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Maura

Post here if you are an American citizen but your FI is not

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Quote:
Originally Posted by monicaswave View Post
I have filed all the paperwork for citizenship already. I am basically just waiting on my interview. I should get it any time soon but I think they are really backed up....I hope to get it before wedding day.
so you have filed for citizenship as a single person then? or as a married person and you applied as a relative?

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Do you know how long it takes after filing the I-130 to get an interview and then become a permanent resident? (I feel like I should be able to find it on the site... but am having issues finding the proper timeline) I know it says since it is a spouse that they don't have to be on the waiting list... but curious on how long it takes to approve the application.

 

Now I'm worried though because I was also looking at something today about the sponsorship and being able to prove I can financially support my FI 125% above the poverty line... right now I'm a student with no income (unless you count my student loans). We don't graduate until May '09... but once we do it won't be a problem (we are both going to be pharmacists... so right now have pretty good job security). Argh...

 

Maybe we do need to a hire a lawyer... any idea on what the total cost of a lawyer is roughly?

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ooooh! Me too! this is a fabulous thread; we had NO idea how to do this... thanks for posting! Reggie is from Trinidad. We weren't going to even start the process until we get home. He is a permanent resident though; maybe that makes the process easier? I mean, he's been here since he was 3, has a social security number, etc.

 

foshizzle.bmp

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Quote:
Originally Posted by naga0066 View Post

This morning I just started looking at all the papework/requirements. It's my understanding that the easiest way to go about the citizenship process is file the paperwork (I-130 Petition for Alien Relative) AFTER we have our marriage license. Is that correct?
Yes that is correct! Wow, we're oposites, my DH is american and I'm from canada. lol

Just to let you know we filed with the national benefits center (chicago lockbox) June 6, 2007 and we just had our interview on Feb 5, 2008. It takes a long time depending on which city your paperwork gets routed to. We had a mix of jacksonville and new orleans. It's such a crazy process. Just make sure you have as much proof of your marriage as possible for the interview: his birth certificate from canada with both his parents names on it(he has to apply for this from the province he was born in as it's probably different than the birth certificate he has), any joint financial document in both of your names (loans, mortgages, insurance, bank accounts etc), pictures as proof of your marriage and relationship, then all the rest of your immigration paperwork already filed.

If you have any specific questions shoot me a PM. I don't mind at all as I know the process can be VERY mind numbing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monicaswave View Post
I have filed all the paperwork for citizenship already. I am basically just waiting on my interview. I should get it any time soon but I think they are really backed up....I hope to get it before wedding day.
Yeah they must be really behind, which disctict office did you apply to? Are you online for updates with your case status?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mauraw View Post

i would really recommend hiring a lawyer to at least file your papers, because ive heard from others that it goes much more smoothly to have an attorney handle the filing.
We did EVERYTHING without a lawyer.While hiring a lawyer makes it easier on you and you don't have to worry about anything really they are expensive from what I've heard. We did it without one and did everything correct - so it can be done. lol The paperwork took me a couple hours at the most.

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Yes that is correct! Wow, we're oposites, my DH is american and I'm from canada. lol

 

Just to let you know we filed with the national benefits center (chicago lockbox) June 6, 2007 and we just had our interview on Feb 5, 2008. It takes a long time depending on which city your paperwork gets routed to. We had a mix of jacksonville and new orleans. It's such a crazy process. Just make sure you have as much proof of your marriage as possible for the interview: his birth certificate from canada with both his parents names on it(he has to apply for this from the province he was born in as it's probably different than the birth certificate he has), any joint financial document in both of your names (loans, mortgages, insurance, bank accounts etc), pictures as proof of your marriage and relationship, then all the rest of your immigration paperwork already filed.

 

If you have any specific questions shoot me a PM. I don't mind at all as I know the process can be VERY mind numbing.

 

Thank you so much! I might have to take you up on some help at some point... we are at a standstill at the moment, trying to figure out the best way or time to do this. We've dated now for 2 and 1/2 years... but other than pics we have nothing to "prove" our relationship. We are students... so right now very poor. We live together (and with his 2 lovely roomates)... but 'officially' I still live at my parents so we have no forms/bills/loans together. Do you think we should open a joint bank account for the wedding or something to get it going?

 

I also had a concern because in one of the many forms/info things I was looking at it mentioned that as a sponsor I need to prove I can support him 125% above the poverty line... is that correct? In that case, we realistically can't do anything until we graduate and I get a job. At that point it wont be a problem... but right now I'm just a poor college kid living on student loans.

 

Thanks!

