My Story

A message from the founder and president of Olvis Immigration and Travel Services

Over 30 years ago when I first came to the Philippines to meet a pen pal I had been corresponding with, while on the plane about 40,000 feet over the Pacific somewhere I started thinking to myself that I must be out of my mind to fly 10,000 miles to meet some lady from a far different country and culture that I did not really know anything about. I can tell you truthfully that when I landed in Manila If I could have turned around and gotten back on the plane I would have done it. Anyway I met the lady and decided that maybe I was wrong and this was not so bad after all she was a wonderful lady and within 2 weeks we decided to get married.

Now here I am in a strange country not knowing anything about getting married there or what to do fortunately, my lady friend knew an attorney that was also a judge, I was introduced to him and he said oh this is no problem I will help you through the process as I do this many times each year for foreigners that come to get married, well I did not have much of a choice at this point so we used the Judge he got us through the entire process of the wedding pretty much painlessly. At this point I figured that I could take my wife and get on the plane and go home, End of Story, Right?

Well, keep in mind that this was in the days before the internet so there really was not much information out there. Anyway the judge then told me that I had to do immigration paperwork to bring my wife to the USA and that she could not just get on the plane and go and that It would take about 90 days, BUT for a small additional fee he would take care of all the US immigration paperwork, well once again I did not seem to have much of a choice so I paid him $500.00 to do the immigration. The wedding was fine the Immigration was a disaster after waiting for about 7 months to get it done and sent to U.S Immigration it turned out that he was doing what most attorneys do he was practicing Law, with my time and my money and the petition was denied for several reasons it was not a little mistake it was a whole lot of mistakes, forged documents and general carelessness on his part.

At this point I decided that maybe I should do something different. I had a friend that worked at the US immigration office in my states Capitol city so I went to see her as she was the chief of that office and offered to help me, she gave me all the forms and went over them with me line by line. So then I went home and typed them all up and took them back to her for review before I submitted them, she went over them line by line with me and assured me that they were perfect so I submitted them for the 2nd time to Immigration. This time it took less than 30 days for them to send it back because of missing documents and other mistakes. So back to my friend at Immigration and we did the whole thing over again and again I sent it off to Immigration this time it took almost 90 days for them to deny the petition.

At this point I am beginning to wonder, I had contacted several Immigration attorneys here in the USA but they were very expensive and did not seem like they really knew what they were talking about, especially when it came to answering questions about what my wife had to do there in the Philippines. So what options did I have, spend 2 or three months trying to navigate the Immigration process myself or pay another attorney to PRACTICE on me again and charge me a very large fee and would not make me any kind of guarantee that it would actually fly. So I got everything I could find on the subject and studied carefully and having already learned a lot from my past mistakes I DID IT ALL BY MYSELF and yes 90 days later she was here in the USA with me, it seems that I knew more about the process then the people in the immigration office.

Well after my wife arrived here in the U.S.A one day we were in the grocery store shopping and we ran into another guy that was going through the same headaches and he told us about his friend that also had the same problems, so I decided right then and there that I would help them if I could, so I prepared the visa applications for both of them and guess what they both received the visa. From that point on I decided to help as many people as I could. I have done visa processing every day for the last 30 years and hope to continue for many more.

SAME SEX Fiancee Visa applications

With the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) The US Immigration Service and Manila Embassy are now granting visas for U.S. Citizens wishing to sponsor their same-sex Fiancé/Fiancée. Olvis Immigration has successfully processed several same sex- Fiancé Visa petitions in the last year and our service is experienced and ready to prepare your same-sex petition. Same sex marriage visas have also been approved by USCIS. Since same sex marriages are not legal in many countries including the Philippines so the Fiancé/Fiancée visa is the only alternative.

Please feel free to contact our office any time for further information. Toll free from the USA 1-866-636-8666 Or to contact us locally from within the Philippines 032-231-7625 or 032-268-8279

Postal Letters Very Important

Proof of an ongoing relationship Postal Letters.

This Section is to better educate both the sponsor and the beneficiary with beneficial tips in the do’s and the don’ts while developing your K1/K3 case.

Every Sponsor who exercises their right as a U.S. Citizens in regards to petitioning a non-immigrant Alien to the U.S.A. with the said Visas K1/K3 often time do so unaware of the many pitfalls that lay ahead.

We have created this section to shed much needed light on subjects that so many of our clients have needed to be instructed on, in order that their case would be more convincing to the USCIS.

For Sponsor and Beneficiary.

The information that we share here is intended to benefit both sponsor and beneficiary no matter if you are in the early stages of your relationship or you have already met each other and about to begin the visa process.

