We are a married couple, a USC (me) and Frenchman living in China. We did the interview in Guangzhou for CR1 visa last May, but were missing some documents and had no time to get documents early enough before our residence permits expired, so we signed a year-long contract with a Chinese university and planned to get the green card in March this year. His criminal records and translations that we turned in at the interview all expired in November. Everything was closed in February, so we weren't able to get the criminal records and their notarized translations until just last month. However, the consulate we are working with in Guangzhou is still closed, so we can't send them the criminal record forms nor get the medical exam done (they need to give us a code since no interview appointment is needed).
After the failed interview, we were given a form that said if we failed to do all that they ask/turn in the forms (I assume that means sending them the forms they requested that we were missing on interview day because those items were what were listed on the form) within a year--by today, basically--that our case would be terminated.
Of course, it isn't our fault that we haven't been able to finish everything by now because everything was closed for so long--but we did send the (interview day) missing documents by the deadline.
So my questions are:
1) Did we technically miss the deadline because we didn't renew and send the expired documents and take the medical exam again?
2) Would a lawyer help us get the green card? Our deadline would be August 12th. If we can't meet that deadline, the lawyer would not be worth the fees.
I also want to note that we have tried many times to contact the consulate in Guangzhou to ask if the deadline will be extended because of the pandemic closing everything, and they have always answered by telling us to wait until they re-open again.
I'm sure we're not alone in how the wait and the uncertaintly are really eating away at us. Any response would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.