C'mon Inner Peace… I Don't Have All Damn Day
You may be happy to hear that Manpreet and I finally got approved for our CR1 Spousal Visa. It took us nearly four years, a lot of hard work, and A LOT of patience.
In retrospect, we can always look back and say that everything happens for a reason. We can try to analyze, justify, and find some sort of rationale of the mystical Universe… I suppose.
If you are new to Buddhaful Britt and searching for answers to this really hard waiting game, then I implore you to click on the links below which will guide you through our crazy “Visa Journey.”
The two main burning questions of those desperately searching for answers are usually: 1) what is the timeline of the process, and 2) what are the questions at the interview. I will create two posts, one for each question.
What I have witnessed though, is that there are no guidelines which fit everyone.
From watching others go through this, I can safely say that certain processing centers like Nebraska, or Potomac seemed to be faster a few years ago; fell behind this year. There was a point when the California Service Center was the ONE with the shortest wait times, but I haven’t heard about that recently.
So basically, my only advice is don’t try to control what you can’t control.
Your immigration package will go where it goes… without rhyme or reason, and there isn’t much we can do but sit back and try to maintain our relationship during this very trying process; a process I truly believe is meant to weed out the weak.
So without further ado, here is our rough timeline.
we got married in New Delhi, India March 13th and 15th 2016.
When I came home, I gathered all my papers and hired an attorney. This time, I found a kickass immigration attorney named Maney and Gordon. They were excellent; I highly recommend the firm (they are available nationwide). Some, dispute if an attorney is needed or not. I say YES, but others may disagree.
The attorney sent the completed package, which was received by the USCIS on April 8th, 2016 (the priority date), and we were notified our package would be processed at the Nebraska Service Center.
From this point on, you just wait, and wait… and wait.
There are certain countries of origin (where your spouse is from), that tend to move along faster such as the Philippines, for some unknown reason. It seems that Muslim countries move the slowest due to the “extreme vetting” process. Yes “45,” there is already “extreme vetting” in place, just sayin’.
India, however, tends to be on the longer side as well. Thankfully, I knew this from our first visa application, and was prepared to hunker-down for a 6 month wait.
I think the painful part is when you expect a notice each morning, and each day you are disappointed. So if you can sit back and assume it will be 6 months, you may get pleasantly surprised with an earlier approval.
On September 20th, 2016 we got our approval from the USCIS and notice that our case was being sent to the NVC (National Visa Center in New Hampshire).
This approval is the first step in the process. It seems like a huge deal because you have been “approved,” but in actuality, it doesn’t mean any more than someone took their first glance at your package and thinks everything seems to be in order.
It looks legit, so they pass it along for someone else to further scrutinize.
Once your case is at the NVC the process isn’t too bad, there is still another 5-6 months to wait, but the tracking and pace seem easier than simply “not knowing,” like being stuck at the USCIS.
They tell you to wait about 30 days before calling the NVC for a case number. Calling them has always been a pleasant experience for me, as I find them friendly and helpful.
From this point the NVC looks further into your package and requests additional information (RFE) if your package was incomplete.
Common RFE are the affidavit of support, tax returns, and DS260… any paperwork they request for further scrutiny happens here. Each document they request can make your case about 8 weeks longer. So, it’s best to do it right the first time (with an attorney) before you start the process.
On February 3rd, 2017 we received our appointment letter for the interview at the US Embassy in New Delhi. Approximately, a 5 month wait from first approval in September.
The interview was scheduled for March 22, 2017, 8:30am.
Manpreet was approved by noon, March 22, 2017… although the actual interview only took about 5 minutes (Interview questions in the following post). Our last interview for the K1 Fiance Visa took 9 hours, and was definitely not going to be approved no matter what we said. New Delhi had an approval rate of 1 out of every 100 applicants at that time.
The CR1 process took about 1 year (a little less) from start to finish.
As I have said before, certain “countries of origin” seem to move faster. I have seen some visa’s granted in as little as 4 months, but DON’T assume that will be you. Prepare for a year, to a year and a half, for the interview.
Our life-savers in this process were our attorney, facebook groups dedicated to the visa process (email me for details), the Visa Journey website, and each other.
We are also very thankful that our families love both of us and supported our relationship, because this process is NOT EASY.
I truly think the process was created specifically to break apart the weak couples… BUT it makes the strong ones that much stronger because they fought very hard to be together.
You can read our first K1 Visa process—> HERE
Read about our devastating denial of the K1 Visa—-> HERE
So, there you have it folks. Finally we can be together as a family. We set a goal and took baby steps to achieve that goal. Just like everything worthwhile in life, it took strength, positive thinking, teamwork and… LOVE!
If you have any additional questions please do not hesitate to comment below, and I will get back to you as soon as possible.
Please support Buddhaful Britt by subscribing via email in the top right hand column. Namaste’
Read about “My Indian Boyfriend “—>HERE
My Big Fat Sikh Wedding: Indian Astrology —> HERE
My Big Fat Sikh Wedding: The Dress —> HERE
Surviving Long Distance Love—> HERE
Open Letter to my Husband—> HERE
Our Honeymoon, Rishikesh India—> HERE
K1 Fiance Visa Process—> HERE
US Embassy Interview for K1—> HERE
Journey to New Delhi—> HERE
First Trip to Jaipur India —> HERE
Our First Diwali—> HERE
Giving Thanks, Shukryia —> HERE
Being Sikh in America—> HERE
The Indian Grocery—> HERE
A Path to Happiness—> HERE
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