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About snowdog

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  • Member # 322334
  • Location Ogden, UT, USA

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Immigration Info

  • Immigration Status
    IR-1/CR-1 Visa
  • Place benefits filed at
    Nebraska Service Center
  • Country

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  1. Interesting that this topic is getting traction again. I can confirm that the K-3 “trick” did indeed work in 2019. We filed February 2019 and were assigned to Nebraska and settled in for the long wait. Around May/June that year, I started seeing conversation relating to filing for the obsolete K-3 visa in order to cause your I-130 to be pulled and worked faster. Reasoning being, they can deny the K-3 if your I-130 is already approved. In July we filed, and it worked. I think it took about a month, and we were on to the NVC stage. However around October 2019 it seemed USCIS caught onto the sudden influx of K-3 petitions and stopped pulling cases out of line, so people stopped filing. Perhaps now that things have calmed down, they are going back to their usual operations, aka pulling cases out and sending them on if they get a K-3 request... And don’t let anyone shame you for “jumping the line.” Immigration is different for everyone, sometimes faster and sometimes slower at different points in history. Some people get faster service centers, or get lucky with wicked fast approvals in the NVC stage. If you’re willing to do the extra work for a chance of your spouse being here sooner, then why wouldn’t you? If I hadn’t taken the chance there is no way my husband would have made it here before COVID... in the end, his flight touched down nine days before the borders closed, and all in all even with the K-3 request speeding things up, the process took a full year.
  2. My husband (GC holder) and I (USC) just returned from visiting his family in Lithuania. We had to have COVID tests in both directions, especially as we flew through Germany and everyone has to COVID test for entrance into Germany- even if you aren’t even leaving the airport (definitely check the requirements for any layover countries, this was the most stressful part). We also had to bring our marriage certificate along so I would be allowed into Europe as the spouse of an EU citizen, so don’t forget that bit! They did check our marriage certificate at the check in counter. Coming home was no problem, we just showed up at the airport a bit early in Vilnius, Lithuania and had a rapid COVID swab done, cost was €40 per person. I’m sure the larger airports in Sweden will offer a similar service. They emailed us the negative results and we checked in for our flight. They checked the results again in Germany before we boarded to the U.S., and that was that. Landed and breezed right through customs.
  3. This is odd and very incorrect. I was able to add my husband to my health insurance with no SSN. I work for the Dept. of Defense and I was told by a phone rep that when I filled out the FEHB benefits form to simply use the dummy SSN of 000-00-0001, and that the health insurance company would follow up to obtain the correct SSN in a few months (which they did). I would simply fill out the FEHB form (or online portal form) with this specification and insist that they file it for you, regardless of what they believe to be the case. Or call OPM and speak to someone directly at 888-767-6738 if you need confirmation. It makes me so mad when people who are supposed to know the processes for things cannot perform their job functions correctly and people like you get hurt in the end. You and your spouse have a right to this insurance! Hope this helps!
  4. 120 days is the processing time for the green card. On day 121, you can submit an inquiry. That’s what we did.
  5. Norway just recently allowed it too. Lithuania definitely is on the path toward it, with the younger generation leaning into the interconnected world, as you put it
  6. My husband won’t be either, at least not until his home country allows for dual citizenship. This pandemic really drove that point home; without his passport we wouldn’t be able to quickly travel and see his family in Europe (should an emergency arise). Of course he would like to get his citizenship, but not at the expense of losing some rights in his home country. I can totally understand, I would feel the same!
  7. Your stamp will not expire until one year from the date of entry. You’re likely looking at the date on the visa (which is a more like an “enter the country by” date). Look at the date on the actual stamp that customs put on your passport when you entered. No worries, no rush.
  8. My husband just went through this all this year, at the beginning of the pandemic no less!! You will have to wait until you receive your social security card, they refuse to budge on that. In the meantime, my car insurance company was happy to add my husband - even with a European license - to my car insurance. You can drive here with that, no problems. I have GEICO brand insurance, in case your spouse has any questions. Once you do get your SS card/number, take that, your passport, and Aussie license to the nearest Drivers License division. (You may need to call for an appointment due to COVID.) They will let you take the written test first (super easy and open book in Utah), and then schedule you for an actual driving test. My husband said it was all pitifully easy and impossible to fail either. Welcome to Utah, I hope you love it here as much as we do!
  9. From my perspective as a USC, the system is extremely flawed. I appreciate how hard the agents work on our cases; you're right, lots of folks want in on what this country has to offer! However, I wish the focus could be more on family reunification and less of this "guilty until proven innocent" mentality the U.S. is famous for. In most European countries I would be given the right to reside immediately upon marriage to my husband, and they would conduct the formal immigration process without leaving me separated from my better half. If something didn't check out, they could still always chuck you out of the country. I feel this would be a more humane way to conduct business, especially when children are involved (which luckily they weren't in my particular case). On the flip side, however, I am somewhat grateful for the time we spent apart. It forced us to slow down, appreciate each other more, plan the future, revel in the past, and enjoy the few "present" moments we spent together. When presented with a roadblock in paperwork or processing or USCIS error, we couldn't get angry. The best approach is to just "work the system" to the best of your ability, including using resources like VJ, and remain patient. We will only ever get real immigration reform from electing officials who share our values, not from running down average employees who are just trying to do their jobs. Cheers to love, something I do believe we have a right to, no matter which corner of the world it is found in! But, rights aren't always easily obtained... sometimes you have to walk a long path through a minefield first and take what is yours. ❤️
  10. https://www.visajourney.com/forums/topic/599824-receive-the-green-card-after-arrival-share-your-os155a-status/ Also check out this forum, folks post their updates there pretty regularly. You’ll see the faster ones I’m talking about, most recently.
  11. It’s different for everyone. There was a shut down of a green card producing facility this summer, which may have had something to do with our delays. Lately folks seem to have been getting them rather quickly. Fingers crossed for yours, my best advice is be ready to contact USCIS from day 121 (they state it can take up to four months) if it doesn’t show up. And in the meantime, ask a recruiter their opinion, don’t just assume they won’t take your perfectly valid passport stamp. Good luck!
  12. Yes, bring documentation of anything you have already and anything you are missing they will let you know so you can go and get it yourself.
  13. My husband finally received his green card, after some inquiries to USCIS. Green card fee paid Feb 25 POE March 4 First contacted USCIS in the web portal after the 120 days passed mid-July, no response Contacted USCIS again Sept 10 and stated my next step would be to contact my congressperson USCIS replied the next week and stated the card was in production, and lo and behold... Card recieved Sept 28 Good luck all... be your own advocate is my best advice!
  14. My husband finally received his green card, after some inquiries to USCIS. Green card fee paid Feb 25 POE March 4 First contacted USCIS in the web portal after the 120 days passed mid-July, no response Contacted USCIS again Sept 10 and stated my next step would be to contact my congressperson USCIS replied the next week and stated the card was in production, and lo and behold... Card recieved Sept 28 Good luck all... be your own advocate is my best advice!
  15. My husband is in the same boat as a lot of you here. Paid GC fee at the end of February, his POE date was March 4, and I sent an inquiry July 6 when we still had no updates on the card. It is now August 11, and that inquiry still hasn't been assigned to a representative. I'm annoyed, to put it mildly.
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