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Hi all,

 

I've been a long term reader of this very helpful and supportive site! As I've been reading so long, I'd like to share and ask if anyone is going through a similar situation as my fiance and me.

 

1) My fiance had his interview in Guangzhou on 2019-01-24. The interview was ~10 min, and the CO did ask about his PhD in Materials Science & Eng and also kept the resume my fiance brought. None of the instructions asked to bring a resume, but we wanted to be very prepared as my fiance is in a TAL field. Atfer the interview, the CO gave my fiance the blue slip with only "Administrative Processing" marked and informed him there were no problems and the processing would take ~3 wks. 

2) On 2019-01-28, we received a follow-up instructions email from the consulate with a Word doc attached named "SAO-M" (we presume SAO indicates Security Advisory Opinion-Mantis"??). When we opened the doc, the header was "Administrative Processing". The doc asked for my fiance's detailed resume in both English and Chinese (format resembled the DS-5535). And on 2019-01-29, we emailed the resume as instructed by the consulate, and we have been waiting every since..

 

3) We have emailed the consulate multiple times. I have called and emailed both my senators and my congressman. My congressman has been very helpful in contacting the consulate and then the DOS (Bureau of Consular Affairs). But each time, we still receive the same AP comment. I did call NVC last Fri, and received conflicting responses: 1st response said a note had been placed into the system stating the case has been returned to the USCIS on 2019-05-31. When I called again to confirm, the 2nd response said there was no such note. One of my senator's office did say the consulate will often return cases for further background checks.

 

Right now, we are just very confused and frustrated. Any tips would be much appreciated; thanks! 

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from Wikipedia

 

Security Advisory Opinion (SAO) or Washington Special Clearance, commonly called security clearance, administrative clearance, or administrative processing, is a process the United States Department of State and the diplomatic missions of the United States use in deciding to grant or deny a United States visa to certain visa applicants. The process involves sending a request from the visa issuing post to the Department of State's headquarters in Washington, D.C., to investigate an individual's case for possible espionage, terrorism, and illegal export of technology out of the United States.

 

 

 

Apart from the Department of State, the process involves other agencies of the federal government of the United States, especially those under Department of Homeland Security. Some of the agencies involved are: FBI, CIA, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, and the Department of State's Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation. The process may also include checking with Interpol.


玉林,桂 resident
Feb 23, 2005 ........ Mailed I-129F to TSC . . . . . . . . .March 8th ............. P1 from CSC
April 11 ................. P2 from CSC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .April 25 ................ NVC sends packet to GUZ
June 22 ................ P3 received . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Nov 22 ................. PASSED Interview
Dec 2 ................... Made it! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Dec 16 .................. Married
May 23, 2006 ..... TDL, EAD, AP received. . . . . . . . . June 16, 2006 ........ AOS interview - wait for FBI bkgrnd check
Apr 19, 2007 .... EAD # 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Oct 7, 2008 ......... 10-year green card
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - K2 (son) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Dec 2 ..................... AOS/EAD filed . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Dec 17 ................... 21st birthday
Jan 4, 2007 .......... transferred to CSC . . . . . . . . . . . Feb 6, 2007 ............ transferred to MSC
Feb 23 .................... EAD card . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Apr 16 .................... AOS denied (over 21)
Jul 26 .................... Master Calendar hearing . . . . . . Nov 15 ...................... Removal hearing
Jan 29, 2008 ........ Voluntary departure

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Thanks for the info Randy! I know you've been a big help on here and Candle for Love. We understand this processing can take a very long time. Though I have seen others in TAL fields who've been approved in 1.5-2 months after submitting their resumes, we understand every case is different. But since we received that conflicting info from NVC about a possible case return to USCIS, we are very worried this means a denial. Would someone even notify us by now if we were denied? We have thought about withdrawing our K-1 and filing a CR-1 instead, but if we don't know why we were denied, we wouldn't be able to overcome it even if we file again. All I can think of now is that I'm going to try calling USCIS to see if I can find out anymore on Mon. We just feel very defeated.

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Posted (edited)

You are within a reasonable time frame for that kind of background check. Refiling under a different category would simply restart the same clock.

To determine the reason would require a knowledge of your fiance's career, resume, past interactions with the consulate, and possibly those of family members.

To find out more, including possibly information about others in the same boat and your best strategy going forward, you should contact Marc Ellis at http://www.marcellislaw.com/. He has had extensive involvement with the GUZ consulate in cases like this.

Hang in there a little bit longer.

Edited by RandyW

玉林,桂 resident
Feb 23, 2005 ........ Mailed I-129F to TSC . . . . . . . . .March 8th ............. P1 from CSC
April 11 ................. P2 from CSC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .April 25 ................ NVC sends packet to GUZ
June 22 ................ P3 received . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Nov 22 ................. PASSED Interview
Dec 2 ................... Made it! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Dec 16 .................. Married
May 23, 2006 ..... TDL, EAD, AP received. . . . . . . . . June 16, 2006 ........ AOS interview - wait for FBI bkgrnd check
Apr 19, 2007 .... EAD # 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Oct 7, 2008 ......... 10-year green card
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - K2 (son) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Dec 2 ..................... AOS/EAD filed . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Dec 17 ................... 21st birthday
Jan 4, 2007 .......... transferred to CSC . . . . . . . . . . . Feb 6, 2007 ............ transferred to MSC
Feb 23 .................... EAD card . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Apr 16 .................... AOS denied (over 21)
Jul 26 .................... Master Calendar hearing . . . . . . Nov 15 ...................... Removal hearing
Jan 29, 2008 ........ Voluntary departure

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Thanks again Randy; the reassurance definitely helps!

