EG&XY's US Immigration Timeline

blank avatar   Petitioner's Name: E
Beneficiary's Name: X
VJ Member: EG&XY
Country: China

Last Updated: 2021-08-13
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Immigration Checklist for E & X:

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 : Texas Service Center
Transferred? No
Consulate : Guangzhou, China
Marriage (if applicable): 2016-10-08
I-130 Sent : 2016-12-21
I-130 NOA1 : 2016-12-27
I-130 RFE : 2017-06-07
I-130 RFE Sent : 2017-06-19
I-130 Approved : 2017-06-28
NVC Received : 2017-07-12
Received DS-261 / AOS Bill : 2017-07-20
Pay AOS Bill : 2017-07-20
Receive I-864 Package :
Send AOS Package : 2017-08-01
Submit DS-261 : 2017-07-19
Receive IV Bill : 2017-07-28
Pay IV Bill : 2017-07-28
Send IV Package : 2017-08-01
Receive Instruction and Interview appointment letter :
Case Completed at NVC : 2017-08-09
NVC Left :
Consulate Received :
Packet 3 Received :
Packet 3 Sent :
Packet 4 Received : 2017-08-15
Interview Date : 2017-09-18
Interview Result : Approved
Second Interview
(If Required):
Second Interview Result:
Visa Received : 2017-09-24
US Entry : 2017-10-20
Comments : Received new GZO (email processing) case number 2017-08-02 (one day after submitting IV/AOS documents).
Visa issued the day after the interview, but it took several more days for it to be sent for delivery; however, the packet was received just under 1 week from the interview.
Estimates/Stats :
Your I-130 was approved in 183 days from your NOA1 date.

Your interview took 265 days from your I-130 NOA1 date.

Port of Entry Review
Event Date
Port of Entry : San Francisco
POE Date : 2017-10-20
Got EAD Stamp :
Biometrics Taken :
Harassment Level : 0
Comments :

Lifting Conditions
Event Date
CIS Office : California Service Center
Date Filed : 2019-07-29
NOA Date : 2019-08-08
RFE(s) :
Bio. Appt. :
Interview Date : 2021-05-14
Approval / Denial Date : 2021-05-14
Approved : Yes
Got I551 Stamp : Yes
Green Card Received :
Comments : Transferred to NBC on Sep. 11, 2019; received I-551 on April 13, 2021 (took about 1 week from request until appointment was scheduled, which was about 1 week later)

Event Date
Service Center : Online
CIS Office : San Francisco CA
Date Filed : 2020-07-22
NOA Date : 2020-07-22
Bio. Appt. : 2020-12-04
Interview Date : 2021-05-14
Approved : Yes
Oath Ceremony : 2021-05-14
Comments : Had to call 90 days after submitting application because biometrics still hadn’t been scheduled. About 1 week later the biometrics appointment was scheduled.

Member Reviews:

Consulate Review: Guangzhou, China
Review Topic: IR-1/CR-1 Visa
Event Description
Review Date : September 24, 2017
Embassy Review : Spousal Visa (CR1/IR1) Interview Experience (and a few comments about medical)

Medical Exam

If you do your medical is in Guangzhou, then the results should be available within about 3 days. However, if you do your medical in Beijing or Shanghai it will likely take about 5 days to get the results back.

In Guangzhou, on Monday through Friday you can either make an appointment or just walk-in to get your medical done. You can also get your medical done on Saturdays, but you must make an appointment. During the week (M-F) they start giving tickets at 7:30 am and start working at 8:00 am. But on Saturdays they don't start giving tickets until 8:30 am and the first appointments are at 9:00 am.

There are fewer people doing medicals on Saturdays so it may be faster to get the medical exams done then. And you can still get your results on the following Wednesday.

You don't have to fast before the medical exam, so you can eat breakfast before going.

FYI, the test that takes the longest is the urine test, which must be sent out for testing, and takes 2 days to do the testing. This is why it takes 3 days to get the results back, so don't count on getting the results faster. Of course, this assumes that the chest X-ray is clean and they don't have a concern about TB.


Guangzhou is the only embassy/consulate in China that handles immigrant visa interviews. There are hotels close to the consulate, but they are quite expensive. You can find cheaper places to stay if you are willing to stay a short distance away (less than 30 min walk or 1-3 subway stops).

My husband's scheduled interview appointment was at 8:40 am. He arrived at 7:50 am but all of the other people for that time had already arrived and lined up. Suggest arriving about 1 hour before your appointment time because there are a lot of people waiting for interviews.

[Note: Guangzhou consulate generally does not allow others inside the consulate to attend the interview with the beneficiary. However, my husband is aware of a married couple where the husband flew over and waited outside, but he officer questioned the validity of their marriage and requested that they both come back the following day and had to do a stokes interview. This isn't typical, but the officer questioned the marriage because they had spent very little time together (only one trip, when they were married).]

