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jle2234

Important Note For Canadian Filers

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Perhaps many of you know this already, but I wanted to give this advice to anyone filing through Canada who will cross POE using the new electronic pilot program.

 

I was approved for my IR1 visa on September 14th.  The interviewer told me that I would need to email my travel information to an email address provided (he was very nice, but would not take the travel information at the time of the interview).  I think he and I had a miscommunication, because he advised me not to pay for a flight before receiving my visa and passport via courier.  I mistakenly took this to mean not to make travel plans until I received my visa and passport.

 

I waited a full week without receiving so much as a notice that my passport had been shipped.  Finally, I sent an email to the address that had been provided to me and learned that, for individuals crossing POE under the pilot project, passports and visas will not be shipped until travel plans are confirmed and emailed to the State Department.

 

Needless to say, I waited a week for nothing!  It pushed my timeline back unnecessarily and caused some minor scheduling issues regarding dogsitting, etc.

 

I just wanted to let you know, because it was not made clear to me at the interview, that you must make travel plans before they will mail your visa.  You cannot wait until you have your passport in hand.

 

My visa was shipped within one business day of providing my travel plans, and they estimate it takes 1-2 business days for delivery.

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What exactly do they want to know for travel plans? Do they want the date you are planning to leave along with the method of transportation?

 

Ex; My fiance will be driving across the border to come pick me up on Oct 20?


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This is odd considering it's longtime been the advice of VJ not to make travel plans until you have your passport and visa in hand. 

Is there a link to the pilot program and can you post verbatim the info about confirming travel plans? Thank you!


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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~~moved to Canada regional forum from IR1/CR1 process and procedures as topix is specifically about getting the passport back from Montreal~~


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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Here is the email I got when I emailed the State Department.  Hopefully it can answer your questions:

 

Good Morning,

 

The U.S. Consulate General in Montreal is piloting a project where immigrant visa applicants are supposed to travel without any immigrant visa packet. Once the immigrant visa is issued, we will place it in your passport and return the passport via courier services.

 

Your Visa has been issued, in order to finalize your visa application we need your definite travel plans, please submit the following by using this email:

  

·         Date of Travel

·         Are you traveling by Bus/Train/Air if you travel by air we will need Flight number and Airline information.

·         City/ Province of departure

·         City/State of Arrival

·         Final Destination

 

Once we received this information we will be able to mail your passport via our courier services. 

You will receive the passport without an immigrant visa packet. We will contact the U.S. Immigration Authorities at the port of entry of your choice and inform them of the “no-packet” process, in order to facilitate your entry into the USA.

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Note that this seems to only be for the pilot project being run out of the Montreal consulate (Canadian filers).  There is no indication that individuals filing at other consulates should book travel before having their passport in hand.  I am also unsure whether the pilot project applies to all kind of visas or just certain kinds (I have an IR1 immigrant visa).

 

Also, for those going through this process, the State Department will reply to your email when you send your travel plans, so you will have confirmation that they have been received.

Edited by jle2234

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Ugh really. I sure hope I don't get picked. Yes my tentative travel plan is my sister driving me down to Rapid City, SD on October 28th and meeting my fiance there and then we will drive down to Colorado Springs, CO on October 29th. But this is all tentative because I interview on October 11th. Also tentative because if we get a freak snowstorm at that time no no travel will be done. LOL

 

Let us know how things went.

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14 hours ago, pajobra said:

Ugh really. I sure hope I don't get picked. Yes my tentative travel plan is my sister driving me down to Rapid City, SD on October 28th and meeting my fiance there and then we will drive down to Colorado Springs, CO on October 29th. But this is all tentative because I interview on October 11th. Also tentative because if we get a freak snowstorm at that time no no travel will be done. LOL

I doubt that will be a problem - just send them your tentative plans to release your visa/passport. Presumably, you can email them again if your plans change.

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8 hours ago, broppy said:

I doubt that will be a problem - just send them your tentative plans to release your visa/passport. Presumably, you can email them again if your plans change.

I am hoping its just for IR-1 and CR-1's at the moment you all seem to test them first. LOL

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I can give you this update so far...

 

-  I am scheduled to cross POE today, September 27th.

-  I sent my travel information on Thursday, September 21st.  In my initial email, I said something like, 'Pending the arrival of my passport, these are my travel plans.'  This prompted them to reply on Friday, September 22nd, wanting to confirm my definite travel plans.  I replied right away, on September 22nd, confirming that those were my definite travel plans.

-  My passport was mailed on Monday, September 25th.

-  My passport has not yet arrived.  The Canada Post tracking number has not been updated since Monday.  I have run around to my local post offices who have confirmed that my passport will not be delivered today.  I have sent two emails to the consulate (one yesterday afternoon and one today) and have not yet received instructions as to how I should proceed.

 

This is a very frustrating process, as it looks like there is a chance I will have to pay for a new flight.  I am also not sure how this will affect my landing process.  My husband is trying to call the consulate from the U.S. (they no longer take phone calls for immigrant visa issues -- only U.S. citizens can speak to someone via telephone at the consulate).

 

I will keep you all posted regarding how it plays out.

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On 9/27/2017 at 8:42 AM, jle2234 said:

I can give you this update so far...

 

-  I am scheduled to cross POE today, September 27th.

-  I sent my travel information on Thursday, September 21st.  In my initial email, I said something like, 'Pending the arrival of my passport, these are my travel plans.'  This prompted them to reply on Friday, September 22nd, wanting to confirm my definite travel plans.  I replied right away, on September 22nd, confirming that those were my definite travel plans.

-  My passport was mailed on Monday, September 25th.

-  My passport has not yet arrived.  The Canada Post tracking number has not been updated since Monday.  I have run around to my local post offices who have confirmed that my passport will not be delivered today.  I have sent two emails to the consulate (one yesterday afternoon and one today) and have not yet received instructions as to how I should proceed.

 

This is a very frustrating process, as it looks like there is a chance I will have to pay for a new flight.  I am also not sure how this will affect my landing process.  My husband is trying to call the consulate from the U.S. (they no longer take phone calls for immigrant visa issues -- only U.S. citizens can speak to someone via telephone at the consulate).

 

I will keep you all posted regarding how it plays out.

Doesn't seem like you gave them long enough to send the passport. :o Sure hope it all went ok.

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Final update (but I am happy to answer any questions you may have)...

 

I did not get my passport in time to cross yesterday and had to change my flight.  The consulate never replied to my emails asking for assistance regarding how to handle this.  I would advise giving them over a week to get your passport to you, even if they accept travel plans with a shorter turn-around time.

 

I received my visa this morning and rebooked my flight for this evening.  I made sure to rebook my flight to be crossing at the same POE as was originally planned so my information would not need to be uploaded to a new POE.  I sent my updated travel plans to the consulate right away -- around 10 AM -- with the date of travel bolded since it was same-day.  The consulate responded to my email and there did not seem to be any issues with having changed my travel plans.

 

I crossed POE at Montreal Airport.  The initial border officer I came to was not familiar with the pilot project, but the officer next to him had heard about it.  They referred me to secondary, where I was directed to sit in a waiting area.  About five minutes later, I was called up and everything was ready to go.  The entire process took less than 10 minutes and there were no problems.

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