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Charles C

I-751 Horrible Experience #2

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Similar to another post about traveling with expired GC and the 751 letter... And the letter for dependent minors. My wife and step-daughters had GCs that expired in mid June. Well before then we received the I-751 for my wife and two single-page letters for the daughters. My wife's paper was on the "official" sheets most of the notices come on (wavy lines, official-looking) but the authorization letter for my daughters was just on plain paper with a rubber stamp signature. It seemed a little dodgy but the letters all need to be presented together. OK, I think - we have what we need. The girls go back to our home in Honduras for the summer - before the GCs expire. We have the letters in hand and it is time to return to the US. Now it gets tricky...

On return to the US, they first get hassled in Honduras. Honduras claims the papers don't look official, but they let them board a direct flight to Houston. In Houston, the US Immigration folks detain them, claiming the papers for the girls are invalid! I am not in the interview but my wife sends me text messages saying the US side is giving them a hard time. They all have valid passports (expire well in to 2016), legit (but expired) green cards, the I-751 certificate and the dependent minor letters. And birth certificates, previous entry paperwork, etc.

I am not sure what finally made the difference, but after about 2 hours they let them pass in to the US. My wife was upset and angry and would not talk about it. Hopefully their ROC is approved soon and they get their 10-year cards, but for crying out loud... they had every scrap of paper issued by the US government and they STILL got hassled.

No solutions in this post - but be forewarned if you want to travel on the flimsy paperwork you receive while awaiting ROC.

Charles

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A terrifying story -- thanks for the caution.


*** Thread moved from Removing Conditions forum to the Working & Traveling forum -- topic involves travel. ***


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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So sorry about your experience, Charles! It sounds a lot worse than mine. There's nothing worse than being turned away from the country you consider home. I hope your daughters and wife weren't too affected by it. The one positive thing is, we now know not to risk anything when it comes to travel while the GC is processing.

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The key is to travel with valid and unexpired documents.

Nations are hesitant to recognize supplemental letters that accompany expired documents, however valid they may be.


USCIS

January 16, 2015 I-130 Mailed, Chi lockbox January 20, 2015 Priority Date, January 21, 2015 NOA1 notice date, Assigned VSC, January 23, 2015 Check Cashed, electronically March 5, 2015 NOA2

NVC

March 27, 2015 NVC received April 6, 2015 Case#, IIN# assigned April 8, 2015 Paid AOS + IV fee Invoices May 5, 2015 AOS + IV package submitted May 11, 2015 Scan Date

June 11, 2015 DS-260 submitted June 25, 2015 False checklist (for ds260).. hello? June 30, 2015 Answered checklist Aug 5, 2015 Escalated to Supervisor review Aug 13, 2015 Case Complete

Consular

Sept 10, 2015 Interview Scheduled Sept 11, 2015 P4 Letter received Sept 21, 2015 file In transit from NVC Sept 23, 2015 file at Embassy

Sept 28, 2015 Medical Oct 14, 2015 Biometrics Oct 15, 2015 Interview (Approved) Oct 19, 2015 IV visa Issued Oct 23, 2015 Passport Pickup

POE

Nov 2, 2015 Entered the US Nov 16, 2015 Applied for SSN, walk-in Nov 20, 2015 Social Security Card recd Jan 15, 2016 GC received

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The key is to travel with valid and unexpired documents.

Nations are hesitant to recognize supplemental letters that accompany expired documents, however valid they may be.

The USA should have been fine with the paperwork and they were hassling them. CBP should know better and were jerks.

The extension letter IS valid for travel.


OP

It's unfortunate that they do not give the nice official looking letters for dependents on an I-751 petition. I think anytime after this you may want to make sure you have an I-551 stamp in the passport and not rely on a letter if you can help if for a minor especially.


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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The key is to travel with valid and unexpired documents.

Nations are hesitant to recognize supplemental letters that accompany expired documents, however valid they may be.

The USA should have been fine with the paperwork and they were hassling them. CBP should know better and were jerks.

The extension letter IS valid for

The US should have been fine with the letters/docs, since they are the ones to issue them in the first place. CBP were being jerks, yes.

I meant nations such as Honduras (Costa Rica in another thread) can be hesitant with supplemental letters.


USCIS

January 16, 2015 I-130 Mailed, Chi lockbox January 20, 2015 Priority Date, January 21, 2015 NOA1 notice date, Assigned VSC, January 23, 2015 Check Cashed, electronically March 5, 2015 NOA2

NVC

March 27, 2015 NVC received April 6, 2015 Case#, IIN# assigned April 8, 2015 Paid AOS + IV fee Invoices May 5, 2015 AOS + IV package submitted May 11, 2015 Scan Date

June 11, 2015 DS-260 submitted June 25, 2015 False checklist (for ds260).. hello? June 30, 2015 Answered checklist Aug 5, 2015 Escalated to Supervisor review Aug 13, 2015 Case Complete

Consular

Sept 10, 2015 Interview Scheduled Sept 11, 2015 P4 Letter received Sept 21, 2015 file In transit from NVC Sept 23, 2015 file at Embassy

Sept 28, 2015 Medical Oct 14, 2015 Biometrics Oct 15, 2015 Interview (Approved) Oct 19, 2015 IV visa Issued Oct 23, 2015 Passport Pickup

POE

Nov 2, 2015 Entered the US Nov 16, 2015 Applied for SSN, walk-in Nov 20, 2015 Social Security Card recd Jan 15, 2016 GC received

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