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MapleLeaf29

Recommended for Approval at Interview - Now USCIS Says Five Months for Green Card???

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My husband had his green card interview on 10/3/18 (one month ago).  At the interview, the officer told us he was recommending us for approval and printed out an approval letter.  A few days ago, my husband called USCIS to ask when he could expect his green card.  This is what they said:

 

Husband: My interview was a month ago and I was approved.  I was wondering how long it might take to get my green card.

USCIS Employee: You weren't approved.  You were recommended for approval.  Your case was passed to someone else's desk; they will look over it and decide whether or not you are approved.

Husband: Do you know how long that will take?  My wife and I bought tickets to visit my family in Canada for Christmas and I need the green card so I can travel outside the country.

USCIS Employee: You are still in the 15-20 month processing window for interviews.

Husband: I think you might be misunderstanding me.  I have already had the interview.  When can I expect the green card?

USCIS Employee: You are still in the 15-20 month processing window.  We have five months to make a decision about your approval.  If you do not have your approval notice in five months, you may contact us because you will be outside of normal processing times.

Husband: WHAT?????

USCIS Employee: 15-20 months is normal processing time.  When we make a decision about your case, we will send you an approval letter.  After that, it will be an additional 2-8 weeks to process your green card and mail it to you.

 

We have never heard that it could take up to the 20-month mark to make a decision about an interview.  The officer told us he was recommending us for approval and even printed out an approval letter for us.  As far as we know, everything is in order and we are not under review.  Everything we have read online says that USCIS has 120 days to make a decision from the date of the interview, not five months.  We are completely and totally perplexed.

 

My husband made an InfoPass appointment.  He is going in this week, so we'll see what they say.

Edited by MapleLeaf29

Click here for K1:

Spoiler

11/19/2016                 Mailed I-129F packet
11/21/2016                 NOA1 received date
11/25/2016                 Date on NOA1 hard copy
11/28/2016                 NOA1 arrived in the mail
02/16/2017                 NOA2 (USCIS website and Case Tracker app)
02/21/2017                 NOA2 arrived in the mail
03/08/2017                 Case arrived at the NVC
03/09/2017                 NVC assigned case number
03/13/2017                 Case left the NVC
03/17/2017                 Case arrived in Montreal; status updated to "Ready"
03/17/2017                 Submitted DS-160
03/18/2017                 E-mailed Packet 3 to Montreal
03/20/2017                 Received Packet 4
04/26/2017                 Visa interview in Montreal - Approved!!!
04/27/2017                 CEAC status changed from "Administrative Processing" to "Visa Issued".
04/28/2017                 Visa arrived
05/29/2017                 POE Toronto (Pre-Clearance)/Minneapolis
06/01/2017                 Legal marriage
07/29/2017                 Wedding ceremony with family and friends

 

Marriage-Based Adjustment of Status:

06/16/2017                 Mailed AOS packet to Chicago lockbox

06/19/2017                 Chicago lockbox received

07/03/2017                 Notification texts & e-mails

07/12/2017                 NOA hard copies arrived in the mail

07/25/2017                 Biometrics letter arrived

08/02/2017                 Biometrics appointment

11/06/2017                 EAD and AP approval notice arrived in the mail

11/08/2017                 EAD card arrived (145 days after we sent our AOS packet)

03/15/2018                 Status changed to "Case is Ready to be Scheduled for an Interview"

07/21/2018                 Submitted paperwork to renew EAD/AP

07/29/2018                 Notification texts & e-mails for EAD/AP renewal

09/01/2018                 Interview notice arrived in the mail

10/03/2018                 AOS interview (474 days after we mailed our paperwork)

11/08/2018                 InfoPass appointment to inquire about green card.  Learned that our file had been moved to the
                                       storage room for approved cases, but had not been marked "approved" in the computer system.

