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JasonGG

"Follow to Join" Experience - Vietnam

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My fiance (now wife) and her daughter had their K-1 interviews in May 2018 and came to the U.S. in early July.  Her son was uncertain about coming to the U.S. and chose to continue living with his grandparents.  As a result, he did not attend the May interview.  During the May interview, the consulate officer asked where her son was because he was listed on the I-129F, but she responded that he was not going to travel with her.   We never mentioned her son during the interview or stated that he might follow to join.

 

Her son realized he had made a mistake about not joining his mother when it came time to say good bye in July.  All we could do was promise to bring him to the U.S. in the future.

 

After my wife and her daughter got settled, we began making arrangements for her son.  Between July and November, he got most of his vaccines at the local Pasteur Clinic, which was MUCH cheaper than getting them at Quarantine Services following the interview.  Because he was included on the initial I-129F, his CEAC status still said he was "ready" to be interviewed.  We completed the DS-160 and sent a MoneyGram for the visa fee and travel money to a family friend who mailed the paperwork and paid the visa fee at Vietnam Post.  I scheduled his embassy appointment and physical from the U.S. and the family friend accompanied him to both.  He had his physical and TB test (skin test) at Cho Ray on a Wednesday and returned Friday to have the TB test read.  He required one additional shot.  I don't remember which it was, but it cost 5X (nearly 2 million) what we paid for the vaccines received at the Pasteur Clinic in his hometown!

 

At the time we scheduled his interview, my wife did not have her travel papers, so we planned for her to travel to Vietnam to accompany her son home once he had his visa and she could travel.  We mailed the same documents to the family friend (by FedEx) that we brought when my wife and her daughter interviewed in May - original birth certificates, divorce decrees, financial documents and I-134, photos (including her son with me), plus a notarized letter from my wife's ex-husband giving permission for his son to leave Vietnam.

 

There were no issues at the interview and the total wait time from entering the embassy to approval was about 2 1/2 hours.  They asked the family friend who she was before entering, but had no problems with her accompanying my wife's son.  During the interview, they asked a single question . . . "Why didn't your mother send a copy of her green card with your paperwork."  Her son responded that she received her green card just a few weeks earlier and after we sent the paperwork to Vietnam.

 

We paid for expedited shipping of the visa.  It still took 12 days to receive in Da Lat.  That was a bit nerve wracking , as my wife left for Vietnam before he had the visa in hand! 

 

The interview to leave Vietnam at the airport in Ho Chi Minh by the airline staff and then security screeners was much more detailed than at the embassy.  My wife and son were questioned about birthdays, addresses, who I am, where are they going, where have they been, etc.  They not only needed to prove the son was who he claimed and was permitted to leave, but also required my wife's birth certificate to prove that my wife was his mother.  Luckily she had these documents ready when asked.

 

They arrived at Dulles International Airport on December 23.  They landed at 9:05am and completed customs and had there bags within an hour.  The customs officer asked my wife how long she had been out of the country, but didn't ask her son any questions.  His I-94 was available the next day (with the name in the wrong order, which happens for many Vietnamese entering the U.S.) and we filed for AOS/EAD/AP the same day.

 

Hope this helps anyone in a similar situation - Jason

 

 

 

 

 

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Very nice details. Congratulations reuniting all your family together now.


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Congrats, JasonGG!


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ROC Journey

09 MAY 2017: Mailed I-751 to California Svc Center (CSC)

11 MAY 2017: I-751 package delivered to CSC

15 MAY 2017: NOA1 sent (got lost in the mail)

31 MAY 2017: Biometrics letter received

05 JUN 2017: Completed biometrics (walk-in)

23 JUN 2017: Received replacement copy of NOA1

18 DEC 2018: Case transferred to Nebraska for processing

ZjMTm5.png

N-400 Journey

14 MAY 2018: Mailed N-400 to Dallas Lockbox

17 MAY 2018: Delivered to Dallas Lockbox

04 JUN 2018: Received NOA1

08 JUN 2018: Received biometrics letter

21 JUN 2018: Completed biometrics

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