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DCF or USCIS

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Filed: Country: Canada
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Hello everyone,

Just a little bit on my situation, I am an American Citizen and my wife is Canadian. I am a Permanent Resident of Canada, but my wife and I would like to move to California, where I am originally from. I came across some information on a website that the U.S. Consulate does not accept DCF, but I see that some people on VJ have done so..? Is it possible to file directly at the Consulate in Montreal and get either a K-3 or CR-1/IR-1 visa for my wife? Which visa would be better to get? Can anyone provide me with some information regarding this process? Also if someone who has gone through the process can tell me about it and how long it took from start to finish? If I went this route, would I have to be present at her interview? I am wondering because I know I have to prove I am domiciled in the U.S. either before or upon her entry. I figured the easiest way would be to get a job and have them provide me with a letter stating all the necessary info. If anyone has any facts they could provide me I would greatly appreciate it, THANKS!

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Filed: Country: Canada
Timeline

Oh I forgot to mention that I have already filed the I-130 and have a NOA1 date of Feb. 17, 2010. I noticed that the processing times are pretty long and we are currently apart (I'm in California and she is in Canada). We were just wondering if I could go the DCF route and cancel my existing I-130 and re-file, only if it would be approved quicker so we would not be apart for such a long time. Can anyone tell me if it is quicker to do a DCF or just wait it out? Thanks!

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Canada
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Hi and welcome to VJ!

Is it possible to file directly at the Consulate in Montreal and get either a K-3 or CR-1/IR-1 visa for my wife?

Yes it is!

Which visa would be better to get?

The CR1/IR1 is by far the superior visa, it means your wife would be a PR as soon as she crosses the border. The difference between the two is that with the K3 you do a lot of the paperwork after she enters the U.S. - with the CR1/IR1 you do it before. Click on the Guides link at the top of this page to see details of each.

Also:

- Effective this past February if the I-130 and I-129F are approved at the same time, they toss the I-129F and proceed with the CR1/IR1 visa, regardless of whether you really want the K3 or not.

- For DCF, your only option is CR1/IR1.

Can anyone provide me with some information regarding this process? Also if someone who has gone through the process can tell me about it and how long it took from start to finish? If I went this route, would I have to be present at her interview? I am wondering because I know I have to prove I am domiciled in the U.S. either before or upon her entry. I figured the easiest way would be to get a job and have them provide me with a letter stating all the necessary info. If anyone has any facts they could provide me I would greatly appreciate it, THANKS!

Regardless of which way you file, you don't have to attend the interview.

Again, it would be a good idea to look at the guides, choose the one for DCF, gives you a good overview of the process. It will take around 8 months or so. Basically with DCF you cut out the long wait to have your I-130 approved, which in some cases can take several months. With DCF it takes around 2 months or so.

As for domcile - there is a pinned topic at the top of this forum (Canada forum) - you will want to look at he first page for an overview then skip to the end for some interview reviews/status updates.

Oh I forgot to mention that I have already filed the I-130 and have a NOA1 date of Feb. 17, 2010. I noticed that the processing times are pretty long and we are currently apart (I'm in California and she is in Canada). We were just wondering if I could go the DCF route and cancel my existing I-130 and re-file, only if it would be approved quicker so we would not be apart for such a long time. Can anyone tell me if it is quicker to do a DCF or just wait it out? Thanks!

It would be quicker in general, as I mentioned - however you are now 2 months in to the wait for your approval at USCIS - so it's hard to say. I'm not sure how long it's taking to approve I-130s at the moment.

Let's say you cancelled it today and refiled at your nearest U.S. consulate. First you need to get an appointment, go there, present your documents, wait a month or two for them to approve it. You might end up right where you are now. Here is the difference between the two:

DCF

File I-130 at nearest consulate >> approved >> Montreal sends you a package, asking if you have all the required forms/documents ready, you send that back and say yes >> fill out forms, get your documents completed >> Montreal will schedule the interview 3-6 months after this >> Get interview appt. letter and have your medical >> go to interview

USCIS

File I-130 via mail >> receive NOA2 approval >> file gets sent to the National Visa Center, you pay them and fill out forms, if you are fast you can do all of this in a couple of weeks >> NVC finishes with your file and schedules an interview for you with Montreal (again, it takes 3-6 months, generally, to be scheduled) >> Get interview appt. letter and have your medical >> go to interview

Edited by trailmix

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Filed: Country: Canada
Timeline

Thank you very much for the post, trailmix. I will check out the DCF Guide you mentioned. I know it is really hard to say if I should cancel my existing I-130 and re-file directly with the consulate. I sent an email to the consulate to inquire about the processing times for an appointment to file, how long will it take for the I-130 to be approved, if filed directly, and how long it might take for my wife to receive her interview. They responded to me and told me that someone would respond to my email within TWO WEEKS!! That right there leads me to believe I should just stick to the path I am currently on. I just wish my stupid lawyer told me about filing directly. But I guess she would not have made any money, but it just seems a bit unethical to me. I am curious to know if anyone on VJ has had a similar experience, filing with the USCIS and then canceling that one and filing directly..?

I really want to minimize the time apart from my wife. We also have a son who is 14 months old but he is a dual citizen. I left Canada about 2 months ago and have not seen them since. All my energy has been focused on getting a job. But that is why I am looking for the shortest route, I want to be reunited with my family.

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Canada
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You're welcome!

To get a good idea about processing times, after the I-130 is approved, have a look at the latest page in the Montreal timeline to interview thread. You can compare the two there. There are a few people on that list that did file DCF - you can spot them on the list as they have something like this to the right of their name << date filed I-130.

I'm not sure which consulate you emailed, was it Montreal? You will be lucky to get a response at all. The fact that your lawyer did not advise DCF is a red flag.

Which province does your wife live in? That will determine where you file DCF - just the interview will be in Montreal.

Edited by trailmix

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Filed: Country: Canada
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That's a great idea, I will check out the timelines of both and compare them. Unfortunately, I did email the Consulate in Montreal :wacko: . That is where my wife and son currently reside, Montreal.

Yeah, I had a funny feeling about this lawyer and I should have listened to my intuition. At this point all I can do is post comments on her website about how UNHELPFUL she really is.

Thanks for the responses, I really appreciate it!

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