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Denied connecting flight in Istanbul to US due to cancel Schengen Ticket

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Georgia
Timeline

Long shot but...I'll try to keep it short

My mother-in-law is an IR-5 from Republic of Georgia. All commercial airlines were shutdown for the longest and only now starting to slowly open up. Her visa is expiring on August 3. We booked a flight with KLM but it transited through Amsterdam. Found out she couldn't even transit, so quickly cancelled the flight. Called CBP verified that IR-5's were being admitted into US and that Istanbul route would be acceptable. She crossed the land border by foot into Turkey and took a 3 hour taxi to Trabzon (nearest Turkish airport) and was to fly Trabzon-Istanbul-San Francisco-Phoenix. She was denied boarding by Turkish Airlines on to her Istanbul-San Francisco connection without explanation. After numerous calls and emails to Turkish Airlines, US Georgian Consulate, US Turkish Consulate, and CBP. CBP stated that it could be the previously booked KLM flight causing the issue. They advised to call Turkish Airlines or KLM to correct the situation by contacting Regional Carrier Liaison Group (RCLG). Turkish said tough luck. KLM refused to attempt to correct the situation with RCLG.

 

We submitted a Traveler Redress Inquiry Program (DHS TRIP) request but was informed that could take 3-6 months to get a redress number if we got one at all. Was also told to remain out of Schengen Country 14+1 days AFTER the scheduled KLM flight departure date!!!

 

US Consulate in Georgia is refusing a visa extension. If she goes back to Georgia she automatically gets placed in 14-day mandatory COVID quarantine and possibly have a true exposure to COVID in the state COVID hotel. Every route leads to after the expiration of her visa. We have a call into our State Senator. 

 

Anything else we could? Any good litigation lawyers out there?

Thanks!


US Citizenship & Immigration Services

31 MAY 2013 - Mailed I-130 Phoenix Lockbox
03 JUN 2013 - USCIS Received
06 JUN 2013 - Email NOA1
10 JUN 2013 - Hardcopy NOA1 (Priority Date: 6/3/13, NBC/Overland Park, KS)
17 DEC 2013 - Transferred to Nebraska Service Center

12 FEB 2014 - Faxed Assistance Letter to Senator Flake, Senator McCain & Congresswoman Kirkpatrick

20 FEB 2014 - Email "Name was updated"

21 FEB 2014 - Email NOA2 (263 days)

26 FEB 2014 - Hardcopy NOA2

National Visa Center

21 FEB 2014 - Sent to NVC

10 MAR 2014 - NVC Received

12 MAR 2014 - Received Follow-up/Progress Report phone call from Senator McCain's Office

10 APR 2014 - Case Number/IIN Received

10 APR 2014 - Submitted DS-261 (Choice of Agent)

14 APR 2014 - Received Email to Pay AOS Fee

15 APR 2014 - AOS Fee Available & Paid Online

17 APR 2014 - AOS Fee cleared bank

18 APR 2014 - AOS Fee shows "PAID" on website

22 APR 2014 - Received Email to Pay IV Fee

24 APR 2014 - Sent AOS Package USPS Express Mail

24 APR 2014 - IV Fee Available & Paid Online

24 APR 2014 - Sent IV Package USPS Express Mail

28 APR 2014 - AOS Packet received by NVC

28 APR 2014 - IV Packet received by NVC

30 APR 2014 - Submitted DS-260 (IV Application) online

30 APR 2014 - Received follow-up call from Senator McCain's office to ensure NVC is going well.

19 MAY 2014 - Received False (AOS) Check-List

21 MAY 2014 - Received Real (AOS) Check-List for Failure to put "N/A" in "Mailing Address (if different than physical residence)" on I864EZ

22 MAY 2014 - FedEx'd Revised I864EZ

23 MAY 2014 - Revised I864EZ delivered

28 MAY 2014 - Revised I864EZ scanned into system and being reviewed "Please wait 30 business days"

30 JUN 2014 - CASE COMPLETED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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As you have become aware, she can't travel through the Netherlands unless she is exempt from the travel ban: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/proclamation-suspension-entry-immigrants-nonimmigrants-certain-additional-persons-pose-risk-transmitting-2019-novel-coronavirus/

The IR-5 category is not exempt from the physical presence ban above. A parent of a USC or LPR child under age 21 is. So there would need to be child other than the petition that meets that condition for her to be exempt.

 

The trip through Istanbul appears to be fine off-hand. That said, the airline reserves ultimate authority to deny any passenger from being boarded.

I would suggest working with/through them to get the boarding issue resolved, or finding another route or airline that can work.

 

If you're looking to litigate something, it would need to be to sue the airline so I would suggest somebody local who knows local carrier agreements. Although as noted above, generally the airline reserves every right to deny boarding. Even then, generally at most they would be liable for the value of the ticket and/or possibly return or onward travel. Any delay of an opportunity to immigrate would not be something as court would generally be able to put a value on.


