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Cost of marrying on H1-B

Cost of marrying on H1-B

Old Jun 26th 2006, 4:22 pm
  #1  
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Default Cost of marrying on H1-B

Hi guys,

My girlfriend (US citizen) and I (UK citizen) just bought a house together in March. My H1-B is up for renewal in January, but due to some budget cuts, there's no guarantee that I'll have a job. I'm a bit of a pesimist, and alway plan for the worst.

Given a worse case scenario of me receiving two weeks notice, can someone give me any idea as to a timeline and expenditure for what I believe to be a temporary solution..?

Given that scenario, my girlfriend and I would get married (we've been together 5 years), but we wouldn't want a big fancy wedding at this point - considering our mortgage and the loss of one ouf our income. Just a sign on the dotted line kinda affair - we can have a nice reception party when we're better off financially.

If we decide to get married on Monday morning, when can we actually get married?

How many forms are there to fill out?

What is the cost for doing so with/without an attorney?

Do I need an attorney?

Say that we're married on Friday afternoon and the paperwork is being processed... am I free to take regular jobs like working in a bar/grocery store?

If someone can help me out, I'd greatly appreciate it. Continuing my Google search for answers now!

Cheers,
Leepr7
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Old Jun 26th 2006, 4:33 pm
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Default Re: Cost of marrying on H1-B

Originally Posted by leepr7
Hi guys,

My girlfriend (US citizen) and I (UK citizen) just bought a house together in March. My H1-B is up for renewal in January, but due to some budget cuts, there's no guarantee that I'll have a job. I'm a bit of a pesimist, and alway plan for the worst.

Given a worse case scenario of me receiving two weeks notice, can someone give me any idea as to a timeline and expenditure for what I believe to be a temporary solution..?

Given that scenario, my girlfriend and I would get married (we've been together 5 years), but we wouldn't want a big fancy wedding at this point - considering our mortgage and the loss of one ouf our income. Just a sign on the dotted line kinda affair - we can have a nice reception party when we're better off financially.

If we decide to get married on Monday morning, when can we actually get married?

How many forms are there to fill out?

What is the cost for doing so with/without an attorney?

Do I need an attorney?

Say that we're married on Friday afternoon and the paperwork is being processed... am I free to take regular jobs like working in a bar/grocery store?

If someone can help me out, I'd greatly appreciate it. Continuing my Google search for answers now!

Cheers,
Leepr7
Depends on your State rules ....
about 6
0- $2000 approx (that just lawyers fees) ..CIS fees about a grand + medical
If your a born worrier and not good with forms ..YES
No ..not until you get your EAD ..about 90days after filing

Last edited by Ray; Jun 26th 2006 at 4:40 pm.
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Old Jun 26th 2006, 4:38 pm
  #3  
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Default Re: Cost of marrying on H1-B

Originally Posted by leepr7
Hi guys,

My girlfriend (US citizen) and I (UK citizen) just bought a house together in March. My H1-B is up for renewal in January, but due to some budget cuts, there's no guarantee that I'll have a job. I'm a bit of a pesimist, and alway plan for the worst.

Given a worse case scenario of me receiving two weeks notice, can someone give me any idea as to a timeline and expenditure for what I believe to be a temporary solution..?

Given that scenario, my girlfriend and I would get married (we've been together 5 years), but we wouldn't want a big fancy wedding at this point - considering our mortgage and the loss of one ouf our income. Just a sign on the dotted line kinda affair - we can have a nice reception party when we're better off financially.

If we decide to get married on Monday morning, when can we actually get married?

How many forms are there to fill out?

What is the cost for doing so with/without an attorney?

Do I need an attorney?

Say that we're married on Friday afternoon and the paperwork is being processed... am I free to take regular jobs like working in a bar/grocery store?

If someone can help me out, I'd greatly appreciate it. Continuing my Google search for answers now!

Cheers,
Leepr7
Marrying won't cost you much. I guess you are really asking about AOS?

Check the FAQs in the USA forum ,and also the section on 'how do I bring a spouse to the US' on the USCIS website. There's also page there that lists all the forms and fees - you'd be looking at I-485 (for AOS), I-765 (EAD) and Advance Parole if you are planning to travel (good idea even if you're not, in case of emergencies).

