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About hopeJourney

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  • Location Chicago, IL, USA

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  1. To my knowledge, the Department of State doesn't provide wait times for interviews (nor does any other government agency). The only thing they release is the number and type of visas issued each month by consulate or place of birth.
  2. Me (USC) and my wife (Turkish national) were married in the U.S. At the NVC stage, when uploading civil documents, is our US marriage certificate sufficient? Or do we also need the Turkish version too (we registered our marriage in Turkey after our U.S. marriage)? I ask because on the civil documents page for Turkey (link below), in the "Marriage, Divorce Certificates" it only has information for the Turkish version. I cannot find anywhere online that says if you were married in the U.S., then you only need the U.S. marriage certificate and not the foreign one. It makes sense to me that a U.S. marriage certificate is sufficient, but wanted to hear from the community. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/Visa-Reciprocity-and-Civil-Documents-by-Country/Turkey.html
  3. We are interested in the wait time too in Ankara for IR1/CR1 visas for Turkish citizens.
  4. I am happy to report that our I-130 was approved. IR-1 - Spouse or US citizen Submitted Online August 27, 2021 NOA1 - August 27, 2021 Active Review 1 - February 21, 2022 Active Review 2 - June 2, 2022 NOA2 - June 2, 2022 NOA1 was from the Texas Service Center but was transferred to the Vermont Service Center the day of submission (I found this out via Emma). I am hoping my fellow August 2021 filers are next!
  5. You are probably just spinning your wheels. They go by what is posted on the website now, and according to that, you have to wait. I am in the Vermont Service Center and I keep watching the time increase; it is frustrating. Based on your NOA1, you are right at the median time of case processing across the centers (9.6 months). Hopefully your case gets approved soon. Also, I personally haven't seen anyone get any useful information from making case inquires besides standard language like "we are performing required background checks." If someone has examples of useful responses from case inquires, I would like to seem them. Maybe if a case if far outside the normal processing time a person could get useful information, but since your case is still within a "reasonable" timeframe, I don't think the information will be useful.
  6. The 80% statistic applies to forms that use the "process time" method, which the I-130 and some other forms do not use (they use the "cycle time" method). I wrote about this issue with an example in this post: Understanding USCIS I-130 processing times - IR-1 / CR-1 Spouse Visa Case Filing and Progress Reports - VisaJourney. You can also read about the process times on the USCIS website Case Processing Times (uscis.gov). They should have been more careful with their language on the listening session.
  7. The 8.5 months quoted on the processing times pages doesn't mean all cases will be processed in 8.5 months. I explain what it means in this post: Understanding USCIS I-130 processing times - IR-1 / CR-1 Spouse Visa Case Filing and Progress Reports - VisaJourney After considering the processing times, I think the best metric is what is reported on the USCIS Historical Processing Times page. Currently, for I-130 for Immediate Relatives, the median time for approval across all service centers is 9.5 months (for Fiscal Year 2022). I like this metric because USCIS shifts cases around to balance the workload, and this will capture that. It also uses the "processing time" methodology rather than the "cycle time" methodology, which I think is better (and explained in my linked post). I think the way they present the processing time data isn't great and leaves more questions than answers. Like you, I am frustrated at how long it takes, but the backlog is insane. As of Dec 31, 2021, there were 308,775 pending IR1/CR1 cases across all service centers. From Oct 1-Dec 31, 2021, they processed 61,861 cases (about 20,620 per month). So even if they completely stopped accepting new cases, it would take them 15-months to process the cases they currently have. And this is only for IR1/CR1. It is considerably more when you add the other categories. It is even worse for those who are applying today because the backlog is the highest it has been since at least Dec 2018 (and probably longer but I don't track it before 2018). For perspective, there were 223,249 pending cases on Dec 31, 2018 (which is 32% lower than Dec 31, 2021). In other words, the backlog has grown by 32% over 3 years. Luckily the Biden administration is giving USCIS more funding and committed to reducing the backlog. We would be in a much worse situation if Trump got 4 more years, or thinking ahead, if a different conservative administration gets elected in 2024. Because after the IR-1 process, most beneficiaries will apply for citizenship, which is also extremely backlogged. Elections have consequences and at least for me, I will vote for candidates who are committed to fixing the US immigration system, because it is broken. We deserve better.
  8. Currently, the median time for an I-130 for an immediate relative is 9.5 months (Historic Processing Times (uscis.gov)). That means 50 percent of cases are processed within 9.5 months. Then it takes 1-8 weeks for USCIS to send the case to NVC. Once NVC receives the case, you can expect about 90 days for them to process everything (NVC Timeframes (state.gov)). Then it totally depends on at which consulate you will do the interview. If you are in a backlogged consulate in countries like Mexico, India, and Pakistan, I've heard of waits of 9-12 months. At other consulates, it is as short as within one month. On here and Facebook you can usually find groups that have information on your specific consulate's wait time. Here is a reasonable time frame: 10-12 months for I-130 approval (12 months might be more reasonable depending on service center) 1 month for NVC to receive case 3 months for NVC to process case 4 months to schedule interview (note again there is much variation based on consulate) Total: 18-20 months Also note that if you get a request for evidence (RFE) at the USCIS or NVC stage, it can add 3 months. It is critical you submit everything correctly. Read the directions carefully and have someone double-check.
