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Natalie25

Background check

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Hi,

 

This is probably a question that has been asked countless times before. 

 

I am British, engaged to a US Citizen. I will be starting the K1 process in July (I am currently in Law school in the UK and need to finish hence the delay). 

 

I have read so many horror stories on forums (and im an extremely anxious person). What do the background checks entail? Im assuming its basically whether an individual has committed any serious offences and whether the individual is a "wanted" person? I have actually applied for a police subject access request already and it is totally clear which I expected. Im not sure why i am so concerned just the unknown I guess!!!

 

Any advice will be appreciated! 

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The precise details of the background checks is a black box. But they are looking to ensure all crimes are disclosed properly and that none of the crimes of the petition are a bar for petitioning a fiance/fiancee.

 

When you get to the embassy stage, the beneficiary will present police certificate(s) to validate that they do not have any criminal offenses that are inadmissibility (i.e. CIMTs, trafficking drugs or people, etc.).

Note that cautions will appear here - caution = conviction for US immigration purposes.


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

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

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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24 minutes ago, Natalie25 said:

Hi,

 

This is probably a question that has been asked countless times before. 

 

I am British, engaged to a US Citizen. I will be starting the K1 process in July (I am currently in Law school in the UK and need to finish hence the delay). 

 

I have read so many horror stories on forums (and im an extremely anxious person). What do the background checks entail? Im assuming its basically whether an individual has committed any serious offences and whether the individual is a "wanted" person? I have actually applied for a police subject access request already and it is totally clear which I expected. Im not sure why i am so concerned just the unknown I guess!!!

 

Any advice will be appreciated! 

Once you apply and are approved by the USCIS (I'm not so sure on which background checks they do). 

 

You are required to get an ACRO police certificate for immigration purposes to take to your medical, this will show "NO TRACE" (no record whatsoever), "NO LIVE TRACE" (historical spent convictions), or something else if you have an active criminal offence. There isn't much to be concerned about and this is further down the line. 

 

The SAR (Subject Access Request) will contain anything (even like on the spot fines and what not), so if that is clean then your ACRO certificate will be. 

 


Met while I was on holiday:  11/01/2017

Agreed that we were an item: 11/09/2017

She said yes: 04/06/2018

Filed I129f: 06/09/2018

NOA1 dated: 06/14/2018

NOA2 dated: 11/29/2018

NVC Case #: Fianceé (USC) Called and received it: 01/08/2019

Case Shipped: 01/08/2019

Case Received: 01/15/2019

P3 Letter received: 01/19/2019

Medical: 02/08/2019

Interview: 03/11/2019 - Approved

Visa In Hand: 03/15/2019

US Entry: 05/11/2019 - DTW

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29 minutes ago, Natalie25 said:

HWhat do the background checks entail? Im assuming its basically whether an individual has committed any serious offences and whether the individual is a "wanted" person?

Criminal background checks, to see if you have a criminal records (minor traffic infractions don't count), just the bigger offenses. Immigration background checks, to see if you even been in the US, ever overstayed a visa and have a ban from entering the US, that sort of things. What exactly include in the background check is mystery. I've also heard maybe your profession might also be under scrutiny. I have a coworker/friend who is a pharmaceutical scientist and the project she was working on was a cancer drug that actually was used as a weapon of mass destruction during WWI. Oh yes, she went through a "longer than usual" background check. 

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Thank you for your replies. My SAR was no trace. I lived in Germany for a period of longer than 6 months so will make sure i get a clearance from there too. 

 

I suspect they look for the serious offences that are listed and therefore would be listed on an international database of sorts.  

 

I guess the unknown and the fact our lives and future is in the hands of someone else is slightly scary. 

 

I feel a little better now thank you 

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Just now, USS_Voyager said:

Criminal background checks, to see if you have a criminal records (minor traffic infractions don't count), just the bigger offenses. Immigration background checks, to see if you even been in the US, ever overstayed a visa and have a ban from entering the US, that sort of things. What exactly include in the background check is mystery. I've also heard maybe your profession might also be under scrutiny. I have a coworker/friend who is a pharmaceutical scientist and the project she was working on was a cancer drug that actually was used as a weapon of mass destruction during WWI. Oh yes, she went through a "longer than usual" background check. 

