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Don4593

CR-1 visa from abroad in a country without services

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Posted on here before. 

My wife and I recently became married. I am a U.S. Citizen. She is a citizen of Russia. We BOTH live and reside in Russia. We cannot apply for a CR-1 visa in Russia because they closed the Moscow office. This means I need to apply stateside. 

As far as I understood this is what I need:

Petition for Alien Relative
A copy of the U.S. citizen’s birth certificate or a copy of all the pages of his/her passport
A copy of the marriage certificate
Documentation that shows any previous marriages have been legally terminated (divorce documents or a previous spouse’s death certificate if deceased)
Evidence of a legitimate marriage 

Now, I can give them copies of these things, but they'll be in Russian. We got married in Russia. 
How does my wife (and me for that matter) prove we've never been married before?  
What evidence can we provided the government of our marriage? We are on one RUSSIAN bank account together. We share no bills. 

And all of this will be in Russian anyways. 

Also, how is she ever going to be able to do a visa interview if the Moscow office is closed and she can't go to America?

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16 minutes ago, Don4593 said:

This means I need to apply stateside. 

Yes, that is correct.

 

17 minutes ago, Don4593 said:

Now, I can give them copies of these things, but they'll be in Russian. We got married in Russia. 

Anything not in English will have to be translated into English. 

 

17 minutes ago, Don4593 said:

How does my wife (and me for that matter) prove we've never been married before?

No, you don't have to prove that. If you (or her) were previously married, they want evidence of that marriage was legally terminated. If you weren't not previously married, obviously there is nothing to submit.

 

19 minutes ago, Don4593 said:

What evidence can we provided the government of our marriage? We are on one RUSSIAN bank account together. We share no bills. 

That joint bank account is good evidence. How about some pictures together. Some, not a lot. Do you live in the same house? Do you own the house or rent? If own, who's on the deed? If rent, are both your names on the lease? Having both names on shared properties are also powerful evidence. Do people in Russia have health insurance? Do both your names on the policy? What about life insurance? Can you buy them and name the other as beneficiary? Life insurance is very cheap in the US, in the neighborhood of $20ish per month for $500,000. That is also powerful evidence. What about credit card? How easy is it to open a credit card with both your names on it?

 

The other thing, have you been filed US taxes? As a US citizen, you are required to filed taxes every year with the IRS on your worldwide income, regardless of where you're physically located, unless you didn't make enough money so you're exempt. This year for sure, you will have to file taxes as married with your wife. 

 

28 minutes ago, Don4593 said:

Also, how is she ever going to be able to do a visa interview if the Moscow office is closed and she can't go to America?

The USCIS office may close, but the Embassy is not close. They still issue visas our of the Embassy/Consulate. 

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Thanks for the quick reply. 

If anything needs to be translated into English. Can I do it? Will they accept an translation from a notary in Russia to English? 

As for proof, can I give them links to our social media or should I literally print out photos and what not? 

And unfortunately, we have don't share anything other that than one bank account. This is largely because I still don't have legal residency in Russia (waiting). 

Anyways, thanks for all of the info. I think I've got the main idea and how to proceed

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Your best bona fide marriage evidence is that you are living together. Time spent in person is the best evidence available.  👍

 

For USCIS, you can translate yourself. Just attach the statement certifying it: https://www.visajourney.com/content/translations/


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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1 hour ago, Don4593 said:

Also, how is she ever going to be able to do a visa interview if the Moscow office is closed and she can't go to America?

The Consulate issues the visa.   USCIS processes the petition stateside.


March 2, 2018  Married In Hong Kong

April 30, 2018  Mary moves from the Philippines to Mexico, Husband has MX Permanent Residency

June 13, 2018 Mary receives Mexican Residency Card

June 15, 2018  I-130 DCF Appointment in Juarez  -  June 18, 2018  Approval E-Mail

August 2, 2018 Case Complete At Consulate

September 25, 2018 Interview in CDJ and Approved!

October 7, 2018 In the USA

October 27, 2018 Green Card received 

October 29, 2018 Applied for Social Security Card - November 5, 2018 Social Security Card received

November 6th, 2018 State ID Card Received, Applied for Global Entry - Feb 8,2019 Approved.

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1 hour ago, Don4593 said:


Also, how is she ever going to be able to do a visa interview if the Moscow office is closed and she can't go to America?

