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DCF with exceptional circumstances

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Denmark
Timeline

I posted a while ago on here my timeline with getting the I-130 approved for DCF with exceptional circumstances (short notice job relocation, also pregnant). Also now can add the rest of the dates. Most of the delay was from our end getting certain annoying documents in preparation for the interview. One of them took us nearly 6 weeks to obtain, and we had to deal with 3 different countries for all of them. Everything was nearly immediate with dealing with the two consulates here in Scandinavia.


December 11 - submitted request to file DCF with US embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark

December 14 - received notice to come to the embassy on December 18 to file the I-130

December 18 - filed I-130 at the embassy

January 2 - notified by Stockholm (they only process non-immigrant visas in Copenhagen; Stockholm does immigrant for the entire region) immigrant visa unit that they received our approved I-130 and they sent a checklist to complete before an interview could be scheduled

(this part here is all our delay due to difficulty getting documents! ARGH!)

February 1 - sent completed checklist (included having already gotten the medical exam, we had no problem scheduling it in Copenhagen)

February 2 - resent completed checklist plus forgotten DS-260 completion confirmation, which we forgot the day before

February 5 - received interview appointment notice from Stockholm, for a specific time on February 13. It was really bad for my husband because he's teaching a course, but when we asked about rescheduling, they couldn't until March 1st. So we figured out how to deal with Feb 13.

February 13 - my husband had the visa interview in Stockholm (long trip, we spent 2 nights there). They wouldn't even let me, the US citizen petitioner, into the embassy! Because I wasn't on their "list" (this was contrary to attorney's advice...very helpful).

 

The interview was quite fast and my husband was out in about 30 minutes. We were mega-prepared with all the documents. Interesting "surprise" was what they required for the I-864 sponsorship. It wasn't good enough that despite my job discontinuing here when I move to the US of course, that I have a job offer for a very good salary starting in March in the US. I included the job offer letter and a one-way ticket to the US with the I-864 as proof of my intent to reestablish domicile and also of US-based future income. I've seen other cases on here where this was deemed good enough at the interview. But nope, they also wanted to see the $60k+ in assets because the job offer wasn't enough. Very fortunately, I also had this. They flipped through the statements until they found one from the US (they didn't even care about the assets I have in Denmark, which is most of it!!) that happened to be my IRA worth over $100k.  Our attorney had also advised us to not "confuse" the consular officer and to prepare the I-864 without assets so that we could just qualify on the income, yet to take proof of them in case we needed them. More bad advice - ended up using the original form I prepared with the assets. We took both versions.

 

Regardless, my husband's visa was approved and he should get everything in the mail in a week. I'm just a little shocked what a US citizen expat needs to go through, including with exceptional circumstances including a pregnancy, to be able to sponsor their spouse when returning to the US. We might have been in a sticky situation without the assets without months of pay stubs proving income from my new job in the US, and by that time I would have had to give birth alone. 

 

Edited by Penguin_ie
title edited as thread now pinned for all exceptional circumstances

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Russia
Timeline
45 minutes ago, pyridine said:

I posted a while ago on here my timeline with getting the I-130 approved for DCF with exceptional circumstances (short notice job relocation, also pregnant). Also now can add the rest of the dates. Most of the delay was from our end getting certain annoying documents in preparation for the interview. One of them took us nearly 6 weeks to obtain, and we had to deal with 3 different countries for all of them. Everything was nearly immediate with dealing with the two consulates here in Scandinavia.


December 11 - submitted request to file DCF with US embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark

December 14 - received notice to come to the embassy on December 18 to file the I-130

December 18 - filed I-130 at the embassy

January 2 - notified by Stockholm (they only process non-immigrant visas in Copenhagen; Stockholm does immigrant for the entire region) immigrant visa unit that they received our approved I-130 and they sent a checklist to complete before an interview could be scheduled

(this part here is all our delay due to difficulty getting documents! ARGH!)

February 1 - sent completed checklist (included having already gotten the medical exam, we had no problem scheduling it in Copenhagen)

February 2 - resent completed checklist plus forgotten DS-260 completion confirmation, which we forgot the day before

February 5 - received interview appointment notice from Stockholm, for a specific time on February 13. It was really bad for my husband because he's teaching a course, but when we asked about rescheduling, they couldn't until March 1st. So we figured out how to deal with Feb 13.

