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jamiepoo

should i be looking for a lawyer?

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hi everyone,

i'm australian, i came to the usa as a visitor, but soon found myself married to a girl who is a us citizen. we were wed before my visa expired. i applied for adjustment of status, i forget what the form was but i think it's called petition for alien relative. everything seemed like it was going well, i was fingerprinted, and then... nothing.

this was in fall of 2000. i've called INS/USCIS more times than i could possibly count (it's been at least 50, but probably much more than that, i've only recently learned the trick of writing down times and names -if- they give them) each time told one of a few excuses like "it's still pending", "we'll send you a letter", etc. we moved interstate (which judging from the forum posts i've been reading, is a bad idea) a year ago, and i called to change the address on the petition. i received a letter confirming this change.

during this move, my passport managed to disappear, along with the entire binder of "important stuff" that was in it. keeping all the important things in one place didn't seem to work out for me.

my father became ill, and my wife and i wanted to see him, so we (upon advice from a very helpful gentleman at USCIS) filed an application for travel document, i believe it's called advanced parole? i received a receipt number for this, and not long after the status on their website showed it was approved. i never received this document. my father has since regained his health thankfully.

after growing very tired with not being able to do anything (i haven't any kind of permission to get a job), i called up USCIS yet again. i was told i'd have to go to the nearest office, which is quite a long way aways in indianapolis. i sat and stewed over it for a few weeks, then called again. i couldn't accept that i'd have to drive all the way out there just to find out what's going on (naieve, perhaps). the lady i held for over an hour to talk to told me basically that because they couldn't verify my identity over the phone she wasn't supposed to tell me anything, but that it looked like my case had been approved so i should go to the office and they'd probably have me sign some forms or something.

this struck me as odd, because i was expecting an interview, but it worked out because a family member had to go to the airport anyway so i got a free trip down to indianapolis and back, so i made the appointment for the same day.

when i got to the offices, the officer (who was quite a rude lady) told me that the case had been marked closed as of december 2001, because of non-contact. during the year of 2001, especially late 2001 when i was starting to get worried, i was calling them a lot. how does this constitute non-contact? i did everything they asked me to.

the officer told me she was going to request my file be pulled out of the archives and sent their so they could find out what was going on, it would take around two weeks. oh, i neglected to mention that following the advice of the man who helped with the change of address procedure, i also wrote a letter to the chicago, IL address asking that they transfer my file to the indianapolis office (apparently the indy office is a sub-office of chicago?). i still have the delivery confirmation of when that letter was sent.

what's the point of phone calls and letters if they have no effect?

the last thing the lady told me was that i might have to re-file. i have absolutely no idea how to go about doing this. i'm still in the process of getting my passport replaced (the final leg, thankfully, i just need to figure out how to get myself to the consulate in chicago), and when i get a replacement i imagine it won't have any kind of a stamp in it to prove i entered the country legally. they have a copy of those pages, taken when i filed for the original benefiets, but how does that help me?

the small company i had in australia has more or less died in my absence, so i'm being supported by my wife and family. i've had several "under the table" job offers but i'd rather not jeopardize any chance i might have of getting this mess sorted out. but for the time being, it's terrible for the self esteem to not be doing anything in terms of an income.

i've started contacting attornies to find out if there's any grounds for a lawsuit. friends and family have told me that others have held the USCIS liable for "lost income", but i really don't care about that. i will happily work, if a lawsuit can compel them to do something. i've also been told that i might have a case under the family unity program, but from what i've read of it it doesn't seem to apply to my case.

so are there any suggestions? 6 years is a long time to sit in limbo and not be able to work.

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Filed: Timeline

jamiepoo,

When was your visit to the Indianapolis Sub Office? (Yes, it's a sub office of the Chicago District Office) Within the last couple of weeks?

Lady with glasses and straight blonde hair not quite shoulder length? They can be abrupt, I think it's a defense against the majority of people who go in there who don't understand and won't listen. But when they see a legitimate problem they are helpful.

Anyway, to answer your question, I would have consulted with an immigration attorney years ago. Don't waste any more time.

