July 2001 - "Stumbled" across each other, online
Talked every day after that via the web and on the phone,.
Sept 2001 - Met for the first time, in the US (First flight out of Heathrow after Sept 11th – 500 seater jet, 25 passengers! – Kinda crazy blind date!!!)
November 2001 - G. visited C. in US, again.
December 2001 – C. Proposed on-line - "How romantic!!!" lol
January 2002 - C. came to the UK to meet the rest of G’s family.
Feb 2002 - Filed I-129F
March 20th 2002 - NOA received
April 12th 2002 - Petition Approved
July 12th 2002 - Interview in London for G. and S.
July 15th 2002 - Flew to the US
July 26th 2002 – MARRIED!!
August, 2002 - Filed for AOS, EAD and AP for G. and S. -
Applied for SSN same day.
September 2002 - Received EAD and AP for G and S.
September 2002 - G. started work - Daughter off to school – hated it!
April 24th 2003 - Son M. exercised "Follow to Join" rights and entered the US.
May 7th 2003 - AOS interview for both G and S.
G. received Approval that day.
S. was still pending due to name check by the FBI (14 years old)
25th May 03 - Filed for AOS for M.
WAITING, WAITING, WAITING - NOTHING HAPPENING!
July 15th 2003 - G's Green Card arrived - (Conditional 2 Year)
April 14th 2004 - AOS interview for M. No indication that day of approval or denial???? Odd! “This interview is now concluded” is all she said at end of interview.
July 27th 2004 - received AOS Approval Notice for S. (after several visits to DC Office), phone calls to the FBI, further visits to the DC Office.
August 2004 -S. received 10 years Green Card – no conditions.
August 04 , 2004 - Still no decision received on M’s AOS application - no communication from USCIS. Made appointment to see caseworker. Caseworker told us "there is a problem - M. has possibly aged-out and may be deported – leave it with me, will see if there is anything I can do". She retired a few weeks later!!! Nothing ever done on his file regarding AOS.
August 2004 - Contacted Lawyer, Member of Congress (Virginia and W. Virginia – after we moved house), Ombudsmen, Senators, USCIS District Director, Every Man and His Dog, for help. No-one seems to be able to do anything!!!
Child Status Protection Act does not cover K-2’s, as per USCIS memo.
September 2004 - M. had to apply for new EAD (1 year expired) as no news on AOS.
September 2004 – Lawyer hand delivered letter to District Director, DC Office, no reply ever received.
January 05 – Lawyer sent additional letter - requested appointment with District Director, along with another lawyer with similar case. No reply ever received.
January 05 - Received another 1 year EAD in (Disruption in work during processing time - 4 months)
March 2005 – Family went with lawyer to see Congress-woman. Spoke with her legal aid as she was in House voting. Explained situation – he agreed, CSPA being misinterpreted by USCIS. Congress’ intention was to enact in order to keep families together due to USCIS’ processing delays. “We’ll get back to you”. Nothing heard since!
March 9th 2005 - Applied for Removal of Conditions for G.
April 2005 – Lawyer sent another letter to District Director – regarding changes in the CSPA, requesting appointment – still no reply!!!
June 05 - NOA received, extending Conditional GC for 1 year, informing it will take 1 year to process removal of conditions!
JULY 2005 - Still nothing on M’s AOS. Family in limbo – awaiting some kind of decision on M. so we can figure out what to do next, to keep family together.
July 20th 2005 - Another case, the same as our son's, was APPROVED in Texas! Contacted lawyer, who said it would make no difference to our son's case!! Seriously considering going to the media.
October 05 - Still no decision. Question arises now whether K-2's actually Age-Out at all. Nobody can seem to point to any statute that says they need to adjust by the age of 21, just that they have to apply for adjustment and that the K-1 parent has met the conditions of their visa., ie married within the 90 days. Anyone know??????
October 05 - Go to Washington USCIS to make inquiries as to son's application. Are told at the counter, after waiting three hours, that they are NOT PREPARED TO DISCUSS it with us!!! WTF! His reason, my son's fingerprints had expired. Okay, we'll get them re-done, but can you tell us what the status of his case is and what is being done with regard to his AOS? Nope! Not until he had had his fingerprints re-done, and not for at least 21 days after they are done. So another INFOPASS performance at a later date!!
We go and get his fingerprints re-done. Had to wait 4 hours in the waiting room. Go home extremely unhappy at the events of the day!
October 9th 05 - apply to renew son's EAD - He's on his THIRD ONE NOW!!
November 12th 05 - Receive letter with appointment to go to PITTSBURG to have his fingerprints done!!!!! The date of the appointment .............25th November 2005............the day after Thanksgiving.
