Jeraly's US Immigration Timeline

  Petitioner's Name: Jeremy
Beneficiary's Name: Alyson
VJ Member: Jeraly
Country: United Kingdom

Last Updated: 2012-08-23
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Immigration Checklist for Jeremy & Alyson:

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 : London, United Kingdom
I-129F Sent : 2007-07-19
I-129F NOA1 : 2007-07-25
I-129F RFE(s) :
RFE Reply(s) :
I-129F NOA2 : 2007-12-18
NVC Received : 2008-01-14
Date Case #, IIN, and BIN assigned :
NVC Left : 2008-01-14
Consulate Received : 2008-01-16
Packet 3 Received : 2008-01-21
Packet 3 Sent : 2008-03-13
Packet 4 Received : 2008-04-02
Interview Date : 2008-04-09
Interview Result : Approved
Second Interview
(If Required):
Second Interview Result:
Visa Received : 2008-04-18
US Entry : 2008-06-30
Marriage : 2008-08-08
Comments : 2008-04-08 - Medical
2008-02-08 - Official Wedding
Jeremy and I had our non-legal wedding ceremony on 02-11-2008 as we had already booked it and arranged for our families to be there. We got married without a license and did not sign a legal marriage certificate. I returned to the UK to complete the rest of the visa process before entering the USA 07-30-2008 to have our legal wedding 08-08-2008.
Estimates/Stats :
Your I-129f was approved in 146 days from your NOA1 date.

Your interview took 259 days from your I-129F NOA1 date.

Port of Entry Review
Event Date
Port of Entry : Los Angeles
POE Date : 2008-06-30
Got EAD Stamp : No
Biometrics Taken : Yes
Harassment Level : 0
Comments : See Review Below

Adjustment of Status
Event Date
CIS Office : San Bernadino CA
Date Filed : 2008-08-21
NOA Date : 2008-08-27
RFE(s) :
Bio. Appt. : 2008-09-16
AOS Transfer** :
Interview Date : 2009-01-28
Approval / Denial Date : 2009-01-28
Approved : Yes
Got I551 Stamp : No
Greencard Received: 2009-02-13
Comments : See Review Below

Employment Authorization Document
Event Date
CIS Office : Chicago National Office
Filing Method : Mail
Filing Instance : First
Date Filed : 2008-08-21
NOA Date : 2008-08-27
RFE(s) :
Bio. Appt. : 2008-09-16
Approved Date : 2008-11-18
Date Card Received : 2008-11-28
Our appointment was for 2pm at Riverside but as we wanted to make a day of it shopping, we decided to try going in as soon as we got to Riverside at about 10.40am. As it was, we were given a number and instructed to sit in the waiting area. This was after being asked for my ID at which point I realised that I had brought my expired passport and not my one with the visa in. I was also asked if I had any photo ID with my married name on (which I don't have) and offered my bank card. The lady said that it wouldn't be accepted but that the passport should be fine. I didn't bring my marriage certificate - call me dumb, but all it asks for on the appointment letter is to bring the letter and photo ID including issued from my home country. So that is what I did.

I filled out the form and handed it in to another lady when she asked. Then I was shown to another waiting area while the lady took my form, NOAs, appointment letter and passport to the Immigration Officer.

A short while later, I was called into the office to speak to the Officer. He seemed nice enough but I was pretty nervous because half of me was still expecting to have to re-schedule my appointment. I noticed the form I had filled out had a nice big "no marriage certificate" scrawled across the top in red pen. The Officer asks me when I first entered the USA - I assumed he was talking about on the K-1 so I informed him. He then asked me why I had got a new passport before my old one expired and I explained that because I was due to enter the USA just before my old passport was due to expire, I needed to get a new one so that I had at least three months on the passport to comply with the VWP.

He seemed satisfied with the answers I gave and gave me a word of advice to always come over-prepared (I failed to explain that whenever I have done this, it has always been completely unnecessary even when the information IS requested!). He checked to make sure that I was who I said I was, checking my eyes, ears and the mole I have on my collar bone and seemed satisfied. He said that they are always happy to have people from the UK there!

