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J&K

Back From Canada

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Well, got back from Toronto / Oshawa on Sunday morning about 1am.

We left on Tuesday morning at 3:15am, and it took us a bit longer to get to Toronto than it normally would. Accident on the PA Turnpike near Pittsburgh closed the westbound lanes and we had to detour...at rushour. That added about 1.5 to the trip.

Then, we got to the border. I was totally expecting to get pulled in because I only had my birth certificate and expired passport. Nope! Didn't get pulled in, but the border guard was a complete a**. Asked the usual questions of citizenship, where we were going, etc. But then it got fun:

BG: Where do you live?

Me: Berryville, Virginia

BG: Virginia, is that VA?

Me: Yes sir.

BG: Do you have any Alcohol or Tobacco?

Me: No sir.

BG: What are you bringing into the country?

Me: A couple of clothing gifts and some grocery items.

BG: Any firearms or ammunition?

Me: No sir. (me thinking: I leave those at home!)

BG: No alcohol or tobacco????

Me: No, none.

BG: And you have absolutely no firearms or ammunition in this car. Or have ever carried any in your car.

Me: No. There is nothing in this car.

(Now he was getting really snotty)

BG: Because my computer is telling me to pull your car in for a search, and we're going to swab your car, your wallets and your hands and if we find any trace of GSR then you're going to have some trouble!

Me: Did you ask if we ever carried any in here? Because we are reenactors and have carried firearms in this car, but it has been a year, and they have been legally in my car, in cases.

BG: Ok, you can go.

Me: So no search?

BG: no.

We drove off.

That really ticked me off for a good 30minutes after!

As soon as we said Virginia, he went off about having any firearms. I totally felt harrassed because of that. In the USA, I can have firearms, and can carry them openly in my car or on my body (In Virginia anyway). Just really really bugged me, and still does. Thinking about complaining about that guy.

So we got to Toronto and went stright to Toronto General Hospital.

Mom is doing great with her new lungs, but she is having some other 'complications' with her bowels, since she was on some heavy narcotics. We're hoping things 'move along' quickly :whistle:

While we were there, I took John to the Hockey Hall of Fame. The Great Hall was closed that day, but I think he enjoyed it.

We also did some shopping.

Every day was pretty much the same, get up, go to Toronto, come home, go to sleep because we were exhausted.

Also, while I was up there, I renewed my passport. My plan was to go to the Scarborough office to get it done in 24hrs. Thankfully, I did a search in Toronto and found the passport office on Victoria St, just a few blocks from the hospital.

Went it, and was seen in less than 15 minutes. They did the Express pickup, and was ready in 2 days. They were great! Much better experience than the last time I went to Scarborough. If you can get to Toronto and do your passport there, I would definitely recommend that over Scarborough.


AOS/EAD

04/07/07 - Sent AOS/EAD to Chicago

04/09/07 - Received at Chicago Lockbox

04/16/07 - NOA Date

05/10/07 - Transferred to CSC

05/30/07 - Case Pending at CSC

06/19/07 - Card Production Ordered for AOS

06/22/07 - Approval Notice Sent for AOS

06/23/07 - Welcome to America Letter received!

06/27/07 - Green Card Received

Removing Conditions

06/03/09 - Sent I-751

06/04/09 - Received at VSC

06/05/09 - NOA1

07/01/09 - Biometrics - Alexandria, VA

07/02/09 - the Lonely Touch

10/29/09 - Approved!

11/04/09 - Card Production Ordered

3dflags_usa0001-0001a.gif John 3dflags_can0001-0001a.gifKrystin = 3dflags_usava01-0001a.gif

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada
Timeline

That's so great about your mum! And what a jerk of border guard. What do you suppose made him question you so much?


Wiz(USC) and Udella(Cdn & USC!)

Naturalization

02/22/11 - Filed

02/28/11 - NOA

03/28/11 - FP

06/17/11 - status change - scheduled for interview

06/20?/11 - received physical interview letter

07/13/11 - Interview in Fairfax,VA - easiest 10 minutes of my life

07/19/11 - Oath ceremony in Fairfax, VA

******************

Removal of Conditions

12/1/09 - received at VSC

12/2/09 - NOA's for self and daughter

01/12/10 - Biometrics completed

03/15/10 - 10 Green Card Received - self and daughter

******************

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

Sounded like a jerk. hadn't you mentioned before that you had to get a special permit to bring some of your "guns" from Canada to the USa?? maybe they had a record of that on file!

Ya narcotics can really constipate ya! Nothing better than an enema to start the day,lol Glad she is doing well


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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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Canada
Timeline

I had to renew my passport not too long ago. I mean, I knew I was going to renew it within the six-months period before it expires in June. This is where I was supposed to send it in.

Applying by Mail

Mailed-in applications are processed in Canada.

BY MAIL

Passport Canada Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada Gatineau QC K1A 0G3 CANADA

BY COURIER

Passport Canada 22 de Varennes Building 22 de Varennes Street Gatineau QC J8T 8R1 CANADA

It also warned...

The original documents that you enclose with your application are valuable. To ensure that these documents are not lost or misplaced, it is preferable to use a courier or mail service that allows you to trace your mail.

I sent it in by registered on March 3, Wednesday.

2 days later, I received the initial interview notice... If you take a look at my timeline below, the notice arrived on March 5, and the interview was scheduled on April 29.

It says on the Passport Canada website that it takes about 20 business days, which means a month. Considering the time that I mail it in and they mail it back, I thought I would be fine. But, who knows? In the back of my mind, I should've sent it in by Express. I kept thinking to myself... what if it doesn't get back here in time? Will I end up rescheduling the interview? S**t! :bonk:

I kept checking its status on the USPS website, but no updates on it. (What I didn't know is that the tracking numbers on international registered mail don't work!!! Later, one of the USPS workers told me that!!!) And at that point, the check I enclosed was not cashed either.