17th November 2005 - Received Notice that Removal of Conditions Application is approved! Now we just have to make an INFOPASS appointment to go to Pittsburgh to get stamp in passport and supply photographs. New card should arrive in the mail sometime in the next 6 months.
Made new INFOPASS appointment for both myself and son to go to Pittsburgh (5.5 hour drive each way!!) to get my conditions removed and inquire as to status of his EAD and whether biometrics appointmenet can be re-scheduled.
21st December 05 - attended Pittsburgh office.
Were told that my son did not need an EAD as he was approved LPR status on the 21st July 2003 !!!!! We explained nobody ever informed us of this. The IO said "It says here on my computer he was issued a Conditional GC - he was approved on the 21st July 2003"!! Told her no card was ever received, no notice ever received, not even a receipt for the application. She said she would look into it, have the file transferred to her office, and see what had to be done to get his GC sent out to him! She would phone us after she has contacted a few other offices!!!
Now we are all just totally confused!
28th December 05 - Pittsburgh IO telephoned!
She said that if we had the receipts and documents, proving that our son APPLIED for AOS prior to his 21st birthday she couldn't see it being a problem - he will not have aged-out! She said a record was made on the 23rd Jan 2004 on the USCIS system, recording my son as a LPR. Asked us to fax certain documents to her and she will get back to us. Praying that she can do something to help - she seems to be the only person at the USCIS that understands what we are saying!
January 03, 2006 - Congressman's office e-mailed to let us know that the Washington DC office is not going to release my son's file to Pittsburgh, even though that is our local office!
Now e-mailing Senator, other congressional office, ombudsman, etc. to see what they can do to get the file released from DC to the correct office i.e Pittsburgh. DC are saying "we started it - we'll finish it!" Never heard anything so ridiculous - it's not in their jurisdiction any more!
Contacted senator's office - they are writing an official request to have the file released to Pittsburgh.
Senator's office replied saying that Washington DC are refusing to transfer the file to Pittsburgh. The Immigration Liaison said she is nervous of contating the person at Washington DC because she was very abrupt last time they spoke about our case!! Isn't that her job?
Pittsburgh e-mailed me saying Washington will not release the file as the application is still processing! If it is mid-process they still have jurisdiction - therefore, the file will never be moved unless DC make some kind of decision. One hasn't been forthcoming in 3 years, I don't hold out a lot of hope they will be making one any time soon. But Pittsburgh did say it was already adjudicated in July 2003, so surely it is not still being processed! I don't get it!
12th January, 2006
Lady from VSC called - it's a bit clearer now! The DC office CANNOT send the file to Pittsburgh, because it is on it's way to VSC to have my conditions removed and my new GC issued. My son's file is attached to mine, presumably because he derives his status from my K-1. Anyway, the woman at VSC said she will take a look at his file and see what is going on. She agreed with me that he does not meet the criteria for age-out! Thank God! Someone, at last, that sees what we have been trying to get across to the DC office for years! The woman at VSC promised to call me back as soon as she has had a chance to go over the file.
1/19/06 Lady from VSC called to say file had been received. She took it to her supervisor and explained situation. Supervisor left a message for someone in DC to call her back on Monday. She agreed with the lady at VSC that my son should have adjusted along with his sister. He is listed on the petition and has met all the criteria to adjust. (He is not an age-out). The next step, she said, was we should receive a letter requesting we make an INFOPASS appointment to complete the I-89 (form used to create green card), when that comes we will know for sure it's all sorted, she said. I do hope so.
26th January 06 -Received notification via the Senator's office that my son has been DENIED. Don't know yet under which section of the INA.
Friday 3rd February 06 - Phyllis Howard, District Director in Washington DC office, along with Debbie Posey, Adjudications Supervisor met with us in the Fairfax USCIS building. They put their case for denial to us and we tried to explain that they are applying laws relating to immigrant petitions to my son's petition, which is a non-immigrant petition. They could not show us where in the INA it states K-2's have to be under 21 at the time of adjustment, only where it applies to I-130 applicants. They said it was "implied"!! My son entered as the derivative beneficiary of a K-1 and did not need to file an I-130, it isn't necessary. Denied under totally the wrong section (203 (d)) which does not apply to K-2's. If it did apply to my son's application he would be protected by the CSPA! They agreed that there was need for clarification and agreed to send the file to the Administrative Appeals Office for a certified decision. Our attorney has to file an MTR and send his argument to DC for them to base their argument! Sorry, nice people, no idea! The sad thing was that Phyllis Howard thought it was funny to offer my husband a job at the USCIS, since he is extremely knowledgeable about the INA and CFR's that apply! I wasn't laughing!
