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mangomochi

i129f expedite declined - advice appreciated

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Hello everyone,

 

I’ve lurked here for a few months and read information shared and I’m now hoping someone might be able to offer some advice.

 

My partner is in the military and being medically retired. We requested an expedite for an i-129F for the following reasons:

 

Medical: my partner is both physically and mentally unwell. He is unable to take care of himself and has been taken to a mental hospital due to suicidal ideation on one occasion and both myself and one of his psychologists have had to work extensively to look after him. He is on his own, unable to maintain social or work relationships and his family is an 8 hour flight away but they are not close and rarely talk. His case is worsening and this has also been documented in the evidence we have sent.

 

Moving: with being retired from the military he will need to move back to the mainland from where he is stationed because the cost of living is far too high where he is – he can’t afford to stay there. This move will need to happen in the next couple of months because this is when the VA will retire him. He cannot do this alone and this is one of the major reasons we are looking to expedite. The timing of him being retired has come sudden and gone from being told we have months, to being told we’ll be given a date soon.

 

Financial: the cost of me flying out is $1500 a time, and with my partner needing to move because he is stationed abroad this adds on to an already mounting cost. For every month he is unable to move because of his condition it would be another $3,000. We have some savings, but these will soon be depleted.

 

We submitted evidence from the VA about his condition and then received an RFE. It took us 5 weeks to gather the evidence because of his conditions and it was around thanksgiving, but we got a letter from one of his psychologists, his physician, and from the CO of his command (written up by legal and stating the exact reasons and terminology the USCIS asked for) – all stating that this was urgent.

 

The request has been denied and we haven’t been told why. I’m at a complete loss of what to do. Is there any way to appeal this? I’ve read other cases about being appealed through an ombudsman but we’ve also been told by an L2 (I think this is correct) that there’s no appeal.

 

I’ve read the thread that says yes you can visit and I’m considering applying for a B2 (my previous visits were under VWP) but if the application takes quite a long time then I’ll most likely go ASAP (under VWP - hoping they'll let me in) because I’m concerned for my partner. I’m also worried I won’t be able to convince the officers that I’m not intending to stay. Especially since I’m not sure if they can see I tried to expedite my visa. Of course if they ask me about any visa I have ongoing I'll be truthful.

 

A final note is that we didn’t attempt to expedite this on military grounds but on medical and we were confused when they asked for letters supporting his medical case as not obligatory but saying it was mandatory that we included a letter from his command – which we did.

 

Thank you for reading and for any advice.

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58 minutes ago, mangomochi said:

I’m also worried I won’t be able to convince the officers that I’m not intending to stay. Especially since I’m not sure if they can see I tried to expedite my visa.

 

1 hour ago, mangomochi said:

Medical: my partner is both physically and mentally unwell. He is unable to take care of himself

So let me get this straight...you say you want to help him move and then you'll just just leave him--even though he has no caregivers--and go back to your country? 

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Getting a B2 when eligible to use the VWP seems a long shot.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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@databit No, what I am saying is that I want to be there while I can be (legally) to help my fiance through a period of time he cannot cope with on his own if we cannot expedite the visa. I don't understand why you are making a judgement as though I have a choice as to whether I get to stay or go - on VWP I have 90 days max. If I had this choice I would be there now and I wouldn't be posting on this board for help. Perhaps this is a judgement you should have reserved for those who chose to decline the expedite. Unless you have anything helpful, I won't continue to engage in this conversation. I'm sorry, but I'm not here to be made to feel any more awful than I already feel that I can't be there when he needs me.

 

@ThomasNC1988 It's something we've discussed but because of his conditions he needs medical care weekly and this will continue through the VA so even though there is the option of FMP to have him settled will be better for his health in the long term rather than moving him between countries and doctors. Our house hunting is also based on trying to find good doctors nearby. That, and I'm not sure how he would handle the flight. It's usually 18hrs minimum. Thank you for your reply. 

 

@Boiler Really? I've seen it's there as an option but I didn't know this. Thank you. I'll be contacting them tomorrow to find out if it's worth applying for. 

