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Amerikanska -- View topic - Direct Consular Filing -- Forwarding petition??

 
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Amerikanska Forum Index -> Immigration/Emigration Issues

Direct Consular Filing -- Forwarding petition??
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marcus
stor stark
stor stark


Joined: Apr 27, 2003
Posts: 339
Location: Tennesseeeee
Direct Consular Filing -- Forwarding petition??

We are a bit confused about how to file the petition for the DCF the best way. We have understood that I (as the Swede) will have a much smoother and faster process if we do DCF at the embassy in Sweden rather than trying to adjust my status in the States. We earlier thought that the only option for doing this was to go together to the embassy in Stockholm. When reading the info at the Stockholm embassy's website about the application process, it said:

- If both are residing in Sweden, go to the embassy together.
- If the American is in USA and the Swede in Sweden, the American needs to mail in the application and have it forwarded to the embassy in Stockholm.

Does forwarding the application significantly slow down the process? Is it "legal" to file in Sweden together during a short visit (not "residing" in Sweden)?

The situation right now is that it might be hard for her to leave America to come over to Sweden to file the petition, so if there aren't any significant drawbacks with the forwarding we might go with that.

Anybody have experience with this? Advice? Thanks a lot for any help!!!

/Marcus

Post Mon Nov 17, 2003 7:13 am 
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GEM
lagom
lagom


Joined: Apr 27, 2003
Posts: 45
Location: San Diego, CA

My husband and I did a DCF filing at the US embassy in Stockholm 3 years ago. I was not a resident of Sweden and was only there for a short visit (for our wedding). We filed together in person and had no problems, so, yes it's "legal". If the petitioner mails the application to a USCIS (formerly INS) office in the States for forwarding to Sweden, I would guess that it would take significantly longer, esp since the USCIS offices are extremely backlogged these days.

Our entire DCF process was about three weeks (initial filing and second interview) in 2000 - it was very fast back then.

Post Mon Nov 17, 2003 9:04 am 
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Carrie
riktig Svensson
riktig Svensson


Joined: Apr 27, 2003
Posts: 182
Location: DC

I think it would be a lot faster to go to the embassy together. I think if you start it in the US it will get lost under a pile of paperwork.

If your spouse is just in Sweden for a short time, make sure she brings her most recent tax return with her (at your interview you'll have to have her tax returns from the past three years). They can fill out the statement of support from the most recent tax return and have her sign it right then so she doesn't have to get it notarized later. Of course, if she resides in the US then it's probably not a problem to get it notarized anyway.

Post Mon Nov 17, 2003 11:19 am 
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Ellen
Moderator


Joined: Apr 27, 2003
Posts: 1369
Location: USA

Hi Marcus,

I can easily see how you are confused. I am assuming you are referring to the following statements (found on this page):

"If the petitioner is in the U.S. and the beneficiary in Sweden, then the petitioner must mail the application to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office in the U.S. where they reside. The beneficiary must wait until the petition is approved and forwarded to the Embassy here in Stockholm."

What they are talking about here is not direct consular filing but rather, the usual, slow-poke, conventional way where Nancy would send her stuff to the service center and you'd all just sit and wait. I don't know how long it is now but I'd wager it's VERY slow.

While she lives in the US, for these purposes, imagine that they are talking about where the person filing the papers is when those papers leave their hands. If the person lives in the US but happens to be in Sweden, then this part doesn't really apply. Then it's like saying that you are both in Sweden even though she doesn't live there.

"Lastly, if the beneficiary is already in the United States and the petition for the alien spouse is filed with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the spouse may request adjustment of status in the U.S. This enables the alien spouse to receive his/her residence status in the U.S. The petitioner can also request that the petition be forwarded to the Embassy in Sweden. IMPORTANT NOTE: If you file for adjustment in the US, then the beneficiary may NOT leave the country without obtaining advance parole. If you leave before and the process completed, your adjustment request will be considered abandoned and you will have to reinitiate the immigration process at the Embassy aboard."

