paperwork is not my cup of tea...

Aaron and I went to the immigration office this week to find out the options we have regarding my status here in the States. I currently have a visa which allows me to live here but it will expire in 3 years so we figured since we needed to file my papers sooner or later we might as well start the process now. The officer we talked to was so nice and helpful which was great. She told us what forms we needed and then we proceeded to the front desk to retrieve said forms.

"Hi there, we need the I485 bundle and an I130 as well please." The guy gave us a smile and then for the next few minutes plucked form after form off the shelf. He plopped the stack of paper on the counter and said, "Have fun."

And there it sits on my kitchen table, giving me an ulcer every time I pass by... (: haha. Actually I filled out the first form yesterday and I'm planning to work my way down the pile, little be little. It feels like a big headache right now but it will be worth it when it's all done!


  1. Okay, BIG TIP and trust me, this will save you heartache.

    You have to file the I-130 first. When I mean you have, I mean you HAVE to. You can't file it at the same time at the 485. The 130 is basically filing with USCIS the intent that you wish to immigrate. Once it comes back approved, THEN you can file the 485. You have to have the 130 approved before you file the 485. Trust me on this. We first filed in January of 2006 for the 130 and it took until that July to get an approval. If you have 2 years left on your religious visa, then you'll probably get your green card about the time that one expires.

    Did they tell you the new fees? Thank God we did ours before the latest fee change. To file the I-130 is $355 and it has to be sent in as a money order with your application. Once that's approved, you have to submit your $1000 fee for the 485. Oh, get a clearance from the RCMP, you'll need it. They'll tell you you need one from where you've resided for the last 12 months, but that's a load of junk. After we got the police clearance for me in Louisiana, we were told I needed an RCMP clearance and they're a pain to get out of country unless you know someone (like we did). Then it's $80 for the biometrics near the very end. All in all, you're looking at around $1500 for the basic forms and about 2 years worth of your time. So when he said, Good Luck!, I think he meant it!

    P.S. I just got my green card a few weeks ago. I should have gotten in January, but they take about 4 phone calls to finally get someone to change your address.


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