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Chris Cherian

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  1. Like
    Chris Cherian got a reaction from ahiari in IR-1/CR-1- Experience   
    Hi Y'all,
    First of all, Thanks to everyone who have helped me move along my IR1 Visa application. In January when I started applying for my wife's green card application (I-130), I was clueless like any other member who is looking for someone to shed some light on the path forward. All of it was Gibrish to me then but then I decided to get a Agent to help out with the documentation. This agent was not an Attorney but a guy who would help with typing the documents, putting the documents together and I was responsible for timely sending the documents and tracking the status of the document. I do not expect you to read through my journey timelines but here is my advice to those who are first timers
    1. The process is fairly simple but a time consuming one. Do not start counting down days when you start applying.
    2. Please do not be adventurous and ask your questions on Visa Journey as there are people who are a step ahead of you and they respond fairly quickly.
    3. It's your choice to get an Attorney/ an Agency to type and file documentation but always keep in mind that nobody else would want your wife/ fiancé here more than anybody so please keep tracking the progress and keep calling and enquiring USCIS about your case.
    4. If at any point, you feel your case in being delayed, call them "Every day" and email them about the case status. Always look for speaking to a Tier 2 agent when calling USCIS because the first agent to talk to is a customer care agent and they don't have any superior access more than what you see on the USCIS site.
    5. Once your NOA2 is accepted, please start working on all Civil documents. These could take time if you were to wait on getting these documents down the line.
    6. Do not leave it to fate. Your document processing depends on how fast you move with acquiring and sending it for processing.
    7. Don't be ignorant and be clear of what you're doing and do not assume what others have to say. The processes keep changing and every persons scenarios are different.
    8. The agents who look at your files go through thousands of documents a day. Look through the requirements, send all documents. A neatly and well organized paperwork literally gets credit for the hard work. You do not want to risk your case because of a missing document and bad mood of an Agent.
    9. Keep everything organized from day 1,Keep a copy of everything you send out.
    10. Please keep your information to the most current. Check for the Name Changes, Expiration dates of Passports, documents and If you do not have an email Address, I recommend you create one. Not like you get notified by email all the time. But you get some notifications via email.
    Processing Experience:
    Here is my processing experience. Please refer to my timeline for more accurate information. However, I do not guarantee the similar experience but wish it would be a less painful process for you. Please refer to the USCIS site for documents required for each phase.
    First Phase: (I-130 Processing)
    I got married on December 29th 2012 and I returned on the 6th of January 2013. I did not start the paperwork until 2 weeks later. I consulted an Agent who told me what documents are required to fill our I-130 forms. I gave them the information regarding us. To file I-130, I gave them a copy of mine and my wife's passports & birth certificates. They filled out the paperwork and I sent them out on 17th of January 2013. On 22nd January 2013, I received NOA1(Notice Of Action 1) which is an acknowledgement of receiving my paperwork by USCIS. It mentioned the Priority dates, Where you files are sent for Processing (National Benefits Center in my case). This is not an approval, it's just an acknowledgement.
    Then we waited hoping to hear back from USCIS in about 90 days-6 months for the I-130 processing. Here is where, I would call every week to find out of any progress in the paperwork. When you talk to the customer care at USCIS, they have no other information than the information available on the USCIS site available to you. In my wonderful experience, i found out its worth asking to be transferred to a TIer2 agent because, I was told one time by a regular agent that my case was transferred over to the Vermont Service Center. I was mad ticked off, all hell broke loose because Vermont had the worst backlog at that time. I called back half an hour later, got transferred to a tier2 agent and she confirmed the documents are still in processing at the NBC.
    February 27th 2013, is when I received my NOA2( Notice of Action 2) which mentioned that our I-130 was accepted and that our case would be transferred over to the National Visa Center. What this means to you is that they have just accepted it and still need further decision making. I called my Agent to know what this means and I was told " Congrats Beta (Son in Hindi), call me when you get an email about the $88.00 fee". At this time, I was like what does this mean, I contacted USCIS enquiring about the $88 payment and they told me that the payment is for the National Visa Center and I would be notified via email to make the payment once the National Visa Center received my case.