This part in bold (I added the bold) is saying that if you were already in the US, on some other type of visa let's say, and you guys decided to get married and file the paperwork to adjust your status, rather than wait to adjust in the US, you could request that you be interviewed, etc. in Sweden. I would be extremely wary of this method since it seems to me that any piece of this process that you get mixed up with in the USCIS system is just going to complicate matters. That and the IMPORTANT NOTE right after that would be big turn-offs in my book.

Like GEM, we also filed while I was there on a short visit. Totally legal. No problem whatsoever. Even if she can't get over for another couple months, I think her coming over and filing DCF would still be faster (get you there sooner) than whatever else is out there. But if you want to check out fiance visa wait times or something like that, you could do a search for something like "processing times service center immigration" and you'll come up with some sites that track what the current wait times are.

Good luck!!
Ellen

Post Mon Nov 17, 2003 11:06 pm 
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marcus
stor stark
stor stark


Joined: Apr 27, 2003
Posts: 339
Location: Tennesseeeee

Thank you Ellen, Carrie, and GEM!! Ellen, wow, you are the number one immigration expert! Smile

Ok, just called the embassy and got their phone hours. We might need to go there during Christmas so I need to call and find out when they will be open I guess. Anybody happen to know if they are usually open during "mellandagar", right before/after Christmas/New Year etc?

/Marcus

Post Thu Nov 20, 2003 10:33 am 
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Ellen
Moderator


Joined: Apr 27, 2003
Posts: 1369
Location: USA

Hi Marcus,

It's tucked out of the way on the embassy's site but there is a page with their holiday schedule.

http://www.usis.usemb.se/Holidays/index.html

It looks like they are open most of the week after Christmas. I find it strange/funny though that they list New Year's Eve as a holiday (a Swedish one) but then don't tell you that New Year's Day is a holiday, probably because it's technically 2004 and this is the 2003 calendar. But for sure the 1st is a holiday so expect them to be closed that day too, but probably not Jan. 2. I'd call and confirm though.

Good luck!
Ellen

Post Thu Nov 20, 2003 3:56 pm 
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marcus
stor stark
stor stark


Joined: Apr 27, 2003
Posts: 339
Location: Tennesseeeee

Thanks, Ellen. Smile

I'm back with some more questions. After I'm done with all this and know everything I'll write one of those info things for Amerikanska, unless Ellen or somebody else already has. Remind me!

Ok, so we need to make sure Nancy has all the stuff she needs before she comes over here. My check list so far:

Required at initial application
• I-130 petition
• I-864 affidavit of support with proof of income and/or assets
• G-325A biographic information for both
• Photos of both
• Marriage certificate
• Application fee $130 US
• Birth certificate (or passport?)
• Personbevis?

Required at interview
• Police records
• Military records
• Medical exam
• Final fee $335 US

Questions:
• We were married in the USA. What is missing on these lists?
• Do I need a personbevis? Which?
• Does she need her birth certificate?
• What military records? How can I get them? (Yes, I served.)
• The dr has to be approved by the embassy? Should I request a list from them and go ahead and have the exam? Accoring to their web site it will be arranged in time for the interview.
• Does it speed things up to have everything ready at the first visit? (The things that aren't required until the interview.)
• What happens if they decide the I-864 isn't good enough (because something on there doesn't count, for example)? Do we get a chance to file another I-864 for a joint sponsor?

Thanks a lot!

/Marcus

Post Mon Dec 01, 2003 8:02 pm 
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Misty
Amerikanska medborgare
Amerikanska medborgare


Joined: Apr 28, 2003
Posts: 720
Location: NC

She will need a certified copy of her birth certificate. We also had to show our original marriage certificate and a certified copy. I am not sure about the military records.

Yes you have to go to one of the doctors on the embassy list. Your medical stuff is good for a year so you could technically go ahead and do it. They wont probably look at the medical stuff until your final interview though.

We had to have a joint sponsor. Your wife (or SO) is the primary sponsor. If she doesnt make 125% above the poverty level for a family size of 1 or 2 (I think) then you will need a co-sponsor.

You can probably go to the USCIS for the poverty guidelines for 2003.

