Page 1 of 7 1234567 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 174
  1. #1
    CCBW JPPR2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    6,310

    Our US naturalization journey

    We have been here now starting our 6 month. All has gone very well. We decided after the first 3 months to change our plans and see about changing her tourist visa to a green card status. This has been a very interesting process.

    To avoid any unknowns I first sought out an immigration attorney for a 1hr free Q&A. I went in very prepared with a bunch of questions and grilled the attorney hard. They offer this free in hopes they can baffle you with enough bullshit to scare you into using them to handle your case. Their fee is $350 an hour plus expenses. Most say the end cost is $6 to $10K. I said F that.

    So we embarked using the Ca.Gov website and low and behold all the docs are there in a nicely defined format. There are a few I am not certain we need but will wait for them to question it later. I was going to list all the forms but will hold off until I know if I submitted ones not needed or missed others.

    The process is pretty straight forward and you do not need to have a law degree. You just need to do your due diligence. One of the biggest challenges in front of us on our specific case is we had no intentions of staying here. It was a 6month visit and return. However a nice job opportunity surfaced for me about a month after we landed and it just makes better sense to stay for the near term and bank reserves. Our biggest challenge is proving that she had no intentions of emigrating here using the “Tourist Visa” as the means. We have had to put together a timeline of us knowing each other with pictures and receipts from hotels we stayed in Thailand. I have to submit the job offer letter depicting the date offered and my first date of hire. Then we have to show what we were doing up to the time I started working while here in California. You couple all that with 12 forms, my acknowledgment that I will financially take care of her and of course the medical assessment.

    Thus far the process has a cost of $1577. 75% of that has been all the medical assessments. She has been given all her immunizations, had blood drawn 2 times, a chest xray and mini physical. All checks out clear but being she could not prove she had TB immunizations and being that she did have a small reaction to the TB arm scratch test she has been informed that she is required to take 6 months of a medicine to avoid latent TB. No big deal just a pain in the ass.

    We will receive her medical clearance this Friday and we can send in the packet for her naturalization(Along with a $960 app fee). The beauty here is that once submitted the clock stops on her Visa meaning she can stay until a final determination is made based on the information supplied. If we missed info or we need to submit more the clock is still off. The process is an INS agent will review the data and then schedule a formal meeting with us to confirm all is accurate and factual. I will update this thread as we forge forward.

    For now it has been very straight forward and the only real complication is just determining what forms to submit. Please be advised that during the document assessment period it is ill advised that the individual travel back to Thailand as it takes a special form with a steep fee and it raises red flags. So plan accordingly in that regard.

  2. #2
    ความสุขในอีสาน
    nigelandjan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Frinton on sea and Ban Pak
    Posts
    12,937
    Correct me if I am wrong but I thought some time ago you said you had got her some 10 year visa already ?

  3. #3
    CCBW JPPR2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    6,310
    Nig,
    Yes she has a 10 year tourist(H1/H2)Visa however that does not mean she can stay 10 years, Just means she is good to visit the US on and off without having to apply for a new one every visit. The max Tourist Visa(H1/H2) length is 6 months then she has to leave for 6 months before she can return. This is for Tourist. Under extreme circumstances you can request an extension but I have heard that those are very seldom ever given. The other Visas have very different time frames but different constraints

    They will offer them in 1 year, 3, 5 and 10 years based on the US consulates assessment of your reason for visiting. The greater the risk in their eyes of you not returning the less the Visa is for.

  4. #4
    Thailand Expat
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Last Online
    @
    Posts
    60,017
    Sounds like everything is well within order, good luck mate.

  5. #5
    CCBW JPPR2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    6,310
    Thanks SW,
    I will update this thread as we forge along for others in hopes it may benefit them. I did not want to start the thread too soon and have inaccurate information. I will list what forms and additional info we submitted.

    Again our situation is different being we did not do a "Fiance Visa", did not rush over to have the baby here to use that as an angle, not that it is a bad way, just not the Visa we used. Our way is far more complicated as being she had to go prove to the US Consulate that she had all these reasons to return to Thailand and now those appear not so important. So we have to prove alot and how her belongings and family will be handled while she is here.

