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NVC rejected certified copies of 2 civil documents. What am I to do?

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Filed: Country: Ukraine
Timeline

Dear members,

The NVC has just dealt a blow to my DS-230 application for an IR-5 on behalf of my mother. I hope that someone having experience dealing with the NVC and/or with Ukrainian cases can help me. My apologies for the length of this.

Minimum background:

I am a US citizen petitioning for my mother to come to the US from Ukraine (UA). We followed the I-130 / NVC route. As soon as my mom got the Choice of Agent form, she designated me as her agent and I went all the way to gathering the I-864 and DS-230 packages and sending them to the NVC on Dec 5, 2008 (under the same cover.) In support of the DS-230, my mother had supplied certified copies of the necessary civil documents, including her birth and marriage certificates.

The problem:

Today, I received a "checklist letter" from the NVC. In it, they request two civil documents, my mom's birth and marriage certificates. This obviously means that the submitted certified copies were considered insufficiently certified -- and ignored. I believe that they were ignored wrongly.

Advice sought:

I need to know to what extent I can/should plead my case with the NVC and what are my other options. I would appreciate separate advice on the birth certificate and the marriage certificate because these two documebts were executed differently. If you've got this far, I would greatly appreciate your reading both cases.

1) Case of Rejected Birth Certificate

From the get-go, we decided not to entrust the mail with any hard-to-obtain originals. For those not familiar with UA specifics, the Ukrainian government authority issuing documents of civil status is called ZAGS. It is quite unheard-of for the ZAGS to provide certified copies of birth certificates at citizen's request. A citizen has one and only birth certificate, THE original, for life. One can only receive another -- called "duplicate" -- if the original is lost. Therefore, in his case it is not possible to comply with the NVC's request for a document copy "certified by the issuing entity."

So my mom and I decided to follow an alternate route and obtain an APOSTILLED notarized copy. Fortunately, the US Department of State recognizes that notariztion is the way of certifying documents in Ukraine:

-- "Certified copies of documents are made at local notary offices, and signatures and seals of local notaries may be authenticated at the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice." (see http://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/reciproc...city_3697.html).

So my mom made a photocopy of her birth certificate, had it notarized, and then ad it apostilled at the Ministry of Justice. I put that in the DS-230 package, in which I explanied the Ukrainian certification process citing the above...

...This just got rejected.

Questions:

Will calling NVC and pleading my case get me anywhere?

Do you know of successful cases of NVC counting in a previously rejected checklist document based on a phone call?

What are my alternatives, considering that originals of birth certificates may not even be exportable from Ukraine (I don't know about Ukraine, but Russia recently passed legislation banning the mailing of original ID documents)?

2) Case of Rejected Marriage Certificate

The submitted marriage certificate was precisely what the NVC calls for: a copy of the official record certified by the issuer, the Kiev city ZAGS! And apostilled to boot. NVC's rejection of this document speaks of their incompetence, but that's not the point... what am I to do? Just get my mom to send me another one and resubmit? With or without a cover letter explaining why they should have accepted this the first time around? Call NVC and plead my case?

Perhaps it is possible to convince NVC to just cut it short and pass the file on to the US embassy in Kiev, where my mother can come and produce the originals?

Does it make sense to contact the embassy's toll help line with these questions?

Thank you very much and again, sorry for the verbosity.

Gleb

PS. An interesting cross reference from a post by member bgreed, written in June:

==

Here is the problem my wife and her son were born in different cities in Russia they now live in Ukraine it is extremely difficult to get documents from the issuing authority with traveling there to get them and even then it can be difficult. So any thoughts? How about a notary with apostille that says it is a true and complete copy of the original?

==

Unfortunatley, bgreed's question was left without an answer..


Timeline (to be expanded):

I-130 Sent : 2008-02-16

I-130 NOA1 : 2008-02-27

I-130 Approved : 2008-06-10

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Hi Gleb,

You have done a great job of framing this question, and setting out the facts.

I suggest you also post this matter on Britishexpats.com under the 'USA marriage based visa" forum. . . It is much larger than this venue, and the persons there are, in many instances, more knowledgeable than those here.