Then there is the cost of the medical. Get your vaccination records now - that will say you time and $$$.
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Old Jun 26th 2006, 4:45 pm
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Default Re: Cost of marrying on H1-B

as everyone has already said, costs and timelines will depend on which state your in, but check out www.uscis.gov for the forms and to look for a surgeon bloke in your area to do your medical, and ask around as they do all have there own costs, and some are a lot cheaper than others.

Definitely get your vaccination history from back in blighty if you can, will save you getting jabs or a titre test done to show your covered.
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Old Jun 26th 2006, 6:23 pm
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Default Re: Cost of marrying on H1-B

I just filed AOS. I did the paperwork myself, with a great deal of help from fellow users and older post's on here. Its not difficult, just time consuming.

USCIS fee's were $585. Then the trips to the regional office, one for biometrics, one for the interview.

The medical cost me $250, I had to have chest xrays as I showed positive for TB (I, as many are in the UK, was vacinated at school for TB - so you prove positive and have to pay for an XRAY to show your only carrying titers and not the disease).

Time scale varies by state. Here in Texas you can fast track the process (90 days) using a pilot program in Dallas. I fell outside the Dallas area (its by your home Zip code). I took all my forms to the San Antonio office to get them checked before filing them to Chicago (we took a weekend break in San Antonio so filed an infopass appointment whilst there and had someone check I was sumbitting everything I should). The guy actually found a problem with my application and I was able to correct it before sending it. They have a really useful check list they customize to your circumstance. It seemed a nuisance sitting in line for 2 hours, but it turned out worth the effort. I submitted my forms in the middle of May, got a receipt 2 weeks later and a letter last week with my biometrics interview date for this week. The guy in San Antonio said, in Texas at least, they are aiming to get all applications processed within 90 days, which seemed to conflict with the info I got here from peoples experiences. Maybe it has something to do with the pilot at Dallas, who knows. He said I 'should' get my Permanent Residency card ('Green Card' - conditional) in 90 days from submission - seems unlikely, but I'll report back when I progress further. He said not to file I131 (permission to travel) or the form to allow me to change employer (I765? I seem to remember). He said most of the applications for AOS are completed in 90 days and to save the money. I didn't plan leaving the US or changing jobs any time soon, so I took his advice.

The biggest consideration in doing this yourself is the time involved completing the forms. I figured an attorney would need me to compile the information anyway, so it would not be much harder to just take the information and complete the forms myself. If your unsure on which forms, I'd really recommend an InfoPass appointment. Tell them your circumstance and you will leave with a checklist of what to send, and the forms you need to complete. You don't complete a form for the biometrics at time of filing, but MUST send a check for the fee - without the checklist I would never have known this.
DO NOT send the original forms, instead photocopy the forms and complete the the form they give you to say you are sending copies of the originals. Keep the originals for your interview. Read ALL the forms before starting to fill them in, that way you know what you need before you start and can get any time consuming processes set in motion (I had to order a copy of my birth certificate from England).
A REAL TIME SAVER:
Complete the forms using the electronic versions from the USCIS web site, they have edit boxes in the PDF's so you can type the details in. It helps a great deal when you need multiple copies. Also some forms have identical information and the form auto completes the pages as you type.
Spelling mistakes in your records are a nightmare to fix (see previous posts here), so a neatly typed form helps prevent this.
The immigration official I saw in San Antonio was really helpful, he suggested typing the forms to avoid any possibility of mistakes. He said forms are keyed at an alarming rate and if your application is difficult to read it may be rejected at the best, or at the worst keyed incorrectly!


You can marry whenever you want! I flew to Vegas and got a license one day and married two days later. We had a big affair in Vegas, but you can do it for $100 if you feel the need - its what you make of the day, not what you spend on it.

You can't work for another company without permission. Though the spouse of a US citizen is unlikely to be prosecuted - though I don't recommend you do this without authorization first. Play it legally, you'd expect the same in your own country from foreign workers, right?

You don't need an attorney - save the money - really!

Feel free to PM if you need more advice. Everything you said is possible.