So, I started worrying about it. About 1 1/2 week later, no updates on its status or check cashed, I decided to call in to make sure if Passport Canada received it. The male agent I spoke with repeated that it would take 20 business days... I explained the situation, and he then did some searching, and said that they had it in the system but hadn't started processing it. Thank God! At least, they had the application! That was a major relief...

The check was subsequently cashed on following Tuesday (March 16), and just over a week later (March 25) the new passport along with my old one arrived by FedEx. Seriously? It took only a week to process and send it back? I was impressed! :thumbs:

I don't know if me making that phone call and explaining the situation to the agent on the phone helped. Or priority is given to expatriates. Or just it takes a lot quicker than how I remembered it. Anyway, I got my new passport safely. That's what matters. :dance:

By the way, I mailed it in to QC, but the check was cashed in and the renewed passport was mailed to me from Windsor. I thought that was interesting... what was point of sending it to QC then?

Cheers.


Yes! I am approved!!! :)

It took only two (2) months to be approved. Hooray!

Timeline

December 5, 2009 - I-485 application was submitted.

January 12, 2010 - I-485 application was re-submitted due to address error.

January 20, 2010 - I-485 application receipt notice arrived.

January 25, 2010 - Biometrics notice arrived.

February 9, 2010 - Biometrics taken at local USCIS office.

March 5, 2010 - Initial Interview notice arrived.

April 15, 2010 - Employment Authorization Card arrived out of blue.

April 29, 2010 - Initial Interview scheduled and... APPROVED!!! :) Conditional GC will arrive in 2-3 weeks.

April 30, 2010 - SSN reactivated. Newly printed card will arrive in 3-5 days.

May 7, 2010 - Welcome Notice arrived! Hooray! :)

May 8, 2010 - Freshly printed SSN card arrived.

May 26, 2010 - Conditional GC issued.

June 1, 2010 - Conditional GC ARRIVED! Yippee! :)

June 2, 2010 - SSN upgraded. Newly printed card will arrive in a week.

June 9, 2010 - Freshly printed SSN arrived.

October 10, 2011 - I-751 petition was submitted.

October 18, 2011 - I-751 petition was returned. It turned out to be USCIS's error sending it back to me.

October 19, 2011 - I-751 petition was re-submitted.

October 26, 2011 - I-751 petition receipt notice arrived.

November 18, 2011 - Biometrics taken at local USCIS office.

December 27, 2011 - I-751 petition Approval letter was issued.

December 28, 2011 - I-751 petition Approval letter arrived

December 29, 2011 - GC was issued.

December 30, 2011 - GC arrived.

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Sounded like a jerk. hadn't you mentioned before that you had to get a special permit to bring some of your "guns" from Canada to the USa?? maybe they had a record of that on file!

Ya narcotics can really constipate ya! Nothing better than an enema to start the day,lol Glad she is doing well

I've never actually brought any of my 'toys' to Canada :D

Don't know, maybe buddy was jealous that I get to have the fun stuff and he doesn't haha.


AOS/EAD

04/07/07 - Sent AOS/EAD to Chicago

04/09/07 - Received at Chicago Lockbox

04/16/07 - NOA Date

05/10/07 - Transferred to CSC

05/30/07 - Case Pending at CSC

06/19/07 - Card Production Ordered for AOS

06/22/07 - Approval Notice Sent for AOS

06/23/07 - Welcome to America Letter received!

06/27/07 - Green Card Received

Removing Conditions

06/03/09 - Sent I-751

06/04/09 - Received at VSC

06/05/09 - NOA1

07/01/09 - Biometrics - Alexandria, VA

07/02/09 - the Lonely Touch

10/29/09 - Approved!

11/04/09 - Card Production Ordered

3dflags_usa0001-0001a.gif John 3dflags_can0001-0001a.gifKrystin = 3dflags_usava01-0001a.gif

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

I have no first-hand knowledge to back up this possibility, but how plausible is it that there might be detectors at the booth that sniffed out some kind of powder residue from the car? Probably less likely considering the arms were cased and it had been over a year, but who knows... :wacko:


Pauley on Twitter

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*** If you add me on Twitter or Facebook from here, let me know who you are so I don't ignore/block you out-of-hand 'cause I don't recognize you! :)

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I have no first-hand knowledge to back up this possibility, but how plausible is it that there might be detectors at the booth that sniffed out some kind of powder residue from the car? Probably less likely considering the arms were cased and it had been over a year, but who knows... :wacko:

I really think the guy was just on a power trip, trying to trip us up, for an excuse to search us.

If John had been driving across, I could see that happening, but I'm pretty calm and cool and that's probably why he DIDN'T pull us in.


AOS/EAD

04/07/07 - Sent AOS/EAD to Chicago

04/09/07 - Received at Chicago Lockbox

04/16/07 - NOA Date

05/10/07 - Transferred to CSC

05/30/07 - Case Pending at CSC

06/19/07 - Card Production Ordered for AOS

06/22/07 - Approval Notice Sent for AOS

06/23/07 - Welcome to America Letter received!

06/27/07 - Green Card Received

Removing Conditions

06/03/09 - Sent I-751

06/04/09 - Received at VSC

06/05/09 - NOA1

07/01/09 - Biometrics - Alexandria, VA

07/02/09 - the Lonely Touch

10/29/09 - Approved!

11/04/09 - Card Production Ordered

3dflags_usa0001-0001a.gif John 3dflags_can0001-0001a.gifKrystin = 3dflags_usava01-0001a.gif

3D Flags

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