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Katja_D's US Immigration Timeline

blank avatar   Petitioner's Name: Kevin
Beneficiary's Name: Ekaterina
VJ Member: Katja_D
Country: Russia

Last Updated: 2024-01-25
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Immigration Checklist for Kevin & Ekaterina:

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 : Frankfurt, Germany
Marriage (if applicable): 2022-08-18
I-130 Sent : 2022-09-21
I-130 NOA1 : 2022-09-21
I-130 RFE :
I-130 RFE Sent :
I-130 Approved : 2023-08-16
NVC Received : 2023-08-22
Received DS-261 / AOS Bill : 2023-08-22
Pay AOS Bill : 2023-08-25
Receive I-864 Package :
Send AOS Package : 2023-10-26
Submit DS-261 :
Receive IV Bill : 2023-08-22
Pay IV Bill : 2023-08-25
Send IV Package : 2023-09-30
Receive Instruction and Interview appointment letter : 2023-11-29
Case Completed at NVC : 2023-11-29
NVC Left : 2023-11-29
Consulate Received : 2023-11-29
Packet 3 Received :
Packet 3 Sent :
Packet 4 Received : 2023-11-29
Interview Date : 2024-01-02
Interview Result : Approved
Second Interview
(If Required):
Second Interview Result:
Visa Received : 2024-01-17
US Entry :
Comments :
Estimates/Stats :
Your I-130 was approved in 329 days from your NOA1 date.

Your interview took 468 days from your I-130 NOA1 date.

Member Reviews:

Consulate Review: Frankfurt, Germany
Review Topic: IR-1/CR-1 Visa
Event Description
Review Date : January 10, 2024
Embassy Review : While I'm waiting for my visa to be issued and delivered, here is my interview experience:

I received my IL on 28.11.2023, about a month after I was DQ'ed. The interview was scheduled for Jan 2nd at 9:30.

Advice no.1: Schedule the appointment for a med exam BEFORE you get an invitation letter with an appointment date inside—though they ask you not to do so, I know. There are only several doctors in Germany who can do this med exam, and they don't have that many appointments available. I booked 9 appointments right after I saw the DQ notice in my mailbox—after reading the forums here, I realized that many waited about 4 weeks for an interview date since they were DQ-ed. So I counted my chances to get a date somewhere in early Jan and scheduled a med exam for the second half of December. That was a right measurement at the end—when you get your invitation letter a month after, you can easily pick the best date for a med exam from those you already booked and just cancel others, so other people possibly can get them.

Advice no.2: Come to Frankfurt the night before the interview; DON'T hope for DB to drive you right on time. The trains seem to come with great delays—don't let them cause you any more trouble. I checked in at the Best Western Hotel at Friedberger Warte since it's the closest hotel to the Consulate (about a 10-minute walk).

Advice no.3: Be overprepared. Make sure you have all of your personal documents ready in the original, copy, and translation. Though they don't ask for any financial documents from you—take them if you have them, such as W2 from a spouse or tax return transcripts or whatever it's called.

I registered at the outdoor counter of the Consulate at 9:10 and got a ticket. Then I came through the security control; they asked me to turn off my phone and then took it from me for storage, my umbrella as well. I got two tickets for the storage room for that. I proceeded to the next building following the green guidelines (there always gonna be one employee outside as well showing you where you are supposed to go). You enter the bigger building which looks like a school gym from inside and proceed to the windows 18-19 to give them the originals of your personal documents and scan your fingerprints. They ask for only a few documents—your passport, birth certificate (and translation), marriage certificate (translation if needed), police certificates, one photo, and the delivery confirmation page with a barcode on it. Then they take your fingerprints. They also ask you some address and phone number-related questions to make sure nothing changed since you filled out the DS-260 form. They will update the info if needed. Also asked me when I am planning to move, to make sure that I know that I need to move BEFORE the med exam expires (and it is valid only for 6 months since the date of the exam). After that, they hand you the brochure about domestic violence because they must hand it out for the marriage-based applications and asked me to proceed to the waiting area and wait for my number to be called out at the screen.

That's when you have to wait for quite a long time. I think I waited for the actual interview to happen for two hours. In general, I spent 3 hours at the Consulate since I registered at the counter before the building and left the building and turned my phone back on. When I was finally called out, I got apparently a Russian-speaking Ukrainian employee who saw my Russian passport and asked me if communication in Russian would be also possible. I said yes and after that, the whole conversation was in Russian—I even said my oath in Russian. The questions were quite standard: - where, when and how did we meet - how long and where did we live together - when and where we got married - when he moved back to the US - where I study and what is my thesis working title - what does he do for a living - what does his dad do for a living (he is my co-sponsor)
The whole interview lasted maybe 10 min max, and the interviewing employee told me my visa got approved and they will issue it and I'll get the shipment number to follow the delivery process and check it up online.

A good word about their flexibility and ability to help: my husband and I booked a vacation trip with a flight two months BEFORE the invitation letter was sent to me. Our flight was on Friday 5th and the interview was on Tuesday 2nd, so there was no chance for them to guarantee the delivery of my passport with visa by then. BUT, they offered me an alternative, which is to take back my passport now, get this 221g (requirement to provide the missing document or whatever it's called), and mail it to them after I come back from our planned trip. I mailed my passport to the Immigrant Visa Unit yesterday, and it was delivered today before 10 am, at least the DHL Express website gives me this info. We'll see how long the printing of my visa and the UPS delivery will take.

Hope this experience will provide some useful info for those of you who'll be interviewed in Frankfurt am Main.

Good luck with your immigration process!
Katja D.
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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