What do you need to do after arriving in the US in a k1 visa?

I was relieved knowing that the fiance visa Interview was finally over.  A day after receiving my US Visa, I proceeded for my Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) Pre-departure Orientation Seminar(PDOS).  They gave me my sticker (that is actually necessary to leave the country), I booked my flight and I was almost ready to say goodbye.

I had pack only a few clothes that would fit in my luggage.  All I brought with me was my 23 kilos luggage, purse and Visa/papers.  I was in a hurry and did not want to pay extra money for more baggage.  Then I was ready to go. I closed my eyes to slept on the plane.  It was a long uncomfortable flight, 18 hours with 3 stops.

I woke up and I was in the airport seeing my fiance’s big smile, finally in the US.  No need for  talking on the phone all day long and missing each other.  I am so happy to be here.  But there is one thing I forgot to do.  When I received the letter from the US embassy, I only read the front page and checked the copy of the approved I-129f petition. I did not take a glance of the rest of the papers attached in the mail because the title did not look as important as I thought.k1-visa-adjustment-of-status

Adjustment of Status or I485 Application to Register Permanent Residence

After a month of being together with my fiance, a thought popped in my head.  There was something else I needed to do!  It is called I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.  I thought once I am already in the US and married, the paper process is over.  I thought everything is done automatically and I won’t have to worry about anything else. I was wrong.

I found articles about AOS on visajourney.  I was disappointed. What is AOS anyway?Why do we need to do this? When is this gonna be over? I’m tired of paperwork.

I found out that there is another batch of papers I have to submit to USCIS.

It is often called AOS which stands for Adjustment of Status or I485 Application to Register Permanent Residence. I’m sure other fiances are just as disappointed as I was when I figured out that we have MORE process and paperwork to do..  after coming in the United States. Click here for the i485 checklist.

k1-visa-adjustment-of-status

AOS is a must after getting married within the 90 day period.  All k1 fiances need to apply for this to obtain a permanent residency or conditional green card.  This time, the foreign fiance will be the one applying not the US citizen petitioner.  After submitting all the papers they need, they will send you letters (NOA’s) notifying you that your application has been received. They will also send you a schedule of Biometrics appointment.  Biometrics is basically just fingerprinting and photos.  Within a week after your biometrics, you will receive your combo card or EAD card (Employment Authorization Document).  After a few months of waiting, you will be scheduled for interview and your spouse.  They will review your case and will send you the green card later on.

The process takes 5 months to 1 year.  To be continued for the next process.

 

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services assistance

Where should a K-1 Visa fiance go for assistance if something goes wrong?

Not every fiance ends up in an ideal situation.  What you need to know is that you have rights and there are people you can contact to help you.

National Domestic Violence Hotline:

1-800-799-SAFE (1-800-799-7233)

1-800-787-3224 (TTY)

http://www.ndvh.org

National Sexual Assault Hotline of the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN)

1-800-656-HOPE (1-800-656-4673)

http://www.rainn.org

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678)

http://www.missingkids.com

The National Center for Victims of Crime

1-800-FYI-CALL (1-800-394-2255)

1-800-211-7996 (TTY)

http://www.ncvc.org
i129f-immigrant-rights

When things go wrong, what should you do?

What if your partner is a drunkard or abusive and you know you cannot deal with the situation.  Your choices become to either help your fiance through therapy or go back home.  If your fiance is not willing to change, you may need to consider leaving.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

Contact Number: 1 (800) 375-5283

Leaving the U.S. is what you should consider if your husband/wife is mistreat you verbally, physically or mentally.  Newly married foreign husband or wives may fear that they might get evicted and deported back to their home country.  Yes, that is true if you are still under the k1 visa and you not married yet.  But if you are already married, they can’t deport you without valid reasons (unless your marriage is fraud).  You have the option to fight for your case.  Before going in the US, they give k1 fiance an information paper that comes with a US embassy letter stating rights of an immigrant int he United States.EPSON MFP image

Where should a wife/husband go for help if things wont work out?

Many husbands/wives who married under a k1 visa may be afraid that if they leave their US citizen partner, their citizenship will also be dissolved but this is not true.  All immigrants including the ones who are in the US through a k1 fiance visa have the right to stay and continue the citizenship process with or without their petitioner.  If you have been a victim of domestic violence (verbally, physically or mentally) by your petitioner/US spouse, you can report it immediately to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.  USCIS will take action regarding your case and protect you from further harm.  They will also help you find a shelter if your marriage did not workout or if it is dangerous for you to be around your partner.  USCIS will file a case against your US spouse for his/her inability to take care of you while you are still under the I-485, adjustment of status (AOS) process.

How does it happen?

