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Recent USCIS Forms not as simple as it sounds
This weekend I filed PRO SE (Without a lawyer) the I-485 form to apply for residency for my wife. So just so you know when you file this form most of the time you need to file several other forms at the same time. We have already spent over $13,000 dollars on immigration forms which includes the money we spent on our lawyer ($5,000)
We filed the I-485 too early before and the government kept our $1,070.00 so make sure you check the exact dates of when you can file. If you file too early it is denied, if you file too late there could be problems as well because they are several months behind.
So at the same time we filed the I-485 we filed the I-765 employment authorization request and the G-28 form and a copy of the I-130 approval that we got several years ago (2009) then we sent the proof of biometrics that she has already done but most likely she has to do it again. We sent a copy of our marriage license which we have sent several other times before, copy of her Guatemalan birth certificate with a translated copy, Copy of her passport, copy of the I-797A approval of the I-918 and copies of my ID's, we sent one reference letter from a Senator we know, Form G-325A for both of us which is geographic information that we have already sent before, power of attorney, I-864, I-693 sealed envelope from the approved doctor, 2 passport photos and the check for $1,070 again.
The last form I put together they requested that we file copies of all the other forms that we had previously sent in so once it was done there were 461 pages which had to be sent to 2 locations so just that one filing was almost 1000 pages. Each time we file they require many of the same documents and the government is not set up to pull up your electronic file so we have to keep sending paper in. With the 36 forms we have filed so far we have sent in since 2009 almost 10,000 pages of paper documents to USCIS.
We are now doing the rest of the forms by ourselves because most of the forms the lawyer did were denied and then I started doing it myself and got some of the petitions approved and a temporary visa. My wife has had a valid Utah Drivers license for the past 20 years now and when we went in to renew it they only renewed it till June of this year but told her she could have a permission card to drive but it is not considered a valid ID so we decided to go for the real license but have it expire in June. So we are crossing our fingers that her visa will be issued again and residency will be approved. She has been paying taxes for over 20 years so when we applied for her affidavit of support we included her social security statement for the last 20 years showing she has worked way over the 40 quarters required to show that she is not and will not be a burden to the state or to the federal government. When we met in 2005 she was working 3 jobs to support her family rather than trying to rely on the state. People have no idea how hard it is to apply legally to stay in the US for many people. I don't agree with it but I do understand why people stay illegally because the process is so expensive to try to apply they just bag it.