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arrowCHINA - Acquiring CRBA (Citizenship) - My Experience
April 18, 2015, 2:36 am Last comment by TraumaDoc

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Hey folks

This is a short (I hope) description of my experience acquiring Citizenship (CRBA, Passport, SS Card) for my baby born in China. I am American, my wife is a Chinese citizen.

Other threads will describe more of my social situation regarding my wife's visa acquisition; however, I'm making this post for anyone in my situation, but I asked questions here on the forum about China specific issues that nobody could answer. So, this is just some experience in the event you have similar questions.


I am American (male) and wife in Chinese

Went to the embassy and did step one as a check in - the girl simply followed a checklist. They asked for:

Mother and Father Passports
Our Chinese marriage certificate
Baby Chinese Birth Certificate
Records showing 5 years of U.S. Physical Presence
Mother perinatal medical records
Photo of my wife during pregnancy

I gave them original documents only and they made their own copies

I am 45 years old, in China for last 13 years basically. I had NO ORIGINAL documents any more - no tax papers, no school records, no rental agreements, bills, NOTHING. I lost all my personal documents during Tropical Storm Alison in 2001. So I spent the last year getting AND WHAT I SUBMITTED to the embassy for this purpose the following:

My parents wrote and notarized a letter stating the periods I lived with them starting from birth and in my case through the end of undergraduate school - 19 years
Middle School Records
High School Records
Undergraduate Transcripts
Graduate School Transcripts

Those are the only documents I had for physical presence. Employers refused to issue letters to show employment past 10 years. IRS refused to provide any documents after 7 years and since I lived in China for 13 years, I was out of luck. The above documents were more than enough (too much as stated by the Consul haha).

Per the application and one of my questions elsewhere, my baby's Chinese birth certificate had BOTH English and Chinese (Chinese language) names so I was confused which to put on the application forms. I put our baby's ENGLISH name on the forms. In the "Additional Information" form page I explained that the birth certificate had two names and we were choosing to legally use the English name. THAT was the correct thing to do. IN FACT, as told by the Consul official, the CRBA is essentially the equivalent of any American birth certificate and IN FACT, at the time of application using the CRBA, you can choose ANY NAME YOU WANT for your baby and that becomes the baby's new American legal name. So you could choose to create an entirely different, new name that isn't even listed on the Chinese birth certificate, if that makes sense. you have the opportunity to change the baby's name, so long as you have the birth certificate and explain the name change - they asked me if we wanted to change it from her Chinese birth certificate name - we didn't.

I have zero real recollection of what I did for jobs after college and graduate school, but I did my best but I KNOW FOR A FACT I missed and did not show 3 cities I lived in. But, what I wrote was sufficient and mostly I simply matched general period from my parents letter when I lived with them then cities for universities. I did not include jobs and so on since I had no documentation.

We waited 30 minutes, they reviewed our documents as above, then had face to face interview - taking 10 minutes while he wrote things on the form, asked basic questions about me and my wife and baby and living in China, etc. It was simple and direct and friendly. He admitted that doing this process face to face is preferable than such things as the lock-box stuff for visas. He stated that ALL docuemtns accepted are the discretion of the officer and he could ask for more or less. He was stunned that I had "so much" information. Basically I wasted a year being paranoid and trying to get more and more and more - it was un-needed. He stated it was obvious we were properly married and our baby was ours and so on. It was his discretion and he immediately approved our applications.

So, in 10 days we get the baby's Passport and Passport Book and CRBA; we'll be notified by e-mail. Social Security Card will be mailed to the U.S. Mailing Address we provided in about 5 months.

The entire process was stupidly easy - no red-flags raised. Spending the day traveling to Beijing and returning home was the horrible part.

If anyone is in a similar circumstance, I can offer my experience and answer questions if you are obtaining baby citizenship in China. The entire cost was about 1,300 RMB ($215 with passport card).

In the end, simply fill out your applications (I did mine by hand) and do not worry. So long as you are legal you're fine. They will ask questions that seem off, but are meant to test you and your spouse. He "noticed" my wife's wedding ring, our babies ear-rings, he asked the baby where daddy was (she is 2 1/2), he asked if the baby or wife spoke Chinese (both speak English and Chinese actually), he asked why I was in China and why I was leaving (getting baby citizenship). Basically it was a mini-inspection of our bonifide marriage).

Another couple was there also - American woman and Chinese husband. HE DID NOT speak English but the officer spoke to him in Chinese (he is white American). So, language isn't a factor in any case.

Anyone with questions about doing this in Beijing, I'm happy to answer based on my experience.

Unfortunately, getting my wife's I-130 and Permanent Residency probably won't be so simple since it is done at central government officers rather than sitting face-to-face wiht a consular officer with full discretion. But, now I'm not as paranoid about doing that process. So long as you follow the checklists, don't make mistakes and include what is asked for, I think it should go smoothly.

So, don't be as paranoid and nervous as I was. It was simple, harmless, and quick. And now, the baby has proof of citizenship and can finally go to America.

So, hopefully it helps anyone out there - because the quesitons I had I never really got anserwed here. It was harmless and simple folks.

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arrowexpedite request approved, how long will it take NVC to transfer the case to Guangzhou?
April 17, 2015, 4:36 pm Last comment by yuzhang0722

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I am petitioning both of my parents to immigrate to the US.


