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Zoeeeeeee

What should our pack look like?

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Hi everyone,

 

So, we have everything prepped and printed (forms, letters, proof of our flights back and forth to each other, photos, etc) - future hubby is driving to San Diego on Wednesday to pick up his replacement birth certificate and then we’re ready to post. 😍

 

My question is: how did you organise your pack? I’m comfortable from the guide on here as to what order we should put the documents in - but how did you file/present your paperwork? I’ve seen ‘tabs’ mentioned and different types of folders and it’s left me a little confused - also, I read on the guide on here that the passport photos should go in plastic bags, with labels (again, a little confused). 

 

I’d really appreciate if someone could post a picture of their pack (obviously with your confidential info covered over), as I’m definitely a visual person - or explain it to me in super simple terms! 

 

Thanks in in advance for your help 🙃.

 

Zoë 

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44 minutes ago, Zoeeeeeee said:

Hi everyone,

 

So, we have everything prepped and printed (forms, letters, proof of our flights back and forth to each other, photos, etc) - future hubby is driving to San Diego on Wednesday to pick up his replacement birth certificate and then we’re ready to post. 😍

 

My question is: how did you organise your pack? I’m comfortable from the guide on here as to what order we should put the documents in - but how did you file/present your paperwork? I’ve seen ‘tabs’ mentioned and different types of folders and it’s left me a little confused - also, I read on the guide on here that the passport photos should go in plastic bags, with labels (again, a little confused). 

 

I’d really appreciate if someone could post a picture of their pack (obviously with your confidential info covered over), as I’m definitely a visual person - or explain it to me in super simple terms! 

 

Thanks in in advance for your help 🙃.

 

Zoë 

No real right way and wrong way as long as you do not use any kind of staples or binders. Just put a cover sheet and papers in the order they are listed on the cover sheet. Are you aware of how long AOS takes in LA and the advantages of CR1 over K1. @missileman has a good list of points he is usually nice enough to post for everyone.

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Well, since someone mentioned me, I'll offer my analysis of K-1 vs CR-1.  Only you know your priorities, but it might be worth looking over this......

 

K-1

More expensive than CR-1    
Requires Adjustment of Status after marriage (expensive and requires a lot of paperwork)    
Spouse can not leave the US until she/he receives approved Advance Parole (approx 5-6 months)    
Spouse can not work until she/he receives EAD (approx 5-6 months)    
Some people have had problems with driver licenses, Social Security cards, leases, bank account during this period    
Spouse will not receive Green Card for many months after Adjustment of Status is filed.

 

CR-1    
Less expensive than K-1    
No Adjustment of Status  (I-485, I-131, I-765) required.    
Spouse can immediately travel outside the US    
Spouse is authorized to work immediately upon arrival.    
Spouse receives Social Security Card and Green Card within 2 or 3 weeks after entering the US    
Opening a bank account, getting a driver's license, etc. are very easily accomplished with GC, SS card, and passport.
Spouse has legal permanent Resident status IMMEDIATELY upon entry to US. 

My Final Analysis:  If you can marry your fiance in his/her country or outside the US, CR-1 is a much, much better option


"Experience can be a tough teacher to those who fail to heed good advice"- Missileman, 12/6/18

 

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
  • 2-year Green Card received in mail: 7/15/17
 

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1 hour ago, Zoeeeeeee said:

My question is: how did you organise your pack? I’m comfortable from the guide on here as to what order we should put the documents in - but how did you file/present your paperwork? 

People go overboard thinking if they make a beautiful packet the teacher (USCIS) will give them an A+ and smiley face sticker. This isn't grade school and nobody gets to be teacher's pet. The fact is,  your packet will be opened by contractors who will organize it in a standard folder and their preferred order. By the time a real USCIS person who makes a decision sees it, all things like binders, tabs, plastic page covers, tables of contents, hearts and unicorns will have been thrown out. 

