Andrea&Henry's US Immigration Timeline

  Petitioner's Name: Henry
Beneficiary's Name: Andrea
VJ Member: Andrea&Henry
Country: Venezuela

Last Updated: 2017-12-13
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Immigration Checklist for Henry & Andrea:

USCIS I-129F Petition:      
Dept of State K1 Visa:    
USCIS I-485 Petition:  
USCIS I-765 Petition:      
USCIS I-131 Petition:      
USCIS I-751 Petition:  
USCIS N-400 Petition:  


K1 Visa
Event Date
Service Center : Vermont Service Center
Transferred? No
Consulate : Caracas, Venezuela
I-129F Sent : 2011-09-19
I-129F NOA1 : 2011-09-21
I-129F RFE(s) : NO
RFE Reply(s) : NO
I-129F NOA2 : 2012-01-19
NVC Received : 2012-02-01
Date Case #, IIN, and BIN assigned :
NVC Left : 2012-02-03
Consulate Received : 2012-02-07
Packet 3 Received : 2012-02-27
Packet 3 Sent :
Packet 4 Received : 2012-02-27
Interview Date : 2012-04-03
Interview Result : Approved
Second Interview
(If Required):
No
Second Interview Result:
Visa Received : 2012-04-16
US Entry : 2012-04-20
Marriage : 2012-05-17
Comments : Interview Day:

It was an amazing experience overall, The only negative were 5.5 hours we had to wait.
Our interview was set for Tuesday April 3rd at 8:30 am according to our interview appointment letter, we went through a short line for security and they checked our belongings (make sure not to bring bags, cellphones, or any forbidden item listed in their website) and when we went in we saw a bunch of lines of people waiting. I remember a VJ member mentioning do not stand in lines because those were for tourist visas. We saw a security guard and let him know we were on a family petition and he walked us inside of another building within the Embassy facility. There were a bunch of open booths (like 12) where they were having tourist visas interviews. At the end of the hall they have a small waiting section and 3 open booth just in front of these area.

This area in particular is only for family/work base visas. We grabbed a number a just waited. There were probably 3 cases before us (My fiance attended the interview with me) : a girl with a k1 visa, a student visa, a working visa and a family reunification. My number was finally called aprox. 2.5 hours later and I approached one of the open booths. A lady asked me for my documents (ds230, ds156, ds156k, birth certificate, police record, i134 and only taxes) I brought his letter from the bank and work but she didn't want them. Then she asked how we met, for how long, how many countries we have visited together, when we got engaged, etc. Then she handed me a receipt and asked me to go to the back and pay the interview fee (You can pay in Bolivares or USD) and then once I'm back to go and sit down to wait for my second interview.

Like 2 hours later, probably around 12.20 pm, a second lady calls my number and the 1st thing she asked me was for the receipt I just paid. My fiance had it so I asked him to give it to me, as soon as she realized my fiance was there with me, she asked me to call him, she then proceeded to interview him. She asked him some basic question about my family (very very basic questions), then she asked me if I speak English which I said yes and asked me if I'm going to work in the US, she asked me about my profession etc, then she asked to the both of us some of our wedding plans.

With a big smile she said "I have nothing left to ask your visa has been approved, Go to DHL window to pay for your visa delivery". We were thrilled!!! We cried like babies!!! She then handed us a paper and kept my passport. We walked outside to breath some fresh air and to calm down and the walked to the DHL office that is within the Embassy premises. In DHL they told that we have to wait 15 days for delivery due to Easter (is in 2 days). We were lucky enough to take the last taxi available and we just left.

In general terms it was GREAT but the wait is really tiring not only due to the waiting period but also because I was too nervous to sleep the night before and it kind of sucks not being able to have our phones with us.
We enter on 7.30 am and we left by 1.00 pm. Make sure to eat well before you leave. Try to go earlier, we, were lucky and it wasn't crowed (holly week is in 2 days) but usually people takes longer. Avoid paper clips, and big bags.

