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The4Sands

Is it even worth trying to expedite?

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We're doing DCF in London, waiting on the result of our I-130 petition. Obviously everything has probably come to a bit of a standstill due to COVID-19, so that even if we got approval tomorrow and were able to progress with our DS-260 and all the other associated forms and docs relatively quickly, we still couldn't book a medical or an interview any time soon. 

 

Having said that, one of the reason I (the USC) am moving my family to the States is because my mom has incurable cancer. She finished chemo at the end of last year and they hoped she was going into remission but her cancer markers have shot up so her oncologist scheduled at CT scan and they got the results on Friday that look like most of her cancer has regrown. We never had a lot of optimism (they don't call it incurable for nothing) but this was pretty crushing. 

 

I know I'm already in a very advantaged position to be doing DCF, but would it be worth putting in a request for an expedite so that when things do get going again, we have a chance at being near the top of the pile, or would it just be a bit redundant?

 

The other reason I'm considering it is because we got an RFE for a certified copy of our marriage certificate which I sent several weeks ago, but I haven't heard anything back yet (due to COVID-19 probably), but I know that sometime an RFE can knock you out of the queue and then they get back to you when they have time outside the normal flow, so I wondered if an expedite might help put us back into the flow of things. 

 

Any advice would be appreciated, even if it's to tell me I just need to be patient (like everyone else in the universe waiting for a visa). 

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Philippines
Timeline

You are already in the most expedited process for the petition.   Once the uscis completes the i130,  then it moves to the consulate.   Once that happens,  then you may want to request expedited interview.  Doesn't make sense to get ahead of yourself as the consulate knows nothing about you until they get the approved petition 


YMMV

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Russia
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Posted (edited)

Have you tried just contacting them yet via email or phone to see what the deal is? 

 

This is a little different form my DCF experience. When Moscow was doing DCF, the I-130 was filed in person and an interview was had that very day. They they accepted the docs and the petition and then followed up with a response later whether it was approved or denied (and RFE's would've been issued after the interview, but we luckily did not get one.) I was under the impression that once the I-130 was filed, the petitioner (USC) was free to leave the country but the I-130 would still be "in the queue". 

 

I don't know if London will require you to come back in for an I-130-related interview or not. It seems this would be the decisive factor on whether or not you could return to the States immediately to be with your mother. Your spouse would have to wait it out abroad of course, but at least you could be back home with your mom?

Edited by millefleur

03639.png     

 🇷🇺  CR-1 via DCF in Moscow* (Dec 2016-Jun 2017) 🇺🇸 Info about my DCF experience here and here

Spoiler

26-Jul-2016: Married abroad in Russia (USC + Russian husband) 👩‍❤️‍👨
21-Dec-2016: I-130 filed at Moscow USCIS field office*
29-Dec-2016: I-130 approved! Yay! 🎊 

17-Jan-2017: Case number received

21-Mar-2017: Medical Exam completed

24-Mar-2017: Interview at Embassy - approved! 🎉

29-Mar-2017: CR-1 Visa received (via mail)

02-Apr-2017: USCIS Immigrant (GC) Fee paid

28-Jun-2017: Port of Entry @ PDX 🛩️

21-Jul-2017: No SSN after three weeks; applied in person at the SSA

22-Jul-2017: GC arrived in the mail 📬

31-Jul-2017: SSN arrived via mail, hurrah!

 

*NOTE: The USCIS Field Office in Moscow is now CLOSED.

 

I-90 GC Replacment (for Erroneous GC)

22-Jul-2017: GC arrives in the mail – error in middle name 😕

01-Aug-2017: Sent in I-90 online via website

05-Aug-2017: Biometrics scheduled

23-Aug-2017: Biometrics done @ USCIS office; told to keep GC!

16-Jul-2018: RFE for original card!! 🤬

31-Jul-2018: USCIS Appointment at local field office..

22-Aug-2018: Mailed GC back to USCIS in response to RFE

29-Aug-2018: GC received by USCIS

17-Sep-2018: Received CORRECTED GC in the mail! Finally!! 😂

 

📑 I-751 Removal of Conditions (Apr 2019-Oct 2019) 📝 Filed via mail, processed by MSC & passed interview

Spoiler

28-Jun-2019: Conditional GC expires

30-Mar-2019: Eligible to apply for ROC

01-Apr-2019: ROC in the mail to Phoenix AZ lockbox! 📫

03-Apr-2019: ROC packet delivered to lockbox

09-Apr-2019: USCIS cashed check

09-Apr-2019: Case number received via text - MSC 📲

12-Apr-2019: Extension letter arrives via mail

19-Apr-2019: Biometrics letter arrives via mail

30-Apr-2019: Biometrics appointment at local office

26-Jun-2019: Case ready to be scheduled for interview 

04-Sep-2019: Interview was scheduled - letter to arrive in mail

09-Sep-2019: Interview letter arrived in the mail! ✉️

17-Oct-2019: Interview scheduled @ local USCIS  

18-Oct-2019: Interview cancelled & notice ordered*

18-Oct-2019: Case was approved! 🎉

22-Oct-2019: Card was mailed to me 📨

23-Oct-2019: Card was picked by USPS 

25-Oct-2019: 10 year GC Card received in mail 📬

 

*I don't understand this status because we DID have an interview!

