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About D&D_NYC

  • Rank
  • Member # 207051
  • Location New York, NY, USA

Profile Information

  • City
  • State
    New York

Immigration Info

  • Immigration Status
    Adjustment of Status (approved)
  • Place benefits filed at
    Chicago Lockbox
  • Local Office
    New York City NY
  • Country

Immigration Timeline & Photos

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  1. Hi there -- sorry, never came back to this thread (though I did post something of an update on my interview recap.) At the conclusion of the interview, the officer asked if I had any upcoming travel, and I mentioned this trip. I asked if I could use my AP or if I would need my passport stamped, and he said that using AP was fine until we got a decision. We weren't approved on the spot at the interview -- it actually took about 8 days from the interview date until my card was in production (and received the card a week after that update), so the issue of AOS being approved while I was abroad didn't come up. No issues using AP at the border, either. Hope that's helpful!
  2. Card arrived yesterday! Feels really awesome to have it in hand Timelines are fully updated, and now the SS/DMV saga begins!
  3. I submitted an EAD/AP expedite request back in February, I got an email the next day immediately declining it. The exact wording was: The status of this service request is: Due to the high volume of expedite requests for this case type, we are strictly enforcing the criteria that has been set for these expedite requests. While your situation appears serious, you have not provided evidence of an extreme emergent need. I can't say for sure, but I imagine they're at least still considering it, as they can and will decline requests right away. Good luck!
  4. I'm keeping an eye on my informed delivery! I'm planning on making the SS office my first stop once I have my card in hand so that I can change it to my married name, and also remove the "valid only with DHS authorization" limitation. I don't know that you HAVE to do it right away, but I want to change the name so that I can file my taxes using my married name next year (we did file jointly this year, but had to file in my maiden name because that's the one SS and the IRS have on record).
  5. Amazing! Mine is in the mail as of 5/31, so I imagine it will arrive sometime this week (no tracking number to stalk it, sadly!). I also got my hard copy approval notices for the I-485 and the I-130 in the mail on 6/1.
  6. Congrats to you as well! Waiting for that update! When I saw you got your initial approval, I was hopeful that mine was coming, and it did update the next day!
  7. I had all my papers in an accordion folder, sort of like the one pictured below. I labeled each tab so that I could jump to whatever I needed quickly, and also had a Post-It on the front with the order of the labels just in case. I had my EAD card in the front slot, as well as sections for passports, my sealed medical exam, the new affidavit, new evidence (copies), new evidence (originals), old evidence (copies), old evidence (originals). I kept the copies and originals in the exact same order so that if the officer asked for anything, I'd be able to find it quickly in the stack. I kept all individual pieces of evidence together with paperclips.
  8. Congrats on your upcoming interview! All of the estate documents were facilitated by my husband’s work. One of his union benefits was the drafting of these documents via a law firm, along with a free consultation. We submitted an application with all our choices, then later went to sign and have the documents notarized. We were each given one original copy of each document by the lawyer, which I made photocopies of to submit at the interview. You don't absolutely need a lawyer to make a basic will -- we just took advantage of what was offered to us. I believe in order to be valid, it just needs to be dated and signed by two witnesses. A quick Google search of "drafting a will" brought up a number of programs that can help. For health insurance, once I was on my husband's plan, I was able to contact the provider to request a “proof of coverage” letter. Can your husband ask his employer, or do you have a phone number for your insurance? That would be a good place to start, and they can usually turn around these documents within a few days.
  9. We didn't get any sort of verbal approval, only "we'll make a decision in 90-120 days." I think a lot of my unfounded anxiety stemmed from not seeing a ton of interview write-ups mention not getting approved right away (or within a few hours) or being put into review, despite it being totally common. Let it be known!
  10. Pleased to say that I just got my "card is in production" case update!! I filed on 12/03/2018, interview was 5/21/19, field office was Queens, NY. I've linked to a separate post detailing my full AOS interview experience at Federal Plaza in Manhattan. Very pleased to be done with this leg of the journey, and looking forward to having my card in hand soon so I can get to work on changing my name on all my important documents. Woohoo...😓
  11. Yes, definitely. I'm just an antsy person and got paranoid after a few days of not hearing anything!
