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Officially in the US!

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Canada
Timeline

Peace Bridge (Fort Erie/Buffalo)

Highly recommended: Fast, courteous, and hassle-free

We arrived at the border at about 10:30pm. We were expecting it to be busier for a Friday night 2 weeks before Christmas, but ended up with only 2 cars ahead of us at the booths. When it was our turn we handed over our passports and answered the usual "Where are you coming from/Where are you going/What is your citizenship" trio, after which I told the officer that I needed to activate an immigrant visa. He asked if I was relocating today and I said I was. We waited there a few minutes while he filled out a form (I believe anyway...couldn't really see though), He asked to see my package and I handed over the sealed envelope. He wrote down some information from the sheet taped it and handed it back, then asked and wrote down the city and state I was moving to. We were handed a slip of paper and told to pull over to the right.

We were met by a guard who instructed us where to park and directed us to door 1. The waiting room was freeezing, and we were the only ones in it. After a minute or two someone came in and requested my envelope, then said she'd call us into the next room in a few moments. About 4 minutes or so later, another guard came in from outside, commented on how cold the room was, and went back to the secure area. She immediately picked up the intercom and invited us into the next room where the heat was working so we wouldn't have to freeze while we waited. We accepted graciously and thanked her. The first guard smiled when she saw us and said she was about to call us in anyway. She apologized for leaving us out there as she didn't realize how cold it was.

She asked me to verify that all of the information (including spelling) on the sheet that was taped to the sealed envelope is correct. I said it was. she asked me to sit for just another moment while she finished up real quick. Out came the stamp: one on the sheet, one on the DS-230, one in the passport (yay!). She has me come up again and sign the front and back of a form, then took an ink fingerprint of my right index above each signature. She handed back all of our passports and laughed that she gives the same entry speech to everyone, so bear with her. She said that as of right now I am officially a legal permanent resident of the United States and am entitled to work and all other associated rights. The visa in my passport will serve as my temporary greencard until the plastic one is issued, which usually takes anywhere from 1-3 months. Once the official greencard is issued the visa in the passport will no longer be valid. The passport and eventually the greencard should be kept on me at all times. I WILL be denied entry and returned to the last country I was in if I ever fail to present it at a port of entry (no biggie if driving back from Canada, but a huge issue if returning from, say, a European vacation). She asked if I had any questions. I asked what course of action I should follow if the greencard is not received and at what point I should become concerned. She said that I should probably call to inquire after 6 months. At 9 months something is very wrong and I need to hound my local CIS office. She said in a worst-case scenario, the validity of the visa in my passport can be extended another year if needed.

I was then congratulated and welcomed to the United States. No one was bothered at all with the truck full of my belongings, the packing list I'd prepared attesting to such belongings, or my dog. The whole process was less than an hour.


CSC
I-130

2008-03-12: NOA1 issued
2008-08-12: NOA2 issued
________________________________________________________________________
NVC
IR-1 Visa

2008-08-18: NVC Received
2008-09-30: Case Complete
2008-10-16: Interview date assigned

_________________________________________________________________________
CONSULATE
Montreal, Canada

2008-12-04: Interview
2008-12-08: Visa in hand

_________________________________________________________________________
HOME SWEET HOME
At long last...

2008-12-11: POE: Buffalo NY Land Border Crossing
2008-12-23: Applied for SSN at local office (no record despite checking box to apply on DS-230)
2008-12-30: Welcome to the United States letter received
2009-01-06: SSN Received
2009-01-06: Greencard Received
_________________________________________________________________________
NATURALIZATION
N-400

2014-01-23: Sent N-400 package via express delivery

2014-01-27: NOA-1
2014-02-07: Biometric appointment letter mailed
2014-02-19: Biometric appointment
2014-02-21: Placed in line for interview scheduling

2014-03-25: Interview

2014-07-25: Oath Ceremony

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Canada
Timeline

Congrats!! if after 30 days and no greencard, there is a 1 800# u can call,but if ya call before 30 days, they will just tell ya to suck it up, and wait til after,lol congrats!


Canadians Visiting the USA while undergoing the visa process, my free advice:

1) Always tell the TRUTH. never lie to the POE officer

2) Be confident in ur replies

3) keep ur response short and to the point, don't tell ur life story!!

