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Sputum Test in St. lukes Walkthrough

#1 enzocute

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 02:30 AM

**Updated as of 02 october 2010**

Im very happy to know some information shared by my VJ friend (Kikay) who went on this sputum test. After 1 day worrying & crying because of the result of my medical in St.lukes, now I have sore throat & cough so I'm very anxious that it might affect the result of my sputum exam next next week. Here's the info's from Kikay and I want to share to everyone and it might help us to know the process. Anyone can share your experiences in this forum too.


1. SLEC will schedule you 3 consecutive days for sputum collection every morning at 6:00-8:30 AM. (No food intake night before your sputum collection and in the morning too,drink alot of water, bring toothbrush & toothpaste, no lipstick for women)

2. RESULT 3DAYS SPUTUM TEST- on the day after the collection of the third sputum. This would depend on the volume of work they have. Sometimes, it would take 2-3 days after the third day before you go back for the result.

3.On the third day, you will be given a piece of paper that states the date and time that you'll go back for the PULMONARY EVALUATION. Here, you will get your 3-day sputum smear result. If you are positive, you will be asked to start with treatment or (Other info: a two-month culture is always completed before any TB treatment starts.)

If negative, the doctor will give you further instructions, if any. Then the nurse will give you another piece of paper for the date, time, and phone number for you to call them for the sputum culture result (you need to call them FIRST before you go there).

4.Based on Kikay's experience; Her 8th week culture will end on Oct. 6, and they asked her to call for the result on Oct. 8. Based on the posts here on VJ, SLMEC usually sets the vaccination date and interview date within the following week (latest would be two weeks after the result).

5. As for some whose experiencing throat infection/cough (like me), some bacteria might appear in your sputum smear BUT of course they will NOT be TB. Med techs can accurately identify different kids of bacteria, so don't worry about it. I've read of some cases, though, that short-term antibiotic therapy (around 7-14 days) was prescribed because of the infection. In general, don't worry about your sore throat/cough because they will not misread it as TB.

**I WILL CONTINUE TO UPDATE & TIL' I SHARE MY OWN EXPERIENCE**
  • 0
Eligibility Criteria: 3 yrs. based on Marriage
Field Office: Phoenix

02/18/14- Mailed my N-400 packet
02/19/14- Delivered to USCIS Phoenix Lockbox
02/24/14- Received Email Notification
02/24/14- Check Cashed
02/28/14- Received NOA in the mail (Notice Date: Feb. 21, 2014)
03/07/14- Received Biometrics Appointment Letter (Notice Date: Feb. 28, 2014)
03/13/14- Biometrics Appointment (Done)
04/16/14- In line for Interview Scheduling
04/30/14- Received email notification for interview schedule.
05/06/14- Received Interview Letter in the mail. (Notice Date: April 30, 2014)
06/09/14- Interview Date- Passed! :)
06/13/14- Received email notification that my application was placed for Oath Scheduling que.
06/18/14- Received email notification that I was scheduled for Oath Ceremony and they sent letter by mail for the details
06/23/14- Received Oath Ceremony Letter/Notice by mail
07/04/14- Oath Taking/Ceremony
07/04/14- U.S. Passport Application (Expedite/Overnight Delivery)
07/13/14- Received Email Notification that my Passsport has printed and for delivery.
07/15/14- Received US Passport

#2 chrismae

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 02:46 AM

hi everyone, i just want to share too.

i just finished my sputum last week and went to pulmo eval today and the doctor explained to me about my xray result, it shows some white lines on right lung, and my 3smears all went out Negative, but still have to wait for culture of 2months before they will clear out my medical, the twist is, the doctor advised me to take antibiotic"clarithromycin" for 1week period 2x/day. they give me a definite date to go back which is dec13 for repeat xray costing P315,they suspect i got pneumonia but could not mean a tb, just wait for culture result by november26, the nurse didnt gave me any definite date to call,since according to him, i had a definite schedule to comeback on dec13 and by that time they already had my culture result,no need to call.

