DV 2019 AOS Only

Hi Mom,
My husband’s case updated to ‘case approved’ last Friday and I can see a letter in USPS. I believe this must be the welcome letter. There is no change to his case status yet. It still shows case approved. Since today is the last day I’m kind of worried that they won’t send the GC. What do you think ? Apart from waiting is there anything I can do ?
Thanks in advance
 

Sm1smom

Super Moderator
Hi Mom,
My husband’s case updated to ‘case approved’ last Friday and I can see a letter in USPS. I believe this must be the welcome letter. There is no change to his case status yet. It still shows case approved. Since today is the last day I’m kind of worried that they won’t send the GC. What do you think ? Apart from waiting is there anything I can do ?
Thanks in advance
GC can always be sent weeks down the line, not an issue. The most important thing is to be approved on before COB Sept. 30th. So keep your fingers crossed, the GC should hopefully show up in the mail in the next couple of days.
 
Hello,
I am writing this on behalf of an AOSer from Iran who isn't in this forum. Her case number is around 6000. She was in Iran and had submitted her DS-260 but could get her student visa and come to the US on August 14th. She then filed her I-485 after a while and received her GC on September 27th.
There are three points here:
1- She could get her student visa even if she had shown immigration intent by filing DS-260.
2- She didn't wait three months to file her adjustment of status after entering the US.
3- She is from Iran (The fact that people from Iran undergo longer background check is a myth).
 

Sm1smom

Super Moderator
3- She is from Iran (The fact that people from Iran undergo longer background check is a myth).
A myth??? Seriously? Based on a single, and I beg to say doubtful second hand report?

This report might be more helpful if you can provide this person’s actual timeline as in:

1. DS260 date submission and the selected processing option when the DS260 form was originally submitted -
2. AOS filing fee payment date -
3. AOS medical completion date -
4. AOS package submission date -
4. AOS NOA date -
5. AOS bio schedule and completion dates -
6. FO in charge of AOS -
7. Interview schedule/completion date -
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
Hello,
I am writing this on behalf of an AOSer from Iran who isn't in this forum. Her case number is around 6000. She was in Iran and had submitted her DS-260 but could get her student visa and come to the US on August 14th. She then filed her I-485 after a while and received her GC on September 27th.
There are three points here:
1- She could get her student visa even if she had shown immigration intent by filing DS-260.
2- She didn't wait three months to file her adjustment of status after entering the US.
3- She is from Iran (The fact that people from Iran undergo longer background check is a myth).
She is a she. Factually significant time difference in background checks between genders.
 
FINALLY MY DREAM CAME TRUE

I’m going to share my story maybe it helps someone in the future. My case number was AS10*** and it became current in July. I sent my package in June and attended my Biometrics in July. My status was OPT and I had pending OPT Extension application. I checked the spreadsheet and people who did the Bio in the same field office (Detroit) at same time got their interview letter in August. However, I didn’t receive anything so I was worried and contacted congressperson office. After a while he called me back and told your case is still in national benefit center and he said I contacted them too. After few days he forwarded email from NBC that field office is responsible to expedite case and setup interview. So I was frustrated and I just used the last option I thought I had. I called Customer Service and submitted expedite request and I chose USCIS error as the reason for expedite. On August 29th my expedite request was approved and I was told that they are going to send another notice or make decision in 30 days. At the same day my file was requested from KCC. Finally I got an email from field office on September 9th for my interview.

My interview was done on September 25th. The officer was kind but very serious. My interview took about 1 hour and for my wife took about 45 minutes. She interviewed us separately. She started to ask about what I was doing in my home country and here in the US. She checked all I20s carefully. She asked for military service card and I gave a copy of the letter from military service to department of education that I was exempted due to study abroad. She also checked my OPT EAD card and the notice of pending OPT Extension application. She asked about my Jobs. And finally she asked all yes/no questions. The questions from my wife also was the same as me. She checked her I20s and her OPT EAD cards.
Then she asked me to come to her office again and talked to both of us. She said everything looks fine and I need some review for myself but I’m going to approve you and I am aware of the deadline.

At night, I got “new card is being produced” update. But there was a notice below that “we are working on I-485 form and we will notify you if your document cannot be produced”. So due to my series of bad luck recently, still I was worried that maybe it wouldn’t be resolved before the deadline. But fortunately today we received the cards.

