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1. Married in Ukraine vs. K-1 visa
2. How much money should I send my fiancée
3. What about the age difference
4. How much is it going to cost.
5. WAGS, ZAGS and DCF.
Marriage in Kherson. A post from one of our clients.
I was married to Oksana in Kherson on the 20th of March, 2004 and filed a DCF in a 2-week period. (It’s hard to do this in 2 weeks but it can be done.) And of course, this document is what I can remember of the process so
use at your own risk… :)
Before you leave the US.
Get you paperwork in order. (Ukraine now accepts apostle documents) If
You have never been married then no problem, else you need your court certified
divorce decrees / spouses death certificate apostle by your local state
official. This can be done at the state capital (State’s Secretary of State.)
of where the divorce happened.
You have 3 steps to go through.
1. Obtaining a letter of Non-Impediment.
To do this, head over to the Consular section of the Embassy in Kiev. 6 M Pymonenka Street, Kiev (380 44)490-4422 8:30am - 12:30pm M-F) Ask for the letter and fill it out,
pay some money ($30 US) and hand it back in. They will ask you if you understand what the letter is and then stamp and sign it. I also brought my divorce decrees but they never asked for them. Now its time to head over to the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine, 2 Velyka Zhytomyrska (212-8392, 238-1669 9:30am - 12:00pm) for 1 more stamp and signature. (I think this was around $16 US but you pay in local currency) I also brought my apostle divorce decree but they also did no want them. You leave the letter and return around 4:00pm and pick it up. That’s it; you are ready to head to your future wife’s hometown.
** When you first get to the consulate, there may be a big line, go to the head of it, as you are an American. On top of the door to get in there are red and green lights, wait for a green and go in and show them your passport. Now it’s time for the metal
detectors and such. The guards will direct you to the American Citizens Unit.
** The Foreign Ministry of Ukraine is only 5 minutes by taxi from the consulate so you can do this whole thing in 1 day if you start early enough.
2. The actual marriage.
Before you get started at WAGS, you have to get all the American documents translated and certified. We did this at the ‘Polylog’ in Kherson (I do not know what the exact
name is but I am sure you future wife knows) I dropped off my Passport, (only the data page needs translating), 2 apostle divorce decrees and my letter from my employer stating 2-week vacation. This takes about a day or 2 to get done.
I do not remember the exact dollar amount as at this point I did not care anymore.
When you get the documents back head to a place with a copy machine and get 2 copies of everything. Now its time to go to WAGS and submit all your paperwork.
We went on a Thursday afternoon and they accepted all the paperwork. They then took us across the street where you purchase all you wedding options. Here we got the dress, rented cars to go to and from the wedding, a video, a gal to come in the morning and do makeup and hair, etc, Total cost for WAGS, the frilly stuff and translation of documents was a hair under $500 US. By Friday we found out we where to be married on Saturday.
** Have you future wife lay the groundwork before you get there. My wife went to WAGS and asked many questions and we got the 28 day waiting period waved by my bringing a letter from my work stating that I only had a 2 week vacation per year. ** When getting your documents translated at the ‘polylog’ for your marriage it also a good time to get hers translated for the I130. ** Have you future wife fill out the Ukraine section of the non-impediment letter so you do not need that translated.
** Get your wedding filmed!!! The guy who did this came to Oksana flat and filmed us getting ready, going to WAGS and getting married, leaving WAGS and touring around the city and then reception. He did a GREAT job!!! (He cost about $60 US)
** Get your wedding certificate apostle for use in the US.
3. Filing the DCF in Kiev.
Before you head off to Kiev you need to make sure you have her needed Documents translated and certified. This includes the new marriage certificate, her birth certificate and if she was divorced, her divorce decree. You need G325a for both of you. I130 for her and optionally at this stage the I834. I had pre-filled out the G325a and the I130 but made 1 mistake; I filled them out before we where married and before her name changed. I had to fill them out again! I am just glad I caught this before I went to the consulate. Follow the instruction on the forms. (Bring her originals and certified copies to Kiev with you. They return the originals) Now head over to the consulate again and file your I130, pay your money and if all is good at this point they give you the option to take the documents yourself to Warsaw or they will send by diplomatic pouch. (30 days!)
I chose the option to send them by DHL. It cost $40 US and got there is 2-3 days. (Warsaw process all immigrant visa so filing in Kiev just starts the process but Warsaw does the actual processing) I was told when filing that formal acceptance is about 30 days from when Warsaw receives them and interviews are about 30-45 days or so from that.