When you are filing for a k1 and AOS, your US petitioner signs an the form I-134 (k1) and Form I-864 Affidavit of Support which is a legally binding contract.  Upon signing these documents the citizen has already agreed to care for the fiance that he or she petitioned to come the US.  Therefore, USCIS can file a case against the petitioner and further action of having him/her pay for a support while the foreign husband/wife is still settling in the US.

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

Contact Number: 1 (800) 375-5283

USCIS Homeland Security Change of mailing Address

USCIS Homeland Security – How do I change my address?

It has been 9 months since I submitted my I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status to USCIS.  I had been checking their website for my status every week.  It still says the same thing.  That my “case is ready to be scheduled for interview”. It also says below not to call them to inquire about the interview schedule because they are supposed to send a letter when they are ready.  It takes time and patience to get the green card.

My husband and I are currently renting an apartment but we are about to move to a house next month.  Since there is no progress for my green card yet, I must change my address before I forget.i129f

On this image, the link also shows a request to change address: http://www.uscis.gov/addresschange .  If you click this, it leads to a tab: https://egov.uscis.gov/coa/displayCOAForm.do.  Untitled

 

You will also see this page asking for more details about your case number, applicant or petitioner’s information, alien number, citizenship and other information.

k1-adjustment-of-status

USCIS also asks for your old address and the new address where they would send future mail.  They ask for the date of port of entry and also the email address if you want a confirmation email.  k1-adjustment-of-status

Diary of a foreign spouse.

My life has completely changed since I moved to the US.  I was always been flexible and nomadic in the Philippines.  In the US, I have a home and I don’t need to keep moving unless I want to.  I lived in harsh condition with very less to eat but in the US there is literally TOO much food.  In Cebu, I had barely enough money to live on.  I had to live within my means which meant bad living conditions.  The way I was living is called “camping” here in the US.  I usually had no kitchen, no proper place for shower.  The shelter I had to live in was usually infested with rodents and roaches.  My husband thought I was exaggerating until he came and saw what real poverty looks like.  The poverty of developing countries really tests you.  I have always been brave and endured pain of all kinds from a burns to psychological damage.

Falling in love with my husband (boyfriend at the time) gave me hope for a better life, but we had to live apart for almost a year and I always missed him.  He was in the US and I was still in the Philippines.  I felt like he was my home.

Now we are together in the US.  Although my life is way better here, there are some challenges.

Language barrier.  My English is way better now but my husband and I still have some miscommunication.  It is hard.  I am continuously learning the American dialect of English.  There is a lot of slang, accents and words I have never heard until I had to live among native English speakers.  There are english word that have no corresponding translation in my native language.

Food differences.  “Me and my stupid SPAM!”  I am always eating Spam almost everyday. For me, it is a delicacy but my husband said it is NOT a delicacy in the US.  In the Philippines only the middle class and rich can afford Spam.  You either buy it from the imported section at the store or receive it through a package that a family member abroad sent. From my perspective, Americans are very specific and detailed on what they eat because they have so many options.  For example, in the US you can find 20 different types and brands of spread.  In the Philippines, we only have maybe 5 or less than 10 spread for our bread and you may need to go to different stores to find that much variety.  Wow, this place is really paradise for me.  It is spoiling me. I love the variety of food for sure.

Driving here is my biggest nightmare.  Most people drive in the US.  I am learning to drive and I am really not a fan of it.  I am afraid.  I am really afraid because the speed limit is too high. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzlD-tx8leE

Isolation.  I feel isolated at times. I’m still learning to adjust to this new environment.  It is hard.  I had to start from scratch on everything in my life.

Alienated.  Sometimes I feel alienated because I am not from this place.  There are times when I would see other filipinos but I’m too cautious to befriend them.  Due to my experience in the Philippines, it has pushed me to become more introverted and unfriendly.  When I look around me, it seems like sometimes people stare because it is an unusual thing to see other nationalities.

Modern house equipment.  I think I broke the dishwasher.  Back in ph, we never had a dishwasher so I have no idea how to handle some the modern appliances I have.  I feel disappointed but I tell myself that I am like a little baby here and still earning new things.

Goodwill.  Going to Goodwill/thrift store is fun for me.  In American, people have too much stuff and so they are always giving aways stuff that is practically new to thrift stores and Goodwill.   I shop there occasionally and would find stuff that looks brand new. I shop there for kitchen pots and small items that I cannot find elsewhere.

