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Mr. Florida

Tips please on how to deal with waiting for NOA2

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I have received our NOA1 back in late August of 2010, and we are now more than 4.5 months into our wait. After reading for several months about the possible explanations why the Vermont Service Center is processing slower during the winter months, perhaps because of work visa priority, more fiancee and spouse visas than normal, fewer adjudicators, etc., than their usual processing rate of 2 to 3 months back in late summer of 2010, which is why we decided to apply for the K-1 visa in the first place because of its fast turn-around time, my fiancee and I are simply losing our patience this late into the phase. We were both doing great before, but all this time of not seeing each other and the overriding uncertainty of when we might receive our NOA2 is taking an emotional and physical toll on both of us. I realize other couples have waited 5 months and longer for their NOA2 and maybe we should wait a little bit longer. Yet how did you deal with it? My request is for all the couples out there who have waited a similar period or longer. My fiancee and I have tried everything like focusing on work, spending more time with family and friends, going to parties, movies, and events, or anything else distracting us from this intolerable wait. But every time I am alone at home after work or on the weekends, I cannot help but think about this stupid visa, and she does the same. We have tried everything, and we have run out of ideas now. To all the couples out there, what tips and ideas can you give that have helped you fight through this never-ending nightmare?

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I have received our NOA1 back in late August of 2010, and we are now more than 4.5 months into our wait. After reading for several months about the possible explanations why the Vermont Service Center is processing slower during the winter months, perhaps because of work visa priority, more fiancee and spouse visas than normal, fewer adjudicators, etc., than their usual processing rate of 2 to 3 months back in late summer of 2010, which is why we decided to apply for the K-1 visa in the first place because of its fast turn-around time, my fiancee and I are simply losing our patience this late into the phase. We were both doing great before, but all this time of not seeing each other and the overriding uncertainty of when we might receive our NOA2 is taking an emotional and physical toll on both of us. I realize other couples have waited 5 months and longer for their NOA2 and maybe we should wait a little bit longer. Yet how did you deal with it? My request is for all the couples out there who have waited a similar period or longer. My fiancee and I have tried everything like focusing on work, spending more time with family and friends, going to parties, movies, and events, or anything else distracting us from this intolerable wait. But every time I am alone at home after work or on the weekends, I cannot help but think about this stupid visa, and she does the same. We have tried everything, and we have run out of ideas now. To all the couples out there, what tips and ideas can you give that have helped you fight through this never-ending nightmare?

Know how you feel man, I am gonna reach the 5 month mark next week :( and this whole process has taken a toll on my relationship but you have to keep in mind that the US is very skeptical about foriegners marrying US citizens and the reason the process is the way it is is to test your relationship and prove that it is bonafide, if you can survive and ride the process and go through the ups and downs then you have a very good chance of being really really happy when you reach the end because you will have gone through a very tough time for both individuals and you both will have proven that you really do want to be together no matter.. It's not much but this is what keeps me sane!


I-129F Sent : 2010-08-02

I-129F NOA1 : 2010-08-16

Touched : 2010-08-20

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There is really nothing specific anyone can tell you to make the waiting easier. We all deal with these things differently. However, my advice is to try not to dwell on it. Hard to say when it's 5-6 months of waiting, but it's the best thing for your sanity. Don't focus on the dates and timelines and other things you have no control over. Focus on the things you CAN control. Prepare yourself for the next step. Gather information, fill out any forms necessary, start collecting evidence. Work on putting money away for the Visa, POE, AOS, and anything else down the line.

This little stumbling block is always going to be in the back of your mind, even if you do everything I mentioned and all the activities you mentioned in your post. Just know that your time is coming, and when it does, things will start to move faster and eventually these few months you spent waiting won't matter much in the big picture, because you'll be one step closer to your ultimate goal.

Also know that you're not alone. This forum is full of people who are going through the very same thing.

Good luck, I hope you get good news soon.

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If you weren't thinking of the process and being apart from each other every waking moment, I would say maybe you both are not truly in love. So do like the rest of it and suck it up. Life goes on. My girl interviews the 18th. We met over a year ago and the last time I saw her was in May.

I can't tell you how soft her skin feels to me anymore. I just know that I can't wait to touch her again.


