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What does certified letter mean?

Discussion in 'US Citizenship' started by mariainclt, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. mariainclt

    mariainclt Registered Users (C)

    Yes, I know this is a bit of a silly question but please bear with me. I had N-400 interview Sep 28th and was told decision cannot b made right now, so I am waiting decision. (I had medical treatment overseas so continued residency was in question)
    Just received notification that post person tried to deliver certified letter from Homeland Security to my home. I have had emergency surgery so I am not home. I have made arrangements for someone to pick letter up on Saturday but in the mean time.....someone has told me that a certified letter is "bad news" he said that if it is an approval it comes regular mail and the only certified letters HS send are to notify you that u have X number of days to leave the country.
    I have done nothing wrong and cannot possibly imagine why they would ask me to leave but now this friend is very insistent and I am just lying here bandaged up unable to do anything but think and he has got me worried. I know, I just have to wait and find out what the letter says,,,I got that. but if any of you have any info on this whole certified letter thing u would save me a couple of days of worry.
    I really would appreciate it.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2009
  2. tazzie

    tazzie Registered Users (C)

    Not necessarily each office deals with each case differently... don't panic... In some states the officers even hand deliver letters ... They prob. need more info...

    Hope this Helps!
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 19, 2009
  3. Bobsmyth

    Bobsmyth Volunteer Moderator

    Certified letter could be anything from requesting additional evidence, to notifying you of a hearing (you can't be ordered to leave without a formal hearing so stop worrying). You had a reentry permit, so your GC status wouldn't be the issue here. In all likelihood, they are requesting evidence of US residency ties for the time you were overseas.
  4. mariainclt

    mariainclt Registered Users (C)

    Thank u guys for the prompt reply. So...it is definitely not a simple denial or approval letter then?
  5. Bobsmyth

    Bobsmyth Volunteer Moderator

    Likely not a regular denial or approval, but request for evidence.
  6. mariainclt

    mariainclt Registered Users (C)

    Thanks Tazzie.Thanks Bobsmyth, u always come through. I appreciate your help.
  7. tazzie

    tazzie Registered Users (C)

  8. GungaDin

    GungaDin Registered Users (C)

    I agree. It could be anything. Towards the end of my GC process I got a phone call (not normal) from the IO asking me as to what would be the best time for me to go get my fingerprints re-taken.

    Most probably it is a RFE with a specific response date/timeframe - i.e. respond with information within x days - so they can complete processing your application.

    Rest up. Saturday's almost here.
  9. pdgirl08

    pdgirl08 Registered Users (C)

    Don't want to rain on you parade but unfortunately every denial letter I've received from USCIS has come in the form of certified mail 4 denial decision so far! But ill say a payer for you 2nite that you get good news 2morrow hope for the best but prepare for the worst.
  10. mariainclt

    mariainclt Registered Users (C)

    Well, got a good Samaritan to pick letter up for me today. It was a denial. They denied based on the fact that I was gone almost a year for medical treatment.

    However..there are what seem like oddities to me on the letter:
    1. They quote Title 8, Part 316.5 (disruption of 6 months to 1 year) yet on their decision they apply the 4years and 1 day rule...isnt that for people who are out of the country for over a year?

    2. Letter says I became PR Aug 2003, when in fact I became one in Feb 2001.

    3. Letter says I filed in June 2008 when in fact I filed Nov 2008.

    4. Letter says I took 3 trips outside of the US from 2005 to Nov 2008 totalling 968 day (I would have had to be gone the whole time, which of course is not the case)

    5. Further down the text however it says I was gone 790 days...(which one is it HS?)

    6. Letter says "Lawful Permanent Residents that leave the United States for more than one (1) year, during the statutory period, without the proper authorization are not eligible for citizenship. Therefore, because you have been outside the United States for more than one (1) year and without proper authorization you are deemed ineligible for naturalization" but I was never gone more than 1 year in any one trip....or do they mean 1 year if u add all the trips? I am pretty sure that is not the case.

    Finally they say I have the right to appeal.......what do u guys think of the points I mentioned above? I think I read on this forum about someone who was denied and that denial was overturned upon appeal due to mistakes in the letter he received...would that be my case?
    Is it worth an appeal? I dont really want to wait 4 years. Does anyone know an experienced attorney in this matters in the Charlotte area?
    Thanks!
  11. mariainclt

    mariainclt Registered Users (C)

    Denied, advice please. Thanks.

    Well, got a good Samaritan to pick letter up for me today. It was a denial. They denied based on the fact that I was gone almost a year for medical treatment.