I gathered this.... i heard a story of someone "working" in a bar that was also scrutinised as to what work she actually did in the bar.... fortunately for me im a hotel receptionist part time and a 6 year law student... this is probably why i worry unnecessarily 😂

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3 hours ago, Natalie25 said:

Hi,

 

This is probably a question that has been asked countless times before. 

 

I am British, engaged to a US Citizen. I will be starting the K1 process in July (I am currently in Law school in the UK and need to finish hence the delay). 

 

I have read so many horror stories on forums (and im an extremely anxious person). What do the background checks entail? Im assuming its basically whether an individual has committed any serious offences and whether the individual is a "wanted" person? I have actually applied for a police subject access request already and it is totally clear which I expected. Im not sure why i am so concerned just the unknown I guess!!!

 

Any advice will be appreciated! 

I won't repeat the excellent advise you have received from others but would like to pose this question; Have the two of you consider getting married and going the CR-1 visa route? Here is a comparison between the two visa's.

 

K-1

More expensive than CR-1    

Requires Adjustment of Status after marriage (expensive and requires a lot of paperwork)    

Spouse cannot leave the US until she/he receives approved Advance Parole (approx. 5-6 months)    

Spouse cannot 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 fiancé outside the US, CR-1 is a much, much better option

 

Also, many of our answers are predicated on the information you supply in your profile. When we look at the left column and can't determine your timeline OR your Embassy it's hard for us to give you a factual answer. If you look at the profile of others here, they have a flag for their country, so it makes it easy for us to reply as we can quickly determine your Embassy. Our answers will sometimes be tailored to a specific Embassy hence the reason for you to complete your profile.

 

So, if you could help yourself out and complete your profile that sure would help us out when we want to reply to your question with factual information.

 

Go to the top right of this page select your name (it's on the upper right-hand corner)>my profile>[below your picture on the right column] edit my profile. Scroll to the bottom and fill in "Immigration Info". There now we can better serve you.

 

Thanks and good luck with your journey.

 

 


Spoiler

Adjustment of Status

AOS March 5, 2014 Submitted AOS with EAD/AP package to Chicago USICS

Delivered March 8, 2014 AOS packaged delivered to USCIS drop box

Accepted March 19, 2014 Text message with receipt numbers

Biometrics April 16, 2014 Biometrics completed

EAD May 23, 2014 Employment Authorization Document approved and went to card production

TD May 23, 2014 Travel Document approved and went for card production

Receipt EAD/AP May 30, 2014 Received combo card EAD/AP

Green Card Approved July 11, 2014 Approved, no interview. Went to card production.

Green Card received July 17, 2014 GC received without interview

Removal of Conditions

Mailed I-751 Dec 16, 2015 Submitted ROC (removal of conditions)

Received Dec 18, 2015 USPS notification of successful delivery

Check Cashed Dec 21, 2015 Check was cashed

NOA-1 Issued Dec 21, 2015 NOA-1 for ROC issued

NOA-1 Issued Dec 26, 2015 NOA-1 Received

Biometrics Appt. Jan 29, 2016 Biometrics Appointment Scheduled [Completed]

 

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5 minutes ago, Greenbaum said:

I won't repeat the excellent advise you have received from others but would like to pose this question; Have the two of you consider getting married and going the CR-1 visa route? Here is a comparison between the two visa's.

 

K-1

More expensive than CR-1    

Requires Adjustment of Status after marriage (expensive and requires a lot of paperwork)    

Spouse cannot leave the US until she/he receives approved Advance Parole (approx. 5-6 months)    

Spouse cannot 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 fiancé outside the US, CR-1 is a much, much better option

 

Also, many of our answers are predicated on the information you supply in your profile. When we look at the left column and can't determine your timeline OR your Embassy it's hard for us to give you a factual answer. If you look at the profile of others here, they have a flag for their country, so it makes it easy for us to reply as we can quickly determine your Embassy. Our answers will sometimes be tailored to a specific Embassy hence the reason for you to complete your profile.

 

So, if you could help yourself out and complete your profile that sure would help us out when we want to reply to your question with factual information.

