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jj23521

RFE for photos while in line for oath

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My wife received a recommended approval after her interview on 8/7.  The online status has been in line for oath since 8/9.

 

Yet today, we received a letter asking for two passport photos, saying if not received by 9/30, it would delay the certificate.  (This is frustrating because the N400 form itself said no photos are needed and they were not asked for at the interview.  We even brought them.)

 

Has anyone seen this before?  Does this mean the case is still approved?  How much delay would this cause, if any?  The next ceremonies are on 9/7 and then 10/5.

 

Also, does she need to sign with a pencil on the back of the photos?  

 

Any help is appreciated, as I'm freaking out a little right now.  Thanks.

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Sounds like the photos taken at her biometrics were deemed unusable for some reason...normally they make that determination at the actual interview, shame they didn't in her case.  Maybe it got misplaced/damaged somewhere along the way afterwards...

 

I would sign them the same way the officer asked her to sign the original ones (I'm assuming he did this during her interview?), and send them in asap.

Yes, you are still approved---they just need the new photos before 9/30 as the letter stated.  I would take a trip down to the field office where she had her interview and see if you can hand them in personally (take the RFE letter with you).

Edited by Going through

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Thanks for the reply.

 

We did not submit photos because the N400 form said not to.  Also, they took a digital photo during biometrics.  There were no photos to sign during the interview and he never asked for them.  The officer was in an EXTREME hurry and the interview only lasted 5 minutes.

 

The field office is 1.5 hours away and I'm not sure if they will take hand delivered packages.  Not sure if that's worth everybody taking a day off to try?  Do you think overnight mail delivery would work?

 

I'm afraid that this would cause a big delay.  So frustrating.

 

She's also doing a name change.  When you sign the photos, do you use both names?

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1 minute ago, jj23521 said:

 There were no photos to sign during the interview and he never asked for them.

That was a mistake on his part, unfortunately....he was supposed to have your wife sign the photos near the end of the interview.

 

2 minutes ago, jj23521 said:

The field office is 1.5 hours away and I'm not sure if they will take hand delivered packages.  Not sure if that's worth everybody taking a day off to try?  Do you think overnight mail delivery would work?

If you can't go into the office (and yes, sometimes they will accept hand-delivered things after approved interviews in certain cases like yours---but it's your choice whether to try or not), then just make sure however you mail it, you get a tracking number at the post office and keep a photocopy of the RFE letter for your own records as well.

 

4 minutes ago, jj23521 said:

She's also doing a name change.  When you sign the photos, do you use both names?

I would call USCIS and request to speak to an L2 officer to ask them directly for advice on that part.  I would *assume* she would sign them in her new chosen legal name...since this is the name that would appear on her naturalization certificate.

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10 minutes ago, jj23521 said:

We did not submit photos because the N400 form said not to.  Also, they took a digital photo during biometrics.  There were no photos to sign during the interview and he never asked for them.

You weren't supposed to submit photos, so don't worry about that part.  The photo from  the biometrics appointment would have been sent over to the field office for the IO to have during the day of her interview (where she would have signed it then).

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OP, I was also interviewed at the Milwaukee field office in June. Like you, I also took two passport photos with me, just in case. I was never asked for an extra set of photos throughout my interview. So when my interview was over, I volunteered and asked my interviewer if she wanted my photos. She had no idea if she'd need them but she took them anyway. The point I'm making here is that sometimes the interviewer isn't aware of the latest photo requirements.

 

Also, I did not sign/write anything on the photos. What does the RFE letter say? Does it ask you to sign them? If not, don't.

 

You could either hand them over in person or mail them. Personally, I would follow the instructions to the T on your RFE and mail it back exactly the way it's written and to the address written on the RFE (which should be the Milwaukee office). Even if you hand it over to someone in person, it could get lost or not handed to the correct officer. 

 

This is a temporary hiccup but your wife has certainly been approved and will be naturalized. On a side note, my naturalization certificate has the photo USCIS took during biometrics. So what have they done with my two photos? Go figure. :)

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Thank you for your advice.  I will mail the photos right away next week.

 

On the certificate itself, is the photo an actual photo glued on the paper (as it was with my case years ago), or printed on the certificate?

