Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hubby's birthday & getting immigration started again.

It was F.B.'s birthday yesterday. It's the 2nd birthday he's spent in the USA. We went to a Chinese Buffet near Franklin Mill's Mall for lunch.

 Hubby wearing his Nintendo t-shirt I got him for his birthday.

 Yay! Starting to look more like Fall!

Another birthday gift. 42 mini bags of Herr's Potato Chips. (I believe 4 bags were missing already when this picture was taken, lol.)

Birthday brownies. With chocolate coffee buttercream icing. Sugar High!

September 28th, I contacted our immigration lawyers again. It will be time to remove the conditional status from F.B.'s permanent resident card soon. Last August I asked how much it would cost to rehire the firm and was quoted $1,200. So that's what we saved towards. I also know it will cost $590 to file the form with immigration.

When I heard a reply back a week ago I was told the cost to rehire the firm was now $1,950. Wow... $750 dollars more than we were expecting. I really love our immigration lawyers and they did an amazing job last time, but that price jump definitely made me feel a bit sick in the stomach. So, I found the email where I was quoted the $1,200 and forwarded it just to ask why the fee's had increased so much. I wasn't really expecting much, just an explanation. But thankfully, (and this is why they are great lawyers!) They changed the paperwork to reflect the $1,200 we were quoted last year. (Save your old emails!)

In mid November our lawyer will begin all the paperwork. Immigration will not allow the forms to be submitted early. It has to be submitted 90 days before F.B.'s permanent resident card expires or else immigration could reject everything. Rules... rules....


We've also had to collect paperwork that proves our marriage is valid and that we live together. Some of the paperwork I've gathered is:
  • Federal & State Tax copies filed jointly.
  • Bank statement copies with both of our names
  • Copy of our lease for our apartment in both our names
  • Copy of insurance declaration in both our names
  • Copies of our driver licenses showing our current address.
  • Photos with family.
  • Letters from Family/Friends
Speaking of that... you wouldn't think collecting letters from family & friends with a short statement saying how long they've known you & your spouse, how they've interacted with you & that your marriage appears to be valid, etc; would be that difficult to get... but it was like pulling teeth. Literally. I let so many of our friends and family know 3-4 months in advance that we would need these letters and still they've trickled in... I'm grateful for the ones who have written us letters, but we definitely expected a lot more support and a lot more letters... but enough about that.... blah. Rant over...

Anyway that's where we stand right now with immigration. In mid November our lawyers will prepare the paperwork and by December 5th, 2012 the form should be filed with immigration and then fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly so the conditional status will be removed from F.B.'s resident card. (Ugh... he will also have to get a new driver's license in March because that expires when his resident cards expires). I just can't wait until we are finished with immigration!

(I know he will have to renew his resident card every 10 years or so, but that won't be as bad compared to all the rules and paperwork over the past 3 years!)

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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