Showing posts with label Immigration Process. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Immigration Process. Show all posts

Immigration Update: APPROVED!

I got some great news today! An email from our immigration lawyer saying Vermont USCIS had finally processed our immigration paperwork for the removal of my husband's conditional status. It took them 5 months to process everything. (Which was better than the estimate of 8 months to 1 year we were given because they were backlogged).

He is approved! And we are done immigration for a good long while! He will get his permanent resident card in the mail soon and we won't have to renew that for quite some time. His card will be good for 10 years. (And renewing won't be half the paperwork it took to get this far!)

 Approved Yay! (Important information blurred obviously)

Below are some key blog posts documenting our entire immigration process up until now. (If you want to see all the posts you can click here: Immigration Process).

Our immigration process started back in 2008. We started doing research the year before we were married because we knew we would have to save money for the fee's.

8-20-2008: Immigration Lawyers 

12-19-2009: F.B. & I were married in the Philippines. After we were married I came back to the USA so we could start our immigration process.

01-31-2010: 1st Meeting: Immigration Lawyer

02-24-2010: Moving along in our immigration process

04-11-2010: The Waiting Game...

06-01-2010: Now we're getting somewhere!

07-23-2010: Finally completed our I-864

10-14-2010: NVC: Step 4 of 6.

01-12-2011: Immigration Update

01-19-2011: Yikes! Just 2 weeks until.... (F.B.'s Visa Interview in Manila, Philippines). 

02-03-2011: WHOO HOO! (Visa Approved!)

Busy First Week! (F.B. arrived in the USA)

03-06-2012: 1 Year in the USA!

10-10-2012: Hubby's birthday & getting immigration started again.

12-01-2012: Thanksgiving and Immigration... (Removing conditional status from F.B.'s resident card).

12-20-2012: 3 Year Anniversary! (Immigration & the Holidays)

05-09-2013: Immigration Update: Approved!

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, and still located in Philadelphia.

Shannon Stanton lawyer profile on on

Peter J. Gonzales lawyer profile on


3 Year Anniversary! (Immigration & the Holidays)

December 19th, was our 3 year wedding anniversary! We just had a laid back anniversary this year.

I took F.B. to see The Hobbit for his anniversary gift. We didn't get home until close to 1am. (The movie wasn't my cup of tea... and it's very long, 3 hours!) We went Tuesday evening and the movies are quite empty on a weeknight!

We decided to stay home on our anniversary and order Chinese Takeout from one of my favorite places, King Wok. (We got an updated menu and it looks like they only sell Chinese now, no more Japanese. The picture below is of their old menu). We ordered so much food though, I think we have leftovers for 3 days now! :-)

So let's talk about immigration again. They received our paperwork and sent F.B. a notice. The paper he received is his 1 year extension. He also got his biometrics appointment for January 10th. Where he gets fingerprinted and his photo taken for his new permanent resident card.

But... our lawyer said the USCIS Vermont center is so backlogged with paperwork it is taking 8 months to 1 YEAR to process paperwork. So we will not know if F.B.'s conditional status removal was approved and he will not receive his new updated resident card for up to 1 year....

I asked our lawyer what happens if it takes Immigration longer than 1 year to process our paperwork and she said in that case his status would be extended but he would have to go to a USCIS center with his I-797 notice and his passport to have it stamped for an addtional year.

Immigration is just so complicated. I thought we were almost done and had no idea it could take 8 months to 1 year to receive his new resident card. Wow... Ugh...

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.

To leave off on a more positive note here is a few of our Christmas Decorations!

Our "Christmas" door. It's already green, so the bow works, lol!
These are our Christmas trees. :-)
Christmas sock monkeys! Just a few of the holidays stuffed animals I have.


Thanksgiving and Immigration...

This was the 1st year F.B. and I had Thanksgiving together in our own place. (Last year was at my parents, but we were in the process of moving, so I don't think I blogged about it.) We had an early dinner with just the two of us and later on Thanksgiving evening we stopped by my parents to visit and for dessert (Though all of us were so full, we didn't have any, lol!) We took them an Edward's Desserts cookies & cream pie. (AMAZING!) 

I don't like regular turkey meat so much, I like processed turkey though, lol. (Like turkey lunch meat, etc.) Every year we've always gotten a Tofurky (Which I love). But I was sick for quite a few days this year (Sinus infection, I think...) and really dizzy so we shopped at last minute. We got a Jennie-O turkey roast this year instead.