Before your scheduled interview time you may be allowed to go through security, (my husband's group was allowed to go through security around 8:20, about 20 minuets before their appointment time). People interviewing for immigrant visas are allowed to check their bags and phones at security and pick them up after their interview. But people interviewing for non-immigrant visas enter through a different location and are not allowed to check any items in to claim later.

Once inside then you will have to go to another building for the interview. You will need to take an elevator to the 3rd floor. If you want the first number then be sure to be the last person on the elevator. You will stay in the order that you come off of the elevator when you go to get your number/tickets.

The room has approximately 23 service windows. The windows are broken up into three groups:

Window 1 is for getting your tickets
Windows 2 through ~12 are for submitting paperwork
Windows ~13 through 23 are for the interviews

At Window 1 they will ask "who petitioned you" and you will need to show them your passport and interview letter (P4). They do not collect the paperwork here. They will give you two tickets with a number, both tickets have the same number but one is in Chinese and the other is in English.

You will then go to Zone A and wait for your number to show up on the monitor (maybe 20 minutes or so). The numbers will be called in numerical order, so when the number before you is called you will know that you are next. When your number is called it will tell you which window to go to.

At the window they would ask "who petitioned you" and a few other simple questions (this is not the actual interview). Then they will ask for documents one-by-one. Provide the documents in the order that they ask for them (this may or may not be in the same order that they are listed on the interview letter (P4):
-> Interview letter (P4)
-> Beneficiary's passport
-> 2 color photos of the beneficiary (5 cm x 5 cm)
-> Original birth certificate (they just kept the original and not the photocopy)
-> Medical exam results
-- The worker will ask you to open it in front of them at the counter, do not open it until they instruct you to
-> I-864 (which ever version is appropriate) and supporting documents (tax transcripts, W2's, etc.)
-> Proof of petitioner's status in the US (copy of birth certificate, passport, etc.)
-> Marriage certificate and a copy
-- If the copy is good then they will return the original after verifying the copy
-> Original police certificate (they just kept the original and not the photocopy, and the original was was returned by the interviewer after the interview)

They will take the ticket with the Chinese on it give you back the other one with the English on it. They will also hand you the domestic violence pamphlet to review.

They also ask if you are competent to speak English or if you need a specific dialect for the interview. They do have officers that can interview in each dialect, but there may only be one officer available, so you may have to wait a longer time for them to be available for your interview.

Once you are finished submitting documents in Zone A then you will go to Zone B to wait for your interview. If you are able to speak English then you may have to wait about 20 minutes for your number to be called for the interview. If you need a specific dialect, then the wait may be much longer. The numbers are not called in numerical order, they are called in the order that people finish in Zone A and as the appropriate officer is available for any specific dialect requirements. So you will not know exactly when your number will show up. Just watch the monitors for your number to appear and it will tell you which window to go to for the interview.

When my husband arrived at the window for his interview the officer was not there because he had gone to get files that were submitted in Zone A. When the officer first came to the window he started to speak in Chinese, but my husband replied in English and then the officer conducted the rest of the interview in English.

The officer asked very few questions. The initial questions that he asked were:
-> Who petitioned you?
-> Where did you get married?
-- My husband misunderstood and replied with when we got married. So the officer asked again and my husband gave the correct answer.

The officer then checked over the documents that were submitted in Zone A and signed something. He then asked a few more questions:
-> What does the petitioner do for a living?
-> What do you (the beneficiary) do for a living?
-- My husband is a medical doctor and the officer wanted to know his area of specialization. (he also asked my husband if he plans to practice medicine in the US, and my husband said no, not unless he gets a US doctor license)
-> Are you a member of the Communist party?

That was all, the whole interview was only about 5-10 minutes. The officer was constantly looking at and typing on the computer during the interview. At one point he noticed that my husband was nervous, and the officer was very nice and told him that he was doing fine to help reassure my husband that everything was ok.

Then the officer said the magic words "Congratulations, you are approved" and gave my husband the white paper.

After your interview you can go to Window 23 if you have any questions at all (such as where to submit additional documents, how to get your passport back with the visa, etc.).

My husband's visa was issued the following day (CEAC updated to "issued" in the afternoon the day after his interview). A couple of days later the status in the passport tracking site updated to say that the passport had been received from the consulate and is being prepared for delivery. He never received any tracking info for the passport. The passport ended up showing up 5 days after the visa was issued and 3 days after the tracking site updated to say that the shipment was being prepared. It ended up that the passport was not actually delivered to the shipping company until the day after the status had been updated, then the following day it was in Chengdu, and then one more day it was in my husband's home town and delivered.

[Note: The case above with the officer who questioned the marriage, they did get their visa, but they were in administrative processing for a little over a week. The husband had already booked tickets and had to pay a very large fee to change their flights because they were in administrative processing. So do not book flights before you have the passport back with the visa in it.]

(updated on September 25, 2017)

(updated on September 25, 2017)
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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