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lazylady

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About lazylady

  • Rank
    Junior Member
  • Member # 362339
  • Location Hartford, CT, USA

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Female
  • City
    Hartford
  • State
    Connecticut

Immigration Info

  • Immigration Status
    Adjustment of Status (pending)
  • Place benefits filed at
    Chicago Lockbox
  • Local Office
    Hartford CT
  • Country
    Vietnam

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  1. Hi everyone, Thank you for your input. Just to clarify on my situation: I'm on H1B and filed for AOS this June. I know it's very early to talk about anything, especially with so much uncertainty in immigration, but we want to plan ahead because MBA tuition is a major investment for us. We don't want to risk timing this wrong and messing up with both immigration and a major investment/career change. If I get into an MBA program (finger crossed), I plan to stay home with my hubby in the weekend, holidays and breaks (probably even more often if school is not too busy), and stay in a dorm room if I can't make it home during the weekdays. Would it be correct that my permanent and mailing address is my home address (with my husband)? Then should I fill my physical address as the dorm or my home?
  2. Hi everyone, Do you know if being separated by school/summer internship would be a big issue when filing for removal of conditions? I'm planning to attend Business school in 2022 - 2024, and most of the good Bschools are more than 2 hours from where we live. Commuting 4 hours everyday for school is not ideal for me, so I think I'll have to stay in dorms during weekdays and only go home for the weekend. My USC husband cannot give up his job to move to another city, because he has a contract with them till 2025 (or he will have to pay back his Master's tuition) With current estimate (could very well be changed), we'll need to file I-751 in 2023, in the middle of my MBA course. Do you think the fact that we don't live together for most of the week would be an issue to USCIS? If you were in a similar situation, did you have to go to interview with USCIS? What questions were you asked? Thank you so much!
  3. Hi Callistora, Thanks for updating your situation. From what you said I think the SR helped. Congrats on getting your card produced
  4. Hi everyone, I have USCIS Alien number on my OPT and STEM-OPT EAD, but today when I receive Form I-797C notice of receipt for my AOS to green card, there is a new/different A-number on my case. Has anyone seen this happen? Is this normal to have one A number for F-1 OPT and another for AOS to green card? Thank you in advance for your input!
  5. Stupid question but it's burning me as I have 2 petitions just submitted and I'm frozen in fear that I'll be in a limbo forever: Can we start a gofundme or some sort of crowd sourcing for USCIS so that they won't have to furlough so many staff? I know it won't be anywhere close the the $1.2bn they said they need, but hey if it helps even just a tiny bit, I'm happy to contribute my part. And can USCIS receive funding through such crowd sourcing fund? Or, can we start a petition and collect signature so this is going to the White House?
  6. Hello fellow visajourney members, We finally completed assembling our package for AOS from F-1 visa to green card yesterday after 2 months prepping and sent it out just this morning. I want to shout out a huge THANK YOU to all the mods and everyone on this forum, you have been so helpful, so understanding, and the info I found here is precious! Hoping this submission will go well 🤞 Just want to share few things I found after spending days on this forum and hundreds of dollars consulting with various immigration attorneys before I forget anything 😛 If you are about to start your application: plan your travels abroad ahead. For non-immigrant visas, leaving the country while AOS is in process and without advanced parole and then come back under non-immigrant visa can mean you abandon your AOS. H1B is dual intent so should be fine. If you are not married yet: Be aware of 90-day guidance by DOS. Info here and here. In short this means if you came to the US under a non-immigrant visa and then proceed to get married within 90 days of your latest entry, there will be a bias of visa fraud or misrepresentation on you at consular processing and point of entry. If you go back to your country and then try to enter the US on non-immigrant visa again, it could be a lot of headache, in worst case you might not be able to enter the US. Since this is a guidance for DOS and not-binding on USCIS officers, so just file AOS from within the US (see Matter of Battista and Cavazos). According to my attorney, in the interview, USCIS officer might not mention the 90 day rule explicitly, but might ask related questions like "When did you decide to get married", "When did you buy your rings", etc. Things that will help your application: If you move in together, make sure both of your names are on the lease Have a joint bank account/brokerage account with both of you as holders and both names appear on account statements. Save your photos together. Know when/where it was taken. Routinely note down your physical addresses along with dates if you move often (Yes, I have 18 addresses within the last 5 years) If you are in the US, open a credit card to have credit score (take 6 month - 1 year to have score) and/or