My Kiev Experience
Hi, my name is Patrick O'Connor and I had went on a trip to Kiev in the summer of 2002 for 3 weeks and found the place interesting and many beautiful women every where I went and looked. When I came back to the States, I decided to go back, but with a group tour. I looked on the Internet at several agencies and found I liked what AFA had to offer.
I signed up 3 months in advance to take advantage of the 3 months of free addresses before I went to Kiev in Dec. 2002. I wrote to about 12 women through AFA's email service and about 3 or 4 responded back. This number was reduced to one named Alla through correspondence with the ladies. She responded faster than all the others and she appeared genuinely honest. We communicated through email and by phone until I met her in Kiev. Things did not work out the first time due to her having a prior bad experience with another American man.
Through the socials AFA sponsored while I was in Kiev, I found another woman, processed the paper work, and she had Visas for her and her daughter to come to USA. I changed my mind about bringing her to USA due to a lot of little things; she missed her first interview, she had a computer at home but did not communicate enough with me, phone calls were short when I called her, she would not take the English lessons I had scheduled for her, she delayed departure date several times, and finally, she wanted to fly on a more expensive airline. So I changed my mind and cancelled her Visas.
I called Alla in April of 2003 and she was thrilled to hear from me. I told her that I was still interested in her and for us to have a chance we had to have complete and honest communication about EVERYTHING! She agreed and we emailed a lot (I sent her money for email) the next 6 weeks. After 6 weeks, I found a cheap phone card so I just called her a lot instead of sending emails. I decided to come to Kiev to meet her in July.
I went to Kiev the last week of July to spend a week with Alla and her daughter Yuliya. Gentlemen it is very important that you meet the children of the woman you intend to marry to make sure that you are compatible with the children too. You do NOT want to bring them to the USA to find out that the child does not like you, will not respect you, etc. I personally know of a couple who almost did not get married due to the child. After the grandmother spoke to child on the phone, things changed for the better. I do not know what the grandmother said, but was powerful enough to change the child's attitude 180 degrees. Alla, Yuliya, and I had a great week together. Yuliya spent time with us during the day, but went home in the evening to stay with grandmother where Alla and Yuliya lived. We celebrated Alla's birthday while I was in Kiev and I met many of her friends. I promised Alla several things I would do when I came to Kiev and delivered on all my promises, mostly cooking due to my loving of cooking. Gentlemen you make promises, keep them or do not make them. These women highly value honesty, so be honest to them.
I started the paper work the beginning August and submitted BCIS (INS) on August 8th 2003. About the same time I found out that the Embassy required that the mother have a court ordered custody agreement for the child or have the ex-husband come to the interview. Gentlemen it is better to have the custody agreement due to many places in the USA require that the mother have custody of the child. In my case the school system required it. Yes, it costs a few hundred dollars through an attorney, but eliminates any problems in the future. Alla started processing the paper work for custody in August and was completed about the time she received packet 3 (Jan 2004) from the Embassy. The child's father has to agree to this or no custody agreement. Some women will not leave without their child. The Service Center started processing the application 8th of October. I was not getting any good updates from the 800 number when I called so I called my Congressman to get me some answers and found Alla had A (Alien) file from her previous to the USA that was in Montana, not in the Service Center. My Congressman called the office in Montana to expedite the file back to the Service Center. It took the Service Center about 30 days to process the application after receiving the A file from Montana.
Due to the time processing the application I went back to Kiev in late Nov. to see Alla and Yuliya again. This time I cook a complete Thanksgiving turkey dinner with pumpkin pie foe her and her friends. The dinner was a big hit. It was cold in Kiev, but I dressed warmly. I flew back Thanksgiving Day and the next week Dec. 3rd my application for her was approved. A few days later I received a letter from the VISA Processing Center that my application was forwarded to Kiev.
Alla received Packet # 3 from the Embassy in Jan. 2004. She waited a couple weeks to respond due to not having the final document for the custody agreement yet. She faxed the Embassy with her response about Jan. 23rd. When she called the Embassy on 2nd Feb. she found her Interview date was scheduled for 23 Feb. I had planned on coming to Kiev to go with her to the interview, but was not prepared for such an early interview date. I live outside Washington, DC where the Ukrainian Embassy is located, so I had no problem going to the Ukrainian Embassy and getting my VISA in a hurry. I booked a direct flight with Aerosvit Airlines from NY to Kiev and back to NY. I also booked a room next to the airport to spend the night after a long flight. On 20 Feb. I drove 5 hours to NY and took my flight to Kiev arriving about 11:00am 21 Feb. (time change). Alla and Yuliya meet me at Borsipol Airport and then when to my apartment.
The morning of the interview 23 Feb. was cold and windy. Went inside at about 9:00am, 1st interview was within 1 hour and second interview with the consular officer was within 2 hours. At the end of the 2nd interview we were told to come back at 4:00pm to pickup passports with the Visas. We then went to the Aerosvit office to pay for the tickets to the USA afterwards we had lunch at TGI Friday's restaurant. The morning of the 27th Feb. we had a cold ride to Borispol Airport with a LOT of luggage. The flight was good with good food. We landed at JFK about 4:00pm on time and hurried to the Port of Entry. To my great surprise there were no lines and we were through the checkpoint and on to the waiting room in 5 minutes. We waited only 5 minutes for Alla's and Yuliya's name to be called to pickup there passports with the I-94 attached. Alla's was stamped with Employment Authorized. We then went to get our bags and clear customs and again no lines, so getting bags and clearing customs took about 15 minutes. In all we cleared everything in about 30 minutes, what a relief.
The next morning we met her Aunt Tanya at our hotel, had breakfast, then drove 5 hours to my home. Alla was driving the next day because I had got her an International Driving Permit based on her Ukrainian driver license. Alla applied for her Social Security card on March 1 and received it before we were married. Within 10 days I had Yuliya starting school, we married 20 March and Alla started free English classes 22 March. Gentlemen, you need to do some preplanning to see what your state requires to get foreign students in school, driving license requirements, etc. This will make their lives easier and yours in the process.
I am now starting the Adjustment of Status process for them which is another new road for me, but my advanced planning has made it easier. We are doing all the things a family does and enjoying it.
Gentlemen, if you can not find the woman you are looking for in the USA, go to any of the places AFA has a tour and I think you will be pleased. You may contact me through AFA if you wish.
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