Please sympathize with me

I am at my wits end and ready to go postal. I am engaged to a Nepali man. In order for us to marry, we need to get a fiance visa so that he can come to the US. The INS requires numerous documents, which we spent 6 months gathering. It was no easy task. As Nepal is Third World, it is not like calling the Dept. of Whatever here and requesting documents. Anyway, we managed all of that and last Friday I was finally able to send in his application. I sent it Priority Mail with delivery notification. Well, the U.S. Postal Service has lost it. The best the post office can do for me now is to send a form to the INS asking them if they received it (I guess to cover the possibility that the post office person just forgot to enter it as recieved) Yah! Like the INS is going to look! It takes them at least three months to respond to anything.
So, now I have to obtain all the documents again. Yes, I have copies, but the INS wants originals. It’s going to take months. Already I haven’t seen my fiancee in nearly a year. Now it will be another 6 months to re-assemble the documents, then submit them to INS and wait 3 months for an answer (which, after all of this, may still be ‘no’).
My other option is to go to Nepal and marry him there, but the INS informs me that if I do so, it will take at least 6 months and possibly as long as a year to get permission to bring him home with me.
I could just cry.

Can’t he come to the US on a tourist visa? You could kill 3 months right there. Of course, I don’t know the visa agreement between Nepal and the US. Just a thought.

sucks to be you…get a lawyer, have him submit the copies, go to nepal and get married, maybe when they see how serious you are they will let him over quicker.

It will all work out, these things always do.
My mom used to say: " if nobody is sick and nobody is dying…nothing else matters…"
She doesnt say that since the cancer…but it used to make me feel better about crises when she put things like that.

It will all be ok, you’ll see.

Wow, I do sympathize. I work in immigration law, so I know what a hassle it is dealing with the INS.

The problem with bringing him in on a tourist visa is that it could be considered a misrepresentation of intentions. The INS frowns severely on people entering the US under false premises, and entering as a tourist when you’re planning to get married and stay falls under that category. You should meet with an attorney to discuss your other options.

Good luck.

Never regret what seemed like a good idea at the time.

ruadh, you work in immigration law, so you’ll know whether this works or is just a WAG on my part:
Many gummit agencies that require originals will break down and accept copies if you can prove the USPS lost the origs. Probably goes back to when USPS was a gov’t agency. Can our unfortunatly handled OP bargain with INS on this point?

Livin’ on Tums, Vitamin E and Rogaine

Lucky, you may want to change that handle . . .

How’d you meet him? What’s Nepal like? You can’t give us just half a soap opera, we want to know the mushy parts!

That’s a tough question. I work exclusively in the area of employment-based green cards, and we never submit originals of anything - birth certificates, passports, it’s all photocopies. So I’m really not even sure why the INS would demand originals . Having said that though, if the INS does require something, as a general rule it’s hard as hell to get them to waive it. My guess would be that if you can prove the post office lost it, they might say OK, but it’ll probably take them six months to do so.

You should never send anything important via Priority Mail, btw. Use FedEx or Express Mail. I know everyone’s heard some horror stories about them, too, but they’re much easier to track when they don’t go where they’re supposed to.

Never regret what seemed like a good idea at the time.

Go there and marry him if it means that much to you…

Brian O’Neill
CMC International Records

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I sympathize with you, hon. That sucks!!! Long distance relationships are hard enough as it is without beaurocracy (spelling!!) thrown in on top of it! Have you thought about calling your Congressman? It’s a long shot but maybe with the lost paperwork and such they could help! You did keep copies of everything, didn’t you? He/She may be able to get just enough pull to get them to accept copies…maybe??

Thanks, all, for your suggestions and sympathy. I am going to try to get the INS to accept the copies, but it’s a long shot. they are not known for their flexibility.

I would love to consult an attorney, but all of the one’s I’ve found want $2,000 and up to handle the case. That’s just the standard fee, and all they do is fill out all the paperwork—the same thing I did for free. True, a lawyer MIGHT be able to get the INS to accept copies, but there’s no gurantee of that and I’m not willing to gamble $2,000 to find out. I think soliciting the help of my congressman may be as better plan.

Thanks again for your help.

BTW, my first choice would have been to send the docs Fed Ex or UPS, but I was told by an attorney and the INS not to. The INS likes all visa application to be sent to P.O. Boxes—a different PO box for each different kind of application. If you send it Fed Ex, someone has to sign for it and they don’t like to do that, I guess. Both the attorney and INS said that sending it Fed Ex would only delay things.


You can send Express Mail to P.O. boxes (I’ve done it). Express Mail gives you delivery confirmation and tracking.

Fat lot of good that does you now. :frowning: My sympathy, for what it’s worth.

The Cat In The Hat

Lucky, each INS Service Center has a street address, which is where you send the Fed Ex to. Put your stuff inside another envelope inside the Fed Ex package, and on THAT envelope you put the P.O. Box # for the documents you’re sending. This is the way my office sends everything to the INS.

Unless it’s to the Texas Service Center, where sending it to the street address will delay processing it by a few days. But in that CatInHat is correct - we send Express Mail to the P.O. Box.

Never regret what seemed like a good idea at the time.

I’d agree with ruadh that having your husband try to come to the U.S. on a tourist visa is a bad idea. From my own experience of dealing with the INS (for a spouse visa), they can be pretty obnoxious about these things, esp. if the agent who happens to get your case is in a bad mood that day or whatever. If you’re in a major metropolitan area, I would check around to see if there’s a legal advice center for immigrants; they might not be able to provide lawerly advice themselves, but they might be able to steer you to someone who can help you in some way.
If your “congressperson” (?) isn’t too keen on trying to take on the INS on your behalf, maybe you can ask them to write a short letter that you can insert in with your application materials, saying that you’ve had this terribly unfortunate experience blah blah blah and could you please expedite the processing of this application.
Anyway, good luck!

FWIIW - Are your copies stamped certified from originals?

If so, they should be as good as the originals. I work for a branch of the government that is extremely picky and all of our regulations state that stamped certified copies are considered original.


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