have your spouse add you as authorized user of his/her card Save your flight ticket confirmation and other proof that you visited each other. If you think about having a prenup, that's fine but consult with a good attorney. Prenups can't have terms that bypass immigration laws, especially not bypassing the affidavit of support. When you get married: Save photos of the wedding and celebration Ask your spouse to add you as beneficiary on his/her life insurance, retirement account and vice versa - this can be used as proof of co-mingling financial resources in a bona fide marriage. If you are married to a US citizen and are starting your application: Check out the basic steps and example forms on visajourney's guides. I started with the forum first but could have saved more time to start with the guides Make sure you have to correct form version Why? Because the links for old versions of many forms still float around and, this happened to us, we googled for I-485 when we first started and ended up with an outdated form, outdated instructions and almost missed the new requirement for I-944. I saw that happened to other folks here too. That could have resulted in a rejection. How? Always start here https://www.uscis.gov/forms, click on the form you need, and see edition date Read the instructions carefully. I know many parts of the forms seem simple enough and it's daunting because some instructions are longer than the form itself, but USCIS can be very specific about what they want, and the instructions help explain many questions I see on this forum (e.g: where to get tax transcript and credit report, renewal vs new application for I-765; need to fill out "N/A" for prior spouses info even though you already fill you are married only once above) Working with attorneys: Immigration is federal law so you can hire attorneys with active bar from any state. It's better to work with someone local who you can meet face-to-face and go with you to the interview (yes you can bring an immigration attorney into the interview to defend/explain on your behalf should the questions turn into unfavorable directions), but hiring someone in another state and work online can save a lot of money. I've been quoted between $2000 - $5000 flat fee for attorneys in CT, NY and OH. Hourly rate I've seen range from $200 - $300/hr. I also know someone who spent $7000 - $10,000 on their case, with $2000 - $3000 added for every addition complication the attorney found. Check out your attorney's reputation and reviews before doing a first consultation. I used avoo and martindale hubbell Take advantage of you consultation sessions, especially if you are charged for it. Try filling out the forms on your own first, have a list of questions and be ready to fire these in consultation. Some attorneys offer free consultation, some will charge hourly rate for it ($200 - $300). Free consultation typically sounds like a sales pitch, attorneys will go over what's included in their service, explain the process, payment terms, and give you a retainer/list of info/document they need. You can present your case, ask general questions like timeline, how to communicate, and just a few question specific to your own case. Some charge even for their first session, but will include that fee in the flat fee whole package if you choose to retain their service. This is when you want to take advantage of every minute, explain your case precisely, make sure the attorney hears all the important details, fire your questions, take good notes, know what page/part on the form you are referring to. A good attorney should be able to answer most of your questions about how to fill out forms, or at least point out where you can look for information. Some attorneys will use scare tactics to woo you into hiring them, so be careful. Use reputable free resources online: we found attorney Carl Shusterman Youtube channel helpful, and if you are Vietnamese like me, there's a live Q&A with attorney Huy Tuan on Youtube every week. I was suspect of how useful a live Q&A can be, but hey it was free, and turns out attorney Huy-Tuan is very knowledgeable and experienced. There could be other great attorneys online too, so please put them in the comments if you know one. There are also terrible ones that give terrible/outdated advice too. Most attorneys will tell you it's either you hire them to do everything, or you do everything and there is no in-between option. But what worked for us is we found a great attorney, we prepped our application on our own and do a consultation session with her whenever we have gathered a long list of questions. I felt confident and had all of my questions answered after 3 sessions. What usually happens is that our attorney is so good she answered what I thought would take an hour in about 30 minutes, and then we can chit chat a bit and I can email 1-2 questions if I come up with more at no cost because of the extra time. What I fear with this approach is that I don't know what I don't know... But I count on combing through visajourney forum because if something is an issue for me, most likely it would have happened to other people here too 😛 Tips and tricks I learned: USCIS official tips here . Black ink, print 1-sided, no staple, make 2 copies of your entire application PDF form won't let you fill letter/number/specific characters in a field? Try disabling Acrobat Javascript like Esya did here. Still can't fill what you want? Just print out form and hand-write in black