Yodrak

hi everyone,

i'm australian, i came to the usa as a visitor, but soon found myself married to a girl who is a us citizen. we were wed before my visa expired. i applied for adjustment of status, i forget what the form was but i think it's called petition for alien relative. everything seemed like it was going well, i was fingerprinted, and then... nothing.

this was in fall of 2000. i've called INS/USCIS more times than i could possibly count (it's been at least 50, but probably much more than that, i've only recently learned the trick of writing down times and names -if- they give them) each time told one of a few excuses like "it's still pending", "we'll send you a letter", etc. we moved interstate (which judging from the forum posts i've been reading, is a bad idea) a year ago, and i called to change the address on the petition. i received a letter confirming this change.

during this move, my passport managed to disappear, along with the entire binder of "important stuff" that was in it. keeping all the important things in one place didn't seem to work out for me.

my father became ill, and my wife and i wanted to see him, so we (upon advice from a very helpful gentleman at USCIS) filed an application for travel document, i believe it's called advanced parole? i received a receipt number for this, and not long after the status on their website showed it was approved. i never received this document. my father has since regained his health thankfully.

after growing very tired with not being able to do anything (i haven't any kind of permission to get a job), i called up USCIS yet again. i was told i'd have to go to the nearest office, which is quite a long way aways in indianapolis. i sat and stewed over it for a few weeks, then called again. i couldn't accept that i'd have to drive all the way out there just to find out what's going on (naieve, perhaps). the lady i held for over an hour to talk to told me basically that because they couldn't verify my identity over the phone she wasn't supposed to tell me anything, but that it looked like my case had been approved so i should go to the office and they'd probably have me sign some forms or something.

this struck me as odd, because i was expecting an interview, but it worked out because a family member had to go to the airport anyway so i got a free trip down to indianapolis and back, so i made the appointment for the same day.

when i got to the offices, the officer (who was quite a rude lady) told me that the case had been marked closed as of december 2001, because of non-contact. during the year of 2001, especially late 2001 when i was starting to get worried, i was calling them a lot. how does this constitute non-contact? i did everything they asked me to.

the officer told me she was going to request my file be pulled out of the archives and sent their so they could find out what was going on, it would take around two weeks. oh, i neglected to mention that following the advice of the man who helped with the change of address procedure, i also wrote a letter to the chicago, IL address asking that they transfer my file to the indianapolis office (apparently the indy office is a sub-office of chicago?). i still have the delivery confirmation of when that letter was sent.

what's the point of phone calls and letters if they have no effect?

the last thing the lady told me was that i might have to re-file. i have absolutely no idea how to go about doing this. i'm still in the process of getting my passport replaced (the final leg, thankfully, i just need to figure out how to get myself to the consulate in chicago), and when i get a replacement i imagine it won't have any kind of a stamp in it to prove i entered the country legally. they have a copy of those pages, taken when i filed for the original benefiets, but how does that help me?

the small company i had in australia has more or less died in my absence, so i'm being supported by my wife and family. i've had several "under the table" job offers but i'd rather not jeopardize any chance i might have of getting this mess sorted out. but for the time being, it's terrible for the self esteem to not be doing anything in terms of an income.

i've started contacting attornies to find out if there's any grounds for a lawsuit. friends and family have told me that others have held the USCIS liable for "lost income", but i really don't care about that. i will happily work, if a lawsuit can compel them to do something. i've also been told that i might have a case under the family unity program, but from what i've read of it it doesn't seem to apply to my case.

so are there any suggestions? 6 years is a long time to sit in limbo and not be able to work.

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Canada
Timeline

I agree with the two previous posters.... this case is way beyond what the average individual can handle themselves. You need a good immigration lawyer who knows how and who to contact at USCIS on your behalf.

Good luck.


"THE SHORT STORY"

KURT & RAYMA (K-1 Visa)

Oct. 9/03... I-129F sent to NSC

June 10/04... K-1 Interview - APPROVED!!!!

July 31/04... Entered U.S.

Aug. 28/04... WEDDING DAY!!!!

