I hold my hands up, I’m an immigrant. I’m living in America on an immigrant visa. I know especially in the blogging community, the word ‘Expat’ is thrown around a lot and I admit this is what I tend to refer to myself as, but in fact, I am an immigrant. But can you really blame me for not really using this term at the moment? Just look at the news, it has so much bad press and I debated as to whether or not I should pipe up and say my view. But as an immigrant, and especially one that blogs about the visa process, I thought surely I should show what it’s like through my eyes?
I’m going to share a secret with you. I purchased a book that became my LIFESAVER when filling out my USA Marriage visa. It was literally my guide, I referred to it each time I had a form to fill out and it obviously worked as all of my forms were accepted first time and I never had any ‘corrections’ to fill in and return.
The DS-260 is the main ‘Alien Registration’ form that requires lots of details and information about the intending immigrant. It’s long BUT it can be saved as you go along. It took me 2 hours 30 to complete it…and I had most of the information on hand ready! Unlike all the other forms in the process, it’s submitted online, so it’s difficult to find copies of the form online to prepare yourself (the others are mainly downloadable PDF files that can be filed in the computer and printed or filled in with pen). Here’s a guide to what the DS-260 form includes.
One of the strangest things about the visa process, is that you have to PROVE you are in a real relationship. Even though you know it’s real, when you send the package off to USCIS, you can’t help but wonder ‘what if they think it’s fake?’. How can you prove that you love someone when it’s how you feel in your heart? You have to get that feeling onto paper and in an official way. The i130 visa application requires you to provide ‘Evidence of a Bonafide Marriage’. Our pack has since been accepted, so what I included was obviously satisfactory and I also share with you a copy of my i-130 affidavit sample! I’m not an immigration specialist, I’m just sharing my experience, please check against official websites in case of changes.