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I-130 Immigration Process for Spouse (IR1) and Child (IR2), NVC process, US Embassy in Canada

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I-130 Immigration Process for Spouse (IR1) and Child (IR2), NVC process, US Embassy in Canada

Good Morning VJers,

I thought I would share my journey through the I-130 process for myself, my husband and our son. Now, when I first started this process last year, I found it really difficult to find thorough information on the process, specific wait times, and I rarely found information on IR2/CR2, children of US citizens.

Now, there are many websites that will give you information on this process, but they will not tell you many specifics/details, at least this is what I found. I was researching EVERYDAY, keep that in mind, and I am a tech girl.

It all started last year in March 2014. On March 16, 2014 me, my husband and our son where driving from Canada to New York. When we got to the border, the officer asked us if we were married and if we filed any petition yet. We have not filed a petition yet, we were going to do that when we arrived in the US. However, the officer told us to park and go inside to speak to an officer. When we were called up, the officer asked us many many questions about why I was going to the US and what ties I have to Canada. Now, we were only visiting, but I am assuming that because I was unemployed and not in school, he didn't believe I would return to Canada. After trying to convince the officer that my son and I were only just visiting, he said "okay, let me check your car...there's no furniture right?"
Me: "No, there's no furniture, you can check my car and my phone if you want"
When the officer came back, he said "you are not entering the US today". I guess maybe I was over packed, but we really had no furniture, just suitcases, I was seriously only visiting.

Anyway, He then told me that my husband would have to file the I-130 for me and our son, and that I could not enter the US until I had that visa. So, (crying), we had to turn back. The officer said the fastest he has seen the process take was 4 months, but, remember every case is different and the time it takes to process varies.

So, the next day, I called the Toronto preclearance location to speak with a US Customs officer. I explained my whole situation to him, I also mentioned that my husband and I had 2 honeymoons booked back to back, leaving from JFK airport in the next couple of weeks. The officer told me that our situation is very difficult and he can see why they turned us away. He then said, "okay, if you want to try to enter again, make sure you bring your itenieries, any bills with your name and Canadian address on it, phone bills, rent receipts, anything you could show that you have strong ties to Canada, and you should be fine"

I followed the officer's advice and tried to enter the next day, but I went to a border that was much closer to me (the previous border I was denied at was 2 1/2 hour drive, this border was only 1 1/2 hour away). I was so confident, I though I was going to get through...but, when I got to the border all I got was an angry officer. When he called me up, I gave him my documents and he held it in his hand and said "this means nothing to me". HE didn't even look at any paper work I brought. They took my fingerprints and picture that day, took away my nexus pass and said "don't come back until you have a visa".

That was the last, I never attempted to enter again. Also, it does state on many US immigration websites, an "intending immigrant" is not allowed to enter the US as a tourist or vistitor. Now, I have heard of some people being allowed to cross over and visit their spouses, but that person should have STRONG ties to their country, such as work, business or school that they will have to return for. Secondly, being denied entry does not hurt your application, nor does it prevent you from getting a visa.

USCIS

When my husband got back to the US the next day, March 18th, he filed the petition immediately. Actually, he sent it in by snail mail on March 20th. Note, We had to send in a seperate petition for our son and pay a seperate filing fee for him as well, because my husband was eventually going to become a US citizen. USCIS received it March 29th, 2014 and began processing it. In, 3 weeks, they approved my son's petition, but not mine. They wanted me to send 2 passport size photos, so I did immediately. My petition was approved the 1st week of May, still very fast. Now, my husband was a green card holder when he filed for us, so when NVC received the case, they only created a case number and invoice number for us, and our file sat there waiting for a visa.

NVC

Our case was created late May and early June (for me). On August 21st 2014, my husband had his oath ceremony and became a US citizen. Immediately, we sent a copy of his naturalization form to NVC, not USCIS, because NVC now had our case. Our cases took about 2 months to upgrade, yes 2 months. My son's case actually upgraded before mine. On Oct 15th 2014, we were asked to send in ALL civil and financial support documents to NVC. We had to do the I-864 for me and an I-864w for our son (a one page Affidavit, and no financial information was needed for our son). For the poverty guidelines, my husband only had to make sure he made enough to support me. Again, we do not need to show no financial support or documents for our son, because that is his biological son. That's how they do things.

