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Chris & Trinh's US Immigration Timeline

  Petitioner's Name: Chris
Beneficiary's Name: Trinh
VJ Member: Chris & Trinh
Country: Vietnam

Last Updated: 2014-03-06
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Immigration Checklist for Chris & Trinh:

USCIS I-130 Petition:      
Dept of State IR-1/CR-1 Visa:    
USCIS I-751 Petition:  
USCIS N-400 Petition:  

IR-1/CR-1 Visa
Event Date
Service Center : National Benefits Center
Transferred? No
Consulate : Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Marriage (if applicable): 2010-11-28
I-130 Sent : 2013-03-13
I-130 NOA1 : 2013-03-18
I-130 RFE : 2013-06-05
I-130 RFE Sent : 2013-06-28
I-130 Approved : 2013-07-16
NVC Received :
Received DS-261 / AOS Bill : 2013-08-02
Pay AOS Bill : 2013-08-05
Receive I-864 Package :
Send AOS Package :
Submit DS-261 : 2013-08-02
Receive IV Bill : 2013-08-20
Pay IV Bill : 2013-08-26
Send IV Package :
Receive Instruction and Interview appointment letter :
Case Completed at NVC : 2013-12-14
NVC Left :
Consulate Received :
Packet 3 Received :
Packet 3 Sent :
Packet 4 Received :
Interview Date : 2014-02-25
Interview Result : Approved
Second Interview
(If Required):
Second Interview Result:
Visa Received : 2014-03-06
US Entry :
Comments :
Estimates/Stats :
Your I-130 was approved in 120 days from your NOA1 date.

Your interview took 344 days from your I-130 NOA1 date.

Member Reviews:

Consulate Review: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Review Topic: IR-1/CR-1 Visa
Event Description
Review Date : February 25, 2014
Embassy Review : Today (February 25, 2014) my wife had her interview at the U.S. Consulate in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The interview took 344 days from our NOA1 date. For various reasons (mostly office errors) we had 1 RFE with USCIS, and 2 Check lists with NVC. In all that set us back about 3 months I would say.

Anyway, onto the interview. My wife, 2 yr old son, and I arrived and parked across the street from the consulate at 6:35am. Before we got the motorbike and all our things situated they began lining up down the sidewalk outside the consulate in two single file lines. This began at about 6:40am. We were in line shortly after and it was already LONG!

They opened the doors shortly after 7:00am. At this time the lines were VERY long. We were about in the middle of the line. The lines slowly started moving as they checked everyone's appointment letters, then a security check to look into any bags you brought and scanned you with a hand held metal detector.

After that check point you are let into a long standing room only sorting/holding room. Here there are 2 lines, one for Immigrant visas and one for Non-Immigrant Visas. It was a tight fit but everyone made it inside.

From there they started taking groups out of the sorting/holding area back outside and into another entrance. They first took about 20 people from the Immigrant line. Then, about 5 minutes later they took 20 from the Non-Immigrant line. This pattern repeated until everyone from the sorting/holding area was ushered outside and thru the other entrance. Our wait in the holding room was about 30 minutes.

At the other entrance you go thru another security check point. Here your appointment letter is looked at again along with your passport. Next you are asked to power off any electronics (phone) and turn them over to the security officer. After that you are checked once again by metal detectors and your bags are run thru an X-ray. After the security check, Non-immigrants go left and Immigrants go right.

Once to the waiting area for the Immigrants there about 3 windows everyone is slowly divided into. Here your appointment letter is collected and the person being interviewed is finger printed and given a number. After this, you sit and wait....and wait...and wait. Our interview time was for 8:00am. However, this means absolutely nothing. There is no order to anything. The number you are given is not even called in order. You sit and wait and wait and watch for your number....it is kind of like watching lottery numbers hoping your match the winner numbers.

When your number is FINALLY called. You go up to the window and give any and all documentation they asked for or you want to present for your case. This takes a few minutes. Once they have everything, you are sent back to wait and wait and wait for your interview.

Finally our number was called again. We go up to the window and they just wanted to verify an address. We were sent back to wait. At this time it was about 10:30am. The first people were just beginning to finish their interviews. I saw A LOT of blue papers. Maybe 1-10 were pink.

Our number was called again about 11:00am and this time it was for our interview. My wife, son and I all went up to the window together. They asked my wife and me to raise our right hand and swear we would tell the truth. They took my wife's finger prints again to make sure she is the right person that matched the file for the interview.

The nice American guy smiles and politely asks us how we met. I didn't know who he was asking this question to. So I asked him who he wanted the answer from. He said doesn't matter just need an answer. So I told my wife to answer. She answered his question in English and he understood fine. There was a translator present but she as not needed.

The next 2 questions were directed to me. How long did I live in Vietnam before I met my wife. I told him I lived here about 1 year before we met. Then he asked if I still live in Vietnam presently. I said that yes, my wife, son and I live together here in Vietnam presently. He then said well enjoy your stay in America. That is all we need from you. The whole interview took maybe 2 minutes.
From start (6:45am) to finish (11:10am) most of the time was spent waiting.

There is a new system in place for the visa we applied for, I-R1 and its delivery. There is NO fee for EMS (delivery) and you are given a new website to go to and enter in the address for your passport and visa to be delivered. You should do this ASAP. They still said the delivery will take 1 - 2 weeks.

Any advice I can give would be prepared for a long wait. Bring a book or something to read. Bring a pen to fill in documents. We brought a pen and not many others did. I swear at least 10 different people asked to borrow our pen. A little annoying. Also I feel the number of blue slips people were receiving could have been prevented with a little prep work. Most people were really unprepared and had no idea what documents they needed or the process. It made me wonder how they had made it that far.

Overall experience was positive besides the wait times.

(updated on February 25, 2014)
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

vjTimeline ver 5.0

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