I just wanted to share my experience with my NOS application from the EVP. I used this forum previously to try and help me out with my NOS application but some things that happened in 2005 are no longer applicable for 2018.
October 2017 - sent waiver application to USCIS and CFO. January 2018 - NOS application denied and given 30 days to appeal. February 2018 - sent appeal letter and necessary documents to CFO. March 2018 - NOS application approved by CFO. April 2018 - NOS approval given and sent to Philippine Embassy in Washington, DC. PI Embassy sent NOS to US Department of State. Online case status updated to favorable recommendation by DOS and decision sent to USCIS.
I'm currently waiting for the letter from the US DoS regarding the recommendation, and for the notice of receipt from USCIS (all thru snail mail).
A few things to note! The EVP/CFO will only approve NOS applications if one of the following applies to you: a. You are not in the skills list. b. You married a US citizen. c. You are a parent of a US citizen. d. You are a religious worker in a recognized religious denomination. e. You have an ailing family member who is a US citizen and separation will cause severe threat to the life of the latter.
I tried going through the "making the country proud though my achievements" route but it didn't work. I eventually had to send the necessary papers documenting why I fall into one of their guidelines.
Also, AUTHENTICATE ALL YOUR US DOCUMENTS. The Philippine Embassy/Consulates will not authenticate passports or federal documents, but if you get them authenticated through the Department of State first then have them authenticate the authenticated documents at the embassy/consulate... you'll be in good hands. Confusing process, which is why I wanted to share it here.
I'll give further updates in the future for a timeline on the processing time for NOS J1 waivers.