I have some GREAT NEWS to share with you all. With apologies to Martin Luther King, Jr.:
“Free at last, free at last! Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”
It turns out that our visa petition was approved by the Nebraska BCIS office on Oct. 6. They just forgot to let us know.
Keep reading to learn the entire story …
According to the BCIS case-status website, which I checked every day, nothing had changed. Our case appeared to still be in limbo throughout October.
In reality, it had been approved and sent from the Nebraska BCIS office to the State Department’s “Nevada Visa Center.” The NVC checks names (in this case, Yoli’s and mine) against law enforcement databases to ensure we aren’t criminals or terrorists.
On Oct. 20, NVC approved and mailed our petition to the U.S. Embassy in La Paz, Bolivia … the last leg of the visa journey.
Fortunately for us, NVC mailed a notice explaining they had processed our petition and forwarded it on. After reading the notice, I was happy but confused. I didn’t understand how NVC could have had our petition when I had heard nothing from Nebraska.
(At this point it may be helpful to point out that Nebraska is the black hole that kept our petition for 220 days … 70 days longer than they told us at the beginning.)
So, I probably shouldn’t have been surprised by Nebraska’s latest flub. It took a few calls to Senator Jim Talent’s office to get some help. One of his immigration folks got confirmation that our petition had been approved on Oct. 6 … Nebraska BCIS simply forgot to mail us the Notice of Approval and also forgot to update their web database, leaving us in suspense for 2 weeks. Oops.
Regardless, this is all GREAT news. The U.S. Embassy in Bolivia has already received our visa petition (Thank you Lord for speeding up the mail!) and we expect that within days, Yoli will be able to set up an interview date at the embassy. This is the final step before she is given the visa and is free to come to the U.S. to marry me.