Aug. 30/04... I-485, I-765 & I-131 sent to Seattle

Dec. 10/04... AOS Interview - APPROVED!!!!! (Passport stamped)

Sept. 9/06... I-751 sent to NSC

May 15/07... 10-Yr. PR Card arrives in the mail

Sept. 13/07... N-400 sent to NSC

Aug. 21/08... Interview - PASSED!!!!

Sept. 2/08... Oath Ceremony

Sept. 5/08... Sent in Voter Registration Card

Sept. 9/08... SSA office to change status to "U.S. citizen"

Oct. 8/08... Applied in person for U.S. Passport

Oct. 22/08... U.S. Passport received

DONE!!! DONE!!! DONE!!! DONE!!!

KAELY (K-2 Visa)

Apr. 6/05... DS-230, Part I faxed to Vancouver Consulate

May 26/05... K-2 Interview - APPROVED!!!!

Sept. 5/05... Entered U.S.

Sept. 7/05... I-485 & I-131 sent to CLB

Feb. 22/06... AOS Interview - APPROVED!!!!! (Passport NOT stamped)

Dec. 4/07... I-751 sent to NSC

May 23/08... 10-Yr. PR Card arrives in the mail

Mar. 22/11.... N-400 sent to AZ

June 27/11..... Interview - PASSED!!!

July 12/11..... Oath Ceremony

We're NOT lawyers.... just your average folks who had to find their own way!!!!! Anything we post here is simply our own opinions/suggestions/experiences and should not be taken as LAW!!!!

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Filed: Country: United Kingdom
Timeline
hi everyone,

i'm australian, i came to the usa as a visitor, but soon found myself married to a girl who is a us citizen.

<snip>

so are there any suggestions? 6 years is a long time to sit in limbo and not be able to work.

Suggestion: don't be quite so passive. Time to do *something*--your current method isn't getting you very far very fast.

When you speak to a lawyer, ask them if they know anything about Consular Filing. It's a very fast way for US/Australian couples to *complete* the immigration process.


Now That You Are A Permanent Resident

How Do I Remove The Conditions On Permanent Residence Based On Marriage?

Welcome to the United States: A Guide For New Immigrants

Yes, even this last one.. stuff in there that not even your USC knows.....

Here are more links that I love:

Arriving in America, The POE Drill

Dual Citizenship FAQ

Other Fora I Post To:

alt.visa.us.marriage-based http://britishexpats.com/ and www.***removed***.com

censored link = *family based immigration* website

Inertia. Is that the Greek god of 'can't be bothered'?

Met, married, immigrated, naturalized.

I-130 filed Aug02

USC Jul06

No Deje Piedras Sobre El Pavimento!

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Australia
Timeline

I would be doing something ASAP to figure out where your case stands.

Good luck from a fellow Aussie.

Debby


K-3 Visa

Event Date

Service Center : Texas Service Center

Consulate : Sydney, Australia

Marriage : 2003-12-27

I-130 Sent : 2004-01-15

I-130 NOA1 : 2004-01-20

I-129F Sent : 2004-02-18

I-129F NOA1 : 2004-02-23

I-129F RFE(s) :

RFE Reply(s) :

I-129F NOA2 : 2004-07-24

NVC Received :

NVC Left :

Consulate Received :

Packet 3 Received : 2004-08-20

Packet 3 Sent : 2004-09-23

Packet 4 Received : 2004-10-01

Interview Date : 2004-10-27 Submit Review

Visa Received : 2004-10-27

US Entry : 2004-11-03

I-130 Approval :

Point of Entry Review

Event Date

Point of Entry : Atlanta

POE Date : 2004-11-03

Got EAD Stamp :

Biometrics Taken : Yes

Harassment Level : 0

Comments : They were really nice at Hartsfield airport when I arrived. The lines were long and the process took a while but there were no hassles.

Adjustment of Status

Event Date

CIS Office : Atlanta GA

Date Filed : 2005-01-23

NOA Date :

RFE(s) :

Bio. Appt. : 2005-03-18

Interview Date : 2006-08-01 Submit Review

Approved :

Got I551 Stamp :

Greencard Received:

Comments :

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