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I-485 - April 2017 Filers

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Posted by NiluB (64) 09 Jan 2018#851
to statuscheck123:

Sharing my interview experience at the SF field office:

EB1A India (primary + derivative beneficiary)
I-485 RD: 04/10/2017
EAD/AP: 06/15/2017
Transfer to NBC: 10/26/2017
Interview notice date: 11/28/2017
Local office: San Francisco, CA
Interview date: 01/02/2018
Approval Notice: 01/02/2018 (received: 01/08/2018)
Card received: 01/09/2018 (mailed: 01/05/2018)

The officer called our names and escorted us together to her office. Before I describe my experience, I want to mention that the USCIS officer interviewing us was super nice. In general, all officers at the SF office seemed very polite – something I noticed while waiting as officers were personally coming to everyone to where they were seated and welcoming them. Honestly, I expected more stern professionalism, similar to what I experienced at visa interviews by consular officers.

It started off by us taking the oath and signing a waiver that our lawyer would not be attending the interview. She had our entire file with her on the desk – like all of ~400 pages of the EB1A petition, but she had it opened at the very end, specifically at my I485. She started the conversation on a very friendly note, asking what we did for the Holidays – we didn’t do anything, to that she said ‘I bet that you cancelled your plans for this interview’ (which is true actually!) and then added ‘at least you are going to start the New Year by taking care of this paperwork.’

Then she confirmed ALL information in the submitted I-485 and G-325A, some cases she asked us for the info (what it is your date of birth?), other cases she confirmed the info provided (so, I see that you were married on XXX, is that correct?). She did this to both me and my spouse; my spouse had a new job, so she updated her form as well. Then she asked a few questions about my position, my fellowship, how long it will last, what do I like most about my job, etc. and some related discussion ensued. Finally, she asked some of the YES/NO questions from I-485 – this was done together with my spouse, she would ask one question and wait for the both of us to respond. For one question, “were you ever arrested, incarcerated, ‘cited’, etc...?”, before I answered, I clarified if parking citations are counted, and she smiled and said ‘no, only real stuff’.

We had carried a bunch of photos, which the officer went through, she asked a few questions about our parents, our wedding, honeymoon, and the trips we have taken since. Want to specify that this was not intimidating at all. She seemed genuinely interested in Bengali wedding rituals, food, people, etc. At the end, she selected a couple of pictures from the lot (interestingly, the ones where our parents and family were present) to keep with our file (asked first, if we had copies and wouldn’t mind her taking them).

Then she requested documents showing bona fide marriage; we were carrying a hell lot of stuff like joint tax returns, joint credit card statements, joint car loan, joint car registration, joint car/renter’s insurance, leases going back 4 years, etc. – She was clearly impressed and said that this is a lot, while she normally wouldn’t take all of them, just because we cared to make copies for everything, she would keep them in our file. Actually, we started off by giving her our marriage license, but she said that she already has that one (submitted with our petition).

After all these, she spent a good 10 min rifling through our file, looked at her computer a bunch of times, in between confirmed our SSN, Alien regn, and DOB once more - if I have to guess, she was making sure that we both have received proper security clearances. Then she asked if we were aware if our priority dates are current (also added that it should be for EB1); in any case, we were carrying the Jan 2018 visa bulletin. At the end she said that as of today you are both permanent residents; H1b, I94, etc. will be automatically cancelled, and from now on, we would only need our passports and perm resident cards to travel. Also, we should receive an approval notice later this week or early next week and the physical cards in 2-3 weeks. That was it.

In reality, we received the approval notice on 01/08/2018 and the physical cards on 01/09/2018 (all within 7 days).

Here are some specific pointers for the interview that I gathered (disclaimer: please don’t consider any of this as legal advice):

1. Be truthful. If you have any doubts, clarify with the officer and do not hesitate to ask questions – they will have everything on you with them anyway. For example, I-485 asks for any membership, etc. – I had initially reported one organization in the form. During the interview, she asked about any additional organizations I am/was part of; I clarified that I am a fellow of another organization and went over the details and the nature of my association – she accepted that it does not need to be in the list. But she seemed happy that I clarified with her.

2. Be organized. My spouse did an excellent job of assembling everything we carried with us. We also made sure to carry photocopies for every original document (with all relevant info highlighted). This helped immensely – we were able to produce anything the officer asked within seconds and she did not have to leave her seat even to copy anything. This also rubbed positively with the officer and several times she mentioned that she is going to keep stuff in her file, just because we cared to make copies for her.