    Second Phase: ( National Visa Center)
    Finally, Sometime in April, I received the email for the payment. I made the payment on the travel.gov site. If you do not know your NVC case # and Invoice #, please contact the NVC and they would provide you with this information. I went to my Agent to get the rest of the paper work done. My Agent filled out the Choice of Agent form and the Affidavit of Support(I-864) together and asked me to send it out. The documents needed for AOS (I-864) was my 2012 tax returns and my last 6 pay stubs. I got the letter from my employer as well to show my annual income. Since my salary was above the limit (Please check the site for the salary limit), I did not require any additional sponsorship. I sent both documents together and I waited for the next step in the process.
    In about less than 10 days I received another email to make the payment for the next step DS-230. This is a tricky process. I am a US Citizen and my wife's Indian. By the rules of India, They are required to give PCC's. One is a Passport Clearance Certificate and the other is a Police Clearance Certificate. Nobody in India has a clue about what the difference between the 2 is and where to acquire these document. If you have a valid Indian passport, go to the nearest Passport Office and you can apply for a PCC(Passport Clearance Certificate). If you have a recently issued passport this process would not take more than a day. If you have a passport issued over 6 months to an year, I believe they would do a police verification.
    The Police Clearance Certificate is acquired from the Commissioner's office or from the rural SP Office. Please be aware that they are looking mainly for the past 5 years and hence apply from the location that you have been living in the past 5 years. If you have moved around for work and have relocated and lived in other places for long, it's safe to get the clearance from these places as well. One recommendation would be to get a local clearance from the local police station before applying because the Office of the Police Commissioner always assigns the case to the local police and this would help build a stronger case for you. But finally we acquired all the PCC's and my wife mailed them out by DHL (2 day shipping- Costed her Rs3000/$50).
    I met with my Agent, gave them the documents, Originals of Mine and Her Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, PCC's received. Finally mailed out the documents on May 5th 2013.
    And we waited, I called on May 17th 2013 and was told my case was closed on May 15th 2013 and they are looking for an Interview date at the consulate. I waited for like 20 days and I was notified that our Interview date was for the 2X th of July 2013. I was a bit upset but still it's a waiting game.
    Third Phase: (Interview Process)
    We got ready for the Interview, I sent my wife copies of all the documents I had sent out. I-130,AOS, DS-230, Copy of the Appointment Letter. We managed to get everything set up on the Travel site. Created a profile, looked through the reviews of the Mumbai consulate, seemed pretty positive but did not want to take chances on anything. We got our wedding album, tons of pictures and copies of all documents in case we were asked to provide.
    2 weeks before the Interview my wife got a call from the consulate saying they had to reschedule our interview for the 3X of July 2013. When asked for a reason, they wouldn't give one and told her it was due to the holidays. My naive wife accepted the fact and called me up to update me. it was 5 am and was not expecting this at all. I called the Consulate and told them I am not backing out since I am not aware of any Indian/ American holidays falling in the time frame and that we had booked tickets for the interview as per the appointment letter. I was asked to send an email to the consulate. I wrote them a detailed letter with the calculated costs and losses and requested them to pre-pone the dates if possible. Finally I received and email saying, I got my interview date back for the original interview date 2Xth of July 2013. Honest to god, I was scared what I was going to be facing at the time of the Interview.
    On the day of the it was not bad, there were a lot of people waiting to be Interviewed. Please check the Visa journey Mumbai consulate reviews for more Interview questions. it's the same questions repeated over and over again. "How do you know", What do you like about him?, How many people came to the wedding.... blah blah blah... One advice is.. Stay Confident, smile always, be pleasant, prepare well, think before you jump into the answer, if you do not understand the question, ask them to repeat the question. At the end of the interview, she was told she was approved and she should be receiving the visa package in a week's timeframe.
    After 2 days, we had to track her passport and realized that the "track my passport" option do not work if you cut and copy the passport #. You have to key it in to get more accurate updates.
    Finally she picked up the passport. Made sure the details are correct and picked up the Visa package.
    Once the Alien # was received and the package was picked up, I made the payment of $165 to receive the green card in mail.
    My wife would be travelling over soon and finally the waiting journey ends soon!!! Please contact me if you have any questions. I am not an expert but I can definitely help/ find somebody who can help.
