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  1. Good morning, everyone! Created this group for all (Naturalization) N-400 JULY 2019 FILERS! Please join and provide your information. Below is the link for the shared spreadsheet. Thank you and happy 4th of JULY!!! https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/19rv0w-Ls_-225a0AqzhsTObXb2DcT07oACpdIHhn9dE/edit?usp=sharing VJ Username Filing date NOA1 Biometrics Appt RFE? Interview Oath Ceremony Field Office Filed online / paper AI135 07/01/2019 Online
  2. Starting the thread for January 2019 Filling - been through this process on the K1 journey all the way through an interview at the Mumbai Embassy last April 2018. We were stuck in AP and had a rare chance to spend 45-days together so we jumped ship and married in India (Nov 24th). So, here we are again going through the same process and praying that it goes faster. Mailed: Dec 26th (tracked delivery on Dec 28th) Notification: Pending NOA1 & Service Center: Pending Happy Journey!! Annie
  3. 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?
  4. I was wondering if anyone is experiencing this very unusual delay with the Department of State? So i read thoroughly before applying for the J1 waiver based on hardship (US Government Funding involved). My time line below; At USCIS; 1. Filled November 16, 2017 2. Request for more evidence and responded same month in July 2018 3. Prima facie case was established and hence docket forwarded to DOS for non-uscis advisory opinion. At DOS: Item Action Date Sponsor Views Received January, 28 2019 Request for Sponsor Views Sent October, 16 2018 Form I-612 Received September, 23 2018 Form I-613 Received September, 23 2018 Change of Address Received April, 12 2018 Fee Received February, 14 2018 Form DS-3035 Received February, 14 2018 Form DS-2019 Received February, 14 2018 Statement Of Reason Received February, 14 2018 so from my timeline and the new processing time for Hardship waivers (16weeks to 24 weeks after 612/613 is received), i am outside the normal processing time at DOS. My last 3 emails to DoS has gone unanswered. My sponsor views was received almost 2 months ago. I want to know if anyone has or have had such stupid prolonging after 613/612 and sponsor views have been received?
  5. Hi Everyone, I didn’t see a thread for July 2019 AOS filers so I’m starting one. We’re doing the concurrent filing based on marriage (I-130, I-485, I-864, I-765, I-131). My wife entered on a B2 back in Jan 2017 and yes I know we’ve should have done this a long time ago but better late than never. We mailed the package this past Saturday and it’s scheduled to be delivered on Wednesday. We’re in South Florida so I’m hoping to at least have her EAD/AP by Nov as we are planning a trip for Christmas to visit her family. If it’s not here by then we’ll then, Disney World it is lol.  Good luck everyone!!
  6. Hi guys, So I'm just concern about my case. My husband filled the documents online (I-130) on Dec 26th, 2019. He's LPR. My priority date is: Dec 27th 2019. On our receipt it was written that our Service Center was California... but yesterday March 10th, we logged in on our Uscis Account, wrote a message to USCIS ONLINE, and they told us our new office was Potomac (we haven't recieve any notification yet). I got really confused about it, now, I'm not sure which processing time should I follow, Potomac or California?
  7. Hello all!! Quick question! As y’all know the trump’s new public charge rule was approved recently, are the people awaiting the i130 petition to be approved affected by this? Or does this apply to new filters? The petition was applied outside the US. I’m a bit confused. thanks
  8. Wanted to start a 2019 Tampa Local Office Filer Forum Past or Present. All info helps others Here is our Timeline--we are now just waiting for an interview to be scheduled Story: Before we met, my wife to be overstayed her B2 VISA. We met in July 2017, dated a little over a year, got engaged July 7th, 2018. Got married Oct. 7th 2018. We started our AOS process in June of 2019. Below is our timeline: My complete AOS packet- Concurrent Filers 130/i485 June 21st 2019: Mailed by Fed-Ex all forms together listed above June 25th 2019: Delivered and Signed for at Chicago Lockbox July 1st 2019: Text's NOA received July 1st 2019: We accepted the fingerprint fee for form I-485 NBC location is working on your case July 5th 2019: Received by US Mail 5 total separate I-797C 's NOA (Notice of ACTION) letters: ASC (Biometric Appointment), I-130, I-485, I-785 & I-131 July 23rd 2019: Biometric Appointment- Tampa Field Office July 24th 2019: Fingerprint Review Was Completed. we completed our review of your fingerprints and are working on your Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization Oct. 30th 2019: Request for Initial Evidence Was Mailed Nov. 4th 2019: Received RFE for my wife's foreign Birth Certificate translated in English (I sent it back same day express mail) Nov. 6th 2019: Response To USCIS' Request for Evidence Was Received. Our office will begin working on your case again. Nov. 23rd 2019: Case Is Ready to Be Scheduled for An Interview. we are ready to schedule your Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, Receipt Number MSCXXXXXXXXXX, for an interview. We will schedule your interview and send you a notice. Nov. 25th 2019: we have approved your application for employment card Nov. 25th 2019: we have approved your application for an Advance Parole Document. Nov. 25th 2019: New Card Is Being Produced. we ordered your new card for Receipt Number MSC199XXXXXXX, and will mail it to the address you gave us. Nov. 29th 2019: we mailed your new card for your Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization (combo card) Dec. 3rd , 2019: received EAD/AP card in mail
