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Gary and Alla

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  1. Like
    Gary and Alla got a reaction from devonydan in K1 and health insurance   
    Don't fly off to other countries without health insurance and then get sick...or worse, pregnant! Bad idea.
    Your fiancee is right. You do not need it for a marriage license. You will need it for healthcare insurance though. Lots of other things. There is more to life than a wedding.
    Go get one today. Apply for it in your MAIDEN NAME exactly as in your passport. After you have your green card then go back and change your name IF YOU WANT, you do not have to change your name. Use your passport, K-1 and the I-94 as ID and do not leave the Social Security Office until you have a receipt for the application. If the clerk tells you that you have to wait, they are wrong. Get a supervisor.
  2. Like
    Gary and Alla got a reaction from fuzxzmjer in K1 and health insurance   
    Get an attorney to get a SS number?
  3. Like
    Gary and Alla got a reaction from cute_pretzel in I-751 evidence   
    I had the great opportunity to have dinner with a director of the VSC Saturday evening. A sit turns out his wife is Russian, came here on a K-1 and is now an aquaintance of Alla. So we had some great conversation. Our next step will be the I-751 and he has worked in his career as an IO who conducted AOS and lifting of conditions interviews and gave me lots of good information on evidence. Here are some things he likes to see and others which are "useless" in his words
    Good stuff
    Joint bank accounts, joint tax returns, joint ownership of property, cars. Joint leases. Joint insurance. Named as beneficiaries on life insurance and medical insurance. Joint credit cards. Any other joining of financial interests (the theory is that if one is willing to risk your property and money the relationship is more likely valid) Government documents showing common address, drivers lisence, etc. Photos are good, kind of expected, but NOT primary evidence.
    Children?
    Yes and no. If you just had a child together and the man is nothing more than a sperm donor...no. IF you have children, whether "together" or with a blended family and there is evidence that BOTH participate in the child's development and education, and care that is great! I told him I am listed on all of our son's school papers as parent, I am an emergency contact and I sign all the permission slips, etc. He is covered by my medical insurance. All good stuff. A birth certificate in itself ("Look we have a kid") does not prove a legitmate relationship. It is especially important that the school (an objective 3rd party) recognizes both people as "parents" and accepts this. Medical records for the child showing both people as parents. same reasoning. If a doctor will recognize and treat a child based on their knowledge of both being parents, that is pretty darn good evidence.
    Useless or not so useful stuff
    Magazine subscriptions together (WHAT??? "Yes, you would be surprised how many couples present a Sports Illustrated subscription as proof") Utilities, cards and letters from relatives, emails, chats etc. Theory? all of these can be easily faked and in themselves prove nothing. Utilities do not verify information before adding someone to an account and hey, it's the electric bill, you are going to pay the electric bill anyway. There is no financial risk involved, no commitment as in joint ownership. Affidavits from friends or family do not have a lot of weight. None of these things are BAD and in conjunction with other evidence are fine, but not enough to prove anything themselves.
    This is probably not news to a lot of people, but it was good to hear it from the "horse's mouth" anyway.
    Incidentally, I mentioned that we never had a question at any of our interviews and never were asked for any evidence and he said "Sometimes we can just tell. Whatever you did, whatever your body language or how you acted, the IO was immediately convinced you were legitimate" I cannot say what that was, unfortunately.
    Another question I asked, actually Alla did since she did not change her name
    Does it matter if the woman changes her name?: NO, not at all.
    About citizenship (Alla also asked)
    Can I be a dual citizen? Answer..."The United States does not recognize other citizenships. You are a US citizen or you are not a US citizen. Once you become a US citizen the United States does not consider you anything else. We will not take your passport from Ukraine and we will not tell Ukraine you are now a citizen of the US. If you want to keep your Ukraine passport and renew it in Ukraine when you are visiting, it is none of our concern"
    So the US has no policy and does not recognize any such thing as "dual citizenship" per se, but has no prohibitions from a person being a citizen of another country also, for the US you will always be considered a US citizen
    Can I use a Ukraine passport to enter Ukraine and a US passport to enter the US? Yes, no problem.
    What about stamps in the passport from the US or Ukraine?: The officers at the POE will ask where you have been, they rarely will look through all your exit stamps and really don't care. They are admitting you to the US, they really don't care if the country you LEFT stamped your passport, the US does not stamp passports on exit.
    I ask this because Ukraine does not allow dual citizenship and I do want to keep my Ukraine passport for ease of travel to Russia, etc, and also if we ever decided to return, we have property there, I could easily work, etc. I do not want to do anything wrong and get in trouble here. The US does not care about Ukrainian law regarding citizenship, that's between you and Ukraine, but WE won't tell. Unless there is some order from a court or something, we don't give out that information.
  4. Like
    Gary and Alla got a reaction from Hemutian in Are tax returns really necessary?   
    YES
    But what if..YES
    But even if I am ....YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Yes!
    Not only for the visa, but people have to stop thinking that the visa is the end. IT IS THE BEGINNING! Until you have the visa in your hand you have NOT begun the process.
    You will need the last year's tax return for the visa interview, you will need three years tax returns for the adjustment of status (or at least the most recent plus the reported gross income from the two prior to that, and YES they check if it is correct) you will then need your previous three years tax returns for the Removal of Conditions AND all tax returns between the time the green card is issued and citizenship interview for citizenship.
    Another mistake people make is going by the I-134 instructions. The I-134 is not a legal document. It is not even required! What IS required is that you submit an "affidavit of support" and documents that you can support your fiancee/spouse. The affidavt can be one you write yourself OR you can use the convenient I-134 which is pre-printed for you. The I-134 is used for many visas. I would not even think about going to a visa interview without at least the most recent tax return, I have yet to see a case where anyone got a visa without it. At any rate, you are definitely going to need it just a few weeks later for the I-864, so why not get it ready now?
    The I-134, for this process, is nothing more than a convenient pre-printed cover letter for what you attach to it. Nothing else. You need to make the consulate "comfortable" that your fiancee will not be a public charge. There ARE NO guidelines for that. People often use the I-864 guidelines but those do not apply to the I-134 or the consulates, the consulates can make up their own mind. There is no "goal line" that you cross and everything is OK. It is completely subjective on the part of the consulate.
    It behooves you, if you really want your fiancee to get a visa, to provide as much information as possible.
    What you need to be doing right now is finding a way to INCREASE the amount of information you give to the consulate instead of looking for ways to "get out of" something. Remember that this decision is made by someone who knows nothing about you and makes a decision by what YOU place in front of them. Neither you or your fiancee have a chance to explain anything and their decision will be made before they interview her.
    If you did not file tax returns for some previous years, do that today. Google "1040-(year)" for the forms. If no tax is owed, there is no penalty for filing late.
  5. Like
    Gary and Alla got a reaction from icanbenobody in I-751 evidence   
    I had the great opportunity to have dinner with a director of the VSC Saturday evening. A sit turns out his wife is Russian, came here on a K-1 and is now an aquaintance of Alla. So we had some great conversation. Our next step will be the I-751 and he has worked in his career as an IO who conducted AOS and lifting of conditions interviews and gave me lots of good information on evidence. Here are some things he likes to see and others which are "useless" in his words
    Good stuff
    Joint bank accounts, joint tax returns, joint ownership of property, cars. Joint leases. Joint insurance. Named as beneficiaries on life insurance and medical insurance. Joint credit cards. Any other joining of financial interests (the theory is that if one is willing to risk your property and money the relationship is more likely valid) Government documents showing common address, drivers lisence, etc. Photos are good, kind of expected, but NOT primary evidence.
    Children?
    Yes and no. If you just had a child together and the man is nothing more than a sperm donor...no. IF you have children, whether "together" or with a blended family and there is evidence that BOTH participate in the child's development and education, and care that is great! I told him I am listed on all of our son's school papers as parent, I am an emergency contact and I sign all the permission slips, etc. He is covered by my medical insurance. All good stuff. A birth certificate in itself ("Look we have a kid") does not prove a legitmate relationship. It is especially important that the school (an objective 3rd party) recognizes both people as "parents" and accepts this. Medical records for the child showing both people as parents. same reasoning. If a doctor will recognize and treat a child based on their knowledge of both being parents, that is pretty darn good evidence.
    Useless or not so useful stuff
    Magazine subscriptions together (WHAT??? "Yes, you would be surprised how many couples present a Sports Illustrated subscription as proof") Utilities, cards and letters from relatives, emails, chats etc. Theory? all of these can be easily faked and in themselves prove nothing. Utilities do not verify information before adding someone to an account and hey, it's the electric bill, you are going to pay the electric bill anyway. There is no financial risk involved, no commitment as in joint ownership. Affidavits from friends or family do not have a lot of weight. None of these things are BAD and in conjunction with other evidence are fine, but not enough to prove anything themselves.
    This is probably not news to a lot of people, but it was good to hear it from the "horse's mouth" anyway.
    Incidentally, I mentioned that we never had a question at any of our interviews and never were asked for any evidence and he said "Sometimes we can just tell. Whatever you did, whatever your body language or how you acted, the IO was immediately convinced you were legitimate" I cannot say what that was, unfortunately.
    Another question I asked, actually Alla did since she did not change her name
    Does it matter if the woman changes her name?: NO, not at all.
    About citizenship (Alla also asked)
    Can I be a dual citizen? Answer..."The United States does not recognize other citizenships. You are a US citizen or you are not a US citizen. Once you become a US citizen the United States does not consider you anything else. We will not take your passport from Ukraine and we will not tell Ukraine you are now a citizen of the US. If you want to keep your Ukraine passport and renew it in Ukraine when you are visiting, it is none of our concern"
    So the US has no policy and does not recognize any such thing as "dual citizenship" per se, but has no prohibitions from a person being a citizen of another country also, for the US you will always be considered a US citizen
    Can I use a Ukraine passport to enter Ukraine and a US passport to enter the US? Yes, no problem.
    What about stamps in the passport from the US or Ukraine?: The officers at the POE will ask where you have been, they rarely will look through all your exit stamps and really don't care. They are admitting you to the US, they really don't care if the country you LEFT stamped your passport, the US does not stamp passports on exit.
