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IsItLekker

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About IsItLekker

  • Rank
    Member
  • Member # 346104
  • Location Denver, CO, USA

Profile Information

  • City
    Denver
  • State
    Colorado

Immigration Info

  • Immigration Status
    IR-1/CR-1 Visa
  • Place benefits filed at
    Potomac Service Center
  • Local Office
    Denver CO
  • Country
    South Africa

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  1. Oh dang, I realize I forgot to update this thread so people will know the maddening drill. I ended up communicating with a Senior Constituent Advocate for my US Representative. She hooked me up with the head of the DMV for the region of Colorado I live in. First, they are well aware of the fact that this issue exists. My perplexed call to them was not the first and it will not be the last. The advocate mentioned that she was trying to garner enough information to be able to push for them to do something about this at the congressional level (other states have similar issues), due to the fact the requirements are discriminatory and unnecessarily burdensome to women (as women are usually the ones to change their family name after marriage). It turns out there is really only one quick legal channel to change your name on your driver's license in the state of Colorado if you were married abroad. I confirmed this both with the representative's office and the head of the DMV. You must go in to a local county office (does NOT have to be the county you live in) and you have to set an appointment to get a marriage license. In our case, we brought our foreign marriage certificate and it was noted in the system at the time we applied for the new license that we had been married abroad and the date of that marriage. Apparently, it is totally legal to remarry the same person. We signed the new license in front of the issuing admin and were issued a new marriage certificate from the county. The whole process took less than half an hour. They also issued a couple of certified copies of the marriage certificate at the same time (you want these... they are cheaper if you get them at the same time). When you go to the DMV you can take the actual certificate or the certified copy with your social security card to the DMV. Apparently this is enough for the name change. Federal law regulating the issuance of "real ID" driver's licenses are responsible for this giant pain in the behind. As of when I spoke with these offices, there was no active plan to improve the process. Hopefully, this will help you if you are trying to get your name changed in Colorado. P.S. If you wait for your passport, you can use it to change your name without all this nonsense, however, I only received my passport with my legal name a few weeks ago due to the outrageous backlog. The whole name change process has been a 1 out of 10, do not recommend.
  2. Hi guys! Monthly update time for April 2021! For the entirety of April, 73 VJ member petitions have been approved by the USCIS across all the centers (by timeline). Approximately 3 cases a day (work day) by the organization as a whole. Of those 73 petitions approved, 24 of them were at Potomac - about 1 petition a day. The first petition of the month was approved on the 2nd of April. The latest NOA1 approved this month was February 1st of 2021, due to exceptional circumstances. The latest NOA1 approved without expedite or I-129f was likely around June 29, 2020. The current estimated range for application completion on the USCIS website is between 13 - 16.5 months from your PD. If you filed before December 26th, 2019, and you still have not received any notifications about your case, you should call USCIS and find out what is going on. This is especially true given the instability in processing times we've been experiencing at this particular center. Get any issues resolved as quickly as possible. Same goes for RFEs. If you haven't received a response to your RFE within 60 days, you should be contacting them. We are a small center (only 2,252 petitions recorded) and right now our daily rate of approvals is pretty slow. Keep in mind, some filers do not have their timelines set up and so their data is not contributed to the pool, so it may be even more effective than my numbers show here. Please encourage any and all Potomac filers in the forums to go ahead and set them up so we can start to get more accurate readings on our timelines. Congratulations to all of you who were approved this month! We hope things continue to go favorably for our fellow filers and that many more will receive good news over the next month!
  3. Hi guys! Monthly update time for April 2021! For the entirety of April, 73 VJ member petitions have been approved by the USCIS across all the centers (by timeline). Approximately 3 cases a day (work day) by the organization as a whole. Of those 73 petitions approved, 24 of them were at Potomac - about 1 petition a day. The first petition of the month was approved on the 2nd of April. The latest NOA1 approved this month was February 1st of 2021, due to exceptional circumstances. The latest NOA1 approved without expedite or I-129f was likely around June 29, 2020. The current estimated range for application completion on the USCIS website is between 13 - 16.5 months from your PD. If you filed before December 26th, 2019, and you still have not received any notifications about your case, you should call USCIS and find out what is going on. This is especially true given the instability in processing times we've been experiencing at this particular center. Get any issues resolved as quickly as possible. Same goes for RFEs. If you haven't received a response to your RFE within 60 days, you should be contacting them. We are a small center (only 2,252 petitions recorded) and right now our daily rate of approvals is pretty slow. Keep in mind, some filers do not have their timelines set up and so their data is not contributed to the pool, so it may be even more effective than my numbers show here. Please encourage any and all Potomac filers in the forums to go ahead and set them up so we can start to get more accurate readings on our timelines. Congratulations to all of you who were approved this month! We hope things continue to go favorably for our fellow filers and that many more will receive good news over the next month!
