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Two different stories, one ruined wedding. (Posting again and with updates)

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

This is what I am bringing over from what I have posted from the US forums:

My fiancé is a US Citizen living in Michigan and I am a Canadian Citizen living in Ontario. Our wedding is in 3 weeks.

For the past 5-6 months my fiancé has been making calls to the USCIS and the U.S. Consulate in Toronto. After several inquiries he was told that we had two ways to go about the immigration process. The first way suggested was to file an I-129F form for alien fiancé. We looked into this form more and discovered that once it is filed it goes through two departments, and both when phoned told him they take up to 6 months each to process. Then we were told we had 90 days upon approval to get married. It seemed to us that this form is only for people who are looking to quickly “get hitched” with a Justice of the Peace because with such a large indefinite time window there was no way to plan a wedding.

The other option was to get married and then file a I-130 form. Based off what we were told in these phone conversations, we would be able to enter the USA, get married and then immediately file, and I would be able to live with him while we waited on the form to be processed. He called multiple times just to confirm this was correct because we wanted to do it right and for everything to go smoothly.

Well given the wedding is 3 weeks away, we had planned a 2 week visit to his place to pick out an apartment together and tie up other loose ends. We showed up to the border with car load of my personal things and told the officer we were there to visit for 2 weeks. He pulled us aside into the border office. We explained to them our situation, our intention, and tried to be as upfront and truthful as possible. It was at this moment the story we were told over the phone by the USCIS and Toronto US Embassy suddenly changed. The officer we spoke to said that once I file my I-130 I can no longer enter the US as a guest and must remain in Canada until it is approved. They also refused to give us entry into the US for our 2 week visit because they knew we had the intent to get married soon, and the intent that I wanted to move into the US. We ended up driving 3 hours back to my house that night, with the next 2 weeks of planning ruined.

My fiancé and I are very frustrated for 2 reasons:

1, Up to this point getting information on this entire process has been frustrating. Nobody seemed willing to help over the phone, not a single person we talked to seemed to have all the concrete details about how this all works with a lot of “I think so’s” over the phone. Everyone had a slightly different story, including the very same border we were just refused at when my fiancé asked them last week. So all the preparation we did to make this a smooth process ended up amounting to nothing because none of what we were told held up. If I’m not allowed to live in the US while I’m waiting on paperwork, fine, that’s the way it is. But had I known that was the way things worked we would have made very different plans.

2, We feel like we are being punished for being honest and trying to do things right. The chief at the USCIS said that if I were already in the US and filed my I-130 from over there, I would be allowed to stay until it was approved, but because they knew our intentions of getting married soon (not even within the 2 weeks) they refused us. In other words, had we neglected to mention anything about our engagement or marriage plans, we could have crossed the border fine for two weeks, and then again in 3 weeks I could have crossed, gotten married, and lived with him just like we planned. The only difference is that we were upfront and honest about our intent, and for that we are punished. As we were being directed back across the border in tears yesterday the officer walking us across said he didn’t agree with what they were doing and that it did seem like we were being punished for being honest and trying to do things right.

If there is anything anyone here has done in the same situation like us that could help us or give us pointers to get around this situation, it would be greatly appreciated.

We have already made a list of others to call and what questions and answers we need to ask and get. Anything else would be great. Thank you for taking time reading our problem.

Thanks for the replies.

I didn't talk to the Chief of the USCIS, We talked to the Chief at the Border.

It is very sad that it has happened this way, and now that they think I want to move, I don't think I can even try to enter. They took my fingerprints, and I believe I may have been flagged as a "person attempting to live in the USA".

The reason why we didn't apply for the K-1, was because we wished to get married in this month. We also had people flying in from other states in the USA.

I didn't have a lot of my personal belongings with me. I had clothes for a week time, plus a lot of decorations I was going to work on and prepare while having the visit.

I did have proof that I was going to return, but every time we spoke, it was almost as if they had their mind set.

The ceremony of our wedding was to be held in Ontario. I had paperwork, invitations, and deposit information for the hall and the reception. I also still have a bank account, and my dress still in Canada as well. I don't know if it is useful ties (probably not) but I definitely was going to come back.

There is no way we would even attempt to try this crossing if it wasn't okay'd in the first place. The 4+ times my fiancee has called the USCIS, all the stories and replies weer the same, same with the call to the Embassy in Toronto. We would have definitely done our plans differently earlier this year if we were told the truth from the start.

I know it's no use explaining myself on here, but I just wanted to say whats on my mind. I'm still in shock for whats happened. The Border had stated though they sent out an urgent message to someone higher up than them for a reply, to figure out how we can visit, or at least for me to come for a visit for our wedding day and a few weeks afterwords.

