Can you please tell me how to contact my congressman?Long time lurker, first time poster.
I had grown tired of all the paperwork that I've had to file over the last 10 years across 1xL-1, 5xE-3, and 2xH-1B visas and entered the DV lottery in 2020 and 2021. Like you all, I was selected for DV2021, however, to complicate the journey, Hong Kong special status was revoked and the lawyers I had asked didn't have a good answer on whether my selection would be "grandfathered" in. In any case, I bit the bullet an engaged a lawyer to support my application.
On Tuesday, as a result of a congressional case work inquiry, I was informed by the senator's staff that the IO/FO determined that the interview could be waived. I didn't believe it so I actually went and checked the case status and asked live chat and both confirmed that a Green Card was in production. Case status flipped over to Approved overnight and the next day there was a USPS tracking number... I'm expecting my GC in the mail in the next few days!
Like you all, it has been a process... mostly a nervous waiting game. I did not receive my bio appointment letter until late July for a mid-August appointment. There was also no sign that an interview was being scheduled, so I had been following up with online chat (about once a week since mid July) and my lawyer had separately filed a inquiry with the ombudsman and requested a tier 2 follow up.
Once I completed my biometric appointment, I checked again with online chat to see whether an interview had been scheduled and it hadn't. With the tier 2 and ombudsman inquiry still outstanding and a little over a month remaining in the fiscal year, I felt that it was not unreasonable to reach out for congressional inquiry/case work support/constituent services from the senator's office.
I contacted the senator's office and spoke with a really nice person who took my details and asked me to explain the urgency of the situation and after the weekend they sent me several forms to complete. I don't know what the usual turn around time is, however, I sent the forms back on Monday after business hours and by noon on Tuesday she had filed an inquiry with USCIS. By close of business Tuesday afternoon, she had gotten back to me that the IO can choose to waive the interview, and that they had done that. USCIS also indicated that the FO only received the case a few days ago and were coordinating with KCC on transferring paperwork/information and that the remaining administrative steps should be complete over the next few days and the application would be adjudicated before the end of the fiscal year.
So imagine my surprise when the case status flipped over to card production after I checked that evening!
I can only speak from my own experience and situation, however, and while I have some doubt that asking for "Help with a federal agency" from a congressperson helped move the case forward, they were able to give me the information I was looking for. If I can give any advice, I would say, don't just file the forms with constituent services or send an email, try and speak to a person, particularly given we are starting to run out of time.
Good luck to everyone still waiting and hang in there!
I have requested access to the spreadsheet and will fill in my dates for anyone who is interested.