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fip & jim

USCIS may have lost our medicals and now AOS is pending

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We had our interview for AOS a few weeks ago (me K1, son K2). The officer said she couldn't approve us because we hadn't submitted our medicals when we filed. She didn't know that the medicals are in the sealed packet that is handed to the officer at POE. When I explained that we couldn't have even got the visas without the medical she seemed unaware of this. I had to explain that

a) it is impossible to get an interview at the embassy in London until they have received the medical

b) that it is in the sealed envelope that is issued along side the visa and that entry into the States is dependent upon this sealed packet being handed to the immigration officer at point of entry

 

The officer's response was that she will request a search to find the medicals and failing that she will RFE that we get new medicals, and do we have copies of the originals? (?!!!). She did not seem to understand that we could not have got K1 and K2 visas issued in London without medicals and that if they are not in our case files that it would be because USCIS have lost them in the US.

 

I have since found the relevant section in the USCIS Policy Manual:

 

Volume 8, Chapter 4, Review of Medical Examination Documentation

B. Documentation Completed by Panel Physician

Since a State Department consular officer reviews the medical documentation completed by a panel physician as part of the overseas visa process, a USCIS officer may assume that the medical documentation is properly completed. [2] 

If the USCIS officer notices a significant irregularity such as an omission of a particular section, the officer may issue a Request for Evidence (RFE) to have a civil surgeon in the United States complete the missing part(s) of the medical examination. A civil surgeon should address any deficiency by completing the respective parts of a Form I-693according to the Technical Instructions for Civil Surgeons issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). [3] This should only happen in rare instances.

Applicants who have already been examined abroad and are not required to repeat the medical examination in the United States may still have to show proof of the vaccination requirement. [4]

 

https://www.uscis.gov/policymanual/HTML/PolicyManual-Volume8-PartB-Chapter4.html

(bold type is mine)

 

This is impacting so many areas of our lives, I want it sorted ASAP. 

 

Any thoughts on whether it will be more effective to call USCIS to talk to a tier 2 supervisor or to get an InfoPass appointment at our local office?

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2 minutes ago, yuni_yuni said:

Did you submit the  DS-3025 (vaccination list) on your AOS?

it can be proof that you have done a medical check-up in your country.

Yes. She wouldn't accept that. The fact that we have the visas is also proof because it is impossible to get the visas without having had the medical done. 

Edited by fip & jim

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3 hours ago, fip & jim said:

Yes. She wouldn't accept that. The fact that we have the visas is also proof because it is impossible to get the visas without having had the medical done. 

I would have asked to talk to a supervisor. Call them and tell them what happened. They should advise you what to do. 

How ignorant.

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7 minutes ago, K1visaHopeful said:

I would have asked to talk to a supervisor. Call them and tell them what happened. They should advise you what to do. 

How ignorant.

Isn't it? 

Do you have experience with dealing with a supervisor? At the moment we are making notes to make that call on Monday, then go for an InfoPass appointment if it's not resolved and maybe involve our Congressional Representative. 

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15 minutes ago, fip & jim said:

Isn't it? 

Do you have experience with dealing with a supervisor? At the moment we are making notes to make that call on Monday, then go for an InfoPass appointment if it's not resolved and maybe involve our Congressional Representative. 

No I dont but I'd say just provide them the proof in the policy manual about K1s and tell them your interviewing officer didnt know the protocol for K1s (at all). Ask them why she said she needed to "look for it" when its simply in your A-file which should have been pulled for your interview in the first place. (Ask "do they not pull an interviewee's Afile to have it ready for the interview?"). It even sounds like the IO doesnt even know what an A-file is.

 

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14 minutes ago, K1visaHopeful said:

No I dont but I'd say just provide them the proof in the policy manual about K1s and tell them your interviewing officer didnt know the protocol for K1s (at all). Ask them why she said she needed to "look for it" when its simply in your A-file which should have been pulled for your interview in the first place. (Ask "do they not pull an interviewee's Afile to have it ready for the interview?"). It even sounds like the IO doesnt even know what an A-file is.

 

Thanks.

 

We don't know if going straight to the tier 2 supervisor is the best option or getting the face to face appointment via the InfoPass will be better. Because we are feeling so drained by this point we really would like to know which will get it resolved sooner. Getting the InfoPass appointment will probably take longer, plus I would have to wait for my husband to take the time off work to drive us down to Detroit because I can't get a driver's licence here in Michigan until we get clearance from Homeland Security, and because our case status is "under review" they won't give us clearance. If it was solely a matter of a delay in getting the Green Card then it wouldn't matter so much but it's affecting everything else for the whole family that I can't get a driver's license - including myself integrating, and my son, because we are completely reliant on my husband for transport. I really wasn't expecting our medical to not be in the file, so it kind of threw us off in the interview that she focused on that so much. It's infuriating that someone else's mistake can impact so much. 