I will look into more information here, and post the same thing on the Canadian board when I have a chance. I am glad we have found this website now.

Before we didn't want to use Non-Government websites, thinking that anything else could have been false or out-dated. We went straight to the source, and we got bummed.

Thanks again!

Okay I am back, and about to head over to the Canadian Forums with the same question.

My fiancee and I also agree, it is good it happened now, rather than on the wedding day like we had planned. I didn't want to get caught illegally there, and then never get to be with my husband in the USA. We are glad as well as upset that we told the truth.

What has just happened up to this minute:

Saturday was the denied entry at the border.

Sunday was the call to the Chief at the border, and she had given us the option, of getting married ASAP in Ontario, Canada. To file off our 'Legal' Certificate with the I-130 + other forms when we get it, and if we have proof we had them sent, with a receipt that the Office to send it to has received it OR if we have photocopies of all the paperwork we had sent off, but not have the receipt yet because it was still too soon to get the receipt, I would be allowed to cross the border, and stay in the USA until my paperwork for my Spouse/Alien Relative paperwork has cleared. I wouldn't be able to return to Canada for a visit during this 4 month wait, but I would still be able to live with my husband during this time.

The only problem I have though, which I need to ask over at the Canadian Forums, is that it takes around 12 weeks for me to receive my Marriage Certificate.

So, my fiancee and I phoned the Office of the Registrar General, and were told that the process could be expedited if it came with a Letter of Urgency, and Proof of Urgency. My fiancee will have to write a letter, and receive one from the Chief; and the one from the Chief is the only one we could ever get. So it is entirely up to her discretion if she wants to help that far or not.

If not, she may give me a temporary visit allowance to visit and stay with my fiancee for a short amount of time like she said before, because of all the forms I have and that we are very serious about this whole situation.

Worst possible scenario right now, is that I will have to wait for my Marriage Certificate in the mail before I can finally live and move in with my "Now" Husband.

This weekend is one of the busiest and hectic days I've had so far, and I can only guess how much more it will be in the upcoming weeks.

6 hour wasted drive, Now have to get married, went and signed up for marriage license, found a licensed Wedding Officiant, Married at 4:40.

Now all there is to do is wait.

I have been reading all of your comments, and I was wondering, what is this Train Ticket thing you have been doing? Is that to arrive near the border on a train with a return ticket, stay the few weeks to visit, and return on the train? If I could do that, to even just visit as much as possible until my Marriage Certificate came in, I would most definitely do it.

It is very hard since I do not have any ties in Canada right now. I do not want to say anything that will be against the TOS either. I just want to do it all correctly.

If I knew I wasn't allowed to live in the states while waiting, I would have not lived in the States. I would have definitely waited, and planned another way a lot sooner. Plus, I would have kept my job!

I'll reply any updates soon. I hope my situation is helping at least someone figure things out.

I also really REALLY wish we could have seen this site much sooner. All of the form explanations on here helped us out so much.

This is what I have for my story so far, and I have been given some pointers from the US forums for VJ. I think my one main question, that I had just posted in another topic about the Marriage Certificate, is how to get it very VERY fast. Any help is possible, and I hope my story has helped someone out at all, or to also ask questions them selves in what to do.

This is very frustrating, and all of this has happened in the past 3 days. I've got another important call to make tomorrow, in high hopes I can get my Certificate within 2 or less weeks.

We are filing for the I-130 no matter what now, since we are now legally married, so help on that would be the best. I have begun to read all the guides on how to fill them out, and its the best help we've received in the past 6 months. Thank you, and enjoy my un-completed tale. I will update with any news I get.

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

Did you get married already? Where are you getting married? This will make a difference in how fast/where your marriage cert if processed...


USCIS

NOA #2: Approval June 25th, 2009 - 92 days

NVC

July 8, 2009 to August 10, 2009 - 28 days

Interview Assigned - December 3, 2009 - FINALLY!!

Medical - December 14, 2009 - Passed

Embassy/Interview - January 26, 2010 Montreal, Quebec Canada - 167 days PASSED!!!

Port of Entry - February 26, 2010 Baltimore International, Maryland

USCIS -- ROC package sent off

November 26, 2011 to Vermont station November 30, 2011 received NOA1December 16, 2011 received biometrics appointment.

January 04, 2012 Biometrics

September 2, 2012, RFE Received.

September 22, 2012 RFE responded to

October 15, 2012 ROC approved, 10 Green card on its way.

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Canada
Timeline

I have never heard of this option...marrying asap and being allowed to cross the border to wait it out in the US. Wow! We were never given that option. I most certainly would have wanted to have my hubby do that so we could have been together. I've never heard of anybody being allowed to do this. I can't wait to hear how this all turns out for you.