** This is NOT a K1 visa. It is a immigrant visa. She is filling to come and live with HER HUSBAND! K1 visa go through Kiev, all immigrant visa go through Warsaw. ** Again, get copies of all translated documents. Get BCIS pictures of both of you. Yours are like your passport, hers are looking to the side showing 1 ear. ** Buy some paper clips as it helps when you put all the documents together. ** Fee is $130 for each I130 filed.
Well, that’s as far as I have gone at this point. We are at day 20 and hope to have Warsaw acknowledge the I130 in 10 days or so.
If I understand correctly... it sounds like “On the way in, get the docs you describe “signed off” in Kiev. Go to Kherson, translate (certified) everything and copy it. On the way out, go to Kiev, File the I-130 and DHL it to Warsaw. In about a month, you’ll have an appointment date (about 30-45 days later).
1) Does this mean you don’t need to deal with the K-3 process at all ? In other words, You never need to send anything to or deal with the BCIS offices IN THE US and wait forever ?
A. No, you do not send anything to BCIS in the US at all to get her here.
2) Will the I-130 appointment (interview I assume) be in Warsaw ? They’ll give her an actual ‘Green Card’ immediately and she hops on a plane to the US the following day or so ?
A). The interview is in Warsaw and as I understand, there is no wait for a green card and she can actually fly out of Warsaw to the US.
3) Do you need pay stubs, bank statements or tax returns for proof of support AT ANY TIME ?
A). You need to file a I834 and that is due at the interview. You need 3 years of tax returns.
4) Not to be redundant, It sounds like this completely eliminates the K-3 process.
a. Yep, no K3 needed.
Basically, that is it. Kiev, Kherson and then Kiev again.
2. How much money should I send my fiancée
Typical we advice as little as possible. My rule of thumb is never more then twice what she was earning before. Gifts are fine, but keep the cash flow low. The problem we see is when you take your lady out of the poor category and make her a rich lady in kherson. No longer is she staying home on the weekends but heading out with her friends. It doesn't take long before the local guys see this new flow of money and developed interest in your lady.
3. What about the age difference
Quite often I get this question. My advise is too keep it in the same mental age group. Even though these ladies are more mature then western ladies, They are still going to have the same life experiences. A max age difference of 15 is a good rule. Expect a maturity age of 23 to be a good starting point if you are over 35.
4. How much is it going to cost. A post from one of our clients
Here's my budget for this...
$1000 Agency 'Unlimited' membership for 1 year and Video Chats, Flowers & misc gifts
$1500 Transportation (Including taxis etc) from California (It was July High Season)
$1000 Kevin's 10-day package for apartment, taxi & translator
$1000 $60 a day x 10 days spending money, plus $400 for good luck (emergency)
===== TOTAL TRIP #1 $3500 =====
$1300 Transportation (Including taxis etc) from California (December)
$ 700 14 days housing
$1240 ($60 a day x 14 days) spending money, plus $400 for good luck (emergency)
$ 150 Beautiful new wedding dress and accessories
$ 150 New wool suit for me (at market), shoes, shirts, etc...
$ 100 Zags translations and fees
$ 400 Trip to Kiev to file I-130 and transportation
$ 100 Medical Exam in Kiev
$ 200 I-130 fees and DHL to Warsaw
$ 400 2 day party (reception) for 20 people at the cafe including drinks
===== TOTAL TRIP #2 $4740 =====
HER TRIP TO WARSAW FOR THE I-130 INTERVIEW AND TO USA IMMEDIATELY:
$1200 Air Fare ODS - WAW and WAW - SFO
$ 100 2 nights hotel in Warsaw
$ 200 Food, telephone and other incidentals (Taxi)
$ 200 Lugage and extra bag fees
===== TOTAL FOR HER TRIP $1700 =====
GRAND TOTAL $10,940 <===
This doesn't even count 2 previous trips ($5K scam and a trip I really didn't like the girls I met enough to marry them) for maybe $9,000 total... Yes, I'm into this for $20K
5. WAGS, ZAGS and DCF. (from tommy Monks)
To answer your questions about the I-130 / DCF, my sweetie and I did the research on all of this and this is what she found out:
#1 Zags officer told her the following. Zags is only open for 'Reservations' Tuesday and Thursdays. Weddings are Fri, Sat and Sun. Ukrainian men can make reservations for any date. Foreign men (us guys) must only make 3 days before). I guess it's like being on standby at the airport. There is usually no problem (especially after october) with space... of course a little consideration is always appreciated in the event of a problem. YES you must have this letter from your employer stating you only have 2 weeks vacation..
