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Ohemaa

Should I Plan to Attend Fiance's Interview? Does Fiance's Travel to France Have Any Bearing on Application?

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Hi Everyone,

I filed my I-129F in mid-December, and received a NOA very shortly thereafter. According to the USCIS website, the application is undergoing initial review and we should expect to hear something by the end of April. Assuming that this is true, perhaps we are looking at a May interview date?

If that is the case, should I be planning to travel to Dakar to accompany him to the interview? If I had infinite money and vacation time, this would be a no-brainer for me. However, my father died suddenly three weeks ago and I had to take off work for arrangements. I do not have much vacation time available, and burying my dad was also quite expensive. I have been to Senegal three times in the last year, and it all adds up! Do you think my fiance will have a harder time if I am unable to travel to Dakar for the embassy? I am doing my best to put aside money for the trip in case it's necessary, so I would really appreciate the responses.

I also have another inquiry for you lovely people: Given that my fiance was recently transferred to France for work (on a diplomatic visa) for a 3 month period, he will be outside of Senegal until the beginning of May. Is this a problem? Is this something that could weigh in favor of his application--the fact that he is trusted to travel? If so, should/how should I alert the embassy of this new development? Again, all constructive feedback is appreciated!

A bit about us, to the extent that is helpful in forming a response: We are a bonafide couple. We met by chance in Senegal when neither of us was looking for any kind of romantic relationship whatsoever, and the rest is history. I'm an African-American/Jamaican young lawyer (mid 20s) who is currently working for the federal government (nope! we don't get special treatment), and he's a student/ veteran employee (approaching mid 30s) for a telecommunications boutique in Dakar. Our families have become very friendly, especially with all the support his family has shown my mom after my dad's passing. He's a divorced dad of a 6 year old, whom I met and befriended before I met his dad. As previously mentioned, I've traveled to Senegal a couple of times last year, and am hoping to hop over to France to see him for Easter. He has a lot of family in New York, and I was friendly with his relatives before knowing of his existence. I met him while staying with his extended family during my first visit to Dakar in December 2010. I speak French and have been learning Wolof. He has been taking English classes since having met me, because he wanted to ask my Anglophone dad for my hand in marriage :(. (My mom is a French teacher, and my siblings all communicate with him in French.) We're (somehow progressive) Evangelical Christians; they're Muslims (with some Christians in the family). That's about all I can think of, and I hope it's helpful. I await your responses!

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My condolences on your father's passing away.

I can only comment on one of your queries.

Being there of course is a major plus (that's what the USCIS officer who interviewed us said). Because I was there, he didn't spend too much time since just my being there said a lot. And we had a LOT of photos, travel itineraries, phone bills to prove that we met often and spoke daily.

That being said, it doesn't matter a lot. I had gone for the interview, but we met some applicants whose fiancees were not there and it did not matter. Their applications were approved as well. And your fiancee can always show that you weren't there only because you couldn't take more time off due to your father's death.


K-1 Timeline:

Oct 06, 2008 - I-129F sent to USCIS

Jul 08, 2009 - Interview at Montreal Consulate

Jul 10, 2009 - US Entry. POE: Buffalo, NY

Jul 15, 2009 - Marriage

AOS Timeline:

July 29, 2009 - AOS, AP, and EAD sent to USCIS

July 30, 2009 - USCIS receives Documents.

Aug 05, 2009 - Received NOA Dated July 31.

Aug 10, 2009 - Biometrics letter. Appointment date: Sep 2nd.

Aug 13, 2009 - AOS transferred to CSC.

Sep 02, 2009 - Biometrics done at Elizabeth, NJ location.

Sep 16, 2009 - Received emails of EAD(Card production Ordered) and AP(Approval notice sent).

Sep 21, 2009 - Received 2nd email of EAD(Card production Ordered)

Sep 22, 2009 - Received AP.

Sep 26, 2009 - Received EAD Card

Oct 19, 2009 - AOS transferred back to NJ.

Nov 05, 2009 - RFE for I-693

Dec 02, 2009 - USCIS receives I-693 vaccination supplement.

Jan 06, 2010 - RFE for Entire I-693 needed since CBP/USCIS loses our documents.

Feb 04, 2010 - I-693 received by USCIS.

Feb 17, 2010 - Green Card in mail!!!

Conditions Timeline:

Nov 17, 2011 - Sent I-751 application to Vermont office.

Nov 22, 2011 - I-751 Receipt Notice/Extension letter sent by USCIS.

Jan 04, 2012 - Biometrics done at Elizabeth, NJ location.

Aug 31, 2012 - GC approved.

Sep 11, 2012 - GC mailed. USCIS says we should receive within 7 days

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May your dad rest in peace.

Its ok if you cant attend her interview. I was by myself when i had my fiance interview. Just make sure that she have all the necessary documents that will show the consulate that your relationship is genuine. Pictures together, e-mails and chat logs are important to have, boarding pass.

I dont think his travel to france counts because it is not related to your relationship. Goodluck on your journey.


sweet_cat_and_chicken.gif

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Sorry for your loss ~

The petitioner being at the interview is a very mixed thing and each embassy is different depending on the country involved. Some embassies expect the petitioner to be there, some won't care or even allow the petitioner in the embassy, then other embassies are very friendly about the petitioner showing up. So I would suggest you ask this question in your country specific forum.


Hank

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Sorry for your loss, especially at such a tumultuous time in your life.

The answer is embassy specific. Some seem to absolutely (yet unofficially) require the presence of US petitioner. It cannot hurt, the only question is how much can it help. In my case (Armenia), the USC is not even allowed in the building - I gave my fiance my passport and she showed it to the CO, who did seem to take a mental note of it, but didn't really say anything about it specifically.

