We recently had a AOS interview in the NYC field office. Except for some few stumbles here and there due to nerves, things seemed OK. The IO even managed to have a few laughs with us and even commended the joint sponsor for being kind, so there was noticeable signs of trouble. The confusion stems from the way it ended, because weren't given any letter and the IO gave the I-94 back because my spouse still had valid student status. The officer then said the application is pending background check, but reading around we have been made to believe that since 2008 background checks usually don't take long and the application has been pending for 7 months now. Please let us know if the IO is simply trying to hide a problem or truly background still get long delays in 2013.
We cannot read the mind of an immigration officer. Certainly not remotely. In NYC background checks always take longer simply because of the sheer volume of cases the officers handle. Your case is a vivid illustration of the reasons why having an immigration attorney persent at that interview is so important.
Try not to be too worried. You don't know what the officer thought or what he or she was looking for. I have noticed a trend as of late in immigration to redo the background checks. It does not seem to be out of the ordinary. It does sound like the officer was pleasant. Be patient. Good luck
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