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About JL & ML

  • Rank
  • Member # 327289
  • Location Toronto, ON, Canada

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • City
    East Lansing
  • State

Immigration Info

  • Immigration Status
    K-1 Visa
  • Place benefits filed at
    California Service Center
  • Local Office
    Detroit MI
  • Country

Immigration Timeline & Photos

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  1. Hello, We have just received the EAD (filed for AOS a year ago, after marriage under the terms of the K-1 visa), for which we are very grateful. My question is to what extent, if at all, employment/work history is taken into account during the Green Card interview. I am a language interpreter/translator and have been doing much to establish my business in the U.S. and be able to hit the ground running when work authorization comes. But now that it's here, many things remain to be done. I don't expect my income to suddenly shoot up. (Those who are private contractors or have a business of their own understand this - all these things take time.) Supposing a Green Card interview were to take place a year or two from now, do you think I might get questions the likes of "Well, you've had work authorization for over xyz amount of time now, and why are making so little money?" Or is this simply irrelevant, since the whole immigration process is based on marriage, not on work? (I wonder about this only because of how much emphasis, and rightly so, is placed on contributing to the U.S. economy rather than being a drain on it.)
  2. Oh my goodness; félicitations. Good to know that that's a possibility as well. Bon courage pour l'entretien de résidence permanente!
  3. Didn't know, just a quick overview of the forums revealed as much (and this under normal circumstances)
  4. Hello, A quick overview of the forums indicate that under normal circumstances, wait times for EADs while AOS is pending can vary widely. Many have said around ninety days, whereas AOS can take four to six months. I also saw somewhere that biometrics should normally be thirty to forty days after filing for AOS/EAD. We filed back in May 2020, and biometrics is now Feb. 12, 2021, for me, so approximately nine months (unless they reschedule it again!). There's no indication, then, that our case will be adjudicated anytime soon. I've accepted the fact that AOS will likely take years at this point, on account of the man-made crisis that came up last year, but I have hopes that EAD could come soon after biometrics, since that seems to be what happens based on what people have been saying. Many job offers of late, and having to turn each one of them down for lack of work authorization, is my reason for looking into this. I know the standard response in the throes of the coronavirus is, "Impossible to predict," but in people's experience overall, if you encountered AOS delays, did at least your EAD follow your biometrics soon after? Thank you!
  5. When I entered the U.S. on a K-1, I didn't know you could request a SSN. I am still waiting for a biometrics, for both I-485 and I-765. Came in on a K-1 back on March 16, got married April 11. My I-94 expired on June 16. I still have legal status in the U.S., said the agent over the phone, the one time I actually got through to someone from USCIS. She just said carry my passport with me everywhere, along with a photocopy of the marriage certificate, in case I get pulled over for any reason... most municipal police won't know what a K-1 visa is and how it works. Just keep as much info on you as is reasonably possible.
  6. Hey everyone, Just FYI, my biometrics appointment has been rescheduled again. Filed I-485 in early May of 2020, got an RFE a few weeks later, took care of that, and got the notice in early December for a Christmas Eve biometrics appointment. Between receiving the notice and the actual date, the federal government decreed Christmas Eve to be a national holiday, and so offices were closed (I still drove more than an hour to my appointment location, just in case! it was certainly closed). I got a notice less than three weeks later inviting me to a new biometrics appointment on January 20th. USCIS's website says offices, including application support centers, are closed for January 19 and 20 for safety reasons, they said. Things were going pretty well and smoothly up until now! We're running into serious delays, as most people are... wish you all the best and hope everything goes well.
  7. Sorry, nevermind, it says all "...application support centers," it includes those in the list. Please disregard.
  8. Hi, the site does say in-person support services are suspended on those two days, but is that for main offices? Biometrics are at ASC's.
  9. Extra note: the other thing about us Canadians is that we tend to be extremely and deplorably apologetic. The word "sorry" is used for "excuse me," to the point where if you bump into someone by mistake, they - the person you bumped into - says "sorry"! This always bothered me about my fellow citizens, and I usually stood out in a crowd as being more boisterous; if a line was not moving forward, because the person at the front of the line was too timid to inquire as to what was going on, I'd be the one either to raise my voice or go ahead and push a little more, and get things moving. Canadians don't complain, often to their own detriment, since often all that's needed to change a situation - a bad landlady, a pending maintenance item, a job poorly done, a service poorly executed - is to bring it up and to insist a little. But now, things are different, as I am not in my home country anymore and don't wish to demand things as a right from a foreign government that has been gracious enough to receive me as an immigrant.
  10. Hi all, I recently realized that although the immigration process for us has had its frustrations here and there, it's the reality of how the system works in a country that, in spite of everything, has offered freedom to millions of individuals over the centuries and is considered a very desirable place to live (proof is in the pudding - one million people enter the U.S. each day (barring the stupid pandemic), and millions try to move here permanently each year). Having grown up in Canada, we were always attentive to everything south of the border. Our accent is almost the same as the U.S., we watch the same shows on TV, wear the same clothes; we felt American without realizing it, because on the outside we look and talk the same. And having always lived in big cities in Canada, I have a huge number of friends who are foreign-born immigrants from Europe, Africa, or Latin America. Every now and then, I would hear a foreign-born individual criticize the government, society, or lifestyles in Canada. Sometimes I felt slighted; "If you don't like it here, just go home," I would want to tell the person. When I started visiting my wife-to-be in Michigan, long before