 A Sponsor in this case is someone who is from the United States, and is the one who is bringing another person from another country to live in the USA. Also known as the Petitioner.

 A Beneficiary is someone who is being invited from their country to live in the USA through the use of a K1 or K3 visa. Also known as an Alien Fiancée or Spouse.

 

Tips about writing and sending hard copy letters to the Philippines.

First of all, I know that many of you just hate the idea of sitting down and grabbing a pen and piece of paper and writing letters. Who doesn’t?

And then you have to place it in an envelope, then carry it to the Post office to pay for an International stamp and wait for the thing to arrive to the Philippines or to the USA in anybody’s guess 2 weeks, 3 weeks 2 months? “Or maybe never”?

How can Snail mail really benefit your case for a K1 or K3 visa?

With all the high tech offered to most everybody, why do I want to fool with the uncertainty of the US or Philippines Postal services?

Yes it is slow! But we can’t blame the US Postal service. All postal letters that leave the U.S. get to the Philippines rather quickly but once it is in the Philippines that is where it gets held up for awhile by customs.

 

Here are 3 reasons why it is important.

  1. Because the USCIS formally known as the INS, intended this method to be a requirement.

 

  1. Because hard copy letters carry a lot more weight than email letters, because it is something tangible. It shows that both sponsor and beneficiary both cared enough about each other that they would take the time to write a letter and exercise patience.

 

  1. It also is identified that both sponsor and beneficiary are showing who they really are by physically writing a letter. Rather than hiding behind their computers typing an email and using flawless text styles and spell check, they are sharing who they really are.

If all a couple had was a bunch of “postal letters”
then e-mails and phone records wouldn’t really matter at the interview.

pic-1 pic-2 pic-3

 

Hard copy letters would include single page letters, post cards, special occasion cards.

The reason postal letters tend to carry more weight or value than email, is for the fact that USCIS has taken notice with the majority of K1/K3 cases being valid cases, by the time it has taken couples to develop relationship to the time they submit a petition for a visa.

The number of cases that have come through the system that were known to be valid verses the number of cases dubbed as invalid, were partially due to the fact that valid cases had more time involved as a result of hard copy letters and this added to being a more reliable means of really knowing the person because it truly involves time.

The cases dubbed as invalid, are partially due to the fact that couples who only email are building their relationships very quickly, then moving on in a very short time towards becoming husbands and wife in filing petitions for K1 or K3 visas.

It is our observation through past experiences with couples, that has proven to us, that USCIS highly appreciates couples that take the time to write letters back and forth to each other even if it is just for the sake of pleasing the USCIS.

As far as we are concerned there is nothing wrong in emailing each other for the sake of learning about each other and for the fact that nobody wants to sit around for weeks, waiting on a letter to be delivered in the mail.

So please keep in mind that postal letters have more value in your case then emails. Remember that this is a real gold nugget in proving your relationship is a genuine one.

It is important that both sponsor and beneficiary write letters to each other but it is our observation that USCIS mainly requires the US sponsor to do this, as the sponsor is the petitioner who is petitioning his or hers fiancée/spouse to the United states to become a resident.

A huge part of providing proof of an ongoing relationship would be if the beneficiary could attend the US Embassy Interview with a minimum of 10 letters in their envelopes. Remember that this is only a portion of the proof and not exclusively the one thing that will grant a visa.

These are (9) helpful tips provided that can help decrease the chances of your letter being stolen by Philippines postal workers.

  1. Use generic envelopes. preferably non security white envelops would be the best, because this keeps your mail blending in with the rest of the letters circulated through the Philippines postal services.
  2. Keep your letters light in their weight. The reason for this is, because envelopes that have more than a single page letter tend to cause your envelope to be bulky and Filipino postal workers notoriously think that something valuable might be inside worth stealing such as money.
  3. Avoid writing BOLD print or using any stickers on the outside of your envelope, as this is an attention getter. Also do not use high light markers or write AIR MAIL / U.S.A.again all attention grabbers.
  4. If sending special occasion cards. Please avoid using the different colored envelopes. Use white, the fact that the card and envelope are already an odd-ball size stands out.
  5. Some people have just written on the envelope, the mailing address only and left off their return address putting only their name. One thing to remember is, once your mail has left US territory it’s not going to be returned to you, if the Philippines post office can’t find your beneficiary. So consider it gone once it has left US soil.
  6. Remember to always write the date on the actual letter itself also very important to write on the letter itself your mailing address. Some day when the Interviewing officer reviews your letters, they will be comparing the postal rubber stamp dates with the date on your letter, so do not neglect to do this.
  7. Keep in mind, that if your Fiancé(e) has not been getting her letters, then it could mean that Filipino postal workers are stealing them. If your girl / boy friend has not received your letters but you suddenly are getting letters from the Philippines from different woman whom you have no clue about, then this is a good sign that post office workers have stolen your fiancé(e)’s letters and are giveing the addresses to other Filipino woman who want to take a chance at winning your heart. This has happened on more than one occasion.
  8. Often times rural areas of the Philippines are so out in the sticks that mail deliveries take additional days or weeks to arrive. If any of the above items affect your fiancé(e), then it would not be a bad idea to have your fiancé(e) find a close friend or relative who may live in a more suitable location for receiving mail to be the one to mail to such as IN CARE OF.
  9. The last rule of thumb that really needs to be observed, especially if you the sponsor are a US government employee or working for a very well know company or perhaps you are in a high position such as CEO. Please note that if your fiancé(e) is not getting your letters and you have written things about your employment or about being very wealthy, then the possibility of so called Muslim radicals in which may have ties to terrorist groups may be intercepting your letters and would most likely know when your arriving to the Philippines, where you will be staying, what kind of work you do. All of which could place a price on your head. This should be especially considered if you have a fiancé(e) living in Mindanao Philippines.