3. It would not come as news to anyone that EB AOS interviews are a new thing for field officers and will likely remain so for the next few months. So, be prepared to face questions and carry supporting documents to establish bona fide marriage, i.e. generally prepare as if this is a FB AOS interview (we did that and it helped). In any case, for the spouse, even for EB cases the eligibility is still based on marriage, so related questions are fair game. There is a ton of material on the internet regarding this, including hundreds of YouTube videos to help out. Also carry photos of major life events, some should preferably be those with family.

4. For the primary applicant, specifically EB1 cases, prepare a 5-10 sentence lay audience summary of your work and what makes it extraordinary. While this was not directly asked, it sort of came out during the conversation. I assume the same should be true for EB2, 3 cases as well, be prepared to answer questions that makes you eligible for the underlying I140. Also, be prepared to answer questions related to continued engagement in the field of extraordinary ability – this may be specific for EB1. Again, while not directly asked, however, during the conversation, it generally came out what I am currently working on, challenges I face, my future plans, etc. I was also carrying copies of my recent publications, reviews, employment verification letter, etc... everything that happened after I140 submission, but goes to show that I am still working in the same field.

If your spouse is employed, she should also be prepared to talk about her job, duties, etc.; the interviewer asked a few related questions to my wife, however, they may simply be out of curiosity.

5. I have seen a lot of people ask this: is there a dress code? No, there isn’t, but I have read it in many places that one should dress appropriately for this. No need to wear full formals, but it is necessary to come off as respectful in your attire and grooming.

6. Know your petition well. This is true for both the I140 and 1485 - know exactly which documents were submitted. I had to specifically request my lawyer to send a scanned copy of the final I140 for this.

7. Carry related documents such as Information related to I-864 and/or Suppl J. In my case, it being EB1A, they were not required, but our lawyer suggested we carry the official instructions to show the officer, if requested. We also carried the most recent DHS visa bulletin and did show it to the officer that our priority dates are current.

This forum has been very helpful throughout the process and I want to stay back a few more weeks to answer questions about my experience. Good luck everyone and Happy New Year!
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Posted by Pinnacle19 (18) 10 Jan 2018#852
Hi All,

I and my dependent had an interview in San Jose recently. Sharing my experience:

Background: EB1A/India

The officer came to collect us. She was a very respectful, great and jolly person. She had our files opened in her office. We started by oath. She then took our passports and DLs. She went through our visas, pausing at US visas. She then saw our EADs and took photocopies of EADs and DLs from us. She then told us that she would first verify my information and then my spouse's.

Step 1: My I-485 verification

Verbally verified all I-485 information, point by point. Updated the address, Last US entry and made a note that we don't have children. She took my updated I-94. She updated my address herself from my Interview notice.

Step 2: Few yes/no questions:

She asked few I-485 yes/no questions from me and dependent together.

Step 3: My G-325A verification

Again verbally confirmed all the information. Didn't ask random questions like parents DOB, only relevant. She added my latest address to the list of residencies. She then asked if my employment history is same. I told her that I have changed my employer. She asked me to add that employer to that list which I did (No questions on employer, roles, responsibilities or anything).

Step 4: My spouse's I-485 verification

Same as mine: verbally verified all information. Updated the address. She also updated my spouse's occupation from "Student" to "software engineer" as she had graduated and was now working.

Step 5: My spouse's G-325A verification:

Same as mine: verbally verifies all information. Added the latest address and employer in the appropriate lists.

Step 6: Marriage verification:

Asked to show the original marriage certificate. Then asked about our story where we told her how/when we met, proposed, got married. She was making a note while we were telling the story. She then asked if we wanted to submit any documents. So we gave her copies of joint insurances, registration of the co-owned car. She kept the copies. We also had photos - and she asked us to give any 5-6 that we would like to submit. So we gave a few including our first meet, with our parents and friends. We had written date, place and occasion at the back of the photos prior to the interview, so she took them as they were. She then happily saw the photos and kept them.

So documents asked:
- Original: passports, DLs, EADs, marriage certificate
- Copies: DLs, EADs, latest I-94, marriage documents

At the end, she gave us the standard sheet which had "held for review" checked, and told us that we would hear back soon. She then escorted us out.

