China Marriage 101 - Advocates for U.S./Chinese Couples
2005 - Discovering How To Save Time
After Xiaoying and I were married in Nanning, China, in 2005, I returned to the States and filed my petition. It only took eight months to receive her visa as I had a lot of help from a lady in China.
Xiaoying's friend Kathleen could speak and write English. She helped translate Xiaoying's answers for USCIS forms. She also helped me explain the different tasks that needed to be taken care of by Xiaoying. Little did I know this experience would later play an essential role in helping others.
When Xiaoying got to the United States, we started meeting other couples in our area. Most complained about the time it took trying to petition on their own. Others about the time it took using attorneys and how much they paid. In one case $5000 and it took over two years.
Understandably, marriage, or fiance petitions can be very challenging and stressful when language barriers get in the way. Petitioners can be extremely bitter after paying for legal services thinking it will get their loved one to the United States quicker.
When petitioners or attorneys can't support the visa applicant with the task needing to be completed, the results are the same. It takes a lot longer. Not to mention the stress it puts on relationships.
Knowing we did it in eight months, we created our first guide of many yet to come. The China Marriage and K3 Visa Guide.
2008 - Education
From couples we met locally, and by this time, 100's of subscribers to our newsletter, we continued to take note of the horror stories.
With helping other couples, our posts and comments attracted the attention of a few attorneys. And a few times, I got warned to be careful about what I say.
So, to be discreet, Xiaoying, and I supported only our newsletter subscribers by researching and answering their questions via email. Our Avoiding Hurdles and Pitfalls email series shared tips and petitioners stories. I encouraged subscribers to reply and ask questions.
Being our newsletter is free; it gave me a hands-on education of the problems many faced. I set a goal to be the best at what I did. Any question I couldn't answer became a challenge. I would research until I knew for sure my answer would be correct. I even contact immigration attorneys to post on my blog when USCIS would make significant changes in procedures.
2009 - Teaching and Support
In 2009, we expanded on teaching. We purchased a private network platform where we provided members Marriage and Fiance Visa courses and support. With our step-by-step workshops, I would answer questions for the petitioner. At the same time, Xiaoying would help their visa applicant in China. Members of China Marriage 101 Community got a home page where they could share stories, photos, upload videos, ask questions, and help each other. The network even provided live video chat.
John, Claire, and Sopha Buda 2019
2011 - Creating Services for U.S./Chinese Couples
In 2011, one of our members from Los Angeles happened to be friends with the Chinese wife of an immigration attorney in LA. He told her how helpful we were in getting his wife to the United States. Soon after, Attorney John Buda asks if he could be part of our community. John's legal perspective was beneficial to our members.
With John's involvement and answering questions with our group, it became clear that he was a giving and compassionate person.
One day I told him some of the stories I received over the years and how some legal services had harmed couples. He was appalled to hear what my readers had shared. It was at that time, John and I started working together to create a service to meet the needs of U.S./Chinese couples.
2011 - China Marriage 101 and Buda Law Group Join Forces
With Xiaoying speaking Chinese and helping during document collection and consulate processing and Attorney Buda taking care of legal matters, we bring to the industry our experience and unique one of a kind service.
No matter where in the world our staff or clients are located, we can work and collaborate through our secure file management system. We use both English and Chinese for quicker and easier processing.
Our goal is to take a process that can be daunting, break it down into steps, and make it easy and worry-free for both the petitioner and the visa applicant. These days, with USCIS putting more of the work on visa applicants, the best way to do that is with unlimited Chinese language support, just as Kathleen did for me back in 2005.
Nothing is as rewarding as reading our mail.
" I hope you and your family are well. We are doing well, and our daughter is three now. Thank you for all the help. It was greatly appreciated. You and Xiaoying are awesome. " Michael B.
" You and Xiaoying have done a great service for many. You will always be in our hearts, and we will never forget all you did." John G.
" I would like to thank you again for helping us come together in America. You two are wonderful souls and friends." Wade C.
" Thanks for the help. Hope to meet you guys someday. " Don D.
" Again, thanks so much for all you both have done for us, and God bless you both!" Paul P.
" Your website was indispensable in helping me understand all the never-ending list of requirements from both China and the U.S. We now have four kids. Ages 5, 4, almost 2, and five months. You helped to make this possible, and I will always be thankful. Thank you, and God bless." Christopher M.