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ShubhaBala

Sharing my less than ideal EAD Expedite experience/saga

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Hey!

I am in the middle of trying to get my EAD expedited and thought I'd share the story in part as therapy and in part because most of the stories I heard here were very optimistic and I felt lulled into a false sense of confidence :)

First - an EAD Expedite is something you can do if they deem that you meet certain criteria and need to get your employment authorization earlier than normal if you have already applied for it. I had no idea it existed until I was googling things about EAD applications. I was laid off from my old job which prompted the entire spouse visa process, and then out of the blue got offered a contract that I really want to take but need my EAD.

1. I called USCIS on Tuesday, March 10 and said I want to expedite my EAD. She read all the possible reasons and I gave them the reason of financial hardship. Note that the job IS with a non-profit but the woman was incredibly unhelpful about what the "non-profit" option meant and she said I have to pick one category and just read them all again. She asked the nature of my financial hardship and I bumbled something out. Mistake 1: I wish I had prepared ahead of time and written down BOTH why I don't have money (more than just the lay-off) AND why my husband doesn't have money... but in a way that he doesn't seem broke as to jeapordize our visa application. It is very confusing. She did NOT repeat what I said to her and said someone should contact me in 5 days and if they don't, keep waiting.

2. I went to my Congressman's office the next day (Wednesday March 11) with a letter from my husband about why we need this EAD and the nature of our financial hardship. He asked if I had my biometrics appointment already and I said yes. This seemed important. He said to get a letter from the employer and then he'd send it to USCIS but that he couldn't make any guarantees.

3. Mistake 2: Since my biometrics appointment was not set until the following week, I went in person on Friday March 13 as a walk-in. The walk-in was fine but the mistake was I should have had the appointment prior to calling USCIS the first time.

4. On March 11 uscis.gov was updated 3 times to say that they assigned my case to an officer, the officer made a decision, the case was complete. It didn't have any processing decision so I was in the dark and waiting.

5. On Monday March 16 I finally got a letter from my employer, gave it to the congressman's office, and he e-mailed all of this to USCIS.

6. On Monday March 16 I get a letter from USCIS dated March 11 saying that I hadn't done my biometrics so they closed my case. UGH!

7. On Tuesday, March 17 I call USCIS and say I just did my biometrics and they thank me, reopen it, and say to wait another 5 days.

8. On Wednesday, March 18 uscis.gov website updated again 3 times to say my case is assigned to an officer, the officer made a decision, the case was complete. No processing decision so I decide they rejected my case.

9. On Thursday, March 19 they e-mail the Congressman staff with a form emailing saying they'll review my documents and make an appropriate decision.

10. On Monday, March 23 I finally get the mail and it's an RFE asking for a letter from the employer on official letterhead and "proof of financial hardship".

11. On Tuesday, March 24 I fax the letter from the employer, along with my tax return from last year, a letter of termination from my last employer, and the letter my husband wrote the Congressman.

12. With no updates at all on the website - nothing to even confirm they got my fax or anything - on Thursday, March 26 I call USCIS, they do transfer me (I don't know to who) and the person who picked up basically said to wait. He said to call back if I don't hear by APRIL 3! I also e-mailed my Congressman again but haven't heard back. I'm pretty sure he hates me now :)

At this point, since I need to start the job on April 6 (they keep pushing the start date but that's the latest they can do) and even if they approve me I have to get the card in the mail, I'm not sure I'll be able to take the position. Sigh.

Oh my mistake #3 is that before any of this, I should have gotten a lawyer to advise me on what the non-profit category really meant (it's worded in a weird way) because that could have been the fast way to do all of this. I was still planning to go this route if I get rejected but since every step has a 5 day waiting period, I didn't realize that even a rejection would take so long. By the time I get rejected, wait 5 days, and then re-apply, it's almost not worth expediting anymore.

I will update you on if I finally get accepted or not!


2/8/2015 Married
2/14/2015 Applications Mailed via Fedex
2/17/2015 NOA Date
3/10/2015 Began long process to expedite EAD. Written about in detail here.
3/13/2015 Biometrics Appointment (I did it early, although after I received my letter)
3/30/2015 EAD approved
4/7/2015 EAD card received - Day 44

9/8/2015 Interview scheduled in NY

10/9/2015 Interview

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~~moved to AOS from work, student, and tourist visa progress reports from IR1/CR1 process and procedures~~


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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My EAD is with an AOS based on marriage so I think it should be in IR1/CR1.

My pessimistic/sad update...

13. On March 27 I called the congressman who called USCIS and they said they received all my info and I need to wait. Now uscis.gov is updated though and it says that my request was completed... but there is no information on processing the EAD which I think, based on other people's experiences, means I'm rejected :( Now I get to wait until sometime next week for the mail to get here to confirm that I was, indeed, rejected. This is the slowest process with the term "expediting" that's ever existed. Blah.


2/8/2015 Married
2/14/2015 Applications Mailed via Fedex
2/17/2015 NOA Date
3/10/2015 Began long process to expedite EAD. Written about in detail here.
3/13/2015 Biometrics Appointment (I did it early, although after I received my letter)
3/30/2015 EAD approved
4/7/2015 EAD card received - Day 44

9/8/2015 Interview scheduled in NY

10/9/2015 Interview

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My EAD is with an AOS based on marriage so I think it should be in IR1/CR1.

= = = = =

These sub-forums are headed "Adjustment of Status FROM . . . ."

So what visa did you have before you started AOS?

Also, under what authority were you working before on your previous job?


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10 Year Green Card Process

July 22, 2017  ROC packet sent to Vermont.