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raeka View Post
Yes that is correct! Wow, we're oposites, my DH is american and I'm from canada. lol

Just to let you know we filed with the national benefits center (chicago lockbox) June 6, 2007 and we just had our interview on Feb 5, 2008. It takes a long time depending on which city your paperwork gets routed to. We had a mix of jacksonville and new orleans. It's such a crazy process. Just make sure you have as much proof of your marriage as possible for the interview: his birth certificate from canada with both his parents names on it(he has to apply for this from the province he was born in as it's probably different than the birth certificate he has), any joint financial document in both of your names (loans, mortgages, insurance, bank accounts etc), pictures as proof of your marriage and relationship, then all the rest of your immigration paperwork already filed.

If you have any specific questions shoot me a PM. I don't mind at all as I know the process can be VERY mind numbing.



Yeah they must be really behind, which disctict office did you apply to? Are you online for updates with your case status?



We did EVERYTHING without a lawyer.While hiring a lawyer makes it easier on you and you don't have to worry about anything really they are expensive from what I've heard. We did it without one and did everything correct - so it can be done. lol The paperwork took me a couple hours at the most.
I'm in the same boat as you--I'm a Canadian in Vancouver, hubby is American from Chicago. Initially, we planned that he was coming up to Canada, so we did all the filing for Canada. Then partway, we decided that I should come down to the US instead, since he secured a good job in Seattle and my job prospects are better in Seattle than in Vancouver.

I looked at the requirements to file and (headache)...will look at it again, lol. I heard the wait is about a year.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by naga0066 View Post
Do you know how long it takes after filing the I-130 to get an interview and then become a permanent resident? (I feel like I should be able to find it on the site... but am having issues finding the proper timeline) I know it says since it is a spouse that they don't have to be on the waiting list... but curious on how long it takes to approve the application.

Now I'm worried though because I was also looking at something today about the sponsorship and being able to prove I can financially support my FI 125% above the poverty line... right now I'm a student with no income (unless you count my student loans). We don't graduate until May '09... but once we do it won't be a problem (we are both going to be pharmacists... so right now have pretty good job security). Argh...

Maybe we do need to a hire a lawyer... any idea on what the total cost of a lawyer is roughly?
becky, dont worry about the 125% support thing... in the event that you cannot personally guarantee that you can meet that requirement, your parents or other family members can also kind of co-sign your paperwork, and also any job you get and any job your FI gets or has is also a valid way to meet this requirement.

we meet with our lawyer on feb 25th at noon, i will report back about the wait time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monicaswave View Post
I applied as a single person.
monica, if you havent had your interview by the time of the wedding, when you get back, i believe you will need to amend your status to have your FI petition you as a relative. its MUCH MUCH easier to get approved as a relative than it is as a single person.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heidi View Post
ooooh! Me too! this is a fabulous thread; we had NO idea how to do this... thanks for posting! Reggie is from Trinidad. We weren't going to even start the process until we get home. He is a permanent resident though; maybe that makes the process easier? I mean, he's been here since he was 3, has a social security number, etc.

foshizzle.bmp
heidi, ive missed you! hope your new job is going well! being a permanent resident does make the process easier. in other terms, reggie would not be in danger of getting deported because of a visa issue because he is already a permanent resident. in fact, reggie doesnt need to become a US citizen... he can live here on permanent resident status forever from what my FI explained to me. also though i want others of you to know that having a SSN doesnt necessarily mean youre safe -- my FI has a work visa, and he has a US SSN. the process should be pretty easy for reggie though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raeka View Post
Yes that is correct! Wow, we're oposites, my DH is american and I'm from canada. lol

Just to let you know we filed with the national benefits center (chicago lockbox) June 6, 2007 and we just had our interview on Feb 5, 2008. It takes a long time depending on which city your paperwork gets routed to. We had a mix of jacksonville and new orleans. It's such a crazy process. Just make sure you have as much proof of your marriage as possible for the interview: his birth certificate from canada with both his parents names on it(he has to apply for this from the province he was born in as it's probably different than the birth certificate he has), any joint financial document in both of your names (loans, mortgages, insurance, bank accounts etc), pictures as proof of your marriage and relationship, then all the rest of your immigration paperwork already filed.

If you have any specific questions shoot me a PM. I don't mind at all as I know the process can be VERY mind numbing.

Yeah they must be really behind, which disctict office did you apply to? Are you online for updates with your case status?