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33 minutes ago, MapleLeaf29 said:

My husband had his green card interview on 10/3/18 (one month ago).  At the interview, the officer told us he was recommending us for approval and printed out an approval letter.  A few days ago, my husband called USCIS to ask when he could expect his green card.  This is what they said:

 

Husband: My interview was a month ago and I was approved.  I was wondering how long it might take to get my green card.

USCIS Employee: You weren't approved.  You were recommended for approval.  Your case was passed to someone else's desk; they will look over it and decide whether or not you are approved.

Husband: Do you know how long that will take?  My wife and I bought tickets to visit my family in Canada for Christmas and I need the green card so I can travel outside the country.

USCIS Employee: You are still in the 15-20 month processing window for interviews.

Husband: I think you might be misunderstanding me.  I have already had the interview.  When can I expect the green card?

USCIS Employee: You are still in the 15-20 month processing window.  We have five months to make a decision about your approval.  If you do not have your approval notice in five months, you may contact us because you will be outside of normal processing times.

Husband: WHAT?????

USCIS Employee: 15-20 months is normal processing time.  When we make a decision about your case, we will send you an approval letter.  After that, it will be an additional 2-8 weeks to process your green card and mail it to you.

 

We have never heard that it could take up to the 20-month mark to make a decision about an interview.  The officer told us he was recommending us for approval and even printed out an approval letter for us.  As far as we know, everything is in order and we are not under review.  Everything we have read online says that USCIS has 120 days to make a decision from the date of the interview, not five months.  We are completely and totally perplexed.

 

My husband made an InfoPass appointment.  He is going in this week, so we'll see what they say.

Yikes! You didnt apply for EAD/AP concurrently with your I485 which would have been approved in 4-6 months?

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11 minutes ago, K1visaHopeful said:

Yikes! You didnt apply for EAD/AP concurrently with your I485 which would have been approved in 4-6 months?

We did.  We submitted our paperwork for the whole package (I485, EAD, AP) in June of 2017.  We received EAD/AP in November of 2017, but since it is now November of 2018, the AP is expired.  We submitted our renewal paperwork for EAD/AP this July, but we have not received our new cards yet.  We have heard that they stop processing renewal cards when you have your green card interview -- we're not sure if this is true or not.  My husband is going to ask about this at the InfoPass appointment.

6 minutes ago, H&T said:

Since you not apply for EAD/AP,  you have to wait until you have GC to travel.

We did apply for EAD/AP.  We received the EAD/AP card in November of 2017, so it has now expired.  We submitted our renewal paperwork for EAD/AP, but we have not received the renewed cards yet.

Edited by MapleLeaf29

Click here for K1:

Spoiler

11/19/2016                 Mailed I-129F packet
11/21/2016                 NOA1 received date
11/25/2016                 Date on NOA1 hard copy
11/28/2016                 NOA1 arrived in the mail
02/16/2017                 NOA2 (USCIS website and Case Tracker app)
02/21/2017                 NOA2 arrived in the mail
03/08/2017                 Case arrived at the NVC
03/09/2017                 NVC assigned case number
03/13/2017                 Case left the NVC
03/17/2017                 Case arrived in Montreal; status updated to "Ready"
03/17/2017                 Submitted DS-160
03/18/2017                 E-mailed Packet 3 to Montreal
03/20/2017                 Received Packet 4
04/26/2017                 Visa interview in Montreal - Approved!!!
04/27/2017                 CEAC status changed from "Administrative Processing" to "Visa Issued".
04/28/2017                 Visa arrived
05/29/2017                 POE Toronto (Pre-Clearance)/Minneapolis
06/01/2017                 Legal marriage
07/29/2017                 Wedding ceremony with family and friends

 

Marriage-Based Adjustment of Status:

06/16/2017                 Mailed AOS packet to Chicago lockbox

06/19/2017                 Chicago lockbox received

07/03/2017                 Notification texts & e-mails

07/12/2017                 NOA hard copies arrived in the mail

07/25/2017                 Biometrics letter arrived

08/02/2017                 Biometrics appointment

11/06/2017                 EAD and AP approval notice arrived in the mail

11/08/2017                 EAD card arrived (145 days after we sent our AOS packet)