Post Mon Dec 01, 2003 9:27 pm 
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GEM
lagom
lagom


Joined: Apr 27, 2003
Posts: 45
Location: San Diego, CA

quote:
Originally posted by marcus:


Questions:
• We were married in the USA. What is missing on these lists?
• Do I need a personbevis? Which?
• Does she need her birth certificate?
• What military records? How can I get them? (Yes, I served.)
• The dr has to be approved by the embassy? Should I request a list from them and go ahead and have the exam? Accoring to their web site it will be arranged in time for the interview.
• Does it speed things up to have everything ready at the first visit? (The things that aren't required until the interview.)
• What happens if they decide the I-864 isn't good enough (because something on there doesn't count, for example)? Do we get a chance to file another I-864 for a joint sponsor?

Thanks a lot!

/Marcus


Marcus:

-You both need your birth certificates. For us, since we were married in Sweden, my husband got a combined marriage and birth certificate from the tax authorities. Also, if by any chance your wife is a naturalized US citizen, you also need naturalization papers to prove her citizenship. If not, just a certified birth certificate is fine.

- My husband's mother had his military records so we used that. I think hubby said you should also be able to contact where you served and they can give you a copy of your records.

- My husband went ahead and got a medical exam before we even filed the DCF since the exam would be good for awhile anyway. I still have the list of Stockholm doctors approved by the US embassy (I got this through a very old Amerikanska post years ago):

DR. GORAN BULOW
VALHALLAVAGEN 91
SOPHIAHEMMET
114 27
STOCKHOLM
08 406 27 72

DR. HORMOZE DJAVIDI
VASTMANNAGATAN 9
111 24
STOCKHOLM
08 406 08 09

DR. JAN HAGSTRÖMER
MEDICAL CARE INTERNATIONAL
STRYRMANSGATAN 4
114 54
STOCKHOLM
08 662 32 60

DR. CHRISTER HÖGLUND
STOCKHOLM HEART CENTER
ODENGATAN 69
113 22
STOCKHOLM
08 33 50 15

DR. MARIETTA KARDOS
LAKARHUSET ODENPLAN
ODENGATAN 69
113 22
STOCKHOLM
08 729 19 65

Hubby went to Dr. Hormoze Djavidi because his office was near work at the time. He said the doctor was funny. Wink

-I think it does speed things up to get everything ready at the first visit. We were pretty organized and even brought stuff that we didn't need until the interview. They took it anyway. I think it made things go a lot faster and smoother at the filing and they scheduled us for the interview in 3 weeks. Pretty fast.

- Don't have a good answer for the last question though Misty answered it pretty well already. Smile

Hope this helped!

-GEM

Post Tue Dec 02, 2003 7:58 am 
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Jenny
stor stark
stor stark


Joined: Apr 27, 2003
Posts: 422
Location: Alaska

Hello Marcus,

Me and my husband has just gone through this.. I got my Visa last week.

If they do not think your SO has enough income you can add on a co-sponsor after. (My father in law is my co-sponsor.)
I know the different states have different poverty guidelines. They have info about it at the embassy and will tell you what you need.
They want copies of your SO’s three last "deklarationer" and W2's (skattepapper från arbetsgivare) AND current proof of employment.

You need to get "Utdrag ur personregistret med namn på föräldrarna" as a birth certificate.
My SO didn't have to show a birth certificate. Passport was enough.(I brought it anyways to the embassy.) If you have a co-sponsor you need a birth certificate for this person though.

I would go ahead and get the doctors exam/x-ray ASAP. Make sure you have all of your shoots...they give you a list. (I have it if you need it.)
I also have a list of the doctors you can see. You have to go to a doctor in Stockholm, Göteborg or Malmö.
It took me a month to get my appointment and that slowed us down bunch.

Remember to bring original documents. They will usually give it back. And make sure it is in English.

The Polis records that you need you can find at www.polisen.se. It is the only paper that costs anything. (Ca 130 kr)

The pictures that they want are different from our passport pictures. They do have a "fotomaskin" at the embassy that you guys can use. Costs 40kr each.

It does not say much about the military records in the papers. I would call the embassy and ask what they want.