You must have a certificate of NON IMPEDIMENT TO MARRIAGE: There are 2 choices:
On the way in, stop in Kiev and get this from the consulate and get approved from Ukraine foreign ministry. ==OR== If you luck and your county recorder will give you a LETTER OF NO RECORD FOUND on fancy paper with all of the bells and whistles, get it apostilized by the secretary of your state. The second variant eliminates the need to stop in Kiev on the way in.
Also, Zags will do all necessary translations for Ukraine of your documents for 50 grivna ($9). We also thought about asking them to translate everything (Marriage cert and other docs) needed for the US consulate in Kiev to save time for additional money but we didn't ask.
#2 Yes you go to Kiev and the consulate part takes very little time (1/2 hour if the docs are correct). If you really want to save some time later when she goes to Warsaw, you might consider getting the medical exam in Kiev also when you go. The exam is usually fom 8am to 1pm or something like that and she can pick up her certificate at 4pm.
You do not need the exam to file, only for Warsaw interview. You can easily get some lunch, go to the embassy then return to the medical clinic at 4pm to get the certificate I would think. As you are with her and an American citizen you do not wait, you go to American Services section :-))
#3 I called Kiev colsulate and he said from 8-12 weeks for the interview in Warsaw (as per Oct 1, 2004).
#4 Yes it is possible to Leave Kherson at 10pm, drive all night, arrive at the medical exam dead tired, go to the USA comsulate, go back for the exam document, then back to Kherson maybe at 2am, BUT WHY ! I would think the bus or train (private 1st class of course) would be much nicer and you could sleep. You can catch the same back later that evening or even better spend a couple of $ and have a romantic evening in Kiev, returning the following day.
FINAL NOTE: When I was there in July, we decided I would come back in December to get married there and do the DCF because Califrornia (the most notorious region) was still on the NEVER, NEVER List of processing the I-129F. About a week ago I realized that California had really cleaned up it'sr act and she could be here within 3 months, no problem.
Her family wasn't so pleased about this as I promised to have a wedding in Kherson in December and told everyone in the family so now they 'Kinda look stupid' :-( I explained the benefits of this::
#1 SHE WILL BE WITH ME SOONER (Jan not March)
#2 I can continue to work and not take vacation time
#3 We can save the 2 weeks vacation time for the summer WHEN IT IS WARM in Kherson for a much needed visit to see her family for 2 weeks and have another wedding with her family.
#4 We I won't spend $4-5K on the trip there in December and could save this money for the visit in the summer :-)
#5 She was dreading the LONG trip to poland, now Kiev is much better. She can leave Sunday night, go to the medical exam monday morning, stay the night and rest, go to the consulate tuesday and take the train / bus back home that night to be home in Kherson wednesday morning for work. Only loses 2 days of work and her visa should be waiting for her when she gets home from work. If not, the following day.
#6 A little preparation (1 or 2 weeks) and she is on the way, ODS to SFO. There is also the option of waiting 2 days and flying directly from Kiev but we both agree not to push the schedule and take it easy.
#7 By the way, SHE IS NO DUMMY... She looked on the internet and understands almost as much as I do about this. SHE tells me that she likes the part of living with me for 90 days to see if SHE wants to be married to me...LOL...
When I explained these things to her, she agreed and immediately started her papers for me to submit. Yes, I am in the dog house for a little while now for changing everything, but I think it will work out ok. I think it makes sense for us... we immediately threw the I-130 out of the windoiw.
Tommy Monks (Oct 11 2004)
The official days of registration are Friday and Saturday but if the foreign man is going to be in Kherson only few days and he has all the needed documents he can be married any day of the week. Joe Muniz was married on Sunday. Ukrainian men are married only on Friday and Saturday because they are not in a hurry. The telephon number of the central Zags is 8 (0552) 22-32-12, 8 (0552) 22-59-72. Sonny Orgiz got married on Tuesday, Glen McBride got married on Thursday. Tomorrow (Friday) is the wedding of Oksana #1248 and Jeff Mussal. He came on Wednesday and they decided to do it on Friday at 5p.m. We are going to the Zags and Restaurant. I talked about this Tommy Monks during his chat.