Keeley's US Immigration Timeline

blank avatar   Petitioner's Name: K
Beneficiary's Name: E
VJ Member: Keeley
Country: Australia

Last Updated: 2023-02-23
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Immigration Checklist for K & E:

USCIS DCF 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 : Nebraska Service Center
Transferred? No
Consulate : Sydney, Australia
Marriage (if applicable): 2017-11-05
I-130 Sent : 2017-11-17
I-130 NOA1 : 2017-11-30
I-130 RFE :
I-130 RFE Sent :
I-130 Approved : 2018-06-28
NVC Received : 2018-07-23
Received DS-261 / AOS Bill : 2018-08-21
Pay AOS Bill : 2018-08-21
Receive I-864 Package :
Send AOS Package : 2018-08-23
Submit DS-261 :
Receive IV Bill : 2018-08-21
Pay IV Bill : 2018-08-21
Send IV Package : 2018-08-23
Receive Instruction and Interview appointment letter : 2018-09-18
Case Completed at NVC : 2018-09-07
NVC Left :
Consulate Received : 2018-09-25
Packet 3 Received : 2018-09-27
Packet 3 Sent :
Packet 4 Received :
Interview Date : 2018-10-16
Interview Result : Approved
Second Interview
(If Required):
Second Interview Result:
Visa Received : 2018-10-18
US Entry : 2018-11-30
Comments : Date USCIS sent to NVC: 2018-07-16
Estimates/Stats :
Your I-130 was approved in 210 days from your NOA1 date.

Your interview took 320 days from your I-130 NOA1 date.

Port of Entry Review
Event Date
Port of Entry : Los Angeles
POE Date : 2018-11-30
Got EAD Stamp : Yes,Passport Stamp
Biometrics Taken : Yes
Harassment Level : 0
Comments : Relatively smooth. We arrived early in the morning, waited in the queue for maybe 30ish minutes before speaking to the officer. We were told to step to the side to wait for another POE officer. We waited 10 minutes or so then were taken back to an office where my husband was interviewed for 5 minutes or so. I don't remember the specific questions, but they were all straightforward. The officer wasn't unfriendly, per se...more neutral, which was fine. He gave us one smile, when he said "Welcome to the United States" at the end of the interview.

Lifting Conditions
Event Date
CIS Office :
Date Filed : 2020-09-15
NOA Date : 2020-09-18
RFE(s) :
Bio. Appt. : 2021-07-14
Interview Date :
Approval / Denial Date :
Approved :
Got I551 Stamp :
Green Card Received :
Comments : Missouri Service Center

Event Date
Service Center : Online
CIS Office : Portland OR
Date Filed : 2021-09-07
NOA Date : 2021-09-07
Bio. Appt. : 2022-01-19
Interview Date : 2022-12-13
Approved : Yes
Oath Ceremony : 2022-12-29
Comments : N-400 Interview was initially scheduled for November 7. On arrival at the USCIS Field Office, though, after waiting for 60-90 minutes past appointment time, was informed the computer system was down and all appointments would be rescheduled. Sent home that day, received a letter with a new date of December 13 a few days later.

Member Reviews:

Consulate Review: Sydney, Australia
Review Topic: IR-1/CR-1 Visa
Event Description
Review Date : October 16, 2018
Embassy Review : Overall our experience at the consulate was positive, just slow!

When you arrive at the MLC building, it can be tricky to find the consulate if you haven't been there before. Make your way to the Tower Lobby and then take the lifts to Level 10. There are then signs pointing you to the US Consulate entrance.

My husband (immigrant) and I (US Citizen petitioner) attended together. If you want the petitioner to accompany you, you must email the Consulate BEFORE your interview so they can add you to the appointment. Before being allowed through the Consulate entrance, we had to show the woman at the door that our phones were powered off.

Then was document check-in. We had all of our documents organized in an accordion style folder with everything in the same order as the Document Cover Sheet sent to us by the Consulate. There were two women at a reception desk who were collecting the required documents from people as they arrived and putting them in a clear plastic document folder. They only collected the items listed on the document cover sheet. We had brought quite a bit of extra documentation with us, and we were able to take the rest of that up with us.