 

Do you think this would cause a delay or will they schedule her as soon as the photos are received.

 

I also had my senator's office inquire about this last week due to the long wait.  Maybe that's why they even looked at her file.

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The photo is printed on my certificate, the quality is a bit bad actually :P

 

I can't guarantee you but I think they will process your case fairly quickly once they receive the photos. Milwaukee field office isn't the fastest in the country but faster than many field offices. Did you enquire through Senator Baldwin or Johnson? You're right it probably helped push your case forward.

 

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10 hours ago, jj23521 said:

Do you think this would cause a delay or will they schedule her as soon as the photos are received

As you said the letter stated in your OP, it would cause a delay if the photos were not received by 9/30.  It shouldn't cause a delay if received before then---the sooner, the better, of course. 

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15 hours ago, CookieCat said:

The photo is printed on my certificate, the quality is a bit bad actually :P

 

I can't guarantee you but I think they will process your case fairly quickly once they receive the photos. Milwaukee field office isn't the fastest in the country but faster than many field offices. Did you enquire through Senator Baldwin or Johnson? You're right it probably helped push your case forward.

 

 

I'm thinking about sending two sets of photos, one signed on the back and one not signed.  Don't want to take any chances.  I don't suppose sending two extras would cause any issues?  I will also print both her old and new names on the back, along with A#.  Her signature is staying the same after name change.  Using a pencil is okay, right?

 

Once tracking info says it arrived, I will ask the senator's caseworker to do a follow up.  I'm using Senator Baldwin's office.  They've actually helped me with an old case way back when Tammy was still the congresswoman from my district.

 

On the certificate, is your signature also a digital one that's printed on the paper?  I wonder if that's one you signed at the interview or during biometrics.  Thanks.

 

 

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5 hours ago, Going through said:

As you said the letter stated in your OP, it would cause a delay if the photos were not received by 9/30.  It shouldn't cause a delay if received before then---the sooner, the better, of course. 

Thanks for the encouragement.  I just hope this letter doesn't mean the case went back from "approved" to "waiting for decision" again.  (I couldn't find any cases online where an RFE for photos was sent after approval and in line for oath.)  Maybe it's already out of the officer's hand and with the folks who physically produce the certificates.

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7 minutes ago, jj23521 said:

Thanks for the encouragement.  I just hope this letter doesn't mean the case went back from "approved" to "waiting for decision" again.  (I couldn't find any cases online where an RFE for photos was sent after approval and in line for oath.)  Maybe it's already out of the officer's hand and with the folks who physically produce the certificates.

You are still approved---you wouldn't have been in line for the oath ceremony without approval.  

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2 hours ago, jj23521 said:

 

I'm thinking about sending two sets of photos, one signed on the back and one not signed.  Don't want to take any chances.  I don't suppose sending two extras would cause any issues?  I will also print both her old and new names on the back, along with A#.  Her signature is staying the same after name change.  Using a pencil is okay, right?

 

Once tracking info says it arrived, I will ask the senator's caseworker to do a follow up.  I'm using Senator Baldwin's office.  They've actually helped me with an old case way back when Tammy was still the congresswoman from my district.

 

On the certificate, is your signature also a digital one that's printed on the paper?  I wonder if that's one you signed at the interview or during biometrics.  Thanks.

 

 

Is the RFE letter instructing you to submit SIGNED photos? What does it say exactly? If it's not asking for signatures, why are you trying to send signed photos? Also, her new name isn't official until she becomes a citizen so you shouldn't be using her new name anywhere till after oath.

 

Yes, my signature is also digital on my certificate. 

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21 hours ago, jj23521 said:

The field office is 1.5 hours away and I'm not sure if they will take hand delivered packages.  Not sure if that's worth everybody taking a day off to try?

Considering your confusion about whether or not to sign the photos, how to sign the photos (if you are supposed to), and your concern about this delaying her oath ceremony, I think it's worth the drive to at least try for peace of mind.  If you remember the name of the interviewing officer, I would ask for them directly when you arrive, and explain why you want to make sure it gets in their hands directly instead of just leaving it there at the front desk or wherever.

 

The worst case scenario is that they won't accept the photos hand-delivered...however, the best case scenario is that they do and answer all of your questions.

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