C_Marķa's US Immigration Timeline

  Petitioner's Name: Charisse
Beneficiary's Name: Roberto
VJ Member: C_Marķa
Country: Mexico

Last Updated: 2011-08-25
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Immigration Checklist for Charisse & Roberto:

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 : Juarez, Mexico
I-129F Sent : 2010-08-03
I-129F NOA1 : 2010-08-23
I-129F RFE(s) :
RFE Reply(s) :
I-129F NOA2 : 2011-01-24
NVC Received : 2011-01-31
Date Case #, IIN, and BIN assigned :
NVC Left : 2011-02-01
Consulate Received : 2011-02-03
Packet 3 Received : 2011-03-21
Packet 3 Sent : 2011-03-10
Packet 4 Received :
Interview Date : 2011-03-24
Interview Result : Approved
Second Interview
(If Required):
Second Interview Result:
Visa Received : 2011-04-05
US Entry : 2011-04-07
Marriage : 2011-05-11
Comments : They sent out our packet 3 March 10th but it didn't show up on their computer until March 15th.
No comment... I'll get a review on there in a few days guys.
Estimates/Stats :
Your I-129f was approved in 154 days from your NOA1 date.

Your interview took 213 days from your I-129F NOA1 date.

Port of Entry Review
Event Date
Port of Entry : El Paso
POE Date : 2011-04-07
Got EAD Stamp : No
Biometrics Taken : No
Harassment Level : 0
Comments : There was barely anyone waiting and plenty of workers behind the desk but it appeared they were all on break and then acted really inconvenienced that we were wanting their services. :P I had to double check we were not in the Mexico P.O.E. Jejeje! Otherwise they got us through just fine.

Adjustment of Status
Event Date
CIS Office : San Francisco CA
Date Filed : 2011-06-14
NOA Date : 2011-06-17
RFE(s) :
Bio. Appt. : 2011-07-14
AOS Transfer** :
Interview Date : 2011-08-24
Approval / Denial Date : 2011-08-24
Approved : Yes
Got I551 Stamp :
Greencard Received:
Comments : Wow! The journey's over! (the GC part at least) I can't believe we did it.... aaaaaah! Thank you everyone out there for your help and support. I COULDN'T HAVE DONE IT WITHOUT YOU!

Employment Authorization Document
Event Date
CIS Office : Chicago National Office
Filing Method : Mail
Filing Instance : First
Date Filed : 2011-06-14
NOA Date : 2011-06-17
RFE(s) :
Bio. Appt. :
Approved Date : 2011-08-12
Date Card Received : 2011-08-16
Comments :
Estimates/Stats :
Your EAD was approved in 59 days.

Member Reviews:

Consulate Review: Juarez, Mexico
Review Topic: K1 Visa
Event Description
Review Date : April 26, 2011
Embassy Review : Just so yall know: I think our particular experience was unique because we were one of the few that landed in Juarez in a time of transition and so a change that was supposed to be seamless created a crack that we fell into for a little while.

This is a long review because I want to tell our full story and also answer all the questions I had along the way.

Like most of you we waited about an eternity from NOA1- NOA2. We decided to file when we found out we were pregnant and at that time had no doubt that we would be together in the US for the birth of our child. In the meantime we investigated every possible resource and prepared our "packet 3" in advance. During the wait a few of the forms expired and we redid them. We went to three different cities on the bus and got the "ancendentes no penales" and even rented a PO box in a neighboring city since the address we were living at had never seen a piece of mail come anywhere close. (As most of you know Mexican mail service is full of confusion and corruption and addresses are often vague descriptions of a location so we were really uneasy about that.) With much difficulty I boarded the plane at 36 weeks pregnant and left my fiance behind.

As it got closer to the 5 month mark I began calling USCIS once then twice a day. I stared at that dot on the website willing it to just move over. Right at 150 days I emailed my senator and called the USCIS to let them know I had done that and to try to talk to a tier 2 rep. I talked to a really sympathetic tier 1 rep who said there was nothing he could do, but to hang on and it wouldn't be much longer. I'm not sure how or why but the next business day the dot moved! I called the number and they confirmed that our petition was approved!

After that I checked in on it as it the petition traveled to NVC, left NVC, and was received by CDJ. By that time I had surveyed all kinds of VJ veterans and felt comfortable that a copy of the invitation letter would make it to the US address. We had a tightly choreographed routine worked out for my fiance for the interview that included having the letter printed out at the window in CDJ and going to an open interview, all with the hopes of him getting in and out within one business week. Then another wait... In that time our daughter was born. (I continued to bug CDJ from the hospital and my fiance got to meet his daughter and the staff via skype. Wow, technology!)