 

Clip it all together with what I call a bulldog clip because a paper clip will be too small. Place a cover sheet on top if you make one. It is not actually needed. Paper clip the check to the top page (whatever it is) so they see it first. If you want to be notified that your packet arrived you can do the G-1145 and let it be the top sheet with the check paper clipped to it. Place everything in a Priority Mail thing from the post office. It will have tracking so you will know it arrived.  We are minimalist as you can tell, but I have successfully done from K1 petition to become a US citizen using that mentality.  My theory is doing it up like the dog's dinner and sending extra stuff just detracts from the real stuff they need to find. No to chat logs, Facebook status "in a relationship", tweets, etc. 

 

The reason for the suggestion of a plastic bag for the photos is so they wont fall out and get lost. Mine was a blank page of printer paper. My fiancé placed an open zip-lock sandwich bag on the page and stuck the stapler in the open bag enough to attach the back of the ziplock to the page. Then she dropped in the photo and pressed the zip closed.  Didn't label the bag, but wrote on the page "Photo of Petitioner Mary Jane Jones".  The contractors who put the files together will retrieve the pics from the ziplocks and staple them on the folder they are assembling for you. Then they throw away the bag page.  The name of the person should be written lightly in pencil on the back of the photo in case it somehow ends up on the floor and they don't know which packet it came from. 

 

 

 

 IMG_1721.JPG.4263bfc8a4723dff481ca920e11f4730.JPG

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On the USCIS website it mentions that things should not be stapled, that two-hole punches at the top of the page are appreciated, and that any divider tabs should go on the bottom of the pages.

 

I paper-clipped certain sections together, for example, all the pages of my passport in one clip, all my fiancé's passport in another clip, etc.  I paper-clipped our photos and the check on top of the first page of the packet.  I bound the whole thing together with a binder clip at the top so that papers wouldn't go flying out willy nilly when they pulled everything out of the envelope.  I used divider tabs at the bottom to indicate the location of my proof of citizenship, intent to marry, etc., like 5 tabs maybe.  I tried to make it as easy as possible to find specifically what you were looking for while also making it as easy and fast as possible to disassemble.  I also two-hole punched all the pages at the top.


I-129F Received: Jan 29 2018 (old site), Feb 2 2018 (new site)

RFE: Aug 30 2018 (old site updated 8/30; new site 8/31 w/email and text)

RFE hard copy: rec'd 9/4; ret'd 9/6 (old site updated 9/7; new site 9/10, no text/email)

NOA2: Oct 5 2018 [249 days]  (old site updated 10/5; new site 10/7, no text/email)

Case #: Oct 31 2018 [27 days] (called to get number, no email from NVC)

Left NVC: Nov 13 2018 

Consulate Rec'd (DHL): Nov 19 2018

CEAC 'Ready' status: Nov 29 2018

 


event.png



 

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K1packet.thumb.jpg.4f933d8c354044fefa094efc7b303fef.jpg


I-129F Received: Jan 29 2018 (old site), Feb 2 2018 (new site)

RFE: Aug 30 2018 (old site updated 8/30; new site 8/31 w/email and text)

RFE hard copy: rec'd 9/4; ret'd 9/6 (old site updated 9/7; new site 9/10, no text/email)

NOA2: Oct 5 2018 [249 days]  (old site updated 10/5; new site 10/7, no text/email)

Case #: Oct 31 2018 [27 days] (called to get number, no email from NVC)

Left NVC: Nov 13 2018 

Consulate Rec'd (DHL): Nov 19 2018

CEAC 'Ready' status: Nov 29 2018

 


event.png



 

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We used a small according file (a plastic see through one) i put all documents according to order in each successive slots in the file. We started with G-1145 on top with cheque attached.  Then cover letter with bullet points of each document enclosed.Then complete application, signed. We put and two intents to marry written by each of us, one for petitioner & beneficiary and dated & wet ink signed. We put in all live documents birthcert (long form one) photocopy of all pages of passport, passport photos in labelled plastic baggies (used white stickers) with FULL name, date and signature in pencil on back. Then we put in last slots by order: dates met IRL in USA and Canada, plane ticket receipts, hotel receipts, conference adverting, mailed letter correspondence, extra photos of us together, engagement photos, engagement ring receipt & a thank you note from the jeweler. We corresponded the evidences on the extra sheets provided with slots in the folder. I also clipped all documents (some were bulky) with medium sized black clips before putting them in slots and for easy retrieval for workers.

