Saturday 9 April 2011 - Approved!
I had asked my attorney to submit the RFE response by Friday last week, just in case there were any mailing delays. It didn't get submitted: instead, what happened was the attorney had the flu and it got finished late on Monday night. The RFE response was due in Nebraska on Wednesday. It didn't get mailed until Tuesday lunchtime. It got delayed in the mail. It was late arriving at Nebraska. I was not happy.
But fortunately there is a get-out clause. As long as it arrives within 3 days of the due date, and was posted before the due date, then you should be ok. Thank goodness for that. Doesn't mean I'm any happier with the attorney though.
So, I finally get notification that the RFE response is "in the system" and being processed. Last time this took just a few days so I was expecting something similar this time. Of course, I was checking pretty much every hour. It got to 11pm Friday night and I checked one last time before going to bed. Still being processed. I decided that I'd have to wait until after the weekend now.
But, woke up Saturday morning and lo and behold, my status had changed to "Post decision activity". Oh heck! Where are the magic words? After frantically searching through the wordy email and website text, I found it: "we approved this petition"! Had I slowed down, taken a deep breath and read it properly I would have found it much sooner. Can't the USCIS afford a nice Flash animation with fireworks or something?!?!
Ashamed to say this, but I was actually in tears and shaking with shock! I don't think I'd ever been so emotionally affected in a positive way for anything before, not even University degree results! I guess I hadn't realised how much I wanted this - after all, this was 75% for the wife than me.
But now we've got it, we move onto the next stage in the process - obtaining the actual visas themselves. This ought to be a lot less painful, mainly procedural, and as long as all our ducks are in a row, we could have this stage done in 3-5 months.
However, we don't actually want it to move too quickly (despite doing Premium Processing, which was decided and paid before we knew we were expecting another baby). The baby is due in late September so we need to wait until a couple of months after that before moving.
I probably won't be able to sleep tonight. I would have had a bottle of bubbly to celebrate but I need to be up and coherent tomorrow so the celebrations will have to wait.
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My attempt to get an EB1a visa for the US, a person of extraordinary ability, which gives a green card pretty much immediately, and there is no waiting period unlike most other visas.
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