February 13 - my husband had the visa interview in Stockholm (long trip, we spent 2 nights there). They wouldn't even let me, the US citizen petitioner, into the embassy! Because I wasn't on their "list" (this was contrary to attorney's advice...very helpful).

 

The interview was quite fast and my husband was out in about 30 minutes. We were mega-prepared with all the documents. Interesting "surprise" was what they required for the I-864 sponsorship. It wasn't good enough that despite my job discontinuing here when I move to the US of course, that I have a job offer for a very good salary starting in March in the US. I included the job offer letter and a one-way ticket to the US with the I-864 as proof of my intent to reestablish domicile and also of US-based future income. I've seen other cases on here where this was deemed good enough at the interview. But nope, they also wanted to see the $60k+ in assets because the job offer wasn't enough. Very fortunately, I also had this. They flipped through the statements until they found one from the US (they didn't even care about the assets I have in Denmark, which is most of it!!) that happened to be my IRA worth over $100k.  Our attorney had also advised us to not "confuse" the consular officer and to prepare the I-864 without assets so that we could just qualify on the income, yet to take proof of them in case we needed them. More bad advice - ended up using the original form I prepared with the assets. We took both versions.

 

Regardless, my husband's visa was approved and he should get everything in the mail in a week. I'm just a little shocked what a US citizen expat needs to go through, including with exceptional circumstances including a pregnancy, to be able to sponsor their spouse when returning to the US. We might have been in a sticky situation without the assets without months of pay stubs proving income from my new job in the US, and by that time I would have had to give birth alone. 

 

Congrats!  Sounds like you may want to part ways with that attorney.


Visa Received : 2014-04-04 (K1 - see timeline for details)

US Entry : 2014-09-12

POE: Detroit

Marriage : 2014-09-27

I-765 Approved: 2015-01-09

I-485 Interview: 2015-03-11

I-485 Approved: 2015-03-13

Green Card Received: 2015-03-24 Yeah!!!

I-751 ROC Submitted: 2016-12-20

I-751 NOA Received:  2016-12-29

I-751 Biometrics Appt.:  2017-01-26

I-751 Interview:  2018-04-10

I-751 Approved:  2018-05-04

N400 Filed:  2018-01-13

N400 Biometrics:  2018-02-22

N400 Interview:  2018-04-10

N400 Approved:  2018-04-10

Oath Ceremony:  2018-06-11 - DONE!!!!!!!

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Denmark
Timeline
10 minutes ago, Bill & Katya said:

Congrats!  Sounds like you may want to part ways with that attorney.

Thanks! And yeah - the attorney assistance was provided to us by the company hiring me. I would have blown my brains out if I had actually paid for her advice myself. Sometimes it's easier to just figure things out yourself (and hopefully my story here can provide a bit of that for those who can't afford an attorney). She did provide a bit of early assurance that this DCF thing was possible though, although she misunderstood the details of the entire process in general. And she helped us figure out how to proceed despite missing one of the key documents up until well, the day it suddenly came, in one form or another. But we're done with her now that the visa is being issued!

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Russia
Timeline
15 minutes ago, pyridine said:

Thanks! And yeah - the attorney assistance was provided to us by the company hiring me. I would have blown my brains out if I had actually paid for her advice myself. Sometimes it's easier to just figure things out yourself (and hopefully my story here can provide a bit of that for those who can't afford an attorney). She did provide a bit of early assurance that this DCF thing was possible though, although she misunderstood the details of the entire process in general. And she helped us figure out how to proceed despite missing one of the key documents up until well, the day it suddenly came, in one form or another. But we're done with her now that the visa is being issued!

It is good to hear that you didn't waste money on this lawyer.  Yes, VJ is great for those able to do things themselves, and it is always good to get stories like yours for those that come after.


Visa Received : 2014-04-04 (K1 - see timeline for details)

US Entry : 2014-09-12

POE: Detroit

Marriage : 2014-09-27

I-765 Approved: 2015-01-09

I-485 Interview: 2015-03-11

I-485 Approved: 2015-03-13

Green Card Received: 2015-03-24 Yeah!!!

