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drakemarty

Online Service vs Immigration Lawyer - Pros/Cons

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I recently married my wife who is an Austrian citizen living in Austria (I am a US citizen, living in the US).

 

We are evaluating options to help/guide us with the CR-1 Spousal Visa and completing the I-130 and subsequent processes.

 

We have been looking at online services (mainly RapidVisa) but a friend recently recommended a immigration lawyer.

 

Which would you recommend?  Thanks!

 

 

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Neither. Read the guides, research the process & go DIY.


Entry on VWP to visit then-boyfriend 06/13/2011

Married 06/24/2011

Our first son was born 10/31/2012, our daughter was born 06/30/2014, our second son was born 06/20/2017

AOS Timeline

AOS package mailed 09/06/2011 (Chicago Lockbox)

AOS package signed for by R Mercado 09/07/2011

Priority date for I-485&I-130 09/08/2011

Biometrics done 10/03/2011

Interview letter received 11/18/2011

INTERVIEW DATE!!!! 12/20/2011

Approval e-mail 12/21/2011

Card production e-mail 12/27/2011

GREEN CARD ARRIVED 12/31/2011

Resident since 12/21/2011

ROC Timeline

ROC package mailed to VSC 11/22/2013

NOA1 date 11/26/2013

Biometrics date 12/26/2013

Transfer notice to CSC 03/14/2014

Change of address 03/27/2014

Card production ordered 04/30/2014

10-YEAR GREEN CARD ARRIVED 05/06/2014

N-400 Timeline

N-400 package mailed 09/30/2014

N-400 package delivered 10/01/2014

NOA1 date 10/20/2014

Biometrics date 11/14/2014

Early walk-in biometrics 11/12/2014

In-line for interview 11/23/2014

Interview letter 03/18/2015

Interview date 04/17/2015 ("Decision cannot yet be made.")

In-line for oath scheduling 05/04/2015

Oath ceremony letter dated 05/11/2015

Oath ceremony 06/02/2015

I am a United States citizen!

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Neither. You have found visajourney, that's all you need. And it's for free.


K-1: 12-22-2015 - 09-07-2016 (260 days)

AP: 12-20-2016 - 04-07-2017 (108 days)

EAD: 01-18-2017 - 05-30-2017 (132 days)

AOS: 12-20-2016 - 07-26-2017 (217 days)

 

ROC:

04-19-2019 - Earliest filing date

04-22-2019 - I-751 sent with USPS (AZ lockbox)

04-24-2019 - Delivered/Received date

04-30-2019 - Check cashed

04-30-2019 - NOA1 text/email (WAC)

05-03-2019 - NOA1 hardcopy/extension letter

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Unless you have some complicated case you can easily do all this yourself and save the money. No matter if you use online service or lawyer you have to give them all the info and they just fill out the forms for you which you can easily do yourself! 

 

There are guides on the top that guide you through the process and people will answer any questions you have.


K-1 + K-2:                                                                                                                                AOS from K-1 + K-2:

02/02/16....I-129F mailed to Lewisville, TX                                                                       08/25/16....AOS package mailed to Chicago, IL

02/03/16....Delivered at Lewisville, TX                                                                               08/26/16....Delivered at Chicago, IL

02/08/16....NOA1 Text & E-mail. Case sent to CSC                                                         09/01/16....NOA1 Text & E-mail

02/12/16....NOA1 Hard copy received                                                                               09/09/16....NOA1 Hard copy received

03/24/16....NOA2 (45 days)                                                                                                 09/15/16....Bio-letter received for K-1/K-2 for Sep. 26th

03/29/16....NOA2 Hard copy received                                                                               09/19/16....Bio appointment done (Walk-in)

03/31/16....Medical                                                                                                              11/01/16.....EAD/AP approved

05/26/16....Interview                                                                                                            11/16/16.....EAD/AP card received

06/10/16....Visa in hand                                                                                                       03/08/17.....AOS Approved - No interview

06/21/16....POE Atlanta                                                                                                       03/15/17.....Green cards in hand

07/30/16....Wedding                                                                                                    

                                                                                                                                       

 

ROC from K-1 + K-2:

12/08/18....ROC window opens

12/13/18....I-751 mailed to Lewisville, TX

12/14/18....Delivered at Lewisville, TX

12/20/18....Text with case number. TX service center

12/24/18....NOA1/Extension letter received

 

 

 

 

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You will find some horror stories on here about RapidVisa.


“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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As someone who has hired RapidVisa for help with my petition: Not worth it. Wished I had found this site before I paid for it. The customer service is either great or terrible or frustrating depending on what agent you're talking to at any given time. They have no actual first-hand experience with the visa process like the people on this website do. All RapidVisa knows is how to organize it and send it off (if you decide to pay them an extra $600 for it). And their advice, especially on evidence, is not great.