Some more background info: My fiance's research areas are diamond/copper copposites (basically making materials better at releasing heat). He is a recent PhD graduate and has no work history aside from labwork in school. He has been traveling to/from the US multiples times/yr since 2014 for tourism and conferences, but he's never been questioned and interviewed for any of his visas (incl the 10-yr tourism visa). All his family (mother, father, 1 older brother and 1 younger sister) have never traveled outside of China. What would they look for related to his family?

 

I also emailed Marc Ellis. I think his site was last updated in 2011, and I remember reading someone mentioned they couldn't get ahold of him. So fingers crossed that he responds to my email. I'll also try calling him next wk.

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First of all, I am very sorry that your visa plans have been severely delayed. However, with respect to the state of affairs/relations between the two countries, trade relations/sanctions, swaggering and posturing by both leaders at each other, extradition of Chinese citizens back to the US, it is easy to see where the common folk become the grist for the grinding wheels of both countries. I was kind of wondering when and if either of the two governments would go down this type of restrictive path. Hopefully, your situation will be resolved in your favor soon. Hang in there.

 

Good luck on your immigration journey. 


Completed: K1/K2 (271 days) - AOS/EAD/AP (134 days) - ROC (279 days)

"Si vis amari, ama" - Seneca

 

 

 

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It's good you're calling USCIS hotline - however, when you call in again, 

ask for a Tier 2 person, 

as they can see more on the computer system.  A Tier 1 cannot see much. 

 

They (a Tier 2) should be able to verify the location of the casefile, and current review status, and SHOULD BE able to see which codified reference # [pertaining to whatever law is on the books] that he's being reviewed for. 

 

Sometimes, having that info (casefile location and codified reference #) is useful.   


Sometimes my language usage seems confusing - please feel free to 'read it twice', just in case !
Ya know, you can find the answer to your question with the advanced search tool, when using a PC? Ditch the handphone, come back later on a PC, and try again.

-=-=-=-=-=R E A D ! ! !=-=-=-=-=-

Whoa Nelly ! Want NVC Info? see http://www.visajourney.com/wiki/index.php/NVC_Process

Congratulations on your approval ! We All Applaud your accomplishment with Most Wonderful Kissies !

2mzcunl.gif

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Hey all,

 

Does anyone know any attorneys I can try contacting regarding complex K-1 cases like mine? Mark Ellis just emailed me that he's retired and suggested that Leda Fan in Louisiana may know someone who may be able to help me. Has anyone worked with her before? I also saw a recommendation for Allan S Lolly on Candle for Love. Does anyone have any other recommendations, so I can consider my options. Thanks!  

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Hey guys (especially Darnell),

 

I was finally able to get through to a Tier 2 officer. She said the last note for my case at the USCIS was that it was approved in Oct 2018 and subsequently sent to the NVC. But she will submit an inquiry to the California Service Center, since they are the last place to work on my case. She was also unable to tell me the casefile location, current review status and codified reference #. Is this because the USCIS doesn't have my case, so then the case was not actually returned? I also wonder if the NVC either made an error, or it accidently told me that my case has been collecting dust at the consulate until 5/31/19 and is only now being reviewed for further background checks?

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Posted (edited)

The USCIS approved your case and handed it off to the Dept. of State. It is the Dept. of State that conducts the SAO-M background checks, NOT USCIS. The NVC is Dept. of State, so they may or may not have additional information.for you.

 

The case most likely WAS sent back to the US as part of the SAO-M investigation. That is normal procedure. It is, as you say, "not actually returned". It goes to Washington, D.C., but NOT the USCIS.

 

Again - "Apart from the Department of State, the process involves other agencies of the federal government of the United States, especially those under Department of Homeland Security. Some of the agencies involved are: FBI, CIA, Drug Enforcement Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Department of Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control, and the Department of State's Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation. The process may also include checking with Interpol."

 

You are unlikely to find out any additional information until the Consulate tells you the investigation is complete, but something may shake out when you rattle the cage.

 

Hang in there - that is all you can do until they get back with you.

A lawyer could only tell you what triggered the investigation. Maybe not.

Edited by RandyW

玉林,桂 resident
Feb 23, 2005 ........ Mailed I-129F to TSC . . . . . . . . .March 8th ............. P1 from CSC
April 11 ................. P2 from CSC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .April 25 ................ NVC sends packet to GUZ
June 22 ................ P3 received . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Nov 22 ................. PASSED Interview
Dec 2 ................... Made it! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Dec 16 .................. Married
May 23, 2006 ..... TDL, EAD, AP received. . . . . . . . . June 16, 2006 ........ AOS interview - wait for FBI bkgrnd check
Apr 19, 2007 .... EAD # 2. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Oct 7, 2008 ......... 10-year green card
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - K2 (son) - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Dec 2 ..................... AOS/EAD filed . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Dec 17 ................... 21st birthday
Jan 4, 2007 .......... transferred to CSC . . . . . . . . . . . Feb 6, 2007 ............ transferred to MSC
Feb 23 .................... EAD card . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Apr 16 .................... AOS denied (over 21)
Jul 26 .................... Master Calendar hearing . . . . . . Nov 15 ...................... Removal hearing
Jan 29, 2008 ........ Voluntary departure

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