UPDATE April 16th,2012

Our interview was 13 days ago and 2 days later the embassy was closed due to Easter and Holly Week. My fiance went back home on Easter Sunday because he needed to go back to work, we knew I wouldn't be able to go back with him due to the time the visa/passport processing takes but at least this time around was not the typical sad and depressing goodbye we were use to. I worked until last Friday 13th but for the last 13 days I didn't have any update about my package. Today is monday 04/16/12 and I woke up with a text from DHL that my package was ready!!! As soon as I got it, I got ready and went to pick it up at my local DHL. Once I got home, I opened it and it contained one large package and inside there was a big manila (yellow) envelope with red stamps everywhere "DO NOT OPEN" and a very small envelope that had my passport on it. Less than an hour later, I had my flight booked for this upcoming Friday 04/20!! I leave in the last flight of the day route to Miami, Fl!!!! I just called my fiance and we can't believe we are going to be together forever in just 4 days!!! After 7 months and 1 days since we first applied, we are finally going to live our happily ever after.

UPDATE 04/19

It's Thursday night (8.00pm) and everything is ready for my big day tomorrow. It feels completely surreal that today is our 7 months anniversary since we filed our k1 visa and TOMORROW I'm finally going to be able to be with the love of my life in my new home. As you read above (thank you if you made it to this point), I received my k1 package and passport on monday 04/16. That same day I booked my flight and spent the past 2 days between visiting friends and family, packaging and making sure I don't forget ANYTHING. I had to packed all 5 suitcases (thank God my fiance brought an extra one when he came to the interview and left it with me)...is incredibly how difficult can be to packed your life in 5 suitcases: of course I packed my clothes, shoes, accessories, pictures, personal documents and sentimental objects and of course I had to left a few stuff behind.

The past 3 days have been pretty hectic to say the least and honestly I can't wait to be at home. Not having any family here (they all leave in Spain) but my grandmother makes things easier but it's crazy knowing that the only life I knew so far is about to change. Today I waited for my fiance to get home like I did all these days, we had dinner together through skype while I was also reviewing my endless lists of items. I blew dry my hair and we just talked about the wonderful life is waiting for us tomorrow. For more than a year, Skype and whatsapp was pretty much our channel of communication so we celebrated our very last skype call. He hired someone to clean our house (I can't believe it!! OUR house)...we renewed our kitchen, paints the house, and got new furniture a few months before, so he got flowers and wanted the house to be spotless for my arrival...he even went grocery shopping to buy my favorite food and get me my personal toiletries .

We usually go to bed super late talking but we decided to make the exception for tonight taking into consideration the busy and crazy day we have tomorrow, so by 7.50 pm we said our good nights although I already miss him. Can't believe this is my last night in my home, can't wait for tomorrow!.

UPDATE 04/20/12

Sooooo I'm finally at the airport!! is 3.30 pm and my flights leaves in hour approx. I've been awake since 5 am in the morning making sure everything was ready and honestly I was TOO excited to go to sleep. I woke at 5 am, took a shower, cooked breakfast and I cleaned my granny's home and spent some time with her before I started getting ready. Our closest airport is like 45 minutes away with no traffic so a friend of mine offered himself to take me to the airport around 12.45pm so by 12 I was completely ready. Saying goodbye to my grandmother was harsh especially because is highly probable is going to be the last time I see her (she is 84) but my heart was so full of love and excitement for the future so was hers.

By 12.45 my friend pulled over and helped me with my 5 suitcases, and then we proceeded to our route. Caracas is one of the most dangerous cities in the world, and robbery even in your own car is very very common. So I had my package and my passport beneath the seat. We arrived to the airport fairly quick around 1.30 pm which is a great luck taking into consideration it was a friday. As soon as we arrived, he left me at the entrance (the airport parking lot has NO security) and is extremely dangerous, so no time for sad goodbyes. I think because Easter just passed, the airport was pretty much empty, so I checked in right away.

The staff from AA were very nice and I got a great deal for my extra luggage, and then walked to immigration. I was in shock on how empty the place was, I made no lines. I had my purse and a small carry on bag with my laptop, personal documents and my k1 package. The instructions are very clear that you have to carry it with you because you have to submit it at the POE, but was scared that a venezuelan officer wanted to opened it. Luckily for me it was not the case, when they stamp my passport they asked why I was leaving and for how long and I told them it was just for 2 weeks vacation and I was coming back before mother's day (it was a fat big lie but telling Chavistas employees you are moving out of the country for good will make things harder for you) so that's why I bought a 2 ways ticket.