 

I've heard that lawyers are also not worth it. I have seen many people on here talk about their lawyers request very odd items from them for their visa, which weren't even required documents for the petition, or just make straight up awful mistakes and errors on their petitions. Many people with lawyers on here have also not been given very great advice from them.

 

Just like RapidVisa, not many lawyers have actually gone through the process first-hand. They know it, but they haven't done it themselves personally. And, all that either of them can really do is put together what you give them, you still have to find out all the information and prepare the evidence and everything else yourself. A lawyer can't really do anything for you other than prepare it and send it off, it won't be any faster or easier with a lawyer since you still have to do nearly everything yourself, and any questions you have, the people here can answer for free and usually more accurately and helpfully.


Our CR1 Journey So Far:
 

USCIS Stage:

  • Feb 8 2019: Sent package
  • Feb 14 2019: Delivered
  • Feb 21 2019: NOA1 (PD Feb 14, 2019)
  • Assigned to Nebraska Service Center (yay... 🙄)
  • Waiting for: NOA2

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3 minutes ago, Boiler said:

You will find some horror stories on here about RapidVisa.

Which is funny because there are ads on this site for RapidVisa saying "visajourney approved" on them...


Entry on VWP to visit then-boyfriend 06/13/2011

Married 06/24/2011

Our first son was born 10/31/2012, our daughter was born 06/30/2014, our second son was born 06/20/2017

AOS Timeline

AOS package mailed 09/06/2011 (Chicago Lockbox)

AOS package signed for by R Mercado 09/07/2011

Priority date for I-485&I-130 09/08/2011

Biometrics done 10/03/2011

Interview letter received 11/18/2011

INTERVIEW DATE!!!! 12/20/2011

Approval e-mail 12/21/2011

Card production e-mail 12/27/2011

GREEN CARD ARRIVED 12/31/2011

Resident since 12/21/2011

ROC Timeline

ROC package mailed to VSC 11/22/2013

NOA1 date 11/26/2013

Biometrics date 12/26/2013

Transfer notice to CSC 03/14/2014

Change of address 03/27/2014

Card production ordered 04/30/2014

10-YEAR GREEN CARD ARRIVED 05/06/2014

N-400 Timeline

N-400 package mailed 09/30/2014

N-400 package delivered 10/01/2014

NOA1 date 10/20/2014

Biometrics date 11/14/2014

Early walk-in biometrics 11/12/2014

In-line for interview 11/23/2014

Interview letter 03/18/2015

Interview date 04/17/2015 ("Decision cannot yet be made.")

In-line for oath scheduling 05/04/2015

Oath ceremony letter dated 05/11/2015

Oath ceremony 06/02/2015

I am a United States citizen!

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I block ads but that would concern me.


“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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No need for a "visa service" company or an attorney.  All they do is hire staff at low wages to ask you to collect all necessary documents and fill out all the forms (they can't do any of this for you, and even if they say they will fill out and submit the forms, you still have to send them all the information asked for on the forms anyway), and then charge you a bunch of money to do something you could easily do yourself and will have to do anyway even if you hire them...  Also, there are lots of horror stories here on VJ of people who have used visa services or attorneys, thinking it would "speed up" the process (why do you think they use the name "RapidVisa?") but these are fraudulent claims as they cannot speed up anything, the process is out of their hands.  And often they slow the process down when their low-paid clerks forget to submit a document, make a mistake, delay sending documents on your behalf, etc.  Essentially what you are doing when you hire someone to act as your "agent" in the immigration process, is you add another layer of bureaucracy to the the whole ordeal--a layer of bureaucracy that can slow it down, and that is out of your control.  It is so much better to do it yourself and be thorough and careful and follow all instructions and submit things quickly.  Attorneys are only needed when there is a legal problem to overcome like a deportation or problem with immigration in the past, a criminal record, etc.  Good luck and may the long process go smoothly for you!  My husband and I just received approval today for his I-130 petition after 7 months of waiting so we are very happy we did it ourselves, and we're now preparing our documents for the NVC stage.

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Nobody but the individual themselves can know if they have the ability, desire, or aptitude to do this process themselves.

 

The difference between an "online service" and "personal one on one service" is pretty obvious.  Your real question is not about online service vs lawyer.  It's about what kind of service is best for YOU.  If you want "service", Visa Journey has more than one partner.  https://www.visajourney.com/partners/


Facts are cheap...knowing how to use them is precious...
Understanding the big picture is priceless. Anonymous

Google Who is Pushbrk?

A Warning to Green Card Holders About Voting

http://www.visajourney.com/forums/topic/606646-a-warning-to-green-card-holders-about-voting/

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Didn't find the answer you were looking for? Ask our VJ Immigration Lawyers.

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