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About CatherineA

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  • Member # 197025

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  • Immigration Status
    Adjustment of Status (pending)
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    National Benefits Center
  • Country
    Costa Rica

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  1. How did you answer question 34a? If you described how you met, as in initially met 9 years ago, this is not actually what they're looking for. They're looking for backup to your claim of "yes" in question 34 that you've seen each other in the last 2 years. It's poorly worded and has tripped up more than one person. So, if you submit a description of your story and then describe a "most recent" meeting, with evdience that you yourself were living in Canada, and some photos if you've got them, that could work just fine.
  2. Ah ok, one thing I didn't notice (apologies-- I was on mobile) is that you're applying for a visa, not adjustment of status. That right there could make a difference as you're dealing with the State Department at the interview and not USCIS. Also, perhaps in the case I outlined, it was a "real" SSN (like an active one belonging to someone else-- this I don't know and I don't know if the applicant knew either) and not an "empty" one, as it sounds like yours was. I only shared what I did because first and foremost, the folks I'm talking did expect to be asked about it but were not prepared that it could or would result in admissibility and I was encouraging you to check with your lawyer just in case. Best to be prepared, you know? But always defer to your lawyer. Also, I am still very curious about how this works, both now and previously.
  3. Hey, I asked a question on this thread about an issue some people I know are having but it got split off. I do not want to make anyone worry, so I'm going to start right off saying that it's entirely possible that there is some critical detail that makes their case different than yours that I don't know about. That said, I know a couple in which the foreign national was here having overstayed and was working with a fake SSN. They saw two lawyers before submitting AOS, neither of them prepared them for what happened at the interview (which was shortly after the inauguration). What happened was that the IO saw the list of placed worked in the past 5 years, asked the whens, whys and hows, then asked about papers, and the whens and hows they were gotten. They were totally honest. They were thanked for being honest because the IO says they already knew, but that the fake papers meant that they were inadmissible and now they're going through the 601 waiver of inadmissibility process. These people are under the impression, from the IO, that had the interview happened a few weeks earlier, things may have been different. I came here asking if this was true or if my friends misunderstood the IO (because I'd always been under the impression that fake papers meant inadmissibility), and there is no real consensus to that but most people here seem to think that this would have happened under any president, and they should have been prepared for this. Now, again, I very well could be missing some details in there. I don't think so, but who knows. Also, for all we know, this was always a possibility that doesn't usually happen and these folks just got unlucky. Or maybe things HAVE changed so soon. This is all to say, definitely check with your lawyer. The end of the day is that regardless of what may or may not happen in the interview, your only real shot at normalizing your status is to go through AOS and be completely honest about your history.
  4. Thanks, Boiler. So basically, regardless of the impression they got from the interview (long story but the IO somehow left them with the impression that they'd have been approved on the spot had it been weeks earlier which doesn't sound right to me at all, I think it is a serious misunderstanding), and the failure of two lawyers to alert them to the fact that the fake papers would likely be a problem, this likely would have been a problem? Not just a crime but a grounds for inadmissibility that in most if not all cases would have resulted in inadmissibility? I'm trying--hard--to get it through the panicking half's head that this was the expected outcome of the initial AOS application and not an indication of a swift and severe crackdown in this exact department, indicating the near guaranteed deportation of one of them. Not to say that the 601 will be a "formality" as in days gone by, but that as of now there is zero indication one way or the other. The panicking half is reading this as evidence of an impending knock on the door by ICE because 3 weeks ago it would have been a non-issue. I am pretty much the exact wrong person to say this, though, because it comes off as judgmental for someone in my position (we went through K1 with zero complications in the backstory) to say that.... which is why I dropped the issue pre-AOS and left it to the lawyers to be the messenger. Then when neither of the lawyers mentioned inadmissibility, I figured I'd been wrong. Maybe their new lawyer will shed some light onto this for them. I hope. If this new person doesn't clear this up (that so far, this is the expected course of events), should I assume that the new lawyer knows as little as the first two who checked their AOS package and really push the "famous" names I've seen here on VJ? They went with a recommendation, who they can meet with personally.
  5. Oh, also I'd been reading this forum which is how I wound up in the thread I originally posted this question on. Most of these seem to be about visas not AOS, I can't specifically search for the SSN and AOS stuff etc.
  6. They say yes (which I have a mixed response to believing. One, I have heard that many immigration attorneys aren't so good but Two, there were TWO of them and this seems to be a glaring issue so I could believe it either way). I think they just paid them to look over the file to make sure they weren't missing anything, and I think that this may have been a favor from a friend type thing. How or why they missed this I'll never know. I personally feel really bad for not pushing it harder (I pushed them to talk to an attorney because I thought fake papers automatically meant inadmissibility) but once they talked to the attorney with no flags raised, I'd figured I was wrong. So, you think that the IO did NOT have the discretion to not penalize the fake papers, even under previous administrations? That could be good news, morale-wise. Meaning, there haven't been such drastic overnight changes than their 601 really has a good shot.
  7. Thanks guys, they do have an attorney and a good claim for hardship to the USC. I don't want to go crazy on the details because it's their life not mine. I'm specifically wondering if anyone here is aware of any 601s approved since January 20, because this couple is very concerned that it will just be a blanket denial because of all that's going on now. Also, is this always how these cases go? In that if you admit to using fake papers, you're found inadmissible and you need to waive that inadmissibility? Or is that at the discretion of the IO? They had a lawyer (two, apparently) check their AOS package before sending it in and neither of them prepared them for the fact that being found inadmissible was even a possibility. They feel that had they interviewed 9 days earlier, the IO could have exercised discretion to allow their AOS, and I think that feeling is what is inciting the panic. I was long under the impression that fake papers is always inadmissible but when they talked to those lawyers, I figured I was wrong....
