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terry&mila

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    terry&mila reacted to Gary and Alla in I-751 evidence   
    I had the great opportunity to have dinner with a director of the VSC Saturday evening. A sit turns out his wife is Russian, came here on a K-1 and is now an aquaintance of Alla. So we had some great conversation. Our next step will be the I-751 and he has worked in his career as an IO who conducted AOS and lifting of conditions interviews and gave me lots of good information on evidence. Here are some things he likes to see and others which are "useless" in his words
    Good stuff
    Joint bank accounts, joint tax returns, joint ownership of property, cars. Joint leases. Joint insurance. Named as beneficiaries on life insurance and medical insurance. Joint credit cards. Any other joining of financial interests (the theory is that if one is willing to risk your property and money the relationship is more likely valid) Government documents showing common address, drivers lisence, etc. Photos are good, kind of expected, but NOT primary evidence.
    Children?
    Yes and no. If you just had a child together and the man is nothing more than a sperm donor...no. IF you have children, whether "together" or with a blended family and there is evidence that BOTH participate in the child's development and education, and care that is great! I told him I am listed on all of our son's school papers as parent, I am an emergency contact and I sign all the permission slips, etc. He is covered by my medical insurance. All good stuff. A birth certificate in itself ("Look we have a kid") does not prove a legitmate relationship. It is especially important that the school (an objective 3rd party) recognizes both people as "parents" and accepts this. Medical records for the child showing both people as parents. same reasoning. If a doctor will recognize and treat a child based on their knowledge of both being parents, that is pretty darn good evidence.
    Useless or not so useful stuff
    Magazine subscriptions together (WHAT??? "Yes, you would be surprised how many couples present a Sports Illustrated subscription as proof") Utilities, cards and letters from relatives, emails, chats etc. Theory? all of these can be easily faked and in themselves prove nothing. Utilities do not verify information before adding someone to an account and hey, it's the electric bill, you are going to pay the electric bill anyway. There is no financial risk involved, no commitment as in joint ownership. Affidavits from friends or family do not have a lot of weight. None of these things are BAD and in conjunction with other evidence are fine, but not enough to prove anything themselves.
    This is probably not news to a lot of people, but it was good to hear it from the "horse's mouth" anyway.
    Incidentally, I mentioned that we never had a question at any of our interviews and never were asked for any evidence and he said "Sometimes we can just tell. Whatever you did, whatever your body language or how you acted, the IO was immediately convinced you were legitimate" I cannot say what that was, unfortunately.
    Another question I asked, actually Alla did since she did not change her name
    Does it matter if the woman changes her name?: NO, not at all.
    About citizenship (Alla also asked)
    Can I be a dual citizen? Answer..."The United States does not recognize other citizenships. You are a US citizen or you are not a US citizen. Once you become a US citizen the United States does not consider you anything else. We will not take your passport from Ukraine and we will not tell Ukraine you are now a citizen of the US. If you want to keep your Ukraine passport and renew it in Ukraine when you are visiting, it is none of our concern"
    So the US has no policy and does not recognize any such thing as "dual citizenship" per se, but has no prohibitions from a person being a citizen of another country also, for the US you will always be considered a US citizen
    Can I use a Ukraine passport to enter Ukraine and a US passport to enter the US? Yes, no problem.
    What about stamps in the passport from the US or Ukraine?: The officers at the POE will ask where you have been, they rarely will look through all your exit stamps and really don't care. They are admitting you to the US, they really don't care if the country you LEFT stamped your passport, the US does not stamp passports on exit.
    I ask this because Ukraine does not allow dual citizenship and I do want to keep my Ukraine passport for ease of travel to Russia, etc, and also if we ever decided to return, we have property there, I could easily work, etc. I do not want to do anything wrong and get in trouble here. The US does not care about Ukrainian law regarding citizenship, that's between you and Ukraine, but WE won't tell. Unless there is some order from a court or something, we don't give out that information.
  2. Like
    terry&mila reacted to Gary and Alla in K-1 petition information   
    Hello All
    I had a great opportunity Saturday evening to have dinner with and spend several hours with a director at the VSC. He is currently in charge of the department that handles I-751s among other things. His wife is an adjusicator that handles YOUR petition (if it went through VSC). His wife is Russian, arrived on a K-1 and is now a citizen. This man has worked for USCIS for many years and was at several local offices before being assigned to the VSC. His wife is a friend of Alla's and we were all at a dinner party for several American/Russian/Ukrainian couples Saturday. We had a long chat, he was very open and helpful. We talked about a lot of the things we see here on VJ and I was trying to remember all the "usual questions" I read about and pin him down for some answers. I also have asked him if he will give an "official interview" for VJ. He said he will check out the site and I will call him later this week. So, anyway I will try to cover what we discussed, he was quite frank and direct in his answers, not rude, not at all, but he knows his stuff and answers without hesitation. It turned into an impromtu and fun "interview" with me trying to remember all the hot button issues I see on VJ
    I told him that the number ONE and number TWO "complaints" I see are Why is the VSC taking so long and why can't we get through to you guys?
    Why is VSC taking so long, what happened? I was approved in 58 days!: We had problem with labor last year and lost many workers, we hired more last November and it took some time to get them trained. Some of the petitions were sent to California and we also assign people to different tyopes of visas. They will concentrate on one tyoe, get behind on another and then shift many people back to the other type. Lately we have shifted many, almost all, adjudicators to I-129fs, so that should make people happy. They will do that until they get caught up. Summer is a busy time for I-129fs, usually about June we get slammed with them. The winter or early spring is the slowest time for I-129fs, but then it depends what they have everyone working on also.
