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Notice returned as undeliverable!

Discussion in 'General J Visa and Related Issues' started by J_1_Holder, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. J_1_Holder

    J_1_Holder Registered Users (C)

    I got a favorable recommendation from DOS in January. I checked last Mon on the USCIS online case status that my waiver has been approved and the notice has been sent. I now checked again and this is what it says:

    ---------
    Current Status: Notice returned as undeliverable.

    On February 28, 2007, the post office returned our last written notice on this case as undeliverable. This can have serious effects on the processing of this case. Please call 1-800-375-5283 to update the mailing address so this notice can be re-sent.
    ---------

    I suspect the reason is because I changed my address in the middle of the process and as a result they might have sent it to my old address, and I think they cannot forward that. I changed my address with DOS/USCIS when I moved but perhaps they didn't update fast enough.

    I called customer service and now they will have an inquiry on my case which can take 45 days! Will that be a problem for my H1B application, which I have to file before April 1st?

    Thanks
  2. jk0274

    jk0274 Registered Users (C)

    That's strange - this happened to me once in the past (on another application), I just called, and they sent it again. What they are supposed to do when something is returned to them is to check whether the address has been updated on their databases in the interim and send it out again automatically if it has.

    Also, make sure your name is clearly marked on your mailbox at your new address. That was the problem I had; the mailperson just returned it because my name wasn't clearly on the box (or inside the mailbox).

    Oh - and you can submit your H-1B application with the DOS recommendation and the USCIS receipt. It's good to have the receipt included, because it has your receipt number and USCIS can verify that your application was approved with it. This is all assuming you don't get the approval remailed to you before then, which is very possible.

    So you got your DOS recommendation in Jan and have the receipt? That's good, I still haven't gotten a USCIS receipt notice (see my sig below) and when I called today, they had no record of my name at all. Sigh.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 2, 2007
  3. J_1_Holder

    J_1_Holder Registered Users (C)

    I did not get the receipt notice from the USCIS. I called them and asked for the receipt number. They gave me the number. So, the document that was returned might be the receipt notice, though I'm not sure (bc they say the last document).

    I think what happened was that I did not change the address with USCIS fast enough. I did change it with SEVIS, which is equivalent to the AR-11 form. The problem is that USCIS documents can't be forwarded.

    But I called and updated and they say it would be resent, but they will open a inquiry that might take up to 45 days. Did your case take less than that?

    That the case status does not show approved anymore. It only has the notice that something couldn't be delivered.

    I think I can file for H1B with the favorable recommendation only, no?

    Thanks
  4. jk0274

    jk0274 Registered Users (C)

    Hopefully the status will change back to "approved" in a few days at the most, especially once they mail it back out.

    Yes, you can file just the favorable recommendation with your H-1B petition, that's no problem at all. If you have your USCIS receipt # and it says "approved" online by the time you file, it is a good idea to write that receipt number on the copy of the DOS recommendation that you send to USCIS. That way you avoid them asking you for it later via RFE, because they can look it up themselves. Of course, if you get the actual approval letter by then, just include that too.

    May I ask - how did you get USCIS to find your receipt number for you? Just by giving them your name? Or your DOS case number? Thanks.
  5. J_1_Holder

    J_1_Holder Registered Users (C)

    I didn't call DOS, only the USCIS customer service. You have to try a few times. Occasionally, the representative knows a thing or two about J1 waivers, but oftentimes they're clueless. And they give lots of conflicting information.

    On the "undeliverable" thing: how long did it take for them to mail it back, from the time you saw the notice?