Biometrics: 7/9/2019
Interview appointment email: 9/9/2019
Interview: 9/25/2019
Card was mailed update: 9/28/2019
Card received: 10/1/2019

Thanks everyone for sharing your experience and thank you mom for keeping this forum alive.
 
FINALLY MY DREAM CAME TRUE

I’m going to share my story maybe it helps someone in the future. My case number was AS10*** and it became current in July. I sent my package in June and attended my Biometrics in July. My status was OPT and I had pending OPT Extension application. I checked the spreadsheet and people who did the Bio in the same field office (Detroit) at same time got their interview letter in August. However, I didn’t receive anything so I was worried and contacted congressperson office. After a while he called me back and told your case is still in national benefit center and he said I contacted them too. After few days he forwarded email from NBC that field office is responsible to expedite case and setup interview. So I was frustrated and I just used the last option I thought I had. I called Customer Service and submitted expedite request and I chose USCIS error as the reason for expedite. On August 29th my expedite request was approved and I was told that they are going to send another notice or make decision in 30 days. At the same day my file was requested from KCC. Finally I got an email from field office on September 9th for my interview.

My interview was done on September 25th. The officer was kind but very serious. My interview took about 1 hour and for my wife took about 45 minutes. She interviewed us separately. She started to ask about what I was doing in my home country and here in the US. She checked all I20s carefully. She asked for military service card and I gave a copy of the letter from military service to department of education that I was exempted due to study abroad. She also checked my OPT EAD card and the notice of pending OPT Extension application. She asked about my Jobs. And finally she asked all yes/no questions. The questions from my wife also was the same as me. She checked her I20s and her OPT EAD cards.
Then she asked me to come to her office again and talked to both of us. She said everything looks fine and I need some review for myself but I’m going to approve you and I am aware of the deadline.

At night, I got “new card is being produced” update. But there was a notice below that “we are working on I-485 form and we will notify you if your document cannot be produced”. So due to my series of bad luck recently, still I was worried that maybe it wouldn’t be resolved before the deadline. But fortunately today we received the cards.

Biometrics: 7/9/2019
Interview appointment email: 9/9/2019
Interview: 9/25/2019
Card was mailed update: 9/28/2019
Card received: 10/1/2019

Thanks everyone for sharing your experience and thank you mom for keeping this forum alive.
Congrats!!
 
Hi Mom hope you are ok,
Just a question, new registration for dv lottery 2021 is open. However, there is a new requirement to enter number of unexpired passport, country of issuance. Do you happen to know if person already in the US can participate with expired passport?
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
Hi Mom hope you are ok,
Just a question, new registration for dv lottery 2021 is open. However, there is a new requirement to enter number of unexpired passport, country of issuance. Do you happen to know if person already in the US can participate with expired passport?
They list the exceptions- being in the US is not one of them. What status are you on?
You must enter valid international travel passport information unless you are stateless, a national of a Communist-controlled country and unable to obtain a passport from the government of the Communist-controlled country, or the beneficiary of an individual waiver approved by the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State.
 
They list the exceptions- being in the US is not one of them. What status are you on?
You must enter valid international travel passport information unless you are stateless, a national of a Communist-controlled country and unable to obtain a passport from the government of the Communist-controlled country, or the beneficiary of an individual waiver approved by the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State.
Thank you Susie, I already got my GC in May with the help of you and this forum. I was just asking coz some of my friends are here, but their passports were expired.
 

SusieQQQ

Well-Known Member
Thank you Susie, I already got my GC in May with the help of you and this forum. I was just asking coz some of my friends are here, but their passports were expired.
Curious as to what status they are on. Most non immigrants are required to keep valid passports while in the US as far as I recall.
 

Sm1smom

Super Moderator
Hi Mom hope you are ok,
Just a question, new registration for dv lottery 2021 is open. However, there is a new requirement to enter number of unexpired passport, country of issuance. Do you happen to know if person already in the US can participate with expired passport?
A valid unexpired passport is required regardless of if the person is already in the US or not. Being in the US with an expired passport is not one of the exceptions like Susie already responded above.
 

Sm1smom

Super Moderator
Curious as to what status they are on. Most non immigrants are required to keep valid passports while in the US as far as I recall.
They’re most likely people currently out of status, some of whom may be asylum pending. This new requirements will eliminate asylum pending candidates with expired passports also.
 
