Thomas W's US Immigration Timeline

  Petitioner's Name: Thomas
Beneficiary's Name: Seunghyean
VJ Member: Thomas W
Country: South Korea

Last Updated: 2020-02-12
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Immigration Checklist for Thomas & Seunghyean:

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 : Seoul
I-129F Sent : 2018-10-23
I-129F NOA1 : 2018-10-30
I-129F RFE(s) :
RFE Reply(s) :
I-129F NOA2 : 2019-02-25
NVC Received : 2019-03-20
Date Case #, IIN, and BIN assigned :
NVC Left : 2019-04-02
Consulate Received : 2019-04-08
Packet 3 Received : 2019-04-12
Packet 3 Sent :
Packet 4 Received :
Interview Date : 2019-05-09
Interview Result : Approved
Second Interview
(If Required):
Second Interview Result:
Visa Received : 2019-05-18
US Entry : 2019-06-19
Marriage : 2019-06-25
Comments :
Processing
Estimates/Stats :
Your I-129f was approved in 118 days from your NOA1 date.

Your interview took 191 days from your I-129F NOA1 date.


Port of Entry Review
Event Date
Port of Entry : Chicago
POE Date : 2019-06-19
Got EAD Stamp : No
Biometrics Taken : Yes
Harassment Level : 0
Comments :


Adjustment of Status
Event Date
CIS Office : Charlotte NC
Date Filed : 2019-07-08
NOA Date : 2019-07-13
RFE(s) :
Bio. Appt. : 2019-08-08
AOS Transfer** :
Interview Date : 2019-12-12
Approval / Denial Date : 2020-01-31
Approved : Yes
Got I551 Stamp :
Greencard Received: 2020-02-03
Comments : At our green card interview, we were instructed to standby for 1-2 months, with the possibility of receiving an RFE for an i-693. It turns out that our medical packet from the K1 process probably never made it to Charlotte. The IO will try to track it down, but no guarantees here. We now wish that we had conducted a US civil surgeon appointment to get an i-693 ahead of time, even though technically we didn't need one due to K1 entry. The interview otherwise went well, but we were quite disappointed not to be resolved yet. So, we await further information!

UPDATE (Feb 11, 2020): Green card approval suddenly happened on Jan 30. We didn't have to do anything else, luckily. We received the card February 3. Still, I recommend everyone to get i-693 before your interview, to be 100% safe. Good luck all!


Employment Authorization Document
Event Date
CIS Office : Chicago National Office
Filing Method : Mail
Filing Instance : First
Date Filed : 2019-07-08
NOA Date : 2019-07-13
RFE(s) :
Bio. Appt. : 2019-08-08
Approved Date : 2019-12-13
Date Card Received : 2019-12-20
Comments :
Processing
Estimates/Stats :
Your EAD was approved in 158 days.


Advance Parole
Event Date
CIS Office : Chicago National Office
Filing Method :  
Filing Instance : First
Date Filed : 2019-07-08
NOA Date : 2019-07-13
RFE(s) :
Date Received : 2019-12-20
Comments :
Processing
Estimates/Stats :
Your AP was approved in 158 days.


Member Reviews:

Consulate Review: Korea
Review Topic:
Event Description
Review Date : May 10, 2019
Embassy Review : The Visa interview was difficult. Because the appointment was 7:30AM and my fiance lives far from Seoul, we got an AirBnB close to the embassy. She came the previous day to Seoul. At the interview, we had some trouble. Because of our unique immigration background, the officer asked many questions. SH (my fiance) accidentally stayed too long in the USA one time. He definitely mentioned this, and she was honest when he asked. Her overstay was less than 3 months, so it didn't prevent our approval.

Second, I (we) don't have enough money for sponsorship for now (I just finished grad school last year). My Mom agreed to co-sponsor. The officer didn't care much about my finances, but carefully reviewed my mother's. Also, he didn't care about three years of tax information--just last year. So, most of my documents were useless.

His only other questions were about the relationship history, like "how did you meet?" and start dating, etc. Basically, his job to make sure about the relationship, and that there is enough financial support. He will identify any weak area and ask about it. My fiancé and I definitely have a trickier history than many people, and we got approved too. So, good luck, take a deep breath, and the interview will be finished within 10 minutes!

Also, he was very professional polite, and I understand he is just doing his job. Be respectful, and you will have better success
Rating : Good


Local US CIS Office Review: Charlotte NC
Review Topic: cis_topic
Event Description
Review Date : December 21, 2019
Embassy Review : The Charlotte field office is right off of 1-77 near the airport. It isn't hard to find, but located in a fairly large corporate office park without much else except a gas station in sight. USCIS is its own building. We walked in and immediately had to pass security just like at airport by showing the passport/ID and Notice of Action, then the metal detector. No problems.

