vic and i have been going through a process since January 2002 to begin our lives together.
we had two applications in the works, an I-130 which is an application for an immigrant spouse and a K-3 which is an application for the same spouse to enter the US while waiting for the I-130 to process.
after much back and forth; my application initially got sent to the wrong office; in Monterey when it was supposed to be sent to Santo Domingo; had to be sent back to Barbados, that process alone took 12 weeks; mail to and from embassies travels via APO, which goes to DC to process first before being sent on. my K-3 got approved in January 2004 and i finally arrived in the US in March, i was given a packet from the embassy in Barbados that issued my visa to give to the immigration officer when i landed, this contained all the paperwork processed by the Barbados office. About a week after i arrived, we got a letter from the USCIS office in TX, which was processing our I-130 that we need to submit more information, including proof that we had been living together since we`d been married; at that point a week; we had joint bank accounts; impossible since i had no social security either; copies of our wedding and divorce decrees; which they already had at least three copies of; and letters from friends and landlords etc. we prepared a packet after we found and apartment , signed a lease together and submitted that an all the other info they asked for back the TX office.
In August we got a letter from the National Visa Centre and the USCIS office in TX that my application had been approved and they were forwarding my paperwork to the Trinidad office to allow me to enter the country. bearing in mind i had entered the country legally 5 months before, been in contact with them on more than one occasion by mail; because i had to notify them when we moved into our new apartment, required by law and when i applied for my work authorisation, also required by law. they didn`t know i was in the country.
the saga isn`t over yet, we now have to apply to change my status, which requires that i take another medical; i took one in late February which is supposed to be valid for a year, i have to get fingerprinted; again i got fingerprinted in February when my application was approved, i got fingerprinted when i entered the country, i got fingerprinted when i applied for my work authorisation.
and because a change of status application currently has a two year processing time in TN, i will have to take another medical if my application is to be processed, plus i`ll have to pay to apply to renew my K-3 visa and work authorisation if my status change is not processed in time.
to date we`ve spent over $3000, not including airfare and we don`t even have a lawyer and can probably look forward to at least another $1000 before we`re done.