John & Jenni's Quest for the K1 visa
Date in American format (Jenni thinks our dates are funny)
01/10/2000 Jenni phone's the INS office in Milwaukee for relevant forms to apply for the Fiance(e) K1-visa.
01/12/2000 Forms arrive K1-visa, Jenni looks at them mildly worried.
01/19/2000 Jenni sends me a G-325A to fill in while she sits down to fill her own one in (this is a 4 page form with carbon paper between, you have to write very hard to get through it all, the purpose of which is to get background info on the applicants).
01/27/2000 G-325A arrives with me, which I complete, also rummaging around to find birth certificate. Made copies of some of the letters Jenni's sent me also of my phone statement and flight stubs for the flights I took to see her and finally a copy of the visa stamps in my passport to show where I entered the US. Printed out some of the e-mails as well. This was done for proof to the INS that we knew each other for awhile and had met in person , which is something that they require for proof of a valid relationship before the will think of issuing a K1-visa.
01/28/2000 Completed forms and evidence we had know each other awhile sent back to Jenni. Also enclosed was the 3/4 shot photo's required by the INS and a couple frontal ones just in case.
02/07/2000 The hefty envelope I sent arrives with Jenni who, in the mean time, has been doing the same as me and copying and printing evidence for the INS her end. She also typed up a covering letter for the INS explaining how we met up to the present day. Jenni is completing the I-134 Affidavit of support, we decided that might as well get that in now and save the cost of submitting it later.
02/11/2000 Jenni received the copy of her tax returns , she decided to send them in with the affidavit of support, and posted of this box of our forms and details to the INS. We have taken step 1 on our way to the Fiance K1-visa !!
02/15/2000 Jenni received confirmation from the INS of receipt so now its over to little old John for his part, suppose I have to do something after all it is called the Fiance K1-visa.
03/10/2000 Asked my doctor if he could get me a history of my vaccinations so that I don't need to get them done again when I have the medical.
03/27/2000 Visited local police station to see about getting the forms for evidence of a criminal record required by the UK85. They phoned up the head quarters for me then handed me the phone. It had an answering machine and I had to leave my name and address and what form I was after.
03/29/2000 Form arrives from police so filled in the my name and address and took it down to the police station along with my passport and a bill with my name and address on and they checked it over. Handed over my ten pounds for the fee and the gave me a receipt. The say that I have to allow for 40 days for it to arrive. The vaccination list arrived from the doctors with the list of my vaccinations and it was free!.
04/04/2000 Our documentation received back from the Milwaukee INS office telling us to send it to the Nebraska service center!. Apparently local offices can process the K1 visa only the service centers can. SO MUCH FOR PHONING THE INS AND ASKING THEM WHERE TO SEND IT!!!. So after almost 2 months its a case of back to square one.
04/11/2000 Well should have know better...the only 4 places that service the K1 visa are California, Nebraska, Texas and Vermont.
04/12/2000 Wrote letter to the US embassy to get my UK85 in advance of the approval. Also asked Jenni if she could ring the Nebraska office if they will do a cable transfer of the approval and documents to the US embassy if we file a I-824 (which requests this). Apparently cabling can save up to 2 weeks on the time to get the documents to the embassy.
04/14/2000 The UK85 arrived in the post. It doesn't look to bad it contains a fair amount of instructions. It has 2 copies of OF 156, a copy of I-134, copy of OF 156K and a copy of OF 230.
04/17/2000 Posted of the OF 230,OF 156's, OF 156K plus the bits that have to be ticked and signed of there cover sheets to the embassy. I just left the case assignment # blank because we haven't got one yet
04/20/2000 Notice of application has arrived (NOA) the date for this was 04/18/2000. So we have at last got somewhere. Got a small problem though, the assignment number has letters in it and to use the automated calling system you are to type it in...humm my phone doesn't show letters.
05/18/2000 On the left is a list to help us Brit's who do not have letters on their phones. Well I can almost repeat word for word the message on the answering system at the INS. So still waiting......
05/30/2000 Sigh.... still waiting......Apparently California center has stoped because they are under investigation so that should create even more of a back log there.
06/06/2000 Finally!...we have the notice of approval. Now all I need is my interview at the embassy and hopefully i will have my visa.
06/20/2000 The big day is for the 3rd of July. Got all my paper work ready and now have to sit back and wait. Booked a flight for the 4th as the wedding is the 8th!!
07/03/2000 Well I have the visa!!! The medical wasn't bad, had a chest x-ray and a blood test. Then I needed a couple of shots to get me up to date. They now take credit card for payment even though the form they send says they want cash. The interview itself was just a matter of a few questions ...like where we met and had we met in real life because we met on the net and it was done.
07/05/2000 Here I am in America at last. Coming through immigrations yesterday wasn't to harrowing. Was just asked to collect my luggage and go to a side room where they opened the famed brown envelope (which just contains your application and proof for the K1 visa). They quickly checked it and stamped the passport and I was done.
07/09/2000 Wow!!...I'm married and starting to settle down to my new life. Still have my work permit and social security to sort yet.
08/02/2000 Well after the honeymoon went to Milwaukee office to do my change of status and get a work permit and social security #. Hum...after waiting 4 1/2 hours eventually got seen only to be told by a surly lady that they didn't process that there that I would have to send it to Nebraska.
08/05/2000 Sent off my stuff to Nebraska after finding duplicates of stuff we had sent before.
