they will decide to staple docus that go together or not. Is this how you guys usually do it?

 

Moreover, is there a way to guarantee a successful approval? We got married after 6 months of chatting online day and night so we got married during our vacation (towards the end of it). Is this fast for the uscis? I don't have so much money and time form school and work to be traveling to Europe to see him for a week each time every 4-5 months for years to finally bring him here to the US, plus I am 35 years old so I really didn't feel the need to be having an online relationship for a few years before getting married. It's just not my thing...never been in a long-term relationship which would drag on meaninglessly to be in one from overseas. We pretty much knew we would get married soon and we have very attracted to each other and in love. Should I explain this in my affidavit to the uscis the reasons behind not taking time to be in a relationship for a few years before getting married? Also, the fact that we spent 2 week together vacationing and getting married after our 6 month online relationship, now that we are apart and the idea of seeing each other again in 4-5 months for my b-day is very annoying because we got so used to each other and now that we are back to square one, it feels like we haven't met and still doing our online relationship, so the whole experience of us being away for so long after meeting up is frustrating and annoying to say the least. 

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* Moved from IR-1/CR-1 Progress Reports to Process & Procedures *

 

Lots of questions mixed in throughout the post...I'll try to answer them as they appear.

 

Some embassies process faster than others. But expect ~12-16 months on average for most countries. Most of the wait will be with USCIS and then NVC, in which country does not matter.

 

A refusal of the visa can be for any number of reasons. The most common /critical is not showing a bona fide marriage. There are also various inadmissabilities that can result in a refusal (criminal activity, past US immigration violations,, medical, public charge concern, misrepresentation, etc.). There's also the mater of showing a valid marriage and such...it's not common but we do see things such as marriages occurring while already married, which is not recognized as legal by the US.

 

You can add more relationship/marriage evidence at NVC ("side-loading") and/or more at the interview as well.

 

The I-864 is sent while the case is at NVC. It is also reviewed by the CO at the interview...they make the final call on the public charge concern.

 

Stapled documents are discouraged, but aren't rejected outright. They prefer binder clips, but this is getting way too into the nitty gritty details...use common sense as to what a worker would need to do to scan the documents into a computer. This means I would discourage the sheet protectors...those poor minimum wage workers have to remove each sheet separately to scan it. A folder and/or binder clips are fine. You will be approved or not on the content, not presentation.

 

There is NO way to guarantee approval, period. There are certain requirements that you must meet and the beneficially must be admissible, but certain aspects (bona fide marriage, public charge, etc.) are decisions they make based on the evidence presented to them.

The more time spent together, the better.

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

10/17/18: Approved

10/24/18: Green card produced

10/31/18: Green card received

 

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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1. every country and consulate is different. There is likely a country or region specific subforum that you can look for to provide more info about yours.

2. Spousal visas can be denied for a variety of items - from criminal record, to them not believing it is a bonafide relationship (that being the most common reason for denial). The more time you have together the better

3. Keep boarding passes, receipts, photos, passport stamps, etc to prove you were together. you will want to present evidence in your initial package and then MORE evidence at the interview.

4. I 864 is submitted at time of interview

5. Keep it easy for the employees. Use a cover sheet and place documents in the order you have them listed on cover sheet. dont use staples or sheet protectors. they take everything out and scan it. You can use folders or binder clips to keep 'sections' together.


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)

11/5/2018          NOA2 ❤️ no RFE's

 

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I would recommend that you NOT submit I-130 after marrying on the first visit after six months of online chatting.  No need to wait years, but at least one or two additional visits, time spent face to face, would allow you submit more evidence to show a bona fide relationship.  It just depends on how much risk you are willing to take.  Quick relationships with marriage on the first visit may be a red flag based on everything I have read on this forum, from others' experiences.  The process cannot be rushed, there is no way around the long wait of 400+ days for a CR1, so why risk denial when you can do at least one more visit before submitting your initial I-130 petition?  At the very least, submit evidence of additional time spent together at the NVC stage seven months later, so when your case gets to the interview at the consulate, the officer will see that you have met in person more than once.  Time spent together is the most convincing evidence of a bona fide relationship, plus co-mingling of finances.  I would not suggest submitting a petition after marrying on the first time you met without additional visits.