Update:

Today (9th Jan) got 2 status updates for both of us:

In the afternoon: "Case has been approved"
In the evening: "Card Was Mailed To Me"
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Posted by yonseibio (38) 10 Jan 2018#853
Here is my case(Case: NIW-EB2) ; PD is January 2, 2016, non-concurrent, I-140 approved on Mar, 2017.
1. When Package sent to USCIS May 4, 2017
2. When Package received by USCIS May 8, 2017
3. Which Service Center reviewing NEBRASKA
4. When Text/Email notices sent May 12, 2017
5. When Physical Notices mailed May 20, 2017
6. When FingerPrint notice sent June 9, 2017
7. When FingerPrint notice scheduled June 20, 2017
8. When AP/EAD Text/Email approval July 18, 2017 for me and my two children / August 10, 2017 for my wife
9. When AP/EAD Physical cards mailed July 25, 2017 for me and my two children / August 15, 2017 for my wife
10. Case transferred from NEBRASKA SERVICE CENTER to National benefit center in Kansas city, MO. 9/21/2017 The message was "We have completed a preliminary review of the application or petition listed above. As part of standard processing, we transferred your case to the USCIS office listed below that has jurisdiction over your case. That office will notify you in writing when they make a decision on your case or if they need additional information" - My lawyer said this message usually means an interview.
11. The interview is notified by mail on Oct. 30, 2017, and scheduled on Dec. 4, 2017.
12. When interview done: Dec.4, 2017 --->after that, I got RFE on Dec. 9, 2017 saying submitting the supplement J which is not required for the NIW-EB2. --->January 2, 2018 my response to RFE received at Chicago office
13. When I-485 approved: January 10, 2018 for me and my children, not yet for my wife
14. When GC card mailed

It was a long journey. If I and my whole family get the GC, I will update finally. Do I have to concern about my wife's getting GC, since I did not get the same message at the same time?

I appreciate all of you kindly answering my questions, and I hope this profile will be helpful for you to anticipate your time line in this horrible new NIW-EB2 policies, interview, and supplement J stuff. Good luck to all, I desire.
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Posted by Pinnacle19 (18) 11 Jan 2018#854
Got both our GCs in the mail today :)

Thank you everyone!
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Posted by UsGreenwaiting (10) 12 Jan 2018#855
My case got transfered to Vermont few months ago.
Trying to see if any Vermont transfers got interview notice ?
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Posted by Barley1 (104) 13 Jan 2018#856
Guys,

Got an update today, "New card is being produced"

wait over except for the card.
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Posted by EB1CNSC (7) 13 Jan 2018#857
to Barley1:

Did you had interview or no interview?
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Posted by Barley1 (104) 16 Jan 2018#858
to EB1CNSC:

I had interview
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Posted by yonseibio (38) 16 Jan 2018#859
Here is my case (Case: NIW-EB2) ; PD is January 2, 2016, non-concurrent, I-140 approved on Mar, 2017.
1. When Package sent to USCIS May 4, 2017
2. When Package received by USCIS May 8, 2017
3. Which Service Center reviewing NEBRASKA
4. When Text/Email notices sent May 12, 2017
5. When Physical Notices mailed May 20, 2017
6. When FingerPrint notice sent June 9, 2017
7. When FingerPrint notice scheduled June 20, 2017
8. When AP/EAD Text/Email approval July 18, 2017 for me and my two children / August 10, 2017 for my wife
9. When AP/EAD Physical cards mailed July 25, 2017 for me and my two children / August 15, 2017 for my wife
10. Case transferred from NEBRASKA SERVICE CENTER to National benefit center in Kansas city, MO. 9/21/2017 The message was "We have completed a preliminary review of the application or petition listed above. As part of standard processing, we transferred your case to the USCIS office listed below that has jurisdiction over your case. That office will notify you in writing when they make a decision on your case or if they need additional information" - My lawyer said this message usually means an interview.
11. The interview is notified by mail on Oct. 30, 2017, and scheduled on Dec. 4, 2017.
12. When interview done: Dec.4, 2017 --->after that, I got RFE on Dec. 9, 2017 saying submitting the supplement J which is not required for the NIW-EB2. --->January 2, 2018 my response to RFE received at Chicago office
13. When I-485 approved: January 10, 2018 for my all family members - my wife and my two children
14. When I-485 mailed: January 12 from NBC in Kansas, MO in my case.
15. I-485 at home: January 18 or 19 by USPS informed delivery.

By the way, there are 5 mails from USCIS. Anyone can tell me why 5 letters. - 4 letters for each one's GC, another one is for welcoming letter or something??