 

🇺🇸 N-400 Application for Naturalization (Mar 2020-????) 🛂 Online filers note: Use INTERNET EXPLORER! Other browsers may not work!

Spoiler

30-Mar-2020: N-400 early filing window opens!

01-Apr-2020: Filed N-400 online 💻 

02-Apr-2020: NOA 1 - Receipt No. received online 📃

07-Apr-2020: NOA 1 - Receipt No. received via mail

05-May-2020: Application transferred to another USCIS field office for review*

16-Jul-2020: Filed Non-Delivery of Notice online**

??-???-????: TBA... 

 

*NOTE: Moved to another state in May.

**NOTE: Did not receive Change of Address confirmation by mail

 

 

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: England
Timeline
Posted (edited)

Once your petition is approved, the timeline is in your hands. There is no waiting in a queue to be assigned an interview. You call the medical clinic and pick your date (when they reopen). You get online and look for open appointment dates.  Really the only thing to push along is the I-130.
 

Contact USCIS in London to ask about your case and mention your mother. You may get some sympathy without a formal expedite effort.

 

Contact form (email) https://uk.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/government-agencies/dhs/uscis/uscis-contact-form/

-OR-

The USCIS London Field Office no longer accepts new I-130 filings. If you submitted your I-130 with USCIS London by the March 31, 2020 deadline, please allow 90 days for USCIS London to process your I-130. For any status updates outside of the 90 day processing time, or for other inquiries, please email us at USCIS.London@uscis.dhs.gov

 

 

Edited by Wuozopo

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Thank you for your very sensible advice, @payxibka@Wuozopo and @millefleur that's a great idea to contact them, assuming anyone is left to to do any actual work.  I will give that a go today (although will not expect anything any time soon as it's a long holiday weekend).

 

@millefleur At the moment I earn 50% of our income (and am actually still working) plus we have two small children so it wouldn't be particularly straight-forward for me to just move back to the States asap, but there's a strong possibility I will be furloughed on 1st May so I will be looking at the plausibility of heading over with one child (and leaving the other here with my husband).  Obviously, now is a really bad time to be looking for a job Stateside.  I had just started applying for jobs (had maybe applied for 4 or 5) when COVID-19 hit.  If I thought I could get a job in the next month, I'd be more comfortable with the idea of going on ahead of the family but I don't think we could hold down two households on one salary. 

 

As you all say, I will try not to get ahead of myself and be as prepared as I can for when things get going again.  Thank you!

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On 4/13/2020 at 9:59 AM, The4Sands said:

Thank you for your very sensible advice, @payxibka@Wuozopo and @millefleur that's a great idea to contact them, assuming anyone is left to to do any actual work.  I will give that a go today (although will not expect anything any time soon as it's a long holiday weekend).

 

@millefleur At the moment I earn 50% of our income (and am actually still working) plus we have two small children so it wouldn't be particularly straight-forward for me to just move back to the States asap, but there's a strong possibility I will be furloughed on 1st May so I will be looking at the plausibility of heading over with one child (and leaving the other here with my husband).  Obviously, now is a really bad time to be looking for a job Stateside.  I had just started applying for jobs (had maybe applied for 4 or 5) when COVID-19 hit.  If I thought I could get a job in the next month, I'd be more comfortable with the idea of going on ahead of the family but I don't think we could hold down two households on one salary. 

 

As you all say, I will try not to get ahead of myself and be as prepared as I can for when things get going again.  Thank you!

Good luck @The4Sands! Sincerely keeping my fingers crossed for you and I hope that the London USCIS is able to open soon. Although, the fact that the UK government has extended the lockdown indicates that the London Embassy won't be opening for another 3 weeks at least. I suppose the good thing is that once they do open your envelope and see the certified marriage certificate, they'll be able to approve your petition very quickly.

 

Have you thought about gathering your supporting documentation (such as a police certificate four your husband, tax transcripts, your GP summary care record etc.)? That's all stuff that can be initiated from now, and you could have it all ready for when your petition does get approved.

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Thanks, @os306.  I really appreciate it.

 

We have actually started trying to collect all the docs will need, but some of them are proving harder than others.  The police certs and subject access request were very straightforward.  But we still have not gotten the medical care summary yet because when we requested it at the GP, they said we had to request it in writing so we did that, but it was just before COVID-19 really took off so I have no idea when they will actually get to sending it to us.  Unfortunately our surgery doesn't do online records.  

