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darcness

Spouse filing AOS forms, need advice/guidance

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Canada
Timeline

Greetings all, old time member of VJ here, just finally getting around to filing all this lovely paperwork for our AOS. My wife is a Canadian citizen and is currently in the US. We ARE filing from within the US so I'm not sure if I should put this here or some where else. If I'm putting it in the wrong place, please let me know.

My wife came here last year as a visitor, during which time her mother (who recently paid for her sister's wedding) surprised us with a rather sizable gift so we could pay for a wedding as well (we were engaged at the time). Up until this point we had no concrete plans of marriage, immigration, or anything of the sort because they were things we simply couldn't afford, myself being divorced and in much debt. We ended up getting married in November and she's been here since. We will be filing for our AOS shortly. We first were going to hire an attorney to help, but it seems like something I can handle on my own after checking out VJ and doing a TON of research. We did consult briefly with an attorney who is a family friend so we have a basic idea of what to expect between that and research I've done here.

Just to be clear, she came here as a VISITOR. There was no intent to immigrate what so ever. Last time I posted that here, I got pretty negative responses. If you feel that's the case, please understand that it's not. I understand completely the rules and what the implications of this are. We aren't trying to misrepresent ourselves here in any way.

That being said, I'm sure I will have questions during the process. I was hoping I could start a thread like many that I see here and ask any questions I have, keep an updated process log, and just talk with others who are going through the same process. Also I'm sure my wife would enjoy visiting this forum as she's very homesick at this point.

Thank you so much for any advice you can give me and I'm sure I'll be asking plenty of questions. Just wanted to say hello and get started "officially" with this journey.


May 2009: Started talking on a forum online

June 2010: Met in person in Toronto Canada

April 2011: Proposed in Toronto (she accepted!)

September 2011: Last entry into the US (Michigan)

November 2011: Married in Michigan

6/26/12 Sent in I-130 and I-485 packets to Chicago Lock Box

6/27/12 Package delivered to Lock Box (FedEx tracking confirms)

7/02/12 NOA1 email and text message

7/03/12 Checks cashed for I-130 and I-485

7/06/12 Hard copy for NOA1's

7/09/12 Hard copy notice for biometrics on 7/30/12

7/30/12 Biometrics done (Detroit)

8/20/12 Hard copy for interview date on 9/18/12

9/18/12 Interview Date

10/31/12 EAD/AP card received

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Moved from Canada forum to Adjustment of Status from Work, Student & Tourist Visas. :)

You're more likely to get the answers you need here. Your wife is still welcome to post Canada-related things and otherwise hang out in the Canada forum though. ;) It is nice to read through when you're feeling homesick.

Edited by Andy and Kayla

Our Journey

The Beginning

Early 2009 -- Met on WoW

September 2009 -- Fell in love

May 14 2010 - Officially engaged! smile.png

K1 Journey

September 17, 2010 - NOA1

March 14, 2011 - RFE

April 18, 2011 - NOA2

August 12, 2011 - Interview - Approved!

August 20, 2011 - POE

September 10, 2011 - Married!

AOS Journey

November 17, 2011 - AOS packet sent

November 21, 2011 - NOA1

December 14, 2011 - Case transferred

December 28, 2011 - Biometrics appt

January 18, 2012 - EAD/AP approved! Card production ordered!

January 28, 2012 - EAD/AP card in hand

July 2, 2012 - AOS approved! Card production ordered!

July 7, 2012 - GC in hand

Removal of Conitions

April 29, 2014 - Packet sent

May 6, 2014 - NOA1

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Japan
Timeline

I went through the same process you're facing- here is my original thread with some good answers: http://www.visajourney.com/forums/topic/339768-married-but-on-tourist-visa/

We did it without any help (aside from VJ!). It took a lot of time and effort- I'd estimate at least 50 hours putting all the paperwork together (I was job searching at the time, so I had the time to spare). See my sig for info- our process had gone really fast and our interview is this afternoon.


