Monday, March 31, 2008

U.S. Immigration Timeline: From K1 to Conditional Permanent Resident

Above: Marilyn, shown in a web cam image from early 2005. This was still a whole 2.5 years before she arrived on U.S. soil.

>>> NOTE: To read about my experiences as an American in Dumaguete meeting my now-wife Marilyn for the first time you can jump to this post, and then use the links under "Previous Dumaguete Notes" to navigate. Or, continue below as I share our ongoing experiences with immigration. Enjoy! <<<

When I first began to ponder the idea of bringing Marilyn over to the U.S. from the Philippines, it was indeed an intimidating thought. However, I found solace in the writings of fellow Americans who were kind enough to share their experiences with the immigration process. At every point along this journey, from inception to the present moment, I have forged friendships, both online and outside of the virtual world, with those who have walked in the same path. As a way of giving back to all who, knowingly or unknowingly, helped guide me through this adventure of a thousand steps, I wanted to provide an immigration timeline that nicely summarizes the path Marilyn has taken from Dumaguete, Philippines to the U.S. If you are about to embark upon a similar journey you must take heart, for you do not go alone. God surely goes with you, as do so many friends who have been there...friends you have yet to meet.

Okay, enough of the wordy introduction...:)
  • January 18, 2007 - K-1 (Fiancee) visa petition is received by USCIS
  • May 16, 2007 - We receive notice that our petition has been approved and forwarded to the NVC (National Visa Center) for further processing
  • July 27, 2007 - Appointment for medical examination (Note: Due to Marilyn's lack of a real street address in Dumaguete her application packet never arrived. I received a copy of her appointment letter a few weeks before her exam, so she had to locate the appropriate application materials and complete them in a matter of days. In the end, though, it was still more than enough time...phew!)
  • August 3, 2007 - Visa interview appointment and subsequent approval (Thank the Lord! She said the consul who interviewed her was stern at first, but then became quite warm and easy to talk to)
  • August 11, 2007 - Marilyn recieves her K-1 visa via courier
  • August 16, 2007 - Marilyn attends her CFO counseling program. This is a day-long class required by the Filipino government for all citizens wishing to leave the country. Marilyn took her class in Cebu.
  • September 12, 2007 - Arrival in the U.S. in the great city of Minneapolis. A few hours later she takes a connecting flight into Detroit where she is greeted by myself and six other members of the family.
  • October 20, 2007 - Beautiful wedding ceremony in Lansing, Michigan
  • December 7, 2007 - Adjustment of Status application (I-485), work authorization application (I-765), and supporting documents are mailed to USCIS.
  • January 8, 2008 - Date of biometrics appointment.
  • February 11, 2008 - Employment authorization card received in the mail. Now, Marilyn can be an official taxpayer! :)
  • February 25, 2008 - Date of initial interview for adjustment of status.
  • March 31, 2008 - Welcome letter received from USCIS. Marilyn has officially been declared a conditional permanent resident of the U.S. Yippee! The notice mentions that her green card should arrive in 3 weeks.
  • April 4, 2008 - Green card arrives in the mail. Wow, that was a quick 3 weeks ;)
We now have a bit of down time since our next immigration step will be to file the I-751 after Christmas of 2009.

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