For those who undergoing this kind of delays, we will just hope and pray hard things will be alright.
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#3 enzocute

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 05:03 AM

hi everyone, i just want to share too.

i just finished my sputum last week and went to pulmo eval today and the doctor explained to me about my xray result, it shows some white lines on right lung, and my 3smears all went out Negative, but still have to wait for culture of 2months before they will clear out my medical, the twist is, the doctor advised me to take antibiotic"clarithromycin" for 1week period 2x/day. they give me a definite date to go back which is dec13 for repeat xray costing P315,they suspect i got pneumonia but could not mean a tb, just wait for culture result by november26, the nurse didnt gave me any definite date to call,since according to him, i had a definite schedule to comeback on dec13 and by that time they already had my culture result,no need to call.

For those who undergoing this kind of delays, we will just hope and pray hard things will be alright.


Oh my.., thanks for sharing!! if ever they suspect you had pneumonia & not TB, why they need to wait dec. 13 and do re-xray again wherein by nov. 26 you can have your result for sputum.. That's very confusing and now im worried why St.lukes is like that:(
  • 0
Eligibility Criteria: 3 yrs. based on Marriage
Field Office: Phoenix

02/18/14- Mailed my N-400 packet
02/19/14- Delivered to USCIS Phoenix Lockbox
02/24/14- Received Email Notification
02/24/14- Check Cashed
02/28/14- Received NOA in the mail (Notice Date: Feb. 21, 2014)
03/07/14- Received Biometrics Appointment Letter (Notice Date: Feb. 28, 2014)
03/13/14- Biometrics Appointment (Done)
04/16/14- In line for Interview Scheduling
04/30/14- Received email notification for interview schedule.
05/06/14- Received Interview Letter in the mail. (Notice Date: April 30, 2014)
06/09/14- Interview Date- Passed! :)
06/13/14- Received email notification that my application was placed for Oath Scheduling que.
06/18/14- Received email notification that I was scheduled for Oath Ceremony and they sent letter by mail for the details
06/23/14- Received Oath Ceremony Letter/Notice by mail
07/04/14- Oath Taking/Ceremony
07/04/14- U.S. Passport Application (Expedite/Overnight Delivery)
07/13/14- Received Email Notification that my Passsport has printed and for delivery.
07/15/14- Received US Passport

#4 chrismae

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Posted 06 October 2010 - 05:48 AM

Oh my.., thanks for sharing!! if ever they suspect you had pneumonia & not TB, why they need to wait dec. 13 and do re-xray again wherein by nov. 26 you can have your result for sputum.. That's very confusing and now im worried why St.lukes is like that:(


according to doctor, if the culture went negative they can clear my medical, i dont know if anybody had the same case as mine. hope to hear from anyone or knew anyone of the same case as mine. i was told the result of culture will be nov 26 but i need to return dec13 no need to call since they give me specific date to go back. i am a bit worried too, hope anybody can share their experience as well.
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#5 Kikay K

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 08:48 AM

Hi! Bhebe sent me the link to this post. Glad to see my input in the OP :-) This is my last day of sputum culture, and I'm going to call them on Oct. 8 for the result.

Anyone who has a spot, scar, or lines on the lung will undergo the 8-week culture, regardless of whether pneumonia or other pulmonary condition is suspected. Even IF we indeed HAVE pneumonia and we took antibiotics for this, we still need to finish the 8-week culture because this is the most accurate test for TB, and TB is what they want to screen more than any other pulmonary condition. Having another xray, after approximately 12 weeks (3 months, which would be somewhere in December -- Dec. 13 for you) after your first xray some days ago, would be considered safe for your health and would show any improvement or worsening of your lung condition as a result of the antibiotic treatment, and if it is indeed pneunomia or another non-TB infection that was responsive to the antibiotic treatment.