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Thanks guys. There is one concern regarding my spouse and it is this: So we met in March and he wanted to come and see me and went through the interview in May and was denied because he couldn't prove that he has strong ties to his home country. He did tell me that they were only approving men and women who had wife/husband and kids in the country and denying everyone else who was unmarried. So he was asked whether he was married and he said no, but he didn't say that he was coming to see a woman in the US, he simply said that he wanted to visit LA and Vegas as a tourist for 12 days. Obviously, had he said he had a gf in the US, he would be denied too, so he simply said that he is unmarried but has a gf in his country lol. He doesn't obviously but he made the last attempt to show some type of a tie (a gf) in his country but the embassy worker didn't care about a gf. What I am afraid now is when I write that I know him since March, wouldn't they later question him on that girlfriend back home (supposed gf) since it means that when we met he had a gf already because he went to the interview in may. Again, he just wanted to show that he has a tie and said he has a gf there but he doesn't and it didn't work, so could he be questioned about the fictitious gf or the embassy will ask him about us specifically? After all, there are people who might meet online while having significant others then break up with them over time even though it wasn't in our case but still....would this be considered a misrepresentation for saying he has a gf supposedly at the time of his interview? The reason why I am concerned about his stupid and unnecessary lie about having a gf back there is because I do want to say in the affidavit that we met in March and our relationship developed fast (which it did for sure) and just write about us, but since he said that he had a 'gf' in May during the interview, that stupid lie of his might hinder my own true affidavit as they might say wait a minute was he double-timing me and the fictitious gf? Do you think Im looking a little too much into this? I suppose he can later explain that he later broke up with her in may after the interview that does happen.

 

For photos...I have included about 65 photos for now, but during our 2nd visit, there will be much more. Is 65 enough for the initial stage? Also, we are in contact 50 times a day through WhatsApp only where we text, leave short audio messages when we don't feel like having long conversations during the day, we have our call logs where it shows who called whom (without the duration of each call) and also when I click on each calls made to each other it shows the duration, so since we are in touch throughout the day, for the past 6 months, it would be impossible to print all that and I wouldn't even know what to print specifically, so can you advise how to present our communication through Whatsapp to show our constant contacts? I bet if I send them the call logs, everyday texts/audio (form everyday but one page), it will overwhelm them. Do they also scan these for the consular interview? I was wondering if you guys print those on a full page one-by-one or what is the best way present constant communication? Sorry for so many questions, but I am doing this myself and I want to deter any denial as much as possible based on lack of bonafide evidence. 

 

Last question....have you asked some assistance from your representative to deal with the uscis like contact them to speed things up or inquire the status? I ask this because I have been married before to someone in the US at that time whom I later reported for marriage fraud, so I did so with the help of my representative and i think it was because of the representative's office that i got a call from an uscis officer who took my report into consideration, so seeing how helpful going into my representative's office was in getting through the uscis, I am thinking to pay a visit again and request that they forward my petition (with all the docs and evidence that I will organize) on my behalf to the necessary service center. Has anyone sent their petition through their congressman's office this way? I am thinking about going through my senator's office when sending stuff to the uscis and if my spouse is denied the visa in his home country, I will contact my senator to inquire into the local embassy and see if I can get my husband go into the second interview since I heard that the embassies and consulates keep your records for 30 days. 

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2 minutes ago, carmel34 said:

I would recommend that you NOT submit I-130 after marrying on the first visit after six months of online chatting.  No need to wait years, but at least one or two additional visits, time spent face to face, would allow you submit more evidence to show a bona fide relationship.  It just depends on how much risk you are willing to take.  Quick relationships with marriage on the first visit may be a red flag based on everything I have read on this forum, from others' experiences.  The process cannot be rushed, there is no way around the long wait of 400+ days for a CR1, so why risk denial when you can do at least one more visit before submitting your initial I-130 petition?  At the very least, submit evidence of additional time spent together at the NVC stage seven months later, so when your case gets to the interview at the consulate, the officer will see that you have met in person more than once.  Time spent together is the most convincing evidence of a bona fide relationship, plus co-mingling of finances.  I would not suggest submitting a petition after marrying on the first time you met without additional visits.

 Thanks for this advice! I am not sure how to comingle finances quite honestly. After our vacation, I went to my bank here in the US to ask if I can add my husband to my bank, but they said that he needs to be physically present in the US, so I couldn't do that and if he doesn't live in the US, I am not sure how we can comingle finances like that.

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Just one more question...if we hire an attorney, for example, who has 99% approval rating, will we be more successful in visa approval when the consulate/embassy sees that there is n attorney handling the case? 

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Just now, fem_femme said:

Just one more question...if we hire an attorney, for example, who has 99% approval rating, will we be more successful in visa approval when the consulate/embassy sees that there is n attorney handling the case? 

Having an attorney does not make a difference to uscis when filing a petition

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5 minutes ago, fem_femme said:

.would this be considered a misrepresentation for saying he has a gf supposedly at the time of his interview?

It is not a material misrepresentation...he was not granted the visa as-is so he would not have been granted the visa anyway.

Never lie to a CO, IO, or anybody else in immigration moving forward. The consequences are very severe.

 

Re: photos + messages

It's about quality evidence, not quantity. Having 65 photos over a week visit, for example, is no better than a couple photos over the same period of time.

Send a representative amount of messages over the period of the relationship. For instance, my now-wife and I sent one page of chats per month.

