Beginning to file for a visa. Where did we begin? Google.
The first thing that I did to help myself begin making preparations for this visa was to make a basic outline of all required forms and documents for the I-130 Spouse Visa.
A good place to start getting an idea for the I-130 process can be found here, but don’t become overwhelmed by seeing ALL of the steps (because the entire I-130 process is shown), just let it be a place of reference to start.
Another wonderful place for help anytime throughout your visa process is through visajourney.com. We set up a profile for free and have communicated with several other visa applicants that are either finished and have their visa in hand, are in the middle of the visa jungle, or are in the very beginning.
The people on this forum are there to share their experiences and try their best to offer any advice for your specific cause. You may reference their visa timelines, see where their foreign spouses are from, make your own forum topics, answer questions, and find some comfort in knowing you’re not alone in this process.
A fantastic blog that we referenced ritually was immimom.wordpress.com. The title of her blog is “Emigrating Mama’s CR-1 Spousal Visa Guide.” The organization and detailed information about her and her husband’s visa process is a tool that will undoubtedly help you. This blog inspired us very much and we highly recommend her blog to anyone that needs another reference and resource guide online.
YouTube is yet another incredible resource for reference when needed. Before we mailed our I-130 packet we wanted to see what someone else’s packet looked like and we found this video. The channel name for this video is “Justin Pruitt” and the video is an overall walk-through of their I-130 visa packet before the mailed it out to the US from Brazil. It’s very helpful.
If you don’t feel comfortable risking a mistake in any of your filings and have the means, then hiring an immigration lawyer is a fantastic option. Zouhair and I do not have the funds for this reassuring opportunity, so extra research is necessary on our part and the risk of a wrong submission or missing a piece of documentation is a lurking thought in the back of our heads, but we do what we can through all free resources online. (There’s a lot if you look) There are a lot of people that have successfully received their visa without an immigration lawyer, but be careful.
Zouhair and I had just finished our marriage process and we knew that the visa process was not going to be quick, so we dove into filing for a visa as soon as we could (which we wish we would have started even earlier because every day counts with a visa case). Check out our next blog for the exact steps we took.