Sunday, January 31, 2010

1st Meeting: Immigration Lawyer

After 2 years of corresponding through phone/emails I finally had an appointment on Saturday around 11am to meet with our immigration lawyer for the first time. His office is in center city Philadelphia, but his father is also a lawyer and has an office around the corner from my house so we decided to meet there for our initial meeting.

It was really great after talking for 2 years to finally begin our immigration process. I brought all of the copies he asked me to bring to the meeting; copy of our marriage certificate, birth certificates, passport copies, passport style photographs. We started working on the I-864 so we can also file the I-130. If you remember, F.B. and I wanted to do a longer immigration process, because when F.B. steps off the plane he will be a permanent resident.

There was still some information I needed to gather before we could finish our initial application. I have to gather my income tax information from the past 3 years, I need a letter from work verifying I've worked there. I need to get some personal information about F.B.'s parents, places of birth, etc.

When I came back from the Philippines I also brought back with me all the letters I've sent F.B. over the past 5 years (Just the 1st page & envelope- we organized them at his house.) I've already made copies of the letter's he's sent to me. I have to make copies of the last two trip journals F.B.'s kept. (He documents what we do on each day of my trips.) I've made copies of all of my plane stubs, e-tickets. The lawyer also wants me to gather photographs of me with F.B.'s family members. All of that will be used as evidence of our relationship the past 5 1/2 years! Especially since we met online 6 years ago, US immigration will want evidence our relationship is legitmate.

My lawyer was genuinely excited to hear I was finally married, we've been talking almost 2 years now. He was excited for F.B. & I to finally begin our immigration process. In fact, he thinks the process will go faster than initially thought. He said to me he thinks there is a real possibility F.B. could be in the USA by the Xmas 2010! He said not to get my hopes up, but he does think it is going to go a lot faster than the estimated 1-2 years.

He also said, because F.B. & I are now married, it will be nearly impossible for F.B. to be granted a visitors visa to the USA. (The US doesn't like to give visitors visas to an immigrant with a spouse in the USA.) He will probably not be able to visit me around Sept 2011. But the lawyer thinks, F.B. will be in the USA before that time period anyhow and that I won't have to go back to the Philippines to see him instead.

Very exciting! I'm so glad we are finally getting our immigration process started! We've been saving money and gathering evidence, etc; for the past 2 years before we were married in preparation for this!

I have a phone appointment with our lawyer Tuesday around 4pm. He is also going to email me some paperwork and I have to email him some more information so we can complete our initial applications. I will keep you updated on our immigration process!

NOTE: Our lawyers Peter J. Gonzales & Shanna Stanton have changed firms. They are no longer with Kahiga Tiagha. They are now with Green and Spiegel LLC, but still located in Philadelphia. 


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