Not the situation in Russia,  but in those situations where there is not an IV unit located in country,  you would be directed to another IV unit.   For example,  Belarus applicants interview in Warsaw. 


YMMV

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**Moved from What Visa Do I Need - Family Based Immigration to IR-1 / CR-1 Spouse Visa Process & Procedures**

 

:ot2:

 

6 hours ago, Don4593 said:

If anything needs to be translated into English. Can I do it? Will they accept an translation from a notary in Russia to English? 

As for proof, can I give them links to our social media or should I literally print out photos and what not? 

They will accept any translation as long as the person who translated it certifies that they have fluency/ability to translate in between said language and English.

 

Yes, you need to print out photos. For USCIS, everything that is not in English needs to be translated, that includes marriage certificates, etc....basically everything. 

 

Since you got married recently, focus on evidence related to that: receipts, invitations, photos, etc. 


03639.png                  

 🇷🇺  CR-1 via DCF in Moscow* (2016-2017) 🇺🇸 Info about my DCF experience here and here.

Spoiler

26-Jul-2016: Married abroad (USC + Russian husband) 👩‍❤️‍👨
21-Dec-2016: I-130 filed at Moscow USCIS field office*
29-Dec-2016: I-130 approved! Yay! 🎊 

17-Jan-2017: Case number received

21-Mar-2017: Medical Exam completed

24-Mar-2017: Interview at Embassy - approved! 🎉

29-Mar-2017: CR-1 Visa received (via mail)

02-Apr-2017: USCIS Immigrant (GC) Fee paid

28-Jun-2017: Port of Entry @ PDX 🛩️

21-Jul-2017: No SSN after three weeks; applied in person at the SSA

22-Jul-2017: GC arrived in the mail 📬

31-Jul-2017: SSN arrived via mail, hurrah!

 

*NOTE: The USCIS Field Office in Moscow is now CLOSED.

 

I-90 GC Replacment (for Erroneous GC)

22-Jul-2017: GC arrives in the mail – error in middle name 😕

01-Aug-2017: Sent in I-90 online via website

05-Aug-2017: Biometrics scheduled

23-Aug-2017: Biometrics done @ USCIS office; told to keep GC!

16-Jul-2018: RFE for original card!! 🤬

31-Jul-2018: USCIS Appointment at local field office..

22-Aug-2018: Mailed GC back to USCIS in response to RFE

29-Aug-2018: GC received by USCIS

17-Sep-2018: Received CORRECTED GC in the mail! Finally!! 😂

 

📑 I-751 Removal of Conditions - NBC (Apr-2019-???) 📝 MSC I-751 filers: Track your case here!

Spoiler

28-Jun-2019: Conditional GC expires

30-Mar-2019: Eligible to apply for ROC

01-Apr-2019: ROC in the mail to Phoenix AZ lockbox! 📫

03-Apr-2019: ROC packet delivered to lockbox

09-Apr-2019: USCIS cashed check

09-Apr-2019: Case number received via text - MSC 📲

12-Apr-2019: Extension letter arrives via mail

19-Apr-2019: Biometrics letter arrives via mail

30-Apr-2019: Biometrics appointment at local office

26-Jun-2019: Case ready to be scheduled for interview 

04-Sep-2019: Interview was scheduled - letter to arrive in mail

09-Sep-2019: Interview letter arrived in the mail! ✉️

17-Oct-2019: Interview scheduled @ local USCIS  

??-???-????: TBA.....

30-Mar-2020: N-400 early filing window opens! 🇺🇸

 

 

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When we applied for IR-1 for me,  I added photos of us and my relatives together, like some family gatherings and celebrations (shows that her family accepts you), photos from travels, post cards from his family in USA wishing us good holidays (shows that your family accepted your spouse), I had a car so I added my American spouse to car insurance. Wedding photos of course. We didnt have joint bank account, so I didnt show that.

Yes, you cannot file DCF, USCIS office in Moscow is closed, so common CR-1 / IR-1 path is for you. I`m not sure if it`s convenient to do paperwork from Russia, I think USCIS needs American address for communication - you will have to prove your domicile later anyway. You might ask some close friend or relative for help with correspondence and stay in Russia I suppose.