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9 minutes ago, mangomochi said:

@databit No, what I am saying is that I want to be there while I can be (legally) to help my fiance through a period of time he cannot cope with on his own if we cannot expedite the visa. I don't understand why you are making a judgement as though I have a choice as to whether I get to stay or go - on VWP I have 90 days max. If I had this choice I would be there now and I wouldn't be posting on this board for help. Perhaps this is a judgement you should have reserved for those who chose to decline the expedite. Unless you have anything helpful, I won't continue to engage in this conversation. I'm sorry, but I'm not here to be made to feel any more awful than I already feel that I can't be there when he needs me.

 

@ThomasNC1988 It's something we've discussed but because of his conditions he needs medical care weekly and this will continue through the VA so even though there is the option of FMP to have him settled will be better for his health in the long term rather than moving him between countries and doctors. Our house hunting is also based on trying to find good doctors nearby. That, and I'm not sure how he would handle the flight. It's usually 18hrs minimum. Thank you for your reply. 

 

@Boiler Really? I've seen it's there as an option but I didn't know this. Thank you. I'll be contacting them tomorrow to find out if it's worth applying for. 

How long has he been in the military right now, and how do you know if he will medical retirement or just given a med board? 

 

Honestly as a fellow veteran myself I would look elsewhere than just the VA for healthcare. They are OK at most if you live within a short distance from the VA but not so much if you live far away from them. Where does he and you plan on settling down when he comes back to the USA? 

 

A tourist visa is always an option if you have VWP but quite frankly it is hardly ever given out from VWP countries unfortunately. Then if you are denied for a B2 tourist visa then your VWP is gone as well. 

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I think you misread my comment, access to the VWP would appear to do what you want to do.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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@Cyberfx1024 Hi! He has been in 7 years and has been through med board, been declared unfit, and is now being medically retired. I can't believe I didn't state that in my original post, I'm sorry for the confusion. Also, if I am using the incorrect terminology here, I apologise. It's been a stressful and confusing process.

 

I can understand what you mean about the VA. I think he has been failed often by his medical team, it's the insurance that I'm not 100% sure of when it comes to his medical bills. There was something in his papers about because he is being retired by them he has to continue treatment with them, or an approved doctor - and then something else about his medication. I think, we're still trying to understand it, honestly. Oh, I can't believe I missed this out, another reason he has to remain mainland is because his attorney will be re-addressing his conditions and the VA need to see him within one year. We are considering Maine, or somewhere around there. 

 

This is very helpful advice and helps us better understand our options. Thank you so much for your post and helping make this stressful time a little easier. 

 

@Boiler  Sorry, it's me not being clear. I mean that I'd seen B2 as an option but didn't know that it would be an issue if I came from a VWP country. Thank you for letting me know it's rare to be granted a B2 when eligible for a VWP! I was hoping the 6 month allowance rather than 3 would give me more time to help him settle in, take care of him, and for us to figure out the next part of the plan, but 3 is sure better than nothing! Thank you again and sorry for the confusion.

Edited by mangomochi

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9 minutes ago, mangomochi said:

@Cyberfx1024 Hi! He has been in 7 years and has been through med board, been declared unfit, and is now being medically retired. I can't believe I didn't state that in my original post, I'm sorry for the confusion. Also, if I am using the incorrect terminology here, I apologise. It's been a stressful and confusing process.

 

I can understand what you mean about the VA. I think he has been failed often by his medical team, it's the insurance that I'm not 100% sure of when it comes to his medical bills. There was something in his papers about because he is being retired by them he has to continue treatment with them, or an approved doctor - and then something else about his medication. I think, we're still trying to understand it, honestly. Oh, I can't believe I missed this out, another reason he has to remain mainland is because his attorney will be re-addressing his conditions and the VA need to see him within one year. We are considering Maine, or somewhere around there. 

 

This is very helpful advice and helps us better understand our options. Thank you so much for your post and helping make this stressful time a little easier. 

Ok, what is usually happens like this if he is being medically retired is he will get his DOD retirement and his VA retirement before he will be actually retired. If he has the VA rating then he can be seen for that condition at no charge from the VA. But usually if you get rated higher upwards of 60% then there is no charge for other VA services unless you have private insurance

So you need to see what his DOD and VA rating will be before you can continue. Also has been deployed to Combat and what is his job actually?