Thanksgiving goodies!
No table is complete without Martinelli's sparkling apple cider!
Martinelli's; The two Thanksgiving's I happened to be in the Philippines, F.B. & I celebrated by having dinner at Gerry's Grill and then having Mashed potatoes (From KFC) & Martinelli's sparking apple cider for a late night snack. Haha! I was so estatic they actually sell Martinelli's in the Philippines, because we always have it on our table at Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Years on my side of the family.

Our Thanksgiving table this year in our apartment! Yum! Turkey roast, gravy, cranberry jelly, green bean casserole, homemade mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes in brown sugar, stuffing, corn, & croissants. We had leftovers for 3 days, lol! F.B. ended up getting a rotisserie chicken from Shop-rite though because we didn't have anymore Turkey roast for the leftovers.

Other Blog Links:

Now onto immigration; As you know we have to file to remove the conditional status from F.B.'s permanent resident card. We are working Gonzales & Tiagha again.

F.B.'s paperwork for the I-751 cannot be filed before December 5th or else it could be rejected. Last Thursday we mailed off our stack of evidence for immigration. It cost $14 to mail express. We also had to write a check for $590 for immigration to file the form.

This is just some of the stuff we needed to submit as evidence:

1) Filing fee of $590 made payable to the Department of Homeland Security; (Can be personal check).

2) Two passports size photos of both you and spouse;

3)  Jointly filed tax returns (Federal & State);

b. Lease/mortgage with both parties listed;

c. Utility bills;

d. Bank statements for joint bank accounts;

e. Declaration page for insurance policies (car, life, and/or health);

f. Collage of photos with friends and family members.

g. Affidavits from friends and family members attesting to the nature of your marital relationship. The letters should include the person’s name, contact information (address and phone number), relationship to you & spouse, and a brief description of what they know about you both. The letters should be notarized.  You should try to obtain at least six affidavits (three from your side and three from his friends and family).

Our lawyer will file these forms around December 6th. Hopefully we have supplied enough evidence. F.B. will have to get his biometrics done for his resident card when they contact us. So hopefully we are near the end of immigration stuff for awhile!

I also included a letter statement about my blog. I figured since I have been blogging since 2008 and have written about all of my trips to the Philippines and our immigration process; holidays, birthday's, marriage, etc since F.B. has arrived in the USA, it may help. Fingers crossed this step goes as smoothly as when F.B. arrived in the USA back in March 2011!

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. 


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. 


1 year in the USA!

March 6th was F.B.'s 1 year anniversary since he came to the USA. We celebrated by getting Chinese Takeout for dinner. :-)

(Click for full size)

We still have a ways to go with immigration though... around September I have to contact our immigration lawyer again. We will need to rehire him. It's going to cost around $1,500 to finish everything- (That's including our lawyer's fees). We have to file to remove the conditional status from F.B.'s green card which expires March 2013, but he needs to file for the I-751 90 days before his 2nd anniversary in the USA.

Evidence that will need to be submitted when we file our Form I-751 to remove the conditional status off F.B.'s permanent resident card:

1. A copy of the Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Card (both sides);

2. A copy of the Permanent Resident Card or Alien Registration Card of CR children included in the petition (if applicable);

3. Documents establishing joint ownership of property and/or joint tenancy at a communal residence;

4. Financial records showing the commingling of financial resources and liabilities, e.g., joint bank accounts, joint federal and state tax returns, insurance, utility bills, joint installments and/or loans;

5. Birth certificate(s) of child(ren) born to the marriage (if applicable);

6. Affidavits of persons having knowledge of the good faith of the marriage; and

7. Photographs of the couple taken during the marriage.

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.

Busy 1st Week!

I know you guys have probably been impatient to hear about F.B.'s arrival to Philadelphia. :-) We've been so busy this week I haven't had a chance to blog yet. Today it's raining and windy so we decided to just hang out at home today.