    I ask this because Ukraine does not allow dual citizenship and I do want to keep my Ukraine passport for ease of travel to Russia, etc, and also if we ever decided to return, we have property there, I could easily work, etc. I do not want to do anything wrong and get in trouble here. The US does not care about Ukrainian law regarding citizenship, that's between you and Ukraine, but WE won't tell. Unless there is some order from a court or something, we don't give out that information.
  6. Like
    Gary and Alla got a reaction from sirii in I-751 evidence   
    I had the great opportunity to have dinner with a director of the VSC Saturday evening. A sit turns out his wife is Russian, came here on a K-1 and is now an aquaintance of Alla. So we had some great conversation. Our next step will be the I-751 and he has worked in his career as an IO who conducted AOS and lifting of conditions interviews and gave me lots of good information on evidence. Here are some things he likes to see and others which are "useless" in his words
    Good stuff
    Joint bank accounts, joint tax returns, joint ownership of property, cars. Joint leases. Joint insurance. Named as beneficiaries on life insurance and medical insurance. Joint credit cards. Any other joining of financial interests (the theory is that if one is willing to risk your property and money the relationship is more likely valid) Government documents showing common address, drivers lisence, etc. Photos are good, kind of expected, but NOT primary evidence.
    Children?
    Yes and no. If you just had a child together and the man is nothing more than a sperm donor...no. IF you have children, whether "together" or with a blended family and there is evidence that BOTH participate in the child's development and education, and care that is great! I told him I am listed on all of our son's school papers as parent, I am an emergency contact and I sign all the permission slips, etc. He is covered by my medical insurance. All good stuff. A birth certificate in itself ("Look we have a kid") does not prove a legitmate relationship. It is especially important that the school (an objective 3rd party) recognizes both people as "parents" and accepts this. Medical records for the child showing both people as parents. same reasoning. If a doctor will recognize and treat a child based on their knowledge of both being parents, that is pretty darn good evidence.
    Useless or not so useful stuff
    Magazine subscriptions together (WHAT??? "Yes, you would be surprised how many couples present a Sports Illustrated subscription as proof") Utilities, cards and letters from relatives, emails, chats etc. Theory? all of these can be easily faked and in themselves prove nothing. Utilities do not verify information before adding someone to an account and hey, it's the electric bill, you are going to pay the electric bill anyway. There is no financial risk involved, no commitment as in joint ownership. Affidavits from friends or family do not have a lot of weight. None of these things are BAD and in conjunction with other evidence are fine, but not enough to prove anything themselves.
    This is probably not news to a lot of people, but it was good to hear it from the "horse's mouth" anyway.
    Incidentally, I mentioned that we never had a question at any of our interviews and never were asked for any evidence and he said "Sometimes we can just tell. Whatever you did, whatever your body language or how you acted, the IO was immediately convinced you were legitimate" I cannot say what that was, unfortunately.
    Another question I asked, actually Alla did since she did not change her name
    Does it matter if the woman changes her name?: NO, not at all.
    About citizenship (Alla also asked)
    Can I be a dual citizen? Answer..."The United States does not recognize other citizenships. You are a US citizen or you are not a US citizen. Once you become a US citizen the United States does not consider you anything else. We will not take your passport from Ukraine and we will not tell Ukraine you are now a citizen of the US. If you want to keep your Ukraine passport and renew it in Ukraine when you are visiting, it is none of our concern"
    So the US has no policy and does not recognize any such thing as "dual citizenship" per se, but has no prohibitions from a person being a citizen of another country also, for the US you will always be considered a US citizen
    Can I use a Ukraine passport to enter Ukraine and a US passport to enter the US? Yes, no problem.
    What about stamps in the passport from the US or Ukraine?: The officers at the POE will ask where you have been, they rarely will look through all your exit stamps and really don't care. They are admitting you to the US, they really don't care if the country you LEFT stamped your passport, the US does not stamp passports on exit.
    I ask this because Ukraine does not allow dual citizenship and I do want to keep my Ukraine passport for ease of travel to Russia, etc, and also if we ever decided to return, we have property there, I could easily work, etc. I do not want to do anything wrong and get in trouble here. The US does not care about Ukrainian law regarding citizenship, that's between you and Ukraine, but WE won't tell. Unless there is some order from a court or something, we don't give out that information.
  7. Like
    Gary and Alla got a reaction from j&j12 in I-751 evidence   
    I didn't send any. Photos are secondary evidence and not very good secondary evidence at that. Anyone can take photos. They prefe to see DOCUMENTS that you are together, especially documents mingling assets, joint care of chldren, insurance, etc.
    Likewise affidavits from friends and family. What would a fraudulent couple provide? Joint mortgage or a letter from "mom"? Life insurance for which the spouse is a beneficiary...or photos?
  8. Like
    Gary and Alla got a reaction from Mrs. DPK in I-751 evidence   
    I had the great opportunity to have dinner with a director of the VSC Saturday evening. A sit turns out his wife is Russian, came here on a K-1 and is now an aquaintance of Alla. So we had some great conversation. Our next step will be the I-751 and he has worked in his career as an IO who conducted AOS and lifting of conditions interviews and gave me lots of good information on evidence. Here are some things he likes to see and others which are "useless" in his words
    Good stuff
    Joint bank accounts, joint tax returns, joint ownership of property, cars. Joint leases. Joint insurance. Named as beneficiaries on life insurance and medical insurance. Joint credit cards. Any other joining of financial interests (the theory is that if one is willing to risk your property and money the relationship is more likely valid) Government documents showing common address, drivers lisence, etc. Photos are good, kind of expected, but NOT primary evidence.
    Children?
    Yes and no. If you just had a child together and the man is nothing more than a sperm donor...no. IF you have children, whether "together" or with a blended family and there is evidence that BOTH participate in the child's development and education, and care that is great! I told him I am listed on all of our son's school papers as parent, I am an emergency contact and I sign all the permission slips, etc. He is covered by my medical insurance. All good stuff. A birth certificate in itself ("Look we have a kid") does not prove a legitmate relationship. It is especially important that the school (an objective 3rd party) recognizes both people as "parents" and accepts this. Medical records for the child showing both people as parents. same reasoning. If a doctor will recognize and treat a child based on their knowledge of both being parents, that is pretty darn good evidence.
    Useless or not so useful stuff
    Magazine subscriptions together (WHAT??? "Yes, you would be surprised how many couples present a Sports Illustrated subscription as proof") Utilities, cards and letters from relatives, emails, chats etc. Theory? all of these can be easily faked and in themselves prove nothing. Utilities do not verify information before adding someone to an account and hey, it's the electric bill, you are going to pay the electric bill anyway. There is no financial risk involved, no commitment as in joint ownership. Affidavits from friends or family do not have a lot of weight. None of these things are BAD and in conjunction with other evidence are fine, but not enough to prove anything themselves.
    This is probably not news to a lot of people, but it was good to hear it from the "horse's mouth" anyway.
    Incidentally, I mentioned that we never had a question at any of our interviews and never were asked for any evidence and he said "Sometimes we can just tell. Whatever you did, whatever your body language or how you acted, the IO was immediately convinced you were legitimate" I cannot say what that was, unfortunately.
    Another question I asked, actually Alla did since she did not change her name
    Does it matter if the woman changes her name?: NO, not at all.
    About citizenship (Alla also asked)
    Can I be a dual citizen? Answer..."The United States does not recognize other citizenships. You are a US citizen or you are not a US citizen. Once you become a US citizen the United States does not consider you anything else. We will not take your passport from Ukraine and we will not tell Ukraine you are now a citizen of the US. If you want to keep your Ukraine passport and renew it in Ukraine when you are visiting, it is none of our concern"
    So the US has no policy and does not recognize any such thing as "dual citizenship" per se, but has no prohibitions from a person being a citizen of another country also, for the US you will always be considered a US citizen
    Can I use a Ukraine passport to enter Ukraine and a US passport to enter the US? Yes, no problem.
    What about stamps in the passport from the US or Ukraine?: The officers at the POE will ask where you have been, they rarely will look through all your exit stamps and really don't care. They are admitting you to the US, they really don't care if the country you LEFT stamped your passport, the US does not stamp passports on exit.
    I ask this because Ukraine does not allow dual citizenship and I do want to keep my Ukraine passport for ease of travel to Russia, etc, and also if we ever decided to return, we have property there, I could easily work, etc. I do not want to do anything wrong and get in trouble here. The US does not care about Ukrainian law regarding citizenship, that's between you and Ukraine, but WE won't tell. Unless there is some order from a court or something, we don't give out that information.
  9. Thanks
    Gary and Alla got a reaction from GeorgeandGeorgia in I-751 evidence   
    I had the great opportunity to have dinner with a director of the VSC Saturday evening. A sit turns out his wife is Russian, came here on a K-1 and is now an aquaintance of Alla. So we had some great conversation. Our next step will be the I-751 and he has worked in his career as an IO who conducted AOS and lifting of conditions interviews and gave me lots of good information on evidence. Here are some things he likes to see and others which are "useless" in his words
    Good stuff
    Joint bank accounts, joint tax returns, joint ownership of property, cars. Joint leases. Joint insurance. Named as beneficiaries on life insurance and medical insurance. Joint credit cards. Any other joining of financial interests (the theory is that if one is willing to risk your property and money the relationship is more likely valid) Government documents showing common address, drivers lisence, etc. Photos are good, kind of expected, but NOT primary evidence.
    Children?
    Yes and no. If you just had a child together and the man is nothing more than a sperm donor...no. IF you have children, whether "together" or with a blended family and there is evidence that BOTH participate in the child's development and education, and care that is great! I told him I am listed on all of our son's school papers as parent, I am an emergency contact and I sign all the permission slips, etc. He is covered by my medical insurance. All good stuff. A birth certificate in itself ("Look we have a kid") does not prove a legitmate relationship. It is especially important that the school (an objective 3rd party) recognizes both people as "parents" and accepts this. Medical records for the child showing both people as parents. same reasoning. If a doctor will recognize and treat a child based on their knowledge of both being parents, that is pretty darn good evidence.
