Tuesday, September 15, 2009

our green card journey

It's thrilling how quickly and smoothly the green card process went for us, despite our case being delayed for a month. (We initially filed the wrong Affidavit of Support, so they sent us a letter requesting the correct one. The letter was addressed wrong and returned to them. Then finally it was re-sent to us, we received it, submitted the correct form, and got back on track.)

So, the process is thus: file forms, receive notification that they received the forms and opened your case (NOA - at this point, all previous visas really don't count anymore), receive a Request for Initial Evidence (RFE - if you did something incorrectly or left something out), receive Advanced Parole travel document (so the applicant can travel out of and back into the US while their status is pending), Biometrics appointment (fingerprinting), interview, decision, receive Green Card.

Using visajourney.com, I figured out when all of these things should happen for us, based on statistics they had on the website for then current applications. From filing to the decision, it should have been 183 days. Even with our 1 month delay, it was only 139! The timeline on visajourney.com projected Rodgers receiving his Green Card on November 4, but now, we're expecting it next week. Amazing! Part of it is that USCIS is moving cases quickly right now. The other part is a mystery. We're told that typically, no decision is made at the interview. They gather any additional info, take your statement under oath about whatever, and then there should be some process after the interview, which ends in approval or denial. However, towards the end of our interview, the interviewer went through Rodgers' passport, canceling all his previous visas, including the one that was still current. She removed his I-94, which shows that he entered the country at a legal point of entry. Then, she added a new stamp which says he is a lawful permanent resident and eligible for employment! And she stamped "Approved" on his application. We had taken all kinds of documentation and copies of documentation with us, but she didn't care about most of it.

In order to save all this info, so that I may return and marvel at how blessed we are, I'm recording our projected dates and actual dates here.

Filed (I-130 Petition for Alien Relative, I-131 Application for Travel Document, I-134 Affidavit of Support, I-485 Adjustment of Status): April 24
NOA: (projected) May 4 // (actual) May 4
RFE (submit I-864 Affidavit of Support): June 6 case delayed 1 month
Advanced Parole: (projected) July 8 // (acutal) June 26 two weeks early
Biometrics Appointment: (projected) June 1 // (actual) July 10 a little over a month late
Interview: (projected) October 15 // (actual) September 10 a little over a month early
Decision: (projected) October 23 // (actual) September 10 six weeks early
Receive Green Card: (projected) November 4 // (actual) September 25 ~six weeks early

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