10 Feb 2012 - I-130, I-485, I-765, I-131 sent to Chicago Lockbox (arrived 14 Feb 2012)
21 Feb 2012 - All NOAs received, address changed for all forms via USCIS online form
28 Feb 2012 - Biometrics done (walk-in because they scheduled us for the Chicago office)
26 Mar 2012 - Notice received for AOS interview
24 Apr 2012 - Interview date
01 May 2012 - Approved

07 Apr 2014 - I-751 receipt & 1 yr extension received

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Good luck, darcness. As a general rule, when AOSing from anything other than a K (family) visa, it is best to put your questions in this forum. Other forums, including regionals, tend to be populated with people who can't believe/hate the fact that AOSing from a tourist visa is perfectly legal. Plus, they generally wouldn't have the right answers to your questions. whistling.gif

Any questions you have, post and we will do our best to help!


Post on Adjudicators's Field Manual re: AOS and Intent: My link
Wedding Date: 06/14/2009
POE at Pearson Airport - for a visit, did not intend to stay - 10/09/2009
Found VisaJourney and created an account - 10/19/2009

I-130 (approved as part of the CR-1 process):
Sent 10/01/2009
NOA1 10/07/2009
NOA2 02/10/2010

AOS:
NOA 05/14/2010
Interview - approved! 07/29/10 need to send in completed I-693 (doctor missed answering a couple of questions) - sent back same day
Green card received 08/20/10

ROC:
Sent 06/01/2012
Approved 02/27/2013

Green card received 05/08/2013

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: England
Timeline

We did it ourselves as I have a legal background (Uk) and obviously not working was able to devote a lot of time and effort into the research and paperwork (VJ was invaluable). As you can see from signature things are processing at a very rapid pace and we are off to our interview in a few weeks time. Best of luck with your journey.


9-1-90 Met future wife I was High School Exchange Student

12-1-10 Worked in FL and spent a week in VA and met old "friend"

2-13-11 Back to VA to spend time with "friend"

10-13-11 Back again to spend more time together

12-24-11 Proposed

12-31-11 Married

1-11-12 VWP expired, still waiting on certified marriage copy

1-14-12 Mailed AOS i-485,i-130 package to Chicago Drop Box

1-16-12 Confirmation of package receipt from USPS

1-20-12 Email and Text received from Chicago

1-21-12 Cheque cashed! (Didn't hang around with that one!)

1-24-12 I-797s received in mail *4 (in 4 envelopes (explain that logic!))

2-03-12 RFE received Tax return 2011

2-03-12 RFE received for income levels

2-09-12 RFE returned

2-13-12 Biometrics letter received

2-24-12 Biometrics appointment Norfolk, VA (in and out in under 5 minutes!)

3-13-12 Email notice that I-131 and I-765 (AP and EAD) approved and production under way

3-21-12 Combo card (AP and EAD)received in mail

4-08-12 Notice of AOS Interview May 9th at Norfolk, VA office

5-09-12 Interview at Norfolk, VA. Case recommended for approval

5-09-12 Email received confirming case has been approved!

5-17-12 2 year green card received via USPS

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Canada
Timeline

Hello to another US/Canadian couple.

Don't fret the process, it's easy as pie. The paperwork is not all that complicated - if you can follow simple instructions you can do it yourself with ease.

Don't worry about the whole 'visitor' thing...some people get down on that because they are afraid people take advantage of AOS or are jealous and thinking some people have it easier than what they had to do...don't worry about it.

You'll be fine. Feel free to ask questions along the way, there is a lot of knowledge here.


July 2005 - met my awesome, hot, amazing love in Lousiana.
July 2006 - Married said love and moved to Canada.
June 2011 - Entered US to visit family, decided to stay.
Feb. 2012 - Sent paperwork to Chicago.

May 2012 - Received green card.

Day 0 - Package sent to Chicago Lockbox - 02/27/2012
Day 2 - UPS Tracking Confirmation - 02/29/2012
Day 4 - NOA Emails Received - 03/02/2012
Day 7 - All Checks Cashed - 03/05/2012
Day 11 - Hard Copy NOA's Received - 03/09/2012
Day 11 - Biometrics Appointment Received - 03/09/2012
--------- - Booked for - 04/03/2012 (day 36)
Day 35 - Early Biometricts Walk-in - 04/02/2012
Day 44 - Received Appointment Letter - 04/11/2012
Day 58 - EAD Approval Online - 04/25/2012
Day 63 - EAD in the mail - 04/30/2012
Day 65 - EAD in hand - 05/02/2012
Day 77 - AOS Interview - 05/14/2012
Day 77 - AOS Approved!
Day 84 - Green Card In Hand - 05/21/2012

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Canada
Timeline

I have another question too. This one might be a little bit tough, but I have to ask it. It's the only thing I can see causing us an issue, and one of the reasons we talked to a lawyer first...