    Useless or not so useful stuff
    Magazine subscriptions together (WHAT??? "Yes, you would be surprised how many couples present a Sports Illustrated subscription as proof") Utilities, cards and letters from relatives, emails, chats etc. Theory? all of these can be easily faked and in themselves prove nothing. Utilities do not verify information before adding someone to an account and hey, it's the electric bill, you are going to pay the electric bill anyway. There is no financial risk involved, no commitment as in joint ownership. Affidavits from friends or family do not have a lot of weight. None of these things are BAD and in conjunction with other evidence are fine, but not enough to prove anything themselves.
    This is probably not news to a lot of people, but it was good to hear it from the "horse's mouth" anyway.
    Incidentally, I mentioned that we never had a question at any of our interviews and never were asked for any evidence and he said "Sometimes we can just tell. Whatever you did, whatever your body language or how you acted, the IO was immediately convinced you were legitimate" I cannot say what that was, unfortunately.
    Another question I asked, actually Alla did since she did not change her name
    Does it matter if the woman changes her name?: NO, not at all.
    About citizenship (Alla also asked)
    Can I be a dual citizen? Answer..."The United States does not recognize other citizenships. You are a US citizen or you are not a US citizen. Once you become a US citizen the United States does not consider you anything else. We will not take your passport from Ukraine and we will not tell Ukraine you are now a citizen of the US. If you want to keep your Ukraine passport and renew it in Ukraine when you are visiting, it is none of our concern"
    So the US has no policy and does not recognize any such thing as "dual citizenship" per se, but has no prohibitions from a person being a citizen of another country also, for the US you will always be considered a US citizen
    Can I use a Ukraine passport to enter Ukraine and a US passport to enter the US? Yes, no problem.
    What about stamps in the passport from the US or Ukraine?: The officers at the POE will ask where you have been, they rarely will look through all your exit stamps and really don't care. They are admitting you to the US, they really don't care if the country you LEFT stamped your passport, the US does not stamp passports on exit.
    I ask this because Ukraine does not allow dual citizenship and I do want to keep my Ukraine passport for ease of travel to Russia, etc, and also if we ever decided to return, we have property there, I could easily work, etc. I do not want to do anything wrong and get in trouble here. The US does not care about Ukrainian law regarding citizenship, that's between you and Ukraine, but WE won't tell. Unless there is some order from a court or something, we don't give out that information.
  10. Like
    Gary and Alla got a reaction from tramontana in I-751 evidence   
    I had the great opportunity to have dinner with a director of the VSC Saturday evening. A sit turns out his wife is Russian, came here on a K-1 and is now an aquaintance of Alla. So we had some great conversation. Our next step will be the I-751 and he has worked in his career as an IO who conducted AOS and lifting of conditions interviews and gave me lots of good information on evidence. Here are some things he likes to see and others which are "useless" in his words
    Good stuff
    Joint bank accounts, joint tax returns, joint ownership of property, cars. Joint leases. Joint insurance. Named as beneficiaries on life insurance and medical insurance. Joint credit cards. Any other joining of financial interests (the theory is that if one is willing to risk your property and money the relationship is more likely valid) Government documents showing common address, drivers lisence, etc. Photos are good, kind of expected, but NOT primary evidence.
    Children?
    Yes and no. If you just had a child together and the man is nothing more than a sperm donor...no. IF you have children, whether "together" or with a blended family and there is evidence that BOTH participate in the child's development and education, and care that is great! I told him I am listed on all of our son's school papers as parent, I am an emergency contact and I sign all the permission slips, etc. He is covered by my medical insurance. All good stuff. A birth certificate in itself ("Look we have a kid") does not prove a legitmate relationship. It is especially important that the school (an objective 3rd party) recognizes both people as "parents" and accepts this. Medical records for the child showing both people as parents. same reasoning. If a doctor will recognize and treat a child based on their knowledge of both being parents, that is pretty darn good evidence.
    Useless or not so useful stuff
    Magazine subscriptions together (WHAT??? "Yes, you would be surprised how many couples present a Sports Illustrated subscription as proof") Utilities, cards and letters from relatives, emails, chats etc. Theory? all of these can be easily faked and in themselves prove nothing. Utilities do not verify information before adding someone to an account and hey, it's the electric bill, you are going to pay the electric bill anyway. There is no financial risk involved, no commitment as in joint ownership. Affidavits from friends or family do not have a lot of weight. None of these things are BAD and in conjunction with other evidence are fine, but not enough to prove anything themselves.
    This is probably not news to a lot of people, but it was good to hear it from the "horse's mouth" anyway.
    Incidentally, I mentioned that we never had a question at any of our interviews and never were asked for any evidence and he said "Sometimes we can just tell. Whatever you did, whatever your body language or how you acted, the IO was immediately convinced you were legitimate" I cannot say what that was, unfortunately.
    Another question I asked, actually Alla did since she did not change her name
    Does it matter if the woman changes her name?: NO, not at all.
    About citizenship (Alla also asked)
    Can I be a dual citizen? Answer..."The United States does not recognize other citizenships. You are a US citizen or you are not a US citizen. Once you become a US citizen the United States does not consider you anything else. We will not take your passport from Ukraine and we will not tell Ukraine you are now a citizen of the US. If you want to keep your Ukraine passport and renew it in Ukraine when you are visiting, it is none of our concern"
    So the US has no policy and does not recognize any such thing as "dual citizenship" per se, but has no prohibitions from a person being a citizen of another country also, for the US you will always be considered a US citizen
    Can I use a Ukraine passport to enter Ukraine and a US passport to enter the US? Yes, no problem.
    What about stamps in the passport from the US or Ukraine?: The officers at the POE will ask where you have been, they rarely will look through all your exit stamps and really don't care. They are admitting you to the US, they really don't care if the country you LEFT stamped your passport, the US does not stamp passports on exit.
    I ask this because Ukraine does not allow dual citizenship and I do want to keep my Ukraine passport for ease of travel to Russia, etc, and also if we ever decided to return, we have property there, I could easily work, etc. I do not want to do anything wrong and get in trouble here. The US does not care about Ukrainian law regarding citizenship, that's between you and Ukraine, but WE won't tell. Unless there is some order from a court or something, we don't give out that information.
  11. Like
    Gary and Alla got a reaction from mushroomspore in I-751 evidence   
    I had the great opportunity to have dinner with a director of the VSC Saturday evening. A sit turns out his wife is Russian, came here on a K-1 and is now an aquaintance of Alla. So we had some great conversation. Our next step will be the I-751 and he has worked in his career as an IO who conducted AOS and lifting of conditions interviews and gave me lots of good information on evidence. Here are some things he likes to see and others which are "useless" in his words
    Good stuff
    Joint bank accounts, joint tax returns, joint ownership of property, cars. Joint leases. Joint insurance. Named as beneficiaries on life insurance and medical insurance. Joint credit cards. Any other joining of financial interests (the theory is that if one is willing to risk your property and money the relationship is more likely valid) Government documents showing common address, drivers lisence, etc. Photos are good, kind of expected, but NOT primary evidence.
    Children?
    Yes and no. If you just had a child together and the man is nothing more than a sperm donor...no. IF you have children, whether "together" or with a blended family and there is evidence that BOTH participate in the child's development and education, and care that is great! I told him I am listed on all of our son's school papers as parent, I am an emergency contact and I sign all the permission slips, etc. He is covered by my medical insurance. All good stuff. A birth certificate in itself ("Look we have a kid") does not prove a legitmate relationship. It is especially important that the school (an objective 3rd party) recognizes both people as "parents" and accepts this. Medical records for the child showing both people as parents. same reasoning. If a doctor will recognize and treat a child based on their knowledge of both being parents, that is pretty darn good evidence.
    Useless or not so useful stuff
    Magazine subscriptions together (WHAT??? "Yes, you would be surprised how many couples present a Sports Illustrated subscription as proof") Utilities, cards and letters from relatives, emails, chats etc. Theory? all of these can be easily faked and in themselves prove nothing. Utilities do not verify information before adding someone to an account and hey, it's the electric bill, you are going to pay the electric bill anyway. There is no financial risk involved, no commitment as in joint ownership. Affidavits from friends or family do not have a lot of weight. None of these things are BAD and in conjunction with other evidence are fine, but not enough to prove anything themselves.
    This is probably not news to a lot of people, but it was good to hear it from the "horse's mouth" anyway.
    Incidentally, I mentioned that we never had a question at any of our interviews and never were asked for any evidence and he said "Sometimes we can just tell. Whatever you did, whatever your body language or how you acted, the IO was immediately convinced you were legitimate" I cannot say what that was, unfortunately.
    Another question I asked, actually Alla did since she did not change her name
    Does it matter if the woman changes her name?: NO, not at all.
    About citizenship (Alla also asked)
    Can I be a dual citizen? Answer..."The United States does not recognize other citizenships. You are a US citizen or you are not a US citizen. Once you become a US citizen the United States does not consider you anything else. We will not take your passport from Ukraine and we will not tell Ukraine you are now a citizen of the US. If you want to keep your Ukraine passport and renew it in Ukraine when you are visiting, it is none of our concern"
    So the US has no policy and does not recognize any such thing as "dual citizenship" per se, but has no prohibitions from a person being a citizen of another country also, for the US you will always be considered a US citizen
    Can I use a Ukraine passport to enter Ukraine and a US passport to enter the US? Yes, no problem.
    What about stamps in the passport from the US or Ukraine?: The officers at the POE will ask where you have been, they rarely will look through all your exit stamps and really don't care. They are admitting you to the US, they really don't care if the country you LEFT stamped your passport, the US does not stamp passports on exit.
    I ask this because Ukraine does not allow dual citizenship and I do want to keep my Ukraine passport for ease of travel to Russia, etc, and also if we ever decided to return, we have property there, I could easily work, etc. I do not want to do anything wrong and get in trouble here. The US does not care about Ukrainian law regarding citizenship, that's between you and Ukraine, but WE won't tell. Unless there is some order from a court or something, we don't give out that information.