*Long post alert (a series of 3 posts actually, due to # of character limits), skip to timeline below if uninterested by the details*

My dear companions on the DV2019 journey,

Seated in a small cabin on a boat in the Baffin Bay, in the arctic region North of Canada, I am finally writing about my DV2019 experience here as the last steps of my journey were completed on Monday this week and as I am waiting to receive the GC in the mail, soon hopefully, after I return to the US and “activate”. I thank all forum members who contribute to this forum and particularly those of my class (DV2019), who have shared their experience with me and to whom I owed to also share mine (@damo1089 @Winner19 @sofiamau @Mila05 and so many others, you know who you are :).

I chose to post my experience in this thread because my journey started as AoS, and only became CP in the very last week of the FY2019!(if necessary and advised to do so, I’ll also post under the CP thread). Please excuse any typos, I’ll blame them on the little sleep I got the past few days :)

First of all, let me say 2 things:
  1. Very few people were/are as skeptical as I once was about the DV lottery before I was selected. This skepticism was later put in question/cured when 3 people whom I personally know were selected in DV2015, DV2016 and DV2018. However, there’s no better answer to skepticism than to be selected. And so it was that in 2017, on my third attempt, I entered the dv lottery and found out I was selected in June 2018 for DV2019 (although I was happy to be selected, my reaction at the time was not what I had thought it’d be, probably because my own life experiences have made me wary of celebrating victory too soon, and boy was I right to only be cautiously optimistic!).
  2. Although I acknowledge that what really matters in the end is completing the process in time to be approved before the FY end deadline, I still have to say that it feels very strange that with my EU region CN in the low 6K range, current in December 2018, with an AoS package early-filed in October 2018, I ended up completing the process the very last day of the FY (!!!), not because there is any guarantee of success when you start the DV process, but because it is yet another reminder that although we have the spreadsheet and experiences being shared, and pointers to follow, and prevailing forum wisdom to abide by, each case is absolutely different and no 2 applicants’ journey will be exactly the same and unexpected bumps and hurdles might happen along the way, and that it ain’t over until it’s really over!
From the outset, a few steps (2NL received, KCC DV fee receipt received, AoS package mailed with early filing, check cashed, text notification NOA received, Biometrics appointment letter) happened for me as I expected, with a relative pace similar to that experienced by other AoS forum members in different locations across the US. Then, as I was dealing with what might be rightly seen as the slowest FO nationwide (due to either being understaffed or overwhelmed with caseload), a very long waiting game began in November 2018 and for me lasted almost the whole FY2019.

However, towards the end of my DV journey, new developments came up so rapidly that I was forced to change course and take radical steps I had not until then considered necessary, especially so very close to the FY deadline, to make sure that I did not lose the opportunity to take advantage of my DV selection (details below).

After submitting my AoS package in October 2018, I made professional and educational plans in the US to travel outside my State but within the US, towards the end of August 2019, early September 2019, trusting that my AoS case will have been adjudicated by then.

After 2 infopasses, 4 services requests (including 2 for “outside normal processing time), 5 Congressmen inquiries and 1 Ombudsman office inquiry (all between February 2019 and early September 2019), I was convinced that there was something wrong with my AoS case, but all these avenues did not yield a concrete answer to what might be causing this delay. The only responses which came from the FO after all these inquiries were either “FO still needs additional time to process” or “your constituent’s application is in the preliminary stages of processing” or some other type of what I’ve come to see as typical, predictable lip-service (unsubstantial responses) from some tier-1 customer center representatives, who just want to get the applicant off the phone.

On my last infopass visit to the FO in June, I explained in a letter (stamped by the FO as officially received correspondence with that date) which I left to the IO who received me that, because part of my PhD program involves studying glaciers and their climate change-induced transformations, I had to travel to Alaska for a week end of August-early September 2019, and that I was hoping for an interview before that trip. The IO assured me that an IL will be coming between June and the week before my Alaska trip.
During that Alaska week, a great last-minute but unforeseen opportunity to join a scientific team on a 2 week excursion in the arctic regions of Canada in early October came while I was in Alaska.

During this time away from my home, a trusted neighbor of mine checked my mailbox every evening and reported to me by email and Telegram texts with pictures of every piece of mail delivered to me on that day. In addition to this, I signed for USPS’ Informed Delivery Daily Email Notifications.

