Our names are Daniel & Juli. We got happily married back on April 20, 2013 here in Caracas, Venezuela. Since then we’ve been planning to leave this country for various reasons (which we won’t address in this blog) and move to the United States and start our family there. We are both Venezuelans, and luckily for us, I am also a born US Citizen.
To lawfully enter and live in the United States, turns out my wife needs a IR1/CR1 Visa approved for her to enter the US and gain Permanent Residence status. (Very usefull information HERE). After approved, three years later she can become a US citizen.
We have been researching a lot about the whole Spousal Visa process, and found that while being somewhat long (est. 12 months) it seems pretty straightforward. That’s what we are going to find out, and hopefully leave all of our experiences in this blog!
After many months of preparation we gathered all the necessary documents and today (april 06, 2015) we sent the first package via DHL Express to the Chicago Lockbox facility. We are very exited, full of hope and everyday dreaming how our future will be once we enter our new home country!
Well the first package can turn confusing sometimes. It is bulky (like 80 pages) worth of documents. It includes the I-130 form “Petition for Alien Relative” and many documents such as marriage certificate, photos, joint property document, birth certificates, legal translations, etc. so you need to pay attention to all the details cause one missing requisite, even one missing signature will stop the process and get you an RFE (Request of Further Evidence) which is basically a second chance to make things right. RFE’s are exactly what we don’t want, as it generates unnecessary delays.
From what we’ve read all over the internet, most likely you guys DON’T need to hire a lawyer. It is all about investigation, preparation and order. So first, what we did, and would recommend to all of you that are planning to hop on this train, is to make a DETAILED list of all the documents you need. We used Microsoft Excel and it worked wonders. So we made a simple item table, listing all the documents needed in specific order. We bought a classic manila folder, clips and some separators, assigned an imaginary “serial number” for each item, indicated it’s status on the table (things like picture taken, not printed, photocopied, need translation, have notarized or registered at local authorities, etc…) we also put a comments column to indicate important tips to keep an eye on, like signatures, highlight data, check missing data on forms, etc. Then I used colors (red and green) to indicate what item was 100% ready and what was still left.
Most rows began red colored and day after day those rows turned green, one by one. Finally it was all 100% ready and we sent the package just today.
I will continue to add details to this blog post, cause right now I need to get back to work!