Also, alert your congressional representatives to what is going on - just like you did here. The USCIS has a congressional liason avail to congressional elected reps which cut through the red tape and cut to the chase on issues such as the one you have posed.

What you are detailing has been done numerous times, and you need to know and deserve to know why NVC did what it did, and what you need to do to keep this thing from getting hung up.

Sincerely,

SG

-----------------------------------------------------

Dear members,

The NVC has just dealt a blow to my DS-230 application for an IR-5 on behalf of my mother. I hope that someone having experience dealing with the NVC and/or with Ukrainian cases can help me. My apologies for the length of this.

Minimum background:

I am a US citizen petitioning for my mother to come to the US from Ukraine (UA). We followed the I-130 / NVC route. As soon as my mom got the Choice of Agent form, she designated me as her agent and I went all the way to gathering the I-864 and DS-230 packages and sending them to the NVC on Dec 5, 2008 (under the same cover.) In support of the DS-230, my mother had supplied certified copies of the necessary civil documents, including her birth and marriage certificates.

The problem:

Today, I received a "checklist letter" from the NVC. In it, they request two civil documents, my mom's birth and marriage certificates. This obviously means that the submitted certified copies were considered insufficiently certified -- and ignored. I believe that they were ignored wrongly.

Advice sought:

I need to know to what extent I can/should plead my case with the NVC and what are my other options. I would appreciate separate advice on the birth certificate and the marriage certificate because these two documebts were executed differently. If you've got this far, I would greatly appreciate your reading both cases.

1) Case of Rejected Birth Certificate

From the get-go, we decided not to entrust the mail with any hard-to-obtain originals. For those not familiar with UA specifics, the Ukrainian government authority issuing documents of civil status is called ZAGS. It is quite unheard-of for the ZAGS to provide certified copies of birth certificates at citizen's request. A citizen has one and only birth certificate, THE original, for life. One can only receive another -- called "duplicate" -- if the original is lost. Therefore, in his case it is not possible to comply with the NVC's request for a document copy "certified by the issuing entity."

So my mom and I decided to follow an alternate route and obtain an APOSTILLED notarized copy. Fortunately, the US Department of State recognizes that notariztion is the way of certifying documents in Ukraine:

-- "Certified copies of documents are made at local notary offices, and signatures and seals of local notaries may be authenticated at the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice." (see http://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/reciproc...city_3697.html).

So my mom made a photocopy of her birth certificate, had it notarized, and then ad it apostilled at the Ministry of Justice. I put that in the DS-230 package, in which I explanied the Ukrainian certification process citing the above...

...This just got rejected.

Questions:

Will calling NVC and pleading my case get me anywhere?

Do you know of successful cases of NVC counting in a previously rejected checklist document based on a phone call?

What are my alternatives, considering that originals of birth certificates may not even be exportable from Ukraine (I don't know about Ukraine, but Russia recently passed legislation banning the mailing of original ID documents)?

2) Case of Rejected Marriage Certificate

The submitted marriage certificate was precisely what the NVC calls for: a copy of the official record certified by the issuer, the Kiev city ZAGS! And apostilled to boot. NVC's rejection of this document speaks of their incompetence, but that's not the point... what am I to do? Just get my mom to send me another one and resubmit? With or without a cover letter explaining why they should have accepted this the first time around? Call NVC and plead my case?

Perhaps it is possible to convince NVC to just cut it short and pass the file on to the US embassy in Kiev, where my mother can come and produce the originals?

Does it make sense to contact the embassy's toll help line with these questions?

Thank you very much and again, sorry for the verbosity.

Gleb

PS. An interesting cross reference from a post by member bgreed, written in June:

==

Here is the problem my wife and her son were born in different cities in Russia they now live in Ukraine it is extremely difficult to get documents from the issuing authority with traveling there to get them and even then it can be difficult. So any thoughts? How about a notary with apostille that says it is a true and complete copy of the original?

==

Unfortunatley, bgreed's question was left without an answer..

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Filed: Country: Ukraine
Timeline

Thank you so much for the quick response and suggestions. I'll start with re-posting to Britishexpats and taking the matter up with the NVC. And of course hold on to the congressional option. I'll update this thread with any news I get.

