Month: September 2015

Day 200: EAD Confusion Answered

May 1, 2015 Efrem called back to immigration and finally got through and conferenced me in so I could listen. But nothing they said was what we wanted to hear. We told them we had moved, that we had changed our address, and that we had not received the EAD card yet. He said they show it as having been delivered to our previous address and that it wasn’t returned to the center. After a pause, we’re asked them if they were going to send another one? We need to get this card. The answer: USCIS doesn’t re-issue duplicates, so we have to refile the entire I-765 all over again, and wait another 3 months for a new card. I was livid, struggling to keep from screaming on the phone since I was at work. This has to be the most ridiculous process ever. The EAD was already approved. The card gets lost in the mail, and instead of looking at the application they already have in hand and re-issuing a card, we have to start all over again. …

Day 197: Change of Address

April 28, 2015 All I can recommend is that you DO NOT move while you’re in the middle of this process. Just don’t do it. Because USCIS apparently can’t handle a simple change of address. They say the can, they even have this nice, tidy online form that you can fill in and submit without having to actually mail a whole bunch of crap in. But it’s all lies. They’ll send you a letter a week or so later saying they’ve confirmed your change of address. But it’s all lies. Also, if you did as we did and submitted our I-485 with our I-765, be sure to remember that they do have two different case numbers and you have to put in both, or fill out two forms, regarding your change of address. Because despite the fact that your immigrating fiance(e)’s A-number should be attached to everything and that USCIS processes everything, they can’t handle a change of address unless you specifically tell them which cases your address is changing for, as if your address would change …

Days 88, 95, 101: Getting a Driver’s License – 3 Strikes

January 9, 2015: Strike 1 It always feels like one step forward two steps back and a whole lot of anxiety. I feel like I should just always carry around copies of the stacks of documents proving that Efrem has the right to do things and be places. The general population is incredibly ignorant of what a K1-visa holder means—even people who should know to some capacity. SO I stay looking up every statute and every footnote and keep the links and print-outs on hand when someone inevitably says he can’t do one thing or another so I can whip out their own policies and say—“but it says here…” Case in point, today, Efrem decided he was ready to take the written exam for the drivers license. We even had delayed it from before because I had to make sure all the insurance information was ready and that I knew what his rights were. I dug through the extremely user-unfriendly LA department of public safety and the office of motor vehicles website to find out what …

Day 78 & 79: Homeownership

December 30, 2014:  Buying the House We spent Christmas in Destin. We knew we were supposed to close on the house before the new year, we just didn’t know quite when and what the entire process would look like. In retrospect, we really didn’t have a great realtor. The entire process was poorly coordinated and rushed, in order to finish before the new year. Our realtor, who should’ve been on “our side” was incredibly flippant with us as clients, cursorily explaining things to us, not making crystal clear the timing and deadlines for making requests from the seller. It was probably because we’re young, first time homeowners, who she wasn’t going to make a lot of money off of, so she just didn’t really care about doing a good job. Maybe we should’ve done our homework better–we thought we were doing our due diligence, and we discussed things with my parents as we went along, but New Orleans is a special place in terms of issues that come up in houses so we realized after it was all done that we definitely should’ve …

Days 64 & 65: AOS Paperwork and Crazy Doctors

December 16-17, 2014 Besides the obvious requirement of getting married within 90 days, part of the K1 visa also requires you file for the Adjustment of Status (AOS) within that same period of time. After that, you’re good until the bureaucracy decides to get around to your application and grant you, first, an employment authorization, and then eventually the green card. Part of the stack of AOS paperwork to be sent is the medical exam and medical records. When most foreign fiancé(e)s enter the country, they’ve already completed their full medical exam and it’s just a matter of filling out the remaining paperwork and mailing it in with the (very high) fee. But sometimes, that person may be missing one or two vaccinations depending on whether they were in stock in the country where they did their exam, and whether or not it’s flu season at the time. When Efrem did his medical exam they were in their flu season (SA has seasons opposite ours), but they were out of the flu vaccination. So we thought that …