    Thanks,
    Chris
  2. Like
    Chris Cherian got a reaction from Kolewenoik31 in IR-1/CR-1- Experience   
    Hi Y'all,
    First of all, Thanks to everyone who have helped me move along my IR1 Visa application. In January when I started applying for my wife's green card application (I-130), I was clueless like any other member who is looking for someone to shed some light on the path forward. All of it was Gibrish to me then but then I decided to get a Agent to help out with the documentation. This agent was not an Attorney but a guy who would help with typing the documents, putting the documents together and I was responsible for timely sending the documents and tracking the status of the document. I do not expect you to read through my journey timelines but here is my advice to those who are first timers
    1. The process is fairly simple but a time consuming one. Do not start counting down days when you start applying.
    2. Please do not be adventurous and ask your questions on Visa Journey as there are people who are a step ahead of you and they respond fairly quickly.
    3. It's your choice to get an Attorney/ an Agency to type and file documentation but always keep in mind that nobody else would want your wife/ fiancé here more than anybody so please keep tracking the progress and keep calling and enquiring USCIS about your case.
    4. If at any point, you feel your case in being delayed, call them "Every day" and email them about the case status. Always look for speaking to a Tier 2 agent when calling USCIS because the first agent to talk to is a customer care agent and they don't have any superior access more than what you see on the USCIS site.
    5. Once your NOA2 is accepted, please start working on all Civil documents. These could take time if you were to wait on getting these documents down the line.
    6. Do not leave it to fate. Your document processing depends on how fast you move with acquiring and sending it for processing.
    7. Don't be ignorant and be clear of what you're doing and do not assume what others have to say. The processes keep changing and every persons scenarios are different.
    8. The agents who look at your files go through thousands of documents a day. Look through the requirements, send all documents. A neatly and well organized paperwork literally gets credit for the hard work. You do not want to risk your case because of a missing document and bad mood of an Agent.
    9. Keep everything organized from day 1,Keep a copy of everything you send out.
    10. Please keep your information to the most current. Check for the Name Changes, Expiration dates of Passports, documents and If you do not have an email Address, I recommend you create one. Not like you get notified by email all the time. But you get some notifications via email.
    Processing Experience:
    Here is my processing experience. Please refer to my timeline for more accurate information. However, I do not guarantee the similar experience but wish it would be a less painful process for you. Please refer to the USCIS site for documents required for each phase.
    First Phase: (I-130 Processing)
    I got married on December 29th 2012 and I returned on the 6th of January 2013. I did not start the paperwork until 2 weeks later. I consulted an Agent who told me what documents are required to fill our I-130 forms. I gave them the information regarding us. To file I-130, I gave them a copy of mine and my wife's passports & birth certificates. They filled out the paperwork and I sent them out on 17th of January 2013. On 22nd January 2013, I received NOA1(Notice Of Action 1) which is an acknowledgement of receiving my paperwork by USCIS. It mentioned the Priority dates, Where you files are sent for Processing (National Benefits Center in my case). This is not an approval, it's just an acknowledgement.
    Then we waited hoping to hear back from USCIS in about 90 days-6 months for the I-130 processing. Here is where, I would call every week to find out of any progress in the paperwork. When you talk to the customer care at USCIS, they have no other information than the information available on the USCIS site available to you. In my wonderful experience, i found out its worth asking to be transferred to a TIer2 agent because, I was told one time by a regular agent that my case was transferred over to the Vermont Service Center. I was mad ticked off, all hell broke loose because Vermont had the worst backlog at that time. I called back half an hour later, got transferred to a tier2 agent and she confirmed the documents are still in processing at the NBC.
    February 27th 2013, is when I received my NOA2( Notice of Action 2) which mentioned that our I-130 was accepted and that our case would be transferred over to the National Visa Center. What this means to you is that they have just accepted it and still need further decision making. I called my Agent to know what this means and I was told " Congrats Beta (Son in Hindi), call me when you get an email about the $88.00 fee". At this time, I was like what does this mean, I contacted USCIS enquiring about the $88 payment and they told me that the payment is for the National Visa Center and I would be notified via email to make the payment once the National Visa Center received my case.