Chrismae, even if they did not give you a definite date to call after Nov. 26, you can still (and in fact, you should) call them. They should understand the kind of suspense that people like us have while waiting for the culture result (although not hearing from them before your 8 weeks is over is a good thing because it means you're not turning positive YET haha!). Then of course, go back on Dec. 13 for your xray.
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#6 chrismae

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Posted 07 October 2010 - 09:09 PM

Hi! Bhebe sent me the link to this post. Glad to see my input in the OP :-) This is my last day of sputum culture, and I'm going to call them on Oct. 8 for the result.

Anyone who has a spot, scar, or lines on the lung will undergo the 8-week culture, regardless of whether pneumonia or other pulmonary condition is suspected. Even IF we indeed HAVE pneumonia and we took antibiotics for this, we still need to finish the 8-week culture because this is the most accurate test for TB, and TB is what they want to screen more than any other pulmonary condition. Having another xray, after approximately 12 weeks (3 months, which would be somewhere in December -- Dec. 13 for you) after your first xray some days ago, would be considered safe for your health and would show any improvement or worsening of your lung condition as a result of the antibiotic treatment, and if it is indeed pneunomia or another non-TB infection that was responsive to the antibiotic treatment.

Chrismae, even if they did not give you a definite date to call after Nov. 26, you can still (and in fact, you should) call them. They should understand the kind of suspense that people like us have while waiting for the culture result (although not hearing from them before your 8 weeks is over is a good thing because it means you're not turning positive YET haha!). Then of course, go back on Dec. 13 for your xray.




Hi Kikay K,

thankyou, this is informative indeed, i learned that after taking a week of antibiotic,normally they do the xray 2months counting from the lastday of intake.dec 13 is my 2month period to go back for xray, praying and hoping i wont be positive for tb, which i really believe its not, so far the medicine makes me feel good and can breath normally, sure expect the call from me to check for the status of my culter :)..
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#7 enzocute

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 04:00 AM

Hello Kikay,

Cant't wait to hear the good news from you!!! Thanks for sharing your experiences and much appreciated if you can share fater you got you sputum culture result :)
  • 0
Eligibility Criteria: 3 yrs. based on Marriage
Field Office: Phoenix

02/18/14- Mailed my N-400 packet
02/19/14- Delivered to USCIS Phoenix Lockbox
02/24/14- Received Email Notification
02/24/14- Check Cashed
02/28/14- Received NOA in the mail (Notice Date: Feb. 21, 2014)
03/07/14- Received Biometrics Appointment Letter (Notice Date: Feb. 28, 2014)
03/13/14- Biometrics Appointment (Done)
04/16/14- In line for Interview Scheduling
04/30/14- Received email notification for interview schedule.
05/06/14- Received Interview Letter in the mail. (Notice Date: April 30, 2014)
06/09/14- Interview Date- Passed! :)
06/13/14- Received email notification that my application was placed for Oath Scheduling que.
06/18/14- Received email notification that I was scheduled for Oath Ceremony and they sent letter by mail for the details
06/23/14- Received Oath Ceremony Letter/Notice by mail
07/04/14- Oath Taking/Ceremony
07/04/14- U.S. Passport Application (Expedite/Overnight Delivery)
07/13/14- Received Email Notification that my Passsport has printed and for delivery.
07/15/14- Received US Passport

#8 Kikay K

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Posted 08 October 2010 - 06:20 AM

I called today, but they said that the result is not available yet. They asked me to call on Monday. Will give you updates next week! :-)
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#9 enzocute

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Posted 11 October 2010 - 06:57 AM

update from kikay;

Kikay K Today, 06:50 PM
Yes, good news indeed :-) I called again today and they asked me to go back tomorrow and bring my passport, receipt, and appointment letter. They didn't tell me the result of my culture, but obviously, it's negative and they're about to give me my vaccines and forward my passport to the embassy for my interview :-) But I said I'll go there on Thursday instead, when I'm free. Yey! Thanks be to God!
  • 0
Eligibility Criteria: 3 yrs. based on Marriage
Field Office: Phoenix

