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About xillini

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    F-1 Visa
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    Nebraska Service Center

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  1. I favors of having lawyers as well. I read some reviews and found a lawyer when I did AOS in 2016. It was also affordable (1000$) because he was specifically specializing in family-immigration. Although many lawyers specialize in employment immigration, the lawyer I had had 10+ years of family immigration, specifically marriage AOS (to be fair, though, other family immigration category like parents, brother/sisters/daughters/sons of USC are cut and dry, meaning that all USCIS needs to verify is just to see if they are related). So I was quite comfortable, and the lawyer had my ethnicity background, so we had similar expectations. (I later noticed that some attorney charges 3000-4000$ for marriage green card, and my reaction was WTH?!) While I have to agree that many cases dont require lawyers assistance, it is the best to follow the lawyer's route. Especially when it comes to days of uncertainty, and given the nature of immigration itself is "All Big Ifs", if possible, having lawyers is the best shield. Immigration matters must be approached as conservative as possible because the burden of proof for eligible immigration benefits, shall always on immigration, not on government (that is what INA code of Federal law says so in preambles...)
  2. That is really interesting as the date goes between Aug 11 to 15th, the receipt date for a Case Inquiry retracted. So that makes me wonder if When we have a receipt number, we get WAC%%%##%%%%. So when reviewing ISO approves or makes decision, it electronically updates the oldest date of receipt because the receipt number was assigned by order_of_date. However, not all applications are adjucated based on order of date. As far as I know, when mailmen delivers I 751 to USCIS, preliminary reviews are completed to screen out any applications that are not eligible (such as 90 days window is not yet arrived) and entering information to assign receipt numbers. Once it is done, it is stored in waiting area until bulk of I 751 are sent to ISO's initial reviews (which is what I assume when USCIS updates the message like we are still reviewing your case or initial review message). However, due to RFE and ISO's personal way of adjucating are all different, it can variably change. For instance, ISO #1, John, completed a case dated from December 3, 2016 as a latest updates on Aug, 11, but ISO #2, Jessica, made decision for a case dated from November 29, 2016 as a last adjucation when Jessica spent some time reviewing RFE cases that were delayed back from previous months while ISO #1, John, still keeps adjucating cases dated from December 25, 2016, or in PTO for summer vacation. So when ISO#2, Jessica, finally adjucate the oldest case, USCIS processing timeline data is sorted out accordingly, and retracted to November 29, 2016 and other ISOs are still continuing next cases without updates in the processing timeline data because they are already making decisions for cases from post-November 29th, 2016 as of Aug 15th 2018. I am not sure how my theory is accurate because I have no ideas except how general workload are completed, which was explained to me from my AOS attorney,
  3. Well, there are quite interesting glassdoor reviews on USCIS, but multiple reviews commonly complains that upper management only cares about the numbers of cases that are approved based on each ISO's quota, which will be reflected on performance review by management. So based on that, it is likely that ISO would like to approve cases if there were no major issues once they review the evidences. Another impressive review I remember was one review says "I don't know how they got their jobs" and it was internship position. This is also along the line when my AOS attorney described many USCIS officers are not qualified to review what they are doing (In other words, they dont know what they are doing), and therefore when he wrote the lawyer's letter, he had to specifically cite each INA's article to give a clear understanding of my case (which I don't have any issue, no criminal record, had been lawful status with F1 for 4 years, just married to USC, not even a traffic ticket at all whatsoever except just twice parking ticket from my university). Yeah I am sure some ISO are very well-educated and intelligent, but many of ISOs are... as we can imagine. (and maybe that is why USCIS requires burden of proof relies on immigrants, not government)
  4. Like anything else in the United States, I think it depends. Some officers like to get highlighted, but others don't. So it is up to your choice and depends on whose hand will be given to in the service center per USCIS officer's personal taste, which we have no way to figure it out. Some officers who dont like the highlighted think when the evidences are highlighted, they tend to show only favorable material facts to the officers' attention while unfavorable evidences are getting hard to catch. Yeah of course, when you are submitting I 751, it is assumed that you are seeking for immigration benefits. Of course, you would only be interested in provide the most favorable information because that is why you are submitting I 751. However, officers job is not just to give approval, but would need to go thru each material facts and verify if the story matches with documentation, during which the highlighted content (or favorable to applicant's perspective) only hampers the objective understanding of evidences, and therefore officers start to suspect that you would only highlight contents to blind their eyes and wonder if you would hide some facts and ask what the intent was. So it is up to you. like anything else, everything in the United States, there is no answers, and it all depends. Ultimately, it is also your choice as well!