Little messy typing but...
If you want to know anything more I have all of the papers that they gave us. Just ask! Wink

Sounds like you you've got it all on your list.

/Jenny

Post Tue Dec 02, 2003 9:41 am 
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conar
swedish meatball
swedish meatball


Joined: Apr 28, 2003
Posts: 53

quote:
Originally posted by Jenny:
It took me a month to get my appointment and that slowed us down bunch.


I had my medical examination i Malmö last thursday. The date I got when we scheduled the exam was in perhaps 1.5-2 weeks time (and we are in no particular hurry which I told them). I guess it might depend on which doctor you're going to use.

Post Tue Dec 02, 2003 10:08 am 
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Ellen
Moderator


Joined: Apr 27, 2003
Posts: 1369
Location: USA

Marcus,

Several times I have started to write something to sum up the whole process and I get stuck, so have at it! I'd be happy to add what I know and share what I have when you get around to it. Everyone else here has added some great (and current, which is wonderful) info too.

As Jenny said, Nancy needs the last three years tax returns (copies are fine) and if she is working, they will want to see at least two current paystubs (same for a co-sponsor, if that applies). Make sure the certificates, birth, marriage, etc., are originals and have the seal on them, for these, copies are not ok.

My husband just called up the branch of the service he had been in and explained what he was doing and they mailed him something straight away, no troubles.

They will give you a "second chance" to file an additional I-864 if they determine that her income isn't sufficient. When we filed, I had a job and was making enough money to meet the requirement but I was worried because I had been a student during the years prior to our filing so my tax returns from the previous years looked a little weak. I wrote a note and attached it to the returns for those years, explaining that although that was my yearly income, I had been a student for 10 months (or whatever) and so really, that was only two months of income. I had brought a statement from my bank with my current balance and my paystubs and letter of hire from my employer. Once they saw the paystubs, they didn't care about the other stuff as they could see that given my income at the time, it would be ok.

Basically, the important thing is for Nancy to be there to file the I-130 and the G-325A (for both of you) with the pictures, money, birth certificate (I think I really only used my passport though I had an original birth cert with me) and your marriage license. Everything else can be done after she gets back to the US. I do think it will be faster if you have nearly everything ready when you go there initially, but they still have to run the FBI check which will take a little time so there's a little built in buffer if you need to get something more for them.

Good luck! When is the big day to be?

Ellen

Post Tue Dec 02, 2003 4:37 pm 
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Misty
Amerikanska medborgare
Amerikanska medborgare


Joined: Apr 28, 2003
Posts: 720
Location: NC

Conar,
I thought there was only one doctor in Malmö that did the medical exam. Carl Olaf Wellström (or something.. Smile )

Also to add, you cant always count on the photo booth at the embassy. It breaks all the time! Smile

Post Tue Dec 02, 2003 9:08 pm 
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conar
swedish meatball
swedish meatball


Joined: Apr 28, 2003
Posts: 53

Yes, as far as I know there's only one doctor in Malmö. Nothing stops you from using him even though you might be located somewhere else (we live closer to Stockholm but my parents live in Lund so I stayed there overnight).

Post Tue Dec 02, 2003 9:41 pm 
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marcus
stor stark
stor stark


Joined: Apr 27, 2003
Posts: 339
Location: Tennesseeeee

Wow, thank you, Misty, GEM, Jenny, conar, Ellen!!

So we need to bring originals of birth and marriage certificates and a certified copy of both? What is a certified copy? Seems like they would be able to tell whether they say the same thing. Wink

Jenny, does GEM's dr list look pretty much up to date? Yeah, the shot list would be nice, if it's not too much trouble. How long did it take for you? DId you have everything ready? (Asking since you seem to have done it recently.)

That's good to hear about the I-864. That's the one that is the biggest concern, as for many others I suppose.

