Saturday, December 19, 2009

The US Embassy, London.

They've gone on Winter Holiday. All of them that work there, they must have! Do you want to know why I know this to be true? Let me explain...

I am a member of a website for Expats. Members of this website post data for others to see. They post things like when and where they applied for various visa. They post how long it took to get notifications for each stage and any problems they had or things they missed or should have done. It's been as much a help with the move back to the US as UK Yankee was in getting here in the first place. It's been a life saver. But now I know that the Embassy can work faster and is not (because they must have all gone on vacation last month) and it is a bit of a let down. ****Note, if you work at the Embassy and are reading this, please don't reject us simply because I am stressed and venting****

Four other couples in addition to us posted their data. The website compiles this and gives statistics.
The average time between mailing the I-130(s) and receiving NOA1 was 11 days.
We got our in 4 days.
The average time between NOA1 and NOA2 was 20 days.
It's been 38 days and I still haven't heard anything.

The Embassy website says that as of December 9th, they are processing petitions filed November 10th. Our NOA1 was November 10th. That should be us they are processing. But where is our NOA2? Before this update, it said that as of November 27th, they were processing petitions filed on December 9th. So in 18 days, they only made their way to the next day's petitions? Are they getting that many?

This next step is just that. One of many more steps we have to take. The next statistic is the number of days between NOA2 and the interview in London. Based on only 2 couples (the only two that have gotten interviews of the 5 of us) the number is 56 days. If we got notified today, we would have an interview date probably sometime in late February or early March. If we're lucky. If they don't get further and further behind. If I don't run into any trouble getting my Christmas package that includes documents I need to submit at the interview.

I just want to take the next step. Waiting for the interview is going to be hard enough, without the waiting to hear how long we have to wait for the interview... it's just a waiting game, and those of you who know me personally know I'm not so good at waiting. And also, being the overzealous planner that I am, not knowing until March (or later!) when we can move is killer. I want to book the shipping and tell my family when to expect us. I want to know when I have to buckle down and start looking online for jobs.

It is a weird feeling, right now. There are things I want... a bathrobe, for example. I've wanted one since I got here. We kept putting it off, and then we were going to get new ones for Christmas. But before we did that, we decided to move. And now it doesn't make sense to get bathrobes. There won't be room in our carry on luggage when we move. We could include them in the shipping container, but then we won't have them for 6-8 weeks after we arrive, and they are pretty bulky (though I do have spacebags) so we'd be paying for them when we could probably just get new ones again. So, we aren't getting bathrobes for Christmas. We aren't getting them until we move. That's the first example that came to mind, but there are other things like this. We're in limbo. We don't want to buy things we'll just have to get rid of in 6 or 7 months.


david said...

I can see how one could get aggravated with the waiting process. 56 days from the NOA2 to the interview is crazy. I could maybe understand one month but not two. Like here in the States, I guess anything government related takes forever. It's just a good thing that you stay on top of things the way you do, or you may be over there for years! Keep up the great work and your day will come. :)

Jenny said...

Thanks. It is definitely frustrating, and more so because they were dealing with things in such a timely manner. Until I applied, that is!

David said...

I think you've just ran into delays due to Thanksgiving. Our NOA1 email was 9 November and on 2 December we got RFEs, which we responded to on the 6th and we only just got the NOA2 last week.

Jenny said...

Thanks David, for sharing your dates. Thankfully, I think our application is pretty cut and dry, so I'm not worried about getting denied, I just want to get on with the planning. I'm sure you know what I mean. It's a waiting game, and I'm not very good at it.

Middle Aged Woman said...

Pick out the bathrobes on Amazon and have them shipped to family back in the US. That way, they will be waiting for you when you arrive. How cozy will that be?

Jenny said...

Middle Aged Woman - That is a great idea! Then it's also one less thing to do when we arrive. Thanks for the idea, and thanks for stopping by :)

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