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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Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow, that was a long process and i am glad you have worked pass through it.

congrats to Marilyn for being official a taxpayer! :)

- lad madrigal

Tuesday, April 01, 2008 9:24:00 AM  
Blogger Corey said...

I'm sure she is quite happy to be a taxpayer now...not :)

Her conditional green card should be arriving any day now, and then we're done for another two years until filing the I-751...

...and then at least one year after that before she applies for citizenship. So expensive to do all of these steps now :(

Thanks for visiting the blog!

Friday, April 04, 2008 7:11:00 AM  
Blogger RTS said...

Glad to hear that everything is going OK with you two.
Wish you'd spend a bit more time blogging......
Regards to Marilyn for me, Cathy and JP.

Friday, April 04, 2008 9:02:00 AM  
Blogger Corey said...

Hello, Bob...yeah, I know things have calmed down quite a bit on the blog. I guess I need to take another trip to the Philippines soon ;)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008 10:30:00 PM  
Blogger efren tabernero said...

Hello Corey, I am a Filipino living in California. I enjoyed reading your adventures to meet your sweetheart Marilyn in the Philippines. I happened to buy a beachfront property in Bacong. I hope to see you and Marilyn in that welcoming town of Bacong on my visit next year May-June, 2009.
Regards & God's Blessings be with you & your family.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008 1:20:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh yeah, its a long process to get us here :), I wonder why while others from a foreign country its easyto get in, in our country. Anyway, I wish you all the best. P.S. I'm from Dumaguete, too. I wonder where particulary in Dumaguete.

Alma Mae

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 2:30:00 AM  
Blogger Corey said...

Hello Efren and Alma...

Yep, Bacong seems to be a nice little town. I didn't see very much of it, since we actually stayed in Dumaguete (at an air-conditioned hotel ;)). One of these days we will return to visit the area, though.

Alma...I didn't even need a visa to enter the Philippines, so it does seem unfair that I only need a passport while Marilyn must go through several months of forms, a medical exam, and an interview.

By the way, she's from the Orchids Daro area.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger Thomas Shawn said...

Wow 9 months. My own ordeal was more like 18 months (yr. 2000).

Sunday, November 30, 2008 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger Corey said...

With the immigration fees we are required to pay these days ($1,010 for a conditional green card, for example), things should be even faster :)

Thursday, December 04, 2008 10:57:00 PM  
Blogger amanda said...

I was happy to come across your blog because I am going through the exact same process with my new husband from Italy!! We began with the fiance visa and we have now worked our way through to filing the I-485 for the green card. I would love to pick your brain about the procedures...
I see that it took you 6 months for your wife to receive her green card. We filed in Feb, so that would mean Aug. is a target date for us. The problem is, we want to visit his family this summer. Do you know anything about travel during the processing of the green card?? We had to submit the form from the passport he received at the airport (the i-94 I think... I'm sure you know what I'm talking about), so I think that makes him ineligible to travel. Any words of advice? Or perhaps know of contacts I can speak to about this? I have many more questions but I won't bother you with them all.... right now....
Congratulations to you both, wishing you many years of happiness!!

Saturday, February 28, 2009 9:51:00 AM  
Blogger Corey said...

Thanks for visiting, Amanda. Marilyn received official notice of being a conditional permanent resident about 3.5 months from the day we mailed out her forms...and just under 4 months before she had the green card in her hands. So, your husband could potentially have the green card before your travel date. Otherwise, he may need to apply for "Advance Parole". You can Google that for more info. It basically preserves an alien's pending Adjustment of Status if they leave the country and come back. I don't know how long it takes to process an application for one of these. Very often, this is applied for concurrently with the I-485. We didn't apply for this, though, so I am not sure of the process. Hope that helps!

Sunday, March 01, 2009 7:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was trying to search online for the steps I would have to go through on my Biometrics appointment and how long I would have to be there for the whole process, nothing online tells me about it. I thought i could ask you. My name is jijie, (I know your wife, from Calvary Chapel Dumaguete! We used to go to The Living Vessels Fellowship for young adults --- thought I saw her attend) you can email me here:

Thursday, February 04, 2010 12:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Isaac Mirahi said...

It's been nice reading your sojourns to Dumaguete City, and I congratulate you having a wonderful and most memorable time staying there! :)

I've also been to Dumaguete and stayed in Florentina Homes Apartment Hotel for some exploration. Unlike you, I didn't have to meet someone else so I didn't have a place to stay. Good thing, the lodging I chose was well worth it, as I fully explored the beauty, culture and history of the city.

Monday, February 22, 2010 6:11:00 AM  
Anonymous USCIS Form said...

whoa! that was really a long process but it paid off. By the way, I love your blog because it is informative keep it going :-)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010 3:03:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Corey, are you still around?

Tuesday, January 03, 2012 1:12:00 PM  

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