I hope this helps,

Dave

Last edited by Pony; Jun 26th 2006 at 6:31 pm.
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Old Jun 26th 2006, 6:34 pm
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Default Re: Cost of marrying on H1-B

Originally Posted by Bob
Definitely get your vaccination history from back in blighty if you can, will save you getting jabs or a titre test done to show your covered.
I brought all my vaccination records from England, but unless they are within the last 6 months they won't be taken in to account. I was mad as hell after spending hours of the phone to get copies. I had had a Tetanus vaccine here just over a year ago, they stuck me again, even though its supposed to last 5 to 10 years.

I felt like a pin cushion after they had finished

On the TB titer issue, they will test you and XRAY you regardless of proof you had a vaccine. Annoying, but thats what they told me. A vaccination is not efficacious against TB, so its not proof you don't have it.

Last edited by Pony; Jun 26th 2006 at 6:37 pm.
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Old Jun 26th 2006, 6:55 pm
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Default Re: Cost of marrying on H1-B

Originally Posted by Texas_Dave
I brought all my vaccination records from England, but unless they are within the last 6 months they won't be taken in to account. I was mad as hell after spending hours of the phone to get copies. I had had a Tetanus vaccine here just over a year ago, they stuck me again, even though its supposed to last 5 to 10 years.

I felt like a pin cushion after they had finished

On the TB titer issue, they will test you and XRAY you regardless of proof you had a vaccine. Annoying, but thats what they told me. A vaccination is not efficacious against TB, so its not proof you don't have it.
I had the medical in London with the xray anyway, but to get the vaccination history for the supplement form, and my records were fine, I just needed titre for the tetanus as I didn't have it on record, as I had the job while on holiday, showed I was still covered, but barely, so he jabbed me again, the git.

Definitely shop around for the doc from the list as some are terrible, some are great.
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Old Jun 26th 2006, 7:15 pm
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Default Re: Cost of marrying on H1-B

Originally Posted by Texas_Dave
I brought all my vaccination records from England, but unless they are within the last 6 months they won't be taken in to account. I was mad as hell after spending hours of the phone to get copies. I had had a Tetanus vaccine here just over a year ago, they stuck me again, even though its supposed to last 5 to 10 years.

I felt like a pin cushion after they had finished

On the TB titer issue, they will test you and XRAY you regardless of proof you had a vaccine. Annoying, but thats what they told me. A vaccination is not efficacious against TB, so its not proof you don't have it.
Well, my advice to anyone going for a medical is: use someone who is familar with 'doing' Brits. Check out what they will and will not accept beforehand - because there is no rhyme or reason to these medicals! There is no reason why vaccination records should expire!

I brought our childhood vaccination booklets (for us and the kids), and they were accepted without problems. The only thing we needed to get done is tetanus (because this only lasts 10 years).

Most Brits will have been vaccinated against TB, and this can cause problems with doctors who are not familiar with this (because in the US they do not vaccinate against TB). As the TB test will come back positive, you'll have to have an X-ray. But you can get this done through your normal healthcare provider - much cheaper than using the Surgeon.

Beware of someone telling you that because you have been vaccinated against TB you are at risk of developing TB and need a 6 months course of a powerful (and slightly risky!) antibiotic. They do not know what they are talking about - this is definitely not needed.

HTH!
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Old Jun 26th 2006, 7:24 pm
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Default Re: Cost of marrying on H1-B

First we had our x-rays taken then the doctor asked about vaccinations and just took our word for it....although we did have to have the TB test. Seems to me the requirement differs from doctor to doctor.
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Old Jun 27th 2006, 4:43 am
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Default Re: Cost of marrying on H1-B

Originally Posted by Jerseygirl
First we had our x-rays taken then the doctor asked about vaccinations and just took our word for it....although we did have to have the TB test. Seems to me the requirement differs from doctor to doctor.
Yeah, they're pretty much free to do as they please, and it shows.

As for the I-130/I-485 bundle, I filled them out without an attorney, but I did pay $75 for a one-time consult with an immigration attorney to go through and check them before I sent them in. Make sure that you leave no blanks - if something doesn't apply, then state so.

About your job - I don't want to depress you more, but don't count on two week's notice unless that's in your contract.
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