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For any West African consulate, I'd sure be on the premises.

I gave my fiance my passport and she showed it to the CO, who did seem to take a mental note of it, but didn't really say anything about it specifically.
This is honestly the best move than any petitioner (who's not invited or allowed in) can make. The CO may not say anything, but it scores BIG points. In fact, it can turn what would have been a borderline interview into a positive one, or salvage a planned rejection and at least give the beneficiary a fighting chance.

Who knows... you may even be invited in.

The above is advice from an attorney who served as a CO in two vastly different countries.


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 plan to be there for my fiances interview. Good luck


08/01/12-Married08/17/12-Applied for Social Security Card09/23/12-Husband received his Social Security card!09/27/12-Filed AOS09/28/12-AOS package received10/01/12-Text message from USCIS10/03/12-Check cashed10/09/12-NOA1 for I485,I765,I131 AND Biometrics Appointment Letter10/24/12-Biometrics Appointment12/11/12-EAD and AP Approved-75 days12/14/12-EAD/AP Card Production ordered12/21/12-EAD/AP Card came in the mail06/22/13-Green Card Approved06/27/13-Greed Card Production Ordered06/29/13-Green Card came in the mail<p>

04/09/15-Mailed ROC

04/10/2015-Package received

04/14/2015-Check cashed

06/02/2015-Called Service Center (still no NOA1) Service request found out wrong address on paperwork! :(

06/03/2015-Called to get address updated Ar11 online add change didnt work-got infopass for June 10th

06/10/2015-Went to info pass appt. Hubby got a 1yr. Extension stamp in his passport and biometrics done

08/12/2015-ROC Approved. Got letter in the mail.

08/29/2015-received new card in the mail.

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With rare exceptions, the presence of the USC fiance(e) has no affect on if a visa is issued. Consulates determine if USCs are allowed in the building or not or to the interview or not. Kiev allowed it and I went right to the interview window with Alla. I am fairly certain it made no difference to THEM that I was there. They did not speak to me. I was a spectator.

Some consulates make you wait outside and your fiancee can bring in your passport to show you are out there, FWIW.

The main purpose of going, and this is no small reason, is that it is excellent moral support for your fiancee, who will soon be your wife and should be the most important priority in life. we have always considered this OUR process. I was present at every step. Even with her in Ukraine to go gather all the documents we needed for the petition and interview. I only had to wait in the waiting room for the citizenship interview.


VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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For any West African consulate, I'd sure be on the premises.This is honestly the best move than any petitioner (who's not invited or allowed in) can make. The CO may not say anything, but it scores BIG points. In fact, it can turn what would have been a borderline interview into a positive one, or salvage a planned rejection and at least give the beneficiary a fighting chance.

Who knows... you may even be invited in.

The above is advice from an attorney who served as a CO in two vastly different countries.

And the consulate Tbone used is one of those rare exceptions where it can be crucial.

I strongly suggest everyone go to it, it really is a great moment in your lives, even when everything goes smoothly, why miss out on that?


VERMONT! I Reject Your Reality...and Substitute My Own!

Gary And Alla

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I strongly suggest everyone go to it, it really is a great moment in your lives, even when everything goes smoothly, why miss out on that?

It was certainly a memorable experience. I waited outside in a taxi (kudos to a fellow VJ member who informed me USCs were kept outside) in the visitor parking lot. I expected her to be about 3 to 4 hours. At the 1 hour 20 minute mark, as I was gazing around, I saw what seemed to be a woman with the same colored coat, and I thought, oh that's nice, she has the same color coat as my dearly beloved. I looked away, then realized it was my fiance. I dashed out of the cab, expecting the worst, but she just smiled and said it was all done and that she was getting her visa.

Later that day was when the 12 hour jet lag finally kicked in. What a relief, and I'm so glad I was there to help her prepare, double and triple check the paperwork, and much better than waiting for a phone call.

You might be right Gary in how little it actually helps - I suspect the COs we read about noticing it have already made up their minds, and it justs reaffirms their decision (and let's not forget the 99+% approval rate anyway).

Edited by Rufus2012

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You might be right Gary in how little it actually helps
Well, maybe, but for whatever reason one goes, it cannot hurt and may help (from the CO/visa standpoint). There's no doubt that it helps from the moral-support side of things, as G. says.

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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Thank you to everyone for the very helpful responses! Basically, based on what you all are saying, I won't stay up at night worrying if I can't go, but if I have the time and the money I will make it a priority to be there.

I plan to be there for my fiances interview. Good luck

Good! You lucky duck! Good luck to you, too! :)

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May the good memories of your father, give you solace at this time of sorrow.

Like other's have previously mentioned, having the petitioner present at the interview, or in close proximity, may or may not make any difference. I know that the GUZ consulate won't allow me to be present at the interview. I will be traveling with my fiancee and her son to the interview. I will give my fiancee my passport and an "Evolution of Relationship" letter to present to the CO. However, this step is another step in the whole process that my fiancee and I have embarked upon together. I will be there to give support, encouragement, assistance to my SO (significant other- gotta be careful about certain terms until the deed is completed.. :blink: ). In future years, we will be able to fondly (?) recall these early days of our lives journey.

Good luck.

Edited by A&B

Completed: K1/K2 (271 days) - AOS/EAD/AP (134 days) - ROC (279 days)

> Almost 2 years of our lives involved with the USCIS/DOS "shuffle" & worth every second of it ! <

"Si vis amari, ama" - Seneca

_______________________

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