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awkwardsoul

My YVR POE experience

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Hey, I recently POE'd through YVR (Vancouver) and wanted to share my experience.

I checked in for my flight 2.5 hours early (I usually show up 90 minutes early for my flights), which was on a 4pm on a Thursday. I came with 1 checked luggage (my stuff being shipped). I did arrive earlier than that as my Dad wanted a tour of YVR (for when he flys to see me) and eat Tim Hortons.

Everything is pretty normal experience YVR flying to US wise - check in, drop off checked bag, go through some lines for them to check boarding passes, security (body scan HURRRRRRGGGG) and then I was in customs. I think I was on a slow day, so getting into customs wasn't too much of a wait.

I told the first agent I saw who was delegating lines that I was entering on a K-1 visa. He directed me to a both off to the side to fill out a I-94. I had to wait as it was busy full of noobs who didn't fill out that blue customs form. There is an example taped to the both showing how to fill out the I-94 (which i failed at doing, I needed to enter "Vancouver" at one part instead of "Canada" - secondary didn't care and fixed it.) The first customs guy redirected me back into the customs lineup to see a customs officer.

I had my passport, blue customs form thing, I-94 and my big DO NOT OPEN OR DIE envelope from the consulate. When I was up, I told the customs person I was entering on a K-1. She checked my boarding pass and passport and directed me to some doors behind her to go into secondary. Interestingly, I got to walk there on my own - most people there were escorted into secondary (guessing for other visas).

In secondary there's a desk on the side where you "check in". The customs person there told me to take a seat, as I am scheduled to do an immigration interview. I sit down and watch people get escorted in and seated in some other area. I get called up and annoyingly its either to stand at a bank teller like booth set up, or sit in some high bar stool thing. The customs officer takes my documents, scans my passport/boarding pass stuff.

He asked me questions on how long I've known my fiance, when we were engaged, what date do I have picked out for the wedding. He cracks open the DO NOT OPEN envelope, but to my dismay, it's just the entire K-1 package. He goes through each page and types lots of stuff in the computer.

We get interrupted a bunch as the officer helped his colleagues, a couple people in secondary "purchased their Visa with their credit card online" and were totally scammed. Right after he's done the paperwork, my checked suitcase magically appears in secondary. He goes through the usual customs stuff on the blue form (entering with food/gifts/etc.) then opens my suitcase.

Gahh.. I have no luck apparently, with the consulate security destroying my tampon now secondary pulling apart my suitcase. Pretty thoroughly checks all bags, pill bottles, opened all my makeup and zippered pouches. I had some embarrassing personal things in my suitcase and of course, there's no privacy in secondary - less than the consulate interviews - as it's all separated by glass and it's an open area behind the customs officers. After that is done, he deals with the paperwork, stamps the visa/sticks in I-94 and approves my checked luggage. Lots of talk of "You have to leave the US when X happens: I don't get married or I marry someone else" and leads me out of secondary, congratulating me on my engagement.

Overall, really nice customs officers. I didn't time how long it took as my phone was off during customs, but I had 1 hour left until my flight started boarding, thus an hour to get through security and customs. I can see it being longer if one was flying on a more busy day, like on a weekend or holiday season.

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

Excellent review ~ thanks for sharing! Best of luck to you and welcome to America!


Our CR1 Journey

Met - 1/14/2010 // Engaged - 3/6/2011

K1 filed - 6/8/11 // Interview @ Mumbai Consulate - 1/5/2012: Denied // USCIS final decision - 3/15/2013; administratively closed and free to file again without prejudice

Married in Delhi - 1/30/2014

Sent I-130: 4/7/2014 NOA 1: 4/10/2014

NOA 2: 11/13/2014 (after 217 days)

NVC Received: 11/26/2014 (13 days from USCIS to the NVC)  // Case # & IIN # received - 12/29/2014 (via phone to NVC) Also sent email to get case transferred to New Delhi

NVC Welcome Letter received: 12/30/2014

Submit DS-261: 12/30/2014 // Paid AOS Bill: 1/2/2015  // Received IV Bill & Paid: 1/13/2015 (CEAC shows PAID 1/15/15) // DS-260 submitted: 1/17/2015

AOS & IV packages sent via FedEx: 1/19/2015  // AOS/IV packages received: 1/21/2015 @ 9:58 am (Signed for by: G. Waters) Scan date: 1/21/2015

60-Day Email from NVC: 1/24/2015 2nd 60-Day Email from NVC: 1/26/2015 (OK...I get it, it's taking 60 days.... sigh)

Reply from NVC re: Transfer to New Delhi : 2/16/2015 (Told to contact New Delhi...49 days wasted for no help at all!)

CASE COMPLETE!!: 3/12/2015 (50 days) // Case Complete Email Received: 3/19/2015 (7 days from CC date)

Interview Date Received via phone inquiry to NVC: 3/24/2015 // Packet 4 (Interview letter/Instructions) received: 3/25/2015

Medical Completed: 3/30/2015 // CEAC status: In transit to Mumbai and shows READY as of 4/1/2015

Biometrics Completed: 5/4/2015 // Received call from Embassy 5/11/2015 asking if we want to transfer to Delhi.....huh? One week prior to interview? Ummm.... no thanks!

INTERVIEW!! 5/18/2015 @ 7:30 am ~ Mumbai Consulate  RESULT: APPROVED!!!

Visa in hand: 05/20/2015 (Yay!) ELIS Fee ($165) paid this day as well

POE: 05/29/2015 Newark 

SSN card received: 6/8/2015 (processed on 6/2/2015) // ELIS shows "Optimized" since 5/30/2015  // ELIS changed to "In Process" 07/14/2015. (E-file received 06/25/15)

GREEN CARD RECEIVED!! 7/30/2015

ROC

Sent:  3/22/2017 | $680 Check cashed: 4/3/2017

NOA1: 3/30/2017 (Rcvd 4/3/2017)

Biometrics Appt letter received: 4/22/2017 - Biometrics date:  5/3/2017 - Done. Hubby said they were super friendly in the Pittsburgh field office! 

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