Along with your passport and visa, you should receive a sealed, brown envelope, medical report, and instruction to pay for your green card before entering the US. Inspect carefully the spelling of your name, last name, birth date, passport number, and case number on your visa. If you spot a mistake, contact the consular section immediately.
- IR-1 DCF Visa: Basic information
- IR-1 DCF Visa: My timeline
- IR-1 DCF Visa: Step 1 Filing I-130 petition
- IR-1 DCF Visa: Step 2 Obtaining a police clearance certificate
- IR-1 DCF Visa: Step 3 Mailing Packet 3 to the US Embassy
- IR-1 DCF Visa: Step 4 Medical exam and vaccination
- IR-1 DCF Visa: Step 5 Visa interview
While waiting, you can check the status of your passport return by going to http://www.ustraveldocs.com/th/th-niv-passporttrack.asp. In my case, I received my passport (with stamped visa) back on the second day after the interview.
Inside the package, you will find (1) your passport along with the stamped visa, (2) two brown document envelopes that must be kept sealed and untouched (keep them with you at all times during your journey to the States and hand them over to the immigration officer at your port of entry), (3) a letter detailing how to pay for your green card ($220) before departure. I am thinking of paying for mine before I leave but I know of other people who decide to pay after they arrive in the US. Inspect carefully the spelling of your name, last name, birth date, passport number, and case number on your visa. If you spot a mistake, contact the consular section immediately.
And that’s it for the process of getting a marriage visa! It’s not too difficult of a task and is actually pretty straightforward but you just need to have a lot of patience and be ready to prepare a ton of documents. Being tagged with the 221(g) at the interview is not fun and may delay your case. Therefore, the more prepared you are (both yourself and your paperwork), the better chance of success for you.
Additional information after arriving in America
At the end, I decided to pay for my green card after arrival because from my research, it seems that people who pay after receive their card faster.
How to pay for your green card online
Go to https://www.uscis.gov/file-online/log-online-filing and choose the blue button at top that reads USCIS FEE Pay Immigrant Fee Now. After that, simply follow the instructions on the website. I paid US$220 in March 2018.
How to check your case status after payment
Go to https://egov.uscis.gov/casestatus/landing.do and enter your Receipt number from the USCIS (located in the confirmation email received after payment). The number should start with IOE and followed by a string of 10 digits.
Another way to check your case status is by downloading an app (iPhone) at https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/case-tracker-for-uscis/id921827126?mt=8 onto your cell phone. This makes it easier and more convenient to track your status.
▶ 8 March 2018 – pay for my green card online, the status shows “Immigrant visa fee payment received”
▶ 9 April 2018 – status shows “Card is being produced”
▶ 12 April 2018 – status shows “Card was mailed”
▶ 16 April 2018 – received my green card by mail (USPS Priority Mail)
The process took 1 month and 10 days for me from the date of payment to the date I received my green card.
Once your status is at “Card was mailed”, you can request a tracking number by calling the USCIS at 1 (800) 375-5283. They will inquire your Receipt number so be sure to have it ready. It’s better to call them 2 days after the “Card was mailed” status appears.
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