November 2009- Met online

May 13,2010- Visited in Cebu, Philippines

July 01, 2010 I-129f mailed to Cali

July 06,2010- USCIS confirmed delivery

July 12,2010- NOA-1

July 21,2010- file touched

Nov. 19,2010- NOA2 Approved!!!!

Nov. 24, 2010- NVC received

Nov. 30,2010- Hardcopy recieved in mail

Nov. 30, 2010-case number received from NVC via phone

case forwarded to Manilla

Dec. 06, 2010- paid Visa fee at BPI

Dec. 07,2010-Embassy recieved

Dec. 28, 2010- Appt. finally scheduled

Jan. 11,2011- Medical exam

Jan. 18,2011- Interview APPROVED!!!

Jan. 19,2011- Visa printed

Jan. 22, 2011- Visa delivered

Jan. 30, 2011- Guam

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Know how you feel man, I am gonna reach the 5 month mark next week :( and this whole process has taken a toll on my relationship but you have to keep in mind that the US is very skeptical about foriegners marrying US citizens and the reason the process is the way it is is to test your relationship and prove that it is bonafide, if you can survive and ride the process and go through the ups and downs then you have a very good chance of being really really happy when you reach the end because you will have gone through a very tough time for both individuals and you both will have proven that you really do want to be together no matter.. It's not much but this is what keeps me sane!

Berk, thanks for the good wisdom and advice. You are right that the U.S. is very skeptical of whom we meet outside this country, no matter how much we love them. I know the ride is rough, but I hope she and I can ride through this and be happy in the end as you say. Like you're doing, our love and our hope is what is keeping us going. I noticed you got your NOA1 only 4 days before mine, so I wish great luck to you and your fiancee and hope that you get good news very soon.

There is really nothing specific anyone can tell you to make the waiting easier. We all deal with these things differently. However, my advice is to try not to dwell on it. Hard to say when it's 5-6 months of waiting, but it's the best thing for your sanity. Don't focus on the dates and timelines and other things you have no control over. Focus on the things you CAN control. Prepare yourself for the next step. Gather information, fill out any forms necessary, start collecting evidence. Work on putting money away for the Visa, POE, AOS, and anything else down the line.

This little stumbling block is always going to be in the back of your mind, even if you do everything I mentioned and all the activities you mentioned in your post. Just know that your time is coming, and when it does, things will start to move faster and eventually these few months you spent waiting won't matter much in the big picture, because you'll be one step closer to your ultimate goal.

Also know that you're not alone. This forum is full of people who are going through the very same thing.

Good luck, I hope you get good news soon.

Coconuts, thanks for your advice. I'm very thankful to the moderators and the owners of this site because if it were not for this site, none of us would have a venue to share our problems and seek help. I find it interesting that we share our problems with total strangers from around the world whom we will never meet, but all the strangers on this site become our friends and understand our problems more than our family since no one close to us can relate to what we are going through. I appreciate your advice on preparing the documents and evidence and saving money for the steps after NOA2. It's also amazing how much this entire process will truly cost in the end. But in the face of love and marriage, money becomes invisible. Congratulations on your recent NOA2!

If you weren't thinking of the process and being apart from each other every waking moment, I would say maybe you both are not truly in love. So do like the rest of it and suck it up. Life goes on. My girl interviews the 18th. We met over a year ago and the last time I saw her was in May.

I can't tell you how soft her skin feels to me anymore. I just know that I can't wait to touch her again.

Sheenaspapi, yes if we were not thinking of the process, then we are not thinking of the person who means the most in our lives. I noticed you got your NOA2 4 months after your NOA1. It's hard to suck it up for those of us who are going beyond 5 months and into unknown territory with no knowledge at all of what is happening since USCIS is completely silent about the process. With all this uncertainty, questions arise like "how much longer will I wait", "is there something wrong with my application", or "will they ask for an RFE after all this time". I am nearly in the same situation as you. The last time I saw and felt my sweetheart was June of last year. Even if I do get my NOA2 soon, I can reasonably expect to see her again this coming summer, which is a full year since I last saw her. But if the NOA2 delays much longer, then waiting for more than a year is completely absurd and unreasonable since my fiancee cannot visit me as she cannot apply for a tourist visa while waiting for a K-1 visa and I cannot visit her anytime soon as I recently changed jobs.