 


Shawn and Olga married in Russia May 7th 2013

IR-1 process

USCIS:

6/11/2015: Filed I-130 petition

6/13/2015: Delivered to Chicago Lockbox

6/15/2015: Petition is accepted by USCIS (California)

6/17/2015: NOA1 received via email/text

6/23/2015: NOA1 received via mail

8/18/2015: USCIS approved petition online - 63 days from NOA 1

8/22/2015: NOA2 received via mail

NVC:

9/8/2015: NVC received the case

9/22/2015: got case number and invoice number via phone

9/22/2015: submitted DS-261 Choice of agent

9/22/2015: paid AOS fee $120 - IN PROCESS

9/24/2015: AOS fee shows PAID

9/28/2015: NVC Welcome Letter is received (issued on Sept 21st)

10/1/2015: AOS package sent to NVC

10/5/2015: AOS package delivered to NVC

10/5/2015: SCAN DATE for AOS package

10/6/2015: confirmed DS-261 over the phone

10/7/2015: email from NVC - husband is chosen as agent and IV fee is invoiced

10/8/2015: paid IV fee $325 - IN PROCESS

10/8/015: IV package sent to NVC

10/10/2015: IV fee shows PAID

10/11/2015: submitted DS-260 and got confirmation

10/13/2015: IV package delivered to NVC

10/13/2015: SCAN DATE for IV package

11/24/2015: Case Complete at NVC

12/2/2015: Case Complete letter from NVC

EMBASSY:

2/10/2016: Interview scheduled for March 15th 2016 :dancing:

Medical exam scheduled on March 14th 2016

2/10/2016: Interview Letter Received (P4)

2/16/2016: CEAC shows CASE IN TRANSIT

2/18/2016: CEAC shows READY

3/14/2016: medical exam passed

3/15/2016: interview - APPROVED! Status ISSUED - Your visa has been printed.

3/17/2016: call from Pony Express - visa is delivered to my town

POE:

4/19/2016: Moscow - New York - Atlanta

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Don4593 said:

We BOTH live and reside in Russia.

Since you live abroad, you have some other things to consider at the NVC stage in addition to providing US tax returns or IRS tax transcripts for the most recent three years based on your world-wide income.  At the NVC stage which can be up to a year after filing the I-130 petition, you will need to also need to show that you have a US domicile or evidence that you intend to re-establish a US domicile, and sufficient US-based income to be her sponsor, or have a qualifying joint sponsor lined up for the I-864 affidavit of support.  Do more research on these two requirements now or after filing the petition so there are no surprises later in the process.  You may have to live in the US apart from your wife for a few months to satisfy both of these requirements.  And if you haven't filed prior years' tax returns while living in Russia you can do that now.  Good luck!

Edited by carmel34

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, Don4593 said:

Thanks for the quick reply. 

If anything needs to be translated into English. Can I do it? Will they accept an translation from a notary in Russia to English? 

As for proof, can I give them links to our social media or should I literally print out photos and what not? 

And unfortunately, we have don't share anything other that than one bank account. This is largely because I still don't have legal residency in Russia (waiting). 

Anyways, thanks for all of the info. I think I've got the main idea and how to proceed

Anyone fluent in both languages can translate and sign the translation.
 

You have a lot more than couples who marry and live apart while waiting for petition approval have because you physically live together.  
 

Your issue isn’t getting the petition approved, it’s meeting the US residency/intent to establish residency and the affidavit of support at the visa interview stage.

 

Go ahead and send in your petition to USCIS.  Basic info + a handful of wedding photos, records of your travel and length of stay there, records of shared banking there, should be more than enough.
 

https://www.uscis.gov/i-864

Read this now.  Within 6-8 months you need to either have a joint sponsor, about $100k in the bank in assets, or a job and address in the US that shows you make enough to support your spouse.

 

Edited by Nitas_man

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16 hours ago, payxibka said:

Do you have extenuating circumstances that is prompting your relocation?

I want to work in the U.S. again. As I understand, I need to have a job offer first. Don't even know how to go about all of this, seems like a bit much to coordinate everything with the government and a future employer.

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7 hours ago, Don4593 said:

I want to work in the U.S. again. As I understand, I need to have a job offer first. Don't even know how to go about all of this, seems like a bit much to coordinate everything with the government and a future employer.

You can get a job here and then she can join you. You don’t have to coordinate both. You’ll need a job to live here anyway unless your family will support you.

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10 hours ago, Rose711 said:

You can get a job here and then she can join you. You don’t have to coordinate both. You’ll need a job to live here anyway unless your family will support you.

And then we will live apart for a year? That's not an option for us.

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