 

8 minutes ago, fem_femme said:

Last question....have you asked some assistance from your representative to deal with the uscis like contact them to speed things up or inquire the status? I ask this because I have been married before to someone in the US at that time whom I later reported for marriage fraud, so I did so with the help of my representative and i think it was because of the representative's office that i got a call from an uscis officer who took my report into consideration, so seeing how helpful going into my representative's office was in getting through the uscis, I am thinking to pay a visit again and request that they forward my petition (with all the docs and evidence that I will organize) on my behalf to the necessary service center. Has anyone sent their petition through their congressman's office this way? I am thinking about going through my senator's office when sending stuff to the uscis and if my spouse is denied the visa in his home country, I will contact my senator to inquire into the local embassy and see if I can get my husband go into the second interview since I heard that the embassies and consulates keep your records for 30 days. 

There's no way to speed up processing. You can request a status inquiry yourself via a phone call or online. A representative cannot speed up processing in any way.

Having a past marriage fraud occurrence is going to very heavily increase scrutiny of your new marriage.

The petition is sent to a drop box, not a service center.


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

10/17/18: Approved

10/24/18: Green card produced

10/31/18: Green card received

 

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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4 minutes ago, fem_femme said:

 Thanks for this advice! I am not sure how to comingle finances quite honestly. After our vacation, I went to my bank here in the US to ask if I can add my husband to my bank, but they said that he needs to be physically present in the US, so I couldn't do that and if he doesn't live in the US, I am not sure how we can comingle finances like that.

Add your spouse to your health insurance, dental insurance, make him a beneficiary on your retirement benefits at work, add him as your emergency contact at work, add him to your credit card account and send him a credit card and ask him to use it.  Send him some money, but not too much, and keep a record of it, likewise if he sends you money.  Make out a will and living will and name your husband in them.  Add him to your car insurance, homeowners or renters insurance, memberships, or anything with a document that you can add to your evidence.  Open a joint bank account in his country next time you visit him.  Ask your landlord if you can add him to your lease.  There are lots of things that you can do, and everything strengthens your case.  Some members of VJ have also found ways to open a joint bank account in the US.  Search for this advice and it will help you.  

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46 minutes ago, carmel34 said:

Add your spouse to your health insurance, dental insurance, make him a beneficiary on your retirement benefits at work, add him as your emergency contact at work, add him to your credit card account and send him a credit card and ask him to use it.  Send him some money, but not too much, and keep a record of it, likewise if he sends you money.  Make out a will and living will and name your husband in them.  Add him to your car insurance, homeowners or renters insurance, memberships, or anything with a document that you can add to your evidence.  Open a joint bank account in his country next time you visit him.  Ask your landlord if you can add him to your lease.  There are lots of things that you can do, and everything strengthens your case.  Some members of VJ have also found ways to open a joint bank account in the US.  Search for this advice and it will help you.  

3

Thanks! I thought about adding him to my HOA, utility bills in addition to my bank, but I was told by an attorney that those won't matter if we are not living together. So i'm confused because I did want to do half of what you mentioned. I can add him to my HOA, my house is paid off and in a my trust (my name) me being the trustee and beneficiary, I am working from home doing billing and my income isn't stable right now, he did just bought me a gift Chanel perfume and has shipped it through Sephora so Ill be getting it now with a love note in the next few days so I will document it. We did get our wedding bands engraved with our names and 'love' quote that I took a picture of, plus we have several pics of us in the hotel where he is shirtless and i am hugging him from behind and taking a picture of us through the front mirror in our hotel and u can see our stuff is all over the place and the bed is unmade. We have kissing photos too. I have not met his family thought...his parents have passed away several years ago, one sister with her family resides in a different country and they no longer talk due to family issues, another brother is also in a different country even though they are in good terms, and one sister he no longer talks to again lives in the same country but in a different city with her own family, so i have only briefly said hello to two of his best friends. Will this be an issue that i haven't met his family even though how would I anyways if he has no parents and his siblings live in different cities even if he was in good terms with them, I still won't be able to see them unless he was next to them introducing me via whatsapp video. My dad has talked to my husband by phone (no video though) so I can have my dad write an affidavit to confirm that our marriage is legit. In fact, I got an infection overseas when I was travelling with my now husband and it was so severe that when I notified my dad (my mom was travelling at that time somewhere else), my dad and my husband kept contact a couple of times keeping my dad up-to-date of how the infection was healing so I can have my dad write about that how my husband took good care of me overseas and kept my dad notified about how I was doing and what treatments he was using to heal my horrible looking wounds. I actually took pictures of my wounds it was so bad, perhaps I can send that to the uscis with the affidavit of my dad to confirm the story.

Edited by fem_femme

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17 hours ago, fem_femme said:

We got married after 6 months of chatting online day and night so we got married during our vacation (towards the end of it).

