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NYC Manhattan i485 timeline & experiences (including advance parole)

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  • NYC Manhattan i485 timeline & experiences (including advance parole)

    I have been a silent reader of this forum for quite some time now and finally have my green card in hand. To give back to the community I wanted to share my own experience.

    I485 marriage based - NYC - PD April 24, 2018

    • March 2018 - married USC
    • April 2018 - filed i130, i130A, i485, i693, i131 & i765 (all with G28)
    • May 2018 - biometrics
    • May 2018 - received courtesy letter that i693 was denied because of outdated form and should bring updated for for interview
    • May 2018 - case ready to be scheduled for interview
    • September 2018 - received EAD/AP combo card (~5 months after filing and 1 week after online case alert)
    • February 2019 - filed i131 & i765 for renewal (receipt date was 5 months & 20 days before current EAD/AP card expiration)
    • Mid August 2019 - submitted request for outside normal processing for i131 (immediate online notice that would hear back 4 weeks later)
    • August 2019 - submitted request for expedited processing of i131 (financial loss - we had an overseas wedding celebration planned for 2nd weekend of Sep 2019, no proof or verification requested by USCIS)
    • August 2019 - submitted request for help with expediting i131 through New York congressman AND New York senator
    • End of August 2019 - i131 expedite request approved
    • September 2019 - received renewed EAD/AP combo card day before leaving for wedding celebration (5.5 months after filing renewal and 1 week after online case alert)
    • October 2019 - case scheduled for interview (Federal Plaza NYC office just over 5 weeks from interview notice)
    • November 2019 - interview - received standard white paper with case held for review (ended up being approved same day but received no USCIS alerts)
    • November 2019 - received approval letter for i130 & i485 four days after interview. Received USCIS alert for i130 approved same day and i485 card sent day after)
    • November 2019 - card delivered (conditional 2 years) (8 days after interview)
    Total processing time: 18 months 2 weeks

    Interview experience

    Our interview was scheduled just before noon. We arrived 15 minutes early with our attorney. The waiting room was pretty packed.
    We ended up waiting over 4 hours before being called in! Attorney said he had never experienced such a delay before.
    The IO was extremely disorganized like nothing I have ever seen before. His desk and office was a mess with stuff lying all over. It felt like he had very little knowledge of our case and had to look up details a lot of times during the interview.

    Interview free from memory...
    • Both of us was sworn in
    • Asked for IDs (gave him passports)
    • Asked for original birth certificates
    • Asked for original USC naturalization certificate
    • Asked for original marriage certificate
    • Asked for join financial documents (gave him joint checking account statements, joint brokerage account statements, joint health insurance, joint phone bills, joint lease, 2018 tax return IRS transcript (married filed jointly), joint renters insurance, joint Costco membership)
    • Asked for updated i693 medical form
    • Questions for me
      • Asked for my full name
      • Birth date
      • Where I was born
      • How long I had been in the US
      • Which visa I used to come into the US
      • Asked for full name of spouse
      • Asked for full name of spouse’s parents
      • Asked where does spouse’s parents live
      • Asked where spouse was born
      • Asked for my address
      • Asked if rent or own
      • Asked for how we pay in rent
      • Asked what spouse does for work
      • Asked how much spouse makes in salary
      • Asked me what I do for work
      • Asked how much I make in salary
      • Asked how many times spouse has been married
      • Asked if I had been married before
    • Questions for spouse (USC)
      • Asked most of the same questions (no new questions, which seemed pretty odd when I had just answered things like how much we pay in rent)
    • After questions he asked us both if any of us had been charged with a crime
    • Lastly he went through about ten i485 yes/no questions for me
    • While he was printing out white paper notice he asked if we had any photos. We brought A LOT and when he saw the amount, he said to just give him one of them.
    • Received white paper with case held for review
    Interview took about an hour. Half of that was spent by the IO telling random stories which was kind of the last thing we wanted to hear after a 4+ hour wait to get in. Overall the interview went well but was a pretty terrible experience.