Gleb

Hi Gleb,

You have done a great job of framing this question, and setting out the facts.

I suggest you also post this matter on Britishexpats.com under the 'USA marriage based visa" forum. . . It is much larger than this venue, and the persons there are, in many instances, more knowledgeable than those here.

Also, alert your congressional representatives to what is going on - just like you did here. The USCIS has a congressional liason avail to congressional elected reps which cut through the red tape and cut to the chase on issues such as the one you have posed.

What you are detailing has been done numerous times, and you need to know and deserve to know why NVC did what it did, and what you need to do to keep this thing from getting hung up.

Sincerely,

SG


Timeline (to be expanded):

I-130 Sent : 2008-02-16

I-130 NOA1 : 2008-02-27

I-130 Approved : 2008-06-10

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Canada
Timeline
Hi Gleb,

You have done a great job of framing this question, and setting out the facts.

I suggest you also post this matter on Britishexpats.com under the 'USA marriage based visa" forum. . . It is much larger than this venue, and the persons there are, in many instances, more knowledgeable than those here.

Also, alert your congressional representatives to what is going on - just like you did here. The USCIS has a congressional liason avail to congressional elected reps which cut through the red tape and cut to the chase on issues such as the one you have posed.

What you are detailing has been done numerous times, and you need to know and deserve to know why NVC did what it did, and what you need to do to keep this thing from getting hung up.

Sincerely,

SG

-----------------------------------------------------

Way to support the VJ forum sophisgent :thumbs:

Gleb,

To answer your question - yes, it would be worthwhile to follow up on your question with NVC. Really you can post on any board anywhere - but you are not going to turn this situation around without addressing your concerns to the agency that has rejected your documents.

What you really need to do is to call NVC and ask to speak to a supervisor - while the operator may ask you to explain why you wish to speak with one (and you can explain it to them) - if you are polite and firm they will put you through.

Once you are speaking to a supervisor you will need to explain why you think that your documents fall within the guidelines set out in the reciprocity schedules.

They will probably tell you that it will take 10-15 days for them to review it - however it will generally not take that long.

Good luck to you.

Edited by trailmix

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada
Timeline
You have done a great job of framing this question, and setting out the facts.

I suggest you also post this matter on Britishexpats.com under the 'USA marriage based visa" forum. . . It is much larger than this venue, and the persons there are, in many instances, more knowledgeable than those here.

As Michelle Tanner would say.."How rudeee"


"...My hair's mostly wind,

My eyes filled with grit

My skin's white then brown

My lips chapped and split

I've lain on the prairie and heard grasses sigh

I've stared at the vast open bowl of the sky

I've seen all the castles and faces in clouds

My home is the prairie and for that I am proud…

If You're not from the Prairie, you can't know my soul

You don't know our blizzards; you've not fought our cold

You can't know my mind, nor ever my heart

Unless deep within you there's somehow a part…

A part of these things that I've said that I know,

The wind, sky and earth, the storms and the snow.

Best say that you have - and then we'll be one,

For we will have shared that same blazing sun." - David Bouchard

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Filed: Country: Ukraine
Timeline

Thank you! I wasn't sure what to expect from the NVC based on the mixed results of previous phone calls. It definitely helps to know about the possibility of requesting to talk to a supervisor.

Gleb,

To answer your question - yes, it would be worthwhile to follow up on your question with NVC. Really you can post on any board anywhere - but you are not going to turn this situation around without addressing your concerns to the agency that has rejected your documents.

What you really need to do is to call NVC and ask to speak to a supervisor - while the operator may ask you to explain why you wish to speak with one (and you can explain it to them) - if you are polite and firm they will put you through.

Once you are speaking to a supervisor you will need to explain why you think that your documents fall within the guidelines set out in the reciprocity schedules.

They will probably tell you that it will take 10-15 days for them to review it - however it will generally not take that long.

Good luck to you.