Sunday when F.B. arrived it was raining and windy about around 59 degree's. (Pretty warm for March around here). My brother and I drove down to Philadelphia International Airport to pick him up. He called me collect from a payphone but it wanted me to enter a credit card number, so we pulled to the side of the road at the airport so I could enter the number, I hit a wrong digit and the darn thing hung up on me! (His cell phone network didn't work in the USA). My brother and I decided to just start driving slow past the doors in baggage claim. I thought I spotted the yellow lining of the hoodie I got F.B. (Thank goodness he was wearing it!) I pulled the car over and ran into the airport. He was still at a payphone about to try calling me again. So that's how we found him! (No I don't have any pictures, it was so hectic how we picked him up from the airport).

We stopped and picked up some Wendy's for lunch and headed back to my house. F.B. was pretty tired that day, he napped for several hours. We had apple pie and Hesh's Bakery chocolate chip pound cake for his arrival.

Monday we got up early and headed to the Social Security Office to apply for a number for F.B. It only took less than an hour, because we had already printed and filled out the application before we arrived. After that we went to Target to look for a prepaid cell phone but we didn't find one. Then we headed to Franklin Mills Mall. We both got jackets at Modell's. And some clothes from Old Navy. And we browsed Five Below and got some Hello Panda cookies (So hard to find in the USA!) and F got a mouse for his laptop. We had lunch at Arby's and F.B. had their beef 'n cheddar roast beef sandwich.

We finally found him a prepaid T-mobile cell phone at Best Buy.

Tuesday we went out grocery shopping late in the afternoon and picked up some stuff for meals at Bottom Dollar and Food Basic's. We made chicken Caesar salad for dinner with fresh grated parmesan cheese.

Wednesday we headed to Chinese Buffet with my parents and brothers. F.B. liked the bacon wrapped crab meat best. Hehe. He called it "Health Food". We also stopped at Dollar Tree before heading home from buffet.

We had to take Lily to the vet on Wednesday evening. She was limping on Sunday night, so I gave her some children's aspirin to try and reduce swelling, was also putting ice on her foot, but as each day went by her foot just kept swelling more and more. It was starting to look purplish near her toes so last night we took her to the vet because the swelling wasn't going down. She had to have an xray so we could make sure nothing was broken. Nothing was.

The vet gave her some kind of cortisone steroid injection. Which worked like magic because today her foot is back to normal size, just a bit bruised looking and she's not putting pressure on it again instead of limping around. He also gave her an antibiotic, she started getting scabs around her toes from the skin stretching so much so he wanted to make sure she doesn't get an infection. She's been spending the week in a hospital cage until her foot is looking better.

Tomorrow we will probably go see a movie and maybe go to a mall and have lunch out. (We'll try to take pictures, we've been lousy about it, lol!) Saturday morning we have to go to my CPA to get my taxes prepared and then we are hanging out with my cousin Jessica around 5pm and having dinner out. Sunday we'll just hang out at home, since I have to go back to work on Monday... yuck. lol. It's been a very busy week. F.B. still isn't quite used to the time change he keeps waking up at odd hours, like 2am, etc. And then we have Daylight Saving Time Saturday night too! lol! So we'll be losing an hour. :-p


1 more day!!!

Tomorrow I will be picking up F.B. at Philadelphia International Airport! He left for his flight to the USA about 7 hours ago. He will arrive in Los Angeles around 6:30pm this evening. (9:30pm Philadelphia). Then he will catch a flight to Dallas Texas around 12am. (3am Philly). He will leave Dallas around 6:30am and arrive in Philadelphia around 10:30am. Praying he doesn't have any delays. We talked on the phone last night and he texted me this morning before boarding his flight. Unfortunately it's supposed to rain heavy tomorrow so hoping he arrives on time!

Yesterday & today I spent getting the last of the cleaning and organizing done. I'm finished! (And exhausted, lol!) I only have to put clean sheets and make the bed tomorrow morning.

Besides the toiletries and a few clothing items I got F.B. I also have a snack pack for him in a Spongebob tin, hehe. There's Herr's thin ripple chips, Ruffles chili cheese chips, Goldfish Pizza crackers and two Snapple Iced Teas in the tin. Plus a belated Valentines day card, since we decided not to send any packages.

I also hung up our 'Sarah' & 'F.B.' hearts that originally were on his bedroom door in the Philippines on one of my trips there. They are on my closet door now.

My cousin Chrissy and her husband Matt who are in Georgia, sent F.B. & I cute 'his & hers' towels and a pretty frame. :) I put one of our wedding photos in the frame.