    Here is one thing very important that should be noted. If her application is denied her current Visa is revoked and must leave the country within 30 days. With that she cannot return. The reason is she has shown her intent to immigrate here and now is a risk that she might not leave and become an illegal.

  6. #6
    Thailand Expat Boon Mee's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Last Online
    13-09-2019 @ 04:18 PM
    Location
    Samui
    Posts
    44,721
    Good luck JP. Hope your gf gets the Green Card with minimum of hassle. When my wife applied for her GC some years back she was traveling on a Tourist Visa as well and the Immigration official told us that might constitute fraud but blew it off. This was before 9/11 and some things have changed a bit since then.
    A Deplorable Bitter Clinger

  7. #7
    Thailand Expat
    OhOh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Last Online
    Today @ 09:33 AM
    Location
    Where troubles melt like lemon drops
    Posts
    18,224
    Quote Originally Posted by JPPR2
    The reason is she has shown her intent to immigrate here and now is a risk that she might not leave and become an illegal.
    That seems a little harsh as she has followed the legal route so far.

  8. #8
    Thailand Expat Boon Mee's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Last Online
    13-09-2019 @ 04:18 PM
    Location
    Samui
    Posts
    44,721
    ^
    It's falls under the 'fraud thing'...

  9. #9
    CCBW JPPR2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    6,310
    Quote Originally Posted by OhOh
    That seems a little harsh as she has followed the legal route so far.
    Quote Originally Posted by Boon Mee
    It's falls under the 'fraud thing'...
    Yes it is harsh but Boon Mee is right. There is a huge clause about fraud and intent. Up to this point I have no worries everything is on the up and up and we have a clean chronological timeline showing we had been together in TL, had traveled many places, family pictures etc. We also did not liquidate items figuring she would never be back. Honestly it is kind of a PIA in the fact her sister has all our stuff stored and maintains the car and motorcycles with her husband. But we are still paying for all the maintenance, insurance and so on. Her house is being watched by her aunt and uncle in Lampang.

    We really did not think we were going to stay. But I felt it was much better long term for her to establish herself here for a few years then we can freely travel back and forth. If approved she is given a TIN(Temporary Identification Number) as her green card is conditional. After the time frame is met they will convert all over and we are good to go.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boon Mee
    Good luck JP. Hope your gf gets the Green Card with minimum of hassle.
    Thanks. I look forward to coming back and relaxing....To much GD work here......

  10. #10
    Thailand Expat
    thailazer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Last Online
    Today @ 10:18 AM
    Posts
    2,032
    JP.. Good luck with the process, and don't forget to be patient as I have never heard of anyone flying through it.

    The medical costs there sure have escalated. I had a full physical with an x-ray and an ultrasound a while back and I thought it was expensive at almost 4000 baht. Heck, even at Bumrungrad you can get a full day work up with several docs for 12,000 baht. A lot cheaper than the 30,000+ figure you mention.
    Press On Regardless

  11. #11
    Thailand Expat
    OhOh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Last Online
    Today @ 09:33 AM
    Location
    Where troubles melt like lemon drops
    Posts
    18,224
    If we believe JPR2 and his girlfriend there was no intent of fraud, when they applied for the tourist visa, to stay beyond the agreed 6 months .

    Or does the US government know, for a fact, that their intent was to stay?

    Peoples lives change or is that beyond the rules? Obviously not or there would not be any route to apply for the GC from within the US.
    A tray full of GOLD is not worth a moment in time.

  12. #12
    Thailand Expat
    sabang's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Last Online
    Yesterday @ 07:44 PM
    Location
    BackinOz
    Posts
    30,811
    A Green card means that she is under the IRS tax and reporting net, for world wide income. She has to file a tax return every year- even if she hasn't been in the US- byzantine in it's complexity and reporting requirements, compared to anything she's used to. All well and good if she intends to make the US her home long term, otherwise I would suggest a can of worms.
    probes Aliens

  13. #13
    Banned

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Last Online
    14-08-2015 @ 05:39 PM
    Location
    Ex-Pat Refugee in Thailand
    Posts
    9,579
    Quote Originally Posted by JPPR2
    biggest challenge is proving that she had no intentions of emigrating here using the “Tourist Visa” as the means.
    I would advise that you tell the INS that "She's working here illegally!" For sure she will be denied her visa. Remember you posted she's taking care of your mother or grandmother for pay and a used car?