We did EVERYTHING without a lawyer.While hiring a lawyer makes it easier on you and you don't have to worry about anything really they are expensive from what I've heard. We did it without one and did everything correct - so it can be done. lol The paperwork took me a couple hours at the most.
mel, i cant believe you did it all without a lawyer. my FI is insanely nervous that if we do it ourselves we will mess it up so he insists on using an attorney. the cost for our initial consultation with a partner is like $285/hour, then you get billed in .2/hour increments if you dont use a full hour. you get charged fees for prepping your paperwork, and then filing it, plus the paperwork filing fee required by the government.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Raeka View Post
Yes that is correct! Wow, we're oposites, my DH is american and I'm from canada. lol

Just to let you know we filed with the national benefits center (chicago lockbox) June 6, 2007 and we just had our interview on Feb 5, 2008. It takes a long time depending on which city your paperwork gets routed to. We had a mix of jacksonville and new orleans. It's such a crazy process. Just make sure you have as much proof of your marriage as possible for the interview: his birth certificate from canada with both his parents names on it(he has to apply for this from the province he was born in as it's probably different than the birth certificate he has), any joint financial document in both of your names (loans, mortgages, insurance, bank accounts etc), pictures as proof of your marriage and relationship, then all the rest of your immigration paperwork already filed.

If you have any specific questions shoot me a PM. I don't mind at all as I know the process can be VERY mind numbing.

Thank you so much! I might have to take you up on some help at some point... we are at a standstill at the moment, trying to figure out the best way or time to do this. We've dated now for 2 and 1/2 years... but other than pics we have nothing to "prove" our relationship. We are students... so right now very poor. We live together (and with his 2 lovely roomates)... but 'officially' I still live at my parents so we have no forms/bills/loans together. Do you think we should open a joint bank account for the wedding or something to get it going?

I also had a concern because in one of the many forms/info things I was looking at it mentioned that as a sponsor I need to prove I can support him 125% above the poverty line... is that correct? In that case, we realistically can't do anything until we graduate and I get a job. At that point it wont be a problem... but right now I'm just a poor college kid living on student loans.

Thanks!
becky, do you have a lease signed by both of you for the current place you are both living together? that is one form of proof. for us, when i moved in with my FI and had my address changed with the post office, i kept the confirmation slip. you can prove you share the same residence also with bank records, credit card records etc. You dont need to file until after the wedding, but I realize there is that lag between the time you get married and the time you graduate...hmmm i dunno what to tell you about that other than what i wrote above that you can have other relatives kind of co-sign.

i will let you all know how my meeting went with the lawyer when i get back on monday afternoon cheesy.gif so glad there are more of you catching onto this thread!

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Good luck with your meeting! :) And thanks for all your advice.

 

I feel much better about the whole $ supporting thing... we figured that had to be a way around it or a co-signing of sorts... but I couldn't seem to find written proof of that.

 

And sadly we don't have a cosigned lease... the house we live in only has 3 rooms so FI and I just share one. We worked out a deal w/ his roommates that I don't have to pay rent if I do majority of the cleaning. (some days I really regret that aggreement... haha) So I am not part of the lease at all.... and my address is at my parents house. We start rotations this next year... so we will be all over the state w/o a regular lease. Do you think it would be beneficial to open a joint bank account??

 

My FI seems to think he will be able to extend his student visa after we graduate as he will be doing a residency program. I'm a bit skeptical until he can show me something in writing.... but if that ends up being the case we may just wait to file until after we graduate and have a home together. Argh I dunno.

 

I'm encouraged to hear though that you didn't use a lawyer! It just seems so expensive.... I'm hoping we can figure most of it out on our own. :)

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Quote:
Originally Posted by naga0066 View Post
Do you think it would be beneficial to open a joint bank account??

My FI seems to think he will be able to extend his student visa after we graduate as he will be doing a residency program. I'm a bit skeptical until he can show me something in writing.... but if that ends up being the case we may just wait to file until after we graduate and have a home together. Argh I dunno.

I'm encouraged to hear though that you didn't use a lawyer! It just seems so expensive.... I'm hoping we can figure most of it out on our own. :)
Yes definitely open up a joint bank account. It wonâ€t hurt and itâ€s a good way to start saving for the wedding – together. Iâ€m not sure about the poverty line thing and using relatives as a co-signer. We were fine because they only put the poverty line at $13700, and as long as the US citizen makes more than that they donâ€t care. Are you working part time at all? Hmmm Iâ€m sorry Iâ€m of no help when it comes to that question.

Oh and that would be awesome if he could extend his visa. Much easier than filing all the paper work IMO. Hey if you need any help I donâ€t mind one bit. PM me and I could even talk to you on the phone and go over the paperwork once you begin the process. You can download all the forms you need now from UCIS and start filling them out ahead of time if youâ€re really eager lol

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