03/15/2018                 Status changed to "Case is Ready to be Scheduled for an Interview"

07/21/2018                 Submitted paperwork to renew EAD/AP

07/29/2018                 Notification texts & e-mails for EAD/AP renewal

09/01/2018                 Interview notice arrived in the mail

10/03/2018                 AOS interview (474 days after we mailed our paperwork)

11/08/2018                 InfoPass appointment to inquire about green card.  Learned that our file had been moved to the
                                       storage room for approved cases, but had not been marked "approved" in the computer system.

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1 minute ago, H&T said:

That's a big disadvantage of K1. Right now you can't travel out of state until GC in hand or the AP. Possible at the Inforpass, you can asked USCIS for expedited AP.

That's what we are hoping.  We're not sure if the AP renewal card is still being processed, since we have heard that they stop processing renewals when you have your green card interview.  We are confused because other people at our field office have had the green card in hand within 1-2 weeks of their interview.  Our interviewing officer said everything was in order, so we went ahead and booked our plane tickets after the interview thinking that the green card would come in a few weeks.  We do have travel insurance, so we can cancel the tickets if we need to, but my husband is really sad that we can't visit his family.  We are also concerned about his driver's license status check, since his EAD/AP card is now expired and we don't have a green card yet.


Click here for K1:

Spoiler

11/19/2016                 Mailed I-129F packet
11/21/2016                 NOA1 received date
11/25/2016                 Date on NOA1 hard copy
11/28/2016                 NOA1 arrived in the mail
02/16/2017                 NOA2 (USCIS website and Case Tracker app)
02/21/2017                 NOA2 arrived in the mail
03/08/2017                 Case arrived at the NVC
03/09/2017                 NVC assigned case number
03/13/2017                 Case left the NVC
03/17/2017                 Case arrived in Montreal; status updated to "Ready"
03/17/2017                 Submitted DS-160
03/18/2017                 E-mailed Packet 3 to Montreal
03/20/2017                 Received Packet 4
04/26/2017                 Visa interview in Montreal - Approved!!!
04/27/2017                 CEAC status changed from "Administrative Processing" to "Visa Issued".
04/28/2017                 Visa arrived
05/29/2017                 POE Toronto (Pre-Clearance)/Minneapolis
06/01/2017                 Legal marriage
07/29/2017                 Wedding ceremony with family and friends

 

Marriage-Based Adjustment of Status:

06/16/2017                 Mailed AOS packet to Chicago lockbox

06/19/2017                 Chicago lockbox received

07/03/2017                 Notification texts & e-mails

07/12/2017                 NOA hard copies arrived in the mail

07/25/2017                 Biometrics letter arrived

08/02/2017                 Biometrics appointment

11/06/2017                 EAD and AP approval notice arrived in the mail

11/08/2017                 EAD card arrived (145 days after we sent our AOS packet)

03/15/2018                 Status changed to "Case is Ready to be Scheduled for an Interview"

07/21/2018                 Submitted paperwork to renew EAD/AP

07/29/2018                 Notification texts & e-mails for EAD/AP renewal

09/01/2018                 Interview notice arrived in the mail

10/03/2018                 AOS interview (474 days after we mailed our paperwork)

11/08/2018                 InfoPass appointment to inquire about green card.  Learned that our file had been moved to the
                                       storage room for approved cases, but had not been marked "approved" in the computer system.

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20 hours ago, MapleLeaf29 said:

That's what we are hoping.  We're not sure if the AP renewal card is still being processed, since we have heard that they stop processing renewals when you have your green card interview.  We are confused because other people at our field office have had the green card in hand within 1-2 weeks of their interview.  Our interviewing officer said everything was in order, so we went ahead and booked our plane tickets after the interview thinking that the green card would come in a few weeks.  We do have travel insurance, so we can cancel the tickets if we need to, but my husband is really sad that we can't visit his family.  We are also concerned about his driver's license status check, since his EAD/AP card is now expired and we don't have a green card yet.