Timelines:

ROC:

Spoiler

7/27/20: Sent forms to Dallas lockbox, 7/30/20: Received by USCIS, 8/10 NOA1 electronic notification received, 8/1/ NOA1 hard copy received

AOS:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago, 9/27/17: received by USCIS, 10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received, 10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received, 10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update), 1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed, 1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received, 1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice, 10/17/18: Interview

10/24/18: Green card produced notice, 10/25/18: Formal approval, 10/31/18: Green card received

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/16: sent, 12/14/16: NOA1 hard copy received, 3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification), 3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved! , 3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received, 4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy, 4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy, 4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Georgia
Timeline

Thanks everyone. So here's an update after extensive investigation...

 

Since we booked the flight with a transit through a CoVid restricted country and EVEN is you immediately cancelled the flight the information from the Advanced Passenger Information (API) System. All airlines fly in and out of the United States must report to a Passenger Name Record (PNR) to this database. The Regional Carrier Liaison Group (RCLG) is responsible for carrying out the Presidential Proclamation concerning travel to banned countries. The system flags your passport even just for a cancelled booking and will not allow you to board the flight to the United States even at your connecting flight. Turkish Airlines says they are not responsible for the travel back to your originating flight. 

 

So she will not be able to board a flight to the US until 14+1 days after the scheduled departure date from the Schengen zone on the cancelled flight. That's correct even if she was not on the actual flight. CBP will not allow her to board until then. There is nothing to do. KLM could not remove it. Evidence of cancellation and not on the flight does not help. Evidence of being in a totally different country at the very time of the flight does not help. Absence of passport stamps or entrance records does not help. The consulate and your state senator cannot help. 

 

So conclusion...

She is having to travel back to her home country where she will placed in routine mandatory quarantine in a state facility and hopefully not contract an acquired infection. Her visa will expire and will not be able to reapply until sometime in 2021 - IF they lift the ban on IR-5 visas.

 

Interesting enough that our state alone has 300% more cases of CoVid than the Netherlands (where her imaginary travel) has. I just don't understand the travel ban when only 3 of the top ten CoVid countries are on the ban and four of our states have higher numbers than those countries. 

 

My family is distraught. We pray she makes it through this safe and healthy. 

 

Good luck and do NOT book a flight through one of the banned countries


US Citizenship & Immigration Services

31 MAY 2013 - Mailed I-130 Phoenix Lockbox
03 JUN 2013 - USCIS Received
06 JUN 2013 - Email NOA1
10 JUN 2013 - Hardcopy NOA1 (Priority Date: 6/3/13, NBC/Overland Park, KS)
17 DEC 2013 - Transferred to Nebraska Service Center

12 FEB 2014 - Faxed Assistance Letter to Senator Flake, Senator McCain & Congresswoman Kirkpatrick

20 FEB 2014 - Email "Name was updated"

21 FEB 2014 - Email NOA2 (263 days)

26 FEB 2014 - Hardcopy NOA2

National Visa Center

21 FEB 2014 - Sent to NVC

10 MAR 2014 - NVC Received

12 MAR 2014 - Received Follow-up/Progress Report phone call from Senator McCain's Office

10 APR 2014 - Case Number/IIN Received

10 APR 2014 - Submitted DS-261 (Choice of Agent)

14 APR 2014 - Received Email to Pay AOS Fee

15 APR 2014 - AOS Fee Available & Paid Online

17 APR 2014 - AOS Fee cleared bank

18 APR 2014 - AOS Fee shows "PAID" on website

22 APR 2014 - Received Email to Pay IV Fee

24 APR 2014 - Sent AOS Package USPS Express Mail

24 APR 2014 - IV Fee Available & Paid Online

24 APR 2014 - Sent IV Package USPS Express Mail

28 APR 2014 - AOS Packet received by NVC

28 APR 2014 - IV Packet received by NVC

30 APR 2014 - Submitted DS-260 (IV Application) online

30 APR 2014 - Received follow-up call from Senator McCain's office to ensure NVC is going well.

19 MAY 2014 - Received False (AOS) Check-List

21 MAY 2014 - Received Real (AOS) Check-List for Failure to put "N/A" in "Mailing Address (if different than physical residence)" on I864EZ

22 MAY 2014 - FedEx'd Revised I864EZ

23 MAY 2014 - Revised I864EZ delivered

28 MAY 2014 - Revised I864EZ scanned into system and being reviewed "Please wait 30 business days"

30 JUN 2014 - CASE COMPLETED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Germany
Timeline

This is insane. Very sorry to hear this and best of luck to your family.


