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Office Supplies for a Visa Application
December 6, 2007 12:02 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to put together a "K-1 Visa Kit" full of office supplies to make the process as easy as possible for my sister and her boyfriend. What do I need?

She'll have the forms and documentation under control, so I'd just like to save her a couple of trips to the store if possible. So far, I'm thinking: envelopes, address labels (home and possibly common destinations, if I can figure that out), postage, a filing case, a 2 hole punch, ACCO fasteners (whatever those are), Kinko's card, and a calendar.

I've seen this (hence the hole punch and fasteners). Can you guys think of anything else she should have? She's in California and he's in France, if that makes a difference.

Alternatively, if I'm blowing the process out of proportion and this is kind of a stupid idea for a Christmas present, let me know.

Finally, I'd ask over at VisaJourney, but she might find it over there...
posted by natabat to Grab Bag (15 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
It looks like you pretty much have it all covered.

ACCO fasteners are those black binding clips that offices use to hold larger numbers of loose sheets in a document together - where staples and paper clips aren't sufficient.

Maybe some colored tabs to separate items when she's sending Documents, evidence, etc - they have an order they want it in and the colored tabs help them separate it all along with the acco fasteners.
posted by clanger at 12:06 PM on December 6, 2007


USCIS will ask for proof of the relationship, and they like to see correspondence, so how about some nice stationery on which they can write love letters back and forth?

If you feel like spending more money, they'd also benefit from owning a camera with which they can document all the time they spend together.

And finally, to allay some of the inevitable stress that will arise from dealing with the whole process, a few bottles of good liquor would not go amiss.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:10 PM on December 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


Clanger - those aren't acco clips, those are binder clips. In our office, at least, acco clips arethese, and are used to put together documents, usually with a hard backing of some sort.
posted by dpx.mfx at 12:27 PM on December 6, 2007


I think you might be blowing this out of proportion, although it depends on how nervous and meticulous your sister is. In assembling my K1 petition, I required a stapler and a handful of paper clips, two ziploc bags, a highlighter and about half an hour at Kinko's. As far as I can tell, tabbed dividers and fasteners are completely unnecessary and often removed in the first stage of USCIS processing. But many people find those reassuring and use them anyway, and maybe your sister would be one of them.

If you're buying postage, get a USPS express mail envelope.

I like FoB's ideas. Maybe get her a phone card, and send a Christmas card that mentions how happy you are about her totally sincere relationship and impending good-faith marriage with Jean-Pierre.
posted by thirteenkiller at 12:33 PM on December 6, 2007


you might be blowing this out of proportion, but who doesn't love office supplies?!
posted by kidsleepy at 12:38 PM on December 6, 2007 [1 favorite]


patience.... lots of patience, (not that I can suggest how to insert patience into a package). Processing times between steps is maddening.

other than that you have things covered. We used a ringed binder with plastic sleeves (I know not green) that way the docs wouldnt have holes. Our interviewer was most impressed with my anal retentency including a table of contents. You could preprint envelopes to the appropriate offices.

We also used visajourney for all of our questions. Hubby gets his requirements lifted spring of next year. We just sent in the last step.

Lots of luck to them.
posted by meeshell at 12:45 PM on December 6, 2007


If you can find a digital clock that can be made to count the days and hours elapsed since a start time, get one. Then put it in a larger something that says "It's been HOW long?"

Ibuprofen or similar for doing paperwork and trying to decipher NOAs and whatever horrifying, self-contradictory instructions the embassy/consulate in France eventually sends Mr. Loveypants. Or miniatures of booze, if that's their scene.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:49 PM on December 6, 2007


Thanks so far guys.

She's got the camera, but maybe I'll throw some sort of photo print gift certificate.

I also really like the idea of the clock and IB/booze.

I also wanted to say that this is at least as much supporting her and her decision to do this (our family isn't ecstatic about it) as it is about the visa, so blowing it out of proportion kind of plays into that.

Of course, knowing her, she'll probably just look at me like I'm insane.
posted by natabat at 3:41 PM on December 6, 2007


@dpx.mfx

Yes, the black ACCO binder clips are what I was referring to and what we used for our AOS and other USCIS documentation. The ones we have are ACCO brand :)
we didnt use a two hole punch like for the ones you linked but they would work also.

Some stuff we had to stamp name and alien registration number on every page we were submitting so an adjustable ink stamp that you can change might be nice too.

Definitely as someone above said, lots of evidence of relationship is required for the early stuff so keep email correspondence and take lots of pictures together!

A tip, the K-1 is his eligibility for getting a Social Security # and work authorization, go apply for SS# BEFORE you get married once he's in the US for the wedding (assuming they marry here) - otherwise he will have to wait for the AOS stuff, a few of my wife's friends here did things the other way around and had to wait to get SS# etc and processing times meant they couldn't work for quite a while.

They are late processing my wife's removal of conditional status (green card) - we got selected for an interview for that so are waiting for scheduling - on completion she will have her permanent resident card - probably about the same time she will be applying for naturalization later next year :)
posted by clanger at 4:17 PM on December 6, 2007


Speaking as an employee of an office Supply Wholesaler. Office Supplies make wonderful Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus or Wedding presents

Give a Carton of SPRw2011 White legal pads to the one you love!
posted by Megafly at 4:20 PM on December 6, 2007 [2 favorites]


I kept (and still have) a binder with all relevant paperwork in page protectors, with dividers for each section (documentation, the various status forms, etc.). I was never asked for even half of it, but it was really good knowing I had everything and could put my finger on whatever I needed immediately. Plus, organizing all your various bits of stuff helps pass the time while you're waiting for the red tape to clear.
posted by biscotti at 5:43 PM on December 6, 2007


A label maker is absolutely invaluable.
posted by nathan_teske at 6:53 PM on December 6, 2007


I did something similar to biscotti and it was reassuring to know I was organized. Visa Journey is a godsend, as you probably know.

Stationary, phone cards, and booze - that should help. Did I mention the booze? Nthing the booze and aspirin (not together of course).
posted by rmm at 8:04 PM on December 6, 2007


Tell your sister to make copies of everything she sends them.
posted by Kioki-Silver at 6:22 PM on December 7, 2007


Please no binders. They will be thrown away and they just make one more unnecessary step.

Also, don't pre hole punch. This will screw up whoever has to line all the sheets up neatly in the file and punch them together.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:46 PM on December 11, 2007


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