ink What USCIS officers look for (in short): Your spouse is a real US citizen (or greencard holder) Marriage is legal Marriage is bona fide All questions on I-485 are applicable in interview Third party affidavits as proof of bona fide marriage: according to my attorney she won't add this to straight forward case, unless there is something to explain. The reasoning behind this is most third party affidavits are too short for their purpose and could be asked about in interview. Therefore it is not included in my case, but hey maybe someone might need it. What are the worst cases and what to do: hopefully this won't happen but just know what you can do: I-130 denied: you can appeal I-130 approved but I-485 denied: Motion to reopen your AOS I-130 denied and I-485 approved: No such case Know the difference between "denied" and "rejected". Our attorney explained that "rejected" means that USCIS doesn't take your fee and send back your application. "Denied" means USCIS take your fee and you have to file again. Document certified translation: you can have a friend do it - just follow USCIS requirements, but there are also plenty of good online service that will return in 24 - 48 hrs for $25/page. Personally I like Rushtranslate - super fast turnaround, easy to send review and ask them to fix things here and there. Education Evaluation: I used SpanTran because they allow submitting scanned documents online. Paid extra for 5 days, took 3 weeks. They are hard to contact - but I got the evaluation finally. Please share if you know better service Good luck to everyone! If you have more tips or tricks, please share below. I would really appreciate your input and I think it will help people who are starting this journey.
  7. Hi everyone, I know I-944 is a new form but I have been seeing conflicting information on what is required for this form. For liabilities and debts, USCIS instruction simply say: provide documentation. The link (1) below states that you have to submit 6 months of credit card statements, but other sources (like link 2 below) say that just the most recent statement is needed. Did anyone here submit 6 months of statements? Link 1: https://maggio-kattar.com/form-i-944-affidavit-of-self-sufficiencylist-of-supporting-documents/ Link 2: https://learn.simplecitizen.com/immigration-support/form-i-944-required-supporting-documents/#liabilities-debts For income, USCIS request that tax transcript is submitted. Do you know if just most recent year (2019) is enough or do we need 3 years like suggested in link 1 above? For assets, if my income is enough, should I list all of my assets or just a few is good? Thank you all and best of luck with your application!
  8. Thank you HRQX and geowrian, phew! So far what I understand is: 1. H1B and AOS are independent and thus I can file for AOS now without affecting H1B petition in process 2. The 90 day guidance may be an issue and raise more questions during interview, but marrying within 90 days after entry under F1 by itself is not a ground for denial. My question now is that how should I prep for being asked about this during interview? How does USCIS show that there was a misrepresentation (or if USCIS usually pursue visa misrepresentation)? What evidence can I use to counter misrepresentation presumption? Wedding ring receipt dated after my entry? I can’t really think of anything else, because we honestly didn't know this guidance and just married when we felt the time was right. If we had this planned out, we would have looked this up and waited for 90 days.
  9. Thank you for the info. I entered the US before my marriage. I entered the US on renewed F1 visa on 2/12, and then on 4/1 we got married. My F1 was renewed in via post office, no interview was needed, I was single (ie not married yet) at the time I entered so no one asked about my relationship.
  10. Hi everyone, Does anyone know or have experience with filing AOS and H1B concurrently? I'm working in the US under F-1 STEM OPT, and my EAD card will expire 7/11/2020. I was very lucky to get selected in the H1B lottery with normal cap this year (after 2 years not getting selected), and my employer is filing the paperwork for my visa. I haven't heard any news yet about interview or if the petition is complete. Under cap-gap, I will be able to work with my current EAD until I get the final result for H1B visa. At the same time, I am recently married to my US citizen husband, and we are considering filing for AOS for green card. If we file for AOS now, would that cancel my H1B petition? If so, should we wait until I get H1B visa result and then file for AOS? The idea is that if I get the H1B visa, in case our AOS application got denied we would still have time to resubmit AOS petition. Or should we file AOS now? I fear that my H1B might be denied, because we made an honest mistake and violated the 90 days guidance. I visited my home country for 2 weeks in Feb 2020, and entered the US under a renewed F1 visa. About 6 weeks later, my then boyfriend proposed while we were quarantined at home and we got married within 90 days of my last entry. I'm afraid that USCIS will consider this as a visa fraud and either way both my H1B and AOS will be negatively affected, if not denied. In short I just realized I completely messed up my chances and am panicking. Any help or advice is very much appreciated! We're also seeking immigration attorney's help this Monday, so referral are very welcome.
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