we filed our I-129F application, I immediately noticed the underlying assumption behind the sometimes rough attitudes I witnessed when crossing the border: for some DHS agents, everyone is a potential terrorist or drug or people smuggler until there's a reason to believe otherwise. That's understandable: loads of drugs get smuggled into this country all the time, and there is no lack of people out there with very bad intentions, who would love to cause harm to people here (for too many reasons to count). Hence the guilty-until-proven-otherwise approach I'm sure we've all seen. That same approach could also be the reason many frustrating things happen for immigrants and those in the process of immigration. We can't complain, because we're the beneficiaries, and we don't want to bite the hand that feeds us. From the U.S. government's perspective, immigration is a privilege, never a right. Truth is, they are right about that. This forum has been an enormous (I can't stress that enough) help for my wife and I throughout this whole process. If it didn't exist, and if we tried getting all our info from USCIS directly, I don't know if we'd be here right now. We picked VisaJourney as our go-to because we had heard so many stories about people paying thousands of dollars for lawyers, basically to fill out forms for them and look up information they could easily find themselves (we ourselves looked into many lawyers over several months and eventually came to this same conclusion). So we owe VisaJourney a debt of gratitude. I've shared some frustrations on these forums before about the opacity of Citizenship and Immigration Services in the U.S.A., about how difficult it is to reach someone, and again I realize that it's simply a reality of the system and its approach, and that we are immensely fortunate all the same. The other day, chatting with friends after Mass, I caught myself referring cynically to how complicated the immigration process is and how unhelpful USCIS has been, and I realized, "I'm speaking in exactly the same way [such-and-such] did back in Montreal, and he was an immigrant." USCIS has been enormously helpful - the proof is that I am here now, in the U.S., living with my wife, awaiting the next step (biometrics appointment, which will have to be re-scheduled since it was scheduled for December 24). Many people are not so fortunate. Immigration really is a privilege, not a right. Some frustrations are also attributable to the circumstances occasioned by the unnecessary pandemic, not just the way USCIS operates. All this said, people do get frustrated, and they need to voice their concerns and ask for help. This forum is a great place for that. I would love to hear anyone else's thoughts. We all want to live in the United States, for different reasons, and we are grateful for the chance to be here (whether we are already here or hope to be one day). No one deserves to be treated as a criminal (unless they really are) or as a faceless number, even if we do get the impression at times that we are treated as a potential criminal or as a number. It's very human not to react kindly to that sort of thing. If things go ill, do you just sit there and take it, and wait for the next opening (the next appointment, the next flight, the next interview), or do you voice your concern? How do you do so without coming off as a spoiled brat, demanding to be attended to, since it's your God-given right, as a human being born on this planet, to live and work in the United States of America? I would be grateful to hear your opinion and/or of your experience about this balance between these two poles.
  11. You are right, AOCs are apparently closed that date. Wasn't so a week ago! Re: the executive order, are you talking about the recent one, the "pause" that Whitmer decreed? Could be... I am sincerely confused, since, after speaking with some local people here in Lansing, I understood that December 24 is always a federal holiday, so why it was scheduled then at all is not clear... I've been critical of the government on these forums before, and I don't want to be ungrateful for everything I've already received - being able to be here at all - but it just seems so opaque and difficult to reach anyone. This website has been an enormous help from day one.
  12. "The USCIS website has a section for office closures which would be worth checking closer to the day and on the day of your appointment just to make sure it is actually open especially if you have a long journey to get there." Thank you, I did see there is a USCIS page where they notify you of office closures, so I will check that the day of. "Just as a side note from my experience: I had my biometrics scheduled for Christmas Eve of last year but when I got there, there were signs on the door to say the office was actually closed on the day (with a lot of people having turned up)." "Federal employees were given the 24th off last year and it may be the same this year too (they don't give much advance warning!)" My question is, then, why would they schedule my appointment for the 24th, Christmas Eve, at a place they know will be closed? I understood last-minute closures could be weather related, but if the office is simply closed that day because it's Christmas Eve, why put that date and time on the official appointment notice? Is this common?
  13. Hi, I spoke with a USCIS agent today via live chat, but it took all morning even to get basic questions answered. I haven't found any forum post that addresses this directly, so just for your information, in case your situation is similar: - If your biometrics appointment location is at a significant distance from where you are situated; - If you want to know if it will be open the day of your appointment ; - If there is inclement weather; Then check the following webpage: https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/uscis-office-closings I see that the appointment itself will automatically be rescheduled in such a case, but it is helpful to be able to check on this site the morning of, to see if the center will actually be open.
  14. Hi there, We just got our NOA this past Saturday for a Biometrics appointment on December 24th at 3 p.m. We were very surprised at this; didn't know they are working on the afternoon of Christmas Eve. They say I need only bring the appointment notice, my passport, and a driver's license. Will they accept a Canadian driver's license? Just wanted to make sure I show up with all necessary documentation and not be turned away. I went to the Michigan Secretary of State Office to get a Michigan driver's license last summer, but they needed a social-security number from me, and I won't have that until I get at least an EAD. I tried calling USCIS's 1-800 number this morning to reach someone, but they are almost impossible to reach. Hence my asking here... will the documentation I plan on bringing be enough. Thanks!
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