02/18/14- Mailed my N-400 packet
02/19/14- Delivered to USCIS Phoenix Lockbox
02/24/14- Received Email Notification
02/24/14- Check Cashed
02/28/14- Received NOA in the mail (Notice Date: Feb. 21, 2014)
03/07/14- Received Biometrics Appointment Letter (Notice Date: Feb. 28, 2014)
03/13/14- Biometrics Appointment (Done)
04/16/14- In line for Interview Scheduling
04/30/14- Received email notification for interview schedule.
05/06/14- Received Interview Letter in the mail. (Notice Date: April 30, 2014)
06/09/14- Interview Date- Passed! :)
06/13/14- Received email notification that my application was placed for Oath Scheduling que.
06/18/14- Received email notification that I was scheduled for Oath Ceremony and they sent letter by mail for the details
06/23/14- Received Oath Ceremony Letter/Notice by mail
07/04/14- Oath Taking/Ceremony
07/04/14- U.S. Passport Application (Expedite/Overnight Delivery)
07/13/14- Received Email Notification that my Passsport has printed and for delivery.
07/15/14- Received US Passport

#10 Kikay K

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 05:26 AM

Yey! Done with my medicals today! Interview is on October 14, which is 2 days from now! For the benefit of those who are waiting for updates from me (especially bhebe hehehe), here's the summary of what happened in my St. Luke's journey as a sputum test lady :-)

- August 2 - First day of medical exam. Before I went home, they told me that I'd be undergoing the sputum test. I was lucky because people usually learn about this on the second day of their medical exam.
- Aug. 9,10,11 - sputum collection
- Aug. 12 - sputum smear result (negative!!!) and pulmonary evaluation. I was given instructions on what to submit via private courier (specifically, my medical certificate from my doctor who helped in treating my asymptomatic TB in 2007-2008). I was also told to call on Oct. 8 for the result.
- Oct. 8 (Friday) - no result yet. I was told to call on Oct. 11 (Monday)
- Oct. 11 - no result yet in the morning. In the afternoon, I was finally told to go to St. Luke's the following day and bring my passport, appointment letter, and receipt. (They won't tell you the result of your culture via phone, but of course it's already obvious since you're already asked to bring your documents.)
- Oct. 12 - I arrived at 10 am and got out at 3 pm. I spent 5 hours there. Here's a list of what I went through today:
1.) Submitted my receipt to counter M.
2.) Waited for my turn on the immunization lobby (2nd floor). This took about 1.5 hours.
3.) When they called me, they told me that I need to have a repeat pregnancy test (MMR should NOT be given to pregnant women).
4.) I went to the 4th floor for the collection of my urine for the pregnancy test.
5.) I went to 5th floor for the pregnancy test payment, (P495?), and then gave the receipt to the 4th floor laboratory, and she told me that the result was already forwarded to the immunization room. This step was pretty quick.
6.) I waited for my turn to be immunized. This took less than 1 hour. I got DPT and MMR. I went out of the immunization room at 12 noon.
7.) I waited at the 1st floor. After a few minutes, I was called to proceed to counter A where I signed some papers.
8.) I had a quick lunch and then went back to continue waiting, then I was called to counter M, when they told me that I need to go to a Notary Public to have an affidavit of discrepancy. My xray from 2009 contains a wrong spelling of my surname. There's a nearby notary public, and it took me 15-20 minutes to complete everything.
9.) After I gave my affidavit of discrepancy, I waited again for less than 1 hour, and then I was called to counter C, which was my last stop. She gave me instructions for the interview and what I need to bring to the US as far as the medical exam is concerned. She also asked for my interview appointment letter.
10.) I paid my $350 (P15,400) K1 visa fee at a nearby BDO.