Needless to say that up to as late as September 9th 2019, as I was returning from Alaska and preparing to embark on the excursion in Canada, and despite all follow-up actions taken above, I was yet to receive any IL; and I was yet to receive any satisfactory response from the FO as to why my case had been pending for almost 10 months.
Finally, on September 15th, FO responded to the 5th congressman inquiry and said that there was a pending H1B visa I had applied for in my home country, which was approved but never picked up, and that they requested information about that visa from the DoS. So typical of that FO to just wait until a few weeks before the deadline to provide answers to a case they’d been sitting on for almost a year.

Frustrated by this strange reason to delay my case, I started talking to a few lawyers, but no lawyer had any idea on how to expedite this “request for info to the DoS”.

At this point, as far as I was concerned, I was starting to think about just giving up on my DV case due to the deadline being so close, and I was starting to contemplate a “National Interest Waiver” path to a GC instead.

On September 23rd, as I was passing through downtown Montreal to meet the team I was joining, I passed in front of the US consulate general, and I had the strangest idea: what about CP? I thought about it for a moment, but remembered that KCC was done scheduling September interviews back in July, so it didn’t bode well for me. Nevertheless, I decided to send an email to the consular section anyway and explain my case.

The Consular section replied and asked me to instruct KCC to inform them about my case directly, and that they might be able to squeeze me in for an interview.

The first KCC representative I reached by phone did NOT understand the issue at, she just kept insisting that I should wait for my interview as I had initially chosen to do AoS. I hang up and called again and asked to speak with the supervisor, who understood they issue and just wanted to make sure the consulate was willing to give me an interview this late in the game. On Wednesday, the consulate general responded to KCC with an available interview slot the very last day of the FY (Sept. 30th at 9:00AM). However, as it turned out, I was not out of the woods yet. When KCC tried to schedule an interview for Sept. 30th, their computer system apprentice wouldn’t allow to schedule an appoint after September 25th. So they chose to schedule 1 for September 25th to “get me a foot in the door”, so that there’s at least an appointment on record. KCC’s rationale was that the consulate general would be able to reschedule locally(by email) so as to see me on the day they have a free slot for an interview(Sept. 30th). It took quite almost 40 emails back and forth to convince to consulate general that conducting an interview on Sept. 30th despite a new 2NL with an appointment date of Sept 25th was ok (as KCC asserted). The consulate general said they had to seek guidance from the State Department in Washington, and a confirmation from DC came on September 25th, giving them a go ahead to conduct the interview.
[...continued on next post...]
 
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[...sequel... :) ]
At this point, I received an email notification from USPS showing a piece of mail from the USCIS FO headed to my US home. As I really did not care much about anything the FO has to say, nor did I trust that they’d magically process my case in just a few days after sitting on it for a year, I decided to focus on CP instead. It took the help of an army of friends (some of whom I had not been in touch with for almost 10 years) in the 5 countries I had lived in for more than 6 months since the age of 16 to get 5 police certificates. Luckily, I had kept a copy of a fingerprint FBI background check undergone 7 months ago for a job I was applying for, and I sent each of these friends a copy to assist them in applying for police certs on my behalf. Authorities in some of the 5 countries were harder to convince than others, but luckily all managed to do a quick background check and produce clearances or at least affidavits confirming I had no criminal records in their respective countries.

In addition to these certs, on the advice of the consular section in Montreal, I had to redo my medical exam given that civil surgeons (USCIS) and panel physicians (State Department) are not interchangeable in terms of required paperwork and report formats. Getting an appointment for the medical report was a pain in the neck, but thankfully an old colleague was able to put me in touch with a nurse in the physician’s office, who was understanding of the urgency of my DV case, and managed to convince the physician to see me on Saturday morning September 28th, after a chest X-ray taken and interpreted at a local hospital the day before.

On interview day, I was still waiting for the last police cert, which arrived by DHL from Germany at 8:33AM, I was clearly cutting it waaaay too close. I arrived at the consulate at 9:01AM, 1 minute after the consular section called the gate to ask if I had arrived.

After clearing security, I was told by security that my laptop could not be kept with my other items, and I had to go to another building next door to be kept there until I pick it up at the end of the interview when I exit the consulate. This little detour took 10-12 minutes, and by the time I was back at the consulate, inside the consular section, it was 9:15AM. I later noticed an email sent by the consulate at 9:04AM asking me to please come to the consulate as that day was the last day to process my case (proper customer care, so much better than my FO).