While entering into the US for one of her visits, she was caught with a small amount of marijuana on her persons. She had to sign a form saying that they had confiscated it, and telling why she had it, what she wanted them to do with it, etc. She also had to pay a fine. No criminal charges were brought about, but she had to sign a promissory note for the fine, and obviously pay it within a set time period, which she did (at the office in Detroit, MI). I've been told by two immigration lawyers that this shouldn't be too much of an issue because she wasn't formally charged with anything.

The part that worries me is that on one part of the form, she had to write an explanation of why she had it. She wrote in the box something alone the lines of using it in Canada to help with her insomnia. At the time we were honestly both so scared we had no idea what to do, and that statement isn't even truthful. However, it's probably now on record with the border patrol and I'm assuming will come up at some point during this process. The marijuana wasn't even hers, but rather her ex-boyfriends who she had spent time with previously that day, and who had placed it in her purse. In hind sight I wish she would have just told the border patrol this, but like I said we were both scared out of our wits.

I noticed in the forms that there are questions regarding this, and have no idea what to answer. I know honesty is the best policy and I also know that there is no point in lying about it because it's obviously on file with the border and their files on her anyway. No point in trying to skirt around this obviously.

Is this going to be a major issue for us? I'm hoping that we can explain this based on our state of mind at the time. She has since visited the US and never had a problem getting back in, they obviously made us go to secondary every time, but they still admitted her into the US as a visitor many times even after this incident.

She has absolutely no criminal record in Canada, no history of drug use, and only this one incident on file with the border patrol. Hind sight being 20/20 she should have told the border patrol the truth, but we can't go back and change this now.

What's our best plan here?


May 2009: Started talking on a forum online

June 2010: Met in person in Toronto Canada

April 2011: Proposed in Toronto (she accepted!)

September 2011: Last entry into the US (Michigan)

November 2011: Married in Michigan

6/26/12 Sent in I-130 and I-485 packets to Chicago Lock Box

6/27/12 Package delivered to Lock Box (FedEx tracking confirms)

7/02/12 NOA1 email and text message

7/03/12 Checks cashed for I-130 and I-485

7/06/12 Hard copy for NOA1's

7/09/12 Hard copy notice for biometrics on 7/30/12

7/30/12 Biometrics done (Detroit)

8/20/12 Hard copy for interview date on 9/18/12

9/18/12 Interview Date

10/31/12 EAD/AP card received

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Canada
Timeline

Refresh us so I don't have to go looking...what are the specific questions on the form you are thinking of?


July 2005 - met my awesome, hot, amazing love in Lousiana.
July 2006 - Married said love and moved to Canada.
June 2011 - Entered US to visit family, decided to stay.
Feb. 2012 - Sent paperwork to Chicago.

May 2012 - Received green card.

Day 0 - Package sent to Chicago Lockbox - 02/27/2012
Day 2 - UPS Tracking Confirmation - 02/29/2012
Day 4 - NOA Emails Received - 03/02/2012
Day 7 - All Checks Cashed - 03/05/2012
Day 11 - Hard Copy NOA's Received - 03/09/2012
Day 11 - Biometrics Appointment Received - 03/09/2012
--------- - Booked for - 04/03/2012 (day 36)
Day 35 - Early Biometricts Walk-in - 04/02/2012
Day 44 - Received Appointment Letter - 04/11/2012
Day 58 - EAD Approval Online - 04/25/2012
Day 63 - EAD in the mail - 04/30/2012
Day 65 - EAD in hand - 05/02/2012
Day 77 - AOS Interview - 05/14/2012
Day 77 - AOS Approved!
Day 84 - Green Card In Hand - 05/21/2012

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I guess the question you are worrying about would be question 1 a:

Have you EVER, in or outside the United states:

a. Knowinly committed any crime of moral turpitude or drug related offence for which you have not been arrested?