July 24, 2017  ROC packet signed for in Vermont.

August 8, 2017  NOA received at house.  15 days since ROC signed for in VT.

August 12, 2017 ASC appointment received. 19 days since ROC in VT.

August 25, 2017 BIO completed. 32 days since ROC received in VT.

August 11, 2018  18 month 'Courtesy Copy' extension letter received.  Critical number  297

October 20, 2018 18 month 'Official' extension letter received.  Critical number 297

September - October 2018  10 year card expected ????

- - - - - - - -

Service Center: VSC
First 5 Digits EAC 17297
NOA1 Date: July 24, 2017
Filed N-400: Not yet

Case Transferred: Not yet

Approved?: Not yet

     If yes, did you have a RFE? Not yet.  On what date?:

     If yes, did you have an interview? On what date?:

Received 18 month extension letter on August 11, 2018

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Oh FROM! Then that's right...sorry. I was on a TN Visa for work at the time that I filed for AOS. Is that what you mean by what authority?


2/8/2015 Married
2/14/2015 Applications Mailed via Fedex
2/17/2015 NOA Date
3/10/2015 Began long process to expedite EAD. Written about in detail here.
3/13/2015 Biometrics Appointment (I did it early, although after I received my letter)
3/30/2015 EAD approved
4/7/2015 EAD card received - Day 44

9/8/2015 Interview scheduled in NY

10/9/2015 Interview

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If you hold an ir 1 or cr 1 visa, you not need ead.

review visa foil, line containing word 'endorsement' and study i-9 form.

if you are adjusting from prior tn-1 visa, thats different, must chase adjustment of status instead.

which, i think, you are doing.

Edited by Darnell

Sometimes my language usage seems confusing - please feel free to 'read it twice', just in case !
Ya know, you can find the answer to your question with the advanced search tool, when using a PC? Ditch the handphone, come back later on a PC, and try again.

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Oh FROM! Then that's right...sorry. I was on a TN Visa for work at the time that I filed for AOS. Is that what you mean by what authority?

And are you saying the TN visa is no longer valid?

If you think it is not valid; then why?

I know a student visa is not invalidated simply by filing for AOS; so why would TN be?


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Time Line - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

10 Year Green Card Process

July 22, 2017  ROC packet sent to Vermont.

July 24, 2017  ROC packet signed for in Vermont.

August 8, 2017  NOA received at house.  15 days since ROC signed for in VT.

August 12, 2017 ASC appointment received. 19 days since ROC in VT.

August 25, 2017 BIO completed. 32 days since ROC received in VT.

August 11, 2018  18 month 'Courtesy Copy' extension letter received.  Critical number  297

October 20, 2018 18 month 'Official' extension letter received.  Critical number 297

September - October 2018  10 year card expected ????

- - - - - - - -

Service Center: VSC
First 5 Digits EAC 17297
NOA1 Date: July 24, 2017
Filed N-400: Not yet

Case Transferred: Not yet

Approved?: Not yet

     If yes, did you have a RFE? Not yet.  On what date?:

     If yes, did you have an interview? On what date?:

Received 18 month extension letter on August 11, 2018

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My TN is no longer valid because I got laid off from my job which was what prompted the entire immigration saga for me. So now I'm in the nebulous region post TN and pre AOS.


2/8/2015 Married
2/14/2015 Applications Mailed via Fedex
2/17/2015 NOA Date
3/10/2015 Began long process to expedite EAD. Written about in detail here.
3/13/2015 Biometrics Appointment (I did it early, although after I received my letter)
3/30/2015 EAD approved
4/7/2015 EAD card received - Day 44

9/8/2015 Interview scheduled in NY

10/9/2015 Interview

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If you hold an ir 1 or cr 1 visa, you not need ead.

review visa foil, line containing word 'endorsement' and study i-9 form.

if you are adjusting from prior tn-1 visa, thats different, must chase adjustment of status instead.

which, i think, you are doing.

What Darnell is trying to say is that your timeline and profile are confusing. You've put down that you are applying for a CR1 visa, which is for a beneficiary initially applying outside of America and your timeline doesn't indicate that you've filed the I-485.

It would be helpful if you could change your profile to "Adjusting Status" and also change your timeline to reflect this, otherwise we are all like "why would apply for EAD if you came on a CR1, no wonder you got rejected for an expedite", know what I mean?

Edited by N-o-l-a

3/2/18  E-filed N-400 under 5 year rule

3/26/18 Biometrics

7/2019-12/2019 (Yes, 16- 21 months) Estimated time to interview MSP office.

 

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Final update:

13 continued: So on Friday, March 27 as mentioned the website updated to say that a conclusion had been reached. The congressman also e-mailed them on Friday although I don't know if that had anything to do with my outcome. On Monday, March 30 uscis updated to in process!!!!! So it worked - and note that the in process does not necessarily update as soon as they reach their decision.

Now just to receive the actual card.

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

Thanks N-o-la. I updated my status, as for the timeline I've been having a ton of issues with that. I think I just changed it to make it even worse now (changed it to TN, I think it was right before). I can't update EAD or AP on my timeline. I've posted about this in the technical issues forum.


2/8/2015 Married
2/14/2015 Applications Mailed via Fedex
2/17/2015 NOA Date
3/10/2015 Began long process to expedite EAD. Written about in detail here.
3/13/2015 Biometrics Appointment (I did it early, although after I received my letter)
3/30/2015 EAD approved
4/7/2015 EAD card received - Day 44

9/8/2015 Interview scheduled in NY

10/9/2015 Interview

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