  12. Just got the update that a new card is being produced!! 🎉🎉🎉 Queens filer, PD is 12/03/2018, interview was 5/21/2019. I’ve made a separate post (linked below, detailing everything about my interview in excruciating detail) so as to not clog up this space, and will continue to update my signature and timeline as more news arrives! Hang in there, everyone!
  13. Apologies in advance for this truly absurd wall of text, but I wanted to write up my whole interview process in excruciating detail for those doing AOS in NYC at Federal Plaza. I’m a Canadian citizen living in Queens, and did AOS from TN-1 work status. You can find a detailed timeline in my signature. Before the Interview My interview was scheduled for 9:15am on 5/21/2019 at Federal Plaza in Manhattan. We arrived around 8:30am, but did a lap around the block and went in at 8:45, as the notice says not to arrive more than 30 minutes early. People weren’t kidding when they said it was airport style security -- complete with bins and taking shoes off! -- but the lines moved quickly. Once through security, a large sign in front of the main elevator bank clearly noted which offices were on which floors. My notice said to go to the Queens Office on the 9th floor. Once we were in the room, we walked up to the window to get further instructions, and were told that we had to go down to the Queens Office on the 4th floor *groan*. For those curious, there are public washrooms immediately outside the waiting area on the 4th floor. I gave my interview notice to another person behind a window, who called my name and gave me a deli-style ticket number about five minutes later. Every time she called a name, people would jump up with all their stuff in hand, but this is only you getting into the interview queue. The waiting room can get a bit noisy (there’s a TV and phones are allowed) so make sure to listen carefully. The actual officer conducting the interview comes out from the back office with your interview notice and will call your name (and possibly ticket number) when it’s your turn. It was already 9:15 by this point, but the room was packed so we figured we’d be in for a wait. We ended up waiting over two hours, and watched numerous couples/families that came in after us get called into their interviews first. About 30 minutes in, I asked about the delay (having noticed numbers after mine being called) and the woman said that the order of the numbers doesn’t really matter. After another hour passed, my husband went up to ask and the woman said she’d “speak to somebody.” Almost another hour passed before we checked again, and they reassured us that we were coming up. Finally, around 11:30am, we got called into the back offices by Officer Hernandez (OH). I guess the squeaky wheel does get the grease! Still don’t know if our notice got shuffled to the bottom of a pile or what, but it didn’t hurt to ask to ensure we didn’t get forgotten. Interview Once we got to his office and before we even sat down, OH had us raise our right hands and take the oath, then asked us to provide government-issued IDs. I provided my EAD/AP combo card and Canadian passport, while my husband provided his driver’s license (OH ended up wanting a photocopy of the DL and my combo card -- at the end of the interview, I gave him a photocopy of my card that I had brought, but we didn’t have one for the DL, so he needed to make one himself). Next, he took a new photo and my left and right index fingerprints on a digital pad. He also apologized for the long wait! OH explained that he would go through my forms and confirm some information, then ask us some questions about our lives. He would specifically direct questions to either one of us, and asked that we not try to jump in and answer each others’ questions. He went straight into the first section of the I-485, confirming my name, maiden name, DOB, address, previous address, job, my husband’s job, where my parents live, last entry, etc. and checked things off as he went. He asked about when I went to school in the US (which was actually just a 1-credit college course I took as part of a J1 internship program with no home residency requirement) and I explained this to him. Once that was done, OH sat back a bit and starting directing personal questions to us. He didn’t mind if one of us added information to the story after the person he asked was finished talking. I think they want to avoid one spouse jumping in to answer a question clearly addressed to the other. This is generally what I remember us being asked: -How did we meet? -Where did we first meet in person? What did we do on that first date? -How long was it between us first connecting online and meeting in person? -When did that meeting happen? -How did he feel upon first meeting me? -When did we see each other again? -When did we move in together? Why? -What were my feelings about his place when I moved in? -What sorts of changes did we make to the apartment after I moved in? -What is life like together at home? -Who proposed to whom? -When/where/how did he propose? -Why did he feel this was the time to propose? What made him sure he wanted to get married? -Why did I say yes? -When/where was the wedding? -How many people attended the wedding? Were they family, friends or both? -Who was the best man? Maid of honor? -Did we go on a honeymoon? Where? What