By 2.30pm I was sitting in my gate and then went to get something to eat and to buy a few venezuelan souvenirs for my fiance, his family and my new home. I forgot to mention that I'm pretty much aware that I will be going through the infamous immigration room so my fiance brought me a prepaid cellphone so I could call him or text him once my flight lands in the US as my phone won't be too helpful.

How I feel? honestly, I feel tired...the past 2 months have been the craziest of my life, a lot of errands, endless paperwork plus the anxiety of the process and the last 2-3 weeks everything intensified. And this week have been crazy, exciting and also very bittersweet. I few minutes ago I was able to skype with my family in Spain and I have been chatting with my fiance throughout the day. He is at work now and the poor soul has been watching the clock all day jajaja!!! He leaves at 5 pm, is going home to shower and change and then go to the airport to pick me up. I can't believe I'll be with him at home in a few hours!!!!

I would like to thank Visajourney for taking me to this point and for 7 months of amazing support!! and if you read this to this point THANK YOUUUUU! I hope my personal experience can help you in this journey.

I'll be updating my experience at the Port Of Entry (POE) (Scroll down) probably tomorrow or sunday so WISH ME LUCK!!!


Processing
Estimates/Stats :
Your I-129f was approved in 120 days from your NOA1 date.

Your interview took 195 days from your I-129F NOA1 date.


Port of Entry Review
Event Date
Port of Entry : Miami
POE Date : 2012-04-20
Got EAD Stamp : Yes,Passport Stamp
Biometrics Taken : Yes
Harassment Level : 0
Comments : UPDATE 04/22

I MADE IT!!! I'M HERE :) If you read on the comments, you saw I reported until right before boarding my flight. Everything went pretty good and smooth and my flight took off aroud 4.00 pm (on time). I was able to see from my plane, the coast and beaches I grew up in with a beautiful sunset as a background.

The next 3 hours and a half I read, play games on my laptop and chatting with the person next to me. At some point I lost track of time when I felt the airplane descending, that's when the pilot announces to fast our seatbelts because we were arriving to the Miami International Airport. Oh my!!! It was almost 7 pm but there was still plenty of sunlight and I could see the beautiful sunset over the houses of El Doral. I started crying very emotionally. The lady next to me asked me if I was fine and I briefly explain her our journey. When we landed I call my fiance and told him "Babi I'm home!!". At this point I've been awake for the past 14 hours and I just wanted to get home.

I landed in Miami around 7.30 pm on a Friday 04/20 (2 weeks after Easter so it was not too crowed). Get ready to walk a lot until you are able to see the immigration section. An officer randomly stopped me way before getting to the Customs requesting to see my passport and asking me the reason of my visit. After brief explanation he let me go. When I finally got to customs, the officer asked me for my passport and my k1 visa package, he made a few questions regarding my previous visit back 1996 and made a lot of compliments about my english, in general he was very very nice. He then proceed to walk me to the immigration room (This is something I was already aware of, so my fiance sent me a prepaid phone right after our interview so I could communicate with him during this time). When I went in, it was probably 8.15 pm already. The room was quite full, people from all nationalities just there waiting. The office handed my package another immigration officer and left.

It was not the most pleasant experience to be quite honest, there were at least 7-8 immigration officers and they were talking loud and joking while we were waiting there almost in complete silence. We were not allowed to talk to others let alone, use the phone so I just waited there. There were family with young children and babies waiting patiently while most of the officers were doing everything but work. Finally I see an officer grabbing my envelope and calling me. He opened the package in front of me, and I was able to see my entire k1 package, he checked a few things and then ask me to go and sit down again.

It's been almost an hour since I got there. A few minutes later a lady from American Airlines came in to check the people who was on my flight that was there to check on our luggage number, I guess all my 5 suitcases were there waiting for someone. She assured me my luggage will be right there outside. 20 minutes later an officer holding my passport called me and he asked me if I was clear that I had to get married within 90 days of my arrival (due on july,2012). I told him yes, and then he proceed to asked me where my fiance was (He was outside waiting for me). He then proceed to stamp my passport and welcomed me into the United States. Even though there were a bunch of people there when I arrived, I was definitely one of the 1st ones to leave. By the time I walked out it was almost 10 pm so I was there for probably an hour and a half. The site was kind of creepy because it was completely empty! No passengers/visitors and no immigration officers outside, so I rushed to get my luggage.