Visa assistance problems in foreign countries

Have you been to the Philippines or other foreign country and found the love of your life? Gotten married or engaged only to realize that you need to do paperwork? The last thing you need at this point is visa assistance problems!

While you were there, you hired what you thought was a reputable travel agency, so called visa consultancy or attorney, someone that gave you a great story about their success rate and how much better they were than others, how they were cheaper etc. You paid them either a sizable down payment or the whole fee up front only to find upon your return to your home country that these people no longer exist, the agency has dissappeared or when you do manage to get someone on the phone you get a story like “Mary is not in today” or the person you need to talk to “is not around today try again tomorrow” or you get someone that speaks broken English that is so bad you are wondering why you even bothered.

Visa assistance problems are more common than you imagine!
You have spent many dollars to this point only to find you have nothing or you have entrusted your all important immigration paperwork to someone who has no idea what they are doing. They have the money, you have nothing! Don’t fall into this trap, come to the professionals at Olvis who can confidently guarantee that your petition will be approved in the fastest possible time. Someone that you can call anytime and get answers to your questions and concerns and someone that speaks your language.

K1 Fiancee Visa

  • Do you have an approval notice from the USCIS for the spouse or K-1 Fiancée visa application that you or your attorney in the USA did and are now wondering what are the next steps and just what does your lady in the Philippines have to do next?
  • Does the stark realization suddenly hit you right between the eyes that the visa application that was submitted to USCIS by you or your attorney was just a very small part of the process?
  • Do you ask yourself who is there to help my lady get through the maze of paperwork that she has to endure as well as prepare her for the dreaded embassy interview?
  • Are you wondering how can I or my attorney assist her at this point and who is there for her, to authenticate and verify all of her documents and make sure she is properly prepared for the embassy interview?
  • Are you wondering who will book her airline or boat tickets to Manila for the medical and interview and who will handle her hotel reservations while she is there and how will I pay for these things?

Form I-765 USCIS Work Permit

If you are temporarily in the United States, the USCIS Work Permit Form I-765 is used to request an Employment Authorization Document. If you are authorized to work in the United States without restrictions you must also use this form to apply for a document that shows this authorization. Individuals who are not US citizens and want to work in the US should get authorization to work in the country. To get authorization, they can do so by filing the I-765 form. Since they belong to a different national origin, though, foreigners or aliens can work after the I-765 form is approved.A valid Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is issued in the form of a plastic card which looks like a credit card. The information seen on the card contains personal details of the person who has applied it, such as name, birthdate, country of birth, sex, photo, alien registration number, and others. Any foreign national in the US with a valid EAD can work for an employer in the country. Non-US citizens can file an I-765 form with the USCIS Regional Service Center closest to where they live. Each applicant should file a separate application.

Some instances where a foreign national can apply for an Employment Authorization Document:

  • Spouses and children of foreign government officials
  • Foreign nationals of refugee and asylum status
  • F1 and M1 students of certain categories
  • B1 non-immigrant employees of US citizens and foreign airlines.
  • Spouses of L and E visa holders and spouses and children of J visa holders.
  • Foreign nationals of V non-immigrant status and who are under the temporary protected status.

The following circumstances are examples of Employment Authorization Documents issued by the USCIS:

  • Renewal EAD – The Employment Authorization Document issued for the EAD that has expired will be issued only under the same category.
  • Interim EAD – Requested by the foreign employee if his EAD has not been denied or approved within 90 days.
  • Replacement EAD – Issued for previously released Employment Authorization Documents that were stolen, damaged, lost or having errors in the information like a misspelled name or wrong birthdate.