did we do? He clearly wanted to get us talking about our relationship. He didn’t probe much for extra details, though we did add them when relevant (and tried our best not to babble!). A couple times, he would reiterate things we said or confirm timelines. I don’t know if he was trying to trip us up because a few times he would say, “So, you knew each other approximately X years before the wedding” when it was actually less time. In these instances, we confirmed the correct timelines, even if it was approximate. This was all fairly conversational...we joked around a few times, and OH did smile and laugh a bit. After that conversation wrapped up, OH asked what I had brought to the interview. First, I gave him my sealed medical exam, which hadn’t been submitted with my original petition. At no point did he explicitly ask for it, so if you’re bringing it to the interview, don’t forget to hand it over! I had also completed a new affidavit of support with evidence since we had filed a joint tax return since AOS. He did not take the actual completed forms, but kept all the evidence (copies of husband’s W2s + 1099s, 2 months worth of pay stubs, tax transcript, letter from employer, etc.) He asked for originals of the W2s, which was pretty much the only thing I DIDN’T bring, but he said it wasn’t a big deal. I saw so many questions on here as to whether you need to bring an updated affidavit to the interview -- I imagine if it had been a more significant change like a job move, it would have been necessary, but clearly, as long as you can prove the income you have and it’s not changing anytime soon or dipping below the required threshold, you should be fine. Below is the new bona fide marriage evidence we provided. I had all of this listed in order on a “table of contents” on top of the package, and plopped the whole thing down on the desk when OH asked for it. I also had a separate section of my folder with all the originals of everything listed. OH flipped through all of it and asked questions as necessary, then added it to my file. -Copies of our last wills and testaments (OH asked to see originals) -Copies of Power of Attorney forms (OH asked to see originals) -Copies of Health Care Proxy forms (OH asked to see originals) -Updated statements from husband’s bank account (from AOS filing until most recent available) highlighting monthly transactions from me to husband’s checking for rent/expenses and both names on joint savings account -Copy of 2018 IRS tax transcript for joint return and photocopy of the return check with both our names -Copy of page from husband’s retirement account correspondence listing me as his trusted contact -Copy of my proof of coverage statements from husband’s health and dental insurance -Copy of letter from benefits department at husband’s job, confirming my insurance coverage -Copy of our medical and dental insurance cards listing both our names (OH asked us to show our physical cards, which we had in our wallets) -Copy of my insurance claim summary showing husband as plan enrollee and me as patient -10 new photos (from AOS filing until today) of us with friends/family, with captions (OH asked me to identify each individual in a group photo of our families together, commented on a few photos and confirmed where they were taken/what the event was) -Copy of Airbnb reservation/trip itinerary made by me for a recent trip with his family -Copy of Airbnb reservation/trip itinerary made by my mom listing us as guests for Memorial Day trip I also took out originals of birth certificates, marriage certificate, etc. from the original petition in case he needed them, but he said he didn’t. These were listed on the interview notice, so definitely still bring them just in case! Better to be over-prepared, in my opinion. Below is what we originally submitted as bona fide marriage evidence for the I-130 back in December. I had just about all the originals of these in my folder, but he didn’t refer to any of it except the driver’s license. -Copy of reciprocal will/health care proxy/power of attorney application through husband’s job (showing husband naming me as intended beneficiary/executor and vice versa) -Copy of paperwork to add husband to my 401(k) account -Copy of letter confirming my married name change on 401(k) account -Statements from joint savings account (six months worth, highlighting both names on account) -Screenshots of payments made from me to my husband via our banking app over the last 2 years -Copy of change of address forms from USCIS/DMV/IRS from when I moved in with my husband -Copies of our NYS driver’s licenses with the same address -21 photos of us together and with friends/family (covered early relationship, wedding, right up until we filed) Given that I’ve been living and working in the States for a few years, we certainly had the advantage of lots of evidence/financial commingling on our side that many couples who are newly arrived won’t have. But it was clear to me that it’s the quality of evidence, not quantity that counts. As long as the evidence really shows that your lives are intertwined (or working towards that), and your stories match the evidence, you should be fine. After going through the new evidence, OH went through the I-485 inadmissibility questions one by one, checking them off as he