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ultrasoul

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About ultrasoul

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    Member
  • Member # 300674
  • Location Boston, MA, USA

Immigration Info

  • Immigration Status
    Naturalization (approved)
  • Local Office
    Boston MA
  • Country
    Malaysia

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  1. Looking at the IV issuance statistics for the US embassy in Manila, I'm surprised to see how little immigrant visas are being processed for the F2A preference when compared to other non-immediate family categories like F2B, F3 and F4. One would think that given F2A being prone to age-outs as well as being more "immediate" in family terms and nature than F2B, F3, and F4 that USEM would prioritize F2A above the other F categories. What am I missing here? Or is this just a function of the math- i.e. the number of F2A petitions are probably a drop in the bucket compared to the sheer volume of F2B + F3 + F4 and that USEM just playing catchup and working IV's on a first in first out basis
  2. I've been in your shoes so here's a few important information for you to know from my own in depth research & personal experience of securing PHL dual citizenship for our children: As long as your wife is still a PHL citizen, any children you have together while she is still a PHL citizen automatically qualifies for PHL dual citizenship. Because your children's mother was a PHL citizen during their birth, they are allowed to legally maintain PHL citizenship in addition to their US citizenship without the need for any renunciation to their PHL citizenship at any age. This is unique to PHL and some countries. Since your daughter was born in the US and her mother was still a PHL citizen at time of child's birth, all that's needed is to fill out the registry of birth (ROB form), notarize some forms, make photocopies of required docs, include a money order and return USPS label, and mail it off to your closest PHL consulate (they used to require in person interview pre-COVID; COVID made this easier sans in person interview). All info is on the PHL consulate website- clear and straightforward (emailing/ calling consulates on inquiries is a breeze as well). This took me a couple of hours super easy that there's really no point why you would not want to secure dual citizenship for your kids. Before you can register your daughter's ROB, you need to have a PHL marriage certificate. If you were not married in the PHL, you need to register your marriage (ROM) with the consulate as well. You can prepare both the ROM and ROB documents and send them in one package to the PHL consulate nearest you. After consulate completes the registry of birth (ROB), they will mail you back a certified copy which serves as proof of their PHL citizenship. The consulate will then transmit this recording to PSA Manila over the course of the next 2 - 4 months. Once PSA has the transmitted info, you can then order a PSA birth certificate on official security paper from the PSA website ($5 for local PHL address delivery or more for overseas delivery) Without a PHL passport, your kids can still enter PHL with their US passports. As I said the certified registry of birth issued by the consulate, or the ordered PSA birth certificate on official security paper, serves as proof of their PHL citizenship (needed at time of PHL passport application) You do not need to apply for your children's PHL passports at the US consulates. In fact, it is better to apply for their PHL passport when they return to PHL as you will save money. If your family will be in PHL for a period > 3 weeks, you can pick up their PHL passports or have it delivered to a local PHL address. If you do not get their PHL passports on time, you can it delivered to your wife's trusted family in PHL for safekeeping US does not care about multiple citizenships- you can have 2 or 3 or 5 citizenships in addition to US citizenship. If you are a US dual/ triple/ quadruple citizen, US CPB only requires you present only your US passport upon entry back to US. When you kids eventually get their PHL passport, when entering PHL you need to present both their US and PHL passports together. They can also use their PHL passports in countries where US passports are at a disadvantage (like Bali where US passports have to pay Visa on arrival fee but PHL passports do not, or like Brazil before Bolsonaro required US passports to pay hefty visa fee whereas PHL passports had 90 day visa-free entry) When your kids turn 18, any PHL passports issued to them is valid for 10 years. This was a change in law in 2018 which makes things so much easier. Believe it or not, the US 10 year passport validity for adults is not a common thing with most countries. When your wife naturalizes to become a US citizen, she technically loses her PHL citizenship which she can legally reacquire during an in-person interview at a PHL consulate. However, your children's PHL citizenship status IS NOT AFFECTED by your wife's US naturalization because their acquisition of PHL citizenship was at the time of their birth and cannot be taken away unless they voluntarily renounce their PHL citizenship.