  9. This is a review and run-down of my experience with Dr Cheema and his office when getting my medical exam for my Spousal Visa. My visa interview is on December 10th, 2019 at 7:30am. Before the appointment: I contacted Dr Cheema's office through email on Thursday November 15th, 2019 and did not get a reply yet on the following Wednesday. On Wednesday, I followed up with them and received a phone call right away. The lady on the phone was very nice and calm, she apologized for missing the email and gave me all the information I needed and booked my appointment as well for Thursday November 28th, 2019 at 10:30am. I'm currently pregnant, so I asked her if I needed to go earlier due to their website saying that pregnant applicants needs to go to Vancouver to do their X-rays and will need 10 days for the results to come back. She said it was fine, and they now do the x-rays at the same place in Surrey. She also told me that I didn't need to bring five passport photos (as stated on their website) because they will take the photo when you are at the office. Make sure you collect all necessary documents that is listed on their website. It will make everything go a lot smoother. I saw families have to pay a lot of money for getting their shots at Dr Cheema's office. Passport Government issued ID (eg. drivers license) Appointment letter/ Email from the NVC Immunization Records - If you were born in Canada/ have gone to elementary school/ high school in Canada, you can go to your city's public health centre to obtain your immunization records. You'll also need to get a flu shot (between October and February). Payment - $350 (cash or debit only) During the appointment: On the day of the appointment, I arrived at approx 10:20am. If you're driving, there is plenty of parking in the parking lot of the plaza that their office is located in. Upon arrival, I told the front desk that I was here for my medical exam, they told me to take a seat and wait for my name to be called. The secretary in the front called me shortly after, she collected all my documents, photocopied them and returned them to me. Payment was made at this time and a receipt is given. My photo was also taken at this time. I was then given 3 forms to fill out while seated. Just your basic information like date of birth, name, address, address in the US and such. After that, I returned the forms and sat down to wait to be called again. At about 11:20am approx an hour after I entered the office, I was called to an examination room. The lady who brought me in, took my weight and height. She then told me to please turn off my cell phone while in the examination room. Then Dr Cheema came in, he asked me questions very quickly, such as if I had mental health problems, if I do drugs.. etc. He breezed through them. He quickly listen to my chest, asked me to cover one eye and read him a letter, cover the other eye and read him a letter. Asked to lie down, since I was pregnant, he didn't press my abdomen. Then he left the room. From the time he came in and out, it was a total of three minutes. Only 3 minutes! The nurse came in to show me the address for the next two locations I needed to go to. Westcoast imaging and Life labs. She also told me I can pick up my medical exam results on Monday after 4pm or anytime the following days. You're given all the forms needed for your X-rays, blood tests and urine test. Xrays/ blood test/ urine test: Once you leave the doctors office, West coast Imaging is the first place to go in terms of distance. It's a new building, therefore it is no longer at the same location as the life labs. There is parking behind the building of West coast imaging. Walked in, gave the front desk my papers and waited for about 10 minutes. I was then called inside, given a smock like apron and asked to change. If you're pregnant, make sure to tell the X-ray person you're pregnant. They'll give you extra protective layers around your pelvis and abdomen. Since it is chest x-ray only. Next is Life labs for your blood test and urine test. They're located on the second floor. I walked in at approx 12:20pm and checked in at the front desk. Then you just sit and wait. They have a TV displaying how any people are in front of you and how long you have to wait. However, the wait time is just an estimate. I waited approx 35 minutes when the TV displayed that the wait would be 20 mins. One you're called up again, you show the lady your papers and ID. Then you for your blood test and also urine test. I was out of life labs by 1:05pm. Pick up day: Pick up is back at Dr Cheema's office. Since I'm lucky enough to live in the Vancouver area, I chose not to go pick up my medical exam results on the day it was finished. I've heard that sometimes the results may not be ready on the day. So I went in on following Wednesday. Upon arrival, I told the front desk that I'm here to pick up the results, showed her my ID and she gave me two packages. One said "DO NOT OPEN" and that is the one that you need to take to take with you to the interview. The other smaller package was not sealed, inside it contained a CD of my X-rays and also my vaccination records from Dr Cheema. The front desk told me that the CD is for me to bring with me when I enter the US for the first time after the interview. If the custom officers ask for it, then I will give it to them. The vaccination records are just for my own keeping. She wished me luck on my interview and I was on my way. Hope my review for the medical exam from Dr Cheema was helpful!! Thank you for reading and good luck with your own medical exam and interview!
