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FireAnt's US Immigration Timeline

  Petitioner's Name: T
Beneficiary's Name: A
VJ Member: FireAnt
Country: Vietnam

Last Updated: 2024-04-02
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Immigration Checklist for T & A:

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 : California Service Center
Transferred? No
Consulate : Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
I-129F Sent : 2016-06-21
I-129F NOA1 : 2016-06-28
I-129F RFE(s) :
RFE Reply(s) :
I-129F NOA2 : 2016-08-17
NVC Received : 2016-08-31
Date Case #, IIN, and BIN assigned : 2016-09-01
NVC Left : 2016-09-06
Consulate Received : 2016-09-08
Packet 3 Received : 2016-09-15
Packet 3 Sent : 2016-09-15
Packet 4 Received : 2016-09-15
Interview Date : 2016-11-21
Interview Result : Approved
Second Interview
(If Required):
Second Interview Result:
Visa Received : 2016-11-29
US Entry : 2016-12-08
Marriage : 2016-12-21
Comments : About a week after receiving NOA2, I called NVC everyday until I got case number HCMxxxxxxxxxx from them. I then filled out the DS-160 online, had the fiancee paid the fee, then I scheduled the interview online in advance. I waited for a week or so and didn't hear anything from the consulate so I sent the inquiry via their website requesting package 3. They sent me via email the pkg3&4 instruction.

A note on the physical exam the Cho Ray Hospital: Before the exam, we went on the hospital website and studied the examination flowchart they posted online to become familiar with the examination procedure. After the physical, my fiancee comments the Hospital did a great job, everything got done real quick and simple. A few days before the exam, her son got a flu so his X-ray didn't show very clear. After the exam the nurse told them to wait for 2 days for the conclusion, if after 2 days she doesn't receive any phone call from the hospital, the result is good. We waited nervously and didn't get any phone call, what a release!!! The nurse also told my fiancee they don't need any immunization because K1 visa doesn't need to have it in Vietnam. After the physical, the hospital placed a stamp on the interview appointment sheet and they said the stamp is needed to enter the consulate.

Our interview at the consulate lasted less than 5 minutes with about 5-6 general questions and my fiancee and her son were approved for visas. The consulate officers (CO) didn't even ask us to show any evidence. I think thing went so well because we did a great work on the I-129F filing and we were well prepared for the visa interview. Thanks to the enormous amount of useful information on the VisaJourney.com and the counless numbers of postings from people I don't even know on that website.

I will go to the detail on the I-129F filing on another time. Here I only describe what documents were taken at the interview:
1. Interview confirmation pages with the stamp from Cho Ray Hospital, DS-160 bar code pages of my fiancee and her son. The papers were taken and not returned.
2. Visa photos: 2 of my fiancee and 2 of her son. Taken and not returned.
3. ID cards (chung minh nhan dan). Not taken.
4. Passports: taken and not return. They will be mailed back my fiancee with visas in them.
5. Household registration (ho khau): taken and returned at the end of interview.
6. Birth certificates (khai sinh): of my fiancee and her son were taken and returned at the end of interview. My birth certificate was not taken.
7. Divorce documents: court divorce papers of my fiancee (original and English translation) and my divorce decree (original with embossed seal) were taken and returned at the end of interview.
8. Police record's #2 (phieu ly lich tu phap so 2) of both my fiancee and her son were taken and not returned.
9. Financial documents: I-134 of my fiancee and her son, my Federal Tax transcript from previous year, the letter from my employee states my employment status and salary, the company benefit sheet that shows my children's names and all my life insurances. All these documents were taken and not returned.

That were all we were asked at the interview. I will post the I-129F filing at another time.
Estimates/Stats :
Your I-129f was approved in 50 days from your NOA1 date.

Your interview took 146 days from your I-129F NOA1 date.

Port of Entry Review
Event Date
Port of Entry : Boston
POE Date : 2016-12-08
Got EAD Stamp : No
Biometrics Taken : Yes
Harassment Level : 0
Comments : All the immigration officers are very friendly. We went through custom in about 15 minutes.