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I have received our NOA1 back in late August of 2010, and we are now more than 4.5 months into our wait. After reading for several months about the possible explanations why the Vermont Service Center is processing slower during the winter months, perhaps because of work visa priority, more fiancee and spouse visas than normal, fewer adjudicators, etc., than their usual processing rate of 2 to 3 months back in late summer of 2010, which is why we decided to apply for the K-1 visa in the first place because of its fast turn-around time, my fiancee and I are simply losing our patience this late into the phase. We were both doing great before, but all this time of not seeing each other and the overriding uncertainty of when we might receive our NOA2 is taking an emotional and physical toll on both of us. I realize other couples have waited 5 months and longer for their NOA2 and maybe we should wait a little bit longer. Yet how did you deal with it? My request is for all the couples out there who have waited a similar period or longer. My fiancee and I have tried everything like focusing on work, spending more time with family and friends, going to parties, movies, and events, or anything else distracting us from this intolerable wait. But every time I am alone at home after work or on the weekends, I cannot help but think about this stupid visa, and she does the same. We have tried everything, and we have run out of ideas now. To all the couples out there, what tips and ideas can you give that have helped you fight through this never-ending nightmare?

I completely understand how you feel. It's been almost 6 months for me now. The first 4 or 5 months, I just felt so anxious and frustrated that there was nothing I could do to make it go faster. I really had my hopes up that I would be approved in 3 or 4 months, but I was very disappointed when I realized that was the exception, not the norm. Like one of the above posters said, different people have different ways of dealing with things. Being in college and working, although it meant I had less time with my fiancee, kept me busy and helped me not to focus on the visa all the time. It also helped to talk to my fiancee about it so that we could encourage each other when we felt down about it. I finally realized that this hard time could actually be an opporutnity and not just a trial. I really became a more patient person and closer to my fiancee during this time apart because it made me realize how much I love her and how much she means to me. You may not be a religious person, but it also strengthened my faith knowing that the Lord was in control and that this wait is only a small part of our long life together! It's still difficult being apart because I really miss her, but it gives me comfort to know that the next time I see her, there will be no goodbyes! Anyway, I'm sure you'll find your own way to deal with it, but I hope you found some of the advice from the VJ members helpful :thumbs: Thank you visa journey! It always helps to read and know that others are in the same situation!

Philippians 4:6 "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."


11-30-08 Met on christianpenpals.com
05-27-10 Met for 1st time in person in Philippines
06-02-10 Proposed...She said "yes"!!!
K1:
07-12-10 NOA1 sent

07-17-10 NOA1 received
01-04-11 NOA2 - Finally!!!
01-07-11 NVC received
01-10-11 NVC sent to consulate/embassy (Manila)
01-10-11 NOA2 hardcopy (mail)
01-12-11 Embassy received
01-31-11 Medical Day 1
02-01-11 Medical Day 2: Passed!!!
02-04-11 Interview: Approved! (Thank you, Lord!)
02-10-11 2GO received visa from embassy
02-14-11 Visa in hand (picked up at 2GO branch)
02-17-11 CFO sticker for passport
03-10-11 Arrived in U.S. with my fiancee
05-14-11 Wedding

AOS:
06-13-11 Filed I-485
06-21-11 NOA 1 (Mobile/Email)
07-07-11 Transfer date (California Service Center)
07-22-11 Biometrics
08-12-11 Approved!
08-18-11 Approval and green card received in mail


Psalm 27:14 "Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the LORD!"

Romans 8:18 "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."

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I can tell you what not to do : Be angry. I am very angry at USCIS for taking what I see as a patently unreasonable amount of time to approve my I129f. I try to control that anger. Sometimes I succeed, and other times I do not.

I am not normally an angry person, but the frustration of this process has left me on a hair trigger to go off on whomever pulls that trigger. Just tonight I went off on Coconuts (my apologies to you, sir) for asking me why I am so angry. I wrote many negative things about USCIS, likening them to George Orwell's 1984, the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, North Korea, and Iran. Each time, it felt good for a while, but eventually the steam built up again.

I am normally an aggressive person, a classic type A personality, something I offer no apology for and a personality trait that got me everything that I have in life, including my house, my education, my career, and my position in my company. I started there on the shop floor and worked my way up to Chief Technology Officer and Vice President in only 10 years by being aggressive, sailing right by passive people who have been there for 20 years or more and are still on the shop floor.