4) look the POE officer in the eye when speaking to them. They are looking for people lieing and have been trained to find them!

5) Pack light! No job resumes with you

6) Bring ties to Canada (letter from employer when ur expected back at work, lease, etc etc)

7) Always be polite, being rude isn't going to get ya anywhere, and could make things worse!!

8) Have a plan in case u do get denied (be polite) It wont harm ur visa application if ur denied,that is if ur polite and didn't lie! Refer to #1

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Congrats CHD!

I liked your no fuss no muss story.

:star:


SpiritAlight edits due to extreme lack of typing abilities. :)

You will do foolish things.

Do them with enthusiasm!!

Don't just do something. Sit there.

K1: Flew to the U.S. of A. – January 9th, 2008 (HELLO CHI-TOWN!!! I'm here.)

Tied the knot (legal ceremony, part one) – January 26th, 2008 (kinda spontaneous)

AOS: Mailed V-Day; received February 15th, 2007 – phew!

I-485 application transferred to CSC – March 12th, 2008

Travel/Work approval notices via email – April 23rd, 2008

Green card/residency card: email notice of approval – August 28th, 2008 yippeeeee!!!

Funny-looking card arrives – September 6th, 2008 :)

Mailed request to remove conditions – July 7, 2010

Landed permanent resident approved – August 23rd, 2010

Second funny looking card arrives – August 31st, 2010

Over & out, Spirit

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada
Timeline

Thanks for sharing your experiences once again. :star: Nice to know that crossing at Fort Erie will be pain free once I finally get there.

BTW - what kind of dog do you have and where was he/she while you were being processed? I will be bringing my dog as well - he usually sits beside me while I drive but I will probably crate him during the stop at the border.

Merry Christmas - have fun putting up the tree.

Edited by OBX

USCIS

NOA1 08/19/08

NOA2 01/20/09

NVC

Received 01/26/09

Completed 02/13/09 (19 Days)

Interview Assigned 03/27/09 (6 weeks after NVC completion)

Medical

04/14/09 (Toronto)

Interview

Montreal 05/12/09 (88 days after NVC completion) **APPROVED**

POE

06/16/09 Buffalo

07/02/09 Welcome Letter Received

07/07/09 Applied for SSN

07/10/09 "Card production ordered" email received

07/13/09 SSN received

07/14/09 "Approval notice sent" email received

07/17/09 GREEN CARD received

Removal of Conditions

03/21/11 I-751 mailed to VSC

03/23/11 I-751 received at VSC

03/29/11 Cheque Cashed

03/30/11 NOA1 received (3/24/11)

04/11/11 Biometrics appointment notice received

05/05/11 Biometric appointment

12/13/11 **Approval date** (5 days short of 9 months!)

12/19/11 Approval letter and green card received

Naturalization

05/16/2019 Filed online (estimated completion February 2020)

05/18/2019 Biometrics scheduled

05/21/2019 Receipt notice and biometrics notices posted to online account.05/23/2019 Hard copy of NOA1 received

05/24/2019 Hard copy of biometrics appointment received

06/07/2019 Biometrics appointment (estimated completion January 2020)

12/31/2019 Email received "Interview scheduled"

01/01/2020 Interview date notice posted to online account (02/19/2020)

01/05/2019 Hard copy of interview appointment received

02/19/2020 Interview (**Approved**) and same day Oath Ceremony. 

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Filed: Other Timeline

Hi CHD,

Welcome to the USA! Congrats on getting your visa successfully activated. Thanks for sharing with everyone here on VJ your detailed POE experience at the Peace Bridge. I agree, from my experience, the Peace Bridge is the definitely the "fastest, most courteous, and hassle-free" land crossing bridge between Canada/the USA. And yes, that is the bridge I would recommend to cross at, as I have done so many times, without any problems.

Lol...if only I had the same insight as you to have taken the Peace Bridge instead of the Rainbow Bridge during my POE 2 years ago (for more info, see my VJ timeline). Boy that would have saved me a lot of hassle! Oh well...

Good luck with the rest of your immigration journey too.