As far as the interview appointment is concerned, here's my story:
- I didn't call the US Embassy for an interview schedule yet before I went to St. Luke's on Aug. 2 because I knew that I'd undergo the sputum test (thanks to VJ for the advance info!).
- Today, I tried calling the US embassy using a PLDT call card worth P500 (my sis gave it to me for free). I used a smart cellphone (which didn't work), a PLDT landline (which didn't work), and a PLDT payphone (which didn't work). In short, I spent more than 30 minutes trying to reach the call center, to no avail, so I just asked my fiance to call from the US to set my interview date.
- My fiance called them at 10:30 am today for an interview schedule, only to be told that they won't give us one because it's the job of St. Luke's to give sputum test clients a new schedule.
- I asked the clinic staff about this, and they told me that it's wrong information from the call center!!! Since I haven't set any interview date yet, it's our responsibility to call the embassy for my interview date!
- So I asked my fiance to call again. At noontime, they gave him the earliest schedule that I could get, which is Oct. 14, two days after I got my vaccine (today)! I went to a nearby internet cafe and printed my appointment letter (the clinic will ask for a copy).
- On a side note, I have this K1 buddy (we went to the sputum test together), and she already had a prior interview date (which was of course postponed because of the sputum culture). Last October 8 when she got her sputum culture result, St. Luke's gave her an interview date of Oct. 29, which is much later than we expected! I'm so glad I didn't have to go through the same trauma. But then today, I told her that my fiance was able to get a great schedule for me (Oct. 14) via the call center, and so she also gave the call center a shot, and guess what, she got a better interview date -- Oct. 20! Moral lesson: Don't settle with what the clinic gives you. Call the embassy and set a better date. My friend could have gotten an even earlier schedule than Oct. 20 if she persisted some more, just like my fiance did. But anyway, my friend is happy with the new schedule.

That's it! It's been a great day! Thanks be to God!!! :-) Good luck to us all!
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#11 enzocute

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Posted 12 October 2010 - 07:17 AM

Kikay, thank you for sharing your experiences on this whole process of sputum test/culture. I know alot of people here like me that will have an idea & overview which really a great help to us.

Again, Thank you so much.. May God Bless you & guide you on your new journey in life.

:thumbs: :thumbs: :thumbs:
  • 0
Eligibility Criteria: 3 yrs. based on Marriage
Field Office: Phoenix

02/18/14- Mailed my N-400 packet
02/19/14- Delivered to USCIS Phoenix Lockbox
02/24/14- Received Email Notification
02/24/14- Check Cashed
02/28/14- Received NOA in the mail (Notice Date: Feb. 21, 2014)
03/07/14- Received Biometrics Appointment Letter (Notice Date: Feb. 28, 2014)
03/13/14- Biometrics Appointment (Done)
04/16/14- In line for Interview Scheduling
04/30/14- Received email notification for interview schedule.
05/06/14- Received Interview Letter in the mail. (Notice Date: April 30, 2014)
06/09/14- Interview Date- Passed! :)
06/13/14- Received email notification that my application was placed for Oath Scheduling que.
06/18/14- Received email notification that I was scheduled for Oath Ceremony and they sent letter by mail for the details
06/23/14- Received Oath Ceremony Letter/Notice by mail
07/04/14- Oath Taking/Ceremony
07/04/14- U.S. Passport Application (Expedite/Overnight Delivery)
07/13/14- Received Email Notification that my Passsport has printed and for delivery.
07/15/14- Received US Passport

#12 enzocute

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Posted 14 October 2010 - 07:32 PM

I just want to share my experience in St. Lukes for my 3 days Sputum Test;

* Oct. 11,12 & 13- I arrived in SLEC at 4:30AM and they will call per batches in 20's.They will ask you to give your passport, Slip (for sputum), & the ID# from guard. (Keep the O.R. coz they don't need that). So Im always on the first batch & finished at around 7AM.

*On the third day, they give me a new slip indicating when can u get your 3 days sputum result. So mine, they stamp it to return the ff. day (oct. 14) at 9AM. (Actually I was surprised because they told me before 2-3 days.)