Guangzhou approved my two case expedite request on 4/15/2015 as follow. I did EP for Guangzhou and sent all documents and fees to NVC.


'The U.S. Embassy/Consulate General has accepted this case for expedited processing. This file will be immediately forwarded to the U.S. Embassy/Consulate General. Any further questions concerning processing or the interview appointment date should be directed to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate General.'


But when I called NVC today, they said they need 2-3 days to forward my case file to Guangzhou even though they said immediately on the email. So looks like they have not forward my case file yet. 


Does anyone have experience what should I do now?  Is there anything i can do to ask NVC to forward my case file faster?


I request April interview when I apply for expedite. Should i start to contact Guangzhou now? To let them know they will expect two cases coming and ask them to schedule my interview in April. Or is there any possibility they can schedule April interview?  


What Guangzhou will do when they get the expedite casefile? Is there any point i can fast forward the progress at Guangzhou. We really have a deadline to catch, so trying get interview as fast as possible. 


Also, i saw on other post said check progress on DOS. Anyone can help me with what is DOS and how can i check progress on DOS?


Thanks a lot for any help.

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arrowStatus Change From F2A to IR1 at U.S. Consulate
April 17, 2015, 2:29 pm Last comment by earth angel 123
earth angel 123

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Hello everyone,

I am so frustrated now. Please help me out with this complicated situation!

I filed my husband in August 2013 on category F2A. Our case received an interview notice in April 2014. Unfortunately we experienced the big retrogression for F2A while we preparing for the interview. I didn't want just wait for the priority date become current, so I filed naturalization application in June 2014. I thought I could get my citizenship in at most 4 months, but I was wrong, it took me 8 months to get the interview. I got my citizenship certificate on April 2nd, 2015. My husband's old category(F2A) will become current in May 2015, but I reported my status change to the U.S. consulate, they replied me and only said that they have changed my case from F2A to IR1, then I got back to the to change my visa category and tried to get my interview scheduled, but I couldn't!!! The system doesn't recognize my case number anymore!! GOOD GOLLY!! What should I do next? How long do I need to wait for the interview appointment can be made?! Please help me!!

If anyone knew the answer, please reply! Thank you for your patience!

Best too all!!!!

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arrowI-485 RFE China Birth Certificate/White Book
April 16, 2015, 10:11 pm Last comment by Shauneg
Brian & Kathy

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My wife and I are petitioning for her parents from China to adjust status.  They came here on a visitor’s visa and we decided to file I-130 and I-485 simultaneously prior to overstaying the visa.  Regarding the I-485, application for adjustment of status, we recently received a RFE:

You have submitted a family census register, family relation register or a notarial certificate.  However, the evidence you submitted does not contain the applicant's name.  You must submit a family census register, family relation register or a notarial certificate that contains the applicant's name.

Title 8 Code of Federal Regulations, Section 103.2(b)(2)(ii) states:

Where a record does not exist, the applicant or petitioner must submit an original written statement on government letterhead establishing this from the relevant government or other authority.  The statement must indicate the reason the record does not exist and indicate whether similar records for the time and place are available.  It must contain the following:

A legible seal

A legible stamp

A signature with a title containing the words: secretary, registrar or births and deaths

Prior to submitting the application, we knew there would be a possible issue.  My parents in law have no birth certificate, as at that time the Chinese government did not issue them.

Long story short, to obtain this document, my parents in law must travel to China to obtain it in person.  The catch 22 is that if they travel outside of the country now, the I-485 petition will be considered abandon.  Any advice?

I plan to call the USCIS customer service line tomorrow to ask some specific questions, however my experience has been this is useless.

We made every attempt to obtain the required certificate from the China office before sending the petition.  We wrote, signed and notarized several different letters as requested by the China notarial office.  Each time we submitted a document to the china notarial office, they requested a more outlandish document instead, saying the letter they requested previously was insufficient.  Finally, we submitted with the I-485 all of the letters we had made attempting to obtain the certificate from the china office, along with an explanation of why we could not obtain it, and their Chinese Family Registration Book (and of course a translation of it).

Again, catch 22.  We can't get the document without appearing in China in person to get it, and we can't leave the US until the request for advance parole is approved or forfeiting the I-485 petition.

The last requested document from the china notarial office was a request for notarized letters from the Chinese embassy here in the US, stating that her parents are in the US and request the notarial certificate.  The nearest embassy is in Chicago, 500+ miles away.  As a family of 6 with a 19 month old and a 3 month old, that is a difficult request.  Based on the 3 previous attempts to provide letters, they would then request a more outlandish document to provide the requested certificate.  None the less, we will attempt to contact the embassy to see if they could even provide such a document.

Frustrated and turning in circles with both governments.

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arrowStill no NOA2 from CSC from August 2014
April 16, 2015, 4:18 pm Last comment by TabeaK

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Hello, I have a NOA1 date of August 4 2014 from the CSC, that's right CALIFORNIA. I have still not received my NOA2. I have contacted my State's Senator and the Omsbudsman office. They are unable to get a response from USCIS. By law USCIS was required to respond to my States Senator within 60 days. They failed to do this. I am wondering what my next options are. I opened at least 5 different case inquiries and I get the same response every time. They tell me they are sorry but they can't give me an exact time frame of when my case will be processed and I just need to keep waiting. I am beyond frustrated at this point and I am totally disgusted at the USCIS and their total disregard for the law and human decency. Could someone please help me on what to do next. 

Thank you.

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