  10. My medical examination schedule is March 19, 2019. I arrived in Manila on March 18 and stayed in Time Travellers Hotel near St. Lukes Extension Clinic. Its a nice hotel with a good price. Good air conditioning, with table and chairs, nice queen sized bed, it has fridge with 2 complimentary bottled water, nice shower with heater, they also provide toiletries(toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo and conditioner) with 2 bath towels. It also has telivision but no cable. The wifi is only for 1 day use and for one phone only. 1st DAY 3:30 AM - Rode a tricycle (i don't know what they call it coz its different from a tricycle) going to St lukes for less than a minute from the hotel where i stayed. I decided not to walk because some people said that it is dangerous to walk there specially when its dark because there are some pickpocketers. 3:31 AM - Fall in line. Luckily only few people where in line. 4:30-5 AM - Time to enter the building.. the guard took: My passport, 1 photocopy of my passport, 1 copy of NVC letter with MNL case number, 4 pcs 2x2 photo, and 1 copy of online registration form and handed me a number, I was number 36. (RED in color for one applicant and GREEN in color for 2 or more applicant (family or with child). Your photo should be 2x2 in size , not a passport size with white background and should be on glossy photo paper. No eye glasses, no earings or necklace its not allowed or else the guard will ask you to come back again. 5-5:30 AM - They started to call out numbers and assist me to the window on the 1st floor. On the window I gave the documents with my passport and pictures to the lady and then she asked some questions like: Am i married? Do i have kids? and Where in the US do i wish to travel? Then she for my right index finger for biometrics(4 times) & sign a paper, and asked me to look at the camera for picture. She gave me a checklist then asked me to proceed to 5th floor for payment. 6 AM - The guard on duty took my checklist and asked me to wait until she called my name then proceed to the cashier for payment. After paying, the cashier told me to go to 4th floor for blood & urine test. 6:45 AM - I gave the checklist to the reception area on the 3rd floor and they asked me for my passport and told me to wait. During blood test the nurse asked my name and who sponsored me to go to the U.S. then asked me when was the last time i peed and then told me to proceed to the urine test. (They were asking when was the last time you peed because it depends if your going to take the urine test right after the blood test or not, i guess it should be 1 hour before you last peed.) I proceed to the urine test area then the nurse took my checklist and asked my name and then she gave a container for urine sample. The urine sample must be just right amount.. not below the line.. and do not add water in it.. it can be over the line but just a little bit.. do not fill the container too much or else the nurse will ask you to repeat the test after 1 hour. Then the nurse gave back my checklist and told me to go to 3rd floor for Xray. 7:15 AM - I gave the checklist to the reception area on the 3rd floor then asked me to fill up a form. She also asked when was my last menstruation. (Write the exact date) I waited for my name to be called then the receptionist gave back my checklist and give a number and then told me to proceed to Xray room. I wore a hospital gown, removed my bra and tied my hair up. (Dont worry they have a dressing room. But dont leave your bag and clothes take it with you) Then wait again for my number to be called for Xray test. The nurse at the Xray room asked me to follow me the right breathing for the test. After the test the nurse told me to proceed to 2nd floor for immunization. 7:25 AM - I gave my checklist to the reception area on the 2nd floor then they gave a form to fill up and gave back to them and told me to wait for my name to be called. 9:30 AM - My name was called and ask me to proceed to the Doctors area on the immunization area. The doctor asked about my name, my birthday and age and my sponsor. She also asked about my past illnesses, if i take medicines, if i had vaccines, when was my first and last menstruation..etc.. basically about my health. You should listen attentively to the doctor. After that she asked me to proceed to 5th floor for physical exam. 9:35 AM - I gave my checklist to the guard then she put it in the box in the blood pressure area (i forgot what they call it) then i waited for my name to be called. 1st the nurse took my weight and height. wait for my name to be called again. 2nd took my blood pressure. wait again. 3rd proceeded to eye test then gave back my checklist and ask me to give it to the US counter.. and then wait again for my physical exam. 11:35 - The long wait is over.. The USA counter called my name and handed me a number and ask me to proceed to room 7. I waited again. Inside room 7, the doctor asked for my passport, sign on logbook, then asked me so many questions about: If i take medicines, if i have illnesses like tb..etc.., if i have allergies, (just like the questions in the doctors area) then the doctor asked if i had suicide attempts, what i finished in school.. and then she asked me to change to hospital gown and took off my socks, I didnt took off my underwear including my bra. The doctor ask me to lay down on the bed then she asked me to bend my knees and checked my abdomen, my wrist, then asked me to sit and checked my neck, then she told me to stand up and then she checked my lower back.. then thats it! I said thank you to the doctor. 11:55 - I gave my checklist to the USA counter on the 5th floor then wait again for my name to be called. 12:30 - My name was called and the lady ask me to go back tomorrow for my result. TIPS!! Food is not allowed inside the clinic so better to eat before your medical exam. You can bring water inside, if you didnt its okay because there are water fountains inside. Wear a comfortable clothes and shoes that are easily to take off. Do not wear complicated clothes or shoes. I suggest you wear slip on shoes. Bring jacket with you because its cold inside the clinic. Listen attentively. Leave your earphones behind. If you have past medications or baby book, bring it with you. Listen carefully and attentively to the nurses and doctors so it wont cause you any delay. 2nd day My time schedule is 9am but i went there at 7am. I went directly to the guard he took my checklist and stamp saying "immunization room 2nd floor" I went to 2nd floor and give my checklist to the reception area and wait my name to be called. My name was called then I proceed to Immunization room 2nd floor and the nurse ask for my passport, my name and when is my 1st and last menstruation what is the name of my fiance. Then i get my vaccines. (I had 2 vaccines, anti-tetanus and MMR.) The nurse ask me to proceed to 1st floor for my result. Then i waited for my name to be called. On window F the lady ask for my passport, my name, my address and ask me to check the documents if it has my correct name, address, MNL case number and passport number. Then she asked me to take pictures of the copy of my vaccination record using my phone.She handed me the envelope that says "DO NOT OPEN" that i have to bring to the interview (I think it contains all the records/results of my medical examination) Then she also handed me the vaccination record that i have to bring to the USA. I waited about 30-40 mins to get my vaccines and my results. For every tests i took i always pray and pray and pray.. until i get my result!! DON'T FORGET TO PRAY! GOOD LUCK!
