View Full Version : The Visa Struggle

12-01-2004, 06:50
Many people have enquired here and there and I have seen small portions of stories about the "Visa Struggle", so I thought I might start a thread and share my experience thus far in obtaining a visa for my wife.

I am from America and my wife is from Moscow. We were married on June 6, 2003 in Moscow. Very shortly after that we began the immigration process. I submitted form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, to United States Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). They received this form on July 29 and sent me a receipt. At this point I submited form I-129F, Application for Fiancee/Spouse Visa, along with a copy of the receipt to USCIS. The first form, I-130, is for my wife's Permanent Resident Visa. USCIS says that this visa takes between 14 - 18 months to process. The second form, I-129F, is for my wife's K3 visa, which allows her to wait in the US while the Permanent Resident Visa processes. USCIS received our form I-129F on August 8 and approved it on November 11. Because I have the good fortune to have someone from my senator's office checking up for me, I was able to obtain frequent updates. What I found out from my informant was that it actually only takes about three days to process this. The remainder of the time the application was just sitting and waiting for someone to get to it. They then forwarded it to the National Visa Center in New Hampshire, where they assigned it a new number and forwarded it to the US Embassy in Moscow. The Embassy in Moscow received it and processed it. They sent out a packet of things that my wife will need for her interview and gave her an interview date at that time. My wife received this packet on December 31. Her interview date is February 9. She will know at that time whether they approve her K3 visa or not. So, if they approve her on that day, which they really have no reason not to, it will have been almost 7 months since we began the process before she could come to America.

When my wife comes here in February, it will be on a K3 visa, which is not permanent. While my wife is here, they will finish processing her Permanent Resident Visa. Even when she receives this, it will be conditional for two years.

I have an American friend who is resident in Moscow and she married a Russian man. The whole process was actually a lot easier for them because they were able to skip the USCIS all together. She filed her I-130 in Moscow at the US Embassy. They processed this and approved his Permanent Resident Visa in two months.

Anyway, this is just my experience. If anyone would like to ask any questions or share any experiences of their own, please feel free.