When you put a type A aggressive person in a situation he can't control and where the aggressive pursuit he is accustomed to gets him nowhere, I suppose you can guess the rest.

But enough about me! Here is what you can do:

First, you need to read and read. There is lots of good stuff here from others sharing their experiences as to how you can make the best possible use of the system. Once you get an idea of what we all need to do, then read the posts of those asking for help, and you will be in a position to help them with the knowledge you have gained.

Doing this works for me. Unfortunately, it does not last because once I stop, the steam builds up again, but at least I know what to do to get it back down again. What I am doing right now is a perfect example of what I am talking about.

Another idea: Look around your home. Ask yourself how you can make it better and more comfortable for your bride when she gets there. And then do it. This way, you get to do something positive for your relationship while you are waiting.

You get the idea: Positive things for the future you know is coming or for other VJ members who you can relate to.

I hope it works for you. And please, don't get angry like I do.

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It's hard, si man. Read my signature for how challenging it was for petitioners in my time frame. Your time is coming soon, however; have faith in that.

Folks have given you a lot of good advice above. I'd add two things:

1. From an immediate standpoint, violent physical exercise can burn off some of the worst tension, and carry over longer. When the frustration builds, drop down and do 25 push-ups. Weather permitting, go on a jog or a brisk walk. Anything like this will be beneficial.

2. It's a shame that your new job will restrict you from making another visit very soon. You're understandably focused on receiving the NOA2 now, but please also realize that third-world consulates require and expect copious "evidence of bona fide relationship." This means making visits. If you can break away for a whistle-stop trip of even a few days (not a small-potatoes thing, considering the distance to India), it may be worth its weight in gold during the consular process. Find a week between now and summer when there's an official U.S. holiday, try to get ahead on your work if possible, and visit. Even if it takes (my pure guess) a full 24 hours from your home to hers, and another 24 hours back, you could get a few days together. If this is not feasible, at least plan ahead to make SURE that you're on (or near) the consular premises during her actual visa interview.

You're sincere and refreshingly literate -- both exceptional assets to VJ -- and I believe that you won't have much longer to wait for the NOA2. Keep the faith, si man. :thumbs:


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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I completely understand how you feel. It's been almost 6 months for me now. The first 4 or 5 months, I just felt so anxious and frustrated that there was nothing I could do to make it go faster. I really had my hopes up that I would be approved in 3 or 4 months, but I was very disappointed when I realized that was the exception, not the norm. Like one of the above posters said, different people have different ways of dealing with things. Being in college and working, although it meant I had less time with my fiancee, kept me busy and helped me not to focus on the visa all the time. It also helped to talk to my fiancee about it so that we could encourage each other when we felt down about it. I finally realized that this hard time could actually be an opporutnity and not just a trial. I really became a more patient person and closer to my fiancee during this time apart because it made me realize how much I love her and how much she means to me. You may not be a religious person, but it also strengthened my faith knowing that the Lord was in control and that this wait is only a small part of our long life together! It's still difficult being apart because I really miss her, but it gives me comfort to know that the next time I see her, there will be no goodbyes! Anyway, I'm sure you'll find your own way to deal with it, but I hope you found some of the advice from the VJ members helpful :thumbs: Thank you visa journey! It always helps to read and know that others are in the same situation!

Philippians 4:6 "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

Faith & Andz, thank you for your suggestions. I truly wish you get your NOA2 soon because you have been waiting since July. I wish I knew the real culprit that caused Vermont to slow down this much. Back in August when I applied, Vermont was processing applications in less than 3 months, which made them the fastest of all the service centers, and now they are the slowest! I remember the California Service Center used to be faster back in August than what Vermont is now. Like others are saying, we really are powerless to do anything about it except to keep ourselves distracted. Yes, I am a very spiritual person, and I do believe God will jump start this process again when He is ready. My fiancee and I have been praying and praying non-stop for several months now, but we are not losing hope. Please do let us know when you receive your NOA2.

I can tell you what not to do : Be angry. I am very angry at USCIS for taking what I see as a patently unreasonable amount of time to approve my I129f. I try to control that anger. Sometimes I succeed, and other times I do not.