I have the whole week off work to spend with F.B. and get settled in. We will be heading to the Social Security Office probably on Monday to apply for a number for him and also do a little clothes shopping. Were also going out to Chinese Buffet with my family this Wednesday. Lot's to do!

In ratties updates! I've had to take 3 ratties to the vet in the past few weeks. After Basil passed away I decided to try integrating all my girls so I could open up the levels in the Ferret Nation cage. There were a few scuffles and some fighting but it wasn't so bad. Until I noticed where Honey had bit Iris and Clover they had swelled into lumps. This happened to Jasmine a few months ago and she had to go to the vet and get a Baytril injection and antibiotics.

Iris was bit in the neck and it swelled exactly like Jasmines wound had. Clover was bit on her back and it swelled into a painful lump. They were given Baytril and antibiotics and now Iris's lump is all gone and Clover's is just about gone. I've never seen rat bites swell & get infected like that, and it's only when Honey bites someone that they do swell. She has a viscous bite.

Then Barley, my hairless rat started to have this weird odor to him. I couldn't figure out what it was. I gave him a bath and I could still smell it. I thought maybe it was coming from his mouth, maybe he had gotten food stuck in his teeth. The smell turned out to be coming from his left eye! He had a vet appointment this past Tuesday. The vet used a magnifying camera to examine his eye and also ultraviolet drops and light to check his cornea.

Barley had something in his eye that the vet removed. They thought it was a piece of litter, but I don't use litter. So it was either food or lint or who knows what that had gotten stuck underneath his left eye and that's what was causing the odor. So strange! Hairless rats do not have eyelashes so they can get stuff in their eyes. He has an eye ointment he has to have for 10 days. But he is doing much better and doesn't smell anymore! Poor guy! :-p

Sadly... I did not get my SRR Rat Train rats today. Our driver went MIA and never contacted Brittney. The original driver even disconnected their phone number and unfriended Star's Rat Rescue Facebook page. So weird... I don't understand why someone would go to such lengths if they didn't want to do the drive anymore. It would have been nice to just say they had changed their mind. Sooo... we are back to the original plan and Brittney is hoping April or May we can get this rat train going!


Countdown to arrival!

I am so exhausted! It has been a busy day! I woke up at 7am this morning and my brother Scotty and I went to Starbucks for breakfast. For some reason they were offering Pumpkin Spice coffee today (Whoo Hoo!) so we got two of those. And we also got the new Bacon, Egg & Gouda Cheese sandwiches they have.

Then we came home and got everything ready to repaint my room. The color I picked up at Lowe's is called 'Minty'. I wanted a similar color to what was already on the walls to make it less complicated. Everything just needed to be refreshed. We were done painting around 11am.

After painting I transferred some money out of my savings and we headed off to a 2nd hand store, Big Lot's and Walmart. At the 2nd hand store I got 2 nice comforters, 2 big fleece blankets, and a few pillow cases. At Big Lot's I got two full bed sheet sets for $12.00 and 2 nice big towels for $4.50 each. At Walmart, I got new pillows on sale for $2.50, a rice cooker for $13.00. I also got F.B. a lot of toiletries for his arrival. I spent more than I have ever spent at Walmart, but I got everything I needed. Including a Hane's flannel pajama pants & t-shirt set for him.
All of F.B.'s toiletries.
And I may or may not have spent $21 on nail polish... why oh why does Walmart now sell Essie & OPI... I couldn't pass up these colors!

(Turquoise &  Caicos, Merino Cool, The Next CEO)
F.B. finished up his seminar that was required by the Philippines before he leaves for the USA. He still has to go get an international drivers permit before he leaves. So he can drive over here for a year. (He will need to take the test again for a PA drivers license.)

He also booked his plane ticket! He will be in Philadelphia on March 6th at 10:25am!!! Lucky boy doesn't even have to stopover in Hong Kong or Shanghai or even Tokyo, he gets to fly from Manila Philippines straight to Los Angeles, CA. Then to Dallas, TX and finally Philadelphia!

It's going to be a very busy 2 weeks. I spent all evening cleaning and organizing after the paint dried and I still have some more to do tomorrow. The new bed arrives next weekend. I was approved to take March 7th-11th off so I'll have a week off work to spend with F.B. and help him get settled in.

