Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Step 3: In Progress

Family and friends got treated to this wonderful news yesterday but I was too tired and busy to slap together a post publicly. We were notified that we may now schedule Jeremy's visa interview!

We're very excited because, as you may recall, we initially filed our I-130 petition for an immigrant visa down in Guangzhou on September 2nd. That's pretty speedy. We completed the 2nd step before the Chinese National Holiday last week. Now the 3rd step beckons.

Before we schedule our appointment though, we must make sure we have all our documents and forms in order. Because it would suck severely if we got all the way down there only to realize we'd missed something which would slow down our process.

If you look at the photo above, in the 3rd item, it tells us to download the Immigrant Visa Instruction Packet and follow the instructions. So we do as it says.
This is just page 1 of a 9 page document, which sounds horrible but actually only the first 4 pages are in English and the remaining pages are the same document translated into Chinese so my husband can read this in both his 3rd language and his native language. I had printed it out so we could use it as a checklist, checking off what we've got and gathering anything we need.

Jeremy only needs to get his police report, which takes just a few days, and have it translated into English. He needed a few other passport photos as well. You can see on the photo above of this document that they require 2 more passport photos. They wanted 2 passport photos when I was submitting the I-130 at the embassy. For the 2nd step, Jeremy had to send in 2 more passport photos. This step requires 2 more photos and when he goes for his medical exam, he must bring 5 passport photos with him. Holy wow. That's a lot of photos!

I also need to prepare the I-864 support form and am eternally grateful to my wonderful Daddy for all his help in comprehending that document and filling it out properly. Thanks Daddy!

So we're waiting a few weeks before we go to schedule the appointment, but last night, I got a major headache in the form of 2 hours of research when I should have been sleeping. Small baby + back to work + this visa stuff = 4 hours of sleep for me. But I want to pay it forward to anyone who is currently going through the US visa process with their spouse (or about to do so) and save them the pain and exhaustion I went through to check this.

As I mentioned, Jeremy needs a police report. On the form, it's noted as a "police certificate."
If you are in this visa process too, THIS IS MY WARNING TO YOU! Please make sure you read that paragraph carefully. Hell, read EVERYTHING on this document round-up carefully. Don't skim over it. DON'T. As tedious as it is, make sure you look at every single requirement listed under every single item or you will miss it. We almost did.

See, Jeremy can get his police certificate for China fairly easily. But there's a 3rd item listed in the police certificates category that states that if the applicant has lived in another country for 12 months or longer, they must get a police certificate from that country. IF that country has them available. Some countries don't. My husband, as it turns out, lived in South Korea for 4 years. So according to this requirement, he needed to obtain a police certificate from South Korea, if it was available, in order to have ALL his police certificates.

Now there's a pit in my stomach. We're so close and now this sets us back. But wait, let me look it up online and find out what to do for this, I tell him. So I spend 2 hours digging through forums and reading the US government's official websites and I finally found what I needed to know. Save yourself 2 hours, people and do this:
Look up at the last photo and follow my finger. Under the police certificates section of that form, you'll see a link to a website. Click it, or just click here if that's easier for you. 


After you do that, you'll see a search bar with a "GO" button next to it (see the above photo). Type in the name of the country you're trying to find out about regarding police certificates. In our case, it was South Korea. Then you scroll on down until you find "Police Records." Read there to find out if that country requires a police certificate or not.

I was elated to see this:
At the very bottom: Applicants outside of Korea: Unavailable.

After that scare, we have checked, checked and rechecked the required documents and all the requirements for those documents and we will probably check, recheck and check check checkity check some more, before we make the visa interview appointment. And then while we're packing for that trip. And then again before leaving for the airport. And then again in the hotel. And then again in the waiting room.

I hope that information helps at least one other confused person undergoing the US immigrant visa process. For now, this gal is going to check check check out the back of her eyelids and get what I hope will be more than 4 hours of snoozes. Please keep sending your good vibes our way as we continue through this process!

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