Nothing is as it seems with this immigration process. It's unfortunate that you booked your ticket before green card was in hand. You never know with uscis, despite what they say you may get your green card in the next couple of weeks or you may have to wait longer. Read where someone got approval at interview and waited almost a year to get greencard. Goodluck with your process and hope you get your greencard sooner than later.

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Just now, Ann&James said:

Nothing is as it seems with this immigration process. It's unfortunate that you booked your ticket before green card was in hand. You never know with uscis, despite what they say you may get your green card in the next couple of weeks or you may have to wait longer. Read where someone got approval at interview and waited almost a year to get greencard. Goodluck with your process and hope you get your greencard sooner than later.

We did get travel insurance, so the plane tickets should be okay.  We're just feeling so frustrated with the whole process.


Click here for K1:

Spoiler

11/19/2016                 Mailed I-129F packet
11/21/2016                 NOA1 received date
11/25/2016                 Date on NOA1 hard copy
11/28/2016                 NOA1 arrived in the mail
02/16/2017                 NOA2 (USCIS website and Case Tracker app)
02/21/2017                 NOA2 arrived in the mail
03/08/2017                 Case arrived at the NVC
03/09/2017                 NVC assigned case number
03/13/2017                 Case left the NVC
03/17/2017                 Case arrived in Montreal; status updated to "Ready"
03/17/2017                 Submitted DS-160
03/18/2017                 E-mailed Packet 3 to Montreal
03/20/2017                 Received Packet 4
04/26/2017                 Visa interview in Montreal - Approved!!!
04/27/2017                 CEAC status changed from "Administrative Processing" to "Visa Issued".
04/28/2017                 Visa arrived
05/29/2017                 POE Toronto (Pre-Clearance)/Minneapolis
06/01/2017                 Legal marriage
07/29/2017                 Wedding ceremony with family and friends

 

Marriage-Based Adjustment of Status:

06/16/2017                 Mailed AOS packet to Chicago lockbox

06/19/2017                 Chicago lockbox received

07/03/2017                 Notification texts & e-mails

07/12/2017                 NOA hard copies arrived in the mail

07/25/2017                 Biometrics letter arrived

08/02/2017                 Biometrics appointment

11/06/2017                 EAD and AP approval notice arrived in the mail

11/08/2017                 EAD card arrived (145 days after we sent our AOS packet)

03/15/2018                 Status changed to "Case is Ready to be Scheduled for an Interview"

07/21/2018                 Submitted paperwork to renew EAD/AP

07/29/2018                 Notification texts & e-mails for EAD/AP renewal

09/01/2018                 Interview notice arrived in the mail

10/03/2018                 AOS interview (474 days after we mailed our paperwork)

11/08/2018                 InfoPass appointment to inquire about green card.  Learned that our file had been moved to the
                                       storage room for approved cases, but had not been marked "approved" in the computer system.

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20 hours ago, MapleLeaf29 said:

We did get travel insurance, so the plane tickets should be okay.  We're just feeling so frustrated with the whole process.

It's very frustrating because it sometimes feel like every step you move forward you take two steps backward. Sometimes it feels like while this process is going on your life is on hold.

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Read the fine print on the travel insurance.  It normally lists the conditions covered, things like a documented, serious illness, etc.  Check to see if no travel documents is a covered condition.  I got travel insurance for a ticket once and then when I needed it I discovered that it was VERY limited to a small number of specific situations.

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All the cases go to supervisor for review and approval. It may be possible that supervisor hasnt gotten to your case. Some times it takes a month or two to get approval. So wait for your EAD or go to local office with your flight ticket as a proof and request to expedite your EAD. Note that they r not required to accept your request. Good luck.

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Unlikely that the EAD will be renewed now that the interview has taken place. 