*oct. 14- I got there 7AM and they allow me to go inside the SLEC and in the PULMONARY EVALUATION, I gave them my slip & they will call you to give you #. The doctor ask me some questions if I had illness or whatsoever and I said none to all. Then, they showed me my xray thru computer & explained it to me & said my smear is negative and wait 8 weeks for the culture result. It's very quick and ask me to go to the nurse staff to give me a slip to when, who & what tel# to call. & Im finished around 10AM.
(Dec. 8- sputum culture will end & Dec. 10- to follow-up for the result.)

Edited by bhebe, 14 October 2010 - 07:34 PM.

  • 0
Eligibility Criteria: 3 yrs. based on Marriage
Field Office: Phoenix

02/18/14- Mailed my N-400 packet
02/19/14- Delivered to USCIS Phoenix Lockbox
02/24/14- Received Email Notification
02/24/14- Check Cashed
02/28/14- Received NOA in the mail (Notice Date: Feb. 21, 2014)
03/07/14- Received Biometrics Appointment Letter (Notice Date: Feb. 28, 2014)
03/13/14- Biometrics Appointment (Done)
04/16/14- In line for Interview Scheduling
04/30/14- Received email notification for interview schedule.
05/06/14- Received Interview Letter in the mail. (Notice Date: April 30, 2014)
06/09/14- Interview Date- Passed! :)
06/13/14- Received email notification that my application was placed for Oath Scheduling que.
06/18/14- Received email notification that I was scheduled for Oath Ceremony and they sent letter by mail for the details
06/23/14- Received Oath Ceremony Letter/Notice by mail
07/04/14- Oath Taking/Ceremony
07/04/14- U.S. Passport Application (Expedite/Overnight Delivery)
07/13/14- Received Email Notification that my Passsport has printed and for delivery.
07/15/14- Received US Passport

#13 Chris&Cecil

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 12:06 AM

I'm a bit late share my case here :)

My 3 days smear test was turn out NEGATIVE (thanks God) ..it was held last oct 5-7 ... culture test result will end on dec 2... i was advise to call for follow up the result on dec 6, 2010.

Its my 2nd week now :dance: !

Guys stay positive...keep praying! God is good all the time..He wont fail us im sure of that :thumbs: ...God bless us all!


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#14 enzocute

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 12:11 AM

I'm a bit late share my case here :)

My 3 days smear test was turn out NEGATIVE (thanks God) ..it was held last oct 5-7 ... culture test result will end on dec 2... i was advise to call for follow up the result on dec 6, 2010.

Its my 2nd week now :dance: !

Guys stay positive...keep praying! God is good all the time..He wont fail us im sure of that :thumbs: ...God bless us all!


That's ok!! I hope all of us here will be happy & of course HEALTHY...
  • 0
Eligibility Criteria: 3 yrs. based on Marriage
Field Office: Phoenix

02/18/14- Mailed my N-400 packet
02/19/14- Delivered to USCIS Phoenix Lockbox
02/24/14- Received Email Notification
02/24/14- Check Cashed
02/28/14- Received NOA in the mail (Notice Date: Feb. 21, 2014)
03/07/14- Received Biometrics Appointment Letter (Notice Date: Feb. 28, 2014)
03/13/14- Biometrics Appointment (Done)
04/16/14- In line for Interview Scheduling
04/30/14- Received email notification for interview schedule.
05/06/14- Received Interview Letter in the mail. (Notice Date: April 30, 2014)
06/09/14- Interview Date- Passed! :)
06/13/14- Received email notification that my application was placed for Oath Scheduling que.
06/18/14- Received email notification that I was scheduled for Oath Ceremony and they sent letter by mail for the details
06/23/14- Received Oath Ceremony Letter/Notice by mail
07/04/14- Oath Taking/Ceremony
07/04/14- U.S. Passport Application (Expedite/Overnight Delivery)
07/13/14- Received Email Notification that my Passsport has printed and for delivery.
07/15/14- Received US Passport

#15 Tahoma

Tahoma

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 12:45 AM

Bookmarked! Thanks for this thread. :thumbs:

Best wishes to all...may your cultures be negative...and may your visas be speedy! :star:
  • 0

~ Tahoma and Chinook ~

~ Our K-1 visa journey ~



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