Adjustment of Status
Event Date
CIS Office : Boston MA
Date Filed : 2017-02-17
NOA Date : 2017-03-16
RFE(s) : 2017-03-16
Bio. Appt. : 2017-04-26
AOS Transfer** :
Interview Date : 2017-07-27
Approval / Denial Date : 2017-07-27
Approved : Yes
Got I551 Stamp : No
Greencard Received: 2017-08-03
Comments : - US entry: 12/08/2016.
- Marriage application: Mid Dec 2016.
- Wedding: A few days after marriage application.
- Apply for SSN: Near end of Dec. Only the wife was allowed to apply, her son K-2 visa was not allowed. He has to wait until after getting EAD.
- Add wife and step-son's as beneficiaries to health insurance at my work company.
- Received wife SSN: A week later
- Early Jan 2017: Step-son received vaccination from school where he attends (while we were waiting for insurance to be thru, the insurance company allowed to waive the step-son SSN). He needed a few rounds of shots.
- Mid Jan 2017 wife received vaccination from family doctor office.
- Mid Feb 2017, visited Civil Surgeon (after step-son got all vaccination).
- A few days later received two sealed envelopes from Civil Surgeon (form I-693 inside). And also copies of whatever inside the sealed envelopes: One for the wife and one for the son.
- Mid Feb: Try to fill out tax return using Turbo tax. It didn't work for 2 reasons: 1. The boy doesn't have SSN yet, and 2. Tried to fill out without the boy, only new wife included. Couldn't file electronically because she didn't have a driver license. Had to give up Turbo tax, will do the tax later with paper forms.
- 2/17/2017 sent AOS package without tax information of 2016, only included 3 federal tax transcripts of 2015, 2014, and 2013 (including 2 separate files inside, one for the wife and one for the son) via USPS certified mail.
- 2/22/2017 USPS tracking showed the package was received at 1:30pm.
- 3/16/2017 received the return of the whole package because I "forgot" to include the $85 bio fee in the payment (duh!!! dumb on me!!!).
- 3/17/2017 resent the package with correct payment ($1440 + $85)x2 for both my wife and her son.
- 4/6/2017 bank checks were cashed out.
- 4/7/2017 wife passed the driver learner permit test. Now I could fill out the Turbo tax for federal tax return for 2017 using her driver license number (filing married join return so we can have "stronger" evidence for the future AOS interview).
- 4/10/2017 received NOA's for I-485, I-131, and I-765.
- 4/14/2017 submitted tax return for 2017.
- 4/14/2017 received bio appointment letters for I-131 and I-765 only.
- 4/21/2017 received RE's for I-485 (not enough financial documents)
- 4/26/2017 completed bio for both the wife & her son. The bio was simple and quick.
- 5/2/2017 sent the additional financial documents via USPS express (2017 federal tax return, bank letter, latest paychecks).
2017-05-04 Received USCIS texts & emails showing they received the documents.
2017-05-12 Received 2nd Bio appointment letter for the wife due to her finger prints were not clear.
2017-05-24 Completed wife’s 2nd Bio.
2017-06-16 USCIS email saying EAD card was ordered on same day.
2017-06-20 USCIS email saying EAD card was mailed out on same day.
2017-06-21 Received EAD/AP approval for the son via postal mail (mail stamped on 6/19/17).
2017-06-23 Received EAD/AP card for the son.
2017-06-26 Son applied for SSN.
2017-06-26 Received NOC interviews for both wife & son.
2017-06-26 USCIS updated scheduling interview appointment (the interview was scheduled 6/23).
2017-07-02 Son received SSN card.
2017-07-03 Received EAD/AP approval for the wife via postal mail (mail stamped on 6/30/17).
2017-07-05 Added son’s SSN to benefit coverage.
2017-07-07 Received EAD/AP card for wife.
2017-07-27 AOS interview in morning. Received approval emails, texts, & USCIS website in afternoon.
2017-07-27 Received texts, emails, USCIS website: Green cards being ordered.
2017-07-31 Received approval notices via postal mail.
2017-07-31 Received text, email, USCIS website: Wife’s Green card was sent.
2017-08-01 Received text, email, USCIS website: Son’s Green card was sent.
2017-08-03 Received wife’s green card in mail.
2017-08-04 Received son’s green card in mail.
End End of AOS journey, ready for ROC journey.