3/5/11 sent LOC paperwork

3/9/11 date of NOA

?/?/?? biometrics appointment

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

We just got married today. We both went to the Office in my town, filed for a license, and got it within 10 minutes, and called some officiants in the area to do it that day. All done Today (Monday)

I have never heard of anyone being allowed to do this either. The Chief at the border had told us that she would let me cross and stay if we got this done. It may be because of how we were doing it, and how upfront we were, and how long we have been trying to do this right for that it's happening this way, but it can only happen if I am able to get the certificate and send off for my I-130 before the 15th of November. I believe that is when she is expecting us to cross, and that may be the only day/chance I have.

I do not want anyone else to think that this will work for them, because it may not work at all. This is just how our situation has come to be, and we are both very fortunate that this has been allowed.

back to CBR: It depends where I get married how long it will take? We had called and told them our situation at the Office of the Registrar General to get a faster receiving and processing of the certificate, and she had not said there was a way other than the way I have stated in the quotes, so I will ask again tomorrow!

Edited by ambermiele

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Canada
Timeline

lgg is the one who siad the thing about where you got married determining how long it will take to get the certificate.

Back to what I was saying...we were up front about everything too and explained about uscis giving us misinformation. We were told to file k-1 and that my fiance would be allowed to visit me during the process. This turned out to be untrue the next time we went to the border. Our story is so long and complicated, but I think I failed to mention that he was initially allowed in for 30 days as long as we filed the proper paperwork. It was the next time we tried to cross that he was denied. You are extremely lucky if they allow you to do this. My little 2 cents would be...make sure that same "chief" is working at the border you cross at. Meaning call ahead to make sure she's there. I was told that each officer makes their own determination and the next one you encounter may not be as nice. I hope it goes well for you. I would not wish the hell we went through on anyone else. My fingers are crossed and I'm sending pixie dust your way!!


3/5/11 sent LOC paperwork

3/9/11 date of NOA

?/?/?? biometrics appointment

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

Oh sorry about that! I looked at the mini replies list when i was typing and I must have gotten confused!

And yes, that is one thing we are making sure of. If on the 15th of November, she is not working when we try to cross, we will not cross at all. She is our only hope in letting me stay.

She had also said, that if none of this works, I would at least be allowed to visit for a short time until my paperwork was done (my I-130, so it would have to be 4 months, unless she would allow the Certificate option past the date), but still, I would like it so I could actually live with my Husband. This is my first Marriage, and We're both in our twenties. We just want to start our new life together, and work hard towards that!

Thank you for your help again! I cannot say it enough!

Edited by ambermiele

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada
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You can use the office of your local MPP (Member of Provincial Parliament) to expedite your marriage certificate as well. They have contacts within the Provincial Registars office and can sometimes nudge things along so that they move faster. Bring the evidence of your situation to your MPP and ask them for their help as well.


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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada
Timeline

Unless there is a huge loop hole in immigration procedures I've missed I think you've been given a little misinformation yet again. As you learned the first time around, it is not always best to talk to people from different agencies over the phone. Often the people answering the phones are glorified office assistants that are not necessarily experts in immigration law and procedure. You can't "move" to the US without a valid visa. You can "visit" for up to 6 months while your CR-1 is being processed, but if the processing time exceeds 6 months you will need to return to Canada. Anything over 6 months is an overstay. And you can go back and visit Canada anytime you wish. I don't understand where you got the 4 month processing time from (many CR-1's take the better part of a year), and I have no idea why they would tell you not to return to Canada.

Be careful when you cross the border again. It is always good to be honest, absolutely, but you shouldn't give out information when not directly asked. If you try to cross with your husband and say you are moving to the US you won't be allowed in. If you say you are going to visit for 6 months while your CR-1 is being processed then you may. Be aware that entry into the US is NEVER a guarantee, even with a visa. Entry is up to the discretion of the border guards. They may want prof of ties to Canada, so be prepared to present anything you may have that shows you intend on returning. Prof you have filled the CR-1 would help a lot.

Edited by Hugglebuggles

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Canada
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I may have missed something in your post, but why did you cancel your already planned wedding day? It was in Canada so it wouldn't have affected anything.

/confused


Montreal: BEAT!!! Approved!!!!!

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Canada
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This whole wedding is the first time we've ever had to ask these sorts of questions to the USCIS, and we would have never of known at all unless this happened at the border, or unless for some reason we knew of someone who had done it before. We had absolutely no idea any of this would happen, and unfortunately, it does happen, and I do not think it makes us bad people! (No one said we were, but it's the only example I could think of right now!)

We would have never lied to the border patrol in the first place, and my fiancee and I both know lieing would only get us into more trouble.

We aren't applying for a CR-1, we're applying for a K-3 (I believe its called that?)