I-751 ROC Submitted: 2016-12-20

I-751 NOA Received:  2016-12-29

I-751 Biometrics Appt.:  2017-01-26

I-751 Interview:  2018-04-10

I-751 Approved:  2018-05-04

N400 Filed:  2018-01-13

N400 Biometrics:  2018-02-22

N400 Interview:  2018-04-10

N400 Approved:  2018-04-10

Oath Ceremony:  2018-06-11 - DONE!!!!!!!

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5 hours ago, pyridine said:

They wouldn't even let me, the US citizen petitioner, into the embassy! Because I wasn't on their "list" (this was contrary to attorney's advice...very helpful).

This seems to be embassy specific, and the embassies frequently contradict themselves. It's really annoying. The official instructions in Mexico recommend that the petitioner accompany the beneficiary, however, the embassy only allows entry to the beneficiary. Petitioners are denied entry

 

Conversely, the instructions for the embassy in Honduras state that the petitioner is not allowed to accompany the beneficiary, but VJ users have reported that they were in fact allowed to enter.


DCF Mexico

06/04/2017: Married

06/24/2017: Mailed I-130

06/27/2017: NOA1 (technically a RFE as we were missing beneficiary ID)

07/06/2017: NOA2

07/12/2017: Case assigned by Juarez embassy

07/17/2017: Packet 3 received

08/15/2017: Interview/Approval!

08/22/2017: Visa received via DHL

09/03/2017: POE

09/16/2017: Permanent Resident Card received

 

Total days from NOA1 to approval: 49

 

I wrote a DCF Mexico guide! http://www.visajourney.com/wiki/index.php?title=DCF_Mexico

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Denmark
Timeline
1 minute ago, Jorge V said:

This seems to be embassy specific, and the embassies frequently contradict themselves. It's really annoying. The official instructions in Mexico recommend that the petitioner accompany the beneficiary, however, the embassy only allows entry to the beneficiary. Petitioners are denied entry

 

Conversely, the instructions for the embassy in Honduras state that the petitioner is not allowed to accompany the beneficiary, but VJ users have reported that they were in fact allowed to enter.

I guess it was fair enough that the attorney didn't know, then. I did expect that I wouldn't be allowed into the interview, although I guess since it's conducted shouting through a bullet-proof window nowadays, that could also mean you can't go into the embassy at all. I looked at all the correspondence from Stockholm to my husband and there was no guidance whatsoever about whether I could be at the interview other than it all being directed solely to him. At Copenhagen, only I needed to be there to file the I-130 but they still let my husband in with me without any problem and we were at the window together.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Denmark
Timeline
On 3/2/2018 at 9:04 AM, dpillion said:

@pyridine what evidence and supporting information did you send to the consulate to request filing a DFC? Congrats by the way!

 

The embassy sent a list of what they wanted when I asked. It's basically just evidence of the exceptional circumstance. I submitted a letter written for us by the attorney detailing the situation (could easily have written ourselves), copy of job offer letter, and they wanted copy of my residence permit and passport. I think that was it. At that point it's only about the petitioner wishing to file the I-130, it becomes about the beneficiary once the I-130 is approved. There was another list of stuff we brought for filing the I-130 once DCF was approved. Good luck!

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@pyridine Thanks! What I'm confused about is how the "new job offer with short notice" reason works.  The criteria on the USCIS website for an expedite lists "Severe financial loss to company or person." (https://www.uscis.gov/forms/expedite-criteria).  I'm not sure if this is the same as or different for DCF.

 

Did you have to prove that this is some sort speciality job or something only very few people can fill? Also, for the "short notice" part, do you have to prove that the company urgently needs your presence or will incur "financial loss" without you.  I guess what I'm getting at is it must be more than just a simple job offer with a short notice of start date to qualify for DCF?  We're trying to determine if our case would qualify for the DCF exceptional case.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Denmark
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2 hours ago, dpillion said:

@pyridine Thanks! What I'm confused about is how the "new job offer with short notice" reason works.  The criteria on the USCIS website for an expedite lists "Severe financial loss to company or person." (https://www.uscis.gov/forms/expedite-criteria).  I'm not sure if this is the same as or different for DCF.