  11. HELP!! My employer, a non-profit organization affiliated with a university, just received an RFE questioning if they are "cap exempt or not". So the RFE basically asks for more evidence that the organization is doing more substantive research work and that is more closely affiliated with the university than just having a publishing/research contract with each other. I am super nervous since I haven't been able to find online any similar case of RFEs for H1B and I don't know what to think of it. Any help will be appreciated, from pointing out other resources online of how similar cases have been resolved, or if you had a similar case, what was your experience? Thanks everyone in advance!
  12. Hi, I wanted to start a thread about things we may or may not have heard about the NVC. I think it would help clear up some questions for a few people. Let's start off with some true or false statements... True/False: Some cases are approved in a week or less after submitting documents True/False: NVC reps. must meet a quota each day regarding Case Completes True/False: Clicking on the submit button or resubmitting documents pushes your case to the very beginning of the process True/False: Once your case is review it is not reviewed by the same person each time after a resubmit
  13. Hi all I am a K1 Visa recipient and my husband and I are filing our AOS soon. I have a question regarding the required tax documentation on the I-864, Affidavit of Support. I understand that if we file AOS before the end of 2019 our most recent tax year would have been 2018, and we've got that. But if we file in January 2020, would our most recent tax year be 2019 already, thus requiring the proper documentation for 2019 instead? I ask because the company my husband works for doesn't send out W2s until February, but we REALLY don't want to wait any longer to file our AOS because my I-94 had been expired since October 22nd. We've planned to file this December 16th but something came up, and we might have to reroute the budget for that one onto something else.... sigh (I know, I know, we're filing late, but life happens and so here we are...) 😅 So I'm thinking: 1) Perhaps USCIS would allow the submission of 2018 records due to the fact that tax season for 2019 won't be over until April 2020 anyways? 2) Perhaps we could include an explanation on our cover letter as to why we're submitting 2018 records despite 2019 ending? So yeah, I would appreciate any input from anyone who can help. Thank you all
  14. Hello everyone!! I’m a Potomac filer. PD is July 1st 2019. We’ve recently received our NOA1. I just wanted to create a group we’re we can keep each other posted on Potomac approvals.
  15. Hi, has as anyone gotten a I601 waiver approved. What’s your timeline? No I601a’s please.
  16. Hi, I wanted to create this post for individuals who were recently (2019) approved and waiting for their case to be submitted to the National Visa Center (NVC). I was not sure if anyone is aware of this helpful link below. It provides you with the steps of for NVC and their processing time. Hopes this helps and I hope others will share their experience and helpful information. Thanks https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/the-immigrant-visa-process/after-petition-approved/begin-nat-visa-center.html
  17. Hi everyone! This forum has been very helpfull to me. So I just wanted to share my experience. My timeline: Marts 10th 2019 I entered the US (California) Marts 12th 2019 I was married to an American Marts 19th 2019 USCIS received my application for Adjustment of status, EAD and Advanced Parole. May 28th 2019 I called to expedite my case based on Financial Hardship May 31st 2019 I received email from USCIS with further instructions to fax my job offer and cover letter. June 6th 2019 "New Card is being produced" June 11th 2019 "Card is ready for being mailed to me" June 12th 2019 "Card was mailed" June 14th 2019 I received my EAD card which also works as Advanced Parole. What did I do? I called to expedite my case based on severe financial loss for myself. This is what I said in notes: I have no financial resources, and by July 1st I need to start paying back my student loans. I have a master degree that is not being used and I would really like to pursue my career. I feel that I'm made redundant not contributing to the American Economy as a working tax payer. Being redundant also affects my mental health not feeling independent and having to be depended on my husband economy. I have a great job offer and have finished all interviewing. The start date is June 17th 2019. What did I fax? - I used this coverletter: https://www.marecaranne.com/2019/01/ead-expedite.html - My offer letter - Copy of the email from USCIC. I hope this might help other people in the same situation. I know how hard it is not being able to work and get your life going here in the US. I'm super excited to be working and hope for everyone that the wait time soon will be over. Thank you for this forum!