And then right when we were really stressing that packet 3 should have been sent out, and the reps were saying crazy stuff about it possibly being many more months, they went and changed the whole system! I had read about the change months back but didn't think it applied to K visas especially since it hadn't affected anyone I was in contact with that had gone right before us. Chaos broke loose!

Here I have to say that if it wasn't for a few VJ members that helped me I would have lost it. I have a lot of gratitude for a few strangers on this website who were able to sort this all out with me when even my closest friends and family couldn't do a thing to help! Thank you all SO much!!!

So what we ended up doing was going to the usvisa website where they ask for two numbers to create an account. One is the CDJ case number and the other is a random secret number that they give you over the phone at NVC. We saw a lot of conflicting info and ended up filling out the DS-160 AND DS-260 (as we filled them out they were updating the form so it would kick us off and when we logged back in there were new questions but we were eventually able to finish them up. We printed out AND e-mailed ourselves copies of the confirmation pages with the bar code.) We paid the MRV fee and signed up for the DHL location on the page but there was an error every time we tried to schedule an interview so we eventually called the CDJ number and they scheduled one and the ASC (fingerprint) appointment for the previous day. I checked on the site to see if the appointment time had shown up but all the info had erased itself and it was asking me to pay and sign up for DHL. Since we had our confirmation of payment number I hoped we were okay but signed up for DHL again.

By this time it was confirmed that the "packet 3" had been sent but I hadn't received it in the US though my fiance still planned to get it printed out at the window in CDJ. So with everything in order that could be in order R. headed to Juarez.

R. arrived in Juarez on a Sunday. At that time it was called to my attention by another VJ member that Monday was a national holiday so the consulate would be closed AND Friday being the last one of the month it was also closed. We still thought we had a chance for R. to be in and out by the end of the week.

Monday nothing could be done so R. just waited.

Tuesday R. waited in the information line for 3 hours only to find out that they changed their policy starting that day and did not print them out anymore. He went across the street to the medical office at 11 right as they were closing and the woman told him he needed an appointment. When he said he didn't need one she said he needed to bring evidence proving he didn't. That day we were angry and confused but luckily the "packet 3" had arrived at my house that exact day as well. All it is consists of is a single piece of paper that says that the case is ready for processing and directs you to the website. I rushed out and scanned it and e-mailed it while R. found a cyber cafe and printed it.

Wednesday morning R.went to the medical with his copy of the invitation letter, his passport and payment in pesos. He was there right when they opened and they let him right in. They took his passport and letter and held them during the whole appointment. First they drew blood, then a vision test, then he undressed and they visually checked his whole body. They asked what his tattoos meant and if they were gang related and he said no. He said he had never had any piercings but they didn't believe him and checked for scars anyway. Next they did his chest x-ray. They tried to say he needed immunizations and when he insisted that K-1's don't need them they checked their computer and conceded. Last thing was they watched him pee in a cup for a drug test. On the way out they took his payment and returned his passport and letter.
He came back at 2:00 and they gave him a sealed black plastic packet, a disk with his x-ray, and a blank immunization form.
At 4:00 he had his ASC appointment and he brought his passport, his confirmation of MRV payment number, the printout with bar code for the DS-160 and DS-260, and the small photos. Turned out there we had gotten the maternal and paternal names reversed on the 260 so they accepted the 160 and didn't want the photos. They took their own photo and did a digital scan of his fingers- first one hand with four fingers together and the thumb separate then the other hand the same. They put a sticker with a number on his DS-160 and in just a few minutes they were done.

Thursday was the interview. We had scheduled it for 8:15 am and R. arrived about an hour early. They admitted him inside of the consulate with a group of people and when a few would leave they would let a few more in. It turned out the appointment wasn't an exact appointment time after all.

Upon entry to the building he was given a number. Right away he was called to the first window where he turned in all of his papers. The ones that had been left unsigned he then signed in front of them (two copies of each). They glued his 2 small photos to a couple forms. They took the whole large packet of evidence we had gathered since we had turned in the NOA1 including photos and cards and photocopies of every little scrap of paper we had collected while we were together in those 9 months. They took the confirmation of the DS-160 with the sticker that they had added the previous day at the ASC. They took the sealed black envelope.

R. waited about a half hour and was called to the the 2nd window. That was the payment window. They tried to get him to pay and he said he already did. The confirmation number was on a printout that they had just taken at the first window. They looked it up on the computer and finally found the confirmation and let him sit back down.