Employment Authorization Document
Event Date
CIS Office : Chicago IL
Filing Method : Mail
Filing Instance : First
Date Filed : 2017-02-17
NOA Date : 2017-03-16
RFE(s) :
Bio. Appt. : 2017-04-26
Approved Date : 2017-06-16
Date Card Received : 2017-06-23
Comments :
Estimates/Stats :
Your EAD was approved in 119 days.

Advance Parole
Event Date
CIS Office : Chicago IL
Filing Method :  
Filing Instance : First
Date Filed : 2017-02-17
NOA Date : 2017-03-16
RFE(s) :
Date Received : 2017-06-23
Comments :
Estimates/Stats :
Your AP was approved in 119 days.

Lifting Conditions
Event Date
CIS Office : Vermont Service Center
Date Filed : 2019-05-08
NOA Date : 2019-05-13
RFE(s) :
Bio. Appt. : 2019-06-19
Interview Date :
Approval / Denial Date : 2020-09-10
Approved : Yes
Got I551 Stamp : No
Green Card Received : 2020-09-17
Comments : Dear VisaJourney friends,
After being living in our dream for two years, now it's time for filing the Lifting of Conditions (or ROC, removal of conditions).
Our two year green cards will be expired on July 27th, 2019. On 4/1/2019 we received NOC form I-797C that was dated on 3/27/19. The NOC is just a reminder to file Form I-751.
Here are our updates on the way along ROC process:
* 2019-05-06 Sent ROC package via USPS. The stack is 2.5 inch thick and weighed 5 lbs.
* 2019-05-08 USPS tracking showed that package was received at noon.
* 2019-05-08 USCIS received our packet (as shown in the Received Date in the NOA).
* 2019-05-13 USCIS sent us the NOA (as shown in the Notice Date in the NOA).
* 2019-05-14 Check cleared at our bank.
* 2019-05-16 Received NOA's (form I-797) via postal mails for my wife and for her son (my step son). The NOA's say there is an 18 month extension for the green cards. I also logged in and checked CASE STATUS on USCIS website but it didn't show anything yet.
* 2019-06-08 Received I-797C NOAs for Bio appointment for my wife and my step son. The NOAs were printed on 5/31/19, the postal stamps dated 6/5/19. It seems that they waited one week after printing before bringing the letters to the post office. The bio appointment is June 19.
* 2019-06-19 Bios were completed quickly and simply.
* 2020-02-19 Received phone text message as well as on email: "Case Transferred To Another Office".
* 2020-02-20 Received phone text message and email: "Case was transferred and a new office has jurisdiction".
* 2020-02-24 Received NOA via postal mail that says our case was transferred from Vermont Service Center, VT to Potomac Service Center, VA.
* 2020-08-29 Still didn't hear anything from USCIS. Thank to the COVID-19 that causes all the delay.
* 2020-09-10 New cards were ordered per USCIS case status.
* 2020-09-14 New cards were mailed out per USCIS case status.
* 2020-09-15 Post office picked up mails per USCIS case status.
* 2020-09-17 Today is a big day for us. We received the two 10-year green cards (my wife and her son) in USPS priority mail envelopes. Thanks you Visajourney friends and good luck to you all.
* 2020-09-18 Received Approval Notices (I-797 NOC) via postal mail, one day after receiving green cards: "Congratulations! USCIS approved your request to remove the conditions on your resident status. You are deemed to be a lawful permanent resident of the United States as of the date of your original admission or adjustment of status."
It's so sweet!

Event Date
Service Center : Online
CIS Office : Boston MA
Date Filed : 2023-10-17
NOA Date : 2023-10-30
Bio. Appt. :
Interview Date : 2024-03-15
Approved : Yes
Oath Ceremony :
Comments :

Member Reviews:

Consulate Review: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Review Topic: General Review
Event Description
Review Date : November 21, 2016
Embassy Review : 7:00am - Arrived consulate on 4 Le Duan St. There was already a line of about 60 people waiting along the consulate wall next to the entrain door. The entrain door doesn't look like any fancy welcome door, instead it looks like a regular metal emergency exit back door of any school in the US.