  5. I did analyze graphical representation of how I 751 starts to take so long. Please take a look, but clearly, I 751 adjucation (or approval) per each year used to be 130,000 from 2012 to 2016, except 2013 when 230,000 were adjucated successfully out of each year's averaging of incoming application around 150,000.However, in fiscal year of 2017, only 78,000 I 751 applications are adjucated. This is almost 40% decrease per avearge number of I 751 adjucation, and henceforth it immensely affects today's backlog. So clearly, it is not that all of sudden in 2010s, marriage between USC and foreigners increased because the number of application to I 751 still remains around 130,000 to 160,000 per year, nor does the number of documentations submitted in I 751 package increased from couple of evidences to extreme level of private life, but simply USCIS does not adjucate on time in fiscal year of 2017, and here we are. My guess is like anything else, it is comprehensive failure of predicting immigration application surges and USCIS did not properly respond to its application surges as well as political factors such as tightening immigration applications contribute this mess.
  6. It seems like it's a good news. You can see the statue of freedom in the middle of paper and it has two pages. Albeit it's possible it could be RFE with two pages without statue of freedom, in your letter you can clearly see the statue of freedom which often comes with approval. Any RFE paper does not have that statue. Keeps us updated!
  7. Well, this is what I have been tracking it down once per month to estimate USCIS trends and subsequent analysis. You can tell it was slightly rolled back. While USCIS requires all honesty for every application, they do not treat applicants with honesty and transparent policy when it comes to how, who, when, where, what, and why it takes such a long time. All different policy depending on who you met, where you could make an inquiry, and when to request additional evidence causes distrust. What's even worse is nothing will be unlikely to be changing and just hang it tight. updated date CSC VSC 10/13/2017 6/1/2016 10/1/2016 11/9/2017 8/3/2016 10/10/2016 12/1/2017 8/3/2016 10/10/2016 12/7/2017 7/27/2016 10/10/2016 2/1/2018 9/7/2016 12/19/2016 2/15/2018 9/22/2016 1/23/2017 3/14/2018 10/12/2016 2/27/2017 4/16/2018 9/26/2016 1/17/2017 5/16/2018 10/26/2016 2/14/2017 6/22/2018 11/4/2016 2/10/2017 7/16/2018 11/22/2016 3/18/2017
  8. I remember reading an law article that the burden of proof relies on DHS when it comes to IJ court hearing. USCIS, or DHS, in I 751 process, exercise good faith test, meaning that they must enter the marriage in a good faith. However, when it comes to IJ's hearing, some US federal court district exercise "circumvent immigration laws" test, which has less strict interpretation of laws. Let's just assume an immigrant was present in U.S. as H1B, and was married to USC later. Because the immigrant had H1B, it would be much easier to prove that the immigrant did not enter the marriage to circumvent immigration laws being married to USC and subsequently applied to I 485 based on marriage, if the immigrant could prove that he could have applied to I-485 based on employment. So this test, "circumvent immigration law" has more liberal interpretation of INA instead of "good faith marriage" test. If I am not mistaken, these federal court district include the 9th and 3rd court district to practice "circumvent immigration law", which mainly covers CA and NY, and all other court districts will use "good faith marriage" test. A good faith marriage could be more comprehensive because, let's just assume that an immigrant was not fully faithful to USC after green card, and therefore USC divorced it, and claimed that the marriage was not entered in a good faith (well I guess it is kind of typical story). USCIS's burden of proof to prove the marriage was not bona fide would have less threshold, if USCIS suggests material facts that the immigrant was continuously meeting with opposite sex friends, have numerous text/call/internet communications between him and another females, (or since same sex marriage is accepted, that could even include same sex) if the content is intimate, and somewhat private. Like any evidences that general USC couples would not do could be evidences against the immigrant. A good faith marriage is not clearly defined by courts, because it is not in nature that the judicial court defines what could be "good faith" marriage and what's not, because as soon as judicial court defines it, then many couples will claim legal child/spousal supports, citing that court's decision among all couples upon divorce. I have some USC couples friends, who did not do sex for more than couple of years, and they are still married for various reasons, but the court just can not define the good faith marriage by dictating that "a good faith marriage" include the couple having sex at least 1 time per week, or something like that.... Or, in order to be qualified to be a good faith marriage, the couple must live together in the same address.... I have USC couple (both USC), one living NYC, and another living in Midwest. Are they in sham marriage? I don't think so, but they entered marriage for benefits and their best interests. One working in NYC is an investor working in the wall street, whose partner was a prestigious physician in Chicago. In my opinion based on my observation on them, I think they just made their choices for happiness because, the investor did not lose more job opportunities in NYC, while the physician did not wanna leave Chi-town, where she finished the residency and has broader connection. I don't know about their love life, but they spend some time together whenever they meet once per month. Their choice for happiness led them to fall in love with other added-attraction toward each other, even though they live apart, and to my eyes, they are bona-fide marriage couples (At least based on info I knew of). However... to USCIS's eyes, this must not only be big red flag (just because they live apart), but also could be potential sham marriage that must be tested significantly in IJ's court hearing. (not to mention why first lady did not live with POTUS for a multiple months....) Because the modern society is no longer agricultural-manufacturing industry driven society as US used to be once, when the current immigration law was enacted, it simply can not follow the speed of modern society's occupational changes and so-on. (Plus, I would like to remind many of USCIS IO's are military background, whose ideas about marriage is really closed-minded compared to average Americans). If the court defines what can be qualified as a good faith marriage, then couples will cite this to claim better rewards upon divorce if they decide to dissolve the marriage, and therefore, the court can not do that. So the court leaves that in a gray area, where it is case-by-case with common sense, which creates all this fuss when it comes to immigration and marriage. So I would just point out that as long as you are married and in average you are normally married immigrant, it should be fine.