After that I went out to Jeremy and told him it was fine (he was freaking out and being all high-and-mighty "Well *I* could have told you to bring the marriage certificate." I was like - I followed the instructions to the letter and nowhere do they specify what name the ID has to be in and nowhere do they state that the marriage certificate is required.)

It all worked out ok anyway and I was taken to be photographed and fingerprinted which didn't take too long. We were out by about 11am.

My cases were still not visible online the day after biometrics were taken.
Estimates/Stats :
Your EAD was approved in 89 days.

Advance Parole
Event Date
CIS Office : Chicago National Office
Filing Method :  
Filing Instance : First
Date Filed : 2008-08-21
NOA Date : 2008-08-27
RFE(s) :
Date Received : 2008-11-21
My online status was not available for AP/EAD until they were approved. Interview letter for AOS received yet AOS status still not available online.
11/21/08 - CRIS e-mail for EAD Approval
11/22/08 - AOS interview letter received
11/25/08 - CRIS e-mail for EAD Sent
01/23/09 - AOS showing online
Estimates/Stats :
Your AP was approved in 89 days.

Lifting Conditions
Event Date
CIS Office : California Service Center
Date Filed : 2010-11-17
NOA Date : 2010-12-06
RFE(s) :
Bio. Appt. : 2011-02-03
Interview Date :
Approval / Denial Date : 2011-03-16
Approved : Yes
Got I551 Stamp : No
Green Card Received : 2011-03-18
Comments : 2010-12-08 - Check Cashed
2010-12-10 - NOA Received in mail
2010-01-10 - Biometrics appointment notice received in mail

Event Date
Service Center : Phoenix AZ Lockbox
CIS Office : Los Angeles CA
Date Filed : 2012-03-19
NOA Date :
Bio. Appt. :
Interview Date :
Approved : Yes
Oath Ceremony : 2012-08-23
Comments :

Member Reviews:

Consulate Review: London, United Kingdom
Review Topic: K1 Visa
Event Description
Review Date : April 9, 2008
Embassy Review : I had *the* most awful sleep, so I wake up at 7am in our little hotel in Bayswater feeling exhausted, panicky and stressed. I crawl out of bed, drag myself to the bathroom and clean my teeth, wash etc. before heading back into the room to get dressed. My mum and I leave at about 7:30am for my 9:00am appointment. I knew it was ridiculously early but I hate hanging around when I know I have to be somewhere and I don’t have anything better to do.

We get on the tube and got off at Marble Arch. By the time we have walked to the Embassy it is about 7:55am. There is a huge queue and I thank my lucky stars I got there so early – it means that even though I am at the back of this huge queue, at least I will make it to the front in good time. For good measure, my mum takes some pictures of me queuing, much to the amusement of a nearby policeman who could barely hide his laughing :D

The queue moved a lot quicker than I expected and by the time I got to the end of where you lined up on the pavement, mum said her goodbyes and left me to it. I get talking to some guy who was going to take his kids to Florida on holiday but had a criminal conviction from years past so he had to jump through hoops to get into the country as well. We got near to the front of the queue in super-fast time only to find out they were only lining up people with 8:00am and 8:30am appointments. Needless to say we left the queue and moved to the back.

Being a bit savvy now, we waited in the line and checked with anyone new to find out if they had appointments earlier than 9:00am – if so then we just stood back and let them in front :D Eventually, with no-one behind us, we make it to the front again… only to be told we will need to wait another 15 minutes…

Third time lucky!! We hover around with other 9:00am people wondering why there are so many of us waiting when we realise the two queuing areas had their times changed and now there was a 9:00am one – yippee!! We line up for the third and final time at about 8:30am. While it is nice to be early, it seems that a half hour is optimal so you aren’t hanging around in the cold – it was a lovely sunny day but freezing!