When I get to the exit, I was happy to see all my suitcases aligned one next to the other with a plastic thing with my name (what a relief) and the last airport staff was about to leave when he saw me trying to load one of those luggage cart so he helped. Finally at 10.15 pm I was hugging my fiance and ready to started our new life together. In general terms, it was a good experience overall, the waiting periods were within the time frame expected and the customs officer were kind with me to be fair and you will be ok as long as you can speak some English. I strongly suggest to avoid weekends (saturday and sundays) or holidays (the airport has way more visitors during these specific time) making your POE process way longer that it should. I also suggest you if you have to take any flight connections, to book the flight at least with a 4 hours spam or spend the night at the airport hotel and take your connection the next day.

We live in Broward so we got home around 10.45 pm and beyond exhausted. My poor fiance was at the airport since 7.30 pm so he had to wait for me for 2.5 hours. I literally cried when I got home and finally be able to meet the house I saw through skype for almost a year. It felt completely surreal to be quite honest and it kept feeling surreal for the next 48 hours hahaha. Today is sunday (can't believe how fast this week and weekend went by!!!) yesterday I went shopping and lunch with my fiance and today we went to Ikea to buy more stuff for our house. It feels like a dream I don't want to wake up from.

We are currently just enjoying each other and getting to know this beautiful country. We are planning to get marry in may so in the mid time we are just resting and having a great time. We are not quite ready yet, to start another process hahahaha so having a few weeks for ourselves is our plan.


Adjustment of Status
Event Date
CIS Office : Miami FL
Date Filed : 2012-07-19
NOA Date : 2012-08-03
RFE(s) : No
Bio. Appt. : 2012-08-31
AOS Transfer** :
Interview Date :
Approval / Denial Date : 2013-04-20
Approved : Yes
Got I551 Stamp :
Greencard Received:
Comments : Update 04/20/2013
Our process took 9 months but No interview needed it! My Greencard arrived on the 1st anniversary of my arrival to the US. What an amazing gift.

Update 05/01/2013
Right after I got my GC, I updated my social and got a new drivers's license valid for 10 years! so bye bye USCIS, see ya in March 2015!!!



Employment Authorization Document
Event Date
CIS Office : Miami FL
Filing Method : Mail
Filing Instance : First
Date Filed : 2012-07-19
NOA Date : 2012-08-03
RFE(s) :
Bio. Appt. : 2012-08-31
Approved Date : 2012-09-21
Date Card Received : 2012-09-29
Comments :
Processing
Estimates/Stats :
Your EAD was approved in 64 days.


Advance Parole
Event Date
CIS Office : Miami FL
Filing Method :  
Filing Instance : First
Date Filed : 2012-07-19
NOA Date : 2012-08-03
RFE(s) : NO
Date Received : 2012-10-29
Comments :
Processing
Estimates/Stats :
Your AP was approved in 64 days.


Lifting Conditions
Event Date
CIS Office : Vermont Service Center
Date Filed : 2015-02-24
NOA Date : 2015-03-06
RFE(s) :
Bio. Appt. : 2015-03-30
Interview Date :
Approval / Denial Date : 2015-10-19
Approved : Yes
Got I551 Stamp : No
Green Card Received : 2015-10-26
Comments : It took me 7 months to get my 10 years Green Card and no RFE involved. Can't wait for February 2016 so I can apply for my citizenship!