  9. Yes, with all due respect, I have to partially agree with you that DACA is more urgent. And realistically, that is why USCIS puts more resources into DACA instead of I 751, for instance because of political disputes and hawk eyed watchdog by many organizations. However, I don't think taking I 751 for 21 months is not okay with me at all cost. That is just a lot of time than just a little bit uncomfortable. Yes, I can wait for a month or 2 delays, but I would like to remind you just in 3 years ago, it used to be only 6 months, and now it is... as it is. To be honest, if I had predicted it would take 21 months, I would have waited to avoid I 751 processes (as I had OPT and was eligible for OPT STEM extension), and timed it so I could have applied to 13 months of our marriage so that by the time when we had AOS, it would be definitely after 24 months of marriage time, and therefore, we would not have to be concerned about I 751. (Not to mention I could have saved more filing fees, times, and stresses) Obviously, we live in a society, where one's happiness is another's uncomfortablenes, or even unhappiness if not.. There is just no way that everyone is happy. I think it really depends on one's world view, and I give you credit if you think everyone can be equally happy, but my heart (emotion) agrees with that, but my brain does not.
  10. Well, a good thing is DACA will have its critical moment by US Court District in Texas within 2-3 weeks. Unlike DACA cases in CA or NY, where it has liberal practices of immigration laws, this time it is TX, where many experts predicts DACA will be suspended or even revoked. BTW, this is what Trump called "judge shopping", where they bring the case to US court district where they think it best represent their best values. For instance, liberal immigration organization brought the case to Hawaii or California when it came to Trump's anti-muslim travel executive order in early 2017. Likewise, during Obama's term, anti-immigration groups brought the case such as DAPA(Deferred Action for Parents of Americans: AKA, an illegal aliens who has US citizen children) to Texas and STEM OPT administrative malpractice by Obama's government cases to Louisiana, resulting in nullifying DAPA and giving a hard time for STEM OPT processes. Because U.S. has a very unique legal system, where federal court in one state can override other states, this kind of judge shopping can take place (that says yes, it is true U.S. is the land of opportunity and freedom) The realistic outcome of Texas court district decision within a couple of weeks on DACA will be it will revoke DACA program, or at least suspend DACA, and since pro-immigration groups can never agree with DACA's suspension, it will probably appeal and bring the case to US Supreme Court (SCOTUS), but whatever the outcome is, it is highly likely that CSC and VSC can focus on processing I 751 if all DACA applications are on hold or just suspended. (Again, it is my speculation that even if DACA case is gone into SCOTUS, the chance that DACA is legally proven to be okay is slim, considering SCOTUS has 5 conservative judges). Depending on how Texas court district verdicts, it may allow partial suspension (such as USCIS still allowed to renew DACA EAD, or Trump administration was given discretion, in which case the chance is it will just cancel DACA regardless of DACA application is renewing DACA EAD, or reviewing new DACA EAD), or it may order total revoke on DACA program (which I think it is unlikely). We shall see soon, whatever it is, I don't think it hurts to I 751 filers. I feel sympathetic for DACA, but I dont think it fair if DACA, which has shady ground for legal basis under immigration laws, is given priority than other legal immigration cases. If anything, I 751 should be given priority to USCIS officers' desk than I 861D (DACA application).
