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About traveler16

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  1. You should contact your local department of social services, and pursue getting Medicaid for them (as well as SNAP and TANF). U4U beneficiaries are almost always eligible for these (although it may take sustained efforts on your part to break through layers of people who don't know or don't go outside their mental box). There is no reason it can't be resolved quickly and favorably. If Medicaid (for some reason that I can't imagine) is denied, you can then pursue coverage through the health insurance Marketplace (AKA Obamacare). https://www.healthcare.gov/get-coverage/
  2. I bought the plane tickets, and in the case of the child (with old and new passports), the tickets were bought under the old passport. I called the airlines ahead of time (Lufthansa and United) to enter the Travel Auth Number into their system, just to try to smooth everything in every possible way. Experience showed me that it took several tries to get a reliable person on the other end, regarding Lufthansa. The new passport was never mentioned or shown.
  3. I agree completely! I was anxious at all stages of their travel, and tried to imagine and prepare them for every possible contingency. Luckily, nothing particularly challenging materialized.
  4. Kostyaby, So, let me tell you that at least in our case, under the exact same circumstances you identified (I think), my U4U beneficiaries processed last Monday through Washington Dulles without any difficulty. Specifically, a mother traveled with her minor child. The minor child had that same nominally expired passport (per ID page), but with the passport extension stamp (provided by Ukrainian authorities) placed on an interior page, with handwritten extension until 2024. This "old" passport number was also listed on the U4U travel authorization letter. But after the travel authorization letter was issued, she received a surprise new Ukrainian passport with a new passport number. So, what my beneficiary did, was simply not show this new passport to anyone, anywhere. Instead, the mother showed the child's old passport with the extension stamp at every step. She was prepared to drag out the new passport in extremis... but such a need never arose. YMMV
  5. I recommend you call USCIS and immediately ask for Tier 2 assistance. I will bet money that their system will mindlessly reject (or more likely, put into some kind of semi-permanent limbo) the application for the 2 month old baby, just because he has a Russian passport. It will most likely take senior USCIS intervention for any possible exceptions to the norm in this regard. That's just my guess, for what it may be worth.
  6. Haha, well, my subjective perception of their "norms" is that their being off by a day or two from the 24 hour timeline advisory they gave you, isn't going to be considered by them to be any kind of severe breaking of their commitment. But that's just me. And as for me, even now I'm waiting to see when/whether I'll get my requested urgent call back from the Tier 2 person. I'm at 56 hours and counting, waiting for mine (I stopped the clock on Friday at 7 pm). We'll see if I get it Monday morning.
  7. Hi Shakezilla, So, my experience (including both personal and from what I've read here) is: If everything you do is "normal" within their process (for example, no messages to them from your Inbox), that USCIC will meet their timelines or come very close to them. (But, I had to correct a passport number, and I strictly followed their instructions on how to send a message requesting to correct a passport number... and they ignored it for 5 weeks.) Now, to answer your questions: Q1. I'd recommend giving them at least a few more days. Since this sounds "routine" and within the norm. Let the weekend pass and let it get into the middle of next week. Q2. Waiting for the 2nd email (to the beneficiary) is (practically speaking) the only option. I don't know whether they (as foreigners) are able to create an account. But to be linked with you as the beneficiary, their account will have to be created on the email you listed within your sponsor's half of the I-134. I suspect a different email address won't work (i.e., to make that linkage to your sponsorship application). And if they jump the gun to create the account within that listed email address, but without waiting for the USCIS email, it *might* just gum up the works. If for whatever reason, you eventually call them, the tier one person that you'll eventually get (and I got one within 10-15 minutes - not so bad, as these things go), will likely simply give you the standard answer ("wait, be patient, it's within permissible timelines, give it time....") But if/when you eventually get further concerned, then ask to speak to a Tier 2 officer based on urgency. That will get you a promise to expect a callback from the USCIS Tier 2 within 72 hours (working hours, I certainly presume, within 7 - 7?) And that timeline also doesn't always seem to be met. (But be sure to carry your phone everywhere. And program your phone to receive USCIS numbers as a known "contact", or you'll likely experience the infamous "they ring once and then it drops". I've known those USCIS numbers to program, to be 202-838-2104 and 202-838-2200)
  8. By the way, my 2 sponsorees' U4U applications were approved, dated July 5. Apparently a few hours after being submitted on the late afternoon of July 5. (Received the Travel Authorization Documents.) But that great news comes with a process caveat. We waited 3+ weeks in June for any USCIS reply (no reply ever came) to the message we sent through the portal's Inbox/Message Center. IAW stated USCIS instructions in a big bold call out box: if there was a need to correct a passport number, to send USCIS a message and then wait for a reply. Well, in the end, after 3+ weeks I gave up on waiting (egged on in part by reports of similar lags on this VJ message board). (I could do this, because the old Ukr passport number was still valid. It happened that a new Ukr passport was awarded by Ukr after the date that the sponsor's part of the I-134 was submitted). So we moved past the dire warning on the site that this (submitting prior to receiving the message reply) would cause delays in (or put at risk) the application process. Should have been less patient and done this weeks ago, it seems. But all's well that ends well (or is hopefully on track to end well!)
  9. Hi, what a great and useful thread! So, a topic I have not seen so far: Has anyone had experience with shipping parcels or goods from their home in Ukraine to the USA, and if so, what ways do you recommend? Thank you!
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