In case a person has filed an I-485 application which is to register permanent residence or adjustment of status after July 30, 2007, there is no need to pay a filing fee of an I-765. The I-765 application can be filed at the same time as the I-485 or filed separately at a later stage. The employment authorization document is a mere work permit and authorizes one to work in the United States. Depending on the category, one has to file the I-765 form and take the advantage and right of working in the US, which is a dream for many of the foreign nationals. If you need assistance in filing an I-765, contact Olvis Immigration and Visa Services today!

Getting a CR1 Spouse Visa

To petition your wife or husband from the Philippines, you will need a CR1 Spouse Visa. CR1 Visas are immigrant visas that are issued to foreign spouses of American citizens. The visa process is to be completed by the foreign spouse outside the United States, after the US citizen spouse files and approves the proper petition with the USCIS. Upon its issuance and approval, the foreign spouse may enter the United States with their visa and pass through the arrival port of entry where they can become a permanent resident immediately. The Green Card or Permanent Resident Card will be received in the mail at their US address in a few weeks.To properly obtain the CR1 visa, the American citizen and his foreign husband or wife must be legally married; they should have had a civil or church wedding and have authenticated their registrar marriage certificate at the NSO in the Philippines. If you are not married, you may use a K1 Fiancée visa. The US Law does not allow polygamy, so if either individual has been married before, there should be evidence that all previous marriages have been annulled. If applicable, a death certificate or divorce certificate that indicates the marriage has been terminated should be submitted. Divorce or death certificates must be certified copies, since this will be required by USCIS.

There only difference between the Immediate Relative IR1 Visa and the Conditional Resident CR1 Visa is the USCIS issues the CR1 visa to couples who have been married less than two years and the IR1 visa for those who have been married more than 2 years.

The average time to get a CR1 or IR1 visa is approximately 9 to 12 months from the date of filing. An American citizen cannot take his or her Filipino spouse back to the United States right after the marriage until the visa has been issued.

To know more about how to file a CR1 or IR1 visa, contact Olvis Immigration and Visa Services today. We will be more than happy to answer your inquiries and assist you on obtaining your visa every step of the way.

The I-131 Advance Parole

The I-131 Advance Parole or popularly known as just “Advance Parole” is a term in the Immigration field that means “permission to leave and return to the United States.” It is an essential travel document for those who have foreign fiancées that need to return home for emergent reasons before adjustment of status and issuance of the green card, because she won’t be able to depart and reenter the United States without getting this document before she leaves. If someone leaves the US after entering on a K1 Visa before adjustment of status and issuance of the green card, Immigration officials will presume abandonment of US residence. Thus, if your Filipino fiancée enters the country by means of a K1 Visa and then leaves, she will not be able to return to the US on that K1 Visa and the entire process must be restarted from scratch.An advance parole document is exclusively issued to authorize the return of someone who entered the United States with a K1 visa and who has not adjusted their status or has procured a green card. It could be accepted by a transportation company in the place of a visa as an approval or permit for the holder to travel to the United States. However, the advance parole document is not issued to serve in place of a passport.

If your Filipino fiancée is already in the USA, the I-131 Advance Parole can be included with the Change of Status. The immigrant is also advised to apply for an “Application for Travel Document” in case an unforeseen occurrence happens, like a family emergency or death in the immigrant’s home country. If something like this happens, they may leave the US and come back through any US port of entry without encountering problems in re-entering.

Advance Parole is an exceptional method used carefully to allow an alien to return to the United States after having left voluntarily before adjustment of status and acquisition of the green card. Nevertheless, it is not a means to bypass delays in visa issuance and cannot be used to circumvent the normal visa issuing procedures.

Aliens Change of Address

The form AR-11, or the alien’s change of address card, is the card used by non-US citizens to report a change of address within ten days of the transfer. Section 265 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1305) requires this collection of information. Individuals who are non-US citizens over the age of 14 and remaining in the United States for more than 30 days are required to submit Form AR-11 within 10 days of the change of address. Each time the person moves to a different residence, he needs to submit the information. There is no fee for filing the change; the only expense is the cost for mailing.The data issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for statistical and record purposes may be furnished to Federal, State, local, and foreign law enforcement officials. Should a non-US citizen fail to comply with the regulation, thus failing to report a change of address, he is subject to be punished by fine, imprisonment, or removal.