I was asked to provide my documents at the front desk, and after reviewing them, was asked to pay the $330 fee. I explained that I had already paid KCC that fee more than a year ago and showed the receipt. The person reviewing the documents said they needed to seek advice from the consular officer, and they later came back saying the KCC DV fee receipt was ok. However, this gentleman was still curious why I had paid directly to KCC although my second 2NL(which appeared on the ESC website on September 25th)specifies that I have to pay at the embassy. I politely explained that the 2NL was only 4 days old.

I was then asked to seat and wait to be called for the interview. As I was waiting, a door opened on the far right side of the room and burly man with a badge called me into a corridor, from which we entered a room. I was asked to seat and a second man came in to join us. They were with the security team and asked me about 1 police cert and wanted to verify it’s authenticity. I explained that I obtained it from the authorities in that specific country through the help of a friend there (mailing). They said they understood and that I didn’t look like someone who has ever been to prison, however they pointed out that there was a grammar typo on this police cert and that this typo had raised their suspicions. I told them that my request for these police certs was sooo rushed that I might be to blame for the typo in case requesting expedited service caused someone in that country to rush the document’s translation in English, which caused a typo. The 2 security guys said they were satisfied with my answers and would tell the consular officer that all was good. We chatted a bit about which States they were from and they wished me good luck on my return. I then returned to the waiting area and was soon called by the CO.
 
[...last part, I promise :) ]

The CO was a friendly gentleman who asked me to raise my right hand and swear to tell the truth. Then he asked:
  • high school completion year?
  • What I did after that?
  • How many years I lived in each country since then?
  • What year I moved to the US (no questions about maintenance of status), but he did ask if I had adjusted status?
  • Marital status?
  • Any children?
  • Highest education level?
  • He asked about my research project and
He then asked me to seat and wait to be called back. 15 minutes later the CO came back and apologized for the delays, and said he could not find my archives in the consulate general’s database, and had to access those from other US embassies where I had applied for visas of different categories. Finally he asked me when I was planning to travel, and I explained that I was actually late as I was supposed to join a team on an excursion North near the Baffin Bay in the arctic regions of Canada, so I’d have to leave Montreal that same evening and catch a charter flight to take me near the Baffin Bay where the rest of the team was headed. He laughed and said that clearly I must enjoy making plans last-minute, after which we laughed and joked about how nuts the past week had been for me, but in the end I thanked him for being willing to interview me on such short notice.

He finally pulled out 2 forms from his desk, one from USCIS saying congratulations, with an A# and a DoS case # (same as my DV case number + 01 as did not have any derivates), and another form from the embassy asking me to come back later that afternoon to pick up the visa, which I did. In addition to the passport, I was also given a very long sealed envelope. The CO said I was to give it to CBP upon reentry into the US and that the i-551 stamp will serve as temporary GC for a year waiting for the plastic one to be delivered to my home.

That same evening, I checked the CEAC case status and the blue letters had changed to “Issued”.