I get to the first checkpoint where a lady looked at my appointment letter, handed me a clear bag for my mobile phone and pointed me in the direction of where to line up (like I didn’t know – I had been there long enough I could have prolly got her job :P). I line up and my friend joins me – we chat some more about immigration and talk about the different things we have had to do, all the while keeping a beady eye on the 8:30am line which was moving far too slowly for either of our liking – my hands were so cold they had started to turn red and swell up… not good!!

Eventually we start moving! My legs could barely move because they were so cold but in a reasonable amount of time it was my turn to step up to a little plinth thing with two guys stood behind it. They asked to see my appointment letter and passport which they used to check my name off of a list and then I got to stand in a mini-queue to go through the security box thing.

In the security box thing I had to dump my four folders, phone, purse and passport etc into a tray like you do when you are in an airport – same drill, they x-rayed it to make sure I didn’t have any bombs, drugs or plant life (maybe). I walked through the metal detector and didn’t beep (yay!) then they took my phone and handed me a little metal number with a clip on (I clipped it to my top). I was told I could pick all my things up out of the tray then I left the box and turned right to go round to the entrance of the embassy.

I get to the bottom of the steps, past the guy with the big gun and another uniformed-yet-gunless guy points me in the direction of the middle doors. I walk up, look around stupidly for one of those deli-ticket-dispensers and am sorely disappointed when the receptionist asks to see my appointment letter. I hand it over, she tap tap taps something out on her computer and three seconds later I have a little nifty couple of stickers with the number 5012 on. She tells me to sit in the waiting room until my number is called. This was at 9:15am.

The waiting room was a lot bigger than I was expecting with a big window overlooking a park. Opposite the big window were a number of booths numbered from 1-10, kind of like you get at a bank or the post office, but with extended wall bits for more privacy. At the opposite end from the entrance to the room was the little counter with snacks and coffee and near the entrance but on the facing wall to the snack counter was the place to pay for the courier. Kind of in the middle opposite the big window was another corridor with more booths – I think up to 24 or 25… pretty certain it was 25 actually. Down that corridor were the bathrooms and a few puters that were connected to the net – I think for people who hadn’t filled in the correct forms :D

I position myself on a chair that is almost-in-the-sun-but-not-quite and opposite the free-standing monitors that show the ticket numbers and the booths they are at as well as the ticket numbers waiting. On another monitor was some kind of US propaganda or something… lots of Americany things and smiling people anyway – very suspicious :D

Now this is where it gets mildly confusing. I know people before have said that first of all the 1000 numbers are called then the 5000 numbers are called but it didn’t seem to work like that at all… I am sure there was a system… Not quite sure what it was though. I thought that all the 9:00am people would go in and wait, then all the 1000 numbers would be called followed by the 5000 numbers. What seemed to happen was that certain booths dealt with certain types of visa. I think windows 13-16 or thereabouts dealt with the 5000 numbers so when one of those became free, the next 5000 number would be called. The other windows that were dealing with the non-immigrants moved a lot faster but it wasn’t black and white in terms of order it seems…

I wait around some trying to warm up and not panic – I felt a lot calmer just being there knowing it was all inevitable and keeping my fingers crossed that things would be fine. The courier line started building up and my heart sank a bit although I wasn’t worried by any means. My friend from outside found me and informed me that a form he didn’t fill in because it was for men up to 45 years old (he was 50) needed to be filled in. All the while, the propaganda was rolling and even cited the 45 years old thing… OMG – don’t tell me USCIS got something else wrong!? *shock*

I remember it being 9:45am but it was a while after that that my number gets called… it was scary seeing that I was next and not knowing when it would be me. I moved up to window 14 where there was a nice youngish English man there with an older black lady behind him – I think she was training or something as he explained everything he was doing to her. He took my finger prints on each hand and asked for my police certificate (which was fine even though it was the old style one), birth certificate, passport, photos, notarised I-134 (each of these apart from the pics and the passport were paperclipped to a copy) and made a few notes. He checked that I had never been married before and hadn’t ever changed my name or been adopted, gave me a pink A4 piece of paper to write the courier details on (delivery address, contact number etc) and gave me another piece of paper to take to window 12 where I had to pay for my visa. I thought it was a bit weird that I was paying for my visa before I had even had the interview but took it to be a good thing! I paid in USD on my Amex card which I could sign for instead of using my pin number which was great! Means I can not pay it until next month which is a bit of a help

I head back to window 14 and hand over the receipt that was given to me. The guy handed me back my originals and told me to go take a seat where my number would be called again for my interview.