Citizenship
Event Date
Service Center : Lewisville TX Lockbox
CIS Office : Hialeah FL
Date Filed : 2016-02-27
NOA Date : 2016-03-05
Bio. Appt. : 2016-03-18
Interview Date : 2016-05-19
Approved : Yes
Oath Ceremony : 2016-05-27
Comments : I'm an US Citizen!!!! The experience in general was amazing and fast. It took me 3 months and 3 days since I sent my petition until my oath Ceremony. I think it took 2 weeks between the different stages. Once I reached the "in line for interview" status, it took me a little over a month to go through my interview and oath ceremony. USCIS Hialeah swore me in a week after my interview. It was incredible fast! UPDATE 05/31/2016 I'm registered to vote and I updated my immigration status with the SSO UPDATE 08/31 Today I got my US passport. The process of scheduling the appointment was super quick and the new passport facility right next to my home, was pretty much empty the day I went. It was super quick! probably 15 mins in and out. I felt tempted to pay the extra $60+ for the expedite but I wasn't traveling anywhere either way. Glad I didn't because I received my US passport within 2 weeks!! I'm so glad, happy and humbled for these amazing these 5 years where VISAJOURNEY played a key role into the success of our immigration journey. From the very 1st time when my now husband and I found your website full of questions and fears to this day when I'm finally an US citizen. You were there in every step of the way during all this time. This is an outstanding and very supportive community!! if you are reading this, and you just started this process the only thing I can tell you is that you are in great hands and good luck! Thank you for everything VJ!!! SO glad to finally be able to say "BYE BYE USCIS!!!"

Member Reviews:

Consulate Review: Caracas, Venezuela
Review Topic: General Review
Event Description
Review Date : December 14, 2017
Embassy Review : Interview Day:

It was an amazing experience overall, The only negative were 5.5 hours we had to wait.
Our interview was set for Tuesday April 3rd at 8:30 am according to our interview appointment letter, we went through a short line for security and they checked our belongings (make sure not to bring bags, cellphones, or any forbidden item listed in their website) and when we went in we saw a bunch of lines of people waiting. I remember a VJ member mentioning do not stand in lines because those were for tourist visas. We saw a security guard and let him know we were on a family petition and he walked us inside of another building within the Embassy facility. There were a bunch of open booths (like 12) where they were having tourist visas interviews. At the end of the hall they have a small waiting section and 3 open booth just in front of these area.

This area in particular is only for family/work base visas. We grabbed a number a just waited. There were probably 3 cases before us (My fiance attended the interview with me) : a girl with a k1 visa, a student visa, a working visa and a family reunification. My number was finally called aprox. 2.5 hours later and I approached one of the open booths. A lady asked me for my documents (ds230, ds156, ds156k, birth certificate, police record, i134 and only taxes) I brought his letter from the bank and work but she didn't want them. Then she asked how we met, for how long, how many countries we have visited together, when we got engaged, etc. Then she handed me a receipt and asked me to go to the back and pay the interview fee (You can pay in Bolivares or USD) and then once I'm back to go and sit down to wait for my second interview.

Like 2 hours later, probably around 12.20 pm, a second lady calls my number and the 1st thing she asked me was for the receipt I just paid. My fiance had it so I asked him to give it to me, as soon as she realized my fiance was there with me, she asked me to call him, she then proceeded to interview him. She asked him some basic question about my family (very very basic questions), then she asked me if I speak English which I said yes and asked me if I'm going to work in the US, she asked me about my profession etc, then she asked to the both of us some of our wedding plans.

With a big smile she said "I have nothing left to ask your visa has been approved, Go to DHL window to pay for your visa delivery". We were thrilled!!! We cried like babies!!! She then handed us a paper and kept my passport. We walked outside to breath some fresh air and to calm down and the walked to the DHL office that is within the Embassy premises. In DHL they told that we have to wait 15 days for delivery due to Easter (is in 2 days). We were lucky enough to take the last taxi available and we just left.

In general terms it was GREAT but the wait is really tiring not only due to the waiting period but also because I was too nervous to sleep the night before and it kind of sucks not being able to have our phones with us.
We enter on 7.30 am and we left by 1.00 pm. Make sure to eat well before you leave. Try to go earlier, we, were lucky and it wasn't crowed (holly week is in 2 days) but usually people takes longer. Avoid paper clips, and big bags.
Rating : Good


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*Notice about estimates: The estimates are based off averages of other members recent experiences
(documented in their timelines) for the same benefit/petition/application at the same filing location.
Individual results may vary as every case is not always 'average'. Past performance does not necessarily
predict future results. The 'as early as date' may change over time based on current reported processing
times from members. There have historically been cases where a benefit/petition/application processing
briefly slows down or stops and this can not be predicted. Use these dates as reference only and do not
rely on them for planning. As always you should check the USCIS processing times to see if your application
is past due.

** Not all cases are transfered

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