Timeline (to be expanded):

I-130 Sent : 2008-02-16

I-130 NOA1 : 2008-02-27

I-130 Approved : 2008-06-10

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Wales
Timeline

It has bee known for them to ask for documents they have been provided, often it is resolved by ust re-submitting them again.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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I suggest you also post this matter on Britishexpats.com under the 'USA marriage based visa" forum. . . It is much larger than this venue, and the persons there are, in many instances, more knowledgeable than those here

Hasn't posted in months and Archie's first post is to send people to another site... :thumbs:

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I suggest you also post this matter on Britishexpats.com under the 'USA marriage based visa" forum. . . It is much larger than this venue, and the persons there are, in many instances, more knowledgeable than those here

Hasn't posted in months and Archie's first post is to send people to another site... :thumbs:

My VJ Colleagues,

I was holding Stephen's hand when this site was founded in 2003.

Knowledge is where you find it.

Sincerely,

Archie Wilson

p.s.

Wife became U. S. citizen on Dec. 4, 2008.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Canada
Timeline
I suggest you also post this matter on Britishexpats.com under the 'USA marriage based visa" forum. . . It is much larger than this venue, and the persons there are, in many instances, more knowledgeable than those here

Hasn't posted in months and Archie's first post is to send people to another site... :thumbs:

My VJ Colleagues,

I was holding Stephen's hand when this site was founded in 2003.

Knowledge is where you find it.

Sincerely,

Archie Wilson

p.s.

Wife became U. S. citizen on Dec. 4, 2008.

Archie,

I am not a cheerleader for VJ - however your response was not helpful.

The OP's question was a pretty basic question - certainly many people on this board have had this experience and could answer this question.

The only reason I said anything was because you are trying to send the OP elsewhere - for no good reason.

Sometimes, for instance, someone will post a question about some procedure for visas in China and someone else with experience will advise them to check out the Candle for Love website as that particular scenario is very specific to China and they may get more/better answers there.

What I am saying is that if I thought you were truly attempting to help the OP, I would never have said anything.

Edited by trailmix

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Brazil
Timeline

Well, I know that several certified copies for brazilian documents (some are the same as notarized but not all) have been rejected by NVC. When a phone call was made or a letter sent stating that the proper documentation had already been sent and received, the cases were then reviewed again and approved.

Speaking to NVC would definitely help. Also, for anyone else at this step of the process I would recommend submitting a cover letter stating the proper order of documents and which are originals and which are certified. Sometimes this can prevent an RFE.

Good Luck!

Edited by Alli and Léo

March 7, 2008 - Married

March 19, 2008 - I-130 Sent

March 20, 2008 - I-130 Delivered in Chicago, IL 60680 @ 2:44pm; Signed for by V Bustamante

March 26, 2008 - I-130 NOA1

April 2, 2008 - I-129F Sent

April 3, 2008 - I-129F Delivered in Saint Albans, VT 05479 @ 12:05pm; Signed for by P Novak

April 4, 2008 - I-129F NOA1

September 23, 2008 - I-129F RFE1 Sent by USCIS, Request for recent passport-style photos

September 27, 2008 - I-129F RFE1 Received

October 1, 2008 - I-129F Photos sent in responce to RFE1

October 2, 2008 - I-129F Photos delivered in Saint Albans, VT 05479; Signed for by M Hazuda

October 3, 2008 - I-130 & I-129F Case processing resumed

October 14, 2008 - I-130 & I-129F petitions approved

October 16, 2008 - VSC put NOA2s in mail

October 20, 2008 - Received I-130 & I-129F NOA2s

November 7, 2008 - I-129F & I-130 petitions recieved at NVC & NVC says I-129F forwarded to Consulate

November 13,2008 - I-129F appears to have been shipped via DHL website on this date, Tracking #: 9486375732

November 17, 2008 - DS-3032 & AOS Fee Bill generated

November 18, 2008 - DS-3032 overnighted to NVC

November 22, 2008 - IIN received in mail; Paid AOS & IV Fee Bills online

November 25, 2008 - AOS & IV Fee Bills rejected; Paid Fees again online (now pending)

November 26, 2008 - AOS & DS-230 packets overnighted to NVC (payments show as paid)

December 16, 2008 - K-3 Visa Interview (now cancelled)

December 2, 2008 - Case complete @ NVC; waiting for interview date to be set

January 16, 2008 - CR-1 Visa Interview

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Filed: Country: Ukraine
Timeline
Please read the below as it contains an important amendment!


