I regularly help expatriate couples prepare their petitions while they are living together outside the USA. We work together using email, Internet (I provide a password access page for you at visacoach.com where I post specific instructions and documents for your case), and by? priority mail or courier.
I lived in Taiwan for 9 years and Hong Kong for 8, I know exactly what issues an expat faces.
Below is how we work together:
1. I know all the questions USCIS have and all the questions the Department of State AND the Consulate have. I combined them into two proprietary questionnaires, one for you and one for your Spouse. I send these to you, to provide me with all the needed details about your backgrounds. I ask the questions early, so that we know EXACTLY where you stand, and that you are eligible for the whole Spouse Visa Process.
2. You and your Spouse complete the background questionnaires and return them to me
3. I closely audit your answers, looking for inconsistencies, gaps, mistakes, illogic, anything that “doesn’t look right”. Immigration doesn’t need much to become suspicious, so it is critically important that the information provided does not accidentally trigger alarm bells.
4. I work together with you and your Spouse until the questions asked by immigration have been answered fully, logically, and are consistent.
5. I use your information to prepare all the immigration forms that are needed.
6. I create for you a private, HOMEPage at VisaCoach.com. This is where you can view the Drafts of documents that I have prepared which are ready for your signatures, as well as personalized checklists, and instructions all personalized to your case.
7. At your HomePage, based upon my detailed review of your background details, I post for you a custom personalized check list of things to do, photos, civil documents, and various ways (that I have encountered over 36 years) to demonstrate the bona fides of your relationship. The check list is extensive. Not all items can be obtained by all couples. I categorize the list into three color coded priority levels. REQUIRED, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, and RECOMMENDED.
8. Going through the personalized checklist I prepared for you, you should collect a stack of evidences, photos, correspondences, signed documents, civil documents needed for your petition. I call this your SHOEBOX. As soon as the shoebox is full, mail it me (recommended) or email me a digital copy for me to print here in California to work on. If you choose the digital route, photographs can be uploaded to Walmart.com then ask Walmart to deliver the prints of the photos to my office.
9. Once I get your shoebox I block off most of a day from my calendar, so I can quietly spread out, and examine each piece. I confirm all required civil documents and signed forms are present and legible, then check the items that demonstrate the “bona fides” of your relationship.
My plan is to give you Full Personal Support and “tell your story”, that of a genuine, bona fide couple, who deserves to be speedily brought to the USA. I pick and choose those evidences that are the most persuasive and positive, and put aside those that do not help. I devote much time with your photos. A picture IS worth a thousand words. The minimum use of your photos is to prove a face to face meeting occurred. But the photos CAN do so much more. A few well chosen photos can create a solid impression of a bona fide, genuine relationship. My objective is to choose the RIGHT ones to help your case.
10. At the start I also sent a third questionnaire prompting with questions that ask you to describe the “history of your courtship and marriage”. I use the answers to compose a compelling personal letter, addressed to immigration, to add a “human face” on to your petition. This should convince the most skeptical Consular Officer yours is a genuine relationship and merits prompt approval, and his “help” to swiftly approve and allow you to continue your lives together in the USA.
Should there be any “out of the norm issues” or so called “red flags” with your history that might if misunderstood hurt your chances, we would explain the situation in the letter, in order to “neutralize” their negative affect
11. I assemble all of your documents and evidences into an attractive, bound, tabbed, complete and compelling petition. Just like USCIS likes it. To see what one of my 100 to 150 page,
Note: As in Ex-pat living outside the USA, you have three choices on how to receive the final petition.
A. I ship the presentation to a domestic USA address and they forward the presentation to you.
B. I ship to an address outside the USA, for a shipping and handling fee of $95.
C. I send via internet, a digital copy of your petition, for you to print and sign on location (but you would have to do the binding and index tabbing yourself)
12. The petition you receive has about a dozen (yellow and green flags), clearly showing where you and your spouse should sign and date. I also fill in a facsimile of what the check made out should look like, and confirm the address where to mail your petition and check.
13. I update your HomePage on the NEXT STEPS, on what you and your Spouse should do while waiting on the Consulates review. I provide detailed instructions on obtaining Police reports, and vaccinations as well as the list of 120 most likely interview questions for you to practice.
14. Once the consulateis satisfied that all of your required documents are acceptable, they assign the case for the FINAL interview. I update your HomePage, with completed forms for your Spouse to sign to take to the interview at the Consulate, detailed instructions on obtaining chest x-ray, blood tests and physicals at the embassy designated Panel Physician, how and where to pay fees, obtaining Police Certificates, and last minute details on preparing for the interview
15. Once the visa has been approved. I update you on final procedures to enter the USA, pay immigrant fees, and obtain the Green Card as proof of lawful permanent residency for your spouse.
By Fred Wahl
the Visa Coach