  8. I sincerely doubt they will get rid of the parent category entirely. Siblings perhaps. But the bill that was introduced is one of many regarding immigration changes, and is one of the more extreme. It's not likely that one could get through the House and Senate. This happens at the start of each new Congress (every two years when the new configuration of the House convenes)-- a flurry of bills, many of them similar, all get sent to committees and then the committee sorts through them, votes on them to bring to the full House. There are real and good reasons the parent category exists (the siblings, I've got to say, I've never totally understood), and I don't think that a bill that removes that immigration category even makes it out of committee. I'm not an expert, and I've been wrong before (and recently) but from what I've read, mainstream republicans find the proposal absurd. Now, they ARE interested in limiting "family chain migration" so I could easily see the sibling category going away, and perhaps some attempting some sort of limit like "if you become a naturalized citizen through a naturalized citizen, you can't petition a relative" (likely not constitutional).
  9. I came here to read and ask questions about this. Some friends are going through AOS and one spouse has overstay and was working with a fake SSN. They had their interview post-inauguration and the alien spouse was found inadmissible based on the fake documents (was completely honest about everything, they weren't "caught"). They're going through 601 waiver now. I was going to ask if anyone knows of a similar situation *recently* and had 601 approved? I'm trying to support my friends through this but I know very little about these issues and I don't want to give bad information.
  10. Did you ever work? That, and associated things can put a wrinkle in it.
  11. There seems to have been an abrupt enforcement priority shift.... They are giving the impression that anyone they know is eligible for deportation, they'll deport if they walk into a DHS office. Which I sincerely hope is not the case for many, many reasons.
  12. Yep folks. It's not called the misinformation line for nothing. The phone people know less about the process than you do and only have access to the same info (that is updated 2.5 months late). They used to take 8 or 9 months to process the i-129fs at one service center (and 3 weeks at the other) but would update those charts once every 2 months with information that was "as of" 2 months before. So at any given time, the information could be 2 to 4 months outdated. So if your petition was lingering for 12 months, you couldn't open a service request because the chart says that 8 months is normal (Nevermind that the chart is 4 months out of date) and the folks on the phone could not or would not understand. Crazy making.
  13. Not a problem, this can be confusing. And yes, the green card on arrival is a big benefit for not too much longer a processing time. They're used to seeing newlyweds and so joint leases and bank accounts etc aren't strictly necessary in your situation. Think about it this way: these guidelines for evidence were established before internet dating was common and when long distance relationships were much harder to conduct (because no internet) so most of the married couples they'd see are because the American had been living overseas and got married there. Now, things are pretty different and they know that. That doesn't mean that you don't need to show anything, but that they're not going to expect to see a joint mortgage or anything for a couple that has been married 6 months and doesn't live in the same country. I can't speak from experience because we went the K1 route, but reading in the CR1 forums can give you a good idea of what sort of evidence of a bona fide relationship you probably already have, and can make sure you establish.
  14. Right, inability to leave and come back without AP really isn't that big a deal in the grand scheme of the convenience of side-stepping the CR1 process. But depending on a couple's situation, that could be a bigger deal for some than others. And yes, there is zero chance my husband would have used AP with everything that is going on right now, especially if it was adjusting from a B2 or VWP. Who knows when or how they'd change the interpretation of rules like that, based on everything that's just happened. She'd mentioned having some loose ends (the dogs) to tie up abroad and the possibility of travelling abroad so that set off a little bell of "hrm maybe AOS in country wouldn't be the right choice if they want to be able to leave and come back at will". If that is the case, it's possible that applying for CR1, waiting for it in the US, then flying to Chile when the visa is about to expire (which hopefully will be around the interview date so minimal separation), and he can collect the dogs makes sense. That way, while CR1 is processing, he's free to come and go from the US as he pleases and he'd have green card on (final) arrival in the US. More complicated and more hoops for sure, but depending on their exact situation and how much international travelling they need/want to do in the next ~9 months, it's an option.
  15. I would not listen to anything the misinformation line tells you. For all you know, he thought you were asking about the green card, or gave you the info for the person who had been waiting the longest (due to an RFE or something) or just made up a date to buy them some time. I have been here at VJ for almost 3 years now and I can tell you that that line has caused more problems than it has solved. They're probably working off of one of these charts, which if you'll notice haven't been updated since Nov 30. The VJ timelines show an average of 88 days, and I'd be inclined to believe them over USCIS. But I believe my 6 year old niece on this subject before I believe USCIS. Now, that said, the 90 day thing is still a "rule" they need to follow even if it's not realistic anymore. The fun thing about UCSIS rules is that they can break them with impunity and there's no one to enforce them especially not these days. But... you can still do a service request. I heard of people doing this at day 75 or 78 or something but I never bothered. I did contact them on day 91 and had the EAD by day 104. Now, fair warning, I think this made them angry because I then got an RFE for the green card application. For something 100% not my fault. A piece of paper they already had and that I did not have access to. It would have cost $500 to get it again (it was the medicals). Part of me still feels that this was my "punishment" for doing the service request for the EAD ("oops we can't fine this very critical and expensive to replace piece of paper"), part of me thinks that I just think that because I have a pretty low opinion of USCIS after all these years. The truth may be somewhere in between. For what it's worth, I had my congressman contact them about the missing medical (I told them exactly where it was-- in the sealed envelope submitted at the border). They magically found it and sent me a letter telling me to nevermind the RFE.