    Second Phase: ( National Visa Center)
    Finally, Sometime in April, I received the email for the payment. I made the payment on the travel.gov site. If you do not know your NVC case # and Invoice #, please contact the NVC and they would provide you with this information. I went to my Agent to get the rest of the paper work done. My Agent filled out the Choice of Agent form and the Affidavit of Support(I-864) together and asked me to send it out. The documents needed for AOS (I-864) was my 2012 tax returns and my last 6 pay stubs. I got the letter from my employer as well to show my annual income. Since my salary was above the limit (Please check the site for the salary limit), I did not require any additional sponsorship. I sent both documents together and I waited for the next step in the process.
    In about less than 10 days I received another email to make the payment for the next step DS-230. This is a tricky process. I am a US Citizen and my wife's Indian. By the rules of India, They are required to give PCC's. One is a Passport Clearance Certificate and the other is a Police Clearance Certificate. Nobody in India has a clue about what the difference between the 2 is and where to acquire these document. If you have a valid Indian passport, go to the nearest Passport Office and you can apply for a PCC(Passport Clearance Certificate). If you have a recently issued passport this process would not take more than a day. If you have a passport issued over 6 months to an year, I believe they would do a police verification.
    The Police Clearance Certificate is acquired from the Commissioner's office or from the rural SP Office. Please be aware that they are looking mainly for the past 5 years and hence apply from the location that you have been living in the past 5 years. If you have moved around for work and have relocated and lived in other places for long, it's safe to get the clearance from these places as well. One recommendation would be to get a local clearance from the local police station before applying because the Office of the Police Commissioner always assigns the case to the local police and this would help build a stronger case for you. But finally we acquired all the PCC's and my wife mailed them out by DHL (2 day shipping- Costed her Rs3000/$50).
    I met with my Agent, gave them the documents, Originals of Mine and Her Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, PCC's received. Finally mailed out the documents on May 5th 2013.
    And we waited, I called on May 17th 2013 and was told my case was closed on May 15th 2013 and they are looking for an Interview date at the consulate. I waited for like 20 days and I was notified that our Interview date was for the 2X th of July 2013. I was a bit upset but still it's a waiting game.
    Third Phase: (Interview Process)
    We got ready for the Interview, I sent my wife copies of all the documents I had sent out. I-130,AOS, DS-230, Copy of the Appointment Letter. We managed to get everything set up on the Travel site. Created a profile, looked through the reviews of the Mumbai consulate, seemed pretty positive but did not want to take chances on anything. We got our wedding album, tons of pictures and copies of all documents in case we were asked to provide.
    2 weeks before the Interview my wife got a call from the consulate saying they had to reschedule our interview for the 3X of July 2013. When asked for a reason, they wouldn't give one and told her it was due to the holidays. My naive wife accepted the fact and called me up to update me. it was 5 am and was not expecting this at all. I called the Consulate and told them I am not backing out since I am not aware of any Indian/ American holidays falling in the time frame and that we had booked tickets for the interview as per the appointment letter. I was asked to send an email to the consulate. I wrote them a detailed letter with the calculated costs and losses and requested them to pre-pone the dates if possible. Finally I received and email saying, I got my interview date back for the original interview date 2Xth of July 2013. Honest to god, I was scared what I was going to be facing at the time of the Interview.
    On the day of the it was not bad, there were a lot of people waiting to be Interviewed. Please check the Visa journey Mumbai consulate reviews for more Interview questions. it's the same questions repeated over and over again. "How do you know", What do you like about him?, How many people came to the wedding.... blah blah blah... One advice is.. Stay Confident, smile always, be pleasant, prepare well, think before you jump into the answer, if you do not understand the question, ask them to repeat the question. At the end of the interview, she was told she was approved and she should be receiving the visa package in a week's timeframe.
    After 2 days, we had to track her passport and realized that the "track my passport" option do not work if you cut and copy the passport #. You have to key it in to get more accurate updates.
    Finally she picked up the passport. Made sure the details are correct and picked up the Visa package.
    Once the Alien # was received and the package was picked up, I made the payment of $165 to receive the green card in mail.
    My wife would be travelling over soon and finally the waiting journey ends soon!!! Please contact me if you have any questions. I am not an expert but I can definitely help/ find somebody who can help.
