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Document translations and USA address

Discussion in 'Lottery Visas - DV' started by dp77-dvl, Mar 12, 2017.

  1. dp77-dvl

    dp77-dvl New Member

    So one week ago I finally got the email with the interview date at the USA embassy.

    I'm scheduled for late April, so I have about 6 week to prepare.

    I still have no actual address in the USA. I used one of those mail forwarders and I'm not sure that will cut it at the interview. Should I just book a hotel there and give that address? Can I even change it at this point?

    Regarding all official documentation I have to gather, I think it has to be translated, but what are the legal/bureaucratic requirements for that? Where I live there are no sworn translators (some places apparently have them), so what am I supposed to do?

    Do I go to my local USA embassy (I'm interviewing at another one far away) and get a Hague convention Apostille on the translations? May I translate them myself?

    Regarding academic transcripts, I have some graduate studies (1 year graduate school in the USA), a 5 year BSc and high-school. The prerequisites are to have a high-school diploma. Do I have to take documentation proving I also have a university degree or is showing my HS transcripts enough?

    I've been unemployed for 2 years and part of the application is filing either I864 or I134 to prove I can support myself in the USA. I have no job lined up but I have enough savings to meet the minimal requirements for a few years. How do I go about proving I can sustain myself there? I think I864 is out of the question because I have no sponsor, but I134 also mentions a sponsor. Am I my own sponsor?

    Does anyone have any relevant information regarding this?

    Everything is welcomed.

    Thank you in advance.
  2. Britsimon

    Britsimon Super Moderator

    You haven't prepared in the YEAR you have been waiting???

    OK - USA address. The address you give MUST be a REAL residential address. It is where your GREEN CARD will be sent. You need to be certain that whoever receives it will keep it safe for you. A forwarding address/PO Box won't work. You can change at the interview and the last chance to change it is at the POE (arrival airport).

    Translations. Can be any competent person, but not yourself. It does not need to be a professional translator. The translation should be certified, by the following statement (or something similar). This is suggested language from USCIS

    I [typed name], certify that I am fluent (conversant) in the English and [enter appropriate language] languages, and that the above/attached document is an accurate translation of the document attached entitled [enter title of document].
    Typed Name

    Education. Take HS and degree info. Being overprepared helps avoid delays.

    Affidavit of support. DV cases use the I-134. It must be completed by someone you know who is a US resident/taxpayer. There is a level of income based on combined family size (yours and the sponsor). Some detail about that here.

    Have you applied for police certs and medicals??
  3. dp77-dvl

    dp77-dvl New Member

    I have all the documents with the exception of criminal record which takes 1 day to obtain.

    The reason I chose to wait is because they want one less than 6 months old and I didn't even know whether I'd be called for an interview.

    Regarding the address. It is a physical address and they do receive letters and forward them to an address of my choosing (I have to give them a signed and certified affidavit for that). That's why I chose that route. This way, once I get a place to stay I'll just forward it.

    Does the translation have to be notarized, does it need an apostille? You mention "language suggested by the USCIS", where can I find that source?

    DV cases use the I-134. It must be completed by someone you know who is a US resident/taxpayer

    OK. This is a serious issue.
    I have no one to vouch for me. Does this mean that the whole process is a no go? I have the financial means to support myself for years, but that's it.

    your blog says:

    So how do you prove that you will not become a public charge. The simplest way is to demonstrate that you have enough money/assets to support yourself.

    If you cannot show that level of personal finance a job offer can help, and of course someone already working in the USA on a temporary visa can show existing salary (payslips, tax records, job confirmation letters and so on).

    So if I have enough money all I have to do is show bank/property statements? If a sponsor is essential I might just as well stop right now.

    medical is a non issue with the possible exception of a few vaccines. I'm clearing that out. I can make an appointment every week and the results take 1 day at most.

    Thank you for your help.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2017
  4. Britsimon

    Britsimon Super Moderator

    The US address plan you have won't work. Yes it is a physical address, but the mail man will not deliver to that type of address. Find someone you can trust who will let you use their address.

    For finances, as described on my blog, the way public charge is handled varies by embassy. Some embassies insist on the I-134. others are satisfied by personal savings (of at least $10,000 per adult), others trust the "host" system. So - what embassy are we talking about?
  5. dp77-dvl

    dp77-dvl New Member

    The company I'm using mentions those limitations and is very clear in that I give them an affidavit signed and notarized and after that I can get all mail delivered there. I've also been reading info from people that have completed the entire process saying that changing the address is trivial and can even be done online after arriving in the USA.

  6. Britsimon

    Britsimon Super Moderator

    OK you seem to think you know best about the address. I'm not going to keep repeating myself.

    Paris often want an I-134, but may be OK with financial proof.
  7. dp77-dvl

    dp77-dvl New Member

    I don't know best. In fact I am very doubtful but the company states that very clearly. All I care is that it's not an issue during the interview because plenty of people mention changing the address after arriving and not facing any resistance and very few problems.

    I think it's form AR11 (egov.uscis.gov/coa/displayCOAForm.do) and (w w w.uscis.gov/addresschange)

    All I need is to pass the interview and be able to change it afterwards to a real address. That is the plan.

    It's simply not feasible to get another kind of address for me until the visa is issued.