  12. Like
    Gary and Alla got a reaction from Aleksandr I. in I-751 evidence   
    I had the great opportunity to have dinner with a director of the VSC Saturday evening. A sit turns out his wife is Russian, came here on a K-1 and is now an aquaintance of Alla. So we had some great conversation. Our next step will be the I-751 and he has worked in his career as an IO who conducted AOS and lifting of conditions interviews and gave me lots of good information on evidence. Here are some things he likes to see and others which are "useless" in his words
    Good stuff
    Joint bank accounts, joint tax returns, joint ownership of property, cars. Joint leases. Joint insurance. Named as beneficiaries on life insurance and medical insurance. Joint credit cards. Any other joining of financial interests (the theory is that if one is willing to risk your property and money the relationship is more likely valid) Government documents showing common address, drivers lisence, etc. Photos are good, kind of expected, but NOT primary evidence.
    Children?
    Yes and no. If you just had a child together and the man is nothing more than a sperm donor...no. IF you have children, whether "together" or with a blended family and there is evidence that BOTH participate in the child's development and education, and care that is great! I told him I am listed on all of our son's school papers as parent, I am an emergency contact and I sign all the permission slips, etc. He is covered by my medical insurance. All good stuff. A birth certificate in itself ("Look we have a kid") does not prove a legitmate relationship. It is especially important that the school (an objective 3rd party) recognizes both people as "parents" and accepts this. Medical records for the child showing both people as parents. same reasoning. If a doctor will recognize and treat a child based on their knowledge of both being parents, that is pretty darn good evidence.
    Useless or not so useful stuff
    Magazine subscriptions together (WHAT??? "Yes, you would be surprised how many couples present a Sports Illustrated subscription as proof") Utilities, cards and letters from relatives, emails, chats etc. Theory? all of these can be easily faked and in themselves prove nothing. Utilities do not verify information before adding someone to an account and hey, it's the electric bill, you are going to pay the electric bill anyway. There is no financial risk involved, no commitment as in joint ownership. Affidavits from friends or family do not have a lot of weight. None of these things are BAD and in conjunction with other evidence are fine, but not enough to prove anything themselves.
    This is probably not news to a lot of people, but it was good to hear it from the "horse's mouth" anyway.
    Incidentally, I mentioned that we never had a question at any of our interviews and never were asked for any evidence and he said "Sometimes we can just tell. Whatever you did, whatever your body language or how you acted, the IO was immediately convinced you were legitimate" I cannot say what that was, unfortunately.
    Another question I asked, actually Alla did since she did not change her name
    Does it matter if the woman changes her name?: NO, not at all.
    About citizenship (Alla also asked)
    Can I be a dual citizen? Answer..."The United States does not recognize other citizenships. You are a US citizen or you are not a US citizen. Once you become a US citizen the United States does not consider you anything else. We will not take your passport from Ukraine and we will not tell Ukraine you are now a citizen of the US. If you want to keep your Ukraine passport and renew it in Ukraine when you are visiting, it is none of our concern"
    So the US has no policy and does not recognize any such thing as "dual citizenship" per se, but has no prohibitions from a person being a citizen of another country also, for the US you will always be considered a US citizen
    Can I use a Ukraine passport to enter Ukraine and a US passport to enter the US? Yes, no problem.
    What about stamps in the passport from the US or Ukraine?: The officers at the POE will ask where you have been, they rarely will look through all your exit stamps and really don't care. They are admitting you to the US, they really don't care if the country you LEFT stamped your passport, the US does not stamp passports on exit.
    I ask this because Ukraine does not allow dual citizenship and I do want to keep my Ukraine passport for ease of travel to Russia, etc, and also if we ever decided to return, we have property there, I could easily work, etc. I do not want to do anything wrong and get in trouble here. The US does not care about Ukrainian law regarding citizenship, that's between you and Ukraine, but WE won't tell. Unless there is some order from a court or something, we don't give out that information.
  13. Like
    Gary and Alla got a reaction from raini7 in I-751 evidence   
    I had the great opportunity to have dinner with a director of the VSC Saturday evening. A sit turns out his wife is Russian, came here on a K-1 and is now an aquaintance of Alla. So we had some great conversation. Our next step will be the I-751 and he has worked in his career as an IO who conducted AOS and lifting of conditions interviews and gave me lots of good information on evidence. Here are some things he likes to see and others which are "useless" in his words
    Good stuff
    Joint bank accounts, joint tax returns, joint ownership of property, cars. Joint leases. Joint insurance. Named as beneficiaries on life insurance and medical insurance. Joint credit cards. Any other joining of financial interests (the theory is that if one is willing to risk your property and money the relationship is more likely valid) Government documents showing common address, drivers lisence, etc. Photos are good, kind of expected, but NOT primary evidence.
    Children?
    Yes and no. If you just had a child together and the man is nothing more than a sperm donor...no. IF you have children, whether "together" or with a blended family and there is evidence that BOTH participate in the child's development and education, and care that is great! I told him I am listed on all of our son's school papers as parent, I am an emergency contact and I sign all the permission slips, etc. He is covered by my medical insurance. All good stuff. A birth certificate in itself ("Look we have a kid") does not prove a legitmate relationship. It is especially important that the school (an objective 3rd party) recognizes both people as "parents" and accepts this. Medical records for the child showing both people as parents. same reasoning. If a doctor will recognize and treat a child based on their knowledge of both being parents, that is pretty darn good evidence.
    Useless or not so useful stuff
    Magazine subscriptions together (WHAT??? "Yes, you would be surprised how many couples present a Sports Illustrated subscription as proof") Utilities, cards and letters from relatives, emails, chats etc. Theory? all of these can be easily faked and in themselves prove nothing. Utilities do not verify information before adding someone to an account and hey, it's the electric bill, you are going to pay the electric bill anyway. There is no financial risk involved, no commitment as in joint ownership. Affidavits from friends or family do not have a lot of weight. None of these things are BAD and in conjunction with other evidence are fine, but not enough to prove anything themselves.
    This is probably not news to a lot of people, but it was good to hear it from the "horse's mouth" anyway.
    Incidentally, I mentioned that we never had a question at any of our interviews and never were asked for any evidence and he said "Sometimes we can just tell. Whatever you did, whatever your body language or how you acted, the IO was immediately convinced you were legitimate" I cannot say what that was, unfortunately.
    Another question I asked, actually Alla did since she did not change her name
    Does it matter if the woman changes her name?: NO, not at all.
    About citizenship (Alla also asked)
    Can I be a dual citizen? Answer..."The United States does not recognize other citizenships. You are a US citizen or you are not a US citizen. Once you become a US citizen the United States does not consider you anything else. We will not take your passport from Ukraine and we will not tell Ukraine you are now a citizen of the US. If you want to keep your Ukraine passport and renew it in Ukraine when you are visiting, it is none of our concern"
    So the US has no policy and does not recognize any such thing as "dual citizenship" per se, but has no prohibitions from a person being a citizen of another country also, for the US you will always be considered a US citizen
    Can I use a Ukraine passport to enter Ukraine and a US passport to enter the US? Yes, no problem.
    What about stamps in the passport from the US or Ukraine?: The officers at the POE will ask where you have been, they rarely will look through all your exit stamps and really don't care. They are admitting you to the US, they really don't care if the country you LEFT stamped your passport, the US does not stamp passports on exit.
    I ask this because Ukraine does not allow dual citizenship and I do want to keep my Ukraine passport for ease of travel to Russia, etc, and also if we ever decided to return, we have property there, I could easily work, etc. I do not want to do anything wrong and get in trouble here. The US does not care about Ukrainian law regarding citizenship, that's between you and Ukraine, but WE won't tell. Unless there is some order from a court or something, we don't give out that information.
  14. Like
    Gary and Alla got a reaction from thepanda in I-751 evidence   
    I had the great opportunity to have dinner with a director of the VSC Saturday evening. A sit turns out his wife is Russian, came here on a K-1 and is now an aquaintance of Alla. So we had some great conversation. Our next step will be the I-751 and he has worked in his career as an IO who conducted AOS and lifting of conditions interviews and gave me lots of good information on evidence. Here are some things he likes to see and others which are "useless" in his words
    Good stuff
    Joint bank accounts, joint tax returns, joint ownership of property, cars. Joint leases. Joint insurance. Named as beneficiaries on life insurance and medical insurance. Joint credit cards. Any other joining of financial interests (the theory is that if one is willing to risk your property and money the relationship is more likely valid) Government documents showing common address, drivers lisence, etc. Photos are good, kind of expected, but NOT primary evidence.
    Children?
    Yes and no. If you just had a child together and the man is nothing more than a sperm donor...no. IF you have children, whether "together" or with a blended family and there is evidence that BOTH participate in the child's development and education, and care that is great! I told him I am listed on all of our son's school papers as parent, I am an emergency contact and I sign all the permission slips, etc. He is covered by my medical insurance. All good stuff. A birth certificate in itself ("Look we have a kid") does not prove a legitmate relationship. It is especially important that the school (an objective 3rd party) recognizes both people as "parents" and accepts this. Medical records for the child showing both people as parents. same reasoning. If a doctor will recognize and treat a child based on their knowledge of both being parents, that is pretty darn good evidence.
    Useless or not so useful stuff
    Magazine subscriptions together (WHAT??? "Yes, you would be surprised how many couples present a Sports Illustrated subscription as proof") Utilities, cards and letters from relatives, emails, chats etc. Theory? all of these can be easily faked and in themselves prove nothing. Utilities do not verify information before adding someone to an account and hey, it's the electric bill, you are going to pay the electric bill anyway. There is no financial risk involved, no commitment as in joint ownership. Affidavits from friends or family do not have a lot of weight. None of these things are BAD and in conjunction with other evidence are fine, but not enough to prove anything themselves.
    This is probably not news to a lot of people, but it was good to hear it from the "horse's mouth" anyway.
    Incidentally, I mentioned that we never had a question at any of our interviews and never were asked for any evidence and he said "Sometimes we can just tell. Whatever you did, whatever your body language or how you acted, the IO was immediately convinced you were legitimate" I cannot say what that was, unfortunately.
    Another question I asked, actually Alla did since she did not change her name
    Does it matter if the woman changes her name?: NO, not at all.