    However..there are what seem like oddities to me on the letter:
    1. They quote Title 8, Part 316.5 (disruption of 6 months to 1 year) yet on their decision they apply the 4years and 1 day rule...isnt that for people who are out of the country for over a year?

    2. Letter says I became PR Aug 2003, when in fact I became one in Feb 2001.

    3. Letter says I filed in June 2008 when in fact I filed Nov 2008.

    4. Letter says I took 3 trips outside of the US from 2005 to Nov 2008 totalling 968 day (I would have had to be gone the whole time, which of course is not the case)

    5. Further down the text however it says I was gone 790 days...(which one is it HS?)

    6. Letter says "Lawful Permanent Residents that leave the United States for more than one (1) year, during the statutory period, without the proper authorization are not eligible for citizenship. Therefore, because you have been outside the United States for more than one (1) year and without proper authorization you are deemed ineligible for naturalization" but I was never gone more than 1 year in any one trip....or do they mean 1 year if u add all the trips? I am pretty sure that is not the case.

    Finally they say I have the right to appeal.......what do u guys think of the points I mentioned above? I think I read on this forum about someone who was denied and that denial was overturned upon appeal due to mistakes in the letter he received...would that be my case?
    Is it worth an appeal? I dont really want to wait 4 years. Does anyone know an experienced attorney in this matters in the Charlotte area?
    Thanks!
    __________________
  12. sanjoseaug20

    sanjoseaug20 Registered Users (C)

    My assumption is that your records are straight (and match what you said). Basically, I just hope you are not assuming they do not have travel records because there is no stamp in your passport.

    Based on this assumption, there this seems to a clear mistake by CIS in calculations and their records.

    #1. Get a lawyer.
    #2. Appeal. It is worth it.
    #3. Do it quick. You do not have much time. It can take a good couple of weeks to write a formal response (appeal).
  13. sanjoseaug20

    sanjoseaug20 Registered Users (C)

  14. mariainclt

    mariainclt Registered Users (C)

    Sanjose,
    Yes, my records are straight and match what I said and No, I dont assume they dont have travel records, in fact most of the time my passport is not even stamped. So...the mistakes in the letter are actual HS mistakes, not mine.
    Thanks for your advice.
  15. mariainclt

    mariainclt Registered Users (C)

  16. Bobsmyth

    Bobsmyth Volunteer Moderator

    Sorry to hear that it was a denial and not RFE. However, their denial is redilled with inaccurate information (according to what you previously provided). I suggest you request a rehearing/appeal by immediately scheduling an Infopass and demand to speak with a supervisor and show them the inaccuracies in their judgment. They may request that you pay a fee and file official appeal (via i-290b form), but if their decision was erroneous then they must refund you the appeal fee. If the supervisor refuses to work with you, then consider contacting the USCIS Ombudsman to intervene. If this still doesn't work out then contact an immigration lawyer. Make sure you take action within 30 days of denial. Finally, whatever you do, don't be intimidated by USCIS incompetence.
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 20, 2009
  17. mariainclt

    mariainclt Registered Users (C)

    Thanks Bobsmyth for your advice, I am sorry if I dont quite understand...what would talking to a supervisor do? I mean, they cant reverse the decision right? Not unless I file an appeal, correct? I really dont know, I am just asking.
    As u know, in my case, since I have been gone almost a year it is up to IO (or whoever reviews my case afterwards) to decide whether I have broken continuous residency or not. So ultimately I suppose the can deny me anyway regardless of any documentation I may provide. Are their errors in the letter enough to "throw out their denial" and reverse their decision?
  18. Bobsmyth

    Bobsmyth Volunteer Moderator

    There have been reports that a DO supervisor can look into a denial when it is erroneous. If you show them the evidence in hand, the supervisor might be wiling to take another look at it. The supervisor does have authority to reverse a decision if it was wrong. The denial letter cited several inaccuracies, (namely that you were outside country for more than 1 year) therefore show the supervisor the evidence you have. Mind you if you don't have any evidence that you kept US residency ties while you were overseas for surgery, then there's no point to appeal the decision in the first place.
  19. mariainclt

    mariainclt Registered Users (C)

    Thanks for the prompt reply, yes I have several documents showing that I kept my ties to the US and just as importantly (I think) dated monthly medical reports that did not allow me to fly due to my medical condition. It wasnt a case of me not wanting to come back, I was not allowed to travel by the doctors. All reports are translated. I showed these documents to the IO that interviewed me but he barely looked at them and refused to add them to my file, even after I offered him copies.
  20. Bobsmyth

    Bobsmyth Volunteer Moderator

    So you had no immediate family in US and weren't maintaining a US residence (by proof of mortgage/rental payment/agreement) while you were overseas?

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