Sunday, May 13, 2018

Still Waiting

It's been over a year since we filed Albert's application for removal of conditions from his green card and still no decision or response (besides the notice that they received it). Now it's already time for him to apply for citizenship and I wish we could have gotten a decision on our previous application by now since we had to spend hundreds of dollars for the fee. I mentioned last time there may be an interview but we didn't get called for one. I hope that's a good sign.

The naturalization application will also cost quite a lot and perhaps the most strenuous part of it is to remember and list all of the trips he has made outside of the US within the past five years. I'm also wondering what the interview will eventually be like. The last time we had to go to a USCIS center was for his biometrics (which he has to do again later) and I wasn't allowed to stand next to him while he talked to the officer and completed the fingerprints, even though I'm his wife and petitioner. I felt very uncomfortable about that because I've always been next to him at the American consulate appointments in Taiwan, and I worry how he will be treated by the officer. I imagine at his naturalization interview it will be the same, and I feel there will be an opportunity for unfairness during the US knowledge test. Basically, the officer will ask you about ten questions and you have to get most of them right to pass (I forget the exact numbers right now), but they could easily choose what they think are the hardest questions to give to him. They also assess your English ability by how you answer those questions, but it's just by the officer's subjective feeling. I am not worried about that at all because Albert's English is native-like. When I first met him I thought he was American because of his language abilities. I just think that way of assessing English ability would be very unfair and unsound for English language learners who may not be at a high level. This is based on what I learned during the degree I just received in TESOL.

Still, I'm hoping for the best and that the officers making a decision on our upcoming application will see the truth that we are happily married and that this marriage is in good faith. We've put so much hard work, time, and money towards our efforts to get him citizenship.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Preparing for Removal of Conditions on Residence

Since we were married less than a year before re-entering the US, Albert need to go through another hurdle to maintain his green card and eventually get citizenship. We need to file I-751 which is a petition to remove conditions on residence. So far the process seems pretty straight-forward. It's our burden to prove that we have a real marriage so we need to gather a plethora of evidence and prepare for a possible interview. Some of that evidence is to get affidavits sworn by at least two people that they believe our marriage is real. That should be easy for us, but it is still a pain to prepare.

I didn't post about our second wedding ceremony we held. This time it was in America so that my family could attend. Here are a few pictures:

Wish us luck on the next step to my husband's citizenship! We are confident that USCIS will see the truth that we are in love and entered our marriage in good faith.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Thank you, New York! You were very nice!

We were able to enter the States very easily and courteously in mid-June. We went together in the non-citizen line and Albert informed me later that it was the easiest time he's ever had with customs. Maybe because I was there? I'm very intimidating you know! JK!

We explained our situation to the customs officer and handed her our papers. She was very quiet and besides asking us when we got married she gave us the silent treatment. A couple minutes later she stamped our passports and we got in!

Finally, a few days ago we received the actual green card in the mail.

So now that this process is done I'm very relieved. We just need to live in the US for three years and then he can apply for citizenship. Then he'll get to take a test about government that I bet most Americans couldn't pass. I know I would get quite a few wrong if I took it now.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

We made it! (Almost)

So we had our green card interview today! I was so nervous because I had no idea if it would be casual or if it would be like the movie The Proposal. We prepared photo albums, videos, etc but the interviewer didn't need them- I guess he had no doubts that we are a real couple. :)

But the main thing is that we passed!!!! He only asked 7 questions:

How long have you been married?
How did you meet?
What are your jobs?
What do you plan to do in the US?
How long have you been in Taiwan?
How do you like it?
+one question about a visa change Albert made in the past

One final challenge lies ahead: passing through customs! If they let us in- which they have the authority to kick him out if they think we're a fake couple- we will get the green card mailed to us!!!

So happy it's finally (almost) over!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Our Application Has Been "COMPLETED!"

I just called the National Visa Center, expecting to be told again that they haven't even started to look at our documents, when the lady I talked to told me that our case was "completed" last week. This means that all of the documents need to be sent to the American consulate in Taiwan and we will have an interview with them, where they will decided whether we get the green card or not.

There's some confusion as to whether we schedule the interview with AIT after the documents get sent back to us, or the National Visa Center sends the documents after they themselves schedule the interview. The latter seems a little illogical because they don't know our or AIT's schedule. Wouldn't it be easier for AIT to schedule the interview of we ourselves are not allowed?

Oh well! The important thing is FINALLY after 1 year and 1 month our case is eligible for an interview. We just have to wait until then.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Who's Twiddling Their Thumbs?

So my Christmas wish did not come true. No interview yet and it's March already.

There was a little fiasco with our Affidavit of Support because the number I filled in for my income did not match my tax records. Instead of $0, I needed to put $12. Oh, and my income from teaching here in Taiwan does not count because it's made abroad. That's why it's so little. Otherwise I could guarantee that I could sponsor Albert much easier. Again though, he doesn't need my financial support- he makes much more than I do.

Also, I had to get a "HARD COPY" of my tax return form, not a printed copy. The funny thing was I filled out my taxes online so there is no such thing as a hard copy. Therefore I had to write a cover letter stating that and asking for the Visa Center to accept my printout from the IRS website. A little ridiculous much?

Please forgive my frustration. It's been over a year since we filed for a green card (February 2014) and we are told to not expect any news from their end until after March. We resent in our documents for the Affidavit of Support and I just found out from calling them that they haven't even looked at it yet!

I'm praying for some good news soon!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Please give us an interview already!!!

So after our application was "approved" we had to fill out an Affidavit of Support and Immigration Visa Application (along with "supporting documents") and had to shell out another ~$400 to have the National Visa Agency say that we need to wait 60 days (That's double the normal time) for them to process the documents and send them back to Taiwan.

First with the Affidavit of Support (AOS) I had to prove that Albert would not be depending on the US government's money to live. If you knew how much money he makes then you would know that wouldn't be a problem. However, I could not use his salary to prove this because the application states that he has to continue the same job in America. Well, he can't very well do a job in Taiwan in America. Then my salary doesn't count because I earned the money outside of America. Lots of little picky rules that make it hard for an honest couple to get a green card. I had to call the National Visa Center many times for help and questions but had to wait an average of 40 minutes per call before I could get an answer. Then the people on the line could not answer my questions directly.

After that nightmare Albert had to fill out an online application stating, among other things, how many times and where and for how long he has been in America, and all of his jobs since he was 16. A little ridiculous don't you think?

So anyways we sent everything in and the 30 day mark would be December 26, if the National Visa Center doesn't take it's time. Of course I don't expect it to be during the Christmas vacation. So hopefully after New Years we'll get an interview date. If not, the 60 day mark is in February.

So my Christmas letter to Santa this year is for an interview in January and of course to get the green card, finally. It's been a long and confusing journey through the paperwork... Oh, and expensive, let's not forget that! Although it's been frustrating at times, we haven't hit any big setbacks yet. We both can't wait for it to be over so we can finally move back to America!

From our trip to Macau this fall

PS- We've been married for a year already! So grateful! :)