Our Choice of Agent form was processed in 2-3 business days, the AOS fee was processed in 2 business days, and the IV fee was also processed in 2 business days. We paid with our US checking account. You can only pay with a US account ONLY. We were very lucky to have had the COAgent form and fees processed so quickly. I actually completed our DS-260 Oct 17th 2014, after we sent in all our documents. The NVC agent told us to send in everything because, processing times were doubled by then, and by the time they would get around to our cases, our DS-260 would already have been processed. When we sent in our documents by email, we got an email from NVC 2 weeks later, saying that they received our documents and it will take 60 days to process. That is 60 calendar days, NOT business days, so basically 2 months.

60 days later. On Dec 13th 2014, our documents were finally processed. But, we had made a mistake on my son's affidavit of support, so we got a checklist :(......Now, another 60 days!!!!. :(

We submitted the correct Affivdavit on Dec 13th, the same day, and 60 days later would bring us to about feb 13th, valentines weekend basically. So, I call NVC, still no review done. The agent tells me to wait, be patient, they have been shut down a few days due to snow storms. So, I wait....I called everyday the following week, still told the exact same thing. 70 days later, still now review, I ask to speak to supervisor, they are never available. I ask the agent if they could put our case in supervisory review, because it has been 70 days, the agent tells me no and I will just have to wait. I call again after 80 days, then an agent comes on the phone, a nice older woman, she tells my husband and I that this case should have been reviewed already, it has been TOO long, why didnt they send it to a supervisor....So, she puts our case up to a supervisor and tells us that she doesn't know how long it will take for a supervisor to review it, but, it can take up to 42 calendar days...!!! what???

90 days, later still no review......At last, on March 23rd, 2014, I check the Ceac website, and see the famous 3 N/A's...so I call to confirm, and our cases had indeed been reviewed. Now, we were just waiting for an interview to be scheduled. 1 week, 2 week, 3 weeks pass by, still no interview date for us. What is going on at NVC, I had given up calling.

On April 20th, 2015 my husband and I decided to take a 2 week vacation. He had vacation time from the previous year, and he had to use it all up by May 31st or he would lose it. So, we said lets go Guyana. That is where my husband was born, and we usually go the end of April every year for an event in Guyana that they have every year. So, On April 21st we arrived in Guyana, he came from USA and I flew from Canada. Now, at my husband's house down there, they have wifi internet, Thank God, so I can check for any emails from NVC. Now, usually, for any interviews booked in Montreal Canada, NVC usually gives you 4-8 weeks notice. They have to, so that you can get an appointment for a medical in advance. So, on April 23rd, I check my email, and I see one from NVC...I JUMP UP, while reading the email because I know that they are emailing me about the interview date. When reading it, its says " dated April 22 2015, that my son and I have a scheduled interview for MAY 6th 2015...!!!! what..so excited, but not at the same time!!! Only 2 weeks notice!, We had booked our flights to return to Canada on May 5th!! OMG, what were we supposed to do now??

So, I first said, wait, let me call to schedule a medical first, and see what day we can get in on. So I call all three licensed doctors in Toronto (there are ONLY 3 that can do the medical, 1 in Vancouver and Medysis in Montreal). So, One doctor was on vacation until May 4th, one doctor had to appointments available to me and the other doctor never returned my call or even answered the phone. I was crying so much, because I thought I would have had to re schedule my interview. I called Medysis in Montreal and they too had been booked up. So, I was crying for about half an hour with my husband. Then, I said ok, let me try these doctors again and beg them to make an exception, due to NVC ridiculous system. Still, nothing. Then I call Medysis again in Montreal, and I got a really nice man. I pleaded to him and asked him to please make an exception, NVC only gave us 2 weeks notice, everyone is booked up in Montreal and I am in South America right now. He then said "okay, when can you get back to Canada, I said I will fly back whatever day I have to." So he said that he will book us for April 30th to do our blood tests, x-rays and vaccines, that way, it will give them 3 business days to get the results back, and then, on May 5th (day before the interview), we can see the doctor for the exam. He said,, as long as everything is normal, it is guaranteed that the results would be ready the day before the interview.

So, I called Caribbean Airlines, paid about $530 cad to change our flights to April 27th. Then, I had to buy a train ticket to Montreal so we could be there for April 30th, returned the same afternoon. didnt make sense to stayin Montreal for the weekend (4 nights), and spend money on a hotel and food, when I could be home relaxing. Then, I booked another train ticket to Montreal for May 4th to May 7th. So expensive, and because of NVC short notice, we had no choice but to do medical in Montreal, when we could have done it in Toronto, and saved so much time and money. Anyways, what can you do. This is how it was meant to be. It was truly an adventure for us though. My son is 3 years old, and he LOVED all the train rides, and the plane and taxis. So, it was an adventurous experience. Montreal is so beautiful.