Also, on March 5th, I will be getting my 2 boys and 2 girls from Star's Rat Rescue in SD! They will be traveling 1,500 miles to Philadelphia! There are a few others adopting rats in Philly too we'll be meeting our Rat Train driver at a Petco in the area.

Daisypath Vacation tickers


So much to do, so little time!

I can't believe it's only been a few days since we found out F.B.'s visa was approved!

We are still waiting on the US Embassy to mail his passport/visa and paperwork to him. (Hoping it only takes a week!) and then F.B. can book a plane ticket. I've talked with his Dad and I took off a few days around March 6th-12th so it's likely F.B. will be getting a ticket for around then.

There's still so much to do here to get things ready! I just ordered a new bed from Sear's yesterday, after looking at lot's of online reviews through Google & Yahoo Search.

It was only $610.00 for a new Sealy full mattress, box spring & frame. Sears is having a 50% off President's Day sale on mattresses and I also got free shipping and $20 off with a coupon code! (Free shipping is for purchases over $499 and coupon code is: SAVEBIG for purchases over $299- not sure when that expires.). I scheduled delivery for the last weekend in February! I'm so excited the bed even has a layer of memory foam! I love memory foam! I used some of our savings to buy the new bed.

Next week I have to stop at Lowe's and get some paint and paint supplies to redo my room. I'm getting a similar color (Mint.) I only have 3 walls to paint in my bedroom, the 3rd wall is real wood paneling. The paint in my room just needs to be touched up. It's stained and chipping away in areas so it needs a retouch. My Dad is also going to help rip out the built in desk that I never use. It will give us a lot more space for the new bed and the rat cages once it's removed. I'll take pictures when everything is finished. :) I'm planning on painting during my 3 day weekend. ( Feb 21st is President's Day).

I have to get new drapes for my room. Walmart had some nice affordable ones. The ones I have now have been chewed at the bottom by my ratties, when I used to have the girls cage near the window 3 years ago. Plus they are pink and faded and never really matched my bedroom.I want to get a nice deep chocolate brown since that might go better with my mint colored walls.

Going to get some new comforters and sheet sets either from Big Lot's or a 2nd hand store. With rats as pets I try to buy the cheapest blankets and sheets I can get. Because they WIlLL chew a hole in them at some point! Also getting new pillows from Walmart.

I want to put together a toiletry box for F.B. so he will have everything here ready for him when he arrives.
  • Soap
  • Shampoo
  • Axe Solid Stick & Spray
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Floss
  • Hairbrush
  • Razor
  • Q-tips
  • Towel & Washcloth
  • Robe
I might also get together a little snack box of some Philadelphia treats for him! Just about a month to get everything ready for his arrival! :-)



This is a very brief blog entry tonight! F.B. had his visa interview this morning around 6:30am Philippine time. He just got out of the embassy it took about 5 hours. He said there were lot's of people... but guess... what....


He has to wait for the US Embassy in Manila to mail him back his passport with his visa and paperwork and then we can figure out when he's going to book a flight to the USA!!!

Edited to add: Lawyer emailed and said it's actually two years before we will have to file to remove the conditional status from his visa. So that's a lot nicer than having to file again in September already! Gives us more time to save for more immigration fees.

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. 


1 Week!

F.B.'s visa interview at the American Embassy in Manila is 1 week away! It feels like time is going really slow, yet really fast at the same time!

F.B. got his police clearance paper last week. (He needed an original for the visa interview.) And Thursday & Friday he went to get his medical exam. It took 2 days for them to do everything. ($213 USD!) He had to have a physical exam, xray, eye exam, blood tests and he also got 3 vaccines. They have forwarded his medical results to the Embassy so they will have them for his interview on Feb 4th.

If he is approved, there's a good chance F.B. will be able to fly to the USA sometime end of February or beginning of March! (Praying!) I'm sure he will be approved- because he is coming to the USA on a CR visa. (Conditional Resident.)

What does that mean? Well it means we're not nearly done with immigration. In 2 years we will have to submit paperwork and file to remove the conditional status off his visa. ($590!) We will have to submit evidence that we've been living together, affidavits from friends & family that state we have a relationship, etc. Our lawyer has already been preparing us to gather evidence together for that.

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. 

There's so much other stuff to do once F.B. is approved and comes to the USA. We'll need to visit the Social Security office near me and apply to get him an Social Security number so he can work legally.