  18. Hey guys. I am at the moment waiting for a letter from USCIS with the scheduled date for my upcoming Green Card interview. My office is in Atlanta, GA. Is there any if you guys that recently went through an interview and want to share your experience?
  19. I have exciting news for those interviewing in Denver. I found this on the site they do have same day oath ceremonies. Same Day Swearing-in Ceremonies - Denver, Colorado INS in Denver (DEN) is currently conducting naturalization interviews and oath-taking ceremonies on the same day. Because the federal courts have not retained exclusive jurisdiction in DEN, the following procedure is possible. Every Thursday and Friday, between 7:30 AM. and 11:30 AM. 5 or 6 INS officers each conduct 16 naturalization interviews. If the naturalization applicant passes his or her interview/examination, he or she is ushered into a secondary waiting area where an INS clerk prepares the naturalization certificate, has the applicant sign the photos and certificate, and verify the information on the certificate. The clerk then issues a letter advising the applicant to return to the INS office for oath-taking ceremony at 3:00 P.M. that same day. Upon returning to the office, the applicant is sworn-in and receives the finished naturalization certificate. If the applicant fails the written and/or history and government test, a new interview is-scheduled for a later date. Only when an applicant requests a name change is he or she scheduled for a judicial hearing. DEN conducts a judicial hearing once every other month. Usually there are only 30 to 35 individuals at a judicial ceremony. DEN closes their office to the public at 2:30 P.M. to prepare for the ceremony which takes place in the INS public waiting room. To maintain the formality and integrity of the swearing-in ceremony, the Denver office has cleaned up the public waiting room by painting the walls, purchasing new chairs, and replacing old, stained carpet with tiles. New bulletin boards were put to replace the INS posters that were taped to the walls and new flags where hung. The district is also working with one of the local school districts to have students paint a mural on the walls. For the Denver district officer, there are many benefits to this program. INS officers like the program because they have the afternoons to conduct other business. The public and AILA like it because there is only one wait period, the one for the interview. While the judges were reluctant to allow administrative hearings, they are now in fill support of the program. INS in Denver first convinced the judges to try a pilot program to see how the program worked. It worked so well that the judges are now reluctant to do any ceremonies. In fact, the judges have proposed that, even with name changes, the INS conduct the ceremony and the judges will sign the name change certificates. For special ceremonies, such as ceremonies for children, the press also seems pleased with the program. For the month of April, INS Denver is planning a special project to clean up their naturalization backlog of 3,400 cases. They plan on conducting naturalization interviews Mondays through Fridays. They will utilize all available officers to interview in the mornings and conduct the ceremony in the afternoon.
  20. Any fellow Houston June 2019 filers? My PD is June 10, 2019. welcome to update your progress here!
  21. j1WAIVER BASED ON HARDSHIP This approach will only work for J1 Waiver based on Hardship only please. Please read this in addition to the official information provided on the USCIS and DOS website. Just incase anyone is applying for a Hardship waiver or have received RFE from USCIS or Have received a favorable recommendation from DOS but waiting for a final notice from USCIS and its taking more time , am sharing my experience maybe you can take a clue. I should say i am not an attorney and any suggestions i’m making shouldn’t be taken as a legal advise. I had a US Government funding (Fulbright/Department of State) of over $40000. I applied for the waiver without an attorney. Thanks to clues i picked from posts on here and other google searches. I am going to explain 3 areas that will determine the outcome of your application for which i believe an attorney cant help you change that. For a J1 recipient and subsequent waiver applicant, i presume you can read, understand and present your ideas clearly without the help of an attorney. I didn’t use an attorney not because i don’t trust them but because i felt they are profit oriented with other clients to attend to so your case wont get the maximum attention as you can give it yourself. I will rather invest the fees for attorney in professional evaluations like visiting the doctors office to access your case or taking trips to your sponsoring agency to explain your situation. The procedure as summarized on USCIS and department of state website; You first apply at USCIS and Department of State, if USCIS establishes that there is hardship as you claim, it will forward forms i-613/i-613 to department of state to concur with their findings. If USCIS doesn’t find any hardship claim, your application will be denied without making it to DOS. (Am not making this up.. you can read the USCIS’s policy manual on these waivers https://www.uscis.gov/ilink/docView/AFM/HTML/AFM/0-0-0-1/0-0-0-19459/0-0-0-19610.html) If you manage to get uscis to send I-612/613 to DOS, they will evaluate your hardship claim with views from your sponsor to either concur with USCIS or issue an unfavorable recommendation. NOW FROM MY EXPERIENCE, WHAT I HAVE READ AND OTHER EXPERIENCE FROM USERS ON HERE, i am going to explain what you may do to boost your chances. Again, this is not a legal advise and i believe its easier to build your case on truth than lies. So make sure you have a genuine case to follow through. *****Before you apply read these 3 write ups; they were my guide.