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We got married! Now what?

We got married! Now what?

Old Jul 13th 2020, 11:37 pm
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Default We got married! Now what?

Aubrey and I tied the knot, low-key, on July 3rd just a couple weeks ago (quite literally, we did a Celtic handfasting to symbolise the knot-tying) and will exchange rings on July 3rd 2021 in the Scottish Highlands, where we will have a grand, non-Coronavirus wedding with all of our friends and family, exactly one year post-first wedding (to avoid anniversary date confusion). Some of you may have recalled a post a few months ago where we were reluctant to hastily get things started despite my L-1B expiring in December, but Corona took care of that decision for us!

So, now I am trying to start the Green Card process and it seems kind of daunting, even though I've been told our process is pretty straightforward: already on an L-1B which is due to expire/renew at the end of December this year (my employer's attorneys, PWC, are starting the extension process any day now) and Aubrey is a US Citizen. We just got our marriage certificate through the mail this morning.

One of the questions I had is whether we can file the I-130 online? Is that possible seeing that the i485 is only by mail? If it is possible, do we file the I-130 first and then the i485, to 'enable' the concurrent processing?

And another, wider question is whether there is any value in hiring an immigration attorney or going with a popular online firm like Boundless? I recall a few people saying that with our case, it's not really worth it and we could save ourselves the best part of a grand and do it ourselves. Any thoughts?
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Old Jul 13th 2020, 11:43 pm
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Default Re: We got married! Now what?

Package both the I-130 and I-485 together in one large bundle and mail it in.

Regarding immigration attorney - all of this can be DIYed. If you don't have a good attention to detail or desire to DIY then of course use a reputable attorney.
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Old Jul 13th 2020, 11:49 pm
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Default Re: We got married! Now what?

Originally Posted by tom169 View Post
Package both the I-130 and I-485 together in one large bundle and mail it in.

Regarding immigration attorney - all of this can be DIYed. If you don't have a good attention to detail or desire to DIY then of course use a reputable attorney.
Thanks. So what you're saying is don't file the I-130 online but just mail it in together with the I-485 and all the other stuff?

Also, my wife is an attorney (just not in immigration) so she can fact-check everything for me. We would definitely prefer to avoid extra costs as we just bought a house
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Old Jul 13th 2020, 11:57 pm
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Default Re: We got married! Now what?

Don't file anything online. Submit the I-130, I-485, and all backup docs by trackable USPS to the address on the I-485.

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Old Jul 14th 2020, 12:00 am
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Default Re: We got married! Now what?

I agree with Tom, unless you have a criminal record or some other massively complicating factor, you have absolutely no need for a lawyer.

About all you need to complete the forms is to be able to read English and follow some fairly basic instructions, they really aren't difficult and just need a little patience to complete the forms. .... And if you have any questions, come back here to ask them.

Last edited by Pulaski; Jul 14th 2020 at 12:11 am.
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Old Jul 14th 2020, 12:08 am
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Default Re: We got married! Now what?

Thanks everybody! I'll come back here if I need anything
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Old Jul 14th 2020, 11:38 am
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Default Re: We got married! Now what?

You're also going to want to file for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and Advance Parole (AP) at the same time.

Those will allow you to work for any employer or leave the country during the process (if your L-1B does expire).
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Old Jul 14th 2020, 4:01 pm
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Default Re: We got married! Now what?

Originally Posted by tom169 View Post
You're also going to want to file for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) and Advance Parole (AP) at the same time.

Those will allow you to work for any employer or leave the country during the process (if your L-1B does expire).
I was aware of the EAD, but what's an AP? Is an AP the same as a travel authorization?
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Old Jul 14th 2020, 4:39 pm
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Default Re: We got married! Now what?

Originally Posted by petepete99 View Post
I was aware of the EAD, but what's an AP? Is an AP the same as a travel authorization?
AP = Advance Parole, and yes it is authorization to leave the US without your application for change of status being cancelled.
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Old Jul 14th 2020, 5:31 pm
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Default Re: We got married! Now what?

Originally Posted by Pulaski View Post
AP = Advance Parole, and yes it is authorization to leave the US without your application for change of status being cancelled.
Got it, thanks
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Old Jul 14th 2020, 9:18 pm
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Default Re: We got married! Now what?

Advance Parole is form I-131
Employment Authorization Document is I-765

Normally, both AP and EAD come on the same card. You will need to have biometrics and will be sent a notice of where and when to appear to have your print and photo taken.

Note: Both the AP and EAD fee is included in the fee of the I-485.
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Old Jul 15th 2020, 2:48 am
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Default Re: We got married! Now what?

This is a heck of a lengthy process. I've filled out most of the forms on Adobe so far. I'm now on form I-944 and, after reading various instructions, I need to provide proof of English language proficiency, even as a native English speaker. I remember around five years ago, when I was contemplating Canadian Permanent Residence, I needed to provide evidence for that process too. I did an IELTS test but can't for the life of me find the certification.

Is anybody here familiar with form I-944? I need to fill it out because my wife has not filed taxes yet, being self employed...
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Old Jul 15th 2020, 3:04 am
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Default Re: We got married! Now what?

Never heard of it regards to a marriage-based adjustment of status. Perhaps it's new? Yup, guess it is.



What is the I 944 form?
Form I-944, also known as the “Declaration of Self-Sufficiency,” is a form used by green card applicants to provide information about their financial situation.

How to Complete Your I-944 and Pass the “Public Charge” Test


Last edited by Rete; Jul 15th 2020 at 3:07 am.
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Old Jul 15th 2020, 3:15 am
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Default Re: We got married! Now what?

Yes, it is indeed quite new. And when Googling, many people across various forums have also posted the question, but there doesn't appear to be a conclusive answer specifically to the English language question. The USCIS page is here
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Old Jul 15th 2020, 12:06 pm
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Default Re: We got married! Now what?

You have provide a credit report now?

Boy am I glad that I don't have to deal with USCIS anymore.
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