    About citizenship (Alla also asked)
    Can I be a dual citizen? Answer..."The United States does not recognize other citizenships. You are a US citizen or you are not a US citizen. Once you become a US citizen the United States does not consider you anything else. We will not take your passport from Ukraine and we will not tell Ukraine you are now a citizen of the US. If you want to keep your Ukraine passport and renew it in Ukraine when you are visiting, it is none of our concern"
    So the US has no policy and does not recognize any such thing as "dual citizenship" per se, but has no prohibitions from a person being a citizen of another country also, for the US you will always be considered a US citizen
    Can I use a Ukraine passport to enter Ukraine and a US passport to enter the US? Yes, no problem.
    What about stamps in the passport from the US or Ukraine?: The officers at the POE will ask where you have been, they rarely will look through all your exit stamps and really don't care. They are admitting you to the US, they really don't care if the country you LEFT stamped your passport, the US does not stamp passports on exit.
    I ask this because Ukraine does not allow dual citizenship and I do want to keep my Ukraine passport for ease of travel to Russia, etc, and also if we ever decided to return, we have property there, I could easily work, etc. I do not want to do anything wrong and get in trouble here. The US does not care about Ukrainian law regarding citizenship, that's between you and Ukraine, but WE won't tell. Unless there is some order from a court or something, we don't give out that information.
  15. Haha
    Gary and Alla got a reaction from Mella in Can I visit my Boyfriend in USA while my K1 visa is pending?   
    You might get away with it if your fiance doesn't find out. Good luck.
  16. Like
    Gary and Alla got a reaction from amishbaby in Married Filing Income Tax Separately   
    To answer your question
    There is no requirement that you file JOINT tax returns. There IS a requirement that YOU file a tax return (either joint with your husband or separately)and a requirement that you ARE married and living together. A JOINT return can provide evidence of BOTH paying taxes and living together and being married. Very convenient, but not necessary. You can change your filing status anytime you want.
    Just be sure to provide other evidence you are married and live together.
  17. Like
    Gary and Alla got a reaction from Abies in K-1 petition information   
    Hello All
    I had a great opportunity Saturday evening to have dinner with and spend several hours with a director at the VSC. He is currently in charge of the department that handles I-751s among other things. His wife is an adjusicator that handles YOUR petition (if it went through VSC). His wife is Russian, arrived on a K-1 and is now a citizen. This man has worked for USCIS for many years and was at several local offices before being assigned to the VSC. His wife is a friend of Alla's and we were all at a dinner party for several American/Russian/Ukrainian couples Saturday. We had a long chat, he was very open and helpful. We talked about a lot of the things we see here on VJ and I was trying to remember all the "usual questions" I read about and pin him down for some answers. I also have asked him if he will give an "official interview" for VJ. He said he will check out the site and I will call him later this week. So, anyway I will try to cover what we discussed, he was quite frank and direct in his answers, not rude, not at all, but he knows his stuff and answers without hesitation. It turned into an impromtu and fun "interview" with me trying to remember all the hot button issues I see on VJ
    I told him that the number ONE and number TWO "complaints" I see are Why is the VSC taking so long and why can't we get through to you guys?
    Why is VSC taking so long, what happened? I was approved in 58 days!: We had problem with labor last year and lost many workers, we hired more last November and it took some time to get them trained. Some of the petitions were sent to California and we also assign people to different tyopes of visas. They will concentrate on one tyoe, get behind on another and then shift many people back to the other type. Lately we have shifted many, almost all, adjudicators to I-129fs, so that should make people happy. They will do that until they get caught up. Summer is a busy time for I-129fs, usually about June we get slammed with them. The winter or early spring is the slowest time for I-129fs, but then it depends what they have everyone working on also.
    OK, why can't we get through to you? The 1-800 line is useless. Those are contract employees and they are trained to select answers from a menu of 14 answers. They pick which one is best for your question. There are thousands of visas being processed at any time and everyone is special and everyone has special circumstances and if we had direct lines we weould do nothing but field requests by petitioners to give them priority, we just can't do it. How would you feel if your petition got bumped because some woman called and cried on the phone and then her petition got moved up ahead of yours. We simply have to operate in a way that avoids any chance of fraud, corruption or unfairness.
    So what about some people get approved ahead of others? Sme petitions have problems or delays, we do not hold back others for this. If an adjudicator has problems, he puts that one aside or sends an RFE and goes on to the next. The next one may be clean and gets approved right away, in just a few minutes, they adjudicate 15-20 petitions a day per person, and the ones with problems may wait weeks for the petitioner to respond to the RFE, or maybe it is a name check they are waiting for. Petitions are assigned as they arrive, when we are working on those petitions, but they do not go out the door in the same order they came in.
    G-325a, Signed or Unsigned? Unsigned.
    WHAT? Ok I have seen the memo but lots of VJ members got RFEs for unsigned G-325s, what gives? They do not have to be signed,they can be signed at the consualte interview. Some adjusicators haven't read all the memos, we get hundreds of the things, and maybe they make a mistake. If you want to be sure there is no mistake, sign it. Or send a letter expalining why it is not signed and request it be signed at the interview. Do you have that memo?
    It is on the VJ website somewhere You can print a copy of that and send it with the I-129f and G-325a.
    Fiancee intent letter? Signed or unsigned? Signed.
    What about a faxed or emailed signature? When I was adjudicating, if I could see a signature, I accepted it, but many adjusicators will not. Signed is better.
    Lawyer or no lawyer? For what?
    Enough said. Now a hot issue, a very controversial one. There seems to be a trend in some countries of foreign men marrying American women and the women are considerably older. There is always a question if this is a problem. It never seems to be a problem for older men/younger women (My wife is 13 years younger, his wife is also considerable younger than him) Is it a problem? For us, USCIS, no. "Free to marry".
    What about the consulates or for AOS or I-751? Consulates do what they do, it is not USCIS, some of them are bastards. Kiev is easy, they approve everyone (laughs), they used to be bastards but they got easier since they first started doing those in 2005, before then you would have had to go to Warsaw, you know. For AOS if they can prove they are legitimate we do not care about age but anything that is "not normal" for the culture will draw suspicion. They probably will not get a no questions asked interview (I had told him our AOS was "no questions asked")
    What about birth certificates, some people have trouble getting them? This is a problem for us also. Some people, especially our younger staff, think all the world is like the USA. I remember one, when I was in the Kansas City office, the beneficiary was from Viet Nam, she was born in 1954 there was no birth certificate. The CO asked me about this and I looked at the file. I said "Do you know what was going on in Viet Nam in 1954?" She looked at me, straight faced and said "What, their computers were down?" If a birth certificate cannot be obtained they can usually get something from a church, a village official, something, and send that with a letter of explanation. Or just their passport and a letter explaining the situation (this applies to AOS more than I-129f as beneficiary birth certificate is not required for the petition, but I wanted to ask anyway, it seems a common question here)
    What about extra documents? Proof of relationship? We don't need it, only that they have met for the fiancee visa.
    What about the consulates? Consulates do what they do, as I said, some are bastards. They get whatever we get when it is sent on. I can't tell you what NVC and consulates do, I know some are terrible and some are really easy, but I do not know all the details of each. Kiev is easy, western Europe is easy, Nigeria is horrible, but you would not believe the scams from Nigeria, I get jaded. I am surprised a lot of them get visas and then we have to deal with them.
    I have to ask for a collegue, Ecuador? Bastards.

    What about changes? Are there any in the works? Is Obama ouching you guys to work faster? I am not sure Obama knows we exist. There have been no changes and no pressure other than the usual workload and shifting things around. I do not expect any immigration changes in the next year or two, at kleat not in rules or amnesty or anything like that. I do expect FEE INCREASES within the next year...across the board.
    How much more? I cannot say, that is not my area, I just hear talk.
    He added, "We try not to deny petitions, people really get angry and make lots of trouble. Denials usually come at the consulate or maybe AOS or sometimes even with the I-751. If we deny someone we need good reason, if they meet the criteria, we will approve it, they just have to give us what we need to approve them."
    So how can I speed up my petition? You can't really. If it gets to be too long and if you can get a congressman or senator to call, that will get some action, but half the time those guys dont'' call or they do and the petition has only been there 3 months. Sometimes one falls through the cracks, gets overlooked, we are human. A congressman can get through and get them to dig it out if it has been too long, but I wouldn't call that "speeding it up". That's a fix for whn it is too slow.
    we talked for some time more, about 5 hours altogether, briefly interrupted by Alla every now and again who had her own questions about the I-751 procedure which I posted in that forum, about VJ and other topics (his Navy days) He said he will check the site and gave me his home number. He said "call anytime but not 3 in the morning" I asked about an interview or answering prepared questions, he said possibly, he will check the site. He said many internet sites are advertisement for immigration attorneys or instructing people on how to pull scams, I assured him he would be very pleased with VJ and he thinks it is great that there is a good site for information and advice. (he never heard of VJ before this)
    I can also say, that speaking to him, I heard so many of the same buzzwords or advice that I have seen right here, this is really a great site with some great folks giving some really great info.
  18. Thanks
    Gary and Alla got a reaction from Stof&Tei2017 in K-1 petition information   
    Hello All
    I had a great opportunity Saturday evening to have dinner with and spend several hours with a director at the VSC. He is currently in charge of the department that handles I-751s among other things. His wife is an adjusicator that handles YOUR petition (if it went through VSC). His wife is Russian, arrived on a K-1 and is now a citizen. This man has worked for USCIS for many years and was at several local offices before being assigned to the VSC. His wife is a friend of Alla's and we were all at a dinner party for several American/Russian/Ukrainian couples Saturday. We had a long chat, he was very open and helpful. We talked about a lot of the things we see here on VJ and I was trying to remember all the "usual questions" I read about and pin him down for some answers. I also have asked him if he will give an "official interview" for VJ. He said he will check out the site and I will call him later this week. So, anyway I will try to cover what we discussed, he was quite frank and direct in his answers, not rude, not at all, but he knows his stuff and answers without hesitation. It turned into an impromtu and fun "interview" with me trying to remember all the hot button issues I see on VJ
    I told him that the number ONE and number TWO "complaints" I see are Why is the VSC taking so long and why can't we get through to you guys?