 

Did you have to prove that this is some sort speciality job or something only very few people can fill? Also, for the "short notice" part, do you have to prove that the company urgently needs your presence or will incur "financial loss" without you.  I guess what I'm getting at is it must be more than just a simple job offer with a short notice of start date to qualify for DCF?  We're trying to determine if our case would qualify for the DCF exceptional case.

This isn't an expedite at all so make sure not to use that terminology with the consulate. An actual expedite is extremely difficult to get - this is not that (which I think caused some confusion from others claiming definitively this was impossible), it's just doing the filing of the I-130 in another location not ordinarily approved for non-DCF countries but usually approved if you have any of the listed circumstances, that happens to make things much much faster than the normal route. You can find the official list of exceptional circumstances maybe earlier in this post or my earlier one, but it merely says a "short notice job relocation or new job offer".

 

I asked our attorney what constitutes "short notice" and she said there's no clear definition but that 3 months, which was what I had before needing to start, most certainly qualified. Beyond that, I guess it's getting more uncertain but any realistic offer will start well before Chicago lockbox would go through so it's always worth a shot trying this. And 3 months was quite far out too, I pushed it as far as this company would allow and it's definitely not standard, they wanted me in more like 1 month but too bad, I couldn't do that.

 

You don't need to prove anything about financial loss to company or about specialty of your role. I only submitted the job offer letter and attorney made it sound a bit dramatic how important the company's work was and my role at the company in the letter, very briefly, but I tend to doubt that was necessary. 

 

I will say she also expounded on the fact that I'm pregnant in the letter as well and the hardship to be caused by being separated from my husband, which is a second exceptional circumstance, but I didn't send anything proving that. You just use whatever you've got, but our situation was definitely such that I wasn't going to go for this job and would renege on the offer unless we could do DCF because it just wasn't worth it. He's now trailing me going by 3 weeks and I'm glad it's not any longer since I'm already getting a bit disabled by pregnancy. 

Edited by pyridine

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We just completed a similar process. Many thanks to @pyridine for posting all the details of your experience - you saved us a lot hassle! (more on that later!)

Background:  I am the child of a US expat living in Sweden. In April, I applied for a job in the US (a very good job with a "famous" US employer).


Our timeline:

 

  • May 1: receive employment letter, with start date July 1.
  • May 2: email US embassy asking for instructions how to apply for exceptional circumstance DCF at Stockholm embassy.
  • May 2: (half an hour later) embassy replies, telling us to mail in I-130, a copy of the bio page of petitioner's passport, completed G-325As with passport-style photos for both petitioner and beneficiary, as well as a letter explaining our claim to exceptional circumstance (short relocation for a job) and evidence for this. The embassy also informed us that all this will be forwarded to USCIS London.
  • May 3:  Mail in the required documents.
  • May 14: Email embassy asking if they'd gotten our docs.
  • May 15: Embassy replies, confirming that they'd received our mail, and that they'd just sent a follow-up enquiry to USCIS London to find out what was happening.
  • May 16: Embassy tells us that USCIS has given permission to do DCF, and that we need to send in a money order of $535 for the I-130 filing fee and a copy of the bio page of the beneficiary's passport.
  • May 18: Embassy receives money order and copy of passport.
  • May 21: Embassy informs my wife that they've approved the I-130, and sends her the checklist for the interview.
  • May 24: We inform embassy that we've collected the required documents and that the medical has been scheduled for June 7.
  • May 25: Embassy says that June 12 is available for an interview, if it is suitable for us.
  • June 12: Interview at embassy in Stockholm. Everything goes well. Wife gets 221(g) pending medical results.

In the embassy checklist, under the instructions for the I-864, the embassy writes "If the U.S. Petitioner has no current U.S. income, he/she will also need to either need to provide proof of assets or find a financial joint sponsor who completes an additional Affidavit of Support with supporting documents."
Thanks to @pyridine, we knew about this at the beginning of May, which allowed us to make preparations! Since we are quite young (mid-to-late twenties), we didn't have the assets directly available. However, my future employer gave me a large advance, which, combined with our savings was more than enough assets.
We made up 2 AoS (the first counting this advance as income-which was more than enough, the second counting it as an asset). The embassy didn't want the income one.