At this point I was expecting another reasonably long wait, so I went to the bathroom, found my friend, sat down for five minutes to chat and my number was called again – this time I had to go to window 16.

I went up to the window and there was a friendly-looking American lady. She was maybe in her late 30s/early 40s and had dark hair. She checked my fingerprints and told me to hold my hand up to swear an oath (something along the lines of “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God” but not so dramatic :D) which I did. She asked me very basic questions – how did we meet (I told her online – she wanted me to be more specific so I told her it was on a text based roleplaying game), when I was planning on moving, when we planned to get married, when did we first meet in person and if we had both visited each other. It was all done in a really conversational and friendly manner – nothing too interrogatory about it at all – it was like she was merely interested so that was quite reassuring. I don’t even think she asked me why we wanted to move to the US instead of the UK – she may have done but I can’t remember if so

Then she told me everything seemed fine (obviously pending medical results) if the fingerprint checks come back fine and that I had to take the pink slip to the courier desk. At both windows I had things explained to me about how long I had to enter the US on the visa, how long I had to get married and file AOS after entry, not to open the MBE when it arrives (apparently it is marked really clearly on the package?) and that on entry into the US I am not allowed to re-enter without my GC (I tried talking AP with her but she just said that if there was a family emergency or something, providing I notified USCIS then they could expedite an AP request – nothing about AP itself). I obviously knew all of this already anyway but it was nice to hear it all explained and reaffirmed that anyone who screws up on the things mentioned above *is* actually a moron as it is explained very clearly and explicitly on more than one occasion :D

That was it! I had a big grin on my face *and* I didn’t cry I walked to the entrance of the tensa barrier thing for the courier (it starts next to the entrance to the waiting room) walked all the way round to the counter as there was no queue, paid my Ł14 and left. With a grin.

Then I got outside, collected my phone from the little window in the security box place. And texted everyone I knew :D
Rating : Very Good

POE Review: Los Angeles
Event Description
Entry Date : 2008-06-30
Embassy Review : On landing, I handed Daisy (my cat) to Jeremy while I went through immigration. I decided to go through the non-resident line as it was shorter (but incidently slower). Jeremy declared Daisy on his customs form as he was carrying her through so I didn't have to. I had enough to worry about without having to think about Daisy as well.

I line up, feeling a little better (I was sooo nervous) as I was doing something at last. I was petrified that the Immigration Officer would see the contract with the wedding planner we had included in our initial I-129f package, saying we were getting married in February 2008. I had packed the letter from them saying we were going to postpone the wedding, but still... As I neared the front, I realised that most of the Immigration Officers were smiling - a rare sight indeed from what I was used to. There was one who looked a bit grumpy but I just hoped I didn't get him.

Well - what do you know? I get called to the front by the IO I didn't want - typical. I put on a brave face and tried to not look like I was cacking myself. I told him that I was going to be his awkward customer for the day (he didn't get it - I wasn't sure if it was a sense of humour malfunction or... who knows?). He said he knew what "it" was when he saw me in the line - he asked for my MBE (Mysterious Brown Envelope for those not "in the know") and my passport and opened the MBE in a less than elegant manner. He apologised saying he didn't have a letter opener. He checked through it, all the while I was getting more nervous that he was going to see the contract. He asked me where I had met Jeremy, I told him online on a game and he asked where exactly so I gave him the name of the site. He covered up Jeremy's name on the paperwork in the MBE and asked what his name was. I told him and he carried on flicking through the paperwork. Eventually he explains that he is looking for the medical results. I helpfully inform him that they might be at the very back as they were done most recently. He said that they work in mysterious ways and so although this is logical, it's not necessarily the case (oh boy did I want to comment on that!!). He confirmed that I had no gribbly diseases and stamped my passport, checked the dates were all correct for the 90 days etc. and sent me on my merry way.

