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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,

I am desperately seeking some advice as i am unsure as to what is the best option? I have been married to my husband for 8 years, he is a USA citizen with dual nationality (British) I am a British citizen, we have been married 8 years and have lived together in the UK for 7 years. We would like to move to the USA next year if possible and thus i have begun to think about applying for a Greencard. I have called a few random lawyers in the UK and they seem to charge very differing fees from £2,000 to £5,000 sterling, which i think is expensive especially as my husband and i have from as i can see it a very simple case to present! Does anyone know of any good immigration solicitors in the UK/London who are effective and charge reasonable rates?

Also does anyone know how long it takes for the process to be completed? Is it better to file in the UK or the USA? Any advice is greatly appreciated as i am very new to this and am still trying to find my feet.

Thanks for all your help and i look forward to hearing from anyone who has advice or perhaps has been through a similar experience.

Thanks Sophiax
 

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Unless you've got some skeleton in your closet, I would avoid paying the (inevitably high) fees for an immigration lawyer.

In your case, your husband simply sponsors you for a spouse visa (which includes a green card). He needs to show that he is planning to move back to the US and that he has the resources to support you when he does - or he can get a co-sponsor (family member or friend) to assist.

You have to file from the UK. Your husband could potentially go on ahead to line up a job and housing, but the process takes around 6 months or so and you might not want to be separated for that long a period.

This is the Customs and Immigration Service's page on this: USCIS - Spouse

And this is the US Embassy in London's page: Marriage to a U.S. Citizen | Embassy of the United States London, UK with links to more of the details.

Lots of people have done it themselves, saving huge legal fees. Unless there is something tricky about your case, you should be able to do so, too.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Bev for the advice, i agree with you that it seems like a straightforward process, timeconsuming but i cant imagine its that complex, however my husband is adamant that if we do something we will mess it up and a solicitor is much more likely to get it done quicker and more efficiently, is there any cheap but reliable solicitors whom you may know of or heard good things about, whom dont charge extortionate fees.

Thanks for the links i will check them out and try to convince hubby to change his mind, hopefully its all straight forward, once again thanks.

Sophia
 

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I've just done what you're talking about, from Ireland to Atlanta, GA. We did it ourselves, with my wife sponsoring me. It took about nine months and it cost about €3000 all combined (several large fees to the embassy, doctor's fees etc.).

It is time consuming and it is stressful. Take your time with it and you won't make any mistakes. Most importantly don't let setbacks bother you. We thought we were all set to leave last November and got a six month delay (long story... I lived in Canada briefly and needed paperwork...).

There's a few stages to go through...

1) You file a petition basically requesting to be interviewed. Expect to wait about three months from the time you file to the time you hear anything of substance back from them.

2) You get a "So you're about to be interviewed" pack. It's lots more paperwork to fill out and a list of stuff you need to get, like police certificates and medical reports. You will almost certainly need a financial sponsor unless your husband gets a job in the US prior to you filing. They won't tell you about this, or at least they didn't tell us, we had to scramble last minute to get my wife's dad on board. Once you have all of your stuff together, you send them a form and several months later...

3) You interview. If the embassy in England is anything like the one in Dublin the interview itself will be a breeze but you'll have to wrestle with bureaucracy to even get to it. This is the point where I was told I needed a certificate from Canada that would take six additional months.

4) The big brown envelope. You're almost there... You get an envelope that you're not allowed to open and this is what you give at immigration when entering the US. What happens at the airport is completely painless and everyone I dealt with was very pleasant. You have an option for the TSA to submit your application for a social security number, which you need to get a job. DON'T. They never applied for mine, which delayed me starting a job.

5) AMERICA! You're in. Get a social security number. Get a driver's licence. Without these things you can do very little.

That's pretty much where I am now... I start work on Monday, passed my driver's test this afternoon and drove through downtown Atlanta at rush hour shortly afterwards. I won't pass you on any links, every case is different and I there's value in searching through their site and finding precisely what you need.

Best of luck. It's a pain in the arse, but it's worth it in the end if it's what you both want.
 

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That's pretty much where I am now... I start work on Monday, passed my driver's test this afternoon and drove through downtown Atlanta at rush hour shortly afterwards. I won't pass you on any links, every case is different and I there's value in searching through their site and finding precisely what you need.

Best of luck. It's a pain in the arse, but it's worth it in the end if it's what you both want.
Congratulations! You made it through the maze of immigration! Atlanta is a really nice place once you are mobile. Have you had a chance to explore the North GA mountains?
 

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Congratulations! You made it through the maze of immigration! Atlanta is a really nice place once you are mobile. Have you had a chance to explore the North GA mountains?
Thanks!

We actually went there first... We flew into Orlando and spent a week with the in-laws before driving up to Ellijay, north of Atlanta, to help them do some work on their retirement cabin. I ended up swinging an interview very early and having to drive back down a little early, but we got a good chance to look around and we have the cabin at our disposal now that things have settled down.

About six months ago I had to sit down with my wife and we both decided to detach ourselves emotionally from the immigration process, and whenever we were asked to do something, however unreasonable or time consuming, we would just do it. It's such a big thing to go through and almost unnecessarily complicated that this was the only way to keep our heads...
 
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