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JamesQ

RFE for Late filing (but filed in time)

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Hi,

 

I applied for removal of conditions on residency for my wife. We got an RFE stating that the filing of i-751 was late. Here are the facts:

 

Conditional GC Expiry date: 11/19/2017

Receipt Date on the I-751 receipt notice:  11/14/2017

 

In the RFE they mention that your form i-751 was filed on 11/21/2017. We also received correspondence from USICS regarding our application last year about the case being transferred to another center. The Receipt Date on that notice is 11/14/2017 as well. Finally, the filing fee was deducted from the bank account on 11/17/2017 (we paid via check).

 

My question is that did I make a mistake? Since from what I know, you have 90 days to file the application before the Conditional GC expires. How should I respond to this RFE? Should I pay a lawyer or do I have enough evidence to tell USCIS that they messed up their dates. I would greatly appreciate your insight. Thanks!

 

Regards,

James

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First thing first:

 

The RFE must be responded to, regardless of whether the fact sides with you or USCIS.  You cannot call or visit a local office to resolve RFE.  RFE can only be closed out by the officer who issues it, or by subsequent officers if the file is later transferred internally.  Therefore, the RFE must be responded timely to the issuing Service Center.

 

Second:

 

RFE is specific in terms of what USCIS needs you to do.  In most I-751 cases, it takes over a year for someone to get to the file after it was filed.

 

Assuming that USCIS has misunderstood that you filed I-751 late, and that the RFE requests for your explanation, you should draft a simple one page letter stating the fact you just tell us here with supporting documents (the expired GC and the I-751 receipt date).  Highlight clearly that you have filed prior to the expiration date of the green card and that you believe this is a misunderstanding.

 

If your RFE actually asks for additional evidence for “good faith” marriage, which is a common (standard almost) for most people who have received one, then send any additional evidence you may have.

 

Third:

 

Based on the fact you told us here, it is clearly you are in the right — meaning you filed with 90 days of your 2nd anniversary (aka GC expiration date) and not after.  What generally happens for people who actually file late is, the file MUST include a letter explaning the “good cause” for late filing — serious illness, financial hardship etc. — and most cases are accepted with a short letter scolding the applicants that “USCIS doesn’t have to accept this, but considering your good cause, the Service Center Director has determined that your late filing can be accepted. Blah blah blah.”

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A (brief) letter, stating they are incorrect.

Enclose a print of tracking delivery, copy of receipt with date highlighted, and a bank statement showing date the cheque was cashed.

 

It should be done with then, but this is USCIS...🙄


CR1 / DCF (London): 2012 / 2013 (4.5 months from I-130 petition to visa in hand)

I-751 #1- May2015 [Denied]

 

Early May 2015 : I-751 Joint filing package sent fedex next day 09:00am from UK ($lots - thanks). 
May 2015: Notice of receipt/1yr extension received, dated day of receipt. This was forwarded to me outside the US, and no issues re-entering multiple times.
June 2015: Biometrics completed - walk in / argument, stressing proof of imminent travel and multiple prior inconvenient appointments & reschedules.
May 2016: Vermont Service Centre updated to processing May 2015 cases, therefore my case is now classed as outside normal processing time
May 2016: Service request sent (whatever that is) after calling to find out why I am still waiting after 12 months. Unable to tell me anything.
May 2016: Letter received in response, stating processing is on hold due to 'pending security checks' with no other information. Not helpful.
May 2016: (7am) - Infopass appointment for I-551 Stamp in passport.  (8am) - Returned to USCIS office for another I-551 stamp after realizing the dumbass put the expiry stamp as 2015 not 2017. Two entire passport pages wasted. Cheers. 

