Immediately after you receive the I-797C, Notice of Action, letting you know that your I130 Petition has been received, make a COPY of the I-797C, Notice of Action.  You will include it in your I129F Petition for Fiancé (e).  If you DO NOT include the I-797C, Notice of Action, the immigration process will not be sped up on your behalf.  IT IS A REQUIREMENT THAT YOU FILE BOTH THE I130 AND I129F PETIIONS.  AND WHEN YOU SEND IN YOUR I129F PETITON, YOU MUST SEND A COPY OF THE I-797C, NOTICE OF ACTTION FROM THE I130 PETITON.  Do not forget to include the G-325A Biographic Information form with this petition!


            As was said about the I130 Petition, you should already have ordered the petition before you went to Nigeria, and therefore, you can file the petition as soon as you receive your I-797C, Notice of Action from the I130 Petition.  Do not delay doing this!  The cost to file the I129F Petition is $170.00.            


            Make sure you send the I129F Petition to the right location.  The directions say if you filed an I130 Petition and are also filing an I129F Petition, then you must send it to a particular location. 


For example:  I mailed my I130 Petition to the USCIS Texas Service Center, P.O. Box 850919, Mesquite, Texas, 75185-0919.  I live in South Carolina, and South Carolina residents are required to mail them at that location.  I mailed my I130 Petition on January 19, 2007 to the USCIS Texas Service Center.  The USCIS Texas Service Center forwarded my petition to the USCIS California Service Center (for that office processes the I130 petitions), and the USCIS California Service Center received my Petition on January 22, 2007.  My I-797C, Notice of Action for my I130 Petition was date January 26, 2007 (fast turn around)!


NEXT, I mailed my I129 Petition to USCIS, P.O. Box 7218, Chicago, Illinois, 60680-7218 (for the directions said to do so) on March 1, 2007 (overnight mail).  As you will see, I did not file my I129F Petition immediately after receiving my I-797C, Notice of Action from my I130 Petition. The USCIS, Chicago, Illinois office received my I129F Petition on March 2, 2007, and my I-797C, Notice of Action was dated March 6, 2007 (fast turn around).


On March 15, 2007, the National Benefits Center in Lee’s Summit, MO sent me an I-797C, Notice of Action stating that on March 6, 2007 they received my I129F Petition, and they were transferring my I129F Petition to the USCIS California Service Center in order to speed up processing. 


On April 24, 2007, I received an I-797C, Notice of Action informing me that my I130 Petition was APPROVED for my husband (stepson included).  On April 25, 2007, I received an I-797C, Notice of Action informing me that my I129F Petition was APPROVED for my husband (stepson included), and the dates of the I129F Petition will be valid from April 25, 2007 to August 24, 2007. 


So it took from January 19, 2007 (the date when I mailed my first petition) until April 25, 2007 to receive APPROVAL NOTICES for both petitions (3 months and 6 days)! God is good!


I was told that the visa-issuing papers were being sent to the Lagos Nigerian Embassy for my husband.


NOTE:  Even though your husband’s visa-issuing paperwork will be sent to the Lagos Nigerian Embassy by the National Visa Center, you still MUST go through the “VISA” process prior to your husband’s interview at the Embassy.  That is the Immigration stage my husband and I are now experiencing.




            The National Visa Center wrote me a letter dated March 11, 2007 informing me that my husband’s visa-issuing paperwork was being sent to the Lagos Nigeria Embassy within the next week.


            On June 11, 2007, I received a letter from the National Visa Center letting me know I must pay the $70.00 Processing fee in order for the Visa to continue to be processed.  It is called the Affidavit of Support (I-864) Processing Fee Bill.  I mailed that on June 18, 2007, and the National Visa Center (in St. Louis, MO for all Visa payments go there), have up to twenty (20) working days to process my payment. 


            After my Processing Fee is put in their system, the National Visa Center located in Portsmouth, NH will give me permission to send file my financial information.  I must file more I-864 forms showing my financial standing.  If you want to see the “Poverty Guidelines” that is allowable, please see form I-864P on the http://travel.state.gov website. 


            Please note that you cannot apply for federal means-tested public benefits to assist you in taking caring for your husband and/or his children.  That means you cannot apply for food stamps, Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), and the State Child Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).  That also includes any state means-tested public benefits, which vary from state to state.


            So in other words, you must be financially sound in order to bring a husband to the United States.  Please go to the website at http://travel.state.gov  to see the various I-864 forms you need to fill out once the National Visa Center gives you permission to fill them out and send them in for verification. 


            After you send in your Processing Fee, you can get your financial documents together, so there will be no delay in sending in these forms.




            When the National Visa Center sent me the bill for the Processing Fee, they also included a CHOICE OF AGENT AND ADDRESS FORM, which my husband MUST fill out and mail back to the National Visa Center.  He is giving the NVC permission to send any paperwork on his behalf to me, who will be listed as his “agent”, so I can process the Visa fees once we pass the inspections of my financial documents.




            If you do not have a good paying job or do not meet the I-864P Poverty Guidelines (see 2007 guidelines), now will be the time to seek other employment.  You do not want your husband approved to come to the United States only to be denied due to your lack of finances.  Of course, your husband may work after he comes to the United States, but he has to file paperwork in order for that process to take place.  In the meantime, you must be able to take care of him, and any stepchildren, prior to that happening. 




            As I said at the beginning, my husband and I are not finished with the Immigration process, and I still have more to share with you as our experience unfolds.  But, I wanted to share our experience with you, so you can have an idea of what you will face when you marry a Nigerian citizen and desire to bring him into the United States. It is a lengthy and expensive process, and you must be willing to wait patiently for your husband to come to you.  It also requires a lot of faith, for you can be denied at any phase of the Immigration Process. After reading this article (Part I), I hope it helps you understand it more.  Please be on the look out for Part II, in which I plan to share the rest of the Immigration Process and the Joy of receiving my wonderful, Nigerian husband, whom I love dearly!