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Oh, my giddy ankles! Early this afternoon, I received a couple of emails from the NVC. The first one was the actual NVC letter in PDF format to inform me that our "petition has been forwarded" to the US Consulate in Guangzhou (in other words, "cabled"), and the second email was a reply to my follow-up I sent at noon today confirming that our "case/visa 37 has been forwarded [...] on 03JAN2012" -- yee-hah!
So, I've already forwarded the NVC letter to my agency (btw, I don't know what the printed version looks like yet but the PDF is nothing fancy). My agency will email the letter to their Guangzhou staff in China and they will in turn deliver our documents (including Henry's DS-230 Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration) to the US Consulate "most likely tomorrow"!
Next step: "Article 5"
Article 5 is a preliminary approval letter of our immigration paperwork by the US Consulate. This letter is required by the CCCWA to issue the Travel Approval or "TA" (our final step!). The US Consulate takes about 2 weeks to issue the Article 5 letter, so it will be available for pick-up two weeks from the day the documents are submitted. This means that if our paperwork will be dropped off tomorrow on Wednesday, January 4, the Article 5 will most likely be picked up on Wednesday, January 18. Our agency's in-China staff will pick up the Article 5 and then mail it to Beijing to be delivered to the CCCWA, where they will begin the process of issuing our TA. Once the TA is issued (this takes about 2-4 weeks and we have to consider the Chinese New Year holiday), we will be able to request a Consulate Appointment and receive confirmed travel dates! Looks like we MAY be traveling end of February after all!
Another step closer to our little man -- woo-hoo!