Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A new chapter begins...

After what seemed to be an eternity,  we finally received the green cards for Anna and the children. All three of them arrived at the same time. Each one was attached to a Form I-797D  from the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
The Letter read as follows:
Your Application Has Been Approved.  Here is your new card. The expiration date is shown on the front.
Please Check Your Card To Verify That the Information Is Correct. If you find an error on it, please call us at the telephone number provided below.
Please Protect Your Card. Please Read This Notice.
It has important information. We also recommend that you keep this notice for your records.
If you ever have questions about immigration benefits and procedures, or wish to have an application mailed to you, please call our USCIS National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283, or Check our website at
And it went on to say:
Additional Information About Your Card
USCIS issues several kinds of cards for different purposes. Please read how to use your card. Always carry your card in the United States and show it when you re-enter the United States. Please keep this information for your future reference.
Permanent Resident Card
Your card has an expiration date.
If you are a conditional resident, you should apply to remove the conditions 90 days before your card expires.
If you are a permanent resident, the expiration date does not affect your status, but you should use form 1-90 to apply for a new card 90 days before this card expires.
As a resident you should be aware of other immigration services:
If your card is lost, stolen, or becomes damaged, or your name or other information shown on your card changes, use Form 1-90 to apply for a new card.
If you are going to travel and believe you may be gone a year or more, you should apply for a reentry permit before you leave - see Form 1-131 for information.
You can sponsor the immigration of certain relatives - see Form 1-130 for information.
Permanent residents can become American citizens. Usually, you have to be a permanent resident for 5 years, but in some circumstances you can apply earlier - see Form N-400 for information.
Employment Authorization Card and Advance Parole Card
You are authorized to work consistent with any conditions shown on the card until it expires.
If you apply for a job, you may show your card to the employer to show you are authorized to work while the card is valid.
If you are already employed and this card extends your employment authorization, you may show this new card to your employer to show that your work authorization has been extended.
Your EAD card is also evidence of your status. Please see the enclosed important advisory.
Replacement Citizen Card
Use your card as evidence of your U.S. Citizenship.
(This replacement card is only issued to certain American Indians and persons from the Northern Mariana Islands who were previously issued this kind of card.) You do not need to carry your card while in the United States.
Student/Exchange Visitor Card
Use your card to show that you are a valid F, J, or M non immigrant student, exchange visitor, or dependent. This card does not grant employment authorization. To apply for employment authorization, use Form 1-765.
Upon receiving the green cards we immediately filed for Social Security cards for all of them and they arrived in the mail just this weekend.

We are both very happy to have this chapter of our lives come to a close. It was a long, complicated process but we finally made it through. Now a new chapter begins for us. Anna can start looking for work like she wants to and no longer needs to worry about returning to Russia. Anna and the children are now Proud Permanent Residents of the United States of America and our life together can officially begin.

Privet Anna! Welcome to America!!!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

The official Notice of Action

We finally received our I-797, Notice of action dated March 3, 2014 for the I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
It is the official Welcome Notice.
It read as follows:
 This is to notify you that your application for permanent residence has been approved. It is with great pleasure that we welcome you to permanent resident status in the United States.
At the top of this notice you will see a very important number. It is your USCIS A# (A-number). This is your permanent resident account and file number. This permanent account number is very important to you. You will need it whenever you contact us.
We will soon mail you a new Permanent Resident Card. You should receive it within the next 3 weeks. You can use it to show your new status. When you receive your card you must carry it with you at all times if you are 18 or older. It is the law.
Please call us at  (800)375-5283 if any of the information about you shown above is incorrect, if you move before you receive your card, or if you don't receive your card within the next 3 weeks. If you call us, please have your A# and also the receipt number shown above available. The receipt number is a tracking number for your application.
Please read the notice that comes with your card. It will have important information about your card, about your status and responsibilities, and about permanent resident services available to you.
Your new card will expire two years from when you became a permanent resident. By law your resident status is conditional, and you must apply to remove those conditions before your card expires. We recommend you apply several months before your card expires. When the time comes and you need filing information, or an application, or if you ever have other questions about permanent resident services available to you, just call our National Customer Service Center at 1(800)375--5283 or visit the USCIS website at (If you are hearing impaired, the NCSC's TDD number is 1-800-767-1833.) The best days to call the NCSC are Tuesday through Friday.
Once again, welcome to the United States and congratulations on your permanent resident status. 
NOTICE: Although this application/petition has been approved, USCIS and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security reserve the right to verify the information submitted in this application, petition and/or supporting documentation to ensure conformity with applicable laws, rules, regulations, and other authorities. Methods used for verifying information may include, but are not limited to, the review of public information and records, contact by correspondence, the internet, or telephone, and site inspections of businesses and residences. Information obtained during the course of verification will be used to determine whether revocation, rescission, and/or removal proceedings are appropriate. Applicants, petitioners, and representatives of record will be provided an opportunity to address derogatory information before any formal proceeding is initiated.
 It looks like we will be getting the Green cards soon. Finally...

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Finally some good news!!

We finally received some good news(at least I hope) regarding our case with immigration services.

According to the USCIS website the status changed from "Request For Evidence" to "Card/Document Production".

The website stated: 
On March 3, 2014, we ordered production of your new card. Please allow 30 days for your card to be mailed to you. If we need something from you we will contact you. If you move before you receive the card, call customer service at 1-800-375-5283. This step applies to applications that result in an applicant receiving a card (such as a "green card") or other document (such as a naturalization certificate, employment authorization document, travel document, or advance parole). Applications will be in this step from the time the order to produce the card/document is given until the card/document is produced and mailed to the applicant. You can expect to receive your card/document within 30 days of the approval of your application. If you do not receive your document, please contact our National Customer Service Center at 1-800-375-5283.
It continued to say:
On March 7, 2014, we mailed you a notice that we had registered this customer's new permanent resident status. Please follow any instructions on the notice. Your new permanent resident card should be mailed within 60 days following this registration or after you complete any ADIT processing referred to in the welcome notice, whichever is later. If you move before receiving your card, please call our customer service center at 1-800-375-5283. During this step the formal decision (approved/denied) is written and the decision notice is mailed and/or emailed to the applicant/petitioner. You can use our current processing time to gauge when you can expect to receive a final decision. 

This is excellent news. Now Anna and I can finally get on with our lives and start planning for the future without the fear of Anna being required to return to Russia. Now once we get the green card, Anna will be free and clear until she needs to renew the green card in two years, but that should be a much simpler process. 

When she gets her green card, she will be able to find a job if she wants, get a driver's license  and be able to live like the average US Citizen. Unfortunately though, she will not be a US Citizen until after she applies for US Citizenship and she needs to wait a minimum of 3 years after she gets her green card before she can even think of applying. I am sure that will be a story of its own.

Needless to say we are definitely looking forward to the green card arriving soon. Finally, a light at the end of the tunnel. We only hope is not a freight train coming at us.