 

Similarly with tax transcripts, because my tax home is not currently the USA, although I have filed my taxes, I can't set up an online account with the IRS to request the transcripts online and at the moment the IRS are not manning any phone lines so cannot request them by phone either.  I am looking into faxing a request to have the transcripts sent to me, but goodness know how long it will take them to fulfill that request, and how long it will take for the transcripts to make it to the UK.  If USCIS and the embassy open before I can get my transcripts, I might chance it with the tax returns and an explanation as to why that's all I have (unless any one has genius ideas how to get your transcript when you've lived abroad for a long time).  How much do my transcripts really matter if they only apply to income earned outside the US that will not continue when I am back in the States? My dad is joint sponsoring with me and he has already requested his tax transcripts and started looking through the I-864 to see what other info he's going to need.

 

I don't mind waiting, but I am struggling with not being able to do anything else to get ready.

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, The4Sands said:

Thanks, @os306.  I really appreciate it.

 

We have actually started trying to collect all the docs will need, but some of them are proving harder than others.  The police certs and subject access request were very straightforward.  But we still have not gotten the medical care summary yet because when we requested it at the GP, they said we had to request it in writing so we did that, but it was just before COVID-19 really took off so I have no idea when they will actually get to sending it to us.  Unfortunately our surgery doesn't do online records.  

 

Similarly with tax transcripts, because my tax home is not currently the USA, although I have filed my taxes, I can't set up an online account with the IRS to request the transcripts online and at the moment the IRS are not manning any phone lines so cannot request them by phone either.  I am looking into faxing a request to have the transcripts sent to me, but goodness know how long it will take them to fulfill that request, and how long it will take for the transcripts to make it to the UK.  If USCIS and the embassy open before I can get my transcripts, I might chance it with the tax returns and an explanation as to why that's all I have (unless any one has genius ideas how to get your transcript when you've lived abroad for a long time).  How much do my transcripts really matter if they only apply to income earned outside the US that will not continue when I am back in the States? My dad is joint sponsoring with me and he has already requested his tax transcripts and started looking through the I-864 to see what other info he's going to need.

 

I don't mind waiting, but I am struggling with not being able to do anything else to get ready.

We are actually in exactly the same boat as you are. Obtaining a police certificate was straightforward for us too. I have yet to obtain a medical care summary from my GP, but based on my conversation with them on the phone this won't be difficult.

 

We're in a similar position regarding tax transcripts. Our 2019 and 2018 taxes were filed using our UK address. From reading around the forums, it looks like the quickest method people have used involved speaking to someone on the IRS helpline and having the transcripts faxed over to an online (virtual) fax number (see here: https://britishexpats.com/forum/marriage-based-visas-35/tax-transcripts-us-embassy-change-policy-uk-925237/). However, as you said, the phone lines aren't currently manned so it isn't possible to do this. Hopefully, once some semblance of normality is restored this will be possible again. I have also seen some posts from people who were able to request their transcripts and have them mailed to the UK within 3-4 weeks, however; this was pre-COVID19 so I'm not sure how long this would take now. We have actually held off from requesting our transcripts because we only filed our 2019 taxes a few weeks ago, so we were thinking the IRS would not have processed our return yet.

 

We will also be using a joint sponsor (my father in law) so we're in an identical position there.

 

Good luck to you. I'm glad this forum exists, because if we were going through this ourselves (especially with all the uncertainties regarding this pandemic) we would probably go crazy!

 

Edited by os306

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I said in my other thread, but I thought I would update here: USCIS have gotten back to me to say they got my RFE, I'm in the queue to be adjudicated and if I don't hear anything by July to contact them. July feels a long way away.

 

My mom has just started a clinical trial with a new type of chemo drug.  Her primary oncologist is... not as optimistic as she has been in the past.  I haven't said anything about her being unwell to USCIS yet.  Is it worth mentioning it informally in an email, or should I just be going straight to some kind of formal expedite letter? Or am I just being unreasonable and need to wait my turn like everyone else? 

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: England
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2 hours ago, The4Sands said:

I said in my other thread, but I thought I would update here: USCIS have gotten back to me to say they got my RFE, I'm in the queue to be adjudicated and if I don't hear anything by July to contact them. July feels a long way away.

 

My mom has just started a clinical trial with a new type of chemo drug.  Her primary oncologist is... not as optimistic as she has been in the past.  I haven't said anything about her being unwell to USCIS yet.  Is it worth mentioning it informally in an email, or should I just be going straight to some kind of formal expedite letter? Or am I just being unreasonable and need to wait my turn like everyone else? 

  
I would play any card I had to get back on the fast track and motivate them to pick up your petition and approve it. Mention it and sound very sad and distraught and anxious to make the move to be with your mother. 