I am not normally an angry person, but the frustration of this process has left me on a hair trigger to go off on whomever pulls that trigger. Just tonight I went off on Coconuts (my apologies to you, sir) for asking me why I am so angry. I wrote many negative things about USCIS, likening them to George Orwell's 1984, the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, North Korea, and Iran. Each time, it felt good for a while, but eventually the steam built up again.

I am normally an aggressive person, a classic type A personality, something I offer no apology for and a personality trait that got me everything that I have in life, including my house, my education, my career, and my position in my company. I started there on the shop floor and worked my way up to Chief Technology Officer and Vice President in only 10 years by being aggressive, sailing right by passive people who have been there for 20 years or more and are still on the shop floor.

When you put a type A aggressive person in a situation he can't control and where the aggressive pursuit he is accustomed to gets him nowhere, I suppose you can guess the rest.

But enough about me! Here is what you can do:

First, you need to read and read. There is lots of good stuff here from others sharing their experiences as to how you can make the best possible use of the system. Once you get an idea of what we all need to do, then read the posts of those asking for help, and you will be in a position to help them with the knowledge you have gained.

Doing this works for me. Unfortunately, it does not last because once I stop, the steam builds up again, but at least I know what to do to get it back down again. What I am doing right now is a perfect example of what I am talking about.

Another idea: Look around your home. Ask yourself how you can make it better and more comfortable for your bride when she gets there. And then do it. This way, you get to do something positive for your relationship while you are waiting.

You get the idea: Positive things for the future you know is coming or for other VJ members who you can relate to.

I hope it works for you. And please, don't get angry like I do.

Mr. Type A Personality, I appreciate your suggestions. And congratulations to you on your great success in your career. I have actually been doing many of your suggestions for some time now. Whenever I am curious about recent happenings in visa land, I revisit this site to see what others are saying about it and what beneficial information others are posting. And I have recently begun searching for furniture that my fiancee will hopefully enjoy once she arrives. Seeing how much I need to buy, I hope the wait will be much less for me. And yes, I have been angry before about this process, yet I have found that emotion is completely useless when it comes to matters pertaining the government. My suggestion for you is that this process can realistically take 6 months. Looking at your timeline, I would not hope for anything before March. Perhaps this expectation should abate some of your anger. Good luck to you on your journey!

It's hard, si man. Read my signature for how challenging it was for petitioners in my time frame. Your time is coming soon, however; have faith in that.

Folks have given you a lot of good advice above. I'd add two things:

1. From an immediate standpoint, violent physical exercise can burn off some of the worst tension, and carry over longer. When the frustration builds, drop down and do 25 push-ups. Weather permitting, go on a jog or a brisk walk. Anything like this will be beneficial.

2. It's a shame that your new job will restrict you from making another visit very soon. You're understandably focused on receiving the NOA2 now, but please also realize that third-world consulates require and expect copious "evidence of bona fide relationship." This means making visits. If you can break away for a whistle-stop trip of even a few days (not a small-potatoes thing, considering the distance to India), it may be worth its weight in gold during the consular process. Find a week between now and summer when there's an official U.S. holiday, try to get ahead on your work if possible, and visit. Even if it takes (my pure guess) a full 24 hours from your home to hers, and another 24 hours back, you could get a few days together. If this is not feasible, at least plan ahead to make SURE that you're on (or near) the consular premises during her actual visa interview.

You're sincere and refreshingly literate -- both exceptional assets to VJ -- and I believe that you won't have much longer to wait for the NOA2. Keep the faith, si man. :thumbs:

TBoneTX, thank you for your tips. I do like to exercise as well. I have always found increasing the heart rate obviously pumps more blood throughout the body and gives a more refreshing feeling as it flushes out all the tension and frustration. Yes, visiting India during my fiancee's eventual interview will be very tough for me in almost all the ways. Since I recently started my new position, I would be unable to request any leave for longer than 1 week anytime soon. Traveling to India non-stop takes anywhere between 20 and 25 hours, depending on lay-overs, connecting flights, and delays. And I have to add in another 24 hours behind it for jet lag. So I've already lost 4 days to travel and jet-lag to and from India. If I can boost my fiancee's chances of visa approval, it means I must count 2 solid days of consciousness in between. :) So that means I'm pushing very close to the 1 week mark. I really do want to attend her visa interview, but in order to achieve this, I realistically need to take at least 1 week off from work. Considering my personal situation now, I can probably do this during summer time but not anytime sooner. However, I am hoping to save this trip to India if and when she needs me to accompany her back to the states. If I visit the U.S. consulate in India, I'll be unable to request and afford 2 trips this year. Life is simply full of challenges. I thought 2010 was the most chaotic year of my life, but 2011 is already looming its challenges ahead. I saw your timeline. And I must say you had one tumultuous journey with your visa. Congratulations that you and your fiancee were able to ride through the storm.

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TBoneTX, thank you for your tips. I do like to exercise as well. I have always found increasing the heart rate obviously pumps more blood throughout the body and gives a more refreshing feeling as it flushes out all the tension and frustration. Yes, visiting India during my fiancee's eventual interview will be very tough for me in almost all the ways. Since I recently started my new position, I would be unable to request any leave for longer than 1 week anytime soon. Traveling to India non-stop takes anywhere between 20 and 25 hours, depending on lay-overs, connecting flights, and delays. And I have to add in another 24 hours behind it for jet lag. So I've already lost 4 days to travel and jet-lag to and from India. If I can boost my fiancee's chances of visa approval, it means I must count 2 solid days of consciousness in between. :) So that means I'm pushing very close to the 1 week mark. I really do want to attend her visa interview, but in order to achieve this, I realistically need to take at least 1 week off from work. Considering my personal situation now, I can probably do this during summer time but not anytime sooner. However, I am hoping to save this trip to India if and when she needs me to accompany her back to the states. If I visit the U.S. consulate in India, I'll be unable to request and afford 2 trips this year. Life is simply full of challenges. I thought 2010 was the most chaotic year of my life, but 2011 is already looming its challenges ahead. I saw your timeline. And I must say you had one tumultuous journey with your visa. Congratulations that you and your fiancee were able to ride through the storm.
Understood completely, si man. I had to jump through fiery hoops to fulfill the consulate's demand that I appear, but at least the flight was just 5.5 hours with no more than 1 connection and no more than 1 hour's time difference, depending. Keep the faith, si man.

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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Faith & Andz, thank you for your suggestions. I truly wish you get your NOA2 soon because you have been waiting since July. I wish I knew the real culprit that caused Vermont to slow down this much. Back in August when I applied, Vermont was processing applications in less than 3 months, which made them the fastest of all the service centers, and now they are the slowest! I remember the California Service Center used to be faster back in August than what Vermont is now. Like others are saying, we really are powerless to do anything about it except to keep ourselves distracted. Yes, I am a very spiritual person, and I do believe God will jump start this process again when He is ready. My fiancee and I have been praying and praying non-stop for several months now, but we are not losing hope. Please do let us know when you receive your NOA2.

Thanks for that; yea, I don't know what else to do but pray and keep busy. I'm hoping we both get our NOA2 soon, and I'll let you know when we get ours! You do the same :thumbs: Best wishes and God bless!


11-30-08 Met on christianpenpals.com
05-27-10 Met for 1st time in person in Philippines
06-02-10 Proposed...She said "yes"!!!
K1:
07-12-10 NOA1 sent

07-17-10 NOA1 received
01-04-11 NOA2 - Finally!!!
01-07-11 NVC received
01-10-11 NVC sent to consulate/embassy (Manila)
01-10-11 NOA2 hardcopy (mail)
01-12-11 Embassy received
01-31-11 Medical Day 1
02-01-11 Medical Day 2: Passed!!!
02-04-11 Interview: Approved! (Thank you, Lord!)
02-10-11 2GO received visa from embassy
02-14-11 Visa in hand (picked up at 2GO branch)
02-17-11 CFO sticker for passport
03-10-11 Arrived in U.S. with my fiancee
05-14-11 Wedding

AOS:
06-13-11 Filed I-485
06-21-11 NOA 1 (Mobile/Email)
07-07-11 Transfer date (California Service Center)
07-22-11 Biometrics
08-12-11 Approved!
08-18-11 Approval and green card received in mail


Psalm 27:14 "Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the LORD!"

Romans 8:18 "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."