**** A) https://www.ilw.com/articles/2007,0906-hake.shtm B) https://cbkimmigration.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/j1-hardship-waiver-trends.pdf C) https://www.uscis.gov/ilink/docView/AFM/HTML/AFM/0-0-0-1/0-0-0-19459/0-0-0-19610.html Now lets go into what you may do at each stage SUBMITTING THE APPLICATION AT USCIS STAGE Lets call this the first stage. To me, its the most important stage because you have control on the outcome for them to issue I-612/613. If you convince them enough they will issue 612/613 to DOS. So how do you convince them; the articles above lettered (A & B) have covered it broadly and im going to add to that. I am going to talk about medical and financial hardship to your US citizen spouse or child. Always remember when writing your statement that... *** no matter the hardship that you the applicant will go through, they don’t care about you the applicant but the USC. *** you should always attach a well written statement with reference to explain your situation more. *** it is always a good idea that your wife/US citizen if above 18 years write and notarize a statement to support your application in the form of highlighting why they need you here and also why they cant travel with you if you have to leave to your home country. *** What ever point you decide to raise, discuss it in two scenerios; i) how it will affect your USC if you leave them in USA to fulfill the 2 year rule. ii) How it will affect your USC if they go to your home country with you for the 2 year rule. *** try as much as possible to discuss your points in chronic rather than acute. (By chronic i mean that problem is long term rather than short term). *** Don’t underestimate any point or any situation. For example, If your wife is 4 weeks pregnant, you can build on that alone to make a medical and financial hardship case. HARDSHIP CLAIM ON MEDICAL BASIS If your USC has medical concerns, go to a doctor (if its disease related) or a chiropractor (if its accident related). The money that you will use for a lawyer, rather invest in these professionals for evaluation of your USC medical condition. Book a regular appointment with whichever applies to you. Let your USC narrate what his/her condition to the practitioner. Ask the practitioner to write a prognosis and diagnosis. How much it will cost if he was to treat that condition (remember you can make a whole financial case if you get such estimate). How long it will take to treat such a condition. Very importantly ask him to put in writing his personal views and experience if you will get the very best treatment for your USC if you decide to treat that condition in your home country. How easy or difficult will it be to get the drugs/machines for such treatment from your country. If there is a pregnancy involved, get the positive test results or if its at a later pregnancy stage obtain the visits and scheduled appointments from the obgyn office and let them craft a letter saying your spouse needs you. If there is a baby involved, get the letter from the hospital your baby was born. Depending on the baby’s age, you can make a point on travel vaccination (for example if your baby is weeks or a month old and your country is a yellow fever vaccine required, you can argue that yellow fever vaccines are given to babies after 9 months, hence you cant travel to your home country with him or her). On the medical side, if kids are involved, you can see a phycologist to give you a letter stating the impacts of your absence on the child. (NB: all the letters you get are just letters until you develop the points made by the practitioners to back your claim of hardship. Use those letters as if you are writing a research paper with references to those letters.). HARDSHIP CLAIM ON FINANCIAL BASIS You can craft a financial hardship from every medical point you made. Just think about how it will affect your USC if you are away or she leaves with you. Apart from that, you may also want to document monthly bills (eg car and home loans, credit cards) and contractual monthly payments (eg insurance, 24 month phone and home plans) to demonstrate why it will be a financial burden should she move with you. Another important part of the finances is using the U.S treasury department website to estimate how much you will earn depending on your experience and qualifications. Do the same estimation with backing statistics from your country’s labour or statistics office showing how much you will earn even if you are employed there. Now use those 2 data to show how impossible it is to support your family over there. Gather data from your home country government institution about unemployment rate and minimum wage. Use the data to show the probability of you not getting employed or even if you are employed, the minimum wage converted to US$. This will help you make a point that you cant support your family from your home country. And even if you travel there with them, you