  3. @K + R You are overthinking it. Malaysia consulate/ embassy only wants to see green card/ visa to know that you are here in the US legally. Just tell the Malaysia consulate/ embassy that you are single. As far as the Malaysia government is concerned, you are still single as you did not re-register your US marriage with the Malaysia government. @AliaAlia You can still register your marriage with the Malaysia government anytime- you just have to pay a whopping fine. Registering marriage is needed if you want your children to be able to inherit Malaysian citizenship.
  4. @Talako @javadown2 Because PHL passports are only issued in the PHL, applying for a new PHL passport at a PHL consulate/ embassy takes 6-8 weeks as the passports have to go from DFA Manila -> Houston Consulate -> Your house via USPS priority mail. As long as your wife is planning to be in the PHL for at least 3 weeks to be on the safe side, it's best to only apply for dual citizenship at the Houston consulate, enter PHL with her US passport, and then apply for a new PHL passport at a DFA office in the Philippines. You'll save money too- 950 PHP (~ USD $20) or 1200 PHP expedited (~ USD $25) compared to USD $60 + USD $7.95 priority flat rate if done at a PHL consulate/ embassy in the US. As I said on another thread- if you both have children and you want your children to acquire PHL citizenship (in addition to their US citizenship), you will need to re-register both your marriage and birth of your children that took place outside PHL with the PHL consulate/ embassy in the US. COVID has made this process much easier- there used to be an in-person appointment required of these 2 processes but now mail in is allowed (at least for states under the Washington DC embassy or New York consulate jurisdiction)
  5. @payxibka Yes. However, if OP's wife currently has a good amount of validity on her current 10 year passport (not likely as 10 year PHL passports started in 2018), timing the re-acquisition with the current PHL passport expiration date might make sense. @danlrob One important thing to keep in mind is if you want your children to acquire PHL citizenship (in addition to their US citizenship), you will need to re-register both your marriage and birth of your children with the PHL consulate/ embassy in the US. COVID has made this process much easier- there used to be an in-person appointment required of these 2 processes but now mail in is allowed (at least for states under the Washington DC embassy or New York consulate jurisdiction)
  6. @danlrobThe US does not care nor will inform other countries governments of newly naturalized citizens. As far as the Philippines government is concerned, her current Philippines passport is still considered valid until they learn of otherwise (i.e. your wife informing the Philippines consulate in the US of her US naturalization or if she presents both her PHL and US passport to PHL customs entering MNL). Dual citizenship is allowed under Philippine law. Your wife has to make an in person appointment at a PHL consulate in the US to re-acquire PHL citizenship and re-apply for a new PHL passport. Because her existing PHL passport will be nullified at the time of her reacquisition interview, my suggestion is to time the dual citizenship appointment with when your wife's PHL passport expires. That way when she applies for a new PHL passport after her dual citizenship swearing in appointment, it will be valid for 10 full years from that date. As a bonus if she is planning to return at some point of time to the Philippines in the future for at least 3 weeks, she can hold off on applying for her new PHL passport in the Philippines as it is 950 PHP (~ USD $20) or 1200 PHP expedited (~ USD $25) compared to USD $60 + USD $7.95 priority flat rate if done at a PHL consulate/ embassy in the US.
  7. @vee2020 Given COVID and the travel ban you can hope the immigration officer would sympathize. Remember they cannot revoke or take away your green card- only an immigration judge can do that. As a green card holder, you are free to enter the US anytime regardless of the travel ban