    Why is VSC taking so long, what happened? I was approved in 58 days!: We had problem with labor last year and lost many workers, we hired more last November and it took some time to get them trained. Some of the petitions were sent to California and we also assign people to different tyopes of visas. They will concentrate on one tyoe, get behind on another and then shift many people back to the other type. Lately we have shifted many, almost all, adjudicators to I-129fs, so that should make people happy. They will do that until they get caught up. Summer is a busy time for I-129fs, usually about June we get slammed with them. The winter or early spring is the slowest time for I-129fs, but then it depends what they have everyone working on also.
    OK, why can't we get through to you? The 1-800 line is useless. Those are contract employees and they are trained to select answers from a menu of 14 answers. They pick which one is best for your question. There are thousands of visas being processed at any time and everyone is special and everyone has special circumstances and if we had direct lines we weould do nothing but field requests by petitioners to give them priority, we just can't do it. How would you feel if your petition got bumped because some woman called and cried on the phone and then her petition got moved up ahead of yours. We simply have to operate in a way that avoids any chance of fraud, corruption or unfairness.
    So what about some people get approved ahead of others? Sme petitions have problems or delays, we do not hold back others for this. If an adjudicator has problems, he puts that one aside or sends an RFE and goes on to the next. The next one may be clean and gets approved right away, in just a few minutes, they adjudicate 15-20 petitions a day per person, and the ones with problems may wait weeks for the petitioner to respond to the RFE, or maybe it is a name check they are waiting for. Petitions are assigned as they arrive, when we are working on those petitions, but they do not go out the door in the same order they came in.
    G-325a, Signed or Unsigned? Unsigned.
    WHAT? Ok I have seen the memo but lots of VJ members got RFEs for unsigned G-325s, what gives? They do not have to be signed,they can be signed at the consualte interview. Some adjusicators haven't read all the memos, we get hundreds of the things, and maybe they make a mistake. If you want to be sure there is no mistake, sign it. Or send a letter expalining why it is not signed and request it be signed at the interview. Do you have that memo?
    It is on the VJ website somewhere You can print a copy of that and send it with the I-129f and G-325a.
    Fiancee intent letter? Signed or unsigned? Signed.
    What about a faxed or emailed signature? When I was adjudicating, if I could see a signature, I accepted it, but many adjusicators will not. Signed is better.
    Lawyer or no lawyer? For what?
    Enough said. Now a hot issue, a very controversial one. There seems to be a trend in some countries of foreign men marrying American women and the women are considerably older. There is always a question if this is a problem. It never seems to be a problem for older men/younger women (My wife is 13 years younger, his wife is also considerable younger than him) Is it a problem? For us, USCIS, no. "Free to marry".
    What about the consulates or for AOS or I-751? Consulates do what they do, it is not USCIS, some of them are bastards. Kiev is easy, they approve everyone (laughs), they used to be bastards but they got easier since they first started doing those in 2005, before then you would have had to go to Warsaw, you know. For AOS if they can prove they are legitimate we do not care about age but anything that is "not normal" for the culture will draw suspicion. They probably will not get a no questions asked interview (I had told him our AOS was "no questions asked")
    What about birth certificates, some people have trouble getting them? This is a problem for us also. Some people, especially our younger staff, think all the world is like the USA. I remember one, when I was in the Kansas City office, the beneficiary was from Viet Nam, she was born in 1954 there was no birth certificate. The CO asked me about this and I looked at the file. I said "Do you know what was going on in Viet Nam in 1954?" She looked at me, straight faced and said "What, their computers were down?" If a birth certificate cannot be obtained they can usually get something from a church, a village official, something, and send that with a letter of explanation. Or just their passport and a letter explaining the situation (this applies to AOS more than I-129f as beneficiary birth certificate is not required for the petition, but I wanted to ask anyway, it seems a common question here)
    What about extra documents? Proof of relationship? We don't need it, only that they have met for the fiancee visa.
    What about the consulates? Consulates do what they do, as I said, some are bastards. They get whatever we get when it is sent on. I can't tell you what NVC and consulates do, I know some are terrible and some are really easy, but I do not know all the details of each. Kiev is easy, western Europe is easy, Nigeria is horrible, but you would not believe the scams from Nigeria, I get jaded. I am surprised a lot of them get visas and then we have to deal with them.
    I have to ask for a collegue, Ecuador? Bastards.

    What about changes? Are there any in the works? Is Obama ouching you guys to work faster? I am not sure Obama knows we exist. There have been no changes and no pressure other than the usual workload and shifting things around. I do not expect any immigration changes in the next year or two, at kleat not in rules or amnesty or anything like that. I do expect FEE INCREASES within the next year...across the board.
    How much more? I cannot say, that is not my area, I just hear talk.
    He added, "We try not to deny petitions, people really get angry and make lots of trouble. Denials usually come at the consulate or maybe AOS or sometimes even with the I-751. If we deny someone we need good reason, if they meet the criteria, we will approve it, they just have to give us what we need to approve them."
    So how can I speed up my petition? You can't really. If it gets to be too long and if you can get a congressman or senator to call, that will get some action, but half the time those guys dont'' call or they do and the petition has only been there 3 months. Sometimes one falls through the cracks, gets overlooked, we are human. A congressman can get through and get them to dig it out if it has been too long, but I wouldn't call that "speeding it up". That's a fix for whn it is too slow.
    we talked for some time more, about 5 hours altogether, briefly interrupted by Alla every now and again who had her own questions about the I-751 procedure which I posted in that forum, about VJ and other topics (his Navy days) He said he will check the site and gave me his home number. He said "call anytime but not 3 in the morning" I asked about an interview or answering prepared questions, he said possibly, he will check the site. He said many internet sites are advertisement for immigration attorneys or instructing people on how to pull scams, I assured him he would be very pleased with VJ and he thinks it is great that there is a good site for information and advice. (he never heard of VJ before this)
    I can also say, that speaking to him, I heard so many of the same buzzwords or advice that I have seen right here, this is really a great site with some great folks giving some really great info.
  19. Like
    Gary and Alla got a reaction from RN0880 in I-751 evidence   
    I had the great opportunity to have dinner with a director of the VSC Saturday evening. A sit turns out his wife is Russian, came here on a K-1 and is now an aquaintance of Alla. So we had some great conversation. Our next step will be the I-751 and he has worked in his career as an IO who conducted AOS and lifting of conditions interviews and gave me lots of good information on evidence. Here are some things he likes to see and others which are "useless" in his words
    Good stuff
    Joint bank accounts, joint tax returns, joint ownership of property, cars. Joint leases. Joint insurance. Named as beneficiaries on life insurance and medical insurance. Joint credit cards. Any other joining of financial interests (the theory is that if one is willing to risk your property and money the relationship is more likely valid) Government documents showing common address, drivers lisence, etc. Photos are good, kind of expected, but NOT primary evidence.
    Children?
    Yes and no. If you just had a child together and the man is nothing more than a sperm donor...no. IF you have children, whether "together" or with a blended family and there is evidence that BOTH participate in the child's development and education, and care that is great! I told him I am listed on all of our son's school papers as parent, I am an emergency contact and I sign all the permission slips, etc. He is covered by my medical insurance. All good stuff. A birth certificate in itself ("Look we have a kid") does not prove a legitmate relationship. It is especially important that the school (an objective 3rd party) recognizes both people as "parents" and accepts this. Medical records for the child showing both people as parents. same reasoning. If a doctor will recognize and treat a child based on their knowledge of both being parents, that is pretty darn good evidence.
    Useless or not so useful stuff
    Magazine subscriptions together (WHAT??? "Yes, you would be surprised how many couples present a Sports Illustrated subscription as proof") Utilities, cards and letters from relatives, emails, chats etc. Theory? all of these can be easily faked and in themselves prove nothing. Utilities do not verify information before adding someone to an account and hey, it's the electric bill, you are going to pay the electric bill anyway. There is no financial risk involved, no commitment as in joint ownership. Affidavits from friends or family do not have a lot of weight. None of these things are BAD and in conjunction with other evidence are fine, but not enough to prove anything themselves.
    This is probably not news to a lot of people, but it was good to hear it from the "horse's mouth" anyway.
    Incidentally, I mentioned that we never had a question at any of our interviews and never were asked for any evidence and he said "Sometimes we can just tell. Whatever you did, whatever your body language or how you acted, the IO was immediately convinced you were legitimate" I cannot say what that was, unfortunately.
    Another question I asked, actually Alla did since she did not change her name
    Does it matter if the woman changes her name?: NO, not at all.
    About citizenship (Alla also asked)
    Can I be a dual citizen? Answer..."The United States does not recognize other citizenships. You are a US citizen or you are not a US citizen. Once you become a US citizen the United States does not consider you anything else. We will not take your passport from Ukraine and we will not tell Ukraine you are now a citizen of the US. If you want to keep your Ukraine passport and renew it in Ukraine when you are visiting, it is none of our concern"
    So the US has no policy and does not recognize any such thing as "dual citizenship" per se, but has no prohibitions from a person being a citizen of another country also, for the US you will always be considered a US citizen
    Can I use a Ukraine passport to enter Ukraine and a US passport to enter the US? Yes, no problem.
    What about stamps in the passport from the US or Ukraine?: The officers at the POE will ask where you have been, they rarely will look through all your exit stamps and really don't care. They are admitting you to the US, they really don't care if the country you LEFT stamped your passport, the US does not stamp passports on exit.
    I ask this because Ukraine does not allow dual citizenship and I do want to keep my Ukraine passport for ease of travel to Russia, etc, and also if we ever decided to return, we have property there, I could easily work, etc. I do not want to do anything wrong and get in trouble here. The US does not care about Ukrainian law regarding citizenship, that's between you and Ukraine, but WE won't tell. Unless there is some order from a court or something, we don't give out that information.