The whole process was carried out at the regular counter and took about 15 minutes. The weirdest thing was that he seemed to expect to see Jeremy's name on the actual visa... I hadn't heard of this so thought it was a bit odd. All in all though the guy was really friendly (despite first impressions) and dealt with me quickly and professionally. I didn't get a "Welcome to America" but then I was so glad to just be through it that I didn't care!!

I met up with Jeremy who had been hanging around with the cat and the cases and we made our way to the exit. I was expecting a vet check at the very least for Daisy, but on our way out the two guys by the door said we could just go as it was a cat and a pet - it would have been different if the cat was to be used for breeding or if it was a dog - they would have needed a check from a vet then, but as it was, in their terms "cats walk".

And that was it! I finally made it to the USA
Harassment Level : Low

Local US CIS Office Review: San Bernadino CA
Review Topic: cis_topic
Event Description
Review Date : January 28, 2009
Embassy Review : Our appointment was at 7.30am so we had to get up at 5.30am - yawn!

We found the DHS building really easily but didn't realise we had to pay to park(!). Everyone else was driving in though so we just went on our merry way. We entered the building behind some other people after the guy at the door checked our appointment letter and IDs and removed all our metal bits to walk through the metal detector. I had to put my bag on the conveyor belt and we were through in no time - everyone was really friendly.

We arrived maybe 5 minutes before our appointment and after handing the appointment letter in, sat down to wait. Literally within about five minutes we were called up by another friendly person (I was mildly surprised, especially as the lady at the appointment letter window looked really miserable!) and followed him to an office. We had to remain standing while we swore to tell the truth and were instructed where to sit. It must really matter which side the immigrant sits on??

He asked when and where we met so we told him it was online on a game about seven or eight years ago. He was rooting through our (two inch thick) file checking paperwork and asked to see Jeremy's ID and my passport. He then asked why I hadn't filled out my family name on the I-485 form. OMGWTFBBQ???!!!1 Somehow, I had managed to put my first and middle names, but completely neglected to put my surname - I even checked the duplicate form I had and nothing... how we never got an RFE I will never know! He asked what name I wanted there and filled it in for me :*)

There were two points that caused a few questions but nothing serious - the first was my DS-3025 vaccine form that had the "incomplete" box checked. That was because the varicella vaccine isn't available in the UK so I couldn't have it. I explained that (after I panicked a bit until I figured it out) to the officer and he went on his merry way. The other "issue" was our marriage certificate. Even though it was the original copy we had when we got married, it didn't say it was a certified copy of an entry anywhere on it. The officer had to leave the office to check with someone else if it was ok and it was - otherwise I guess we would have just had an approval pending documentation.

I am glad I came prepared even though he didn't want to look at most of the stuff. He wanted to see the "comingled finances" paperwork - we had our insurance documents, a check from our joint bank account, our rental lease and our joint credit cards and it all appeared to be fine.

And that was it! He stamped our gigantic pile of papers with a nice red "Approved" stamp and we were done! He explained about having to remove conditions etc. and we were off!

All in all the interview took about 15 minutes and most of it consisted of a list of twenty five million questions about if I was involved in terrorist activities or suchlike :D He seemed interested in Jeremy's job because he works on a Native American reservation and asked me if English food is really as bland as it is supposed to be!!

As we left, there was a guy waiting to take payment for the car park - we didn't have any cash which was all they took so he let us go to the store in our car to get some money! Very trusting! But being the good people we are, we went back and paid :D

No more immigration for two years! Yippee!!
Harassment Level : 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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