went. He told us then that he had no further questions for us, and that our case would be put into review, and printed a letter/receipt for me stating this. OH explained that they have an obligation to provide a verdict within 120 days, and that we could inquire with USCIS after 90 days. He asked if we had any upcoming travel, and I mentioned that we were planning to travel to Canada over Memorial Day weekend (three days later). He asked if my EAD/AP was a combo card, and then confirmed that I was able to travel and return on AP while awaiting a decision. He had us follow him to the copy machine where he photocopied my husband’s driver’s license and asked us if we had plans for the rest of the day (mostly because we’d been waiting there so long!). Luckily, my husband took the whole day off and my boss let me take a half day. Once he finished making the copy, OH walked us out of the office area and out into the hallway. All in all, I was pleasantly surprised by the whole interview experience. Officer Hernandez was very friendly, but was still professional and explained every step of the process as we went through it. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting so many casual questions about our relationship, but it’s clear that this is where real couples can shine...when they can recollect moments they've shared, can easily talk about life together/at home, etc. After the Interview After reading so many stories of instant/on-the-spot approvals, I was a bit dejected at not getting confirmation right away, so it was nice to see that other filers on here were put into review as well to know I wasn’t alone! Don’t know if the long weekend had anything to do with the slower approvals or if a week delay is pretty standard. Today, on 5/29/19, I got the “New card in production” update on my case tracker for the I-485, 8 days after our interview and 177 days from the date my AOS package was accepted. Card should be in the mail soon and I’ll update my timeline once it’s in hand!! My TN work status only came up when he asked if I was still with the same employer at the beginning of the interview, which I am. At the end of the interview, OH didn’t take my paper TN I-94 out of my passport, despite it being essentially invalidated by my EAD. I did travel back to Canada over the Memorial Day weekend, but didn’t think to surrender my I-94 to the Canadian official when I crossed (as it tells you to on the back of the paper), which I worried was a big no-no. But it all turned out okay: when I crossed back into the US on AP, I got sent into secondary, waited about 20 minutes, then had a CBP officer return my passport with a new, single-entry I-94 stamped for Advance Parole (he also stamped my actual passport). I was fingerprinted, had my photo taken, and we were on our way. Hope this is helpful to someone out there! VJ has been an amazing source for me throughout this process...not just for information/questions, but for solidarity with others also in the trenches and reassurance that we're all in it together. Now off to start assembling my massive ROC evidence list for my next go-around with USCIS in 2 years minus 90 days
  14. I submitted photo evidence with my I-130 during AOS (along with other, stronger bonafide marriage evidence like financial/insurance documents). If you want to do so, don't just put the photos in a bag. If you are working from digital photos, copy them into a Word document, putting 2-3 to a page. Then, either type up captions underneath the photos saying when/where the photo was taken and who was in it, or print the pages out and neatly hand-write the captions. If you have print outs of photos, you can make scans/color copies of them and do the same thing. Make sure your print-outs are clear and the writing legible. To be safe, I printed my photo documents at Staples on high quality paper at the highest resolution possible. When it came time for my interview, I brought new photos which were screenshots from my iPhone (includes the date/location/time of the photo) with additional information under the captions. The officer had me talk about some of the people in the photos and identify family members from both sides. If you provide photos with your application or at the interview, don't just have them be with you and your spouse. A mix of photos of the two of you, as well as photos of you with one another's families holds a bit more weight. But as others have said, photos will not have a huge bearing on your application, and other more concrete forms of life co-mingling will serve you better overall.
  15. Sounds like it went well, @lms! Honestly, this sounds almost exactly like our interview on Tuesday, down to the long wait to be seen! I also brought an updated affidavit since we'd filed a joint return since AOS filing, but he didn't take the form, only the accompanying evidence. We got put into review and got a paper receipt from the officer with the same 120 day window. I don't think I'd be worried about it if we weren't planning on traveling to Canada this weekend for Memorial Day...ugh. The officer said we'd be safe to travel on AP, but part of me is nervous traveling before there's even an official decision! Fingers crossed for a status update soon (for both of us!)
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