  4. Thank you so much for all of the replies you guys! I really appreciate everyone taking the time to answer. I honestly thought it was just going to fall through the cracks. 😅 So I have continued to reach out, per some of the advice on this thread. Unfortunately, I did not send off to get my passport yet as it required my original marriage certificate and I thought I needed it for the DMV (bummer). If it was a matter of just changing it whenever, I'd go ahead and apply for the passport and deal with the license later, but since my name is already changed federally, I am on a deadline in the state of Colorado to inform them of my name change (within 30 days). That is why I have been in a bit of a panic... that deadline is in less than a week. So far, I have sought 2 avenues proposed here. Remarrying in state and court ordered name change. Remarrying appears to be the fastest method, but I still question the legality of it all. It will officially solemnize our marriage in the state from the date we sign the license, but it supposedly will acknowledge we were previously married. Court ordered name change seems to also be an option, however since it must be performed in the county where I live, I am less than thrilled with this option as they had no idea what to do when I called them. I was told to consult an attorney. Also, I must submit to finger printing and background checks which could taken a few weeks before I can even apply. I contacted the Colorado Attorney General's office and they gave me a canned response about calling my county and asking them for the process to record the marriage (...I have already done this and the result was still rejected by the DMV, probably due to the fact my county has no idea what is going on). However, he did provide me with an email for Vital Records for the state, so I have contacted them to see if they can explain it to me, so that I may in turn explain it to my county clerk and recorder. I've determined the word register, record, and certify mean different things to different people. None of the offices are on the same page here. I'll keep you guys updated if I hear anything else, if for no other reason than that there will be an answer to this clusterf**k for anyone else going through this insane process in the future.
  5. I am in Colorado unfortunately. I seriously had no idea this was even a thing. It wasn't until my second trip to the DMV and a heated argument with the supervisor that I finally went online and found this. https://dmv.colorado.gov/change-your-name-your-credential It clearly states that foreign marriage certificates are not accepted in the state. The frustration for me was that it never even occurred for me to google this specific thing since it has been accepted by all other government agencies. We even had it apostilled by the high court in HK to try and avoid all problems with being able to identify the document. On all the forms and explanations I found for Colorado, it never mentioned foreign certificates being an issue even once. Only this one page. I tried calling local Clerk and Recorders in other counties and nobody seems to know what to do. They all suggested I just file for a marriage license and get married again.
  6. Hi guys! I have no idea if anyone here knows the answer, but I am at a total loss. I have been trying to get my last name changed since my husband immigrated in October. I was able to get my name changed on my Social Security card and my voter registration. I can even get my name changed on my passport. However, when I went to change my name on my driver's license, I was informed that I had to take the marriage certificate to the clerk and recorders office in my county and register my marriage in the US as they couldn't accept my marriage certificate from abroad (Hong Kong). I went and had the marriage certificate recorded by the clerk in my county, and even received a certified copy of the document (noting the marriage). I went back and was told once more that they cannot accept the document. The DMV will not accept the foreign marriage certificate, so... what do I do from here? The US recognizes our marriage, but the state does not. My social security number is no longer tied to the name that is on my photo ID. Do I need to get remarried in the US? Is that even a thing? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
  7. Hi guys! Husband and I completed our visa journey back in October, but I thought I might share this with you as I did on the Potomac 2019 filers group. Hope it helps! Update time for October 2020 - March 2021! For the entirety of this period, 505 VJ member petitions have been approved by the USCIS across all the centers (by timeline). Approximately 4 cases a day (work day) by the organization as a whole. Of those 505 petitions approved, 115 of them were at Potomac - about 1 petition a day. The first petition of October was approved on the 1st. The latest NOA1 approved in March 2021 was July 7th of 2020, potentially due to expedite. The latest NOA1 approved without expedite or I-129f was probably around May 20, 2020. The current estimated range for application completion on the USCIS website is between 12.5 - 16.5 months from your PD. If you filed before December 9th, 2019, and you still have not received any notifications about your case, you should call USCIS and find out what is going on. This is especially true given the instability in processing times we've been experiencing over the past year (yay COVID). Get any issues resolved as quickly as possible. Same goes for RFEs. If you haven't received a response to your RFE within 60 days, you should be contacting them. Potomac is a small center (only 2,224 petitions recorded) and right now the daily rate of approvals is pretty slow. Keep in mind, some filers do not have their timelines set up and so their data is not contributed to the pool, so it may be even more effective than my numbers show here. Please encourage any and all Potomac filers in the forums to go ahead and set them up so we can start to get more accurate readings on your timelines. Congratulations to all of you who were approved over the past 6 months! We hope things continue to go favorably for our fellow filers and that many more will receive good news over the next month! ❤️