  20. Like
    Gary and Alla got a reaction from cordoba2015 in I-751 evidence   
    I had the great opportunity to have dinner with a director of the VSC Saturday evening. A sit turns out his wife is Russian, came here on a K-1 and is now an aquaintance of Alla. So we had some great conversation. Our next step will be the I-751 and he has worked in his career as an IO who conducted AOS and lifting of conditions interviews and gave me lots of good information on evidence. Here are some things he likes to see and others which are "useless" in his words
    Good stuff
    Joint bank accounts, joint tax returns, joint ownership of property, cars. Joint leases. Joint insurance. Named as beneficiaries on life insurance and medical insurance. Joint credit cards. Any other joining of financial interests (the theory is that if one is willing to risk your property and money the relationship is more likely valid) Government documents showing common address, drivers lisence, etc. Photos are good, kind of expected, but NOT primary evidence.
    Children?
    Yes and no. If you just had a child together and the man is nothing more than a sperm donor...no. IF you have children, whether "together" or with a blended family and there is evidence that BOTH participate in the child's development and education, and care that is great! I told him I am listed on all of our son's school papers as parent, I am an emergency contact and I sign all the permission slips, etc. He is covered by my medical insurance. All good stuff. A birth certificate in itself ("Look we have a kid") does not prove a legitmate relationship. It is especially important that the school (an objective 3rd party) recognizes both people as "parents" and accepts this. Medical records for the child showing both people as parents. same reasoning. If a doctor will recognize and treat a child based on their knowledge of both being parents, that is pretty darn good evidence.
    Useless or not so useful stuff
    Magazine subscriptions together (WHAT??? "Yes, you would be surprised how many couples present a Sports Illustrated subscription as proof") Utilities, cards and letters from relatives, emails, chats etc. Theory? all of these can be easily faked and in themselves prove nothing. Utilities do not verify information before adding someone to an account and hey, it's the electric bill, you are going to pay the electric bill anyway. There is no financial risk involved, no commitment as in joint ownership. Affidavits from friends or family do not have a lot of weight. None of these things are BAD and in conjunction with other evidence are fine, but not enough to prove anything themselves.
    This is probably not news to a lot of people, but it was good to hear it from the "horse's mouth" anyway.
    Incidentally, I mentioned that we never had a question at any of our interviews and never were asked for any evidence and he said "Sometimes we can just tell. Whatever you did, whatever your body language or how you acted, the IO was immediately convinced you were legitimate" I cannot say what that was, unfortunately.
    Another question I asked, actually Alla did since she did not change her name
    Does it matter if the woman changes her name?: NO, not at all.
    About citizenship (Alla also asked)
    Can I be a dual citizen? Answer..."The United States does not recognize other citizenships. You are a US citizen or you are not a US citizen. Once you become a US citizen the United States does not consider you anything else. We will not take your passport from Ukraine and we will not tell Ukraine you are now a citizen of the US. If you want to keep your Ukraine passport and renew it in Ukraine when you are visiting, it is none of our concern"
    So the US has no policy and does not recognize any such thing as "dual citizenship" per se, but has no prohibitions from a person being a citizen of another country also, for the US you will always be considered a US citizen
    Can I use a Ukraine passport to enter Ukraine and a US passport to enter the US? Yes, no problem.
    What about stamps in the passport from the US or Ukraine?: The officers at the POE will ask where you have been, they rarely will look through all your exit stamps and really don't care. They are admitting you to the US, they really don't care if the country you LEFT stamped your passport, the US does not stamp passports on exit.
    I ask this because Ukraine does not allow dual citizenship and I do want to keep my Ukraine passport for ease of travel to Russia, etc, and also if we ever decided to return, we have property there, I could easily work, etc. I do not want to do anything wrong and get in trouble here. The US does not care about Ukrainian law regarding citizenship, that's between you and Ukraine, but WE won't tell. Unless there is some order from a court or something, we don't give out that information.
  21. Like
    Gary and Alla got a reaction from I&A2017 in K-1 petition information   
    Hello All
    I had a great opportunity Saturday evening to have dinner with and spend several hours with a director at the VSC. He is currently in charge of the department that handles I-751s among other things. His wife is an adjusicator that handles YOUR petition (if it went through VSC). His wife is Russian, arrived on a K-1 and is now a citizen. This man has worked for USCIS for many years and was at several local offices before being assigned to the VSC. His wife is a friend of Alla's and we were all at a dinner party for several American/Russian/Ukrainian couples Saturday. We had a long chat, he was very open and helpful. We talked about a lot of the things we see here on VJ and I was trying to remember all the "usual questions" I read about and pin him down for some answers. I also have asked him if he will give an "official interview" for VJ. He said he will check out the site and I will call him later this week. So, anyway I will try to cover what we discussed, he was quite frank and direct in his answers, not rude, not at all, but he knows his stuff and answers without hesitation. It turned into an impromtu and fun "interview" with me trying to remember all the hot button issues I see on VJ
    I told him that the number ONE and number TWO "complaints" I see are Why is the VSC taking so long and why can't we get through to you guys?
    Why is VSC taking so long, what happened? I was approved in 58 days!: We had problem with labor last year and lost many workers, we hired more last November and it took some time to get them trained. Some of the petitions were sent to California and we also assign people to different tyopes of visas. They will concentrate on one tyoe, get behind on another and then shift many people back to the other type. Lately we have shifted many, almost all, adjudicators to I-129fs, so that should make people happy. They will do that until they get caught up. Summer is a busy time for I-129fs, usually about June we get slammed with them. The winter or early spring is the slowest time for I-129fs, but then it depends what they have everyone working on also.
    OK, why can't we get through to you? The 1-800 line is useless. Those are contract employees and they are trained to select answers from a menu of 14 answers. They pick which one is best for your question. There are thousands of visas being processed at any time and everyone is special and everyone has special circumstances and if we had direct lines we weould do nothing but field requests by petitioners to give them priority, we just can't do it. How would you feel if your petition got bumped because some woman called and cried on the phone and then her petition got moved up ahead of yours. We simply have to operate in a way that avoids any chance of fraud, corruption or unfairness.
    So what about some people get approved ahead of others? Sme petitions have problems or delays, we do not hold back others for this. If an adjudicator has problems, he puts that one aside or sends an RFE and goes on to the next. The next one may be clean and gets approved right away, in just a few minutes, they adjudicate 15-20 petitions a day per person, and the ones with problems may wait weeks for the petitioner to respond to the RFE, or maybe it is a name check they are waiting for. Petitions are assigned as they arrive, when we are working on those petitions, but they do not go out the door in the same order they came in.
    G-325a, Signed or Unsigned? Unsigned.
    WHAT? Ok I have seen the memo but lots of VJ members got RFEs for unsigned G-325s, what gives? They do not have to be signed,they can be signed at the consualte interview. Some adjusicators haven't read all the memos, we get hundreds of the things, and maybe they make a mistake. If you want to be sure there is no mistake, sign it. Or send a letter expalining why it is not signed and request it be signed at the interview. Do you have that memo?
    It is on the VJ website somewhere You can print a copy of that and send it with the I-129f and G-325a.
    Fiancee intent letter? Signed or unsigned? Signed.
    What about a faxed or emailed signature? When I was adjudicating, if I could see a signature, I accepted it, but many adjusicators will not. Signed is better.
    Lawyer or no lawyer? For what?
    Enough said. Now a hot issue, a very controversial one. There seems to be a trend in some countries of foreign men marrying American women and the women are considerably older. There is always a question if this is a problem. It never seems to be a problem for older men/younger women (My wife is 13 years younger, his wife is also considerable younger than him) Is it a problem? For us, USCIS, no. "Free to marry".
    What about the consulates or for AOS or I-751? Consulates do what they do, it is not USCIS, some of them are bastards. Kiev is easy, they approve everyone (laughs), they used to be bastards but they got easier since they first started doing those in 2005, before then you would have had to go to Warsaw, you know. For AOS if they can prove they are legitimate we do not care about age but anything that is "not normal" for the culture will draw suspicion. They probably will not get a no questions asked interview (I had told him our AOS was "no questions asked")
    What about birth certificates, some people have trouble getting them? This is a problem for us also. Some people, especially our younger staff, think all the world is like the USA. I remember one, when I was in the Kansas City office, the beneficiary was from Viet Nam, she was born in 1954 there was no birth certificate. The CO asked me about this and I looked at the file. I said "Do you know what was going on in Viet Nam in 1954?" She looked at me, straight faced and said "What, their computers were down?" If a birth certificate cannot be obtained they can usually get something from a church, a village official, something, and send that with a letter of explanation. Or just their passport and a letter explaining the situation (this applies to AOS more than I-129f as beneficiary birth certificate is not required for the petition, but I wanted to ask anyway, it seems a common question here)
    What about extra documents? Proof of relationship? We don't need it, only that they have met for the fiancee visa.
    What about the consulates? Consulates do what they do, as I said, some are bastards. They get whatever we get when it is sent on. I can't tell you what NVC and consulates do, I know some are terrible and some are really easy, but I do not know all the details of each. Kiev is easy, western Europe is easy, Nigeria is horrible, but you would not believe the scams from Nigeria, I get jaded. I am surprised a lot of them get visas and then we have to deal with them.
    I have to ask for a collegue, Ecuador? Bastards.

    What about changes? Are there any in the works? Is Obama ouching you guys to work faster? I am not sure Obama knows we exist. There have been no changes and no pressure other than the usual workload and shifting things around. I do not expect any immigration changes in the next year or two, at kleat not in rules or amnesty or anything like that. I do expect FEE INCREASES within the next year...across the board.
    How much more? I cannot say, that is not my area, I just hear talk.
    He added, "We try not to deny petitions, people really get angry and make lots of trouble. Denials usually come at the consulate or maybe AOS or sometimes even with the I-751. If we deny someone we need good reason, if they meet the criteria, we will approve it, they just have to give us what we need to approve them."
    So how can I speed up my petition? You can't really. If it gets to be too long and if you can get a congressman or senator to call, that will get some action, but half the time those guys dont'' call or they do and the petition has only been there 3 months. Sometimes one falls through the cracks, gets overlooked, we are human. A congressman can get through and get them to dig it out if it has been too long, but I wouldn't call that "speeding it up". That's a fix for whn it is too slow.
    we talked for some time more, about 5 hours altogether, briefly interrupted by Alla every now and again who had her own questions about the I-751 procedure which I posted in that forum, about VJ and other topics (his Navy days) He said he will check the site and gave me his home number. He said "call anytime but not 3 in the morning" I asked about an interview or answering prepared questions, he said possibly, he will check the site. He said many internet sites are advertisement for immigration attorneys or instructing people on how to pull scams, I assured him he would be very pleased with VJ and he thinks it is great that there is a good site for information and advice. (he never heard of VJ before this)
    I can also say, that speaking to him, I heard so many of the same buzzwords or advice that I have seen right here, this is really a great site with some great folks giving some really great info.