 

Go to the top right of this page select your name (it's on the upper right-hand corner)>my profile>[below your picture on the right column] edit my profile. Scroll to the bottom and fill in "Immigration Info". There now we can better serve you.

 

Thanks and good luck with your journey.

 

 

We were originally going to go the CR1 route but it was more to do with me having 2 children and us wanting to get married in the US due to his family. 

 

I looked into both processes and will pay an attorney to do the processes for us.  I intend to still study from the UK whilst situated in the US so I don't have an urgency to work straight away. 

 

Thank you for the advice 

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7 minutes ago, Natalie25 said:

We were originally going to go the CR1 route but it was more to do with me having 2 children and us wanting to get married in the US due to his family. 

 

I looked into both processes and will pay an attorney to do the processes for us.  I intend to still study from the UK whilst situated in the US so I don't have an urgency to work straight away. 

 

Thank you for the advice 

The K-1 and K-2 (kids) is a pretty simple process and most here on VJ have processed theirs without an attorney. I believe the two of you could do the same with the abundance of guides and those here in VJ are willing to help with your questions.

 

Whichever you choose, I wish you the best.

Edited by Greenbaum

Spoiler

Adjustment of Status

AOS March 5, 2014 Submitted AOS with EAD/AP package to Chicago USICS

Delivered March 8, 2014 AOS packaged delivered to USCIS drop box

Accepted March 19, 2014 Text message with receipt numbers

Biometrics April 16, 2014 Biometrics completed

EAD May 23, 2014 Employment Authorization Document approved and went to card production

TD May 23, 2014 Travel Document approved and went for card production

Receipt EAD/AP May 30, 2014 Received combo card EAD/AP

Green Card Approved July 11, 2014 Approved, no interview. Went to card production.

Green Card received July 17, 2014 GC received without interview

Removal of Conditions

Mailed I-751 Dec 16, 2015 Submitted ROC (removal of conditions)

Received Dec 18, 2015 USPS notification of successful delivery

Check Cashed Dec 21, 2015 Check was cashed

NOA-1 Issued Dec 21, 2015 NOA-1 for ROC issued

NOA-1 Issued Dec 26, 2015 NOA-1 Received

Biometrics Appt. Jan 29, 2016 Biometrics Appointment Scheduled [Completed]

 

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10 minutes ago, Greenbaum said:

The K-1 and K-2 (kids) is a pretty simple process and most here on VJ have processed theirs without an attorney. I believe the two of you could do the same with the abundance of guides and those here in VJ are willing to help with your questions.

 

Whichever you choose, I wish you the best.

I am assuming the adjustment of status is just another part of the process for which i have to continue to prove a bona fide marriage... it seems frightening that the adjustment of status can be denied!!! 

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1 hour ago, Natalie25 said:

I am assuming the adjustment of status is just another part of the process for which i have to continue to prove a bona fide marriage... it seems frightening that the adjustment of status can be denied!!! 

Yes the AOS gives USCIS additional assurance that the marriage is still in good standing and you are abiding by the terms of the visa. There are a number of different scenarios that play out but most who do have a bonafide marriage, have comingled their assets are in the greater number who are approved. The others belong to a very small slice of the overall AOS process that get denied and are deported. But from what I have read from your posts here in this thread you seem to be doubtful if you can pass all the levels of scrutiny? That's an unknown that most of us can't answer but we are here to help you to make proper choices and to give you information or links to information that will answer your questions.

 

Overall, more couples then not have reached either the 10 year Green Card stage (who continue each 10 yr period renewing their GC) and for those others have gone on to attain citizenship which basically is the end of the line for immigration. After naturalization there is nothing more that needs to be done as you are now a US citizen, and with Citizenship all the rights that come with that are yours.

 

I was a little long winded with my reply but I hope you have the information to help in your decisions. 


Spoiler

Adjustment of Status

AOS March 5, 2014 Submitted AOS with EAD/AP package to Chicago USICS

Delivered March 8, 2014 AOS packaged delivered to USCIS drop box

Accepted March 19, 2014 Text message with receipt numbers

Biometrics April 16, 2014 Biometrics completed

EAD May 23, 2014 Employment Authorization Document approved and went to card production

TD May 23, 2014 Travel Document approved and went for card production

Receipt EAD/AP May 30, 2014 Received combo card EAD/AP

Green Card Approved July 11, 2014 Approved, no interview. Went to card production.