INTERVIEW

The day of interview. We followed on instructions given by Saylin online. We were staying ad Square Phillips Hotel and Suites, a 5 min walk from consulate. We got in line by 7am, and there were about 5 people in front of us. I brought a small purse that had 2 snacks in it for my son, I brought a folder and a CLEAR bag for my other documents (I had many). You are not allowed no bags unless it is a small purse, or a clear bag. no electronics either and no liquids. They do have a vending machine. We got in, sat close to the elevator and got in on the first elevator ride up. We were number 6. Any more information on my interview is posted in the Canada Consulate Review forum.

We were approved after being asked about 30 questions, very easy and basic questions though. and yes, they usually do ask about any denials to the US that you have had. They only asked if my son was my husband's son as well and that's it. The officer told me my son will become a citizen automatically when he crosses. They didn't ask to see any proof of a bonafide relationship.

We got our passport and visa packet back in 3 business days!! We picked it up on May 11th 2014.

Now, I am waiting to enter the US tomorrow. My flight is tomorrow, POE will be JFK. I will update you on what happens at immigration where they do all your paper work.

This whole process took us 14 months to be exact. If my husband filed the petition as a US citizen at first, it would have been much faster. FYI, you do not have to spend money on a lawyer or immigration consultant to do any of this. It does help to hire one yes, becuase they do all the work for you. But, if you do your research, read instructions carefully over and over again, you should be fine. We hired an immigration consultant to file the petition at first last year in March, she charged us $1000 to fill in the application, told us what to send in, and my husband delievered it to the post office himself. After that, she would ask how things are going with the petition and that's it. We were on our own after then.

Everyone out there going through this process, just know that God is with you and life is unpredictable.

Someone stated that "Everything you are going through right now, is preparing you for what you have asked for."

I have now seen NVC processing documents in about 30 days, which is much faster. Looks like everything is speeding up for them now. Many people have took the time to post their experiences online as well, take the time to read it carefully, as every case is different from the other. Always be honest in your applications and at your interview.

P3

NVC number 603-334-0700
*call right when they open at 7am, usually you can get through faster. If the line is busy, keep redialing, you will eventually get through, trust me. Try to call before 2-3pm, as most of the agents working in the morning are the more experienced ones and are very helpful and resourceful.

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Thank you for sharing your story.

I am sorry you had such a terrible experience at the beginning. It seems once you get flagged as refused intending to immigrate it is an uphill battle to overcome the perception of border guards. Alls well that ends well though.

We shared the "wait wait wait hurry up" experience of a two week notice for an interview with Montreal and noticed that things speed up in the end.

I also share your frustration with no NVC supervisor being available. What I found is that if you call back and persist in asking for a supervisor you will get one and if you are firm and polite they wil recognizing when processing can be "moved along" and in two cases they had the tool to change the status of my processing. That doesn't help us but it may help someone else stuck at the NVC. Be firm, be polite ask them what can be done to resolve the situation and you likely will get results.


The content available on a site dedicated to bringing folks to America should not be promoting racial discord, euro-supremacy, discrimination based on religion , exclusion of groups from immigration based on where they were born, disenfranchisement of voters rights based on how they might vote.

horsey-change.jpg?w=336&h=265

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~~moved to Canada regional forum from IR1/CR1 process and procedures as topic is about a Canadian immigrating to the USA and is a review of the process and of Montreal consulate~~

Congrats on your visa!! I'm happy it all worked out for you in the end. :)


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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Thank you for sharing your story funny thing is as i am reading it I felt I was ready my story except for the son part even the part about being in Guyana and having to change flights, the embarrassment at the border too, I feel every pain u went through.

Sad part is I am still going through it and mine started may 2014, no one tells you how long this process is they never give proper information either the immigration officer told us it take about 4 months, one year later I am still here waiting.

I am at the stage of waiting on the interview date, hopefully that is soon.

Good luck with your journey and safe travels to you

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~Attempted thread hijack moved to own thread~

Pitaya

VJ Moderation


Completed: K1/K2 (271 days) - AOS/EAD/AP (134 days) - ROC (279 days)

> Almost 2 years of our lives involved with the USCIS/DOS "shuffle" & worth every second of it ! <

"Si vis amari, ama" - Seneca

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:idea: Read more, post less.... Google can be your friend ! :idea:

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