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Processing times, forms and their availability.

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Hello all, I've been lurking throughout this forum for the past couple of months or so, always thinking I've gotten a glimse of hope only to realize that things don't seem to be going as expected. So I just have a few questions that maybe some of you can shed some light on, becuase honestly I've seen so many other cases with conflicting information, I don't really know what to believe or think anymore.

First of all I'm the beneficiary (aka the principal applicant) of a CR-1 visa. The application form was filed by my wife, who is the petitioning US citizen. As I understand things, I was assigned a CR-1 visa because we have been married for less than two years, but honestly by the looks of it, by the time I actually get my visa (fingers crossed) we might be well past the two-year mark, but that's a whole other bridge that we'll cross once we get to it. Also we both currently reside outside of the US, but we do plan on moving there once (and if) I actually get approved and get my visa.

So here it goes, we filed the required forms to the USCIS back in Septembet 2014. All went well, we got approved, received our NOA's and our case was forwarded to the NVC. Next, we received two NVC Welcome Letters, one addressed to her, and the other addressed to me, both dated Dec. 11, 2014. These letters included our NVC Case Number and the Invoice ID Number (IIN). Great! Up to this point everything seemed logical and as though it were moving along according to plan.

Afterwards I followed the instructions and went to the nvc.state.gov site to choose an agent, I logged in with the information provided in the welome letter. I logged in, read the instructions and filled out the DS-261 form (on Jan. 27, 2015). Once I was done it told me to come back in 3-5 business days, thinking that by then I would be invoiced for the AOS and IV application fees. Well, I wasn't! So I waited, and waited, and about a couple of weeks later, the AOS and IV fee showed as "Pay Now". So I clicked on them, and I was redirected to the payment/invoice page, where we only had the option to pay for the AOS fee. Very well, we said we'd wait, and so we did. Up to a month later, nothing had changed, so we went ahead and paid for AOS fee. As instructed, it took 2-3 business days to go from a state of processing to "PAID".

So as things stand right now:

  • DS-261 --> "COMPLETED"
  • AOS Fee --> "PAID"
  • AOS Documents --> N/A
  • IV Fee --> "PAY NOW" (but once you follow the link, there is nothing to pay)
  • IV Application --> "N/A" (and greyed out, probably because we haven't been invoiced for the IV fee yet)
  • Civil Documents --> "N/A"

I also have to mention that due to my anxiety, I clicked on the "COMPLETED" status next to the DS-261 a few times, only to find out a few days ago that every time you do so, "the clock resets", excpet I have no idea which clock that is.

Can anyone please shed some light on the following question, because right now I feel like a sitting duck with no idea if this state is normal, or if we missed something, or if they are just taking too long for some reason or another.

  1. When I click on the "COMPLETED" status next to the DS-261, which "clock" (as referenced in the wiki) am I resetting exactly?
  2. Is the IV fee invoicing in anyway dependent on the completion date of the DS-261 form?
  3. If I go in and resubmit the DS-261 today, what are the consequences?
  4. I have a U.S. mail forwarding address that I set up with DHL a while back; is it ok for me to use this address as my mailing address in the DS-261 form? I'm assuming that it will be faster and more reliable than international mail (especially where we live).

P.S. I also tried to email the NVC, but the last time I did that, it took them two months to reply to me. So I'm not expecting the next reply before May. :-(

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All of our stats are the same as yours with the exception that we are 27 days behind you. I have read that a wait up to 30 business days is not unusual which is six weeks. So, yes, your 8 week wait seems out of the ordinary.

It is also my understanding that you have indeed reset the clock on your 261 if you have clicked on it...but the official wait for the 261 is only 15 days. Keep me updated if that got your 261 processed...

I am going to call on Friday to see if they can review my 261 to open up the IV fee....if not I will try next Friday...and then the Friday after that....

Have you sent your AOS/IV package? You can do that so that way you get that 60 day wait started....

Good luck!

Edited by Moustafa/Crystal

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Hi Moustafa, and thanks for the reply, just a few questions to what you mentioned:

  1. So you're saying that the IV fee will only be invoiced once the DS-261 is processed?
  2. Any idea if the 261 will show up as "PROCESSED" or will it just stay as "COMPLETED"?
  3. And if the wait for the 261 is only 15 days, then what are the 30 days for then?

No, I haven't sent my AOS/IV package yet, as I require a joint sponsor, which will be one of my wife's relatives currently living and working in the US. She's going to visit them in June, so will send all the paperwork with her, and she'll mail it from there along with the papers of the joint sponsor; I believe that's a lot more practical and reliable than mailing it from here.

Btw, do you have any idea about the mailing address in the 261 form; do you think it would be wise to put my DHL U.S. mail forwarding address in it? Or would the NVC reject such an address? Because at least with DHL, I can guarantee the paperwork reaching me here in Lebanon, and also that makes the mailing process from NVC to DHL more reliable, via national mail versus international mail.

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