Green Card received July 17, 2014 GC received without interview

Removal of Conditions

Mailed I-751 Dec 16, 2015 Submitted ROC (removal of conditions)

Received Dec 18, 2015 USPS notification of successful delivery

Check Cashed Dec 21, 2015 Check was cashed

NOA-1 Issued Dec 21, 2015 NOA-1 for ROC issued

NOA-1 Issued Dec 26, 2015 NOA-1 Received

Biometrics Appt. Jan 29, 2016 Biometrics Appointment Scheduled [Completed]

 

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2 minutes ago, Greenbaum said:

Yes the AOS gives USCIS additional assurance that the marriage is still in good standing and you are abiding by the terms of the visa. There are a number of different scenarios that play out but most who do have a bonafide marriage, have comingled their assets are in the greater number who are approved. The others belong to a very small slice of the overall AOS process that get denied and are deported. But from what I have read from your posts here in this thread you seem to be doubtful if you can pass all the levels of scrutiny? That's an unknown that most of us can't answer but we are here to help you to make proper choices and to give you information or links to information that will answer your questions.

 

Overall, more couples then not have reached either the 10 year Green Card stage (who continue each 10 yr period renewing their GC) and for those others have gone on to attain citizenship which basically is the end of the line for immigration. After naturalization there is nothing more that needs to be done as you are now a US citizen, and with Citizenship all the rights that come with that are yours.

 

I was a little long winded with my reply but I hope you have the information to help in your decisions. 

Hi,

 

Not so much as doubtful more confused, which is why i decided to join this group. 

It just seemed that the adjustment of status form is almost if not identical to the ds160. I mean all the checks that are done to get the k1 visa will be done again? Even for example the criminal check for which i provide a police certificate for in the UK? Or is it incase someone gets into trouble for the time they are in the US? 

 

 

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1 hour ago, Natalie25 said:

Hi,

 

Not so much as doubtful more confused, which is why i decided to join this group. 

It just seemed that the adjustment of status form is almost if not identical to the ds160. I mean all the checks that are done to get the k1 visa will be done again? Even for example the criminal check for which i provide a police certificate for in the UK? Or is it incase someone gets into trouble for the time they are in the US? 

 

 

You are overthinking this, and if you are postponing filing the petition until July, you are a LONG time (possibly years) from having to worry about the AOS.

 

Like others have said, it really is not necessary to involve a lawyer for a straightforward case from a low fraud country.    All the info needed is found in the guides here on VJ, and on the check lists/instructions that accompany the USCIS forms.  

 

Is there some reason you are so fixated on the background checks?

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Just now, Jorgedig said:

You are overthinking this, and if you are postponing filing the petition until July, you are a LONG time (possibly years) from having to worry about the AOS.

 

Like others have said, it really is not necessary to involve a lawyer for a straightforward case from a low fraud country.    All the info needed is found in the guides here on VJ, and on the check lists/instructions that accompany the USCIS forms.  

 

Is there some reason you are so fixated on the background checks?

No reason other than i scrutinize every situation i like to know what im dealing with (or maybe its called controlling 😂) i have 2 young children and a fiancé i can't live without i guess theres alot riding on this process. 

He does have a very minor criminal offence from when he was 18 years old he's now 40 (a fight - which he will be obviously disclosing- he was arrested) we were assured isn't a major problem but absolutely needs to be disclosed.

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Hi Natalie -- fellow (former) English law student here! Just a heads up -- if you aren't doing a training contract or a pupillage after law school, bear in mind that you *may* need to do additional year(s) in law school if you wish to pass the bar and practice in one of the states. I say this as someone who is currently 2 weeks out from taking the California bar exam, which is pretty much the hardest one in the country. After I finished my LPC, I didn't do a training contract and went to work in investment management in London. Fast forward 10 years, and I found out that in California, where I live, I had to start over from scratch with a full JD! I worked full time and went to school part time for four years. YMMV -- some states will only require an extra year to "cure" the issue, and others are more loosey-goosey. 

 

Hit me up (after the bar exam) if you need any details. Of course if you don't intend to practice, you're probably smarter than I ever was. :P 

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