Monday, January 31, 2011

First day with NVC Operator

*Reference link to abbreviations/terms post*

Well, I decided to call an  operator today. Around 5:30pm, I called NVC up. Took me 3 times to finally get in. Chose the option to speak with an operator and then found myself on hold for about 20 minutes. I finally got through and spoke with a nice guy, didn't catch his first name. He asked for my CIS receipt number and then told me that there was no case number yet for my case and that I should wait till next week. I told him thank you and hung up.

Definitely not waiting till next week as per the operator's suggestion. Going to call up the operators again twice tomorrow, along with calling the AVR.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

Plan of action

*Reference link to abbreviations/terms post*

So, here's what needs to be done in the following few weeks.

I'm going to continue calling NVC's AVR to see if a case number has been assigned. I think starting this Tuesday (one week after our approval), if no case number has been assigned, I'll start calling up an operator about twice daily to find out if it's been assigned yet, as well as continuing to call the AVR.

As soon as I find out our case number, I'm going to call up an operator immediately and give our email addresses and ask for our IIN which is required for the payment portal.

As soon as that's done, I'll send an opt-in email to opt-in for electronic processing. I'll then sign onto the payment portal and fill out the online form DS-261 (similar to the DS-3032, but online).

If we get this done early in the week, the AoS bill might appear by the end of the week. If Ben can pay that immediately, it'll show up as PAID most likely early next week or end of this week. It all depends when we get a case number. Once it shows up as PAID, we print the coversheet out, attach it with all the I-864 forms and documents, and email it off.

Sometime next week or the week after, the IV bill should appear, we pay that and wait for it to appear as PAID. I fill out the online form DS-260 (similar to the DS-230, but online). I submit that once done and then email off the supporting documents.

And then the waiting! If all goes well, we should be done at the end of February or sometime in March.

Also, this week, Ben needs to print out the employment letter and get his boss to sign it. We have to go over the I-864 and make sure everything is correct. He then needs to scan everything and send it to me. I'll then put it together into a PDF. A cover letter also has to be written up.

Next week, I'll work on the DS-260 documents, scanning everything in and putting it all together as a PDF. I've still got a photocopy of my birth certificate and passport from August on my computer, so I don't need to scan those again. I need Ben to scan a copy of the marriage certificate and send it to me. Then I just have to scan my police certificate and 2 passport-style pictures of myself. A cover letter also has to be written up.

I'm sure I'll be writing a lot these next two weeks with plenty of updates!


EDIT: I was bored and just did the two cover letters for the I-864 and the DS-260. I just have to update the date on them before we send them and the case number once we get it.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


*Reference link to abbreviations/terms post*

So, at 4:44pm, I got a text message on my phone from USCIS!! All it said was my case was updated, didn't know if we had gotten an RFE or were approved. I immediately went to the USCIS website and signed in. I saw the 'last updated' column finally switched to 1/26/2011. I was so tired of seeing 9/03/2010 every day (as was Ben). I clicked on our receipt number, and saw this:

I had been seeing only Inital Review since September, definitely nice change. Then I quickly scanned the text below and saw: On January 25, 2011, we mailed you a notice that we have approved this I130 IMMIGRANT PETITION FOR RELATIVE, FIANCE(E), OR ORPHAN. And then I yelled, and my body started to shake, and tears started to well in my eyes. I was in complete shock.

The funny thing, I was on the phone with the IRS when all this happened. Thank goodness I was on hold, the lady would have thought I was weird. 

I immediately texted Ben who was in a meeting (in which he got a letter congratulating him on his hard work and a $200 bonus!). He had gotten the notification as well. I then quickly went to Facebook and spammed a bunch of messages, but my hands were shaking non-stop, very hard to type.

So, the first step has finally been completed! Now onto the NVC! I'll write another post this week about what Ben and I need to do in the next few days.


P.S. Ben, I love you forever <3 <3

Friday, January 21, 2011

8 month anniversary, NVC, and California

*Reference link to abbreviations/terms post*

Happy 8 month anniversary to Ben and I! ^_^

Still no news on our NOA2.

I've been calling NVC's AVR each night just to see if a case number has been assigned. I've heard of a few cases where some people hadn't received their NOA2 in the mail or had any updates on the USCIS website, but found that their case had been approved by finding a case number had been assigned to them at NVC. I now have the NVC number committed to memory: (603) 334-0700. I know which numbers to press as soon as I hear the automated voice (1, 1, 1, 4, 1, receipt number, 1). Once I hear: "There is no record of your case on file..." I hang up. Can't wait to hear: "This case was entered in the NVC computer system on..."

Anyways, in other news, Ben's in California. He's been there since Sunday. No, not to go to the CSC, but for work. Advanced SQL training (he's a programmer). All expenses paid for by his work (flight, hotel, food, and training). He flew Sunday afternoon and his training was Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. Yesterday he visited Apple headquarters and bought me an Apple shirt! Just have to wait for him to come and visit me now to get it. He's currently in an IMAX theater watching the Green Hornet in 3D. He flies back on Sunday and I know he's going to visit a long-time friend that he's never actually met in person. He might also go see the Googleplex (Google headquarters), but I don't know when.

Not much else to report on. Come on NOA2!! :D


Friday, January 7, 2011

Some good news!

*Reference link to abbreviations/terms post*

Just to start off, Happy New Year!

I had a great Christmas with Ben. He flew in Wednesday night and left less than four days later. I'm so glad we got to spend our first Christmas together.

Also, as of January 2nd, it's been 4 months since our NOA1. And as of today, I've known Ben for exactly a year ^_^

Anyways, on to the good news. So, on VJ, I came across a thread indicating that the DS-260 is now mandatory for all visa applicants going through the Montreal Consulate. At first, I was kind of disappointed since I already have the DS-230 filed out, but soon realised how amazing this DS-260 is.

*Reference link to post about the DS-261/DS-260*

I just found out today some very uplifting news which I am so grateful for. This new DS-260 is getting rid of the mail backlog at the Montreal Consulate. As soon as a case is complete at NVC, the DS-260 is sent electronically to the consulate. An interview date is then assigned. How fast are interviews getting assigned now? In this other thread I'm following about the DS-260, there were two members that got case completes this week, and got their interview dates this week as well. This has never happened before. NEVER. (Unless it was expedited, but these are non-expedited cases). Usually, for Montreal, after a case complete, one waits about 4 months, gets assigned an interview date, and then has the interview one month later.

Plus, I haven't gotten to the best news of all. Sure, getting an interview date assigned fast is nice, but WHEN the interview date is important. Instead of being 5 months from a case complete, these two members have interview dates TWO months after case complete. TWO MONTHS. When I saw this, I broke out in a smile. Like, a very large smile. :D :D

If this get-an-interview-two-months-from-case-complete remains, then to get to South Dakota for our first anniversary on May 21, I'd have to have the interview at the beginning of May, which means I need to get a case complete around the end of February/beginning of March. And since NVC only takes a few weeks, this is all possible once we get our NOA2 in the next upcoming weeks. So happy and thankful.