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I`m PRETTY sure I understand the instructions on BOP`s website, but want to double check and make sure I`m not misinterpreting anything. If somebody else is already doing what I want to start doing, a confirmation that it works would be dandy. The BOP gives instructions for making payments to an inmate`s commissary account for mail orders that are very clear except about what kind of money order is required. Under the heading "What To Send" it says:
"Non-postal money orders and non-government checks will be placed on a 15-day hold."
"Non-postal money orders" mean money orders purchased from a supermarket or convenience store rather than directly from a post office? That`s my guess, and how I`ve been doing it, but waiting in line at the PO is getting old. And if I have that part right, then I take it I can get a money order from where-ever and send it in, and it will still reach my inmate`s account, just takes a couple weeks longer. Yes? Sorry if I`m being dense here, just not positive what they mean by non-postal and I want to be sure I don`t end up paying for a useless M.O. only to have it disappear into oblivion after I drop it in the mailbox.
Correct, only US Postal Money Orders are available to the inmate immediately, or at least as soon as they arrive in Des Moines and are posted to the account (along with Western Union electronic money transfers, which are usable even sooner since there is no mail delay involved). Any other MO, bank, AMEX, Walmart, 7-11, it doesn't matter which, are posted to the account right away, but the money isn't available to the prisoner for an additional 15 days. If you will be using Western Union, they offer a free My WU rewards card that earns points for reducing future transaction fees.
Do Western Union, it's super fast and really easy. If you're in the US and some other countries, you can do it online. Yes there's a small fee but they get the money pretty much straight away. I think it says they'll have the money on their account within four hours but my husband has usually had it in 30 minutes or less.
09/08/2014 Sent in I-130 petition to immigrate
03/02/2015 I-130 Petition Approved
11/04/2015 Case complete NVC
12/21/2015 Visa interview at US Embassy
02/16/2016 Visa is approved
04/05/2016 Moved to the United States
10/27/2016 My husband receives Presidential clemency
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Thanks for the input. So far I`ve avoided Western Union because of the fee, but to be honest, I don`t even know how much they charge per transaction haha! USPS charges $1.25 per MO and nearly always has a line to wait in, the convenience store down the street from me charges about the same (don`t remember exactly) and never any line to speak of. I`ll try WU next time and see what their fee is. If I don`t like that, I`ll just start buying money orders from 7-11. There`s no hurry as far as posting time- I usually buy two at a time anyway and sit on one until it`s time to send in the next monthly "allowance", so I could just as well mail it two weeks earlier.
EDIT: Lovebirds, I just noticed the timeline in your signture and had a flashback to my own days on VJ and i2US. My wife is now a USC, but I still remember the frustration and desperation while we waited through the torturous immigration process. Good luck with the whole mess- I know very well how it feels.
Last edited by RenoOutside; 01-11-2016 at 10:47 AM..
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I've read the BOP web site's instructions about sending money orders more than once. They explain what kind of money order is OK and where to send it. Fine.
A money order form has a place where you put in the name and address of the payee. The name should be full committed name plus 8-digit ID number? Nothing else makes sense. I don't trust "makes sense" as a guide to doing anything with a prison.
There's only room for about two lines of address. Do I need to fill that in at all? My pen pal's address won't fit in a couple of lines. Do I just put in the institution's PO box number and city?
Last edited by Minor activist; 03-14-2017 at 03:01 AM..
Reason: Restored paragraph breaks
Just put the name and inmate number on the pay-to line exactly as it appears in the bop inmate locator. I never put the recipient's address on the MO, just the lockbox address in Des Moines, IA on the envelope. Your name and address go on the "sender" lines.
I do it pretty much like FbopNoMore- inmate`s name and number on the "pay to" line with no payee address, but I have also been squeezing my address onto the purchaser line. Since that seems to be unnecessary, I`ll save myself the trouble in the future.