 

@MapleLeaf29 Here's another option. Make an Infopass appointment and bring the approval recommendation letter with your husband's passport and flight itinerary. Tell them you need to travel soon and want the I-551 stamp in the passport. It is the same as an actual GC. They will then HAVE to approve you guys in their system first and this will trigger the card production. Then they will stamp the passport and it will allow you to re-enter the US after international travel. Just be aware that CBP must take you to secondary inspection to verify the stamp and your status at the POE. We had to travel 2 days to Canada (my home country) after our interview and this is what we did. We came back without any issues. 

Edited by mushroomspore

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6 minutes ago, mushroomspore said:

Unlikely that the EAD will be renewed now that the interview has taken place. 

 

@MapleLeaf29 Here's another option. Make an Infopass appointment and bring the approval recommendation letter with your husband's passport and flight itinerary. Tell them you need to travel soon and want the I-551 stamp in the passport. It is the same as an actual GC. They will then HAVE to approve you guys in their system first and this will trigger the card production. Then they will stamp the passport and it will allow you to re-enter the US after international travel. Just be aware that CBP must take you to secondary inspection to verify the stamp and your status at the POE. We had to travel 2 days to Canada (my home country) after our interview and this is what we did. We came back without any issues. 

That is super helpful.  He has an InfoPass appointment this week, so we will bring his flight itinerary.  We plan to play it really safe by waiting until the green card to travel outside the country, but if the stamp triggers green card production, that is well worth it.  Thank you for the advice!


Click here for K1:

Spoiler

11/19/2016                 Mailed I-129F packet
11/21/2016                 NOA1 received date
11/25/2016                 Date on NOA1 hard copy
11/28/2016                 NOA1 arrived in the mail
02/16/2017                 NOA2 (USCIS website and Case Tracker app)
02/21/2017                 NOA2 arrived in the mail
03/08/2017                 Case arrived at the NVC
03/09/2017                 NVC assigned case number
03/13/2017                 Case left the NVC
03/17/2017                 Case arrived in Montreal; status updated to "Ready"
03/17/2017                 Submitted DS-160
03/18/2017                 E-mailed Packet 3 to Montreal
03/20/2017                 Received Packet 4
04/26/2017                 Visa interview in Montreal - Approved!!!
04/27/2017                 CEAC status changed from "Administrative Processing" to "Visa Issued".
04/28/2017                 Visa arrived
05/29/2017                 POE Toronto (Pre-Clearance)/Minneapolis
06/01/2017                 Legal marriage
07/29/2017                 Wedding ceremony with family and friends

 

Marriage-Based Adjustment of Status:

06/16/2017                 Mailed AOS packet to Chicago lockbox

06/19/2017                 Chicago lockbox received

07/03/2017                 Notification texts & e-mails

07/12/2017                 NOA hard copies arrived in the mail

07/25/2017                 Biometrics letter arrived

08/02/2017                 Biometrics appointment

11/06/2017                 EAD and AP approval notice arrived in the mail

11/08/2017                 EAD card arrived (145 days after we sent our AOS packet)

03/15/2018                 Status changed to "Case is Ready to be Scheduled for an Interview"

07/21/2018                 Submitted paperwork to renew EAD/AP

07/29/2018                 Notification texts & e-mails for EAD/AP renewal

09/01/2018                 Interview notice arrived in the mail

10/03/2018                 AOS interview (474 days after we mailed our paperwork)

11/08/2018                 InfoPass appointment to inquire about green card.  Learned that our file had been moved to the
                                       storage room for approved cases, but had not been marked "approved" in the computer system.

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7 minutes ago, MapleLeaf29 said:

That is super helpful.  He has an InfoPass appointment this week, so we will bring his flight itinerary.  We plan to play it really safe by waiting until the green card to travel outside the country, but if the stamp triggers green card production, that is well worth it.  Thank you for the advice!

Well the stamp is the same as the GC so if you have the stamp, you can travel. My GC was waiting for us by the time we came back to the US. I only had the stamp as proof of my status and it was all good at the airport. Good luck!

Edited by mushroomspore

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