    "No intentions,yea, sure. BTW, good luck. My brother handles these cases all the time and serves on the court as a judge in Alameda County. According to him its not a slam dunk even with professional help.

  14. #14
    Philippine Expat Davis Knowlton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Philippines
    Posts
    17,880
    Best of luck, JP. These folks deal with a ton of scammers, and even more people whose paperwork is a huge pile of shit. If your paperwork is in good order, and you present your case as well as I'm sure you will, you should be fine. Just handing them a file that is chronological, and complete, starts the interview off on a really good note.

  15. #15
    Thailand Expat
    palexxxx's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Chiang Mai
    Posts
    4,151
    All the best JPPR, hope it goes well for you.

  16. #16
    CCBW JPPR2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    6,310
    Quote Originally Posted by ltnt
    Remember you posted she's taking care of your mother or grandmother for pay and a used car?
    Yes I do but that was only supposed to be an on and off deal during our stay for her to make a few bucks before we returned back. However that never materialized as I felt it was going to be a burden on us and her. So she is relaxing, made a few friends and just likes taking care of me and I like that.......

    Quote Originally Posted by ltnt
    My brother handles these cases all the time and serves on the court as a judge in Alameda County.
    Interesting being that these do not really ever go to court. They are all handled at the INS agency being it is a naturalization function. But I guess if they are illegals the court system may be the way they are handled.

    Quote Originally Posted by Davis Knowlton
    Just handing them a file that is chronological, and complete, starts the interview off on a really good note.
    Well as you know DK, the more thorough and organized you are the easier the process becomes. I am actually enjoying the process. Interesting how the system works. I think a great number fail because they cant read simple English and cannot afford an attorney. Eplains a great number of the illegals

    Quote Originally Posted by thailazer
    The medical costs there sure have escalated.
    Quote Originally Posted by thailazer
    A lot cheaper than the 30,000+ figure you mention.
    Well they have always been expensive, its why lots of folks head overseas to have things done. Actually my GF calculated the cost difference(being she was a nurse at Chaoprya Hospital). She thinks all the work done here compared to TL would have been about 8K to 10k baht cheaper. Not much in the grand scheme of things. Of course hers, if she was working there still, would have been A LOT cheaper. Again if I wanted to get married and we were doing a Fiance Visa we could have handled much of this in advance in TL however in speaking with the Dr Tam the immunizations and blood work in TL or medical examines are not usually accepted as part of the immigration process being they can be forged or made up entirely. She said this usually gets an immediate app rejection so doing it all here makes it clean.

    In the end she is actually impressed with the hospitals and doctors. Her doctor is a very nice chinese woman who has been incredibly helpful as she does a lot of immigration medical examines and made sure our paperwork is very accurate. They hit it off talking about medical practices between TL, China and here. Heck might even end up with a hook up for her to work at the medical office. She would love that i'm sure.

    I have paid cash for all services and I should post how much they would have been had I used insurance. The system here is simply retarded and full of scams. Even though I have medical insurance the deductible is $3k and I have to go though the headache. I only have it for anything that might happen that is significant.

  17. #17
    CCBW JPPR2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    6,310
    Quote Originally Posted by palexxxx View Post
    All the best JPPR, hope it goes well for you.
    Hey buddy Thanks,

    Hit me with an email. Love to hear how you are doing.

  18. #18
    I am in Jail
    Butterfly's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Last Online
    01-02-2019 @ 03:12 PM
    Posts
    39,832
    there is no way you are going to get a green card on a tourist visa,

    I got mine fairly easy but I was studying in the US, you need at least an official degree from the US and school attendance for some minimum time to be eligible

    the process was very quick and fast, but for any extension, the process can be something else

  19. #19
    Banned

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Last Online
    14-08-2015 @ 05:39 PM
    Location
    Ex-Pat Refugee in Thailand
    Posts
    9,579
    Quote Originally Posted by JPPR2
    Interesting being that these do not really ever go to court. They are all handled at the INS agency being it is a naturalization function. But I guess if they are illegals the court system may be the way they are handled.
    As I said he is a Judge, but as is normal is a practicing attorney and handles numerous green card situations. Mostly for Mexicans, but also numerous Asians mostly Vietnamese.