    Thanks,
    Chris
  3. Like
    Chris Cherian got a reaction from Aisha& Wajid in IR-1/CR-1- Experience   
    Hi Y'all,
    First of all, Thanks to everyone who have helped me move along my IR1 Visa application. In January when I started applying for my wife's green card application (I-130), I was clueless like any other member who is looking for someone to shed some light on the path forward. All of it was Gibrish to me then but then I decided to get a Agent to help out with the documentation. This agent was not an Attorney but a guy who would help with typing the documents, putting the documents together and I was responsible for timely sending the documents and tracking the status of the document. I do not expect you to read through my journey timelines but here is my advice to those who are first timers
    1. The process is fairly simple but a time consuming one. Do not start counting down days when you start applying.
    2. Please do not be adventurous and ask your questions on Visa Journey as there are people who are a step ahead of you and they respond fairly quickly.
    3. It's your choice to get an Attorney/ an Agency to type and file documentation but always keep in mind that nobody else would want your wife/ fiancé here more than anybody so please keep tracking the progress and keep calling and enquiring USCIS about your case.
    4. If at any point, you feel your case in being delayed, call them "Every day" and email them about the case status. Always look for speaking to a Tier 2 agent when calling USCIS because the first agent to talk to is a customer care agent and they don't have any superior access more than what you see on the USCIS site.
    5. Once your NOA2 is accepted, please start working on all Civil documents. These could take time if you were to wait on getting these documents down the line.
    6. Do not leave it to fate. Your document processing depends on how fast you move with acquiring and sending it for processing.
    7. Don't be ignorant and be clear of what you're doing and do not assume what others have to say. The processes keep changing and every persons scenarios are different.
    8. The agents who look at your files go through thousands of documents a day. Look through the requirements, send all documents. A neatly and well organized paperwork literally gets credit for the hard work. You do not want to risk your case because of a missing document and bad mood of an Agent.
    9. Keep everything organized from day 1,Keep a copy of everything you send out.
    10. Please keep your information to the most current. Check for the Name Changes, Expiration dates of Passports, documents and If you do not have an email Address, I recommend you create one. Not like you get notified by email all the time. But you get some notifications via email.
    Processing Experience:
    Here is my processing experience. Please refer to my timeline for more accurate information. However, I do not guarantee the similar experience but wish it would be a less painful process for you. Please refer to the USCIS site for documents required for each phase.
    First Phase: (I-130 Processing)
    I got married on December 29th 2012 and I returned on the 6th of January 2013. I did not start the paperwork until 2 weeks later. I consulted an Agent who told me what documents are required to fill our I-130 forms. I gave them the information regarding us. To file I-130, I gave them a copy of mine and my wife's passports & birth certificates. They filled out the paperwork and I sent them out on 17th of January 2013. On 22nd January 2013, I received NOA1(Notice Of Action 1) which is an acknowledgement of receiving my paperwork by USCIS. It mentioned the Priority dates, Where you files are sent for Processing (National Benefits Center in my case). This is not an approval, it's just an acknowledgement.
    Then we waited hoping to hear back from USCIS in about 90 days-6 months for the I-130 processing. Here is where, I would call every week to find out of any progress in the paperwork. When you talk to the customer care at USCIS, they have no other information than the information available on the USCIS site available to you. In my wonderful experience, i found out its worth asking to be transferred to a TIer2 agent because, I was told one time by a regular agent that my case was transferred over to the Vermont Service Center. I was mad ticked off, all hell broke loose because Vermont had the worst backlog at that time. I called back half an hour later, got transferred to a tier2 agent and she confirmed the documents are still in processing at the NBC.
    February 27th 2013, is when I received my NOA2( Notice of Action 2) which mentioned that our I-130 was accepted and that our case would be transferred over to the National Visa Center. What this means to you is that they have just accepted it and still need further decision making. I called my Agent to know what this means and I was told " Congrats Beta (Son in Hindi), call me when you get an email about the $88.00 fee". At this time, I was like what does this mean, I contacted USCIS enquiring about the $88 payment and they told me that the payment is for the National Visa Center and I would be notified via email to make the payment once the National Visa Center received my case.