wont be able to pay bills left behind as well as financially stable to take care of them there. HARDSHIP CLAIM ON SOCIAL AND SECURITY BASIS You can include this kind of basis to talk about language barrier and cultural differences that can be a burden especially to USC born in USA. With security, you can log on DOS website to see the security alerts issued for your country. You can use this to make a case of safety for your USC. SUBMITTING Application at Department of State. The main aim of this department is to weigh the assistance you received from the USG source to your statement. USCIS absolutely rely on DOS opinion for hardship waivers. DOS also rely on your sponsors opinion for their decision. So there is very little you can do here apart from a strong statement. You can paraphrase and use the same statement that you submitted to USCIS but here you add what you have done for your home country or will do to help your home country even when you are granted a favorable recommendation and you remain in USA. Also the DOS wont issue a request for Further evidence (RFE) as USCIS does. So when anything about your situation changes that you feel is substantial enough to help your case, log on to the J1waiver website and update your statement and mail the updated statement. You can update your statement as much as possible, there will be instructions to follow on where to send them. Recommendation from Sponsoring Departments Thats probably the silent decider in the application process in terms of denial or delays. There is little to nothing you can do about this stage but this tip could help. (NB: this is not part of the official application process so please don’t ask me where you can find this). Before you pay for the application fees and submit your application to the DOS and USCIS, Go to or call your university or the office that processed your DS2019 or J1 packets. Ask them for the contact of your sponsors. Take both the email and number. Call/email them and explain your situation and tell them that you wish to apply for a waiver and that you are seeking their opinion first. They are humans and if your situation is genuine they will understand your case. Dont forget to tell them about your plans of giving back to your home country. If they ask you to go ahead and apply for a waiver thats great all you need to do is make a good case with DOS and USCIS. If they say no, candidly, you should be looking at other options like Canada’s express entry rather than waste 17-22 months waiting in vain (but hey thats entirely your decision, you can still try your luck). Ive read from some government agency documents that states that, if the waiver review division issues a favorable recommendation contrary to the USG funding source views, you will be asked to pay the amount they spent on you with interest. (https://trainethelp.usaid.gov/Documents/rawmedia_repository/ads252reissued.pdf). So practically even if DOS and USCIS thinks you deserve that waiver and your funding source says ‘no’ to them giving you the waiver, you will be denied. With that said, i presume even if you call them before applying and they say no, and you have what it takes to pay off the amount that was spent on you, You can politely negotiate with them to bill you to pay the amount they spent on you so you can get a waiver from them. Bear in mind it will be calculated with interest. THE FINAL NOTICE FROM USCIS After DoS forward a favorable recommendation to USCIS some experience long wait times before USCIS issue a final notice of approval. Unlike ‘no objection’ applicants, hardship waiver applicants dont receive a copy of DoS recommendation, hence can only rely on the final from USCIS. After DoS sent a favorable recommendation to USCIS, i saw nothing on my case at USCIS. So after waiting 10 days, i called USCIS several times but they kept telling me they had not received my recommendation from DoS. If you have a similar situation or you have received a favorable recommendation from DOS but no activity at USCIS, you wait for at-least 15 days and follow these steps. *check out your zip code to find the congressman that represent your area. *go their website to download or call their office for a ‘USCIS PRIVACY WAIVER FORM’. It is a form that you sign to request the congressman to make enquiries on your behalf. *fill that form and attach your uscis receipt and also print out your status on the DOS website. *send those back to the congressman’s office and allow them work on it for you. There is no need asking the office to expedite your case, just tell them to inquire about your case. (From my experience and what i have read, let me explain how the congressional office works. This approach works only after you have seen that your favorable recommendation is sent by DoS but nothing is happening at USCIS. If its still pending at DoS, i doubt there is anything the congressional office can do. According to USCIS, Each USCIS service center has a Congressional Inquiry Unit (https://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/archive/delete/USCIS_Immigration_101_Guide_for_Congress.ppt). So if a congressional staffer makes an inquiry on your case, your case file will be transferred to these unit which facilitates a faster decision than the main service centers. In my case, my application is still pending, meanwhile I’ve received my final waiver. I went this route. My whole application took 18 months...All the best.