7:15am - One officer in police uniform and another officer in plain uniform went along the line to remind the everyone to take out passport, passport picture, interview appointment paper, the instruction package letter and had them ready in hands. They also reminded whoever had backpack or case must keep them on hands and not place them on the ground otherwise they would not be allowed to enter the door (I don't know why, probably to prevent a "bomb in a backpack"?). Then later another office in plain uniform went along the line to check all the papers above. I was the US citizen sponsoring my fiancee so I didn't have to show any thing (not even the passport). Backpacks and cell phones were allowed to bring into this first door.

7:30am - Door opened. Each person entered after going through two officers with metal detectors. Inside there were two big sign hanging on the ceiling that say ... Immigrant, and ... Nonimmigrant. Don't bother to look at them. They don't mean anything. The officers inside told people to line up in 3 columns. I did a quick estimation there were about 50 people each column. So the total were about 150 people with us somewhere near the middle. Each family was handed a piece of paper the size about 8.5"x5.5", title "Notice to approve IV applications". One officer explain loudly how to fill out this piece of paper. The purpose of this paper is for people to write down their name, passport number, and case number. At the end of the interview, whoever passed, their passports will be held for pasting the visa. They will need that piece of paper to fill out the address form (with passport numbers, and case numbers required) so the consulate can send the visas and passports home. Then the officer reminded everyone to take out their cell phones and turn off the power. All cell phones will be collected before the next security check. Then each family was called to go through the next door and pass a second security check similar to the machine at the airport. Here all the cell phones were collected and to be returned on the way out after the interview.

7:45am - Went through the second security check. After thru, an officer sitting in a corner scanned the bar code on the interview appointment paper. Then we went through another door. After this door, stayed in line again. The men room and lady room are right there very convenient to release biological pressure. Only my fiancee and her son were allowed to stay inline. I went to the waiting benches and waited there.

8:00am - My fiancee got her call number then she and her son got their electronic fingerprints on the first window. After that they went to the waiting area with me. From now on all the numbers were called randomly.

8:30am - We were called to the document precheck window. The Vietnamese lady behind the glass window went through the papers she already had in hand. I did a quick glance and noticed they were my F-129F document. She then asked us to hand in the doctor physical envelops. Then asked us to hand in all the documents required as instructed in the instruction package but no need to hand in the proof documents. She went thru the document real quick and kept all the originals, return us the copies. She asked me: "Did you do all these by yourself? It is so neat and well organized." I answered yes, I had try my best. She then asked we were both married before, how many kids each of us have, do we have any kid together yet. Then she told us to go back the waiting bench.

9:40am - Got the call to the interview window (inside was a tall white man and a young Vietnamese interpreter lady). I purposely carried the stack of document to the window with a big smile on my face, just wanted to acknowledge the interviewer I am here. The man said to me "Good morning". I replied "Good morning sir, how are you doing?". He responded "Good, please go back your seat and wait". So I returned to the bench and waited.

Here are the questions to my fiancee (while her son was standing next to her):
- When did you know him?
- When did he come back to you?
- Where is he living now?
- How far is the school your son is going to?
- Can he walk to school? (Answer: I don't know, my fiance told us he'll take the bus).
- Congratulation you two, mother and son. You'll have your visas to the US.

I jumped up my seat, hugged and lifted my fiancee, my tear was almost come out.

On the way out we stopped at the EMS desk to fill out the address form so they can send us the passports and visas. This time we needed the small piece of paper I mentioned earlier for filling out the address form. They required two phone numbers on this form so be prepare.

On the way out, before the last exit door, the officer who kept all the cell phones reminded us to pick up the phones. We responded we didn't hand in any phone there.

One outside, we crossed the street to the other side and waved on a taxi to get back the hotel. We ignored all the travel agents trying to sell airplane tickets there.

Thanks for being patience reading this post. Now were are preparing for the next journey: US entry.

Rating : Very 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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