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Brian and Michèle's Immigration Site
Timeline

October 11, 2000: We met in Dallas, TX

October 13, 2000: We said "Good-bye" for the first time

December 19, 2000: Brian visited Michèle in the US

January 5, 2001: We said "Good-bye" for the second time

March 1, 2001: Brian again visited Michèle in the US

May 3, 2001: We said "Good-bye" for the third (and hopefully final) time

May 24, 2001: Michèle visited Brian in Canada

May 29, 2001: We returned to the US together

June 16, 2001: We married in Las Vegas
See Pictures!

July 10, 2001:  We submitted our I-485/I-130 package

July 12, 2001: Received the Post Office's green return receipt saying that our package was in the INS mail room on July 11.

July 16, 2001: Received a form letter from the Cleveland INS Office saying that they'd received everything, but we forgot to send the $25 check for the FBI Fingerprinting. (This form letter tells us Brian's A Number. We have a number!) Sent the check to them (Certified, Return Receipt Requested) that day.

July 19, 2001: Received the Post Office's green return receipt saying that our $25 check was in the INS mail room on July 18.

July 20, 2001: The INS Office returned our form I-102 (along with pictures, etc.) and told us to send it to the Nebraska Service Center. Sent the form, etc. (taking the opportunity to put the A# on the form, of course), to Nebraska (Certified, Return Receipt Requested) that day.

July 27, 2001: Worried that we haven't gotten the Post Office's green return receipt from Nebraska yet, called the PO at 1-800-275-8777 to track it. Was told that the PO has 21 days to get the return receipt to us and if we haven't gotten it by the time the 21 days are up, to take our sending receipt to the local PO and have them track it. Nobody will help us track it before the 21 days are up.

July 30, 2001: Received the Notice of Action (NOA) dated July 24 from the Nebraska Service Center (NSC) telling us that they received the I-102 application (and fee). The NOA says that it usually takes 60 to 90 days from the date of the receipt for them to process this type of case.

August 2, 2001: Received the Post Office's green return receipt saying that our I-102 application was in the INS mail room on July 24.

August 9, 2001: Received a receipt from the Cleveland INS office dated July 21 that our Fingerprinting Fee had been received on July 18, as well as the Fingerprint Notification letter (dated August 7) giving us the date of Brian's fingerprinting appointment (August 17 @ 1:30 PM).

August 14, 2001: The EAD

August 14, 2001: Brian went to the local Social Security office & applied for a number. The lady at the desk took his passport & EAD plus his application into the back room (perhaps to make copies?) then came back & gave him his passport & EAD back. She told him to expect to get his SSN card in the mail in approx one week.

August 17, 2001: Went to the INS Fingerprinting office to get Brian fingerprinted for the FBI background check. The people in that office were very nice and courteous. We had to fill out an information sheet & show ID. When it was Brian's turn, he went into the room & they scanned in his prints (no ink). No muss, no fuss!

August 21, 2001: Advance Parole

August 27, 2001: Received Brian's Social Security card today. The card has his name, his number & says "Valid for work only with INS Authorization".

September 5, 2001: Brian went to the BMV to take his driver's license test. Since he had a valid Canadian DL, he only had to take the written test, which he passed. However, they couldn't "verify" his Canadian DL on their computer system because it was down. They asked him to come back the next day.

September 6, 2001: Brian went back to the BMV to finish up the DL process. They were able to verify his Canadian DL, he was issued the US license & was even allowed to keep his Canadian DL!

October 12, 2001: We received a request from the Nebraska Service center asking for more information before processing our I-102 application (Request for Initial/Replacement Arrival/Departure Record). They wanted proof that Brian had entered the US legally.

November 6, 2001: We sent the NSC a copy of the boarding pass stamped by the INS Officer at our border crossing in Toronto back in May.

November 30, 2001: We received Brian's replacement I-94 (Arrival/Departure Record) from the NSC.

January 21, 2002:  We left Cleveland, moving to the San Francisco Bay Area to pursue a professional opportunity for Michèle.
 
March 7, 2002:  We both got our California Drivers Licenses & registered our car.
 
March 11, 2002:  We received a letter from the INS dated March 2, 2002, asking us to come to our AOS interview at 10:00AM on Thursday, April 4, 2002. 
 
March 15, 2002:  We sent a Change of Address Notice (certified, return receipt requested) to both the Cleveland and the San Francisco INS offices explaining that we are unable to keep our AOS interview due to our recent move.
 
March 19, 2002:  Received the Post Office's green return receipt saying that the San Francisco INS office received our Change of Address notice on March 18.
 
March 22, 2002:  Received the Post Office's green return receipt saying that the Cleveland INS office received our Change of Address notice on March 18.
 
April 2, 2002:  We tried to file our 2001 tax returns electronically, but they were rejected because apparently the Social Security Administration has the wrong birthday for Brian in its database.  He called the SSA and they said that to correct it, he will have to go to an SSA Office with his birth certificate.  Meanwhile, we just filed with the wrong date.
 
April 25, 2002:  Brian called the National Service Center to check the status of our case.  The agent said that with a cross-country move, we shouldn't expect any correspondence for 60-90 days from the time the change of address was sent.  She also said that the local office will need to do some "back-checking" to ascertain the exact status of the case, including the age of fingerprints and whether or not they've cleared, etc., and that the SF office has about a 10 month processing time once they get the case.  So, we just have to wait.
 
April 26, 2002:  Brian's parents cross the US/Canadian border with a pickup truck full of Brian's household goods and personal effects.  The Border Patrol Officer pulled them out of the line of cars when they said that they were delivering them to their son who is living and working in the US.  The Border Patrol Officer looked up Brian in their database, saw that he is in the US legally and then sent them on their way.  The Officer admonished them for not having "the appropriate paperwork" on hand.  (No, he didn't tell them what that might be.)  At least we know that the INS database lists Brian as "legal"!
 