All sponsors who petitioned a non-US citizen or have joint sponsors are responsible for providing the change of address information by using the I-865 form. If a sponsor has already completed a Form I-864 affidavit of support any time in the past to sponsor an immigrant, they are required to report the change of address within 30 days if the sponsorship agreement is still active. The sponsorship agreement will remain in force until the sponsored alien:

a) Becomes a US citizen

b) Can be credited with 40 quarters of work

c) Departs the United States permanently

d) Formally abandons lawful permanent resident status by filing Form I-407

e) Loses permanent resident status in a removal proceeding

f) Dies

The average time to get a CR1 or IR1 visa is approximately 9 to 12 months from the date of filing. An American citizen cannot take his or her Filipino spouse back to the United States right after the marriage until the visa has been issued.

To know more about how to file an AR-11 form or how to sponsor a non-US citizen so she can visit the United States, contact Olvis Immigration and Travel Services. We specialize in fiancée/spousal visa processing and offer guaranteed results.

Understanding The Fiancé/Fiancée Visa Timeline

The Fiancé/Fiancée Visa timeline

If you are an American citizen contemplating marriage with a foreign national, you should fully understand the process for obtaining a K-1 Fiancé/Fiancée Visa, including all the stages that make up the timeline. Working through this process on your own can be a time-consuming, frustrating experience.

To assist you with your case in the K-1 process, shorten preparation time and eliminate delays, especially when dealing the government agencies, we recommend retaining Olvis Immigration & Visa Services at the very start of the process. We specialize in obtaining K-1 Fiancé/Fiancée Visas and will guide you through all the required steps, enabling you and your fiancé/fiancée to enjoy this time in your lives knowing that you are in good hands with the oldest and most experienced company of this kind in the Philippines.

We will work with you from the preliminary planning stages all the way through to the issuance of the K-1 Visa. We start the process with the preparation of the application and verifying and authenticating the various required documents as well as preparing you for the required evidence of relationship and support.

Timeline for the K1 Visa process.

Step One – United States Citizenship and Immigration Services

Your case will be on its way to United States Citizenship and Immigration Services as soon as you sign the completed petition which has been prepared by our office. After USCIS receives the case, it takes anywhere from 3 months on the fast side to as long as 7 months on the long side, the average time for the last 3 years or so has been 5 to 6 months, depending upon the amount of backlog at the particular USCIS service center. Each petition has its own level of complexity. The Approvals do not arrive in the order that the cases are filed.

Step Two – National Visa Center (NVC)

The Approved petition is then mailed from the USCIS to the NVC or National Visa Center. Once approved you will notified by mail and then the NVC will forward your case to the appropriate United States Embassy in your beneficiaries country of residence. This step usually takes two to three weeks.

Step Three – U.S. Embassy Interview

This is most complex stage of the K-1 Fiancé/Fiancée Visa process as each embassy has different requirements, depending upon the country. U.S. embassies in most countries require a wait time of six to eight weeks until the interview date; however, there are some countries such as Mexico, Philippines, and Ukraine that allow scheduling an interview as soon all documents are obtained. Specifics vary by country; for example:

Applicants from Philippines may schedule an interview date at their convenience as soon as they receive a notice from the NVC that the petition has been sent to Manila. It may be possible with the U.S Embassy in Manila for the interview date to be set in as little as 2 weeks.

  • The Majority of embassies assign an interview date for you only upon receipt of the biographical forms (for example: UK, China). All supporting documentation must be taken directly to the interview. The wait time can be anywhere from four to eight weeks when dealing with this type of embassies handling.
  • The U.S. embassies in some countries allow to select an interview date through their online interface (Russia, Brazil). This is a new method of handling the K-1 Visa process by the embassies, which proves to be very convenient for the applicants.

Step Four – K-1 Visa is Issued

After the interview takes place, upon approval, the embassy will issue the visa. The Passport with the visa and prepared documents in a sealed envelope will be delivered to your Fiancé/Fiancée via courier service within seven to ten days. The visa will be valid for a period of six months from the date of issuance and is good for one entry to the United States. Upon entry under a K-1 Visa your Fiancé/Fiancée  is required to marry the American Petitioner within 90 days of the arrival date.

Conclusion:

In most cases, the entire process can take anywhere from three to seven months.  To obtain the current processing times for USCIS and US Embassy in the Philippines please feel free to contact our office.

Retaining our experienced firm to help you through every step of the K-1 visa process, rather than attempting to struggle through alone (or hiring preparation-only consulting services), can save you months of frustration. Please contact our office with any questions you may have.

 

DUE TO OUR NATIONWIDE EXPOSURE AND SPECIALIZATION IN THE K-1 VISA , WE ARE ABLE TO MAINTAIN THE HIGHEST DEGREE OF PROFESSIONAL EXPERTISE IN THIS FIELD.