As embarrassing as it is, I must post this, with apologies to NVC, to remain a good forum citizen. Yesterday I called the NVC and they were surprised that I brought up my mother's birth and marriage certificates. Turned out, this is not at all what they'd requested. They had requested MY birth and marriage certificates! The mistake was totally mine.

What happened was that I saw:

MISSING DOCUMENT LIST FOR: <My mother's name>

1) PETITIONER'S BIRTH CERTIFICATE
...

I saw, but not register the word "Petitioner's", reading "Beneficiary's" instead. The rep said that this actually happens quite often. There's some consolation in numbers... not much though.

Anyway, NVC processed everything correctly and now I am submitting the missing documents, my own birth and marriage certificates. Previously I had submitted their protocopies to the CIS along with the I-130, but that was not sufficient for NVC. After all, they require originals or certified copies. Since the originals are with me in the US, I'll submit them. I'll report later on whether the NVC make good on their promise of returning them to my mother through the officer at the interview.

Timeline (to be expanded):

I-130 Sent : 2008-02-16

I-130 NOA1 : 2008-02-27

I-130 Approved : 2008-06-10

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Filed: Country: Ukraine
Timeline

On the bright side, I now know that NVC accepts notarized/apostilled copies from Ukraine. Please see this: http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=579901 for details. I'll be happy to repost it as a new thread here if this is allowed.

Finally, a question: How can I contact the moderator of this forum on VJ?


Timeline (to be expanded):

I-130 Sent : 2008-02-16

I-130 NOA1 : 2008-02-27

I-130 Approved : 2008-06-10

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Canada
Timeline
On the bright side, I now know that NVC accepts notarized/apostilled copies from Ukraine. Please see this: http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=579901 for details. I'll be happy to repost it as a new thread here if this is allowed.

Finally, a question: How can I contact the moderator of this forum on VJ?

In general, they should return all original documents at the interview - except for police certificates.

A list of VJ moderators can be found here: http://www.visajourney.com/forums/index.ph...mp;CODE=leaders

It's not surprising that this is a common mistake, RFE documents from NVC, in general, are not incredibly clear (ie they contain a lot of 'not needed' info and therefore some real information can get lost).

Glad you got this cleared up.

Edited by trailmix

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On the bright side, I now know that NVC accepts notarized/apostilled copies from Ukraine. Please see this: http://britishexpats.com/forum/showthread.php?t=579901 for details. I'll be happy to repost it as a new thread here if this is allowed.

Finally, a question: How can I contact the moderator of this forum on VJ?

In general, they should return all original documents at the interview - except for police certificates.

A list of VJ moderators can be found here: http://www.visajourney.com/forums/index.ph...mp;CODE=leaders

It's not surprising that this is a common mistake, RFE documents from NVC, in general, are not incredibly clear (ie they contain a lot of 'not needed' info and therefore some real information can get lost).

Glad you got this cleared up.

Trailmix,

You are all wet.

You went off on the same wild goose chase that my friend Janeaus did.

I see you are a newbie, having joined up in March 2007.

Now, so far, VJ posters have good heartedly but erroneously suggested:

1. Resubmitting the documents back to NVC. This would never work because the documents never should have been sent to NVC in the first place.

2. Talk to a supervisor. This is normally an exercise in futility - takes a lot of time - and you are 50/50 getting someone who knows what they are doing.

3. Your suggestions again indicate you did not grasp the root cause of the op's problem-and that was the op made a mistake in reading the instructions from NVC concerning the DS-230 requirements that the mother of the OP, not the OP, was responsible for submitting documents, not to NVC, but to the consular official at the U. S. Embassy at time of visa interview in Kiev.

In reading the most recent thing Janeaus has posted, I still think he is misconstruing the role of NVC in this process with that of the U. S. embassy regarding the examination of certain documents which pertain to his mother.

FYI, British Expats has been in business a whole lot longer than VJ. Have you never been there?

Finally, you infer that I didn't want to help OP. Actually, last night, when I pieced everything together, I privately messaged OP and told him where he was going wrong, and Janeaus reported that today.

Best wishes,

SG - Archie Wilson

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