    My referral to you is, "Get an experienced Attorney."

  20. #20
    CCBW JPPR2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    6,310
    Quote Originally Posted by ltnt
    My referral to you is, "Get an experienced Attorney."
    Thanks for the input and referral recommendation However that seems to be the answer to everything these days(especially here), "Get an attorney".

    My question is why pay an attorney thousands? Do I really need to pay someone $350 an hour to fill out my forms? That I cannot put together a chronological timeline of my relationship with her? That I cannot follow basic instructions from the Ca.Gov website? What does your $8 to $10K(or more) buy you...really? Someone who will go to the INS agent and speak for me and use lawyer jargon like "Yes your honor"... "Herein", "therefore", "such as", "in lieu" of etc? Its funny, when we decided to get my GF a Tourist Visa to come here a great number of people stated "She will never get it" That they reject most of them. We did our due diligence on the gov site, filled out everything. She went into the interview came out 10 minutes later and received a 10 year Visa. She went in very well prepared.

    In my meeting with the attorney here for the free consultation as I wanted to get a feel for what this entailed she eluded that all the information to do this yourself is out there. Just fill the forms out factually and accurately and you can do this yourself and many do. Our situation is very straight forward. I have found in life its better to learn things and do them yourself then be ignorant and let others figure it out for you. The internet is a fantastic source for information. I guess for some throwing money at an attorney is the best way to just make it happen and you sign a page or 2 and all good.

    In the end the beauty here is that this is not a do or die situation for us. I do not lose my citizenship nor does she. If we can do it then great, if not she will fly back and I will follow shortly behind her.

    My thread here is to help others that might venture down this trail. There are others that have done the exact same thing and we have read their passages.

  21. #21
    ความสุขในอีสาน
    nigelandjan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Frinton on sea and Ban Pak
    Posts
    12,937
    Yup good luck with it all JP ,, been down the long legal trail with my misses in the UK , I know its not an easy path .

  22. #22
    Thailand Expat
    OhOh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Last Online
    Today @ 09:33 AM
    Location
    Where troubles melt like lemon drops
    Posts
    18,224
    Quote Originally Posted by nigelandjan
    I know its not an easy path .
    What were your legal costs in the end?

  23. #23
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Last Online
    06-12-2019 @ 03:01 AM
    Location
    Bangkok/LA
    Posts
    72
    can we discuss
    jack
    089 824 5798

  24. #24
    Banned

    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Last Online
    14-08-2015 @ 05:39 PM
    Location
    Ex-Pat Refugee in Thailand
    Posts
    9,579
    When you complete the paperwork and submit to the INS, what is the time line for response?

    Since your G/F entered on a tourist visa and now wants a green card what kind of assurances does she have to post that she can be self supporting?

  25. #25
    CCBW JPPR2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Last Online
    @
    Location
    Here
    Posts
    6,310
    Quote Originally Posted by ltnt
    When you complete the paperwork and submit to the INS, what is the time line for response?
    The time for response is completely up to the INS. Most I have contacted it will take between 60 to 90 days. If (I use that term loosely) all the paperwork is in order then they will schedule an interview. Again in the OP we will send the packet certified mail. Once received her 6 month clock here stops meaning she does not have to leave as prescribed on her Visa. She can stay here until the determination is made. I suspect this process will take 4 to 6 months. There was no stated time frame and when I called it is based on load at INS. If you do happen to submit inaccurate info or a missing form they will notify you and you have to send it in but again the clock for her to depart is still off.

    Quote Originally Posted by ltnt
    Since your G/F entered on a tourist visa and now wants a green card what kind of assurances does she have to post that she can be self supporting?
    In the form packet we are submitting I signed a form stating I will guarantee her financial support while here. I already added her to a bank account to show she has access to money. We have a permanent address now. 2 other forms being submitted she defines her education. The other is an application requesting a TIN to work in the US.

    Thus far there are 8 forms in total. A few are single page however majority are 2 to 4. These 8 forms will be coupled with other supporting information about my employment opportunity here, a few check stubs for verification, my last 2 year income tax returns etc etc.

Page 1 of 7 1234567 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •