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About JOL

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Immigration Info

  • Immigration Status
    K-3 Visa
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    Nebraska Service Center
  • Local Office
    San Antonio TX
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  1. Sounds like you're likely to have an interview date before Thanksgiving, but getting our passport back by then could be iffy. Either way, there is no point canceling the tickets if they cannot be refunded anyway; maybe you can try scalping them (legal in the US as long as sold for face value, but I do not know the UK law.) Until you call the embassy it is really a gray area. Good luck on your date and travels. Could be worse: You could have a trip like the Baltimore Ravens did.
  2. No problem, but you are welcome and encouraged to verify it all with the US embassy there, if only because procedures vary by embassy and even WITHIN a given embassy: The US embassy in Sweden requires Swedish residents to register with a courier service that returns their passport and delivers their PoE packet, but uses regular mail to do the same thing for Danes and Norwegians (unsure if that is better or worse.) The instructions included with our interview notification said it can take up to SIXTY DAYS to get the PoE packet and passport from them, but my wife says she has seen many people saying it only took a week or two, so we are crossing our fingers they can be here by Thanksgiving (though waiting til mid-November to book tickets will make it more expensive; OTOH, since Turkey Day is the semi-official start of the US holiday season flights will only get MORE expensive from then until after New Years.) But, and again I hate to be the bearer of bad news, it is theoretically possible neither you nor she will get to the States by Christmas, much less Thanksgiving. Call your embassy, because I do not pretend to know everything or be infallible, and they assuredly know more and more reliably regardless. They may even be able to tell you your interview date already (since they are the ones who assign it anyway: You should be done with the NVC now.) Of course, it is Saturday, so you get to wait a couple days before you can reach them (makes me wonder: What happens if a US national overseas needs our local embassy after 5PM and/or on a weekend? Because when you truly NEED your embassy, you rarely have time to wait.)
  3. I believe the short answer is "you will not be allowed on the plane." I hate to say it, but you may need to start at least looking into whether your tickets can be refunded, because I know no way to be sure right now when your interview will occur. Based on our experience and those others reported, I would expect your email to come by the end of next week and your interview to be around the end of the first week of November. However, and once again, I cannot be sure of that, and since 1 November is on Tuesday this year Thanksgiving comes early (specifically, the 23rd, as you may already know) it sounds like your window will be very tight; the sole question there is HOW tight. Very sorry to hear that, but all I can suggest is calling the embassy (I believe it, not the NVC, schedules interviews) daily until/unless you hear something definite about the interview date. For what it's worth, Norwegian Air has dirt cheap ($200-300) direct flights from Heathrow to JFK, though you would need to book a separate flight to from JFK to your ultimate destination (unless it happens to be NYC) and there is one flight daily, arriving in NYC at 8PM (which is why I wind up staying at the airport overnight: There were no flights to Texas before early the next morning.) They have also recently added other direct flights from Heathrow to a few US destinations (Miami and Vegas are the ones I recall, but I think they also do L.A.) Again, sorry to hear it is getting so complicated (and possibly wasteful) for ya'll; hopes and prayers everything works out for the best.
  4. I would double check with the NVC, but one potential wrinkle is that I believe you must surrender your passport at the interview and wait for them to mail it back to you with a visa stamp in it. If you got it back before you left for the US it may not be a problem, but otherwise it is rather difficult to travel internationally without a passport. Also bear in mind that foreign entry to the US is ALWAYS subject to the discretion of USCIS officers at the airport; when I moved back to the States I had an overnight layover at JFK and ran into a Brit who was (attempting to) visit(ing) his US girlfriend and answered their relationship questions slightly differently at the PoE than he had before leaving: They decided he was attempting visa fraud and would be on the first plane back to the UK in the morning; he was not even allowed to leave the airport. I would say that since you have return tickets there should be no problem, but I am sure he he had them too, and it did not matter. Normally I understand they consider things like return tickets as part of the larger issue of whether you have compelling reasons to leave after admission (e.g. a job, family in your country of residence etc.) but since you are already immigrating to the US soon anyway, they could be hard to convince. Good luck either way; it would be a shame to miss Thanksgiving when you are already so close (something I have considered myself.)
  5. Yeah, that does NOT mean you will not still receive a checklist, but does strongly suggest any checklist you do receive will merely require the additional documents be presented by the Beneficiary at the interview, not sent to the NVC to restart the whole 8-11 week review process from the beginning. I say that because they emailed us a checklist after I confirmed our CC by phone, and a few days before they emailed us our interview date and instructions. However, the checklist email REPEATEDLY said to NOT send the additional required documents to the NVC, but provide them to the Beneficiary so she can present them to the consular officer at her interview. And since I sent her a copy of our NVC packet, and that packet actually DOES have the "missing" document (in two different versions, no less) she already has it and no further action is required. All that to say: Just because you got a CC does not guarantee you will not also still get a checklist, but IF you do it should not delay your case as long as your Beneficiary has the requested document at their interview. Congrats to you and David-Liss on the unofficial CCs; I feel a little bad they are making ya'll wait til November for interviews when they scheduled ours for the end of October, but if I understand how they do things ya'll will probably be interviewed at the start of November, so it will still only be a week or two after us, not a whole month. Good luck!
  6. No prob; we have all been there, and I would have been toast if those who went before me had not shared the benefit of their experience. I was TOTALLY lost and second guessing everything; it really helped just to have people who could say, "yes, do that," "no, you do not need to do that" and, most importantly, "you also need to do THIS, even though none of the Homeland Securitys or States instructions anywhere say so." Like the bit about putting the Beneficiarys name and case number at the bottom of each page in case they get separated from the file: I did that and the NVC somehow STILL managed to not find my moms birth certificate despite our including TWO VERSIONS of it in our submission. I cannot say enough good things about the VJ membership; it is almost uniformly polite, sympathetic, informative and accurate. I will not say you will NEVER get false information here, but it is definitely the exception to the rule, and when it does happen it is usually apparent quickly because multiple people post a correction. Probably the best thing to do is to carefully and repeatedly read the FAQs, then just ask lots of questions until the avalanche of information begins making coherent sense. Good luck to you and everyone; here is to all of us enjoying a swift, safe and happy reunion with our respective families.
  7. Sounds like; congrats. As far as emails, I never got one on the CC either, just confirmed by phone: The first email I got was a checklist saying that when my wife goes to her interview she must bring my moms "missing" birth certificate (despite submitting not one but TWO different ones in the NVC packet,) and the next email was the interview notification itself. FYI on that: She is having to renew her vaccinations, because even though she has had all those required, some are >10 years out of date, in which case State requires proof of a current booster shot.
  8. Except professionals must deal with cases far more complex (and often fraught with obstacles) than most of ours, know immigration law thoroughly, not just the particular parts applying to a single case, and deal with dozens of cases simultaneously instead of just one. Plus have a JD. This example does underscore the VJ advice about doublechecking everything even if using a lawyer, who remains a fallible human. However professional, committed and conscientious a lawyer is, s/he is still ultimately doing it for money, not because they share our vested family interest.
  9. Sounds like ya'll are on the same timetable as we are. I am honestly unsure of the precise date of our CC, because when I called the previous Monday we were still in review, and I just happened to check the CEAC on Friday after business hours to see that the message had changed, but it was too late to call them before Monday. All I know for sure is that it was some time between 11 September (when I called and they said it was still in review) and 15 September (when CEAC stopped asking us to submit all the AoS documents.) By the bye, on the subject of the AoS abbreviation: I find it a bit confusing, because "AoS" could stand for either "Affidavit of Support" OR "Adjustment of Status," both of which are big deals in US immigration law. One of the nice things about going the I/CR-1 route rather than K-3 is that, while both are spouse visas, the I/CR-1 visa comes with a green card, so no Adjustment of Status process (with all pursuant forms, fees and delays) is necessary. Meanwhile, my wife has scheduled her medical exam for next Monday, and tells me she has to get all her vaccinations redone because the US State Dept. requires tetanus and diphtheria vaccinations be no more than 10 years out of date, and her last ones were longer ago than that. Just an FYI for those in a similar situation.
  10. Congrats to each and every one of ya'll; sounds like feast or famine. Definitely call and follow up, because I can attest from experience that a CC does not preclude a checklist, but you should be getting interview dates within a week or two: The end is in sight! Big congrats to NAME101 and nicnurse because yeah, that was a lightning fast CC-->interview email as far as I can tell: Our CEAC status changed a week from last Friday, but we just got the interview email yesterday, still faster than I feared. Our CC was 19 July, review began 25 August and our CC was (near as I can tell) 8 September, same as your SD. So if they continue about the same pace you should have ~40 days, give or take a few. I suggest calling around mid-October to see if they have begun reviewing your submission, then calling about once a week in case there are any checklists (heaven forbid) so you can stay out in front of them and hopefully avoid any delays. Your best bet is probably to check VJs NVC FAQ. I could tell you what we sent, but there are likely things that applied to our case but not yours (e.g. household members documentation) or things that apply to your case but not ours (e.g. divorce records, military service records.)
  11. The NVC has changed its relationship status to It's Complicated.... I recommend that, yeah: I called Monday (11 September) and the NVC both confirmed our CC and told me they had forwarded the case to the embassy, which would notify them of the earliest available interview date as well as email both my wife and I 4 weeks before the date of the interview. The NVC emailed us both the very next day, prompting the same reaction: "Wow, we already got our interview date; that was fast—what the do you mean 'checklist'?!" They said we failed to include proof of my moms legal US residence in her financial support documents. This despite the fact we included not only a copy of her birth certificate issued by the state, but a SECOND issued by the county (because apparently counties issued them when she was born:) They were just with the documents establishing her relationship with me as a household member. I actually anticipated this might be a problem, so asked the NVC before we filed if we needed to include duplicate documents in each section requiring them, and they faithfully assured me that as long as the required documents were in the packet SOMEWHERE they would find them. Well, they did NOT, so sent us a checklist instead. The good news is that the email said they could and would go ahead with scheduling our interview and (repeatedly) said to NOT send the "missing" document to the NVC, but to the beneficiary, who must bring it to the interview. We already sent my wife a copy of everything we sent the NVC (just as we previously did with everything we sent the USCIS,) which she received weeks ago, and she has verified that both birth certificates are included, so we do not have to do anything further. The interview is scheduled for 23 October, so hopefully our family is only a couple months from reunion. Point being: Definitely follow up to ensure both you AND the NVC have dotted every "i" and crossed every "t." In fact, I am calling them yet again tomorrow, because the interview email says my wife must bring both an original AND a copy of ALL civil documents, but says further down, in reference to specific civil documents, that they want an original and photocopy of things like our marriage certificate and her birth certificate, but will accept photocopies of things like my birth certificate. So I want to verify that they only require an original and a copy of BENEFICIARY civil documents, and will accept copies of PETITIONER and other civil documents. The email suggests that, but: Better safe than sorry; when we have come so far and are now so close, I do not want to risk any needless avoidable obstacles. Our timeline and spreadsheet entries are updated to the best of my knowledge and ability if anyone wants to compare.