Ant

Peace Bridge (Fort Erie/Buffalo)

Highly recommended: Fast, courteous, and hassle-free

We arrived at the border at about 10:30pm. We were expecting it to be busier for a Friday night 2 weeks before Christmas, but ended up with only 2 cars ahead of us at the booths. When it was our turn we handed over our passports and answered the usual "Where are you coming from/Where are you going/What is your citizenship" trio, after which I told the officer that I needed to activate an immigrant visa. He asked if I was relocating today and I said I was. We waited there a few minutes while he filled out a form (I believe anyway...couldn't really see though), He asked to see my package and I handed over the sealed envelope. He wrote down some information from the sheet taped it and handed it back, then asked and wrote down the city and state I was moving to. We were handed a slip of paper and told to pull over to the right.

We were met by a guard who instructed us where to park and directed us to door 1. The waiting room was freeezing, and we were the only ones in it. After a minute or two someone came in and requested my envelope, then said she'd call us into the next room in a few moments. About 4 minutes or so later, another guard came in from outside, commented on how cold the room was, and went back to the secure area. She immediately picked up the intercom and invited us into the next room where the heat was working so we wouldn't have to freeze while we waited. We accepted graciously and thanked her. The first guard smiled when she saw us and said she was about to call us in anyway. She apologized for leaving us out there as she didn't realize how cold it was.

She asked me to verify that all of the information (including spelling) on the sheet that was taped to the sealed envelope is correct. I said it was. she asked me to sit for just another moment while she finished up real quick. Out came the stamp: one on the sheet, one on the DS-230, one in the passport (yay!). She has me come up again and sign the front and back of a form, then took an ink fingerprint of my right index above each signature. She handed back all of our passports and laughed that she gives the same entry speech to everyone, so bear with her. She said that as of right now I am officially a legal permanent resident of the United States and am entitled to work and all other associated rights. The visa in my passport will serve as my temporary greencard until the plastic one is issued, which usually takes anywhere from 1-3 months. Once the official greencard is issued the visa in the passport will no longer be valid. The passport and eventually the greencard should be kept on me at all times. I WILL be denied entry and returned to the last country I was in if I ever fail to present it at a port of entry (no biggie if driving back from Canada, but a huge issue if returning from, say, a European vacation). She asked if I had any questions. I asked what course of action I should follow if the greencard is not received and at what point I should become concerned. She said that I should probably call to inquire after 6 months. At 9 months something is very wrong and I need to hound my local CIS office. She said in a worst-case scenario, the validity of the visa in my passport can be extended another year if needed.

I was then congratulated and welcomed to the United States. No one was bothered at all with the truck full of my belongings, the packing list I'd prepared attesting to such belongings, or my dog. The whole process was less than an hour.

Edited by AntandD

**Ant's 1432.gif1502.gif "Once Upon An American Immigration Journey" Condensed Timeline...**

2000 (72+ Months) "Loved": Long-Distance Dating Relationship. D Visited Ant in Canada.

2006 (<1 Month) "Visited": Ant Visited D in America. B-2 Visa Port of Entry Interrogation.

2006 (<1 Month) "Married": Wedding Elopement. Husband & Wife, D and Ant !! Together Forever!

2006 ( 3 Months I-485 Wait) "Adjusted": 2-Years Green Card.

2007 ( 2 Months) "Numbered": SSN Card.

2007 (<1 Months) "Licensed": NYS 4-Years Driver's License.

2009 (10 Months I-751 Wait) "Removed": 10-Years 5-Months Green Card.

2009 ( 9 Months Baby Wait) "Expected": Baby. It's a Boy, Baby A !!! We Are Family, Ant+D+BabyA !

2009 ( 4 Months) "Moved": New House Constructed and Moved Into.

2009 ( 2 Months N-400 Wait) "Naturalized": US Citizenship, Certificate of Naturalization. Goodbye USCIS!!!!

***Ant is a Naturalized American Citizen!!***: November 23, 2009 (Private Oath Ceremony: USCIS Office, Buffalo, NY, USA)

2009 (<1 Month) "Secured": US Citizen SSN Card.