  22. Just me sharing my embassy interview experience and some tips. Disclaimer: Do not use this anecdote as a strict reference to determine your visa application process/needs. Please refer to the official sources and authorities. My timeline (2019): K1 Fiance(e) Visa Sent I-129F - Jan. 24 NOA1 - Jan. 30 (6 days) NOA2 - Apr. 18 (78 days) Case# - May 9 (21 days) Ready - Jun. 3 (25 days) Eligibility Letter - Jun. 6 (dated), in the mail Jun. 14 Interview - Jul. 9 (visa approved) My interview was scheduled for 7:45am. I arrived at the US Embassy Manila before 7:30am at the entrance near the footbridge on Roxas Blvd. (if you look across the street there's Ermita Center building, BPI and AUB). At that point they were already letting in applicants scheduled for 8:30am, but don't take this as a solid reason to come waaay earlier than your appointment because I had to fall in line behind about 60 people once I was inside anyway. NOTE: If you have companions, you may ask them to wait outside where there are monobloc chairs, but be prepared to pay Php30 per seat (unlimited hours). If your fiance(e) is accompanying you, they can come with you inside but some time in the middle of the process they would have to sit apart from the applicants. Also, remember the no-electronics rule applies to them, too. They may surrender phones or whatnot at the security guard post. Before you go in somebody may also try to sell you a pen, telling you how it's necessary for whatever process you need inside. I would suggest you just bring your own pen to begin with. Most visa applicants don't need it (I didn't) but there are some cases when they do (I guess depending on your business there). I've had to lend my pen to some frantic people when I was there as the consul asked them to sign papers. At the first point of security, they asked for my DS-160 confirmation page, appointment page, and they verified my visa type and interview schedule, then told me which numbered lane I should go to (this is still outside the building). I was in lane 3. At this point, prepare your DS-160 conf page and your passport. The staff would put a sticker bar code on your DS-160 conf page and place your passport in a ziploc bag. The building entrance is to the left, look for the door that looks quite heavy and durable. LOL If you're bringing a bag, the guard would check it before you go through the scanner. Otherwise, you'll go through airport-type security next. Place your items in the plastic bin, onto the conveyor, and go through the body scanner. I followed the signs and exited accordingly. Turning right I saw the photo booth (for last minute passport photos, I assume), followed the signs until the area labeled "NIV" (lots of people seated on monobloc chairs - I think this is also a waiting area where you can get food and drinks) then turned left until the labeled door. If I remember correctly I think I entered the one with "K1" on it. Once inside, a lady told me to fall in line for the Filipino consul and I was in line for maybe 30 minutes or more only to be told that I had to go to window 38 to have my 2x2 photo scanned first, LOL. Then I went back in line for the initial interview. The consul asked for my DS-160 conf page, birth certificate, NBI clearance, MRV receipt, CENOMAR, medical docs (sealed brown envelope from SLEC); then later on the affidavit of support, my fiance's divorce decree, W2s and 1040 (tax return). He asked me basic questions about myself and my fiance, how we met, marriage history, children, etc. Then he directed me to another window for the interview with the American consul (waiting in line again). On my turn, the consul asked for my DS-160 conf page and for me to raise my right hand, swear this and that (sorry I couldn't remember, I was a bit nervous and would say yes to anything at this point LOL), and I said "Yes". Then he asked me basically the same things that the previous consul asked, even fewer questions actually. Stuff I could answer briefly. Didn't even ask for proof of relationship or anything. A lot of silence as he went through my documents, I think he was going through the proof of relationship section of my I-129F (but I still brought my own copy). Guess I was lucky. After that he said my visa is approved and he's making it so it would be ready in 1-3 weeks. He gave me the 2 pamphlets on domestic violence plus the little embassy info sheet, then I was done. I exited the embassy at 9:30am (about 2 hours total, most of which was just waiting in line). Other Notes: 1. Make sure the surface of your 2x2 photo is clean, or if you can't assure this, bring extra copies because the scanner there won't work if it has dirt and such. 2. If you're hungry or thirsty there's a mini-store outside the building near the 30-Peso waiting area (apart from the one inside). 3. I would suggest for you to just bring a clear long envelope to put your documents in so that you can go through security quickly. 4. I didn't see any clocks so maybe wear a watch if you wanna keep track of the time, just make sure it's not digital/electronic. 5. If you have kids with you, there's a play area for them inside, too. After the interview you may check your visa application status here: https://ceac.state.gov/CEAC/ For K1 visa it's under non-immigrant. Your application ID is the code found on your DS-160 confirmation page. (Mine was AA00****** format); Location - "PHILIPPINES, MANILA". If you try to pull it up under immigrant you may see that it still says "Ready" like before, the "case last updated" details may change on the first day or two after the interview, and then eventually you won't be able to check it under immigrant. At least that's what happened in my case. Again, please don't use my anecdote to strictly determine what documents you need, how easy/difficult the experience will be with you, or any other specifics. It's case-to-case basis, always. My aim is to provide an overview of the process because it's better than being clueless, LOL. And I just enjoy writing my visa experiences in detail. 😅 Good luck to everyone! My CEAC Status Timeline: Jul. 9-10 (Tue-Wed) - "No Status" Jul. 11 (Thu) AM - "Application Received" Jul. 11 (Thu) PM - "Administrative Processing" Jul. 12 (Fri) PM - "Issued"
  23. Starting this thread for N-400 Filers whose case jurisdiction is in Atlanta, GA. This chat group welcomes anyone who have experiences with Atlanta Office. Its a June 2019 Filer but its not exclusive. 😁 This group is here to help and give updates.
  24. Hey guys I wanted to start something for all the Charlotte, NC filers doesn’t matter what month.. just curious to see everyone else’s timeline to so I can know what to expect for mine. i filed in April 16, 2019 heres my timeline so far. 4/15/19 mailed 4/16/19 USCIS received 5/9/19 early walk in for biometrics (original date 5/26/19) 5/10/19 fingerprints received and reviewed 5/23/19 case is ready to be scheduled im so anxious ... I know it’s a long process but can’t help it. would love to hear everyone else’s experience so far
  25. Creating this for Montreal CR1/1R1 applicants waiting for interview dates.
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