The Stockholm embassy has been really helpful throughout the whole process! All our emails have been quickly answered.
 

Edited by fdhs

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I just wanted to say thanks to @pyridine for posting this thread and your original on using the Exceptional Circumstances route.  I was told that my wife would have to use the lockbox and wait 18 months to get her IR1 visa, which would mean that I would have been separated from my family for an unacceptably long time.   In the end we got it in about 2.5 months (that's with a 10 day national holiday in Japan; without golden week I think we could have done it in 2 months).  I would not have been able to do it without the information on this forum.

 

Our Timeline:

March 18th - I got my offer letter and contacted the Embassy in Tokyo the same day.  They make you go though a third party customer service provider who has no knowledge of exceptional circumstances.

March 20th - I get a response from the third party customer service provider providing me  the contact email of the immigrant visa section at the embassy, I contact the embassy the same day and they replied (the same day) confirming that ISCIS had authorized State to process my I-130 and set an appointment for my I-130 petition interview.

Late March-Early April - Thanks to the advice from @pyridine, I was forewarned that I need to start getting documents in hand, so we applied for police certificates in the 3 countries we had lived in.  The longest of these (the PRC), took about a month.

April 8th - I-130 petition interview

April 11th - Wife completes medical check

April 17th - I-130 is approved and we are given instructions on completing the DS-260 online.  We completed the DC-160 on the same day, and request an appointment.

April 18th - Receive my wife's appointment for her IR1 visa interview, which is scheduled for May 28th (they say this is the next available date).

May 28th - My wife has a brief interview and her visa is told her visa is approved at the end of the interview.  They take her passport and our pre-addressed express envelope and we are told we will have the passport back in less than 7 days.

 

 

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Hi everyone - thank you so much for sharing your experiences. Super helpful for helping us navigate the process.

 

Regarding -  "December 11 - submitted request to file DCF with US embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark"

 

How do you go about submitting the request? Do I actually show up physically at my local embassy? Do I email them? Should I email the USCIS field office that would be handling the request? 

 

Would be great to get some clarity on this topic.

 

Thanks!

Edited by familybasedvisa12

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4 minutes ago, familybasedvisa12 said:

Hi everyone - thank you so much for sharing your experiences. Super helpful for helping us navigate the process.

 

Regarding -  "December 11 - submitted request to file DCF with US embassy in Copenhagen, Denmark"

 

How do you go about submitting the request? Do I actually show up physically at my local embassy? Do I email them? Should I email the USCIS field office that would be handling the request? 

 

Would be great to get some clarity on this topic.

 

Thanks!

DCF is no longer possible anywhere. It was ended as of January 31st, 2020, after a long period of winding down. Your US petitioner must file with their designated lockbox if in the US, or with the Chicago lockbox if located outside of the US. 
 

DCF can still be considered if you have a “clearly approvable” I-130, your US citizen Spouse lives in your country, and You meet the extraordinary circumstances requirements.


visa Issued

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1 hour ago, familybasedvisa12 said:

How do you go about submitting the request? Do I actually show up physically at my local embassy? Do I email them? Should I email the USCIS field office that would be handling the request?

If you are military or have exceptional circumstances contact the consulate that has jurisdiction.  Otherwise you waited a bit too long. 

 

Two field offices are still accepting petitions.  Hopefully you live in London or Accra.


March 2, 2018  Married In Hong Kong

April 30, 2018  Mary moves from the Philippines to Mexico, Husband has MX Permanent Residency

June 13, 2018 Mary receives Mexican Residency Card

June 15, 2018  I-130 DCF Appointment in Juarez  -  June 18, 2018  Approval E-Mail

August 2, 2018 Case Complete At Consulate

September 25, 2018 Interview in CDJ and Approved!

October 7, 2018 In the USA

October 27, 2018 Green Card received 

October 29, 2018 Applied for Social Security Card - November 5, 2018 Social Security Card received

November 6th, 2018 State ID Card Received, Applied for Global Entry - Feb 8,2019 Approved.

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