2009 (<1 Month) "Enhanced": US Citizen NYS 8-Years Enhanced Driver's License. (in lieu of a US Passport)

2010 ( 1 Month) "Voted": US Citizen NYS Voter's Registration Card.

***~~~"The End...And the Americans, Ant+D+BabyA, lived 'Happily Ever After'!"...~~~***

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Brazil
Timeline

don't forget to fill int the poe review.

http://www.visajourney.com/reviews/poereviews.php


* ~ * Charles * ~ *
 

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.

 

USE THE REPORT BUTTON INSTEAD OF MESSAGING A MODERATOR!

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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Canada
Timeline
don't forget to fill int the poe review.

http://www.visajourney.com/reviews/poereviews.php

I actually did that first and then copied and pasted it here. lol.

OBX, my dog is a very small cairn terrier/corgi mix. He was in the uncrated in the back seat with my father-in-law (and behaving very well) at the time we crossed the border. Both the officer at the booth and the one who directed us where to park saw him, but neither said or asked anything about him.

And thank you everyone! :D


CSC
I-130

2008-03-12: NOA1 issued
2008-08-12: NOA2 issued
________________________________________________________________________
NVC
IR-1 Visa

2008-08-18: NVC Received
2008-09-30: Case Complete
2008-10-16: Interview date assigned

_________________________________________________________________________
CONSULATE
Montreal, Canada

2008-12-04: Interview
2008-12-08: Visa in hand

_________________________________________________________________________
HOME SWEET HOME
At long last...

2008-12-11: POE: Buffalo NY Land Border Crossing
2008-12-23: Applied for SSN at local office (no record despite checking box to apply on DS-230)
2008-12-30: Welcome to the United States letter received
2009-01-06: SSN Received
2009-01-06: Greencard Received
_________________________________________________________________________
NATURALIZATION
N-400

2014-01-23: Sent N-400 package via express delivery

2014-01-27: NOA-1
2014-02-07: Biometric appointment letter mailed
2014-02-19: Biometric appointment
2014-02-21: Placed in line for interview scheduling

2014-03-25: Interview

2014-07-25: Oath Ceremony

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Brazil
Timeline
don't forget to fill int the poe review.

http://www.visajourney.com/reviews/poereviews.php

I actually did that first and then copied and pasted it here. lol.

OBX, my dog is a very small cairn terrier/corgi mix. He was in the uncrated in the back seat with my father-in-law (and behaving very well) at the time we crossed the border. Both the officer at the booth and the one who directed us where to park saw him, but neither said or asked anything about him.

And thank you everyone! :D

ah cool. :thumbs: i did check before posting the link, but Chantal didn't = CHD to me :blush:


* ~ * Charles * ~ *
 

I carry a gun because a cop is too heavy.

 

USE THE REPORT BUTTON INSTEAD OF MESSAGING A MODERATOR!

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Canada
Timeline

Congrats!!!

Welcome to the USA!

Glad everything went smooth!


9137.gif

AOS Timeline

11/18/08 - I-130 Package sent

11/20/08 - Delivered to Chicago Lockbox

12/01/08 - Money Order Cashed

12/05/08 - Received all 3 NOA's dated November 28th

12/10/08 - Touched

12/11/08 - Received Biometrics appointment dated 12/05/08

12/19/08 - Biometrics Appointment (Completed!)

12/19/08 - Touched

12/22/08 - Touched

01/22/09 - EAD Card Production Ordered!

01/29/09 - 2nd Email for EAD Card prodcution

02/02/09 - EAD Arrives in the mail (Yay!)

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Canada
Timeline
don't forget to fill int the poe review.

http://www.visajourney.com/reviews/poereviews.php

I actually did that first and then copied and pasted it here. lol.

OBX, my dog is a very small cairn terrier/corgi mix. He was in the uncrated in the back seat with my father-in-law (and behaving very well) at the time we crossed the border. Both the officer at the booth and the one who directed us where to park saw him, but neither said or asked anything about him.

And thank you everyone! :D

I crossed in Buffalo NY this morning, a total of 30 min for both Customs and to Import my vehicle.

No duty charged, they didn't even look in my vehicle !!!

This has to be the best border to cross at, it was very, very stress free ! ! ! !!


2188.gif

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