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About DaveAndAnastasia

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  • Birthday 01/17/1976
  • Member # 288879
  • Location San Diego, CA, USA

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    San Diego
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    Naturalization (pending)
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    Phoenix AZ Lockbox
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  1. The wrinkle in this is that apparently if your patronymic is not shown on your name change document (marriage certificate or other), then it's something of a pain to get your surname officially changed in Russia ... though this is apparently usually resolved by not officially changing your name in Russia (Anastasia is doing this).
  2. Those aren't really mutually exclusive, but you should apply for an SSN before getting married (mostly to avoid having to argue with people who may not have correct understandings of the law) and then change the name on the card after EAD (or green card, if there's not much time between the two so it's not worth bothering to update her social security card twice or your wife gets her green card without having received an EAD card first). Back in 2019, Anastasia applied for her SSN her second full day after POE (in downtown San Diego), and then we got married the day after that (in Temecula, because they were the 2nd-closest county clerk's office that did outdoor ceremonies and downtown San Diego's web site was full of warnings about parking availability). Also as minor aside, you'll want to be consistent in whether or not your wife uses her patronymic as a middle name in your paperwork; we kind of changed our minds on that between the K-1 application and the AOS application and the discrepancy meant we needed to get a supervisor involved to update her social security card even though Anastasia [my last name], Anastasia [her maiden name], and Anastasia [patronymic] [her maiden name] were obviously the same person.
  3. Because the USWNT frequently wins the Women's World Cup (of the 8 tournaments, they've won 4, made the final in one other, and finished 3rd in the other three) ... while the guys made the regular World Cup semifinals once in 1950.
  4. There are various short-term insurance plans available and you can decide for yourself if the coverage is good enough to be worth it for you, but if you're using a K-1 how you're supposed to (which is to say you already know you are going to get married, you're not treating it as a "trial period"), the best thing is to just get legally married ASAP and put your new spouse on your plan. And many employers will let you make coverage retroactive to your legal wedding date. So in our case Anastasia had no health insurance for ... three days. I think that was a manageable risk.
  5. UnitedHealthcare is one of the largest insurance companies in America (and what we have now and had since we were married, though my employer's changing for next year); you shouldn't have any trouble finding hospitals, doctors, and other medical service providers that are in-network for just about anything with them though of course you should check.
  6. I didn't say anything that was opinion. You can look at the numbers yourself; they're publicly available. If there's significant levels of fraud in marriage-based visas outside of a handful of countries (of which Russia and Ukraine are not on the list), there's not sufficient to prevent any significant number of visas from being issued, to deny AOS, or to deny removal of conditions on a conditional green card. It's possible there's a lot of fraud that USCIS and/or the state department are not able to prove, but the existence or lack of that is basically by definition not provable (I have a lot of doubts about people who remove conditions on a divorce waiver after a very short marriage with no kids, but they were able to prove their sincerity sufficiently for USCIS, and fraud which both parties are in on is extremely difficult to prove if they can keep their stories straight), and any speculations about such are basically guesswork. And it's certainly possible that a reason why couples broke up before a visa was issued was that the US citizen suspected they were being used for a green card. But again, that's speculation based on zero data; there are a lot of stressors on international relationships and many couples file after their first in-person meeting so it's hardly surprising that a non-trivial number of couples break up after filing a petition.
  7. In fact fiancé(e) and spouse visas see very little provable fraud in most countries (including Russian and Ukraine, which have a reputation for fraud that's not based on reality, or at least reality before Putin's adventures in Ukraine). At least on the K-1 side as of a few years ago when we were in-process, the overwhelming majority of petitions were approved, and while a significant fraction of approved petitions don't lead to issued visas, that's very rarely due to suspected fraud. The most common reason -- by far -- for a fiancé(e) visa petition to not lead to an issued K-1 is that the couple broke up and so either the petition was withdrawn or the beneficiary declined to apply for a visa. AOS applications from K-1 visa holders are almost never denied for anything other than paperwork errors, and the same goes for removal of conditions later on.
  8. Good luck. On one hand, the housing market is nowhere near as crazy now as it was last spring when we bought our place, so you may not have to deal with, erm, many other offers. On the other, interest rates are much higher now...
