My experience of the US visa system.I am a male engineer from the UK, working here in the USA on a H-1B.I married an American citizen after a couple of years here in the US.This is how it went for me (and I do NOT ever write this stuff, but felt obliged to show my gratitude to a business with a service that delivers what they say they will).I originally downloaded all the forms from USCIS website to do the change of status, marriage etc and then realized that you cannot fill these forms in without help (they are crazy difficult). I inquired about the cost of legal help (attorneys etc) and this could potentially cost thousands (I checked!!!).After doing more research I came across ‘Rapid Visa’. I did further research and all the reviews came up good. I created an account, paid the money and entered all my details. Some of the questions proved a little awkward, so I contacted Ben (via email). He was extremely helpful, knowledge and quick to respond.After many hours gathering data (answer’s to the extensive questions that are a requirement) I printed off the docs (loads of them) and very carefully reviewed them. I used a highliter pen to check and double check all my entry’s (surprising how many errors you can make entering information on this scale).Then got Rapid Visa (Ben) to check it all over, and then followed the very detailed “assembly” instructions (which are worth the money alone!!!).Posted off as instructed, and sat back.
The time line of my case is shown below. I know you hear horror stories, on Google and the like, but all went extremely smoothly for me. ALL of the paperwork I submitted through ‘Rapid Visa’ was 100% correct and accepted by the immigration people (USCIS).The office interview (all married couples have to have one) was very basic and polite. If you have indicated that you have a document they ask to see the original, nothing to catch you out. The usual “how did you meet etc”, show them a bunch of bills, photo’s, legal documents and basically demonstrate that you are a genuine married couple (that’s all they want to see).
My advice: Get organized, if you don’t know something- ask someone.Just for the record, thanks to Ben at ‘Rapid Visa’ who did a lot of helping.
My History: I was in the US and had an H-1B visa, got married (allowed to do so on H-1B), applied for AOS (adjustment of Status), applied for the Travel permit while case was pending (I travel a lot for work) etc.MAY 2 2011Medical performed at Minnesota Twin Cities Medical Clinic (approx $250).MAY 12 2011Posted application via USPS priority mail.MAY 17 2011Date that RECEIVED is listed on ALL paperwork.MAY 23 2011Notice that my USCIS application/petition has been received and routed to the National Benefits Center for processing.JULY 8, 2011BIOMETRICS appointment letter was received.JULY 14, 2011, we mailed you a notice that we have approved this I131 APPLICATION FOR USCIS TRAVEL DOCUMENT.AUGUST 1, 2011BIOMETRICS done in Minneapolis Center (in and out within 30 mins)AUGUST 1, 2011I765 , APPLICATION FOR EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZATION we ordered production of your new card.AUGUST 12 2011I765 APPLICATION FOR EMPLOYMENT AUTHORIZATION received by me.AUGUST 15, 2011I485 , Interview notice to appear at Minneapolis Center on September 16th 2011.SEPTEMBER 16, 2011Interview lasted approx 45 min, nothing to worry about if you have everything in order.APPROVED I130 IMMIGRANT PETITION FOR RELATIVE, FIANCE(E), OR ORPHAN.SEPTEMBER 16, 2011APPROVED I485 , APPLICATION TO REGISTER PERMANENT RESIDENCE OR TO ADJUST STATUS.SEPTEMBER 16, 2011Letter stating that they have ordered production of my new card (delivery should be within 2 weeks or so).
SEPTEMBER 20, 2011Received a bunch of letters confirming that all had been approved. Waiting for card to arrive soon.The END (for the moment)…
Disclaimer: The information herein is not intended as legal advice and is provided for general information only.Questions involving interpretation of specific U.S. laws should be addressed to an attorney and/or government officials.