  22. Like
    Gary and Alla got a reaction from T_P in On Fiance (K1) Visa, Live in US, work 'remotely' for Canadian Company   
    Its legal. As long as the employment is with a Canadian (or foreign) company and the money is deposited in Canada (or other foreign) bank. You can withdraw the funds by ATM
    Imagine a Canadian on vacation in the US in Florida with direct deposit to his Canadian account. Legal? Of course. So he gets a phone call or answers an email while on vacation in the US. Legal? of course. Several phone calls or emails? Of course. Is there a limit of how many emails or phone calls he can get? Of course not. Can he go to an ATM and take some cash? Of course. Can he get a job at a US company while he is on vacation? NO! If the person is not employed IN the US there is nothing the US can say about it.
    Being IN the US while employed by a foreign company in a foreign country is not the same as "being employed in the US"
  23. Like
    Gary and Alla got a reaction from tanderson64 in Belarus fiancee petetion and interview process   
    I agree.
    In fact, I went to the interview and our interview was "no questions asked". Literally. We were called to the window and told our visa was approved, that's it. Sergey's K-2 to follow was virtually the same since the "questions" were whether he liked certain sports and where he was going to college. Alla went to his interview (she already had a green card at that time) and she managed to try and get some words in. The guy said "Ma'am, ma'am, excuse me....he is approved, you can go now" The things you can say when you don't have to sleep with them!
    We were the 5th couple interviewed and the other interviews amounted to 1-2 questions. Nothing that would seem to make or break a deal. If anything they seemed to be some clarifications of information and not much else (In Kiev you are/were just a few feet from the interview window and can hear the whole process)
    Give them good documentation and you should be good to go. Neither Kiev, Moscow or Warsaw have been difficult consulates to deal with.
  24. Like
    Gary and Alla got a reaction from tanderson64 in Belarus fiancee petetion and interview process   
    Thanks, good advice.
    Just to be clear, citizens of many countries have to go to other countries for visa interviews. Moldova is another country in that region that must do the same. They go to Kiev. Ukrainians USED to go to Warsaw until Ukraine got a consulate which processes K-1s in 2005.
    The only thing that has always confused me about Belarus is why they do not use the Kiev consulate. Belarussians need no visa to travel to Ukraine. Since Poland became EU it is difficult for Belarussians to travel there...or at least more difficult than going to Kiev. Russia has ONLY the Moscow consulate to issue K-1s and people from far eastern Russia, literally half a world away, have to travel all the way there. So there are inconveniences for many people. That is all forgotten after you get on with life together.
    If your fiancee could go to Kiev it would probably be less trouble than it was for Alla to go to Kiev from Donetsk.
    Thanks.
  25. Like
    Gary and Alla got a reaction from PRC Rabbit in K-1 petition information   
    Hello All
    I had a great opportunity Saturday evening to have dinner with and spend several hours with a director at the VSC. He is currently in charge of the department that handles I-751s among other things. His wife is an adjusicator that handles YOUR petition (if it went through VSC). His wife is Russian, arrived on a K-1 and is now a citizen. This man has worked for USCIS for many years and was at several local offices before being assigned to the VSC. His wife is a friend of Alla's and we were all at a dinner party for several American/Russian/Ukrainian couples Saturday. We had a long chat, he was very open and helpful. We talked about a lot of the things we see here on VJ and I was trying to remember all the "usual questions" I read about and pin him down for some answers. I also have asked him if he will give an "official interview" for VJ. He said he will check out the site and I will call him later this week. So, anyway I will try to cover what we discussed, he was quite frank and direct in his answers, not rude, not at all, but he knows his stuff and answers without hesitation. It turned into an impromtu and fun "interview" with me trying to remember all the hot button issues I see on VJ
    I told him that the number ONE and number TWO "complaints" I see are Why is the VSC taking so long and why can't we get through to you guys?
    Why is VSC taking so long, what happened? I was approved in 58 days!: We had problem with labor last year and lost many workers, we hired more last November and it took some time to get them trained. Some of the petitions were sent to California and we also assign people to different tyopes of visas. They will concentrate on one tyoe, get behind on another and then shift many people back to the other type. Lately we have shifted many, almost all, adjudicators to I-129fs, so that should make people happy. They will do that until they get caught up. Summer is a busy time for I-129fs, usually about June we get slammed with them. The winter or early spring is the slowest time for I-129fs, but then it depends what they have everyone working on also.
    OK, why can't we get through to you? The 1-800 line is useless. Those are contract employees and they are trained to select answers from a menu of 14 answers. They pick which one is best for your question. There are thousands of visas being processed at any time and everyone is special and everyone has special circumstances and if we had direct lines we weould do nothing but field requests by petitioners to give them priority, we just can't do it. How would you feel if your petition got bumped because some woman called and cried on the phone and then her petition got moved up ahead of yours. We simply have to operate in a way that avoids any chance of fraud, corruption or unfairness.
    So what about some people get approved ahead of others? Sme petitions have problems or delays, we do not hold back others for this. If an adjudicator has problems, he puts that one aside or sends an RFE and goes on to the next. The next one may be clean and gets approved right away, in just a few minutes, they adjudicate 15-20 petitions a day per person, and the ones with problems may wait weeks for the petitioner to respond to the RFE, or maybe it is a name check they are waiting for. Petitions are assigned as they arrive, when we are working on those petitions, but they do not go out the door in the same order they came in.
    G-325a, Signed or Unsigned? Unsigned.
    WHAT? Ok I have seen the memo but lots of VJ members got RFEs for unsigned G-325s, what gives? They do not have to be signed,they can be signed at the consualte interview. Some adjusicators haven't read all the memos, we get hundreds of the things, and maybe they make a mistake. If you want to be sure there is no mistake, sign it. Or send a letter expalining why it is not signed and request it be signed at the interview. Do you have that memo?
    It is on the VJ website somewhere You can print a copy of that and send it with the I-129f and G-325a.
    Fiancee intent letter? Signed or unsigned? Signed.
    What about a faxed or emailed signature? When I was adjudicating, if I could see a signature, I accepted it, but many adjusicators will not. Signed is better.
    Lawyer or no lawyer? For what?
    Enough said. Now a hot issue, a very controversial one. There seems to be a trend in some countries of foreign men marrying American women and the women are considerably older. There is always a question if this is a problem. It never seems to be a problem for older men/younger women (My wife is 13 years younger, his wife is also considerable younger than him) Is it a problem? For us, USCIS, no. "Free to marry".
    What about the consulates or for AOS or I-751? Consulates do what they do, it is not USCIS, some of them are bastards. Kiev is easy, they approve everyone (laughs), they used to be bastards but they got easier since they first started doing those in 2005, before then you would have had to go to Warsaw, you know. For AOS if they can prove they are legitimate we do not care about age but anything that is "not normal" for the culture will draw suspicion. They probably will not get a no questions asked interview (I had told him our AOS was "no questions asked")
    What about birth certificates, some people have trouble getting them? This is a problem for us also. Some people, especially our younger staff, think all the world is like the USA. I remember one, when I was in the Kansas City office, the beneficiary was from Viet Nam, she was born in 1954 there was no birth certificate. The CO asked me about this and I looked at the file. I said "Do you know what was going on in Viet Nam in 1954?" She looked at me, straight faced and said "What, their computers were down?" If a birth certificate cannot be obtained they can usually get something from a church, a village official, something, and send that with a letter of explanation. Or just their passport and a letter explaining the situation (this applies to AOS more than I-129f as beneficiary birth certificate is not required for the petition, but I wanted to ask anyway, it seems a common question here)
    What about extra documents? Proof of relationship? We don't need it, only that they have met for the fiancee visa.
    What about the consulates? Consulates do what they do, as I said, some are bastards. They get whatever we get when it is sent on. I can't tell you what NVC and consulates do, I know some are terrible and some are really easy, but I do not know all the details of each. Kiev is easy, western Europe is easy, Nigeria is horrible, but you would not believe the scams from Nigeria, I get jaded. I am surprised a lot of them get visas and then we have to deal with them.
    I have to ask for a collegue, Ecuador? Bastards.

    What about changes? Are there any in the works? Is Obama ouching you guys to work faster? I am not sure Obama knows we exist. There have been no changes and no pressure other than the usual workload and shifting things around. I do not expect any immigration changes in the next year or two, at kleat not in rules or amnesty or anything like that. I do expect FEE INCREASES within the next year...across the board.
    How much more? I cannot say, that is not my area, I just hear talk.
    He added, "We try not to deny petitions, people really get angry and make lots of trouble. Denials usually come at the consulate or maybe AOS or sometimes even with the I-751. If we deny someone we need good reason, if they meet the criteria, we will approve it, they just have to give us what we need to approve them."
    So how can I speed up my petition? You can't really. If it gets to be too long and if you can get a congressman or senator to call, that will get some action, but half the time those guys dont'' call or they do and the petition has only been there 3 months. Sometimes one falls through the cracks, gets overlooked, we are human. A congressman can get through and get them to dig it out if it has been too long, but I wouldn't call that "speeding it up". That's a fix for whn it is too slow.
    we talked for some time more, about 5 hours altogether, briefly interrupted by Alla every now and again who had her own questions about the I-751 procedure which I posted in that forum, about VJ and other topics (his Navy days) He said he will check the site and gave me his home number. He said "call anytime but not 3 in the morning" I asked about an interview or answering prepared questions, he said possibly, he will check the site. He said many internet sites are advertisement for immigration attorneys or instructing people on how to pull scams, I assured him he would be very pleased with VJ and he thinks it is great that there is a good site for information and advice. (he never heard of VJ before this)
    I can also say, that speaking to him, I heard so many of the same buzzwords or advice that I have seen right here, this is really a great site with some great folks giving some really great info.
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