    Thanks
  6. jk0274

    jk0274 Registered Users (C)

    Sorry I realized I didn't answer your question earlier:
    In my (non-related) case, they had sent my wife's EAD (J-2) to our new address but the mailman returned it - we had recently moved into that apartment and I guess our name was not on the inside of the mailbox and the mailman wasn't familiar with us. Like you, we found via the online status check that the card had been returned as undeliverable. So we called the USCIS and asked them to send it back. The rep told me that when they get undelivered mail, they check for a new address that may have been updated on their files and send it to the new one, if it exists. I told him that there is no new address, and to please send it to the same one. He did, saying he'll put it back in the mail that same day, and we got it within a few days (less than a week). I put a large sticker inside the mailbox (which the mailman can see when opened) so that the mailman wouldn't return it yet again. I truly don't understand what this 45-day inquiry is about. You could try to talk to another rep next week to see if you get a different story. Or just wait 10 days and see what happens with your status. I do hope that it's just a fancy name for something and is nothing serious, and won't really take 45 days.

    I understand that you called USCIS not the DOS. But you say you didn't have your receipt # when you called USCIS; that they found it and gave it to you. My question is - how did they find it? Did they just pull it up after you gave them your name? Did they ask for more info? I just gave them my name today and they had no record, even though it's been over 5 weeks since the DOS forwarded their recommendation to them. They asked for my A# but I don't have one. So I'm just curious to know what the USCIS rep needs in order to find my case number. Thanks for any input you may have.
  7. J_1_Holder

    J_1_Holder Registered Users (C)

    I called the USCIS without the receipt number, and the rep was able to pull it up from the system using my name, address, DoB, and the DoS case number (he might have asked for other stuff that I can't recall). He found my receipt # and told me right away that the case had been approved.

    My suggestion is for you to call them and try a few more times, perhaps selecting different menu options so that you end up with a more knowledgeable rep. If that does not work, you can always go to the local USCIS office. I read on another thread about someone who recovered his # this way.

    Note also that if you moved recently, they might send your case to a different service center, and that may delay a bit, but not much. This happened to mine -- even though my DoS notice was sent to Nebraska, my receipt number starts with EAC, meaning Vermont (they transferred the case)

    Hope this helps.
  8. jk0274

    jk0274 Registered Users (C)

    Thank you for that info. Maybe the person who said I don't have a record just didn't know where to look, since this kind of case doesn't get you a "A number" assigned. I'll try again, thanks!

    By the way, they no longer send cases to different service centers.
    http://www.ilw.com/seminars/december2006_citation2.shtm
  9. J_1_Holder

    J_1_Holder Registered Users (C)

    Thanks for the info. Just on more question: In my case, they say "our last written notice..." Does that mean the approval notice? Because last week when I checked it said approval letter sent on Jan 27. I need to figure out if the undeliverable mail was the approval notice or the if it was the notice of action.

    Do you know if a notice of action from the USCIS has "do not forward" written on the envelope?

    Thanks
  10. jk0274

    jk0274 Registered Users (C)

    I interpret "last written notice" to mean the "most recent" one.

    Any USCIS notice, by default, cannot be forwarded. Not because they have a "Do not forward" stamp (they don't), but because they are designated "US Official Mail". So yes, your notice of receipt would also be returned. However, when did you move? It's less likely (though not impossible) that two separate notices would get returned. At least one would have gotten through. Therefore, I'd bet that what got returned was your approval notice. I say this because your online status first said "approval notice mailed" before it said "latest notice is undeliverable". So what happened to the receipt? Perhaps USCIS did not send out receipt notices. If so, you would be the third case I know about; there are at least 2 cases I know of (mine included) where the DOS forwarded the recommendation in January and no notices of receipt were sent (at least not yet).

    In any case, congrats on your approval. I hope this little episode with the address will get resolved quickly (I'm sure it will).
  11. mmed

    mmed Volunteer Moderator

    I was in the same situation, I called many time no one give me the number. I sent a letter with a copy of the recommendation to the adress in it (directed to texas). After 10 days an officer called me in the phone and told me that they are no longer handle these cases at Texas and my case now is at Vermont and give me the # over the phone. I hope this will help.
    N.B. If you have an A# (I assume not because you are J1) this will make it easy to get the number over the phone, without A# no one I believe will know unless you send a letter.

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