And based on what you have said the only answer to this question in your case unfortunately would be yes....

No sense in trying to get around it with a lie...the truth is always the best route when dealing with immigration.


Adjusting from B2 visa

12/3/2011: Hubby arrived to the USA

12/23/2011: AOS package

12/29/2011: AOS package received

01/11/2012: Acceptance email received

01/18/2012: Biometric appt and receipt received

Appointment set for 02/8/2012

01/27/2012: RFE email received

02/01/2012: Hard copy of RFE notice received

02/14/2012: RFE info sent back to USCIS

02/22/2012: Received email RFE received case continues to process at NBC

03/09/2012: Receive email with interview notice

04/12/2012: Interview in Baltimore City 9:00am

Case has to be reviewed WAITING on a decision now....

04/18/2012: APPROVED EMAIL RECEIVED AMEN!!!!!

04/23/2012: Approval/ welcome letter received in mail

04/23/2012: Card production ordered email received

04/24/2012: Card mailed email received

04/27/2012: Received email USPS picked up mail containing card notice

04/27/2012: GREEN CARD IN HAND!!!!! :)

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Canada
Timeline

Yes that 1a is definitely a question I was wondering about, as well as 1b.

Been arrested, cited, charged, indicted, convicted, fined, or imprisoned for breaking or violating any law or ordinance, excluding traffic violations?

That one I would assume she would have to answer yes for as well correct?


May 2009: Started talking on a forum online

June 2010: Met in person in Toronto Canada

April 2011: Proposed in Toronto (she accepted!)

September 2011: Last entry into the US (Michigan)

November 2011: Married in Michigan

6/26/12 Sent in I-130 and I-485 packets to Chicago Lock Box

6/27/12 Package delivered to Lock Box (FedEx tracking confirms)

7/02/12 NOA1 email and text message

7/03/12 Checks cashed for I-130 and I-485

7/06/12 Hard copy for NOA1's

7/09/12 Hard copy notice for biometrics on 7/30/12

7/30/12 Biometrics done (Detroit)

8/20/12 Hard copy for interview date on 9/18/12

9/18/12 Interview Date

10/31/12 EAD/AP card received

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Canada
Timeline

I agree that we will have to be honest. In this case we really have no choice. It's pretty obvious they will know based on the incident happening at the POE. I'm sure that trying to answer no, and then them seeing the notes from said POE would be a very BAD idea. Hence why I was looking for some advice.

I'm just worried that if we do tick yes for both of those questions, we will be denied outright without being able to explain the situation. Then that's a lot of time, money, and work wasted.

If anyone can shed some light, I'd be forever grateful.


May 2009: Started talking on a forum online

June 2010: Met in person in Toronto Canada

April 2011: Proposed in Toronto (she accepted!)

September 2011: Last entry into the US (Michigan)

November 2011: Married in Michigan

6/26/12 Sent in I-130 and I-485 packets to Chicago Lock Box

6/27/12 Package delivered to Lock Box (FedEx tracking confirms)

7/02/12 NOA1 email and text message

7/03/12 Checks cashed for I-130 and I-485

7/06/12 Hard copy for NOA1's

7/09/12 Hard copy notice for biometrics on 7/30/12

7/30/12 Biometrics done (Detroit)

8/20/12 Hard copy for interview date on 9/18/12

9/18/12 Interview Date

10/31/12 EAD/AP card received

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I think you should answer yes and include an explanation letter as well. If you still have copies of whatever she signed maybe a copy of that as well. I think you will be fine im sure people adjusted with arrest on their records and got approved.....good luck


Adjusting from B2 visa

12/3/2011: Hubby arrived to the USA

12/23/2011: AOS package

12/29/2011: AOS package received

01/11/2012: Acceptance email received

01/18/2012: Biometric appt and receipt received

Appointment set for 02/8/2012

01/27/2012: RFE email received

02/01/2012: Hard copy of RFE notice received

02/14/2012: RFE info sent back to USCIS

02/22/2012: Received email RFE received case continues to process at NBC

03/09/2012: Receive email with interview notice

04/12/2012: Interview in Baltimore City 9:00am

Case has to be reviewed WAITING on a decision now....