Oct 2016: Infopass appointment (not at local office). USCIS have sent my file to an overseas office, in a country that neither myself or my spouse have ever resided in. It has sat there untouched for five months. Why? Who knows. Internal query requesting urgent clarification is sent by USCIS officer.  
Oct 2016: An identical 'pending security check'  letter received, addressing precisely none of my or the immigration officers legitimate queries. 
Nov 2016: Infopass appointment: My file is now back in the US and at my local office...no other updates or progress. 
Jan 2017: Notification that an interview has been scheduled at a local office. Bizarrely still no RFE... 
Jan 2017: 2hr wait, then interview terminated before it began, due to moving my ID to another state 2 wks prior. New interview 'in a few months...maybe.'       Informed them that divorce proceedings are underway, but not finalised at this time. 
March 2017: An Interview was scheduled - marked as no-show as they didn't actually send out a notification of interview. FML 
April  2017: Filed an official complaint with the ombudsman, and have requested Senator & Congressman assistance - enough is enough. 
May 2017: Yet another infopass. No updates, interview of further progress. Still no response from Congressperson, Senator, or Ombudsman received. 
June 2017: 68 days after contacting them, the Ombudsman finally contacted USCIS. 'It may take up to 60 days to receive a response'.   
July 2017:  A follow up enquiry sent by Ombudsman to USCIS after receiving no response or action after 45 days. I am Jack's complete lack of surprise. 
August 2017: 60 days has come and gone with no response from USCIS. Contacted the Ombudsman who will contact them AGAIN. 
August 2017: Email from Ombudsman - USCIS have scheduled an interview at the very end of August .  
August 2017: Interview - switched to a (finalised) divorce waiver. Told that decision will be made that afternoon, but no problems foreseen with my case. 
September 2017: Now 4 weeks since interview, my file has not moved from the officers desk, and no decision is showing when I call and speak to a Tier 2.  
September 2017: Request filed for Senator assistance (a different senator - maybe I will get a reply & assistance from this one?). 
October 2017: 37 days since interview....and no decision.  W, and indeed, TF is going on???? 
October 2017: Letter of Denial received - reason given as 'I-751 petition was not properly filed'. Discovered ex-spouse made false allegations to USCIS

I-751 #2 - Oct 2017 [Pending] 

October 2017: Within 72hrs of receiving denial notice, a new waiver I-751, divorce decree & $680 cheque, sent to Vermont via FedEx overnight 9am priority.  

October 2017: I-797C Receipt/extension letter received, dated day of receipt at VSC 

October 2017: Another I-551 stamp obtained at infopass appointment, as the extension letter is useless with a 2yr card that expired 2.5yrs ago! 

November 2017: Biometrics completed (early walk-in) 

N-400 Feb 2018 [Pending] 

February 2018: N-400 filed online.  $725 paid to the USCIS paperwork wastage fund

February 2018: Biometrics completed (walk-in)

Mid - February  2019: N-400 Interview - unable to conduct, as pending I-751 was still in Vermont, despite case transfer notice having been received.

April 2019: Filed request for Senator assistance.

 

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I like GBOS's word "misunderstanding" rather than "mistake".  Just state the facts, and add that if there is any further question to let you know and you will respond immediately.

 

Best of luck!

 

Sukie in NY


Spoiler

 

Spoiler

Our Prior Journey

N-400 Naturalization

18-Feb-2018 - submitted N-400 online, credit card charged

18-Feb-2018 - NOA1

12-Mar-2018 - Biometrics 

18-June-2018 - Notice of interview received

26-July-2018 - Interview  - APPROVED!!!

26-July-2018 - Oath Ceremony Scheduled

17-Aug-2018 - Oath Ceremony

 

 

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Looks like an oversight on the i751 adjudicator's part.  Respond to the RFE with 

 

1.Copy of the receipt notice

2.Copy of the Transfer notice

3.Copy of the cashed check

4.If available, copy of any USPS/FedEx receipts showing package mailed or received on xx date. 

5.Anything else the RFE asks for. 


I-751 journey

 

10/16/2017.......... ROC package mailed

10/18/2017.......... I-751 package received VSC

10/19/2017.......... I-797 NOA date

10/30/2017.......... Notice received in mail

10/30/2017.......... Check cashed

11/02/2017.......... Conditional GC expired

11/22/2017.......... Biometrics completed

  xx/xx/xxxx.......... waiting waiting waiting

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