Saturday, December 11, 2010

POE, GC, and SSN explained

*Reference link to abbreviations/terms post*

Today's blog entry is going to be about what happens after receiving the visa.

The first part is POE. At the border, whether at an airport or the land border, there is a process that gets done at customs. Along with getting the visa in the mail, there's also a large envelope containing important documents about the intending immigrant. This envelope is NOT to be opened under any circumstances. It is handed over at customs and they open it. Once everything is checked out, the beneficiary can continue on their way, either by car or plane. Since I haven't personally gotten to this point yet, nor have I read that many in-depth reviews about this step, I can't say exactly what they do at customs. I also can't say how long it takes. It all depends on which airport/land border and whether or not it's busy. If taking an airplane though, I would ensure to have minimum an hour in between flights (if there's a connection), preferably a bit more.

Once a beneficiary has actually landed in the USA, they are now considered a resident. At customs, a stamp will be put in the passport and this can be proof that you're a resident as one waits for their GC and SSN. The green card and welcome letter usually arrives in the mail within a few weeks after going through customs. The green card will be needed at any POE if they decide to leave the USA as it is proof that they are an LPR.

The SSN is either really simple or not. On the DS-230, there's a section on SSN and whether or not the immigrant would like to automatically file for an SSN. Now, there can be problems with this. Some people who checked yes for getting SSN don't end up receiving it in the mail. They have to go to a local SSN office and apply for it there. There are people though that check yes and do receive it in the mail. If one does check yes and still hasn't received it in like a month or so, a visit to an SSN office is most likely needed.

With an IR-1/CR-1 visa, the beneficiary can work immediately. They can start working the very next day if they wish. The stamp in their passport is proof of the visa and don't need their green card or SSN to start work. This is a real benefit of this visa (compared to the K-1 or K-3) since no adjustment of status is needed like the other fiance/spouse visas.


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