I also contacted the PA department of motor vehicles, to find out how he can apply for a driver's license. They wrote me back and said:

An international permit, obtained from your home country prior to traveling, may be used in Pennsylvania (PA) for one year from the issue date. You must carry both your international permit and your valid foreign license with you when driving. You may review the documents necessary to apply for a permit by using this link, Non-U.S. Citizens. This will provide the list of documents to take to your local driver’s license center, depending on your immigration status.

They also said he will need to apply for a PA drivers permit and he will have to take the test again before he can get a PA drivers license. But if he's able to get the international permit then at least he will be able to drive legally here- while he's applying for a PA driver's license!

Going to also have to add him onto my checking & saving accounts so there's proof we are living together. And probably get him a cell phone in his name so he has a bill with his name & address on it. I think if I add him to my plan- the bill will still be in my name only?

I also have to demo my room, lol. We are going to be living at home with my parents for probably about a year & a half while we finish immigration, and F.B. gets a job so we can save money to get our own place. My room at home is not very large. It's got this built in desk that I never use that takes up a lot of room. My Dad is going to help me take it out. Then we will need to repaint the whole room. And I want to get a full bed. (I don't think anything larger than a full would fit in my room! And hubby & I are are not sharing a twin!)

So much to do! I can't wait until the visa interview is over and we know for sure what's going to happen next!


Yikes! Just 2 weeks until....

Got a very important email today at 4:49pm. It was the NVC telling us that they had already forwarded our documents to Manila, Philippines and....

(Click the picture to make larger)

That's right.....

F.B. has his visa interview at the US Manila Embassy in TWO WEEKS?!?!

When I emailed our lawyer he replied with: 'That was faster than I expected, too'.

Yikes! I was sure they'd give you a month to prepare. It doesn't look like he will need to bring much with him from the rest of the document. But he will need a medical exam and ugh... he's just getting over a head/chest cold he's had for a few weeks. Our immigration lawyer is emailing information tomorrow on what F.B. needs to prepare and bring to the interview.


Immigration Update.

It's been slow going, waiting for the NVC to finish reviewing our paperwork. We are down to the last few steps, but it's just a waiting game at this point. I was optimistic that perhaps F.B. might be here before March, but now that it's almost the middle of January... I'm not really sure. Who knows- perhaps things will start to move faster, but I'm not going to get my hopes up. I'll just say I hope he's able to come to the USA by Spring or Summer.

Where we are right now- email from our immigration lawyer:

The next step is for the National Visa Center to complete the processing of your case and then forward it to the Consulate in Manila.  Once the Consulate Receives the case, we will receive a notice with a date and time for FB to appear for his interview and instructions for FB to complete his medical examination. We will keep you posted as soon as we have new information.

I checked on our case via the USCIS website. You can see we are pretty much on the last step- click for a bigger version:

Here is our immigration process check sheet. (Strike through's are completed steps).

1. USCIS will send our lawyer a receipt notice sometime in the next few weeks confirming they received our I-130.

2. In approximately 3-5 months the USCIS will make a decision on the I-130 and will forward our file to the National Visa Center in New Hampshire.

3. The NVC will then send a packet with instructions to complete our I-864. (There will be a fee.)

4. Once the packet is returned to the NVC, they will review everything and within 45-90 days they will forward the packet to the U.S. consulate in Manila.

5. The Consulate will send a packet with instructions for F.B. to complete a medical examination & obtain a police clearance certificate prior to scheduling his visa interview.

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. 

One Year Wedding Anniversary! ♥

One year ago today F.B. & I were married in the Philippines! We started off as friends who met online which turned into a long distance relationship. We've been through good times & bad times together and last December 19th, 2009 after 6 years of being together we were finally married. Our long distance adventures are not over yet- as we are still currently working with our immigration lawyer on getting F.B. to the USA, hopefully by early 2011! ♥♥♥

Wanted to share some picture & video memories of our wedding day last year:

Wedding Videos: (The 1st video was made by my sister in law. It originally had the song 'Happy Together' but due to copyright laws I had to remove the music to upload it).

♥♥♥ Happy Anniversary F.B. I Love You ♥♥♥

To view more of our wedding & honeymoon photos you can view our Photobucket album here!

or here:

Wedding Photographer Photos

Our Wedding & Honeymoon

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