We're doing the best we can, and we know now to double check with people who have gone through this situation before when we make calls for information. It's unfortunately the way we had to learn of it, and it's all we can do for now.

My fiancee is the one doing a lot of the handling of the papers, so I am not detailed to the rim of exactly whats going on until I can talk to him next. It's hard to do!

Anyone know of any other ties I could get to tie me to Canada? Any ideas at all?

I read somewhere on here that riding a train to the border, and crossing, using the return ticket as proof of return has worked for some. What else could I use to bind me? is there anything I could get paperwork for very soon to tie me in Canada so I can at least visit for a week or so at a time? I did not have to move to the states, but being able to visit with my husband would be great instead of doing the routine of him visiting every weekend. He's been doing it for 3 years now, and he is getting tired of driving back and fourth. Plus, it really has done a number on his car!

If you're wondering why I don't drive, I tend to get very drowsy at the wheel if its longer than 2 hours, and I find it very unsafe to drive since its a 4-4.5 hours drive. 5 Hour energys and other things of the sort do not work on me.

Thanks again!

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Canada
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I may have missed something in your post, but why did you cancel your already planned wedding day? It was in Canada so it wouldn't have affected anything.

/confused

The wedding day isn't canceled, but the Deposits for the honeymoon are all set in the USA, as well as it would have just made it easier to just stay in the USA.

The plan was in the beginning was to have the ceremony in Canada, and drive across the border the same day, and get the marriage license in the USA. We wanted an American license. and the Honeymoon was in the USA as well.

The entire plan has been ruined, but nothing has been canceled. I don't know where you got that idea?

Thanks for the input though!

Edited by ambermiele

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada
Timeline

So, the wedding can still happen, but the honeymoon is ruined, right? That really sucks and I'm sorry you've discovered all this immigration stuff a little too late. You are not the first nor the last to be given wrong information from people who really didn't know what they were taking about. With that said, just because you were denied entry once doesn't mean you cannot cross ever again. It just means you are now flagged and it may make crossing a very difficult experience. Prof of ties to Canada usually involve some sort or prof of employment, a mortgage/lease, prof of enrollment in school, children in Canada you don't want to leave behind... anything that would compel you to return. Things like bank accounts or a letter from your mom saying you are going to return and live with her are often ignored. Return tickets are great and work for many, but not all. Taking a train or plane into the US with a return ticket will certainly help, but you may be asked for additional prof.

As far as the K-3 goes, I'm just curious, did you research it and discuss it thoroughly? I only ask because the CR-1 is a much better visa. It allows the new resident a green card almost immediately, and with that is the right to work. The K-3 involves an AOS process which takes more time and money. There are pros and cons to both, but the K-3 is slowly being applied for less and less.

Edited by Hugglebuggles

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Canada
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Again, Calling the USCIS, they had told us the process would have gone faster with a US marriage license. It's just what we were told, and so we had planned for that. I didn't even know this until yesterday.

I would prefer constructive comments rather than criticism or nit-picking. Please don't belittle what and how we have learned things up until now. We only have a little amount of time to make this go through properly and hopefully as planned. I want to spend my first Christmas married with my husband and his family. It is a very nice thought to have! :blush:

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Canada
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amber...

Do you have a job? A lease for a place to live? These are the BEST ways to prove your ties to Canada... a bank account and things like that. Items that show that you HAVE to return to Canada.

Keep in mind too, they could still deny you. But the more you bring the better. When I got the US to see my husband, I bring a letter from both my jobs stating when i'm to return, a copy of my rental agreement a letter from myland lord, bank statements, my NOA2. Umm, what else. Well, anything that I can get my hands on that show I live in Canada and must return. My cell phone bill, my cable and internet bill...

Stuff like that.


USCIS

NOA #2: Approval June 25th, 2009 - 92 days

NVC

July 8, 2009 to August 10, 2009 - 28 days

Interview Assigned - December 3, 2009 - FINALLY!!

Medical - December 14, 2009 - Passed

Embassy/Interview - January 26, 2010 Montreal, Quebec Canada - 167 days PASSED!!!

Port of Entry - February 26, 2010 Baltimore International, Maryland

USCIS -- ROC package sent off

November 26, 2011 to Vermont station November 30, 2011 received NOA1December 16, 2011 received biometrics appointment.

January 04, 2012 Biometrics

September 2, 2012, RFE Received.

September 22, 2012 RFE responded to

October 15, 2012 ROC approved, 10 Green card on its way.

kermit_the_frog1237963302.jpg

"Here's some simple advice: Always be yourself. Never take yourself too seriously.

And beware of advice from experts, pigs, and members of Parliament."

Kermit the Frog

Visit my News Feed Page -- Good Reads for Everyone!

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