  11. Well basically, his rational is like this when a passenger in an airport was asked if he/she could present a cell phone, the CBP officer will justifies "if you have nothing to hide, why don't you want to cooperate with us?" Once CBP takes the cell phone, they will look and obtain all sensitive information such as your banking, your text/emails, and your search history without any kind of court warrants. I read an article CBP developed a tool to extract information, and some travelers recommends to bring a burner cell phone during CBP inspection while sending actual cell phone using a FEDEX. I believe Post 911 phobia against terrorism really deteriorates American democracy: In other words, everyone is treated as guilty until proven otherwise, and a burden of proof always relies on each person, not government (sounds familiar?! huh?)
  12. Yeah while I agree with your statement, the reality is that due to DACA and other refugees programs, it creates a longer waiting time for other applicants who are here legally and follow all the requirement and predicament. It is reverse discrimination if USCIS processes DACA faster than, for instance, I 751 filers, which they do now. I do agree the compassion is important part in democracy, but there are also grim realities that those compassion for undocumented immigrants come true at the expense of someone's sacrifices such as legal immigrants. I believe what is the most important thing is the fairness to which how USCIS processes each different category for immigration benefits, which are extremely hard to make it balanced.
  13. Actually, I think if I 751 interview is required for in-person, it might speed things up. I noticed some USCIS offices have AOS averaged around 5-6 months and they get approved. Same as employment based I 485 in person interview, whose waiting time is not like 18 months most of USCIS offices. So if in-person interview is required for all I 751, it could speed things up. The question is whether both USC and CPR can show a good faith marriage after 2-3 years of marriage when a couple starts to feel some nausea about their romantic relationship, hah. Generally, couples start to realize the grim reality of their lives and 2-3 years are critical steps toward potential divorces when their original romantic dreams are broken while reality starts to kick in as a negative effect such as paying bills. When every couples are married, they believe everything will be fine, but are they? Some of them have to go thru hardship including finance, health, and careers, who might eventually overcome the challenge, but unfortunately statistics shows there are many couples who do not get over the challenge and decide it would be their best interests to dissolve the marriage.
  14. Well, the article that you shared was a case where an applicant was already given a court order to be removed. So ICE just executed that court order as US constitution required it. It does not apply to your case or most of people's cases. The article does not specify why he was given a court order for removal, and therefore, I would assume it was something fishy. Unlike this case, most of marriage cases are not involved with previously court ordering removal, and therefore it will not affect. Additionally, if you are already a green card holder, you do have a legal right to seek a due process as protected by US constitution. While is true that Trump administration seeks for more deportations, there are certain limitation that they can't really enforce, I would say don't worry too much about it.
  15. So I just looked up USCIS data publication, and they just updated 2nd quarter of 2018 numbers, which is between Jan 2018 to March 2018. (Remember fiscal year starts October of each year, so 1st quarter is Oct to Dec, and so on). It is a bit disappointing that USCIS only approved 24,000 cases for I 751, which is a bit weird to me, especially taking into account that USCIS started to distribute some of I 751 to Nebraska or Texas service center starting in Feb, March in 2018. Maybe, their works are not yet reflected in this data set because if some of I 751 are just transferred the realities is that these I 751s are sleeping somewhere in Nebraska, Texas service center offices. Maybe their works might kick in 3rd quarter of 2018 (April, May, June), and we will see. I would like to remind the highest I 751 approved per quarter was 66,000 cases in 1st quarter of fiscal year of 2013, or Oct, 2012 to Dec, 2012, which kind of makes sense considering political climate at that time, where President Obama was just re-elected and was on high drive to immigration reform as one of most priorities in his 2nd term. Anyway, as compared to that time, USCIS only adjucated only 30% of what they did in 1st quarter of fiscal year 2013, which is why it slows down entire processes. I am not I 751 filers yet (sometime next year), but I would highly recommend those who are already eligible to apply for N 400 should apply due to this long time processes. In other words, the reason I 751 processes have been delayed like today is not because all of sudden Americans are starting to get married with foreigners exponentially at all, but it is more like how USCIS deals with it. To USCIS, I 751 filers are lawful permanent residents, who do not require immediate immigration benefits unlike DACA, temporary, and refugees applicants along with political climate change that Trump was elected. Additionally, unlike N400, which both congressmen and women in both parties are highly interested in due to the fact that new citizenship means they have to look out the new American citizen, at least, during election time, USCIS has no reason to take into account of capitol hill's eyes for I 751 filers. We don't know what will happen in life, and immigration is getting harder and harder (Personally, I don't think it is just Trump himself, or just 4 year thing, but in general, immigration to USA has been gradually strenuous in last couple of decades, and it will be tougher even if Democrat President is elected). All I am saying is it is best to apply for N 400 if you can and are willing to, and forget about USCIS.