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Dear Editor:

I'm a Consular Assistant at the US Embassy Yerevan, Armenia. This is in reference to a letter in Immigration Daily daily of March 16 where the US citizen petitioner filed I-130 petition for his wife and was told by INS to wait 850 days until the petition is processed.

We have been accepting I-130 petitions (direct consular filing) from US citizens since 1995. Many Armenian living in California prefer to fly to Armenia, get married and file the petition here because it takes only a month to process the whole thing. The US citizen must be present in Armenia only two weeks: to marry and get the marriage certificate and to file the petition and the accompanying documents with our office. The only problem is that the beneficiary has to go to Moscow for getting an immigrant visa. We are non-immigrant visa processing post. Moscow processes all immigrant visas for Armenian citizen beneficiaries, but we accept petitions and process them very fast. The petition is accepted and processed in a week instead of 850 days as at the INS. The overall processing time for the beneficiary, not the petitioner, is one month which includes a) marriage process, b) petition filing and providing the supporting documents, and c) schedule appointment with Moscow and medical examination and interview at the US Embassy in Moscow. Again, the US citizen petitioner does not have to stay all this time in Armenia. As long as the marriage certificate is available, the petitioner only needs to be physically present at the time of filing of the I-130 petition. Once the petition is filed he may leave Armenia and the Armenian citizen beneficiary may work on providing the additional paperwork. We enclose the approved petition and the supporting documents in a sealed envelope and give it to the beneficiary to handcarry to Moscow for the final interview there.

Warm regards,
Ara Kazaryan

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