  12. Thanks, and all I can say is yours should be "soon." sssssb had a SD just a single day before mine (so 3 days before yours) yet the NVC only began REVIEWING our submission 3 days before issuing their CC, and notified them of their interview date 5 days ago; we technically don't even have our CC yet. So you should be close, probably a week either way (presuming no checklist, heaven willing) but who knows exactly when...?
  13. Sadly, the Nebraska service center usually takes longer than most others. THEIR next procedure is to review your submission, hopefully find no reason to send you a Request for Further Evidence letter, eventually approve your I-130 and then forward it to the National Visa Center (NVC.) YOUR next procedure (presuming they do not send you an RFE) is technically to complete two online forms, the DS-261 Online Choice of Address and Agent, and the DS-260 Immigrant Visa Electronic Application. However, you cannot access either until/unless the USCIS approves your I-130 and sends it to the NVC, and the NVC then assigns the case number you must enter at their online portal to access the other forms. Once the NVC assigns the case number it will send you a letter with the case and invoice ID numbers for the additional fees you must pay, which should arrive a week or so after your I-130 approval notice from the USCIS. Once you get the I-130 approval notice you can start calling the NVC, (603) 334-0700, to request your case and invoice ID numbers, to avoid the delay of awaiting their snail mail before completing the other forms and paying the other fees. After you complete the DS-261 choice of agent form (it is usually best to just enter the Petitioner as agent unless using a lawyer instead) you can start calling the NVC to complete its review of the DS-261 over the phone, otherwise that process can take up to two weeks. Once the NVC completes review of the DS-261, its website should unlock the payment options for the Affidavit of Support and Immigrant Visa Application, which must be paid electronically from a US bank/credit union account, so make sure you have both an account number and routing number when making those payments. Once the NVC site shows both fees as "PAID" it should unlock the DS-260 Immigrant Visa Electronic Application; it is probably best to have the Beneficiary complete that, because most of the questions pertain to them, not the Petitioner. Any time after the DS-261 unlocks (i.e. once all fees are paid) you can send the NVC your I-864 and all supplementary documents (e.g. all supporting documentary evidence, any I-864a or similar forms, etc.) Right now, preparing that I-864 submission is your ACTUAL next procedure, because you can be doing all that while waiting for the USCIS to review, approve and forward your I-130 petition. The I-130 is all about the Petitioners relationship; the I-864 is all about the Petitioners income, so you need as much verifiable documentary evidence as practical on the Petitioners job (e.g. an employment letter from the company,) wages/salary (e.g. tax returns, W-2s, pay stubs, etc.) bank statements, assets etc. The Petitioners must ALWAYS submit an I-864 with NO EMPTY FIELDS, along with verifiable documentary evidence of all income and assets recorded on the I-864, even if someone else is actually sponsoring the Beneficiary; any co-sponsor must also complete an I-864 and include verifiable documentary evidence of all information on it; any household member assisting the sponsor with meeting the income requirements must also submit an I-864a and include verifiable documentary evidence of both their income/assets AND relationship and domicile with the sponsor. In our case, it took over a month to obtain and assemble everything for the I-864 Affidavit of Support submission, and once the NVC receives that it takes another 8-11 weeks to be approved (presuming they see nothing that prompts them to send you a checklist letter, in which case you must supply the missing documentation and wait another 8-11 weeks.) So I strongly recommend having everything ready to go on that when the USCIS approves your I-130. As for WHEN the USCIS will approve your I-130: We filed at Nebraska in late September 2016 and got approval in late May 2017, but your mileage may vary.
  14. Awesome, thanks for that, and for confirmation. Time to round up all pay stubs I received after submitting the AoS documents; hopefully I can wait a couple weeks to send them to my wife, because the company is giving us a raise effective today, but that will not show up on a pay stub until a week from next Friday. We meet the income requirements as stated, but I prefer as big a cushion as possible to reassure the CO as much as possible.
  15. Just checked visa status at CEAC: Still says application at NVC, but no longer asks for documents supporting AoS etc., instead asks for pre-interview documents. Hopefully that means CC on its way fortnight after review began 25 August, 7 weeks after SD 19 July.