  8. @carly+anton There are many free digital passport photo apps on Andriod and iPhone. Transfer the photo to computer, use department of state app to ensure proper cropping, resize to 300X300 pixels, duplicate them 3 across 2 below and print it out free with the insane number of free photo coupons Walgreens offers every month (coupon code on slickdeals forum). I have like 500 free passport photos of an entire lifetime thanks to the monthly free Walgreens photo promos
  9. @kippenpox You are incorrect on the USCIS phone waittimes- after the USCIS changed the phone system to reject calls, there's been practically minimal wait nowadays. You just need to keep saying "technical problem" to get a human operator instead of being disconnected by the voice bot. You are correct about service requests being useless. The only service request that is helpful is an expedite request but to have the sufficient evidence and the correct situation for warrants an approved expedite is difficult. The other alternative is finding a useful constituent immigration services representative with your local congressperson's office. Emphasis put on useful as some districts have poor liaisons who don't care much for immigrants while others are super invested and helpful.
  10. @M_S This questions have been asked and answered many times before. Take some time to rest thru those threads. As I've replied to others before ... Having filed many I-130's (paper and electronic) and concurrent I-485's and I-130's for various family members, I can categorically tell you that it is better to file a concurrent I-130 and I-485 package versus breaking them apart into 2 separate filings. Yes- the online I-130 filing is most certainly a breeze compared to the paper version and has a tremendous benefit of time saving for those who are planning on consular processing with the electronic transmission of the approved I-130 to the NVC, eliminating 30 - 55 days of waiting time after I-130 approval (no need for USCIS to send paper package from approving service center to NVC, no need for NVC manual data entry from USCIS forms to create NVC case) However, you aren't doing consular processing but rather an adjustment of status. Based on my experience handling several AOS cases (concurrent paper I-130/ I-485 filings and separate I-130/ I-485 filings), my recommendation is always to go with the concurrent albeit paper filing. Why? For concurrent filings, both I-130 and I-485 is adjudicated in the same local USCIS FO. If you separate them, they are adjudicated separately. Pre-COVID, I have seen I-485 interviews being scheduled by local FO within 60 days of I-485 filing and have seen I-130's taking 6 months to adjudicate by a USCIS service center. Therefore, my perspective is that saving an hour with an electronic I-130 is NEVER preferable to concurrent paper filings. Just my 2 cents.
  11. @cookies11 after my credit card is charged or check is cashed, the USCIS generates the case number right away. Don't wait for the I-797C snail mail letter to get your case number. Emma chat or call USCIS and keep saying "technical problem" or "technical support" to get a live agent. Both chat & live agent requires your name, your address, your A number if possible, email, and telephone number to retrieve your case number
  12. @MWOOD2020 File your combo I-130 & I-485 package ASAP- it does you no benefit to wait especially since you are only an appellate court judgment away from the stalled Oct 2020 fee increase taking effect again. You can pay the fees thru credit card using the G-1450 form- you will need 2 separate G-1450 forms one to pay the current lower $535 I-130 fee and one to pay the $1,225 I-485 fees. Be sure to also concurrently file for the I-131 advance parole and I-765 EAD for free for now. Once an appellate court judgment allows the stalled Oct 2020 fee to increase, instead of paying $1,760 you will have to pay $2,830 (I-130 $560, I-485 $1,130, I-131 $590, I-765 $550) So yeah file ASAP.
  13. @mbssss On the phone keep saying "Technical Problem" to the bot that is the only way that will get you connected to a live agent. The USCIS changed their phone system to decrease the number of calls.
  14. @Aashish7 Thanks for sharing. Let's both try to post back when our card is charged/ check cashed to keep each other updated. Given mine was received earlier than yours (Nov 5 vs your Nov 18), hopefully I will have an update to share with you soon! cheers!
  15. @aashish We are in the same boat- I-131 delivered by USPS to Texas service center on November 5 and 25 days later so no charge on our credit card. As I shared on a different thread, before June 2020, it used to be 2 - 5 business days but due to budget cuts on contractor vendors this has severely impacted the lockbox receiving & pre-processing timelines greatly affecting all paper applications, new or renewal across all types of filings. Which service center did you use?
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