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@Cyberfx1024 He has been given the paperwork with both his DoD and VA rating and he qualifies to continue under their care. This information wasn't (or hasn't yet been) requested by the USCIS, but we did submit information about the VA in the initial i129f petition - before we were sent an RFE (and in the CO's letter it's stated he is pending medical retirement). I hope you understand that I'm not entirely comfortable talking too much further about his job! But, these were mentioned in the letter from the CO to USCIS including a statement that it was detrimental I be expedited to help care for him because of his position - which is one of the things the USCIS wanted in writing and another reason I don't understand the denial. We gave them what they asked for! I guess it's luck of the draw.

 

I wonder if one of the reasons for the denial is because of how long it took to get the RFE - but it's entirely the point, he struggles to get things done on his own. The RFE was received and denied immediately - same day. I'm also unsure if we sent in a request under the wrong criteria. I've just been searching the military board and saw that another case similar to ours (in being a mentally unwell military person) was approved - yet with less submitted evidence (of course very happy for them and not trying to be unkind). It just makes it all the more unclear in what they see as qualifying criteria. 

 

Can I also just ask of anybody reading this far, do denials show online or is it only in writing? Online it is still showing they have our evidence, but the l2 informed us we had been denied. Thank you. 

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Hey @Jorgedig, I've updated my timeline. Thanks for the heads up. Is RFE reply when we hear back from them or when we sent out our reply to the RFE? RFE was sent on the 5th December (by fax), we haven't received notification online or in the post yet, but were informed by an agent it was denied the same day. 

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9 hours ago, Cyberfx1024 said:

Ok, what is usually happens like this if he is being medically retired is he will get his DOD retirement and his VA retirement before he will be actually retired. If he has the VA rating then he can be seen for that condition at no charge from the VA. But usually if you get rated higher upwards of 60% then there is no charge for other VA services unless you have private insurance

So you need to see what his DOD and VA rating will be before you can continue. Also has been deployed to Combat and what is his job actually?

The military is retiring him, not the VA. Also if he is being medically discharged that is different from someone who retires after 20 years and has a rating from the VA over 50% so he may not be eligible to receive both. He can be seen at the VA for any service connected disabilities. If he has a rating over 50%, he can be seen for any issues at no cost. The only documentation he will receive from the VA is a “proposed” rating decision which can be subject to change because it’s not a final decision (although unlikely it will change). And he will not receive any money from the VA until he receives a final decision. Maybe part of the issue was that the documentation (at least from the VA benefits) didn’t speak definitely regarding his condition. The reason for the denial would be more helpful. I would think there would be information on how to appeal, if that’s an option. 

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Does he already have private insurance? Where exactly does he live if you do not mind me asking. Many states provide an insurance known as TRICARE for retired/active members of the US Military as well as their families. This may be an option to look into as far as private insurance, and I do know that TRICARE does work with the VA. Depending where he lives their could be a participating primary physicians office who accepts that insurance. 

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12 minutes ago, angelbrown said:

The military is retiring him, not the VA. Also if he is being medically discharged that is different from someone who retires after 20 years and has a rating from the VA over 50% so he may not be eligible to receive both. He can be seen at the VA for any service connected disabilities. If he has a rating over 50%, he can be seen for any issues at no cost. The only documentation he will receive from the VA is a “proposed” rating decision which can be subject to change because it’s not a final decision (although unlikely it will change). And he will not receive any money from the VA until he receives a final decision. Maybe part of the issue was that the documentation (at least from the VA benefits) didn’t speak definitely regarding his condition. The reason for the denial would be more helpful. I would think there would be information on how to appeal, if that’s an option. 

I know the military is medically retiring him and not the VA, no where in my post did I say the VA was at all. Why did you quote me at all? I know the difference between a medical and a full non-medical 15-20 year retirement from the Military. I spent 8 years in myself, so I know the difference. That is why I asked about if he has been to Combat yet or not because can receive both if received this from Combat. 

 

You are reiterating what all I pretty much said in my post, and yes the VA will after your private insurance if you have operation to help recoup costs. I know that for a fact when the VA went after mine for a MRI on my neck and to help cover the costs of my vasectomy, and I am 100% from the VA. He can appeal the VA decision within in 1 year of receiving it. Anything after that and he can not appeal it but he can try to increase his rating. 

 

 

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