Also, the fact that we spent 2 week together vacationing

These seem the key issues.

 

Well and the previous marriage.

Edited by Boiler

“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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4 hours ago, Boiler said:

These seem the key issues.

 

Well and the previous marriage.

Well, I got married to my ex-husband after a month of his visit yet the uscis didn't make a big deal and our interview was quite fast. When my ex got his conditional g.c. he left with one way ticket to his home country, then the lies started so it was obvious that his intention was to get g.c. so from there on, I filed for divorce really quick and started vigorously reporting him to the uscis...he later returned to the us, got married to a woman older than his mom lol seeing that he might lose his 10-yr permanent g.c., then she sensed fraud and called me to request assistance to report him now on behalf of her lol so at that point his 10 yr g.c. had arrived and instead of sending it to him (per his request) while he was back home in his country for yet another visit, me and that wife of his at that time, sent that permanent g.c. of his to the uscis and all I know is that he has been back home for the last 4 years. The uscis was very nice in hearing me so im glad they contacted me, but i think that my ex might not be able to come back and obtain another g.c. through marriage since two women reported him for fraud. Also, me and that older woman keep touch once in a while and became friends and whenever we leave the country, we both get second screening before a clearance and it's getting annoying. We are looking to find out how to get that permanently cleared. The previous fraud can't be tied to my new marriage as it's a case of it's own, but I do think that perhaps they will look at this one attentively. That older woman also got married now to a man 10 years younger than her lol and after a hard interview where she was grilled, they got the green card. Interestingly, I have not been asked about my ex at all when getting the second clearance but she has and I think because there was a huge age difference between them..she's older than his mom..while my ex was a few years old than me and we were both good looking so there isn't much alert for the uscis and maybe that's why i keep getting a quick clearance without any questions asked at the airport.

 

 I submitted the uscis with very detailed evidences of my ex so i think they've got all the necessary info on their end to be asking me anything new since it's been like 5 years now since our divorce. Oh, the funny thing is that he also  claimed abuse while being away from the US and from me physically for 9 months lol....the whole point of restraining order and claiming abuse is if you are in an immediate threat not go back and forth between the countries, then file for it after 9 months of not seeing me and being away from me in 10,000 miles away. I made this clear to the US and even teh judge tossed his RO at the court and just told us not to talk to each other as he doesn't want to see us again. The uscis asked for the court transcript from me and in that court transcript I had made it clear to the judge that my ex is claiming bs abuse to get his green card, so the hearing lasted like a minute and we were let go. He is now not doing well in his home country and i lerned that form his older ex wife as he asked for money from her :))))) I don't see how the uscis will us my idiot fraudulent good looking ex husband to hinder my current marriage without looking at my current marriage as is. Im actually happy that he got stuck in his home country and is suffering. My only question about this is whether I should mention that past marriage in my affidavit just briefly like say that I got burned once and didn't think that i would petition for someone else, but the negative feelings gradually went away and i no longer felt bitter against my ex and after meeting my current husband and falling in love all over again and having such a strong chemistry with him (sexual and personalitywise), I could not allow past mistake hinder my future happiness for which I decided to marry for the second time. Would this be a good brief explanation of the past and present because I feel like it would be not right not to mention about the past as if im trying to skip it or something like it never even happened, but this way it shows that I am not skipping on anything and saying things as is. The only issue is when I first talked about the case with an attorney that I was looking to hire, she said that because my case now is different where now my husband lives overseas and not in the US like my first husband whom i met here, the embassy wouldn't know about my past marriage and the fraud from my husband, but is this really the case guys because as I understand, the whole case gets to the embassy unless only my current petition goes there while the past cases stays within the uscis at the I-130 stage petition. Do you guys have any idea because if the embassy is strictly dealing with my husband's case, then i guess there's no need to even mention my ex in my affidavit. I'm a little lost as to what to include in my affidavit. 

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You submit information regarding previous marriages.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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Guys...since you have been so helpful I also wanted to ask the following:

My husband and I had obviously discussed marriage and we had decided that if we still had the same chemistry going in person, then we would marry on our vacation. For that reason, my then boyfriend had his documents translated via certified translator and notarize which included his birth certificate, military discharge, police clearance, divorce decree, etc. He got those translated few weeks prior to our trip for the first time so that in case we marry and everything goes great with us, then he can have those necessary documents in hand so that I can petition for him upon my return. I mention this because I thought that the uscis might wonder why he got his docs translated in his home country of azerbaijan before we got married or met. My question is if it is acceptable to get documents translated overseas by competent translators who are local because i wasn't sure how else to get translated documents from him as i couldnt get the originals. Will his foreign docs be acceptable by the uscis? Now i am thinking that I should have taken copies of his docs and had them translated here in the US, but it would be the same translations anyways so would this even matter where it is translated? 

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