3rd February 06
Asked attorney in California - extremely reputable, been in immigration law for over 30 years - to provide an Argument as to why my son should not be considered an "age-out". Attorney is adamant that K-2's do not "age-out" that there is nothing in statute that requires them to be under 21 at the time of adjudication, only at application. We explain to him that the Argument is to go to Phyllis Howard, direct, as she has placed the file back in "pending". She will look at the attorney's argument and then send it, along with their argument, to the Administrative Appeals Office.
6th March 06
Filed N-400 - apparently if I am a citizen this will put my son in "first preference" catagory and he will be able to stay in the US. I wasn't planning on becoming a citizen but feel I have no choice, if I am to keep my family together here.
10th March -06
NOA received - N-400 in the system.
16th March 06
Recieved letter to go for biometrics in Pittsburgh on the 28th March, 06.
23rd March, 06
Weeks and weeks have passed. We start to worry because we haven't seen anything from the attorney. Phone daily to ask if it has been sent. No, not yet! He sent it (so he tells us) the day before the 33 days is up! He never sent us a copy prior, so we just have to hope that he got all the facts correct and came up with a convincing Argument.
A month later, we still haven't seen a copy of the attorney's Argument and it is getting worrysome. He promises to mail it and e-mail it and still we haven't seen the document! My husband e-mails the District Director who gets back to him and says THEY HAVEN'T RECEIVED IT!!! Husband gets onto attorney who says he sent it to Chicago as is the normal procedure for Denials. We told him that this was not a "normal" situation, they had technically retracted the official Denial and that it had to go to the District Director personally. She was doing us a courtesy and was going to look at it BEFORE she sent it to the AAO for a certified decision. There may have been a chance, albeit a slight one, that she would have seen the argument as convincing and approved my son's application! Now, we don't know where the paperwork is or what "procedure" they are going to have to follow!
26th March 06
"Argument" and Motion to Reconsider arrives via e-mail from attorney. Contains everything we have already been arguing with the USCIS, but now it is in legal format perhaps they will look at it more closely. Unfortunately, attorney got my son's name wrong in several sections of the document - just hope the USCIS and AAO can figure out who we are talking about!
28th March 06
Fingerprints done in Pittsburgh for my citizenship application. They are so efficient in Pittsburgh, wish we had dealt with them from the beginning of all this, rather than DC.
13th April 06
Attorney tells us that check not cashed for MTR! He realises that he put the wrong A# on the document - because the USCIS used the wrong number on the Denial! He re-submitted the entire MTR, with a request for extension of time due to their error. Great!!!
17th April 06
Received letter confirming that I have Naturalization Interview on the 5th June 06. This could be good news - if I can get this out of the way and the Oath sworn before 20th July, then daughter will become citizen automatically, as she will still be under 18. Son will move to 1st Pref. catagory, but that doesn't help much seeing as there is still a 4 year processing time for 1st Pref. at the moment.
5th June 06 - attended Pittsburgh for my Naturalization Interview............passed! Told that the Oath ceremony would take place within 30 days and I would be informed of the date by letter. My daughter will derive status from me as the oath will take place before her 18th birthday.
21st June - Received letter to attend Oath Ceremony in Pittsburgh on the 5th July 06. E-mailed Pittsburgh to ask if my daughter has to attend interview if I file an N-600 for her once I have taken my oath (even though she will be under 18 when I file this). Reply stated that my daughter will have to attend an interview. Not heard of this before - not sure that this is right. Need to look into this.
5th July 2006 - attended Pittsburgh USCIS office for Oath Ceremony with daughter, Sarah. Told that all children under the age of 18 that are LPR's "with a few exceptions" (which they didn't clarify) derive citizenship that day - the minute their parents become citizens. Approximately 30 immigrants became citizens in Pittsburgh, at the ceremony I attended, today.
September 2006 - Applied for Michael's 4TH EAD!
Received appointment to attend Pittsburgh (5 hour drive) for fingerprinting at 8.30am! Requested re-schedule, as this would mean two days off work just for one fingerprint!
5th October 2006 - Placed call to AAO to see if anyone could give us any idea how long it would be before we heard on the request for a "certified decision". They told us they had my son's file, someone was looking at it now, we could expect to hear in 2 - 3 months!
God, give me strength!
28th October 2006 - Decision Received from the AAO
The worst that could happen, happened today! The Administrative Appeals Office agreed with the District Office and "certified" their decision that my son is NOT eligible for AOS because he tured 21 during the processing of his application. ALL K-2's will not be subjected to this decision as this is now to become USCIS "policy" in adjudicating K-2 applications for AOS.
Not sure what the next step is - waiting to hear outcome of similar case being heard in court in California. Our attorney is acting for the petitioner and case is very similar. Actually, they have more of a problem as they did not APPLY for AOS until their daughter was already 21, but the argument is that it doesn't say anywhere that you have to be.