 

It's probably something that no-one can answer on here but it was worth seeing if anyone knew.

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1 minute ago, fip & jim said:

Thanks.

 

We don't know if going straight to the tier 2 supervisor is the best option or getting the face to face appointment via the InfoPass will be better. Because we are feeling so drained by this point we really would like to know which will get it resolved sooner. Getting the InfoPass appointment will probably take longer, plus I would have to wait for my husband to take the time off work to drive us down to Detroit because I can't get a driver's licence here in Michigan until we get clearance from Homeland Security, and because our case status is "under review" they won't give us clearance. If it was solely a matter of a delay in getting the Green Card then it wouldn't matter so much but it's affecting everything else for the whole family that I can't get a driver's license - including myself integrating, and my son, because we are completely reliant on my husband for transport. I really wasn't expecting our medical to not be in the file, so it kind of threw us off in the interview that she focused on that so much. It's infuriating that someone else's mistake can impact so much. 

 

It's probably something that no-one can answer on here but it was worth seeing if anyone knew.

You have to call and speak with a Tier 2 officer to explain your situation before they WILL give you an Infopass. 

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3 minutes ago, K1visaHopeful said:

You have to call and speak with a Tier 2 officer to explain your situation before they WILL give you an Infopass. 

Ah, OK. Thanks for the clarification. From looking on the website I thought it could be requested online.

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11 minutes ago, fip & jim said:

Ah, OK. Thanks for the clarification. From looking on the website I thought it could be requested online.

Unfortunately not. They are doing away with Infopass due to its misuse of the program (ppl were coming to them with questions about info readily available on the USCIS website). If you go on the infopass website and input your zip code you will most likely see you will need to call to make one if online scheduling is not available. When you call and talk to a Tier 1, they will try to convince you that you don't need an appointment which is why you need to ask for a Tier 2 to actually make one.

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3 minutes ago, K1visaHopeful said:

Unfortunately not. They are doing away with Infopass due to its misuse of the program (ppl were coming to them with questions about info readily available on the USCIS website). If you go on the infopass website and input your zip code you will most likely see you will need to call to make one if online scheduling is not available. When you call and talk to a Tier 1, they will try to convince you that you don't need an appointment which is why you need to ask for a Tier 2 to actually make one.

I checked back on the website and clicked on the "schedule an appointment" for the Detroit office. They aren't doing any InfoPass appointments in Detroit. So that makes the decision for us. 

 

Thanks for explaining. I've been out of the loop for a while.

 

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40 minutes ago, fip & jim said:

I checked back on the website and clicked on the "schedule an appointment" for the Detroit office. They aren't doing any InfoPass appointments in Detroit. So that makes the decision for us. 

 

Thanks for explaining. I've been out of the loop for a while.

 

No problem! Call and talk to a Tier 2 then. Quite possibly they will be able to check in your A-file. Good luck and keep us updated. I'm following this post.

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On 2/23/2019 at 12:34 PM, K1visaHopeful said:

No problem! Call and talk to a Tier 2 then. Quite possibly they will be able to check in your A-file. Good luck and keep us updated. I'm following this post.

Update -

 

We called USCIS first thing on Monday. It took several attempts to get through to an actual person and half an hour of being on hold. We had to go through ID checks and explain what our issue was. He read the USCIS guidelines to us and I said I knew that information already. He was basically saying that if the medical wasn't in our file it wasn't USCIS that was at fault because USCBP are different agencies and they took our papers at POE. I said that I realise that but since the rest of the papers are in our A file we want to know why the medicals aren't, or if the interviewing officer even had our A file in preparation for our AOS interview. We repeatedly asked to be put through to a supervisor to discuss this with someone that has access to our files and were told that they no longer connect you to a tier 2 supervisor due to the high level of calls.

The representative then took our names and phone numbers and emails and told us someone will contact us in 3-4 days. At this point my husband asked if he was refusing to connect us to a supervisor at that point and he said "Patience is a virtue, sir". Then he ended the call. At the beginning my husband had got his name and badge number so we will be able to make a complaint about the way he handled the call. 

 

So now we are waiting to see if they call us back (not holding out much hope). 

 

I read through the USCIS policy manual some more and found this:

Volume 8 – Admissibility, Part B – Health-Related Grounds of Inadmissibility, Chapter 3 – Applicability of Medical Examination and Vaccination Requirement

4. K or V Nonimmigrants Applying for Adjustment

An applicant’s overseas medical examination report completed by a panel physician should already be in the applicant’s A-file. If it is not in the A-file, the officer should request the medical examination report through a Request for Evidence (RFE).

https://www.uscis.gov/policymanual/HTML/PolicyManual-Volume8-PartB-Chapter3.html

 

At the moment I am trying to prepare for if we get RFE. I contacted Knightsbridge Medicals to ask if they keep copies of medicals. They don't and advised that we contact the embassy in London. I heard back from them this morning:

"Thank you for your email.