8/18/2000 Received all my stuff back from Nebraska with a note informing me that the only deal with the business adjustment of status cases.
08/21/2000 Sent my stuff to Milwaukee with the note from Nebraska enclosed...sheesh.
09/27/2000 My stuff is returned from Milwaukee with the note enclosed saying that if I want to apply for a work permit I need to apply for an adjustment of status first....aaaah!
09/28/2000 Sent my stuff to Milwaukee again with a letter enclosed explaining that it was applied for with my application for adjustment of status.
09/29/2000 Received notice that my adjustment of status had started to be processed...is this making any sense to anyone?.
03/05/2001 After a long wait now have a date for my finger printing....ummm....does this mean I will be on the FBI's records for ever more?.
04/25/2001 Got to spend a wonderful morning in the INS office in Milwaukee. The delay though was my fault in part because I didn't remember to take my appointment letter with me so I had to take a number with the rest of the masses there and wait to see someone to ask for a copy of the letter. This should be my last in Milwaukee office as I am now living in Missouri, now have to wait to see which office here I get assigned to.
06/06/2001 Getting a little nervous as I am coming up for renewal of my EAD (work permit) and the dear old INS hasn't informed me of which office I have now been assigned to.
08/07/2001 Well phoned the INS help line and they are doing a trace for me to see what has happened to my EAD. They told me this could take 3 - 4 weeks to come through.
09/10/2001 Amazing what a bank can do for you, we went over and over with them that a check for the INS was going to be presented so what happens......they bounce it! Well we were not going to face the wrath of the INS or pay the fee so we made the bank phone. They got to find out how the INS treat people.
10/01/2001 Well still no sign of my renewal yet, wondering if I ought to aply for the next one now to be safe.
11/02/2001 Well the bank confirmed that the INS have cashed the check, in fact they did this sometime ago. Talked to INS customer service who are doing a search to see what has happened, said it will take 2 - 3 weeks.
11/19/2001 Talked to INS customer service who are doing another search to see what has happened since the first search did get any answer at all.
12/03/2001 Emailed the Lieutenant Governor of Missouri, Joe Maxwell to see if he could help me with the INS over my work permit because the searches they do do not seem to gain a response from them.
12/17/2001 Well that seem to do it, now have my interview for renewal of my work permit - 01/02/02.
01/03/2002 Had my interview for my renewal yesterday. Well it's nice to know that not all offices are like Milwaukee, Kansas City office are friendly and very helpful. Did find out though that I am still being affected by Milwaukee because they still have not forwarded my files - why doesn't that surprise me.
01/14/2002 Got informed today by a contact at the senate office that my papers have finaly arrived from Milwaukee at the Kansas City office.
02/18/2002 Got my papers today for my interview for June so not long now.
04/26/2002 There are going to be major changes to the INS
( http://www.ins.gov/graphics/aboutins/restruct/index.htm ).
Under this plan, the Bureau of Immigration Services will provide immigration benefits, such as legal permanent residence and naturalization. It also includes provisions to enhance customer service and efficiency. The new Bureau of Immigration Enforcement will safeguard the nationís borders and enforce immigration laws, thereby strengthening the INSí ability to prevent illegal immigration.
06/07/2002 Well went for my interview today for permanent residency. Well it did not last to long as it turns out the INS clerical staff made an oops and did not indicate that I was supposeed to bring along various proof of our marriage and current income status, the biggest thing not asked for was my wife was suppose to come. So have been scheduled for an emergency interview in 3 weeks time.
06/30/2002 This time things went smoothly. First the INS lady swore us in. Then she went through her check list of things she required. Lastly she asked us some personal questions and some general questions. She informed me that I qualify but if she filed me now, before our 2nd anniversay then I would get my permanent residency but with conditions and have to be renewed in 2 years. So she is holding my papers until our 2nd anniversary so that I get my permanent residency for 10 years with out conditions. She was not sure but she also felt that I would be entitled to some social security benefits.
07/02/2002 Social security said that as long as I had a social security number and had been employed for 5 years then I would be entitled to benefits. As far as unemployment is concerned they said that if I was eligble to work then I would be eligble to unemployment benefits.
08/09/2002 Well I got my passport back stamped so now I can leave the US and return without having to spend $100 on a visa to let me back in. Just have to wait for the green card now.
10/01/2002 Sent in a request form G-731N (Nebraska) to find out where my permanent registration card (green card) is as I have not heard a thing.
10/23/2002 Had to go to the INS office today as I had a letter saying that my fingerprints needed to be updated. Was informed that it actual takes 6-8 months for the permanent permit.
11/19/2002 Sent a letter to Kansas City office to find out if I would need to renew my temporary work permit since I still had not recieved my "green card".
12/02/2002 Well I got replies to both requests I sent in regarding my permit. Nebraska say they have not received anything. Kansas City state, in thier letter, that since I have been granted my premanent residence that i no longer have to have a temporary work permit, so that gets me out of paying $120 in Jan for a new one. Still no idea where the actual "green card" is though.
02/03/2003 Talked to the INS help line and was informed that I may still have another 6 months to wait, that there is a tremendous back log.
02/26/2003 TA! DA! Got the paper from the INS Monday that welcoms me as a permanent resident. It says that my card should arrive in about 3 weeks.
03/04/2003 AND NOW I HAVE MY CARD. Must say I expected a fanfare when I opened the envelope. So here ends my saga after my permanent residency - COMING NEXT! - The quest for citizenship.
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