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Well, I emailed USCIS yesterday explaining the worsening situation with my mom's cancer (and I threw in there that my brother in not able to help at this time because he's deployed in the Middle East with the Air Force, for good measure.  Which is true.) and someone emailed me back just now and said:

 

Now that we have your response to our Request for Evidence, we will prioritize completing the adjudication of your I-130. Once we have adjudicated it and made a decision, we will send out a decision notice as soon as we are able to.

 

 

Please keep in mind that if the I-130 is approved, then your spouse would need to follow the steps to apply for an immigrant visa. This is handled by the Consular Section’s Immigrant Visa Unit, a separate entity at U.S. Embassy London. More information on the immigrant visa process is available at https://uk.usembassy.gov/visas/family-immigration/how-to-apply-2/. As there are many steps to this process that could take some time, you, as a U.S. citizen, may wish to consider traveling to the U.S. before your spouse is able to join you.

 

So, that's good, I think, but it's making me nervous about the next bits.  Nothing I can do but get my ducks in a row (which we have mostly done), I guess.  But I do have a new question: who issues the LND number, USCIS or the IVU at the embassy?  Just wondering who I will need the hound next, pretty much. I've seen others saying it would take up to 5 weeks to get it, which feels like a long time to me at the moment.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: England
Timeline
22 minutes ago, The4Sands said:

Well, I emailed USCIS yesterday explaining the worsening situation with my mom's cancer (and I threw in there that my brother in not able to help at this time because he's deployed in the Middle East with the Air Force, for good measure.  Which is true.) and someone emailed me back just now and said:

Ooohh, good one! Throw in the military along with the C-word.  Bound to get some attention. 

 

24 minutes ago, The4Sands said:

But I do have a new question: who issues the LND number, USCIS or the IVU at the embassy? 

It has to be the embassy as part of the Department of State.
 

In regular Visa applications, the USCIS issues a case number to the petition file. When that is approved, the case is handed over to the NVC (also part of DOS) who issues a brand new case file Number with the first three letters representing the consulate who will issue the visa. So....LNDXXXXXXXX could not be created by USCIS. And they don’t send yours to the states just to get assigned a number by NVC.  So it must be created at the embassy. 

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13 hours ago, The4Sands said:

But I do have a new question: who issues the LND number, USCIS or the IVU at the embassy?

When you get the approval letter from USCIS, wait a few days and reachout to the IV contacts.  We were DCF in Mexico and waited a few weeks after getting the USCIS email before trying to track down the file at the Consulate.   When we got thru the lady said "Oh directly filed with USCIS? Let me go get the file!".  Ten minute later we had the number and an hour later scheduled the interview.  I felt bad thinking we should have called sooner.


March 2, 2018  Married In Hong Kong

April 30, 2018  Mary moves from the Philippines to Mexico, Husband has MX Permanent Residency

June 13, 2018 Mary receives Mexican Residency Card

June 15, 2018  I-130 DCF Appointment in Juarez  -  June 18, 2018  Approval E-Mail

August 2, 2018 Case Complete At Consulate

September 25, 2018 Interview in CDJ and Approved!

October 7, 2018 In the USA

October 27, 2018 Green Card received 

October 29, 2018 Applied for Social Security Card - November 5, 2018 Social Security Card received

November 6th, 2018 State ID Card Received, Applied for Global Entry - Feb 8,2019 Approved.

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2 minutes ago, Paul & Mary said:

When you get the approval letter from USCIS, wait a few days and reachout to the IV contacts. 

I wish I could do this for London, I’ve emailed several times and nothing. Does anybody have any IV contacts?

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1 hour ago, Paul & Mary said:

When you get the approval letter from USCIS, wait a few days and reachout to the IV contacts.  We were DCF in Mexico and waited a few weeks after getting the USCIS email before trying to track down the file at the Consulate.   When we got thru the lady said "Oh directly filed with USCIS? Let me go get the file!".  Ten minute later we had the number and an hour later scheduled the interview.  I felt bad thinking we should have called sooner.

 

14 hours ago, Wuozopo said:

It has to be the embassy as part of the Department of State.
 

In regular Visa applications, the USCIS issues a case number to the petition file. When that is approved, the case is handed over to the NVC (also part of DOS) who issues a brand new case file Number with the first three letters representing the consulate who will issue the visa. So....LNDXXXXXXXX could not be created by USCIS. And they don’t send yours to the states just to get assigned a number by NVC.  So it must be created at the embassy. 

Thanks, @Paul & Mary and @Wuozopo, that's really helpful.  I will wait till I get my approval and try to contact the embassy and in the meantime check and double-check that I have everything I need.  I really appreciate all the help and support everyone on here is giving.

 

@Gaz1a, let me know if you ever do get through to them.  Good luck!! Here's hoping it's soon, for all of us.

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