  9. Though if you can get refundable or minimal change fee tickets, that's less of an issue. And I think that's more common now than a few years ago (though not as common as at the height of covid). /back when Putin wasn't invading his neighbors and Anastasia's K-1 was in post-interview administrative processing, there was a point where there was basically no difference between a refundable ticket from Moscow to LA and a non-refundable one plus an extra checked bag (which the refundable ticket included), so I got her ticket then ... and she ended up with her visa in hand a few days before she needed to leave her hometown for Moscow on the original schedule.
  10. Yup. CR-1/IR-1 was always the better visa once you had it. K-1 used to be a better process if actually getting married prior to entry to the US was difficult (that's why we did one; young single Russians couldn't easily get tourist visas even in 2018, marrying in Russia was a pain, marrying in a third country would have taken another trip to somewhere we wouldn't have otherwise gone just to get married) and/or if you wanted to get to living together in the US significantly faster even if you had to then do AOS. However, since then ... Covid made it clear that fiancé(e)s' (as opposed spouses') needs won't be prioritized in emergencies Utah Zoom marriages made difficulties with marrying in some countries largely moot Processing time differentials have fallen a lot (when we first filed it took about twice as long on average to get to the US as a spouse vs a fiancé(e) -- ~9 months vs ~18 months; I understand the numbers are quite different now) ... and even back in 2018, I would have advised someone from a VWP-eligible country to do a CR-1 in most cases.
  11. Depending on what's involved in legally marrying a foreigner in Croatia (this is more complicated than you'd think in many countries), you might consider marrying in the US (Croatia is visa waiver program eligible, in most states marrying a foreigner quickly is pretty simple, and if you have documents in English to start with then you don't have to get them translated later for US immigration stuff) or doing a Utah Zoom marriage (perhaps while in Croatia) rather than getting legally married by Croatian authorities. It doesn't matter where you get married before starting the spousal visa process, as long as the wedding is legal there, being married to that person is legal where you live in the US, and you've been together in person between the time of the wedding and the time you file (aka online/proxy marriages don't count until consummated, but for immigration purposes that just means you're together in the same place at the same time).
  12. Unfortunately, the appropriate visa for what you're trying to do (visit) is the one that you were rejected for (B2). Perhaps some others here can advise how to best prove she has strong ties to Colombia and will return; normally a spouse (and maybe children) would be points in favor of intention to stay but as they'd all be American citizens I don't know how that would go. It doesn't make a lot of sense to go through immigrant visa (IR1/CR1) or immigrant-intent visa (K1) processing just to visit; they're expensive and take a very long time to process. The only way to make what you want to do easy (at least from a US immigration standpoint) would be to get married and come to the US (in whichever order, on the right visa for it), live here until she got US citizenship (minimum 3 years, probably closer to 4), and then come and go as you please.
  13. Congrats. Also thanks for letting me know they do same-day oath ceremonies here in San Diego. I had been trying to find out.
  14. Though I largely agree with your general conclusions, and wouldn't do a K-1 today ... we started the K-1 process three months after you did, and my wife got her 10 year green card in April and filed for citizenship in July. Granted, a big part of that was because San Diego was processing AOS relatively quickly in 2019. Since Zoom weddings were not a thing in 2018, though, I definitely don't regret doing a K-1. We wouldn't have been able to get together for a third-country wedding (there was no way we were marrying in Russia and as a young-ish single Russian woman, Anastasia was unlikely to get a US tourist visa) for another few months (we filed after I met her family in Russia, and would not have married before then even if it had been practical to do so anywhere we'd been together at), and at the time it was taking about 9 months for a K-1 and 18 for a CR-1 from petition to interview.
  15. I doubt it's typical, as my wife doesn't have a middle name (and using a Russian or similar patronymic as a middle name can cause issues some places and be useful in others, so it's a coinflip as to whether you should, but we didn't) and we never got anything with "NMN" in it. Did have a small issue because we put her patronymic as a middle name on the K-1 application and then didn't on AOS, which confused a social security administration worker when we got an updated card (as Anastasia [my last name] and with no 'valid for work only with DHS authorization' text).
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