Statement of intent to marry sample- Bruce

Statement of intent to marry sample

 

Bruce Brown

1122 Pikes Creek

Takoma, SEA 98105

(206)734-0962

bruce.brown@gmail.com

 

 

United States Department of Homeland Security

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Attn: I-129F

2501 South State Highway 121 Business

Suite 400

Lewisville, TX 75067

 

25 April 2014

 

 

Dear Sir or Madam:

I, Bruce Brown, do hereby state that I am legally able and willing to marry Yuri Sincero.  I intend to do so within 90 days of her arrival to the US using the K-1 visa.

 

Being away from her has caused me great heartache.  I am ready to start a new life with her.  She makes me very happy.  I am very blessed to have found such an amazing match.  I am honored that she would have me as her husband.

Yours truly,

Bruce Brown

 

 

k1 Adjustment of status – Cover letter sample

k1 Adjustment of Status  – Cover letter sample

 

Bruce Brown

1122 Pikes Creek

Takoma, SEA 98105

 

USCIS

PO Box 805887

Chicago, IL 60680-4120

 

25 November 2014

 

Nature of the submission: I-485 AOS ORIGINAL SUBMISSION

 

To Whom It May Concern:

 

Enclosed please find my Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence for Yuri Sincero, and supporting documents.

 

Contents include:

–      Money Order payment in the amount of $1070.

–     G-1145 e-Notification of Application

–     Form I- 485 Application to Register Permanent Residence

–     NBI Clearance

–     Birth certificate

–     Non- Immigrant visa page

–     Passport page

–     2×2 colored passport style photos

–     Vaccination Supplement

–     Form G-325A Biographic Information (principal immigrant)

–     Form I-864 Affidavit of Support & Form 1040

–     Evidence of Eligibility (NOA2, marriage certificate & I-94)

–     Form I-765 Application for Employment Authorization

–     Form I-131 Application for Travel Document

 

Copies of documents submitted are exact photocopies of unaltered documents and I understand that I may be required to submit original documents to an Immigration or Consular officer at a later date.

 

Signed,

Bruce Brown

 

Letter of intent sample- Yuri

Yuri Sincero

#18 Manga St Opra Blvd

Cebu City, Philippines 6000

pinalove24@gmail.com

 

United States Department of Homeland Security

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Attn: I-129F

2501 South State Highway 121 Business

Suite 400

Lewisville, TX 75067

 

25 April 2014

 

 

Dear Sir or Madam:

 

I, Yuri M. Sincero, do hereby state that I am legally able and willing to marry Bruce Brown.  I intend to do so within 90 days of my arrival to the US using the K-1 visa.

 

Being away from the man that I really love  has been very hard and lonely.  I have been ready to start a joyous home with him.  His love has given me contentment and satisfaction in life beyond material things.  I am very thankful that I found my match.  I am  very proud of having a great man and I am so honored that  he would have me as his wife.

 

 

Yours truly,

 

Yuri Sincero

 

 

Evidence of support (i134)

When I went to see the US embassy consular officer, the only evidence of support he asked me for was my fiances form 1040 (tax form).  After talking to many other beneficiaries about what they were asked to provide, I notice that some are asked to provide evidence of support and some were not.  But please remember that form i-134, affidavit of support actually requires that you provide specific documents as evidence.  Even though some fiances may only be asked for some of the required evidence, it is better to be safe than sorry.  You should have everything and be ready or you might be hit with a “request for evidence” which will prolong your process.

Evidence of Support is the top requirement during the foreign fiance’s interview (beneficiary) at the US Embassy.  Evidence of Support includes the form i134, form 1040 and other financial documents that can help support the petitioner’s claim on his/her ability to support the foreign fiance after arriving in the United States.  Without the evidence of financial support, the beneficiary will not be able to obtain a visa.

Form I-134, Affidavit of Support.  This application should have an original signature of the petitioner.  It will be helpful to the consular officer to evaluate the petitioner’s capability to be financially responsible for you.i134

Form 1040.  US Federal Income Tax Return.  It is a form that American citizens has to submit to IRS.  The consulate officer may ask for completed 1040 to verify the income of the petitioner.  http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040.pdf

form1040

Form W2.  The IRS requires all employers to report wage and salaries for employees.  W2  is a form that reports the federal, state, and other taxes withheld from paychecks.  It is one of the forms that American citizen needs in preparing for their tax return.  The consulate can use this document to verify the income that the petitioner has put on the i-134.w2

Employment letter.   The beneficiary may be asked to provide a copy of the petitioner’s verification of employment.  This is a letter from the petitioner’s place of work that states the employment status and the salary of the petitioner.

employment-letter

Bank Statement or pay stubs.  A financial statement might also be asked by the COif paystubs is unavailable. It is only requested if the CO needs more evaluation of the petitioner’s financial status.

courtesy of smsa.stanford.edu

courtesy of smsa.stanford.edu

 

 

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