"The big day" is in a couple of weeks, depending on when we're ready. Smile

/Marcus

Post Wed Dec 03, 2003 2:01 am 
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Ally
Amerikanska medborgare
Amerikanska medborgare


Joined: Apr 27, 2003
Posts: 1007
Location: Sacramento

I have a really basic question. I tried to find the answer myself but the lack of sleep I'm getting these days is rendering me useless.
The consulate needs photos of me, Peter, or both of us? Anyone have the exact specifications they need to have besides white background and face forward only (not Swedish style passport photos) anything else they need to have?

We plan on trying to get the pictures taken today. Thanks! Very Happy

Ally

Post Wed Dec 03, 2003 9:00 am 
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marcus
stor stark
stor stark


Joined: Apr 27, 2003
Posts: 339
Location: Tennesseeeee

Wow... I think I can answer this one. Wink Both of you! And I believe this is what they want:

http://uscis.gov/graphics/lawsregs/handbook/m-378.pdf

Good luck. Smile

/Marcus

Post Wed Dec 03, 2003 10:19 am 
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Jenny
stor stark
stor stark


Joined: Apr 27, 2003
Posts: 422
Location: Alaska

hello,

(It's a long list...)
If you have gotten all of the shoots they give children in Sweden you should be fine. The only thing might be Tetanus (Stelkramp). It "lasts" for ten years. So check when you got it last...
You should bring your vaccination records to show the doctor (along with a picture of yourself and your passport...and the x-ray of your lungs that they want you to have done before hand)...and they will give you what you do not have.

(You do NOT have to bring the x-ray to the embassy BUT you should bring it to the US when you move. The doctor will send you a letter that you should bring unopened to the embassy. They will tell you all of this..)
Yes, the list of doctors looked up to date. I am guessing you will see a doctor in Stockholm? (There are one doctor in Malmö and one in Göteborg to add on to that list.)

Nancy does not need a birth certificate. Her passport will be fine. They never asked for my husbands certificate in the papers or asked for it at the embassy, just passport. They do want yours though (and the co-sponsors if you need to do that…as I said.)

Pictures: Looked like that link showed the right picture. Not look in to the camera, it should be in color and take off any earring even if tiny. Make sure the ear shows properly. No hair in the way.
I took my picture in one of them "photo machines" one can find in malls. Went great!

We didn't have anything ready pretty much. We filled in the end of August. Had to wait too long for the doctor’s exam...so it kinda took longer than we thought it would, BUT STILL not longer then three months for it all to be ready.
Once we sent in our checklist I got my interview in five weeks.
I do think you will go through the whole thing faster if you bring all the stuff right away.

/Jenny Smile

Post Wed Dec 03, 2003 11:41 am 
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marcus
stor stark
stor stark


Joined: Apr 27, 2003
Posts: 339
Location: Tennesseeeee

Hi again Smile

Thanks for the info, Jenny!

My doctor's appointment is coming up soon. Unfortunately, I feel kinda sick with a cough that has been going on forever. What is it they check for? Can I get vaccinations if I don't feel well?

Sorry about repeating myself, but what was the deal about certified copies of documents (marriage certificate). Is the original enough?

Thanks!

/Marcus

Post Sun Dec 07, 2003 11:05 pm 
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conar
swedish meatball
swedish meatball


Joined: Apr 28, 2003
Posts: 53

quote:
Originally posted by marcus:

My doctor's appointment is coming up soon. Unfortunately, I feel kinda sick with a cough that has been going on forever. What is it they check for? Can I get vaccinations if I don't feel well?



Hmm, lets see. They:
* x-rayed my lungs (to check for tuberculosis I think).
* filled three test tubes with blood (to check for HIV, syphilis and chicken-pox if I remember correctly).
* looked at my old vaccination records and compared them to some list. I only needed to get a supplementary tetanus shot since it was more than 10 years since the last time. But I had updated some of my childhood shots before doing some traveling. The doctor told me to expect shots for 425 SEK (the shot I actually got only cost 130 SEK).

* asked my a bunch of general questions about my health (if I do drugs, if I were on any medications at that time, smoking, etc). In total there were like 4 or 5 A4 papers of questions.

That's all I can remember Smile But everything seemed to be ok, and I don't think you have anything to worry about.

Post Sun Dec 07, 2003 11:42 pm 
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