Becoming a U.S. Citizen
The day has finally arrived, this is it!
It was a long and expensive process but I am not officially a U.S. Citizen.
I previously maintained a blog detailing the whole K1 Visa process. Unfortunately, I had to shut it down due to the image hosting fiasco brought to us by Photobucket. Every image disappeared and rendered my blogs, well, useless. Anyways, life went on and so did the visa and permanent residence process.
This whole topic is a long story in itself so I'll give this post a different approach.
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of visa did you have when you came to the U.S.?
I arrived in the U.S. with a K1 Visa - this is a non-immigrant visa that fiancés of U.S. Citizens acquire to be able to come here, get married and then subsequently become a permanent resident.
Do you become a permanent resident after you get married?
No. The K1 Visa is a non-immigrant visa which means there are stipulations that come with it and may not be used as sole basis to reside in the U.S.
What other steps did you take to become a permanent resident?
After arriving in the U.S., I had 90 days to get married. Yes - 90 Day Fiancé. If you haven't heard of the show, it just means that if I don't get married within 90 days, I can no longer legally stay in the country. It seems like it's a long time, but that's also why you don't get this visa if you're not sure about getting married yet. After getting married, I had to apply for my "Adjustment of Status" (AOS).
Adjustment of Status (AOS)
The adjustment of status is the initial application to obtain a green card. It basically is to prove that the relationship is genuine and that the spouse can afford to keep the immigrant spouse financial sustained (food, shelter, etc). Once the application is approved, a 2 year conditional green card (permanent resident card) is issued.
Removal of Conditions (ROC)
After two years, the green card must be renewed and I had to go through the ROC process. This is the part where I have to prove that I am still married in good faith, and if not, justify the reason for staying and how to sustain oneself. Once this is approved, a 10-year green card is issued.
How long did your process take?
We started the process in January 2015 and our petition was approved in May 2015. There are several parts to this process.
I completed all my personal requirements around June 2015 but I didn't schedule my visa interview until August 2015. The K1 visa is only valid for a few months so I didn't want to get approved when I wasn't ready to leave yet. My mom was excited, but of course, wasn't so eager to see me migrate to another country.
I entered the United States in October 2015 and got married in November. We filed for my AOS in January 2016 and I received my conditional green card in April. We applied for the removal of conditions in March 2018 and was approved on April 2019. I applied for my citizenship on January 2020.
For a detailed timeline, you can visit our VisaJourney profile here.
A lot of things have changed since we started, but our process was relatively faster than others. There's a lot of factors that can shorten or prolong the process. Based on the other people I've talked to, certain things like previous marriages/divorces, annulments, and/or criminal records can affect the length of the process. Missing documents and incorrect paperwork are also big factors that if not done right, can delay it even more.
I applied for my citizenship pre-covid and was originally provided an estimated completion time of three to five months. As we all know, the pandemic caused businesses and offices to shut down and close. The USCIS was not exempted and this made the processing time even longer.
I got my interview in October 7, 2020. It was a fairly quick appointment - the interview and test was done in the same day by the same person. When my biometrics were taken, I was given a cheat sheet for the test. You can also find the questions to be asked on their website. It's not really that hard, but there are 100 questions that they can randomly choose from, and you have to get at least 6 our of ten questions right. When I got 6 right questions, they no longer proceeded to finish 10 questions. I was approved on the same day and was instructed to wait for the oath taking.
My oath taking ceremony was done in October 22, 2020. It was different from what I've been reading about and the videos I saw. There were very few people in the room, no visitors, and it took about literally 1 minute and it was over. I was hoping for that big celebration for the milestone kind of thing but, well, thanks Covid you didn't make it happen.
It's still a milestone nonetheless. It's now official and now I'll be applying for my dual citizenship!
Leave a Reply.
Hey, it's me!
I've always loved to write. Not saying I'm good at it, but hey this is the story of my life!
Things I Love
Photography. Puppies. Arts. Crafts. Cooking. Animals. Makeup. Beaches. Pink things.