Timeline:
  • June 2018: checked selection results
  • July 2018: DS-260 form filled out
  • September 2018: 1st 2NL
  • October 2018: early filing AoS package sent to lockbox
  • Mid-October 2018: check cashed
  • Late October 2018: NOA received
  • Early Nov. 2018: Walk-in biometrics
  • End of Nov. 2018: “Fingerprint review completed”
  • February 2019: 1st infopass, no satisfactory answer as to when to expect an IL
  • April 2019: 1st service request submitted, KCC informs that eDV file not yet requested by FO.
  • May 2019: FO responds to service request with unsatisfactory generic response “case under review”
  • June 2019: 2nd service request, no satisfactory response.
  • End-June 2019: 1st congressional inquiry + request for assistance from Ombudsman + 2nd infopass, informed FO that I’ll be out of State end of Aug-early Sept. FO assures me IL will be sent before then.
  • July 2019: 2nd congressional inquiry, still the same generic unhelpful response from the FO.
  • August 1 2019: 3rd service request, for which no response ever came from FO + 3rd congressional inquiry, FO response: “case still in preliminary stages of processing”
  • September 1 2019: 4th congressional inquiry
  • September 15th FO responds that H1B visa applied for abroad and approved in 2017 but never picked up is still pending and therefore FO needs information from DoS about that visa.
  • September 16-22nd: meeting with lawyers and congress
  • September 23rd: initiation of CP process communication with KCC and the consulate. KCC only agreed to waive the “document submission process” for my case because an embassy had already agreed to interview me on a specific date.
  • September 24-30: gathering of CP-specific missing required documents.
  • September 25: a piece of mail, likely IL coming from FO (they probably tried to call me on that day, but I was in Canada by then), but I didn’t care anymore about anything an FO which delays a whole year had to say in a letter.
  • September 30 late afternoon : CP interview @ consulate + immigrant DV visa issued that same late afternoon.
Notes:
  • When it started to dawn on me that my case may run out of time and that, as a result, I may very well miss out on my DV selection, I pondered over what it all meant for a week, while consulting with lawyers by phone. As expected, most of them not knowing what to do to expedite my stalled case, advised me to hire them and follow other routes (NIW, etc.) but something in my brain just could not accept defeat, I tried to accept it, but I could not.
  • In the end survival instinct, the kindness of friends and strangers (angels in unexpected places, really!!) during that last week, and the willingness of the consulate and KCC to push things so last minute made all the difference.
  • Needless to point here that by the time the status quo looked like it was never going to change in time to ensure I don’t miss out on my DV selection, it was beyond too late to apply for advanced parole, as only emergency reasons like emergency medical treatment or funerals qualify for such short notice advanced parole, there was absolutely no time!!!
  • The past 2 weeks were very stressful in terms of game-plan. I would not wish that level of stress on my worst enemy.
  • Would I advise anyone to try CP that late in the game? Absolutely not!! Not everyone can cope with such stress and no everyone would feel comfortable putting pressure on people so last minute.
  • If you’re dealing with an FO that’s proving difficult to communicate with despite having been approached through all reasonable and advised follow-up avenues, please consider CP before end of July of that FY.
  • Submitting the DS-260 form soon after learning I was selected made a key difference in the outcome of my case a year later, so, something to keep in mind when processing AoS (although DS-260 form not required, you never what lies ahead).
  • Having your own FBI-fingerprint background check done at an FBI-approved local channeler might help you have the equivalent of a police certificate for the US in case you unexpectedly have to process CP.
  • It ain’t over until it’s over.
  • Experiencing both sides of the DV journey (AoS and CP) was fun, but I have to say CP processing is so much faster and more time-efficient.
  • Finally, I’d like to say that I had strange misgivings about my FO from the outset, and I wished I had acted on them and switch to CP sooner. So, if any DV selectee who’s dealing with my FO has the same doubts as I had, I’d advise to change course earlier in the FY and process CP if that’s an option for them.
  • I hope all of you are enjoying your new LPR status, and I wish those of DV2020 all the best of luck!! Cheers!!
 
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[...last part, I promise :) ]

The CO was a friendly gentleman who asked me to raise my right hand and swear to tell the truth. Then he asked:
  • high school completion year?
  • What I did after that?
  • How many years I lived in each country since then?
  • What year I moved to the US (no questions about maintenance of status), but he did ask if I had adjusted status?
  • Marital status?
  • Any children?
  • Highest education level?
  • He asked about my research project and
He then asked me to seat and wait to be called back. 15 minutes later the CO came back and apologized for the delays, and said he could not find my archives in the consulate general’s database, and had to access those from other US embassies where I had applied for visas of different categories. Finally he asked me when I was planning to travel, and I explained that I was actually late as I was supposed to join a team on an excursion North near the Baffin Bay in the arctic regions of Canada, so I’d have to leave Montreal that same evening and catch a charter flight to take me near the Baffin Bay where the rest of the team was headed. He laughed and said that clearly I must enjoy making plans last-minute, after which we laughed and joked about how nuts the past week had been for me, but in the end I thanked him for being willing to interview me on such short notice.

He finally pulled out 2 forms from his desk, one from USCIS saying congratulations, with an A# and a DoS case # (same as my DV case number + 01 as did not have any derivates), and another form from the embassy asking me to come back later that afternoon to pick up the visa, which I did. In addition to the passport, I was also given a very long sealed envelope. The CO said I was to give it to CBP upon reentry into the US and that the i-551 stamp will serve as temporary GC for a year waiting for the plastic one to be delivered to my home.