Previous Visas

Spoiler

 

08/2016 - 09/2017: J-1 Student

07/2018 - 07/2019: J-1 Intern

04/2019: Employer files for H-1B visa

07/2019: Did not make the H-1B lottery

08/2019 - 03/2021: K-1 visa pains during Covid

 

 

AOS

Spoiler

 

2021-05-01: *** Married ***

2021-05-22: AOS packet sent (AOS/EAD/AP)

2021-05-24: AOS packet received

2021-06-10: Text messages received

2021-06-11: Check cashed

2021-06-15: NOAs received in the mail

2021-08-31: Biometrics appointment letter received (dated 8/21/21 for Phoenix ASC)

2021-09-17: Bio appointment

2021-09-25: Online status updated to "Case is ready to be scheduled for an interview"

2021-10-04: Interview appointment letter in the mail (dated 9/28/21, sent 9/30/21)

2021-10-07: Online status updated to "Interview was scheduled on 10/5/21"

2021-11-02: AOS Interview, result: recommended for approval

2021-11-02: Online status changed to "New Card is being produced"

2021-11-03: Case was approved

2021-11-05: New Card was mailed

2021-11-08: Card picked up by USPS

2021-11-09: Green Card in hand :dance:

 

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Russia
Timeline

This sounds like a Kafkaesque nightmare. Thank you for sharing this valuable information so others can be warned.


Необычные линейки на рабочий стол 

🇷🇺 CR-1 via DCF (Dec 2016-Jun 2017) & I-751 ROC (Apr 2019-Oct 2019)🌹

Spoiler

Info about my DCF Moscow* experience here and here

26-Jul-2016: Married abroad in Russia 👩‍❤️‍👨
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 as of February 28th, 2019.

 

Removal of Conditions - MSC Service Center

 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 (Apr 2020-Jun 2021) 🛂

Spoiler

Filed during Covid-19 & moved states 1 month after filing

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: Moved to another state, filed AR-11 online

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

15-May-2020: AR-11 request to change address completed

16-Jul-2020: Filed non-receipt inquiry due to never getting confirmation that case was transferred to new field office

15-Oct-2020: Received generic response to non-receipt inquiry, see full response here

10-Feb-2021: Contacted senator's office for help with USCIS

12-Feb-2021: Received canned response from senator's office that case is within processing time 😡

16-Feb-2021: Contacted other senator's office for help with USCIS - still no biometrics

19-Feb-2021: Biometrics reuse notice - canned response from other senator's office 🌐

23-Feb-2021: Interview scheduled - notice to come in the mail

25-Feb-2021: Biometrics reuse notice arrives via mail

01-Mar-2021: Interview notice letter arrives via mail  ✉️ 

29-Mar-2021: Passed interview at local office! Oath Ceremony to be scheduled

13-Apr-2021: Oath Ceremony notice was mailed

04-May-2021: Oath Ceremony scheduled 🎆 Unable to attend due to illness

04-May-2021: Mailed request to reschedule Oath to local office

05-May-2021: "You did not attend your Oath Ceremony" - notice to come in the mail

06-May-2021: Oath Ceremony will be scheduled, date TBA

12-May-2021: Oath Ceremony re-scheduled for June 3rd, then de-scheduled same day 😡 

25-May-2021: New Oath Ceremony notice was mailed

16-Jun-2021: Oath Ceremony scheduled 🎆 - DONE!!

17-Jun-2021: Certificate of Naturalization issued

 

🎆 Members new and old: don't forget to fill in your VJ timeline! 🎇 https://www.visajourney.com/timeline/

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My wife and I are devastated!  We just had the exact same thing happen to her mother!

She booked a flight  Kiev -> Paris -> LA and was denied boarding in Kiev because travel to US via Europe is restricted.
 

We cancelled the original flight and re-booked a new flight: Kiev -> Istanbul -> LA. 

She was denied boarding to her connecting flight in Istanbul because she had previously booked flight through Paris.

 

Nobody told us, and we did not know.  Now she has to return to Kiev and try again. 

This system is broken.  

It's hurting families.

It is causing extreme stress.

 

I only wish I had known these things sooner and could have avoided this whole mess. 

Airlines should be required to inform passengers of all potential travel restrictions especially when booking travel on-line.  There is no excuse for this kind of negligence.

 

Does anyone know if there is a quick way to check and make sure a name is not on any restricted list and is clear to travel?

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Kenya
Timeline
On 6/20/2021 at 1:41 AM, elitovsky said:

My wife and I are devastated!  We just had the exact same thing happen to her mother!

She booked a flight  Kiev -> Paris -> LA and was denied boarding in Kiev because travel to US via Europe is restricted.
 

We cancelled the original flight and re-booked a new flight: Kiev -> Istanbul -> LA. 

She was denied boarding to her connecting flight in Istanbul because she had previously booked flight through Paris.

 

Nobody told us, and we did not know.  Now she has to return to Kiev and try again. 

This system is broken.  

It's hurting families.

It is causing extreme stress.

 

I only wish I had known these things sooner and could have avoided this whole mess. 

Airlines should be required to inform passengers of all potential travel restrictions especially when booking travel on-line.  There is no excuse for this kind of negligence.

 

Does anyone know if there is a quick way to check and make sure a name is not on any restricted list and is clear to travel?

Sorry, it is your responsibility to do research and to make an informed choice. Look, why would you want to go thru a place that could potentially put you into trouble? Flying through Europe as a whole is asking for trouble right now.

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