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Ava & Alex

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About Ava & Alex

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  • Member # 370492

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    IR-1/CR-1 Visa
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  1. Funny, as I am just reading this after coming from a couple hours at the local civil registrar where my fiancé and I both applied for a CENOMAR (among other things). I had also assumed only he needed it and was confused when they presented us with two forms, but now I’m so glad they did! Thanks again
  2. That sounds so frustrating. I’m sorry you went through that! I hope we will get lucky, but the fact that they told you DCF isn’t available worries me. I will try being persistent. I remember someone on VJ suggesting to show up at USEM and insist to speak with an American. Anyways, we have to get married first Thank you so much for the help, and I will absolutely keep updating. I wish you all the best for you visa process and beyond!
  3. Thanks! While I have you here, can I ask if you have any advice on expediting the issuance of the PSA marriage certificate? From what I’ve read, we plan to ask the local civil registrar to immediately register with PSA, get in touch with PSA, and then go there directly after a week or two to get the marriage certificate.
  4. I don’t know why your comment was deleted...luckily I could read it via an email notification! Thank you for sharing your experience with DCF at USEM—that’s exactly the kind of information I was looking for. What month did that happen? Has anyone else heard USEM saying that they won’t be doing DCF at this time? Could it perhaps have been due to covid-related staff shortages, etc? Also, do you have any insight on which form of communication with the embassy was most responsive and/or helpful?
  5. Would acceptance (or enrollment) into a university program qualify as exceptional circumstances? Or can it only be a job?
  6. Wow! Thank you for that information. There must be a huge backload of K1s. Speed of arrival in the US is really the only reason we would choose K1 over CR1, and it’s looking like that is far from guaranteed now. Definitely leaning towards CR1...
  7. Do you happen to know the best way to contact them for this request? Email? Phone? I would go directly in person, but I live outside of Luzon.
  8. I currently live in the Philippines with my fiancé. We were in the midst of deciding between a K1 visa and a CR1 visa, when the option of Direct Consular Filing was brought to my attention. Although the Manila USCIS field office is now closed and no longer processing visas, it is my understanding that the embassy accepts local filing for US citizens residing in the Philippines under exceptional circumstances (such as having a job offer in the US and need to relocate). Though I rarely see people apply (or at least get approved) through DCF. Is it particularly hard to get? If I meet all of the criteria, should it be smooth sailing? This option would be a dream come true for my partner and I, but I just want to make sure I’m not missing anything! After getting married, what are the first steps of this process? I can’t find any official information on the Manila embassy’s website. Do I first need to get approved for DCF, or simply submit the I-130 petition? Either way, is it done in person, via mail, or online? Has anyone applied for DCF (under exceptional circumstances) at the Manila Embassy recently-ish? What were your circumstances? What was the process like? I don’t expect someone to have all of the answers, but any information or insight is much appreciated
  9. That is wonderful! Thank you for reminding me of the the DCF filing option. I have since gone into serious internet research mode. I’m so excited about this possibility I haven’t been able to sleep! Is it too good to be true? I’m aware that USCIS field offices are closed and/or no longer processing visas. However, given that I am residing in the Philippines, it is my understanding that I only need to prove an exceptional circumstance (most likely relocation for a job offer) in order to file with the Manila embassy. (And, of course, get married first!) Am I getting my hopes up? Is this harder to qualify for than it seems?
  10. Thank you so much for your thoughtful response, Paul. I have heard this, and is certainly something we are taking into consideration! I’m wondering what it actually means in practice? I know some embassies initially only re-opened to spousal visas and not fiancé visas, but I’m not aware of anything beyond that or of the Manila embassy prioritizing spousal visas in any way. This isn’t a big problem for us; what I am more concerned about is my fiancé feeling isolated, stuck, etc. while living in a new country, not having any of his family or friends, and not being able to work. We have discussed activities and such that he (and we) can participate in while waiting for his EAD, which he is so excited for. I imagine he will handle the transition quite well, but I suppose you never know! Two years really? I have mentally prepared myself for the one year wait, but two...yikes. I have heard of this and am very interested! I would love to try, but I’m not sure our case falls under any exceptional circumstances. Did you do DCF?
  11. Hi! This is my first time posting on Visa Journey, so I’m sorry if I’m getting anything wrong. I (US citizen petitioner) have been living in the Philippines for close to two years on a tourist visa. I first came here in January 2019 and intended to stay for a month or two. Then I met my future husband, and the rest is history... If it makes a difference or if anyone is curious, I (petitioner) am female and my fiancé (beneficiary) is male. Anyways, as the title suggests, I am REALLY struggling on the decision between a K1 and CR1 visa! I see a lot of people warning against K1s here. In fact, I was set on sending the I-129F petition last month until I came across people suggesting spousal visas as a better alternative. I love the benefits of a CR1 visa: permanent resident status on arrival, no adjustment of status, less expensive, ability to work immediately. I prefer everything about it in general! I like the idea that most if not all of the “work” is done prior to entering the US (other than removal of conditions and eventual naturalization, of course). With a K1, it seems like the first few months and even years in the US would be stressful. Also, I do not work here in the Philippines. For all of the time that I have been here, my fiancé and I have lived off of his income (which is not a lot) and my savings. Meaning, whichever route we take, I will need a co-sponsor. (No problems in that regard. Both of my parents are able and willing.) I understand that it is not guaranteed that a co-sponsor on a fiancé visa will be accepted at the Manila embassy, whereas with a spouse visa it is not an issue. So, what possible reason do I have for not going the CR1 route? Well, in order to apply for a marriage license here, I need to go to the US Embassy in Manila and apply for a “Affidavit in Lieu of Legal Capacity to Marry.” Two problems there: 1. Domestic travel is still restricted in the Philippines. 2. The embassy has not yet re-opened for these services, and there is no saying when the embassy will open. Best case scenario is the embassy reopens for notarial services on October 1. In which case, my fiancé and I could travel to Manila in early October (which will require securing loads of documents to authorize our travels and be a general pain in the butt!). We will likely have to quarantine upon arrival to our home province, delaying our marriage license application. Once we apply, the wait time is 10 business days. With this optimistic date (which is not based on any evidence by the way!), the earliest I could see us getting married is the end of October or more likely sometime into November. THEN, on top of that, it supposedly takes months to get the certified marriage certificate that is required to send with the I-130. I hear that the process can be expedited, in which case it could perhaps be ready 2-3 weeks after our marriage. If you’ve followed my ramblings, then you would know that I wouldn’t even be able to send the I-130 petition until end of November at the EARLIEST. Sometime in December is a more realistic estimation. And, well, that sucks! Despite (thankfully!) not being separated from my fiancé, speed of arrival in the US is still a priority. That is the primary benefit of the K1 visa, for our circumstances: the ability to apply now combined with slightly faster processing (is this still true? anyone have information?) meaning faster arrival in the US. *** *** As I said, speed of arrival in the US is still one of our priorities. Our current living situation here in is far from ideal. My family and particularly my mom, who suffers from mental health issues, has been struggling with me living so far away. Also, my fiancé works in tourism and has not been able to work since the start of lockdown here in the Philippines. It’s looking like he won’t have any work for income for the remainder of 2020 and possibly well into 2021, which is very hard on us. (In the US, we will live with my parents who will support us, and I will be able to work.) But our number one priority is to be stay together, and we will do so for as long as we can. Now that I’ve talked (written?) your ear off, I turn to you, seasoned visa petitioners and beneficiaries! It is September, and we are ready and able to either send the I-129F petition or get married (or at least, prepare the documents to get married). And I seem to change my mind on which to do every ten minutes. Thoughts? Advice? Anything
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