I appreciate all of you kindly answering my questions, and I hope this profile will be helpful for you to anticipate your time line in this horrible new NIW-EB2 policies, interview, and supplement J stuff. Good luck to all, I desire.
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Posted by captain1 (50) 16 Jan 2018#860
Is there any anyone on this forum who has I -140 pending and also received a notice to Case Was Transferred And A New Office Has Jurisdiction for I -485 ?
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Posted by alip007 (10) 18 Jan 2018#861
HEY guys it's been three months since my case transfer to local office but no interview yet. Lawyer saying wait 45 days more I get an info pass appointment. It's worrying me a bit. My local field office is in North Carolina Charlote. Anybody from there ?
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Posted by UsGreenwaiting (10) 18 Jan 2018#862
to alip007:

Same here.
Ladt update was :Case Received at my local office.
91 days and no news.
I am just waiting cz i heard SR may not help.
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Posted by HCHNIW (123) 18 Jan 2018#863
to UsGreenwaiting:

Same here! Transfer date to NBC: Nov. 8 - No news yet
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Posted by Willbgreened (60) 18 Jan 2018#864
to UsGreenwaiting:

same here. waiting since October 25.
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Posted by alip007 (10) 18 Jan 2018#865
to Willbgreened:

me since oct 31st. any body from NC got interview?
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Posted by Leaf18 (5) 22 Jan 2018#866
Hello all,
I would like to share my details and experience with you all.

Category: EB1-A India
PD: March 6, 2017
RD: April 17, 2017
Transfer to NBC: October 30, 2017
Interview notice: December 20, 2017
Interview date: January 22, 2018
Field office: Baltimore

This morning we had our interview. We were scheduled at different time but called in together. We followed usual procedure of taking an oath and signing attorney waiver form. He asked for our passport and DL.

Questions for me:
1) Verified my legal name, DOB, port of entry, and last date of entry.
2) Verified my wife's name, DOB.
3) Who is sitting next to you?
4) What does your wife do?
5) Did you meet her family and where are they now?
6) What do you do? Where do you work? salary?
7) What did you study in India?
8) What did you study in the USA?
9) Job profile.
10) Verified all I-485 details and yes/no questions
11) Asked for my professional associations

Questions for my wife:
1) Where and how did you meet?
2) How long have you been dating before marriage?
3) Did you meet your husband's parents and siblings?
4) How many people were invited/attended your marriage?
5) What does your husband do?
6) Verified all I-485 details and yes/no questions
7) Asked for marriage album and asked for few rituals/ceremonies.

The officer was nice and friendly. He seemed most interested in our marriage rituals and ceremonies. At the end, he asked if we have any questions. Out of curiosity, I asked if everything looks good. He said yes, everything looks good. He then gave us a "case is being held for review" paper and asked to verify our name. At the end, he did say that he has not made a decision yet, but we will receive our green cards in 2-3 weeks. (That was enough for us...)

Though we carried a whole bunch of original docs and copies, NO documents were asked. No supp J/affidavit of support/EVL/Birth or a marriage certificate was asked.

Just now we got status update "card production ordered"

That's it, guys. Thank you all for sharing your updates and experiences. Indeed, it was a great help.

Good luck to all those waiting! Hope you also get greened soon!!!
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Posted by rkeb1c (30) 12 hours 29 minutes ago#867
to Leaf18:

Congratulations leaf18.

I and my wife had our interview at Houston office today. Scheduled time was 9.30 and we were called in at sharp 9.30. The officer was very nice. The interview lasted less than 15 min. We were requested to take the oath, followed by few questions that were on I 485 form and nature of current job. Only our passports and EAD cards were asked to be shown. Nothing else. She said congratulations and our passports were stamped with GC approval and she said our cards will arrive in about a week.

Finally, we too got greened. Good luck to all the others who are yet to get their approval.
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Posted by equanimous (11) 10 hours 59 minutes ago#868
I had my interview today in the Houston field office at 8:45 am.

Category: EB1A

Interview was cordial and pleasant - lasted less than 15 mins. The format was: Name/address verification, looked at the passport, standard yes/no questions from 485, employment verification letter, and supporting documentation for employment (paystub etc.). That's all. At the end, she gave me an official letter stating my AoS application has been approved, and told me I will receive my card within 2 weeks.

This forum provided a lot of useful information to me. I am grateful for that. Good luck to everyone still waiting.
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