And just when I thought things couldn’t really get worse, well of course they do.
When you want to check your US visa application you end up on the CEAC website. This provides the status of your application and the day it was last examined. It isn’t updated very often so if you’re anything like me you’ll end up checking it once a day just to see what’s going on. Most of the time it doesn’t change except for the “Case Last Updated” date.
So immediately after my interview on January 30th, my status was marked as “Administrative Processing”. My case was updated on the 31st January, 2nd February then the 26th and 27th of February. No change in status. However that did change on March 2nd.
(that’s actually the far more polite version of what I actually said at the time).
The official word on what’s going to happen next can be found on the USCIS site here. However here’s a quick summation of what’s happened and going to happen.
- On the basis of a six minute interview, the Department of State consular office at the Embassy has written up some notes and decided that I don’t qualify for the visa I’ve applied for.
- My application and file have been sent back to USCIS (Department of Homeland Security) via the NVC (National Visa Center) with a memorandum explaining the reasons the my previously approved petition should be revoked.
- Eventually (and the returns process can take months) a USCIS officer will look at my file and notes and do one of the following:
- Find that the petition is not revocable and return the petition to DoS.
- Issue a Notice of Intent to Revoke to the petitioner; or, if warranted,
- Issue a Notice of Automatic Revocation to the petitioner.
Let’s just say I have my suspicions at what’s being claimed. I’d rather not go into details.
Let’s explain what this all means.
Any priority I had doesn’t count anymore. All processing is now done on a time available basis and my application is now at the very back of any queues. Hence they’re not in a rush to return my file, the package may circle around other Embassies picking up returning files, the NVC has more than enough tasks to do so will take their time getting it back to USCIS and USCIS also being busy will deal with it dead last.
I’ve heard of this process taking months. Like around one to two months to get back to the USA, then around three months to process.
While at the interview I was told that I’d need to apply for a non-immigrant visa to travel to the USA. The suspicion is that I’d just stay illegally. From what I’ve read online in similar circumstances to mine, non-immigrant visas are almost never issued.
Yep, I’m effectively banned from the USA.
Now I’m leaving out large chunks here so I recommend you read the link I posted. It could go back to the embassy with an automatic approval from DoS but it could also go round in circles. If they say automatic no, I can apply again but it’s cost $11k so far and I don’t have that kind of money to keep burning. If it comes to that, well I’m now a co-executive producer on a feature film that goes into production tomorrow (from time of writing) so they can’t claim that I don’t want to work in entertainment.
From the following site, here’s a pretty interesting but worrying quote:
I’m sorry to say it indicates the consular officer did not agree with USCIS that the case qualifies, however that is not the end! The NVC will send the case back to USCIS, and eventually they are required to provide a detailed notice to the employer who filed the petition stating why it may not qualify. The employer has the opportunity to respond to USCIS saying why they’re wrong and it does qualify. CIS can then either deny, in which case that decision may be appealable. Or CIS can reaffirm the petition and send it back to the consulate again …
… I’ve had a case the consulate sent back, USCIS reaffirmed and sent back to the consulate. The same officer sent it back again. After phone calls to Washington DC, I got a call back stating they wanted me to know they were returning it (third time) to the consulate with instructions to issue the visa. There are myriad legal reasons there may be (or not) a problem with the petition …
… You can’t know until you get that notice from USCIS.
I’m in this for the long haul now and it won’t happen anytime soon. I am reworking my plans for 2018 accordingly and continuing to save money like crazy (excluding various investment plans) is now highest on my own priority list.
Oh and one last thing. In previous posts I recommended the visa journey website for info on this process. I no longer recommend this site after the extremely combative messages I’ve received on their forums. Their moderation team don’t seem to care and the usual forum type cabal of people rule the roost. Even asking simple questions had a couple people borderline cyberstalk me just to throw abuse. I’d stay clear of such toxic people and a toxic environment. Life’s too short.