  9. There are a few and some are specific to service centers. Try searching for "I-130 filers Immigration Visa Group" or "I-130 Texas service centre." There is overlap in posts between VJ and FB, so just keep that in mind. It can seem like more are being approved than actually are because of cross-posting (which is a good thing to reach more people). I also track the VJ service center tracker and I find that really helpful. For example USCIS Monthly Filers & Approvals (Igor's List) (visajourney.com).
  10. Yes, it seems they have started to approve some cases with NOAs in early August 2021. I have seen 5-6 over the last week here and on Facebook. Keep in mind there were over 268,000 thousand pending cases in Jul-Aug 2021, so seeing a handful of August filers getting approved doesn't mean ours will soon, but it is nonetheless a good sign.
  11. Search for "I-130 filers Immigration Visa Group" on Facebook. That is one and there are others once you start searching. Emma is the automated helper bot on the USCIS website. Top right corner of webpage. Once you scroll down you will see a pic of a woman and it says "Need Help? Ask Emma >".
  12. As far as I understand, you cannot change your service center. Otherwise, everyone would request to transfer their case to the quickest center. I have read other reports of Emma agents suggest writing a letter, however, I haven't seen that it actually works. If you have a strong and compelling humanitarian reason, you can request an expedite your petition at the I-130 stage, but I think they rarely grant it. More information on how to expedite a petition can be found here How to Make an Expedite Request | USCIS.
  13. The processing times reported by USCIS for the I-130 should not be interpreted as the average time it takes to process a case. The reported times used a "cycle time methodology" which you can read about here: Case Processing Times (uscis.gov). Basically, you pick reference month and see how many cases are pending. Then you calculate how many previous months of cases it takes to match the reference month's pending cases. USCIS doesn't release how many cases they receive each month for the I-130, but they do release quarterly cases (located here Immigration and Citizenship Data | USCIS). Let's work through a real example in the Texas Service Center. In Jul-Sep 2021, Texas had 69,088 pending I-130 IR1/CR1 cases. In Apr-Jun 2021, they received 21,888 In Jan-Mar 2021, they received 18,737 In Oct-Dec 2020, they received 19,653 21,888 + 18,737 + 19,653 = 60,278. So it takes roughly 9-months (Oct 2020-Jun 2021) of receipts to equal the number of pending cases for Jul-Sep 2021. In Aug 2021, the wait time for Texas was 9.0 - 11.5 months, which is exactly what you would expect given the data USCIS provides. I understand this to mean that if you applied in Oct-Dec 2020, you should expect your case to have been processed by Jul-Sep 2021. I view this as an imperfect methodology but it likely gets you in the ballpark. I think the major issue with this method is it doesn't account for complex cases that take longer to process. Those cases will sit, but USCIS expects even those cases will be processed by the upper limit of the range. Only if a case is outside of that range can a person inquire about their case. You can imagine that if a service center receives a growing number of cases but their ability to process those cases stays the same, it will quickly grow the timeline for processing. Conversely, if they receive fewer cases or expand their ability to process cases, the time will lower. The better methodology many USCIS forms use is the "Processing Time Methodology." They first calculate the amount of time it took to make a judgement on every case (e.g., approve, deny) in the last 6-months for a given form. Then they take the median of that number (50th percentile). That is the lower range. They also calculate the 93rd percentile and that is the upper range. If the lower-upper range was 9-15 months, that means that 50% of cases were processed within 9 months or less and 93% of cases were processed within 15 months or less. Interestingly, they do use this methodology for the historical processing times, but that data is provided overall for all service centers and for immediate relatives only. That information can be found here: Historic Processing Times (uscis.gov) The thing I don't understand and I haven't seen addressed elsewhere is why some cases seemingly get processed much faster. Using the Texas Service Center above, you would expect non-complex cases submitted in Oct-Dec 2020 would get processed before Jan-Jun 2021 cases, but we have all seen examples of when that doesn't happen. Although, in general, they do seem to process them in a first in, first out process.
  14. I haven't got Actively Reviewing or any other movement. NOA1 - Aug 27th at the Vermont Service Center.
  15. Starting a thread for I-130 August 2021 filers. Here is our timeline: Priority Date (NOA1): August 27, 2021 Service Center: Vermont (transferred from Texas) My NOA1 letter has Texas as my service center. A couple weeks after filing, I used Ask Emma which service center I was at and they said Vermont. Apparently it was transferred on Aug 27, which is the same day my NOA1 was sent. I am not sure why they would put Texas on the NOA1 receipt and they immediately transfer it to Vermont. The agent said cases are transferred for efficiency and workload balance.
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