Next was security. This was very similar to security at a US airport, except the security personnel were friendlier. All your belongings go through an x-ray scanner and you walk through a metal detector. They kept our bags (my purse and a small backpack), phones, and keys but let us take up to the Consulate with us:

1) Our required documents in the clear plastic folder
2) Jackets
3) Extra documents in the accordion folder
4) Wallets
5) Books (we expected to be waiting)

You cannot take any electronics with you to the consulate, so best to leave them at home. They have complimentary storage for small items only, but they are just small cubby holes at security.

Next, you have a seat and wait to be directed to the lifts by a security officer. We waited about 5 minutes then got on a lift with another couple and went up to level 59 where the actual Consulate is. Right when you walk in to the Consulate, there is a ticket machine where you press the "Visa" button and take a number. Then you sit and wait for your number to be called. There were about 30-40 people there during the three hours we spent at the Consulate. Based on the ticket numbers, I would hazard a guess that they were doing about 40 immigrant visa interviews that day. There were also other people there for passports and various other US Citizen services. You can hear everything that is going on because the room is set up a bit like a small bank. The chairs in the waiting area face a row of windows where the consular officers speak to you through a microphone. It was pretty quiet in there, so we couldn't avoid overhearing many of the interviews.

My only real complaints are that there are no bathrooms, no clocks, and it was hot as hell in there. It feels a bit like purgatory while you're waiting!

We waited about 30 minutes, then our number was called. We went up to a window, my husband had his fingerprints scanned and we handed over our documents. We were told to have a seat and our same number would be called again.

We waited another 30-45 minutes and our number was called again at the same window. The officer gave us back most of the documents we had handed over but kept back my husband's birth certificate, his police certificates, and our marriage certificate. The officer told us to have a seat again and that the next time our number was called it would be interview time.

We waited about an hour and then our number was called. Questions asked included:

1) When did you get married?
2) When did you meet?
3) How did the relationship develop?
4) Why are you moving to the United States?
5) Where will you be living when you get there?
6) Have you ever visited the United States other than under the Visa Waiver Program?
7) Who is your joint sponsor?
8) What will you do for work in the US?
9) Does your work require any special type of certification?
10) What will your wife do for work in the US?
11) Have you been married before?
12) Do you have any kids other than the one on the way?

Then the officer told us everything was in order and our visa was approved and we'd receive my husband's passport within a week.

We didn't hear anyone get denied, but we heard several people get told they were missing documentation. Common issues we overheard from others:
1) US Citizens living in Australia hadn't filed US tax returns - evidence of the returns were required before visa could be approved
2) Certified copy of marriage certificate by Justice of the Peace or Notary Public was not sufficient, original would be required before visa could be approved
3) Federal police certficiate required, not state

We arrived at 9:45am (our appointment was at 10:30am) and left just before 1pm, hungry, in need of the bathroom, but pleased!

My key tips for success are:
- Research everything! Going in prepared made us feel much more confident about our chances for success and the issues we overheard above are easily avoidable.
- Don't drink too much water before you go - there are no bathrooms and you will likely be there a while!
- Take a book or magazine to keep you entertained.
- Allow more time than you think you'll need to find the place, get through security and wait for the interview to happen.
Rating : Good

Timeline Comments: 2

blank avatar NatalieC136 on 2018-10-16 said:
Hi, I noticed that you said AFP check required. I apllied and got one in April this year to be prepared but am wondering if its ok. I did not get fingerprints done. It just says National police check at the top and the reason states for immigration/visa. Is this ok?
blank avatar Keeley on 2018-10-17 said:
Hello! From your timeline, it looks like your interview is in November, right? I'm not sure how long the police certificates are valid for in Australia. If 12 months, you should be good. If 6 months, you'll need a new one. I would contact the US Consulate in Sydney (from email on their website) and ask the question. Or you could post a topic in the Australia forum to see if someone else knows the answer. We ended up having to get a new AFP certificate because we selected the wrong Purpose code on the application. We initially selected code 35 - Overseas employment/visa - for supply to a country other than Australia. The problem with that one is it shows Unspent Offences only. We reapplied to obtain code 33 - Immigration/Citizenship - for supply to the Department of Immigration and Border Protection which shows All Offences. If you got the correct report, the top of the report will say at the top: "Complete Disclosure All recorded offences released Name Check Only" Finally, according to the document reciprocity page for Australia (, a fignerprint check is not required as long as the name check shows all aliases ever used. We did not get fingerprints and it was not a problem. Good luck!
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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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