That same evening, I checked the CEAC case status and the blue letters had changed to “Issued”.

Timeline:
  • June 2018: checked selection results
  • July 2018: DS-260 form filled out
  • September 2018: 1st 2NL
  • October 2018: early filing AoS package sent to lockbox
  • Mid-October 2018: check cashed
  • Late October 2018: NOA received
  • Early Nov. 2018: Walk-in biometrics
  • End of Nov. 2018: “Fingerprint review completed”
  • February 2019: 1st infopass, no satisfactory answer as to when to expect an IL
  • April 2019: 1st service request submitted, KCC informs that eDV file not yet requested by FO.
  • May 2019: FO responds to service request with unsatisfactory generic response “case under review”
  • June 2019: 2nd service request, no satisfactory response.
  • End-June 2019: 1st congressional inquiry + request for assistance from Ombudsman + 2nd infopass, informed FO that I’ll be out of State end of Aug-early Sept. FO assures me IL will be sent before then.
  • July 2019: 2nd congressional inquiry, still the same generic unhelpful response from the FO.
  • August 1 2019: 3rd service request, for which no response ever came from FO + 3rd congressional inquiry, FO response: “case still in preliminary stages of processing”
  • September 1 2019: 4th congressional inquiry
  • September 15th FO responds that H1B visa applied for abroad and approved in 2017 but never picked up is still pending and therefore FO needs information from DoS about that visa.
  • September 16-22nd: meeting with lawyers and congress
  • September 23rd: initiation of CP process communication with KCC and the consulate. KCC only agreed to waive the “document submission process” for my case because an embassy had already agreed to interview me on a specific date.
  • September 24-30: gathering of CP-specific missing required documents.
  • September 25: a piece of mail, likely IL coming from FO (they probably tried to call me on that day, but I was in Canada by then), but I didn’t care anymore about anything an FO which delays a whole year had to say in a letter.
  • September 30 late afternoon : CP interview @ consulate + immigrant DV visa issued that same late afternoon.
Notes:
  • When it started to dawn on me that my case may run out of time and that, as a result, I may very well miss out on my DV selection, I pondered over what it all meant for a week, while consulting with lawyers by phone. As expected, most of them not knowing what to do to expedite my stalled case, advised me to hire them and follow other routes (NIW, etc.) but something in my brain just could not accept defeat, I tried to accept it, but I could not.
  • In the end survival instinct, the kindness of friends and strangers (angels in unexpected places, really!!) during that last week, and the willingness of the consulate and KCC to push things so last minute made all the difference.
  • Needless to point here that by the time the status quo looked like it was never going to change in time to ensure I don’t miss out on my DV selection, it was beyond too late to apply for advanced parole, as only emergency reasons like emergency medical treatment or funerals qualify for such short notice advanced parole, there was absolutely no time!!!
  • The past 2 weeks were very stressful in terms of game-plan. I would not wish that level of stress on my worst enemy.
  • Would I advise anyone to try CP that late in the game? Absolutely not!! Not everyone can cope with such stress and no everyone would feel comfortable putting pressure on people so last minute.
  • If you’re dealing with an FO that’s proving difficult to communicate with despite having been approached through all reasonable and advised follow-up avenues, please consider CP before end of July of that FY.
  • Submitting the DS-260 form soon after learning I was selected made a key difference in the outcome of my case a year later, so, something to keep in mind when processing AoS (although DS-260 form not required, you never what lies ahead).
  • Having your own FBI-fingerprint background check done at an FBI-approved local channeler might help you have the equivalent of a police certificate for the US in case you unexpectedly have to process CP.
  • It ain’t over until it’s over.
  • Experiencing both sides of the DV journey (AoS and CP) was fun, but I have to say CP processing is so much faster and more time-efficient.
  • Finally, I’d like to say that I had strange misgivings about my FO from the outset, and I wished I had acted on them and switch to CP sooner. So, if any DV selectee who’s dealing with my FO has the same doubts as I had, I’d advise to change course earlier in the FY and process CP if that’s an option for them.
  • I hope all of you are enjoying your new LPR status, and I wish those of DV2020 all the best of luck!! Cheers!!
OMG @Grug i am soo happy for you. Congrats. You literally had to fight over GC. Glad that you found a way, didnt drop it and won. Now you can breathe your full chest)))
 
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