  8. Oh my goodness you guys. I am so sorry I have been MIA. I just came back to check in and found out what has been happening with Potomac center. I've been digging to make up for all the time that was missed since my last report, so hopefully this will help. Update time for October 2020 - March 2021! For the entirety of this period, 505 VJ member petitions have been approved by the USCIS across all the centers (by timeline). Approximately 4 cases a day (work day) by the organization as a whole. Of those 505 petitions approved, 115 of them were at Potomac - about 1 petition a day. The first petition of October was approved on the 1st. The latest NOA1 approved in March 2021 was July 7th of 2020, potentially due to expedite. The latest NOA1 approved without expedite or I-129f was probably around May 20, 2020. The current estimated range for application completion on the USCIS website is between 12.5 - 16.5 months from your PD. If you filed before December 9th, 2019, and you still have not received any notifications about your case, you should call USCIS and find out what is going on. This is especially true given the instability in processing times we've been experiencing over the past year (yay COVID). Get any issues resolved as quickly as possible. Same goes for RFEs. If you haven't received a response to your RFE within 60 days, you should be contacting them. Potomac is a small center (only 2,224 petitions recorded) and right now the daily rate of approvals is pretty slow. Keep in mind, some filers do not have their timelines set up and so their data is not contributed to the pool, so it may be even more effective than my numbers show here. Please encourage any and all Potomac filers in the forums to go ahead and set them up so we can start to get more accurate readings on your timelines. Congratulations to all of you who were approved over the past 6 months! We hope things continue to go favorably for our fellow filers and that many more will receive good news over the next month!
  9. No that is not normal! 😮 Have you tried to call and speak to someone at USCIS?
  10. We don't have enough South Africans posting on here to be able to find any information atm. However, if you join our Facebook group, it keeps growing and as people find out new things, they keep us all updated. With the consulate being closed due to COVID, it will take some time before they are able to open again. It depends on the level of lockdown for their area and SA as a whole. Back in July I think it was, the department of state issued guidelines for how and when consulates could reopen/resume consular services according to local conditions.
  11. Birth certificates don't expire. Police certificates are valid for one year.
  12. I didn't see a group for this so I thought I would start one. Since we are included on the ban exclusion list atm, the only thing holding up the line for IR1/CR1 visas is on the South African side. It appears that Cape Town consulate (non-immigrant only) has reopened, and Durban's consulate (non-immigrant only) will be reopening in August. We have contacted Johannesburg's consulate and they are still closed for all consular services, however they told us they will be looking at the cases which are exceptions under the ban in the next few weeks. We also reached out to the doctor who provides the medical checks for the consulate in Johannesburg and they have a list of people they have promised to contact as soon as they receive word from the US Consulate about opening/resuming immigration interviews. According to the understanding of the recent court ruling, the lockdown is basically legally over. However, as we know, the government could decide to come up with a new lockdown requirement at any time. If you guys hear any news about the level of lockdown for Gauteng, Johannesburg specifically, please post the info here. The other big hurdle will be finding ways out of SA with the severe travel restrictions in place. Quite a few people have bought tickets on different airlines just to have them cancelled, so if anyone knows anything about the status of OR Tambo, it would also be greatly appreciated. There have not been any notifications of repatriation flights for US Citizens for awhile, so we may have to wait until commercial flights become available once more. Just know you are not alone and we are all in this together!
  13. Hi guys! Thought I would start a thread for this since I didn't see it anywhere else. This is for all Potomac filers of the I-130 in 2019. I noticed that the last person to get approved had a NOA1 date of July 1st and there hasn't been another one since the beginning of the month. My projection for receiving approval had pegged the date between the end of January and the beginning of February, with an email estimate of February 5th. However, today the projection suddenly changed to between June and September of 2020 - a six month leap. I don't understand what could cause this so suddenly as the data hasn't really changed at all over the past couple of weeks. Any ideas? Has this happened to anyone else?
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