You check into the seating area, and the clerk gives you a number, then you take a seat along with everyone else and wait. They announce numbers over the intercom frequently. We waited maybe 20 minutes, no problems. Then you take the elevator upstairs, where the IO will greet the batch of people getting off the elevator by calling your number. You go with him/her to their personal office. It's very normal office environment, walking down a hall with typical offices every 20 feet.

Office is small, and he has a desk and a coupe of chairs. Sit at the chair, and he will ask you to swear in to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, etc etc. MAKE SURE YOUR INTERNATIONAL SPOUSE KNOWS THE RIGHT RESPONSE: "I DO" lol. Luckily we had practiced this, but she still just said "yup" the first time.

Then very normal questions as he reviews the case, flipping through pages. What is your name, DOB, parents. Mostly they asked her the questions, and I sat there quietly. Then to tell the story about how we met. Then he asks many of the terrorist, communist, criminal, prostitute, etc etc questions.

We got tripped up on the polygamy question, because he changed the wording of the questions from the document e.g. "will you have more than one husband?" instead of "do you intend to practice polygamy?" ACtually my wife later told me that she didn't quite understand his questions, and she felt badly afterward. So second advice: TEACH YOUR INTERNATIONAL SPOUSE HOW TO ASK "can you please slow down/repeat the question?" rather than bluffing.

That's basically it. At the end, he asked to see our photos and other information that we wanted to add to the file. He didn't seem to care much about that.

Here's my commentary:
These officers have to get through a lot of applications every day. Maybe he had reviewed it for a few minutes before calling us, because as he was reading it, I felt that it was the first time he was seeing it. I also felt that he already had his mind made up, for the most part, and was just cross-checking and verifying. I guess because my wife is South Korean, he didn't have much hesitation. Most importantly, our relationship is real. That's what matters. He didn't ask too many hard questions.

Unfortunately, he couldn't approve us yet, because for some reason they didn't have her medical documents, which she had given at Chicago airport back in June when she arrived. The IO basically said it's a mistake. he will try to find the documents, but maybe there will be RFE to get a Civil Surgeon i-693 medical report. Please wait 1-2 months...

So, we were devastated after we left. We thought we can be approved, but now its more waiting, and not knowing what will happen.

After a few days we recovered our feeling, and yesterday she got the AP/EAD card, so we can move our lives forward at least. Hopefully, the IO can find the medical, but I'm not hopeful. So, until next year... hang in there!

(I gave 4 stars just because of our results, but otherwise, I had no problem with Charlotte USCIS. The officer was friendly, it was quick, and not intimidating). Thanks!
Harassment Level : Good


Timeline Comments: 8

Thomas W on 2020-02-12 said:
Update: We suddenly received green card approval on January 30, 2020. I guess they found her medical documents. Green Card arrived on February 3. From this experience, I recommend everyone to get i-693 even if you came with K1 visa. Probably it's not necessary, but if you want to be 100% safe, then you should get it. Because of that issue, we had to wait 2 more months. But, it was ok. Otherwise, Charlotte is great.
Pinkitmake on 2020-03-05 said:
I wonder if we had the same IO at Charlotte ~ our interview situation is exactly like yours. I am truly hoping that they find my husband's medical paperwork. It makes no sense how they can lose something like that so often.
Thomas W on 2020-03-08 said:
We had Michael Lam, very friendly and fairly laid back. He said that USCIS uses contractors to handle all that stuff. They even had lost our marriage certificate. Luckily we had brought a second copy with us. Hope you get the same outcome we did!
Pinkitmake on 2020-03-08 said:
That was the same guy! He was very kind to us as well ~ I sure hope they find out paperwork too! Luckily I believe that was the only thing they had lost.
Thomas W on 2020-03-08 said:
Took us about 7 weeks before we got an answer, which came quite unexpectedly one day when I happened to check the status online. We had been expecting to have to redo everything. Where was your POE? Ours was Chicago.
Pinkitmake on 2020-03-08 said:
Ours was Newark, NJ. This whole AOS has been rough from the start. We had an RFE that delayed us an additional 4 months (should have only been 30 days) and now this 😔. I'm just hoping they can find it and we won't have to have another one done. But at least it wasn't a "no" 😊
Pinkitmake on 2020-03-14 said:
After a week we got an approval!!
Thomas W on 2020-03-14 said:
Congrats, Pinkitmake, that's great news! I'm happy for you both. Now, just stay healthy!
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