My wife (US citizen) submitted I-130 online in Dec for me (currently living and working in Canada). Today we received I-797 that the I130 petition is approved. YAY!

According to everything I had read before, the next step for me would be filing DS-260 at the embassy in Canada.

However, the received I-979 reads:

The above petition [I-130] has been approved. The petition indicated that the beneficiary is in the United States and wishes to apply for adjustment of status to that of a lawful permanent resident. He or she should submit a copy of this notice, along with a Form-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. [...]

If the beneficiary decides to apply for an immigrant visa outside the US based on this petition, you should file Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition, to request that we send the petition to the U.S. Department of State National Visa Center (NVC)

The NVC processes all approved immigrant visa petitions that require consular action. It also determines which consular post is the appropriate consulate to complete visa processing. The NVX will then forward the approved petition to that consulate. The NVC will then contact the beneficiary concerning further immigrant visa processing steps.

However, this is not true. The I-130 petition clearly stated that I am living and working in Canada (along with my Canadian address etc.).

  1. Is this normal? Did we file I-130 somehow wrong? Clearly if I would have been in the US we would have filed I130 together with I-485 to save time
  2. According to https://www.boundless.com/immigration-resources/marriage-based-green-cards-explained/, DS260 is $445. However, I-824 is yet another $465! The above link never mentioned I-824 so I wonder why we need to file this.
  3. I would like to take action as quickly as possible. What is the best way to proceed? Can I already start DS-260 to save time?
  • On the I-130, was anything entered in Part 4 #61a-b?
    – user102008
    May 8, 2020 at 22:07
  • We used the online application (which I think is new since last Oct) so I can only match 61a-b from the PDF form to my confirmation information. And according to this, we did not fill anything into "At which USCIS office will the beneficiary apply for adjustment of status to lawful permanent resident?" but filled in Canada plus City into "At which U.S. Embassy or Consulate location will the beneficiary apply for an immigrant visa?"
    – divB
    May 8, 2020 at 22:46
  • Update: I found the “Application Snapshot” online that we submitted and yes, 61a-b is empty and 62a-c is filled (Canada)
    – divB
    May 9, 2020 at 0:27
  • I (in the USA) am currently going through the same thing with my wife (in Germany). i am interested in what happened with you. if you dont mind to share that would be great! Thanks for your time.
    – Mike S
    Jan 27, 2021 at 13:55
  • You are not the first to happen this besides me. Seems USCIS makes this mistake once in a while to the disadvantage of people. We tried over a month to fight for this (put tickets in, various phone calls) but talking to USCIS is like talking to a monkey. It makes you mad and takes all your energy. In the end we bit the bullet and filed I-485. I think this was the fastest way (someone else I knew fought it and it took over half a year).
    – divB
    Jan 28, 2021 at 3:09

1 Answer 1


If your wife specified on the I-130 a consulate where you will do Consular Processing, and left the part about office where you will do Adjustment of Status blank, USCIS should send the approved petition to NVC after I-130 approval, and not hold onto it to wait for you to file Adjustment of Status. You should not have to file I-824 unless your wife had specified on the I-130 that you will do Adjustment of Status.

(If anything, sometimes the opposite happens -- people who indicated Adjustment of Status get I-130 approvals saying that it will be sent to NVC for Consular Processing, because USCIS assumes that people will not remain in status in categories that have a wait. That case isn't that big an issue, as they can still just file Adjustment of Status directly.)

I am not sure what you can do in your case. You might want to contact USCIS to verify that the notice reflects what they are actually doing, i.e. they are really not sending the petition to NVC, instead of it being a typo on the notice. If they are really not sending the petition to NVC, you might try to contact USCIS to see if they can send it to NVC without you filing I-824, since the I-130 did say Consular Processing and it's their mistake, not yours.

Update: According to the July 8, 2022 email from the CIS Ombudsman (see here or here):

If you select only the consular processing option and USCIS does not send the approved Form I-130 to the NVC within two months of approval, this could be a USCIS error and you would not be expected to file a Form I-824. If you cannot resolve the issue with USCIS, you may submit a CIS Ombudsman case assistance request. If you do, please include copies of the original Form I- 130 submission and documentation of your correspondence or inquiries to USCIS where you tried to resolve the issue.

  • 1
    Thanks, that makes sense. With this, I am fairly confident we filed the form correctly. Seems to be a very unfortunate mistake on their side? (I824 takes additional 5-7 months and is 500$!). We called USCIS and they put in a service ticket but said it will take another month for them to respond :(
    – divB
    May 13, 2020 at 15:35
  • @divB: added more info
    – user102008
    Aug 4, 2022 at 15:33
  • It would be interesting to know the source of this error since it seems to be so common. I do know that in Canada all immigrant visas are issued only in Montreal (in China, Guangzhou), so if the I-130 offers and you select any other consulate you have a problem.
    – Dennis
    Aug 5, 2022 at 18:44

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