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Tampatownfan

Unable to attend Interview or change the date

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Due to working overseas I am almost never in the UK, also my time off is spent with my wife in Florida. We received notification this week that my interview is set for the 4th May. Unfortunately I return to my overseas job in Iraq on the 30th April, so there is no way I can return to the UK, complete the 10 days self isolation, arrange and attend a medical, assuming they have slots open, and then attend the interview.  I followed the instructions shown on the email and website about re-arranging the interview only to find there is no facility to change the interview. I then called the 'help' line for interview arrangements. Imagine my surprise to be told 'you can't re-arrange the interview, you have to miss it, then go online, click the missed interview link and explain why you missed the interview, and hope they give you a new date'..... We have tried to find a POC that can provide plausible solutions to our conundrum on how we can coordinate the medical and interview and assuming it is successful, get my passport back in time for me to return to my job. 

Having been thwarted in our attempts to speak to someone who understands things are not straight forward, we have put a request in to our state rep to see if he can open any channels for us. We don't want to avoid the process, just break down some of the barriers preventing us from moving forward. Has anyone else experienced this obvious closed door approach to amending interview dates?

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Filed: Other Country: Saudi Arabia
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15 minutes ago, Tampatownfan said:

Due to working overseas I am almost never in the UK, also my time off is spent with my wife in Florida. We received notification this week that my interview is set for the 4th May. Unfortunately I return to my overseas job in Iraq on the 30th April, so there is no way I can return to the UK, complete the 10 days self isolation, arrange and attend a medical, assuming they have slots open, and then attend the interview.  I followed the instructions shown on the email and website about re-arranging the interview only to find there is no facility to change the interview. I then called the 'help' line for interview arrangements. Imagine my surprise to be told 'you can't re-arrange the interview, you have to miss it, then go online, click the missed interview link and explain why you missed the interview, and hope they give you a new date'..... We have tried to find a POC that can provide plausible solutions to our conundrum on how we can coordinate the medical and interview and assuming it is successful, get my passport back in time for me to return to my job. 

Having been thwarted in our attempts to speak to someone who understands things are not straight forward, we have put a request in to our state rep to see if he can open any channels for us. We don't want to avoid the process, just break down some of the barriers preventing us from moving forward. Has anyone else experienced this obvious closed door approach to amending interview dates?

It seems pretty straightforward

 

BaghdadIV@state.gov is the contact to interview in Iraq

 

 

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Just now, Nitas_man said:

It seems pretty straightforward

 

BaghdadIV@state.gov is the contact to interview in Iraq

 

 

Yes, their Embassy remains closed as COVID is still running rampant in Iraq, getting it set up there would be the catch all solution for sure.

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11 minutes ago, Tampatownfan said:

I have no plans to. I work in a humanitarian role, and will continue as I am now. 

I see. The job will continue even after you move. There is no way around it. The medical is a requirement. The interview is a requirement. You can keep your passport after the interview if you need it immediately and then ship it back to the embassy for the visa to be issued. But that would not avoid the quarantine requirement for entering the UK. It would only mean you can leave the UK quicker after the interview.

2 minutes ago, Nitas_man said:

It seems pretty straightforward

 

BaghdadIV@state.gov is the contact to interview in Iraq

 

 

I thought Baghdad had suspended all visa services until further notice due to COVID?


Timeline in brief:

Married: September 27, 2014

I-130 filed: February 5, 2016

NOA1: February 8, 2016 Nebraska

NOA2: July 21, 2016

Interview: December 6, 2016 London

POE: December 19, 2016 Las Vegas

N-400 filed: September 30, 2019

Interview: March 22, 2021 Seattle

Oath: March 22, 2021 COVID-style same-day oath

 

Now a US citizen!

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, JFH said:

I see. The job will continue even after you move. There is no way around it. The medical is a requirement. The interview is a requirement. You can keep your passport after the interview if you need it immediately and then ship it back to the embassy for the visa to be issued. But that would not avoid the quarantine requirement for entering the UK. It would only mean you can leave the UK quicker after the interview.