    Second Phase: ( National Visa Center)
    Finally, Sometime in April, I received the email for the payment. I made the payment on the travel.gov site. If you do not know your NVC case # and Invoice #, please contact the NVC and they would provide you with this information. I went to my Agent to get the rest of the paper work done. My Agent filled out the Choice of Agent form and the Affidavit of Support(I-864) together and asked me to send it out. The documents needed for AOS (I-864) was my 2012 tax returns and my last 6 pay stubs. I got the letter from my employer as well to show my annual income. Since my salary was above the limit (Please check the site for the salary limit), I did not require any additional sponsorship. I sent both documents together and I waited for the next step in the process.
    In about less than 10 days I received another email to make the payment for the next step DS-230. This is a tricky process. I am a US Citizen and my wife's Indian. By the rules of India, They are required to give PCC's. One is a Passport Clearance Certificate and the other is a Police Clearance Certificate. Nobody in India has a clue about what the difference between the 2 is and where to acquire these document. If you have a valid Indian passport, go to the nearest Passport Office and you can apply for a PCC(Passport Clearance Certificate). If you have a recently issued passport this process would not take more than a day. If you have a passport issued over 6 months to an year, I believe they would do a police verification.
    The Police Clearance Certificate is acquired from the Commissioner's office or from the rural SP Office. Please be aware that they are looking mainly for the past 5 years and hence apply from the location that you have been living in the past 5 years. If you have moved around for work and have relocated and lived in other places for long, it's safe to get the clearance from these places as well. One recommendation would be to get a local clearance from the local police station before applying because the Office of the Police Commissioner always assigns the case to the local police and this would help build a stronger case for you. But finally we acquired all the PCC's and my wife mailed them out by DHL (2 day shipping- Costed her Rs3000/$50).
    I met with my Agent, gave them the documents, Originals of Mine and Her Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate, PCC's received. Finally mailed out the documents on May 5th 2013.
    And we waited, I called on May 17th 2013 and was told my case was closed on May 15th 2013 and they are looking for an Interview date at the consulate. I waited for like 20 days and I was notified that our Interview date was for the 2X th of July 2013. I was a bit upset but still it's a waiting game.
    Third Phase: (Interview Process)
    We got ready for the Interview, I sent my wife copies of all the documents I had sent out. I-130,AOS, DS-230, Copy of the Appointment Letter. We managed to get everything set up on the Travel site. Created a profile, looked through the reviews of the Mumbai consulate, seemed pretty positive but did not want to take chances on anything. We got our wedding album, tons of pictures and copies of all documents in case we were asked to provide.
    2 weeks before the Interview my wife got a call from the consulate saying they had to reschedule our interview for the 3X of July 2013. When asked for a reason, they wouldn't give one and told her it was due to the holidays. My naive wife accepted the fact and called me up to update me. it was 5 am and was not expecting this at all. I called the Consulate and told them I am not backing out since I am not aware of any Indian/ American holidays falling in the time frame and that we had booked tickets for the interview as per the appointment letter. I was asked to send an email to the consulate. I wrote them a detailed letter with the calculated costs and losses and requested them to pre-pone the dates if possible. Finally I received and email saying, I got my interview date back for the original interview date 2Xth of July 2013. Honest to god, I was scared what I was going to be facing at the time of the Interview.
    On the day of the it was not bad, there were a lot of people waiting to be Interviewed. Please check the Visa journey Mumbai consulate reviews for more Interview questions. it's the same questions repeated over and over again. "How do you know", What do you like about him?, How many people came to the wedding.... blah blah blah... One advice is.. Stay Confident, smile always, be pleasant, prepare well, think before you jump into the answer, if you do not understand the question, ask them to repeat the question. At the end of the interview, she was told she was approved and she should be receiving the visa package in a week's timeframe.
    After 2 days, we had to track her passport and realized that the "track my passport" option do not work if you cut and copy the passport #. You have to key it in to get more accurate updates.
    Finally she picked up the passport. Made sure the details are correct and picked up the Visa package.
    Once the Alien # was received and the package was picked up, I made the payment of $165 to receive the green card in mail.
    My wife would be travelling over soon and finally the waiting journey ends soon!!! Please contact me if you have any questions. I am not an expert but I can definitely help/ find somebody who can help.
    Thanks,
    Chris
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