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Faith & Andz, thank you for your suggestions. I truly wish you get your NOA2 soon because you have been waiting since July. I wish I knew the real culprit that caused Vermont to slow down this much. Back in August when I applied, Vermont was processing applications in less than 3 months, which made them the fastest of all the service centers, and now they are the slowest! I remember the California Service Center used to be faster back in August than what Vermont is now. Like others are saying, we really are powerless to do anything about it except to keep ourselves distracted. Yes, I am a very spiritual person, and I do believe God will jump start this process again when He is ready. My fiancee and I have been praying and praying non-stop for several months now, but we are not losing hope. Please do let us know when you receive your NOA2.

Mr. Type A Personality, I appreciate your suggestions. And congratulations to you on your great success in your career. I have actually been doing many of your suggestions for some time now. Whenever I am curious about recent happenings in visa land, I revisit this site to see what others are saying about it and what beneficial information others are posting. And I have recently begun searching for furniture that my fiancee will hopefully enjoy once she arrives. Seeing how much I need to buy, I hope the wait will be much less for me. And yes, I have been angry before about this process, yet I have found that emotion is completely useless when it comes to matters pertaining the government. My suggestion for you is that this process can realistically take 6 months. Looking at your timeline, I would not hope for anything before March. Perhaps this expectation should abate some of your anger. Good luck to you on your journey!

TBoneTX, thank you for your tips. I do like to exercise as well. I have always found increasing the heart rate obviously pumps more blood throughout the body and gives a more refreshing feeling as it flushes out all the tension and frustration. Yes, visiting India during my fiancee's eventual interview will be very tough for me in almost all the ways. Since I recently started my new position, I would be unable to request any leave for longer than 1 week anytime soon. Traveling to India non-stop takes anywhere between 20 and 25 hours, depending on lay-overs, connecting flights, and delays. And I have to add in another 24 hours behind it for jet lag. So I've already lost 4 days to travel and jet-lag to and from India. If I can boost my fiancee's chances of visa approval, it means I must count 2 solid days of consciousness in between. :) So that means I'm pushing very close to the 1 week mark. I really do want to attend her visa interview, but in order to achieve this, I realistically need to take at least 1 week off from work. Considering my personal situation now, I can probably do this during summer time but not anytime sooner. However, I am hoping to save this trip to India if and when she needs me to accompany her back to the states. If I visit the U.S. consulate in India, I'll be unable to request and afford 2 trips this year. Life is simply full of challenges. I thought 2010 was the most chaotic year of my life, but 2011 is already looming its challenges ahead. I saw your timeline. And I must say you had one tumultuous journey with your visa. Congratulations that you and your fiancee were able to ride through the storm.

I was pretty much in the same boat as you last year. I had also just started a new job at the beginning of 2010, got married (our "spiritual" big-fat-Indian-wedding) in December 2009 in India, stayed with my wife for all of December and then had to leave her which was the most painful thing in the world. Many times I pondered w/e or 3 days trips even if I would see her only a few hours b4 getting on the plane back. I tried to calculate it every which way like you're doing. We got our approval March 16th 2010, but I still took a trip in April for a week. I told my work ppl that my wife had fell down the stairs, was bleeding etc and that I had to rush back to India to see her. I hated telling the lie, but just absolutely had to in order to see her. This was last year, when the big ash cloud had disrupted everything. fortunately I flew Emirates which took a different route as the ash cloud and could go and see her. When she had her interview in June, I took 2 weeks off again to be w/ her for the interview and then bring her back w/ me. I cna only say that I thank God for giving me such understanding folks at work. Through some w/e work upfront, I reduced my total vacation time off to 3 days instead of 2 weeks. The one thing that helped btw, is letting anyone and everyone at your work know that your wife/fiance is in India and you are in a long-distance situation. That make many ppl sympathetic to your cause and doesnt cause anyone to raise eyebrows when you request time off. On the same token, to be on their good side, volunteer for w/e work and the crappy projects. that way you curry some favor when it comes time for you to go to India.