An hour later they called him up to another window. They wanted to do his interview but they said his fingerprints hadn't shown up on the computer, yet. They told him to sit back down and wait. R. waited all day and watched everyone else come and go and then finally asked why he hadn't been called. They said they still were waiting on his fingerprints and had he gone to his ASC? He said he had and they located his DS form with the sticker. They said maybe the person doing the ASC hadn't saved them properly or "Washington" wasn't done with them but they decided to do the interview.

They interview itself was real quick. They had all our evidence in front of them and asked where we met and about his tattoos again. They asked about our daughter and where and when she was born. How long since we had seen each other in person, and if he was sure that I had no previous children or marriages. They asked what I do for a living and where we would be living in the U.S. They told him they were still waiting on the fingerprints and they may show up on the computer or he may have to redo them the following week but they would let him know. They gave him a blue piece of paper that said how to go to the website or call the consulate number and sign up for DHL.

When he got back to the hotel he called the number and they found him in their computer and said that I had signed up for the DHL location with the wrong case number and they corrected it and set it all up to go to CDJ location. (Which couldn't have been true because I signed up twice through the usvisa website that needed the true case number to even enter. Whatever.) Me and R. talked on the phone that night and I decided to leave the next day to meet up with him in CDJ if it didn't come the following day. Me and my daughter got in the car the following day and arrived on Sunday afternoon.

Monday we hopefully checked DHL at their afternoon and evening delivery times (up to an hour waiting in line each time) at noon and 4:30 and nothing. Tuesday morning R. went again to the information window, waited for about an hour and asked about it and they said that he would find out by DHL if he needed to redo his fingerprints. We called the CDJ information number on the US line with my US cell phone (that thought it was still in the US) and the Mexico CDJ number that is on the usvisa website and they said we had to wait up to 3 weeks to know anything. We returned to DHL twice a day and called both numbers everyday and received nothing.

Finally on Saturday we received another blue letter that was dated as written on Monday but the postmark showed had left the consulate 5 days later to arrive at DHL the same day. The letter said that R. needed to return to the consulate to redo his fingerprints. He went back first thing Monday morning and was admitted right away. They took both of his blue papers and had him put one finger on the digital reader and that was it. They said he was approved and he would receive his visa at DHL that day or the next!

That day: nothing, the next day: nothing. They wouldn't let him in line at the information window since they had taken his blue papers. The CDJ phone line said that it could be up to three more weeks since the last visit to the consulate. The only reason they let him into DHL without the blue paper is because the guards knew he had been there so many times.

The word of the imminent government shutdown almost drove us over the edge and we were trying to think of if there was any way to get out of that hotel and come back. Thursday afternoon we returned from DHL and reluctantly tried the phone number, they said our visa was ready for pickup and we had a waybill number! We packed up our car and headed right back to DHL. With the number they suddenly were able to locate the package! It was postmarked as arriving at DHL on Monday afternoon like the consulate said but without the number they had not seen it for 4 days even though they told us they had checked everywhere.

We took the envelope and headed for the border. There are multiple border crossings in Juarez but inside the envelope was a paper that told us which one we had to go to. Also inside the envelope was a black, plastic, sealed envelope
; a separate smaller envelope returning our photos from the evidence, R.'s passport with sticker covering a whole page (it has a photo they took during the interview and all his info, expires in 6 months), and a letter welcoming R. to the U.S.A.

We waited in line in our car for about an hour and a half. The window washers advised us to get in the far right lane to find parking which we did. When we got up to the border we were confused because the parking lot had signs everywhere saying it was for government use only and everyone else would be towed and fined and so forth. All the buses were parked at the curb and taxis were dropping people off but we didn't see any other private vehicles and no one was parked in the lot so I dropped R. off to go into the building and me and my daughter drove through.

We explained to the immigration officer what was going on and he acted like I was an idiot for not parking in the lot. He let me through and wrote me a special permission slip to enter the building from the US side and I parked in an identical lot on the US side that he assured me was okay. When I entered the building I had to bring my and my daughter's ID to return to the US (to leave the building the way I came in. And like another VJ member said, the restrooms are on the Mexico side.

Robe went to the window that said "permits" and they took his sealed envelope and passport. They told him to go to the next window and pay. Though there was barely anyone in the whole building he had to wait about half an hour for someone to appear at the window. He paid the $6 for the visa and they stapled a paper inside his passport good for 90 days and put a stamp inside. We all had to show our IDs and were able to walk out through the metal detectors and out the US doors together! javascript:emoticon('')

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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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