Please continue to liaise directly with USCIS. If USCIS requires information or documentation from the Embassy in London in connection with an application to adjust status, they may contact us through official channels.

Sincerely, 
Consular Information Unit
U.S. Embassy, London"

 

Seems like we will have to wait to see if we get an RFE "if" USCIS cannot locate the medicals through official channels and then we'll have to get the medicals done again. 

I consulted two lawyers and they both advised that it is simpler to comply if medicals are requested again, and no doubt cheaper than hiring a lawyer to fight the decision.

 

I still want to know where our medicals are. Where exactly is this personal and sensitive information? When this is all over I feel like launching a campaign to highlight the problems applicants have with USCIS. We pay for this appalling service. 

 

On a more positive note - after waiting 3 hours to speak to a live human being at Michigan SOS yesterday we got confirmation that I was cleared by Homeland Security (because SAVE case check is pointless, it shows nothing about your case status). We went straight to the DMV and I got a drivers license! After months of arctic temperatures and bored isolation stuck at home all day I'M FREE!!!

 

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2 hours ago, fip & jim said:

Update -

 

We called USCIS first thing on Monday. It took several attempts to get through to an actual person and half an hour of being on hold. We had to go through ID checks and explain what our issue was. He read the USCIS guidelines to us and I said I knew that information already. He was basically saying that if the medical wasn't in our file it wasn't USCIS that was at fault because USCBP are different agencies and they took our papers at POE. I said that I realise that but since the rest of the papers are in our A file we want to know why the medicals aren't, or if the interviewing officer even had our A file in preparation for our AOS interview. We repeatedly asked to be put through to a supervisor to discuss this with someone that has access to our files and were told that they no longer connect you to a tier 2 supervisor due to the high level of calls.

The representative then took our names and phone numbers and emails and told us someone will contact us in 3-4 days. At this point my husband asked if he was refusing to connect us to a supervisor at that point and he said "Patience is a virtue, sir". Then he ended the call. At the beginning my husband had got his name and badge number so we will be able to make a complaint about the way he handled the call. 

 

So now we are waiting to see if they call us back (not holding out much hope). 

 

I read through the USCIS policy manual some more and found this:

Volume 8 – Admissibility, Part B – Health-Related Grounds of Inadmissibility, Chapter 3 – Applicability of Medical Examination and Vaccination Requirement

4. K or V Nonimmigrants Applying for Adjustment

An applicant’s overseas medical examination report completed by a panel physician should already be in the applicant’s A-file. If it is not in the A-file, the officer should request the medical examination report through a Request for Evidence (RFE).

https://www.uscis.gov/policymanual/HTML/PolicyManual-Volume8-PartB-Chapter3.html

 

At the moment I am trying to prepare for if we get RFE. I contacted Knightsbridge Medicals to ask if they keep copies of medicals. They don't and advised that we contact the embassy in London. I heard back from them this morning:

"Thank you for your email.

Please continue to liaise directly with USCIS. If USCIS requires information or documentation from the Embassy in London in connection with an application to adjust status, they may contact us through official channels.

Sincerely, 
Consular Information Unit
U.S. Embassy, London"

 

Seems like we will have to wait to see if we get an RFE "if" USCIS cannot locate the medicals through official channels and then we'll have to get the medicals done again. 

I consulted two lawyers and they both advised that it is simpler to comply if medicals are requested again, and no doubt cheaper than hiring a lawyer to fight the decision.

 

I still want to know where our medicals are. Where exactly is this personal and sensitive information? When this is all over I feel like launching a campaign to highlight the problems applicants have with USCIS. We pay for this appalling service. 

 

On a more positive note - after waiting 3 hours to speak to a live human being at Michigan SOS yesterday we got confirmation that I was cleared by Homeland Security (because SAVE case check is pointless, it shows nothing about your case status). We went straight to the DMV and I got a drivers license! After months of arctic temperatures and bored isolation stuck at home all day I'M FREE!!!

 

I still dont believe your IO even looked at your A-file or knew that they had to retrieve it. 

They better call back. That's BS.

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On 2/28/2019 at 12:05 PM, K1visaHopeful said:

I still dont believe your IO even looked at your A-file or knew that they had to retrieve it. 

They better call back. That's BS.

We got an email from USCIS at 7am today saying "We have taken action on your case". When I logged in to my account it showed our AOS is approved. :joy:Guess we'll never know if they found the medicals, or they were in our A-file all along and the IO didn't have the file at our interview. 

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