As someone who's well been there and done that, all I can say is to keep yourselves occupied as much as you can and not dwell on the situation. I know you're already doing that, but you HAVE to hang in there. Dont talk about the past and always make plans and look to the future. I dont know if you're religious or believe in metaphysical things, but one thing that helped me was that I wrote in a piece of paper when I envisioned things happening (ie, NOA2 rec'd xx-xx-2009, Wife recieves visa xx-xx-xxxx) and so on. Put that in a prominent place (I put it in front of my little "God" shrine) and would think about it and visualize it everyday. It may sound hokey, but you can make your future and wishes come true when you picture it so. Ask your fiance to do the same. Power of positive thinking and positive visualization to make your desired outcome. Also eliminate negative thinking, esp. the kind that's the "oh-what-will-i-do-if-this-doesnt-happen" or "when-will-this-ever-happen"? change it to "this-WILL-happen etc etc).

anyway, my 2 cents. hope this helps you and wish you the best of luck! :thumbs: :thumbs: :thumbs:

I should also mention that the next stage, ie NVC does go much faster. Make sure to plan ahead and secure some of the documents that are needed, like PCCs and birth certificates etc that can be huge bottlenecks in obtaining. As you can see from my sig, USCIS NOA2 took me 5 months and 10 days; NVC stage took me 3 weeks. I had all my docs lined up and ready to go. So that'll give you somehting to work towards and look fwd to.

Edited by hobokenworkingman

Once in awhile, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love gives us a fairy tale - My beautiful wife Soni
Timeline:
USCIS: 10-06-2009: I-130 rec'd by USCIS; 03-16-2010: I-130 APPROVAL (after 5+ friggin months of torture, agony and waiting!)
NVC:
04-29-2010: INTERVIEW ASSIGNED FOR JUNE 10TH IN CHENNAI CONSULATE, INDIA; 06-10-2010: INTERVIEW - VISA APPROVED!!!!!
06-18-2010: Entered US - NEW YORK CITY and 08-16-2010: GC received! (nearly 2 months after PoE) woo hoo!
AOS for permanent 10 yr green card:

04-02-2012: NOA of I-751 and 1 yr extension of temp green card

05-03-2012: Biometrics appointment

12-18-2012: 10 yr Green card approved; 12-22-2012: Green card rec'd

N-400 citizenship:

06-19-2013: N-400 mailed; 06-22-2013: N-400 rec'd at Dallas lockbox

10-3-2013: Interview date - APPROVED!

10-18-2013: NATURALIZED - We are done with USCIS!!!

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My tips:

-working more than normal (put in that extra time now so you can take time off later)

-reading, reading and more reading (books that is, not message boards)

-skype (totally necessary and extremely important)

-language study - If you fiancee's native tongue is one that is still foreign to you, take this time to learn and practice. He/she will appreciate you for it. (and you can practice via skype)

-spend less time on visa journey: this site is great and informative but too much can make the process seem like an eternity...especially when the support group gets feisty.

-spend time with family: I have a 9 year old boy and I spend most of my "free" time with him, strengthening my relationship with him while preparing him for a new addition to our family.

-music: seek out and listen to more music! (ok, this is more of a hobby, so discover yours!)

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I called USCIS today and asked to speak to a higher level of customer service. She said that she had good news and that mine was approved on January 4!!!


11-30-08 Met on christianpenpals.com
05-27-10 Met for 1st time in person in Philippines
06-02-10 Proposed...She said "yes"!!!
K1:
07-12-10 NOA1 sent

07-17-10 NOA1 received
01-04-11 NOA2 - Finally!!!
01-07-11 NVC received
01-10-11 NVC sent to consulate/embassy (Manila)
01-10-11 NOA2 hardcopy (mail)
01-12-11 Embassy received
01-31-11 Medical Day 1
02-01-11 Medical Day 2: Passed!!!
02-04-11 Interview: Approved! (Thank you, Lord!)
02-10-11 2GO received visa from embassy
02-14-11 Visa in hand (picked up at 2GO branch)
02-17-11 CFO sticker for passport
03-10-11 Arrived in U.S. with my fiancee
05-14-11 Wedding

AOS:
06-13-11 Filed I-485
06-21-11 NOA 1 (Mobile/Email)
07-07-11 Transfer date (California Service Center)
07-22-11 Biometrics
08-12-11 Approved!
08-18-11 Approval and green card received in mail


Psalm 27:14 "Wait on the LORD; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the LORD!"

Romans 8:18 "I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."

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