I thought Baghdad had suspended all visa services until further notice due to COVID?

Emergency cases -  but not sure if this one qualifies.  It’s free to check.

Otherwise, it is what it is.  OP’s not home and not near any other embassy, can’t AOS unless he gives up his job, what to do?

Dude’s in Iraq - the last place you want to be jetting your passport around the world.  Even in KSA we kept our entry/exit docs up to date and handy.

Edited by Nitas_man

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Delay your return to Iraq, you can probably expect longer AP so hang on to your passport.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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3 minutes ago, JFH said:

I see. The job will continue even after you move. There is no way around it. The medical is a requirement. The interview is a requirement. You can keep your passport after the interview if you need it immediately and then ship it back to the embassy for the visa to be issued. But that would not avoid the quarantine requirement for entering the UK. It would only mean you can leave the UK quicker after the interview.

I thought Baghdad had suspended all visa services until further notice due to COVID?

It has which subtracts one possible solution. 

What you described is pretty much our conundrum. With the small window of opportunities to attend the medical and the interview, I would most likely need to do them split between two leave periods. All of which will need the ability to coordinate and select the dates, which as mentioned is next to impossible. We've been married 14 years this year and went through the K1 process back in 2007 before moving to the UK some years ago and needing to surrender the previous residency. Like all parts of the process, we will just need to continue to exercise patience and see what solutions become available.

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5 minutes ago, Nitas_man said:

Emergency cases -  but not sure if this one qualifies.  It’s free to check.

Otherwise, it is what it is.  OP’s not home and not near any other embassy, can’t AOS unless he gives up his job, what to do?

Dude’s in Iraq - the last place you want to be jetting your passport around the world.  Even in KSA we kept our entry/exit docs up to date and handy.

Yes parting with my passport while in Iraq is definitely a non starter, I get stopped at about a dozen checkpoints daily most of which demand to see my visa before letting me continue. 

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6 minutes ago, Boiler said:

Delay your return to Iraq, you can probably expect longer AP so hang on to your passport.

Unfortunately can't do that as the manning for the project is on a rotation system, ie my colleague is waiting for me to return before he in turn can go on leave and so on. We also have to maintain a specific manning state or get hit with penalties, so delaying can't be considered. Last thing I want to have to do is resign as the salary looks after the family and it would have a detrimental knock on effect.

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1 minute ago, Tampatownfan said:

Yes parting with my passport while in Iraq is definitely a non starter, I get stopped at about a dozen checkpoints daily most of which demand to see my visa before letting me continue. 

Not a solution I would have suggested.  Been there, and it wasn’t Iraq, which I am visualizing might be a whole different sandbox of possible problems.  
Your issue is timing between medical and US entry, which as you’re aware is a ticking clock.  Adventures in Iraq (might) trigger a little difficulty with administrative processing which begs delay. 
Not many solutions here.  I’d eyeball the possibility of an interview in Iraq or even in the GCC.  You won’t suffer if you spend a few days in Dubai or Manama for example.

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Sounds like you need to arrange cover with your colleague for when you need to be in the UK.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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13 minutes ago, Nitas_man said:

Not a solution I would have suggested.  Been there, and it wasn’t Iraq, which I am visualizing might be a whole different sandbox of possible problems.  
Your issue is timing between medical and US entry, which as you’re aware is a ticking clock.  Adventures in Iraq (might) trigger a little difficulty with administrative processing which begs delay. 
Not many solutions here.  I’d eyeball the possibility of an interview in Iraq or even in the GCC.  You won’t suffer if you spend a few days in Dubai or Manama for example.

I hadn't considered an alternative embassy other than Iraq. That might be one our congressman might be able to broker for us given the limitations on communication. As is always the case effective communication is king and that is the thing we really want to open up.

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