    OK, why can't we get through to you? The 1-800 line is useless. Those are contract employees and they are trained to select answers from a menu of 14 answers. They pick which one is best for your question. There are thousands of visas being processed at any time and everyone is special and everyone has special circumstances and if we had direct lines we weould do nothing but field requests by petitioners to give them priority, we just can't do it. How would you feel if your petition got bumped because some woman called and cried on the phone and then her petition got moved up ahead of yours. We simply have to operate in a way that avoids any chance of fraud, corruption or unfairness.
    So what about some people get approved ahead of others? Sme petitions have problems or delays, we do not hold back others for this. If an adjudicator has problems, he puts that one aside or sends an RFE and goes on to the next. The next one may be clean and gets approved right away, in just a few minutes, they adjudicate 15-20 petitions a day per person, and the ones with problems may wait weeks for the petitioner to respond to the RFE, or maybe it is a name check they are waiting for. Petitions are assigned as they arrive, when we are working on those petitions, but they do not go out the door in the same order they came in.
    G-325a, Signed or Unsigned? Unsigned.
    WHAT? Ok I have seen the memo but lots of VJ members got RFEs for unsigned G-325s, what gives? They do not have to be signed,they can be signed at the consualte interview. Some adjusicators haven't read all the memos, we get hundreds of the things, and maybe they make a mistake. If you want to be sure there is no mistake, sign it. Or send a letter expalining why it is not signed and request it be signed at the interview. Do you have that memo?
    It is on the VJ website somewhere You can print a copy of that and send it with the I-129f and G-325a.
    Fiancee intent letter? Signed or unsigned? Signed.
    What about a faxed or emailed signature? When I was adjudicating, if I could see a signature, I accepted it, but many adjusicators will not. Signed is better.
    Lawyer or no lawyer? For what?
    Enough said. Now a hot issue, a very controversial one. There seems to be a trend in some countries of foreign men marrying American women and the women are considerably older. There is always a question if this is a problem. It never seems to be a problem for older men/younger women (My wife is 13 years younger, his wife is also considerable younger than him) Is it a problem? For us, USCIS, no. "Free to marry".
    What about the consulates or for AOS or I-751? Consulates do what they do, it is not USCIS, some of them are bastards. Kiev is easy, they approve everyone (laughs), they used to be bastards but they got easier since they first started doing those in 2005, before then you would have had to go to Warsaw, you know. For AOS if they can prove they are legitimate we do not care about age but anything that is "not normal" for the culture will draw suspicion. They probably will not get a no questions asked interview (I had told him our AOS was "no questions asked")
    What about birth certificates, some people have trouble getting them? This is a problem for us also. Some people, especially our younger staff, think all the world is like the USA. I remember one, when I was in the Kansas City office, the beneficiary was from Viet Nam, she was born in 1954 there was no birth certificate. The CO asked me about this and I looked at the file. I said "Do you know what was going on in Viet Nam in 1954?" She looked at me, straight faced and said "What, their computers were down?" If a birth certificate cannot be obtained they can usually get something from a church, a village official, something, and send that with a letter of explanation. Or just their passport and a letter explaining the situation (this applies to AOS more than I-129f as beneficiary birth certificate is not required for the petition, but I wanted to ask anyway, it seems a common question here)
    What about extra documents? Proof of relationship? We don't need it, only that they have met for the fiancee visa.
    What about the consulates? Consulates do what they do, as I said, some are bastards. They get whatever we get when it is sent on. I can't tell you what NVC and consulates do, I know some are terrible and some are really easy, but I do not know all the details of each. Kiev is easy, western Europe is easy, Nigeria is horrible, but you would not believe the scams from Nigeria, I get jaded. I am surprised a lot of them get visas and then we have to deal with them.
    I have to ask for a collegue, Ecuador? Bastards.

    What about changes? Are there any in the works? Is Obama ouching you guys to work faster? I am not sure Obama knows we exist. There have been no changes and no pressure other than the usual workload and shifting things around. I do not expect any immigration changes in the next year or two, at kleat not in rules or amnesty or anything like that. I do expect FEE INCREASES within the next year...across the board.
    How much more? I cannot say, that is not my area, I just hear talk.
    He added, "We try not to deny petitions, people really get angry and make lots of trouble. Denials usually come at the consulate or maybe AOS or sometimes even with the I-751. If we deny someone we need good reason, if they meet the criteria, we will approve it, they just have to give us what we need to approve them."
    So how can I speed up my petition? You can't really. If it gets to be too long and if you can get a congressman or senator to call, that will get some action, but half the time those guys dont'' call or they do and the petition has only been there 3 months. Sometimes one falls through the cracks, gets overlooked, we are human. A congressman can get through and get them to dig it out if it has been too long, but I wouldn't call that "speeding it up". That's a fix for whn it is too slow.
    we talked for some time more, about 5 hours altogether, briefly interrupted by Alla every now and again who had her own questions about the I-751 procedure which I posted in that forum, about VJ and other topics (his Navy days) He said he will check the site and gave me his home number. He said "call anytime but not 3 in the morning" I asked about an interview or answering prepared questions, he said possibly, he will check the site. He said many internet sites are advertisement for immigration attorneys or instructing people on how to pull scams, I assured him he would be very pleased with VJ and he thinks it is great that there is a good site for information and advice. (he never heard of VJ before this)
    I can also say, that speaking to him, I heard so many of the same buzzwords or advice that I have seen right here, this is really a great site with some great folks giving some really great info.
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