Immigration Time Line … The story so far

Our Relationship:

 First online contact:     29th November 2012

First Skype call:  4th December 2012

My First visit to USA  22nd May 2013

JT’s first  visit to UK: 10th October 2013

JT second visit: April 2014

My second visit: June 2014

Number of hours spent on Skype by this point:

Wedding: June 13th 2014

Immigration put on hold due to family illness: July 2014

Immigration process taken off hold: January 2015 – see timeline below

JT’s third visit: September 2015

My third visit: Thanksgiving 2015

Arrived home in Michigan: March 2016


I-130 Paperwork posted to Chicago: 27th January 2015 ($xxx)

Paperwork acknowledged: February 8th 2015 (email notification received February 9th)

I-797 Notice of Action Petition Approved: April 9th 2015

Case number and I-864 (affidavit of support) processing fee bill received from NVC: 8th May (arrived 10th)

Technical Hitch at the NVC – 11th May onwards and counting …

DS- 261 Choice of Agent Address Filed: May 28th 2015

DS-1200 Acknowledgemnt of Choice of Agent and visa application bill received by email: June 14th 2015

I-1864 processing bill paid  ($120): June 14th 2015

On hold due to financial and employment issues June to July

IV Fee Payment made: July 21st 2015 ($325)

DS260 (Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application Confirmation) Submitted:August 13th 2015

ACRO Police Certificate Application(2 copies express service): September 8th 2015

Supporting Documents submitted: September 30th 2015

NVC Acknowledgement of Supporting Documents received: October 7th 2015

Additional paperwork requested: 19th November 2015

Additional Letter of Explanation sent: 2nd December 2015

Letter received: 9th December 2015

Application put forward for interview waiting list: 12th January 2016

Notification of this received: January 21st (after phoning for an update)

Reached front of queue for scheduling: 29th January 2016  (one year since posting application)

Phoned for further update after seeing on twitter that the embassy were scheduling interviews for applications received after ours: 8th February 2016


ONE YEAR: since receipt of application February 9th 2016

Medical Scheduled for February 10th 2016

Registered for Courier:February 10th 2016

Follow up letter post medical sent 21st February 2016


Visa Collected March 9th 2016

Flights booked March 9th 2016

Arrived in the USA March 24th 2016




9 thoughts on “Immigration Time Line … The story so far

  1. Hi, can you just tell me the difference between a DS260 and a DS261? I’ve made a note that we will need the DS261 when the time comes and now I’m wondering…. Also have you got to the AOS stage yet with all the tax stuff? My husband will be filing his tax stuff in February, we got married last September (still waiting for our NOA2 so a long way to go), I am a complete novice when it comes to taxes, how does he file as married? Will he need special forms that he should be getting now to save time? Can he file singly (as oppose to jointly) as I will not be there for some time…thanks

    1. Hi Kylie,
      Congratulations to you both!

      The DS261 is a short form, that literally just says where you want all your paperwork to go to. If you were using a lawyer, this is how you would tell immigration. As were were doing everything ourselves, we nominated my husband as our agent:

      You then pay your fees for putting in the Affidavit of Support to be completed by your sponsor and the actual Immigration Visa application fee.

      Once that is done, your DS260 is you actual visa application, where you list out your family details and address history and confirm that you meet the criteria for immigration, declare any criminal record etc.

      We just did our first tax return, you have to file as married since you are, but after looking at the forms, we filed as “married filing separately” but then I didn’t file at all, since I had no US income to declare.

      There is a section on the tax form where it will ask your husband for your Social Security Number (SSN). We left this blank and then printed the forms and wrote in that I was NRA (non resident alien) spouse there. This did mean that we had to file a physical paper copy, rather than online through Turbo Tax.

      Your husband can claim you as an exemption as long as you have no US income, and in fact will have to claim you as an exemption, so that the numbers on your affidavit of support match the exemptions on your tax return.

      I think the additional form you are thinking of is the W7 to get an ITIN (Individual taxpayer identification number) But you would only need this if you were filing a tax return with having an SSN, so I didn’t get one as I wasn’t filing.

      ***EDIT*** We think we did this part wrong so we are now looking at filing the W7 form prior to my interview***

      It took about 10 weeks to get our Notification of Acceptance. We’ve just been scheduled for interview on March 1st, so that has taken a year, but we did slow things for a couple of months for financial reasons.

      Good luck!

      1. Thanks. Still a bit confused…. Why did you have to file a physical copy rather than online? Is it because you wanted to write it and couldn’t online? Also, why do you now think you need a W7? Why do I need a ITIN if I’m not yet paying US taxes? Sorry for all the questions. I probably make it harder for myself by trying to be ahead of everything.

  2. To fill in a W7 it says about sending documents but I can’t send my passport because I need it soon, and not sure if I have other documents, most of what they ask for are American things…. He is filing his tax return in a couple of weeks… I’ll not get an ITIN by then? 😠

    1. Sorry, me yet again, just panicking a bit because husband is filing tax returns in a couple of weeks… Is it possible to do the return without having the ITIN at that moment? Just file married/separate and send it off? Why did you realise you had done it wrong? I’ve looked at the affidavit of support form and can’t see anything on there that mentions exemptions, just what he has earned for 3 years. We don’t care about gaining ‘bonuses’ or whatever, just want to do it simply and quickly. If I do the W7 now I might not get an ITIN number for 10 weeks it says… I could do it in case I need number later but it will be too late for Return.

      1. Hi Sorry for the delay in responding, I have my medical on wednesday and my interview in March so we are quite tied up preparing for those.

        First of all, breathe! You have plenty of time before you need to worry about either filing taxes (deadline April 15th) or the Affidavit of Support if you haven’t had your NOA yet.

        Like you, we had looked at the tax return and decided not to claim me as an exemption to avoid the ten week wait for a number. However, I think that you just actually file the W7 or a copy of it with your husband’s tax return. I don’t know how this works as we haven’t tried it yet.

        The reason we are wondering if we did the taxes wrongly, is because we got a query from the NVC on our Affidavit of Support because the household size on the AOS didn’t match the exemptions on the tax return.

        We initially thought it was because we counted my step children on the AOS (as instructed by the embassy guidelines) , but don’t claim them on taxes as their Mother claims them. I now worry if it is because without the kids our AOS says two and without me as an exemption the tax return household number is one.

        It might be worth your husband talking to his tax office about how the W7 would work, as my husband thinks that they take the form and add your number to it when it comes through.

        You can send a copy of your passport as the ID if it is stamped by the issuing office (still researching how that works presumably a trip to the passport office). Or apparently you can file tax forms with the US embassy who would verify your passport as identity, but again I haven’t checked how.

        If you find anything out, please let me know!

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