 

This is not an exhaustive list so check and double check the "guide" up top. Its pretty good and helped us figure it out. We were approved in 167 days or so (can't remember).

 

Best of luck and feel free to ask here and usually someone will help :)

Edited by Smashy











 

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it really doesnt matter as long as everything is included.

 

ours was in folders in sections. no fancy anything. plain old file folders for each section.

 

they disassemble all of it and scan it in the order THEY want. anything 'pretty' or 'nice' you do for them, is a waste of time and effort.


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

11/19/2018        NVC Received file

12/13/2018        Consulate received/ ready to schedule interview

 

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There is a sample table of contents that i found on this site that looks like the pic that looks like Radharose photo.  But i agree with others, put in order of what you say you did in the Table of Contents.  I used one large binder clip at the top to hold it all together.  I also put my passport photos AND check in a small zip lock bag in the event they flew out (and wrote in pencil lightly our names on the back of the passport photos.) and also clipped from the  one larger binder clip

 

 

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On 12/4/2018 at 12:31 AM, ThomasNC1988 said:

No real right way and wrong way as long as you do not use any kind of staples or binders. Just put a cover sheet and papers in the order they are listed on the cover sheet. Are you aware of how long AOS takes in LA and the advantages of CR1 over K1. @missileman has a good list of points he is usually nice enough to post for everyone.

Thanks @ThomasNC1988.

 

I’m probably going to sound very underprepared here...but I know we send the petition etc to the general Dallas address...and they will then electronically let us know it’s been received...and then we play the waiting game until the contact us to arrange the medical/interview...but I don’t exactly know what will happen during the waiting period, just that it’ll be a long wait! Does LA have a crazy wait time attached?

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On 12/4/2018 at 12:34 AM, missileman said:

Well, since someone mentioned me, I'll offer my analysis of K-1 vs CR-1.  Only you know your priorities, but it might be worth looking over this......

 

K-1

More expensive than CR-1    
Requires Adjustment of Status after marriage (expensive and requires a lot of paperwork)    
Spouse can not leave the US until she/he receives approved Advance Parole (approx 5-6 months)    
Spouse can not work until she/he receives EAD (approx 5-6 months)    
Some people have had problems with driver licenses, Social Security cards, leases, bank account during this period    
Spouse will not receive Green Card for many months after Adjustment of Status is filed.

 

CR-1    
Less expensive than K-1    
No Adjustment of Status  (I-485, I-131, I-765) required.    
Spouse can immediately travel outside the US    
Spouse is authorized to work immediately upon arrival.    
Spouse receives Social Security Card and Green Card within 2 or 3 weeks after entering the US    
Opening a bank account, getting a driver's license, etc. are very easily accomplished with GC, SS card, and passport.
Spouse has legal permanent Resident status IMMEDIATELY upon entry to US. 

My Final Analysis:  If you can marry your fiance in his/her country or outside the US, CR-1 is a much, much better option

Thanks for the insight @missileman - we definitely want to get married back in LA, because it’s where 90% of our friend’s/guest list are from - the extra cost/delay on working etc doesn’t matter too much - but it’s really valid food for thought! 👍🏻

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8 minutes ago, Zoeeeeeee said:

Thanks @ThomasNC1988.

 

I’m probably going to sound very underprepared here...but I know we send the petition etc to the general Dallas address...and they will then electronically let us know it’s been received...and then we play the waiting game until the contact us to arrange the medical/interview...but I don’t exactly know what will happen during the waiting period, just that it’ll be a long wait! Does LA have a crazy wait time attached?

The extremely long wait time in LA comes after you get married. Average right now look like maybe 12-15 months. You will be able to get your work authorization and travel document in about 6 months though unless things change. You can check out the AOS times here: https://www.visajourney.com/timeline/aoslist.php?vtype=&op8=Los+Angeles+CA&interview=&xfr=&op1=d&op2=&op3=&op4=1&op5=5%2C6%2C8%2C9%2C10%2C11&cfl=0

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