    Hope so. I can even show proof of funds in a french bank (lucky coincidence) so I hope it helps.
    Getting a sponsor is pretty much almost impossible for me.

    Thank you for your help.
  8. Britsimon

    Britsimon Super Moderator

    You can change the address after arriving (in fact you are required to do so while you are an LPR). HOWEVER, that does not change where the GC is sent - as it is sent to the address they have at the POE.
  9. SusieQQQ

    SusieQQQ Well-Known Member

    As Simon has said, you have to register any change of address online or via mail as a LPR within 10 days of a move. However, I've seen many reports of people's cards going to the old address when this has been the format to try change it. It just doesn't seem to get through the system in time to be attached to the green card in process. Giving a new address at the POE usually works (still the occasional one goes to the ds260 address). You could always try delay the green card production by not paying the immigrant fee initially, and only doing so a few weeks after any change of address you do online. That may work to effect such a change of address for GC purposes.

    As for the company receiving mail - do they specifically mention the limitations in respect of mail from USCIS? As USPS has specific instructions for USCIS mail that differ from other mail even if the other mail is certified, etc.
  10. dp77-dvl

    dp77-dvl New Member

    No. They only mention letters and I've read that the green card letter doesn't require signing.

    I've even read entries saying that the card was not delivered because there was no name on the mailbox or the name didn't match...
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2017
  11. SusieQQQ

    SusieQQQ Well-Known Member

    No, it doesn't require signing but it does require the mailman to adhere to certain criteria in delivering it. Afaik companies such as the one you plan to use do not fall into those criteria. Of course, all that will happen in such a circumstance is that the card will be returned to uscis and you can hopefully track it down after that.

    And yes from what I understand, mailmen refusing to deliver because the name on the mailbox is different to the addressee or c/o does indeed happen.
  12. dp77-dvl

    dp77-dvl New Member


    The embassy didn't verify my financial situation.
    I still took bank documentation, real estate property documentation, etc. They didn't ask and therefore I never even showed it.

    My documents were also accepted in my native language as it used to be written on their instructions but later removed. I still took signed translations (not notarized). I plan to use these in the USA in case someone actually requires any of these documents (birth certificate might come in handy)

    It was extremely difficult to get in touch with a human to clear these things prior to the interview. Calling by phone/skype was totally useless, the only thing that helped was using their feedback forms (that were severely broken). Still I got confirmation regarding the translations.

    I was also told that the address I had given will probably not be OK and that I should get a new one.
    It was not a show stopper at the interview but they said it might lead to problems at the point of entry.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2017
  13. SusieQQQ

    SusieQQQ Well-Known Member

    What embassy was this?
    And can you remind us what the issue with the address was? ( we can't remember the details of every poster on the forum....!!)
    And presumably you were approved, congratulations!
  14. dp77-dvl

    dp77-dvl New Member

    As above, I have an address from a mail aggregator/consolidator in my DS-260. They say they can receive letters but people here (and myself) doubted it would work even though it's not a PO Box. The embassy said that for the interview it was not an issue, but that most likely the USPS won't actually deliver the green card there.

    I am definitely approved and have the passport with the visa.

    All that I need is just to get a real address and land in the USA.

    I also keep reading here that I can pay the 220USD fee after landing, but the instructions state clearly that I have to pay the fee before departure to the USA.
  15. SusieQQQ

    SusieQQQ Well-Known Member

    Thanks for clarification - if we had to go back and read previous posts in every thread every time someone updates, we'd never have time for anything new ;)

    And yes, not surprising re the address comment then. Bear in mind that if the green card gets lost if USPS refuses to deliver it (it's supposed to be returned to USCIS in this case but these often get lost in the system somewhere) and it's deemed your fault (because you provided an invalid address), you'll be responsible for the $540 cost of a replacement card. So i would highly suggest you don't take a chance and make sure you have a valid address.

    And no you don't have to pay the fee before you go, even USCIS itself says so: "You may also pay the fee after you arrive in the United States. If you arrive in the United States and haven’t yet paid the USCIS Immigrant Fee, USCIS will send you a notice requesting payment with instructions on paying your fee. You will not receive your Green Card until you have paid the USCIS Immigrant Fee." https://www.uscis.gov/file-online/uscis-immigrant-fee
  16. dp77-dvl

    dp77-dvl New Member

    I have read that over and over again in multiple sources, but the envelope I got had a bunch of brochures and one if very clear that it must be paid before (in bold) departure.

    They actually say that twice in the same page, always in bold.
  17. SusieQQQ

    SusieQQQ Well-Known Member

    Well, I already gave you an actual official USCIS source in addition to the experience reported on this forum, I can't force you to take any heed of it if you don't want to.
  18. dp77-dvl

    dp77-dvl New Member

    I understand and thank you.
    But put yourself in my shoes.
    I have two official sources from the same entity in contradiction...

    From what I understand, since I still don't have a decent mail address in the US, it might be to my advantage to not pay beforehand because that way the card won't actually be mailed. I could then find a permanent place to stay and then change the case address (apparently I have to change the address specifically associated with my case-id). I can even probably do this in person at a USCIS branch.

    In the meantime, the stamp on my passport is valid for one year and can actually be renewed.

    Is this accurate?
  19. EmilyW

    EmilyW Well-Known Member

    Yes, it is.
  20. dp77-dvl

    dp77-dvl New Member


    love your signature...

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