    In addition to the documents IO asked for we also brought:
    • Around 200 photos including timeline of events (vacations, trips, birthdays, holidays, etc)
    • Original Christmas cards and original joint furniture purchase receipts that was submitted with the application
    • Lots of travel receipts & itineraries for both past and future travel
    • Updated employer letter (for USC)
    • Latest W2 (for USC)
    • 4 latest paystubs (for USC)
    • My latest i94
    • Both of my EAD/AP cards
    • Both our drivers licenses
    • My social security card
    Advance parole experience
    I traveled several times (8) using AP and had no issues. Every time on arrival I had to go into the CBP back room for processing. A couple of times I was asked typical questions like where I had traveled to, how long I was gone, where I live, etc. I think about half of the times I was not asked any questions.
    Worth noting that I did not receive a paroled stamp in my passport one time using the AP. Freaked out a bit but from what I was able to find online it’s not required to get a stamp.
    My i94 was always updated and had class of admission set to DA with a one year validity.


    This was a long post but hope it helps other people just like all the posts and comments I have read have helped us.

    It was such a relief to open the approval NOA and so happy the stress, worries and waiting is finally over.

  • #2
    Congratulations! Also a Manhattan filer here, but our case was miraculously transferred to the Queens field office hence the shorter processing time.

    Sorry to hear about the long wait (4 hours is a lot!) and the overall interview experience. Initially, we were bummed that our interview was scheduled so early in the morning at the Federal Plaza but it ended up working to our advantage because we only had to wait around 30 minutes for the officer to call us in. The interview itself was super quick and was done in 10 minutes.

    The whole interview experience is really a case to case basis but I am so happy for you!!
    November 2018 - Priority Date
    April 2019 - Ready to Schedule for Interview
    May 2019 - EAD + AP Approved
    June 2019 - EAD + AP Combo Card in hand
    September 2019 - Interview was Scheduled
    October 2019 - Interview
    November 2019 - Case Approved / GC in hand


    • #3
      I’m also in New York and the timelines with waiting and all is scary
      Marriage AOS (from tourist visa)
      Received Nov 4th& Priority Date also Nov 4th
      I130 i485 & work permit (did not apply for travel documents )

      Nov 15 received 2 hard copies for NOA
      Nov 22 Received biometrics appointment Notice
      Biometrics done, Dec 2nd.

      Jan 6 2020 courtesy letter for missing medical (dated Dec 31 2019, mailed Jan 2nd 2020)
      Ready to be scheduled for interview (Jan 31st 2020)

      “Nothing can stop Gods plan for your life” Isaiah 14:27


      • #4
        Also gonna hop on this NYC/Manhattan filers thread.

        Canadian citizen married to US citizen (same sex)
        Concurrent filing of I-485, I-130, I-765, and I-693 (no I-131)
        Currently on F-1 student visa (still in school)
        Field office: Manhattan / New York City

        09/19/2019: Dropped off at USPS
        09/21/2019: Delivered to Chicago
        09/25/2019: Fees charged to account
        09/27/2019: Case was received (text)
        09/30/2019: Case was received (I-797C)
        10/04/2019: Biometrics appointment received (I-797C)
        10/15/2019: Biometrics appointment (fingerprints)
        11/14/2019: Ready to be scheduled for interview
        Canadian on F-1 married to USC (SSM)
        Field office: Manhattan/NYC

        09/21/2019: Delivered to Chicago
        09/25/2019: Fees charged
        09/30/2019: Case received
        10/04/2019: Biometrics appt received
        10/15/2019: Fingerprints taken
        10/16/2019: Fingerprint review complete
        11/14/2019: Ready to be scheduled


        • #5
          Jumping in here... seriously helps seeing others going through similar circumstances. Congrats to those that were already approved from NYC!
          NYC Filer too.

          FO: Queens
          PD: April 19

          EAD- received this Oct. 18
          130 - still showing as received status from April, when I filed
          485 - was scheduled but then in Aug. cancelled.
          485 - current status is: Interview Cancelled and Notice Ordered from Aug. 7.
          *No updates since. I've submitted an SR so we'll see

          Good luck to everyone and do keep us updated!
          4/19 - RD (485, 130, 765)
          5/15 - Bio date
          8/1 - Ready to be Sched.
          8/2 - Interview scheduled
          8/7 - online update interview cancelled
          9/23 EAD exp.
          10/21 - EAD received in mail
          02/09 - interview scheduled

          130 - no updates since 4/25/19 (receipt notice)