May 18, 2002:  We received a letter from the INS dated May 14, 2002, asking us to come to our AOS interview at 12:30PM on Tuesday, May 28, 2002.
 
May 24, 2002:  We flew to Canada for Brian's birthday & high school reunion.  The Canadian Border Official asked about Brian's status in the US.  We told her that he is "AOS Pending" and that we have an interview on the 28th.  She let us through.
 
May 28, 2002:  We returned to the US, using Brian's Advance Parole documents
 
 
 
June 4, 2002:  Brian went back to the "Civil Surgeon" to get his TB skin test checked.  Since he had to go after work, we thought that one of the other doctors would check it, but that Brian couldn't get his papers until the next day because the INS doctor had to sign off on it.  However, the INS doctor was still there and so Brian was able to get his papers that night. 
 
June 6, 2002:  We sent the results of the Medical Exam (Forms I-693 & Supplement in a sealed, signed envelope) plus our AP documents to the San Francisco INS office (certified, return receipt requested).
 
June 11, 2002:  Received the Post Office's green return receipt saying that the San Francisco INS office received our Medical Exam results (plus AP documents) on June 10.
 
 
June 27, 2002:  Went to the San Francisco INS office to get Brian's passport stamped with his I-551.  They spelled his middle name wrong, so we asked that they re-stamp it.  Also went to the Social Security Office to correct his birthdate in their computer system.
 
July 6, 2002:  Received Brian's new Social Security card in the mail.  This one does NOT say "Valid for work only with INS Authorization".
 
July 8, 2002:  Received a Notice of Action from the INS dated July 3 notifying us of the "Creation of Record of Lawful Permanent Residence".  The letter also says that Brian's Green Card should arrive "within the next 3 weeks".
 
July 9, 2002:  Received Brian's Green Card!  The accompanying letter is dated the 4th of July and advises us to apply for removal of conditions 90 days before it expires.  :-)
 
June 16, 2003:  Today is our 2nd wedding anniversary.   We still love each other madly and are so happy to be spending our lives together.   Good luck to all of you who are going through this process!  We hope you end up as happy as we are!  :-D
 
May 13, 2004:  Mailed our I-751 (Petition to Remove the Conditions of Residence) to the US Customs and Immigration Service Center in Laguna Niguel, CA.  Sent it certified, return receipt requested with a Cover Letter and supporting documentation.  I was able to download the actual I-175 form from the USCIS web page and fill it out in Adobe Reader & print it, so it's neat and clean.
 
UPDATE:  May 18, 2004:  I downloaded the I-751 form mid-April & had it ready so that when I had gathered all of the supporting documentation, I could just mail it in.  Well, today I noticed that the USCIS I-751 page now says
New Fee: If your petition is filed or postmarked on or after April 30, 2004, the required fee is $200.
 
Please note that the Form I-751 does not reflect the change in filing fee at this time. However, if your petition is filed or postmarked on or after April 30, 2004, the new fee must be included or your petition will be rejected.
so now I wait for them to send our petition back to us & I will have to draft a new check for the correct amount & re-send it, probably via Priority Next-Day or something.  *sigh*  It's almost as if they do it on purpose.... 
 
May 20, 2004:  I checked the USPS' tracking online & see:
Your item was delivered at 9:22 am on May 20, 2004 in LAGUNA NIGUEL, CA 92607.
May 21, 2004:  Received the Post Office's green return receipt saying that the California Service Center received our I-175 package.  It is stamped on the back with the following text:  "BCIS-CSC Received by May 18, 2004".  I'm not sure why that date differs from the USPS' tracking site!
 
June 3, 2004:  Received our package back from the USCIS with a form letter stating that the fee was incorrect. 
 
June 4, 2004:  Re-sent the package - with the correct fee this time *sigh* - Priority Mail, certified, return receipt requested.
 
June 9, 2004 - I checked the USPS' tracking online & see:
Your item arrived at 10:44 am on June 07, 2004 in LAGUNA NIGUEL, CA 92677.
June 10, 2004:  The bank shows our check for $200.00 as having been cashed.
 
June 11, 2004:  Received the Post Office's green return receipt saying that the California Service Center received our I-175 package.  It is stamped on the back with the following text:  "BCIS-CSC Received by June 7, 2004".
 
June 12, 2004:  Received a Notice of Action from the USCIS dated June 7 saying "Your alien card is extended one year employment & travel authorized.  Processing your form will require a minimum of 330 days.  If you have not heard from us within 11 months, then you may contact this office."
 
December 13, 2004:  Permanent Residency Approved!! 
Received "Notice of Removal of Conditional Basis of Lawful Permanent Residence" notice today saying that our I-751 application was approved.  Brian must now take this letter and three immigration photos to the USCIS office in downtown San Francisco to apply for his new card.  Since the new card may take up to six months to arrive, he'll also get his passport stamped.


December 28, 2004:  We had to make an appointment to apply for the 10-year Green Card & get Brian's passport stamped. After going through security, we go to the desk & submit our stuff. Turns out that the pics we had taken at Kinko's were not correct - Brian's head was too large in the pics. The clerk sent him across the street to get new pics taken & told him to just come back up to her desk when he returned, which he did. She stamped his passport, took the application & told us that it could take up to 6 months for his card to arrive.

January 20, 2005:  10 Year Green Card arrived! 
Received Brian's 10 year Green Card today. It expires in 2015, but we do plan for him to apply for US Citizenship when he becomes eligible in June, so stay tuned.

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