04/18/2012: APPROVED EMAIL RECEIVED AMEN!!!!!

04/23/2012: Approval/ welcome letter received in mail

04/23/2012: Card production ordered email received

04/24/2012: Card mailed email received

04/27/2012: Received email USPS picked up mail containing card notice

04/27/2012: GREEN CARD IN HAND!!!!! :)

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Canada
Timeline

Yes that 1a is definitely a question I was wondering about, as well as 1b.

Been arrested, cited, charged, indicted, convicted, fined, or imprisoned for breaking or violating any law or ordinance, excluding traffic violations?

That one I would assume she would have to answer yes for as well correct?

I thought you said she wasn't arrested or charged...where would this one apply? Was she fined?


July 2005 - met my awesome, hot, amazing love in Lousiana.
July 2006 - Married said love and moved to Canada.
June 2011 - Entered US to visit family, decided to stay.
Feb. 2012 - Sent paperwork to Chicago.

May 2012 - Received green card.

Day 0 - Package sent to Chicago Lockbox - 02/27/2012
Day 2 - UPS Tracking Confirmation - 02/29/2012
Day 4 - NOA Emails Received - 03/02/2012
Day 7 - All Checks Cashed - 03/05/2012
Day 11 - Hard Copy NOA's Received - 03/09/2012
Day 11 - Biometrics Appointment Received - 03/09/2012
--------- - Booked for - 04/03/2012 (day 36)
Day 35 - Early Biometricts Walk-in - 04/02/2012
Day 44 - Received Appointment Letter - 04/11/2012
Day 58 - EAD Approval Online - 04/25/2012
Day 63 - EAD in the mail - 04/30/2012
Day 65 - EAD in hand - 05/02/2012
Day 77 - AOS Interview - 05/14/2012
Day 77 - AOS Approved!
Day 84 - Green Card In Hand - 05/21/2012

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I thought you said she wasn't arrested or charged...where would this one apply? Was she fined?

yes he said she was fined but not charged


Adjusting from B2 visa

12/3/2011: Hubby arrived to the USA

12/23/2011: AOS package

12/29/2011: AOS package received

01/11/2012: Acceptance email received

01/18/2012: Biometric appt and receipt received

Appointment set for 02/8/2012

01/27/2012: RFE email received

02/01/2012: Hard copy of RFE notice received

02/14/2012: RFE info sent back to USCIS

02/22/2012: Received email RFE received case continues to process at NBC

03/09/2012: Receive email with interview notice

04/12/2012: Interview in Baltimore City 9:00am

Case has to be reviewed WAITING on a decision now....

04/18/2012: APPROVED EMAIL RECEIVED AMEN!!!!!

04/23/2012: Approval/ welcome letter received in mail

04/23/2012: Card production ordered email received

04/24/2012: Card mailed email received

04/27/2012: Received email USPS picked up mail containing card notice

04/27/2012: GREEN CARD IN HAND!!!!! :)

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Filed: AOS (pnd) Country: Canada
Timeline

Correct, she was fined but never charged. But the question clearly states that as well. We will be answering yes to both of those questions 1a and 1b and then attaching all the paperwork from the border that day as well as a letter explaining what happened and why.

Thanks for all your help so far, called the civil surgeon today and left a message to set up an appointment. Will keep you all posted on our progress. Should be the last step before we send everything in.

Question if you all know or not, do Canadian citizens need vaccination records before they visit the civil surgeon? Her mother is coming to visit in a week so she is bringing those with her just in case.


May 2009: Started talking on a forum online

June 2010: Met in person in Toronto Canada

April 2011: Proposed in Toronto (she accepted!)

September 2011: Last entry into the US (Michigan)

November 2011: Married in Michigan

6/26/12 Sent in I-130 and I-485 packets to Chicago Lock Box

6/27/12 Package delivered to Lock Box (FedEx tracking confirms)

7/02/12 NOA1 email and text message

7/03/12 Checks cashed for I-130 and I-485

7/06/12 Hard copy for NOA1's

7/09/12 Hard copy notice for biometrics on 7/30/12

7/30/12 Biometrics done (Detroit)

8/20/12 Hard copy for interview date on 9/18/12

9/18/12 Interview Date

10/31/12 EAD/AP card received

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