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Shaun&Jessica

AOS from F-1: Optics

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Sorry in advance for the long post, I just wanted to get all the facts out there to get the best possible response from the community!

I got what I feel is a unique situation, although after reading through this forum I'm doubting that at this point. :) However, I can't seem to find any definite answers. What I'm most worried about is the optics of me applying for AOS, and the USCIS assuming I was coming with the intent to never leave, even though that was not the plan.

I am Canadian, 33, my wife is American, 34, and we have been married for over 2 years. For the past ~1.5 years we were living in Canada and during that time she originally came on a 'Visitor Record', then got her 'Work Permit', and funny enough was just recently (August 3, 2016) approved for her Canadian Permanent Residency. Our plan was to stay in Canada but long story short, my wife was having a hard time finding a job for her skill level (she has her Master's in counseling) as all jobs wanted a Canadian citizen or a Permanent Resident, not a work permit. So, we made the tough decision that she was going to go back to the USA for work while we waited for the Permanent Residency in Canada. While in Canada she started looking for opportunities in the US and found her "dream job" working at a University, she was offered the job and left Canada around mid-February, 2016.

With this job came the opportunity for me as her spouse to get tuition-free schooling, I was tired of my job/career so I applied and was accepted to the program. Our original intention was for her to get experience in the field she had so desperately wanted to get into, and for me to get higher education at basically no cost (just books & fees), then either return to Canada or then apply for US Greencard if we decided to stay in 3-5 years (I may go on to my Master's). Canada is where my heart is, and my wife loves it too, so getting back there is/was our main goal, it just so happens our opportunity was in the US at this time. I guess it is true what they say, it's the "Land of Opportunity". :thumbs:

I came to the USA on August 11, 2016, under an F-1 status, everything was fine and dandy, we had this plan, I was done with immigration stuff for a long while (I should have known better) and getting ready for school. Well, after speaking with a number of people around campus I started to realize that a number of opportunities for myself including; scholarships, lower fees, certain campus employment, programs, etc. would only be available to me as US Citizen or Permanent Resident. I then spoke with the immigration office at the campus and they gave me some information AOS, so here we are.

Do you think this will be a problem?

Will they just ask for an explanation of how it came about a couple weeks after arriving on an F-1 I then decide to change my status?

Or will they automatically think this looks bad and deny the application?

I just don't want to waste too much time and/or money (and stress) on something that may not get further than them opening our file up. And truth be told I kind of feel bad about it as I read all these posts about people being away from loved ones for long periods of time, while I'm sitting here trying to get my Greencard to save some school fees. But I guess everyone has different reasons for wanting a Greencard and at this point can it really hurt us to start the process, probably not.

Thank you for taking the time to read this and giving me your thoughts!!!

Edit: Just to add the CBP officer in Seattle never asked me any questions about my intentions, she literally asked me one question, who was paying for my school, stamped my passport, and said good luck. I was actually really confused as it was almost too easy. However, I do have my NEXUS pass so maybe that helped with my background part of it.

Edited by Shaun&Jessica

Shaun, West Coast Canadian. Jessica, Down South American.

04/04/2013 - Met in Las Vegas, NV (That night I knew I would marry her!)

07/01/2013 - First Phone Call

07/20/2013 - Shaun's First Visit - Oklahoma City, OK

08/23/2013 - Jessica's First Visit - Victoria, BC

21/11/2013 - Shaun Visits For Thanksgiving - Oklahoma City, OK

02/01/2014 - Jessica Moves To Seattle, WA

26/04/2014 - Shaun Proposes - Sombrio Beach, BC

22/06/2014 - We Get Married - Coeur d'Alene, ID

04/10/2014 - Jessica Moves To Victoria, BC

07/15/2015 - Jessica Applies For Canadian Permanent Residency - Victoria, BC

12/06/2015 - Jessica Receives Canadian Work Permit - Comox, BC

02/15/2016 - Jessica Moves Back to USA for Dream Job - Fairbanks, AK

08/03/2016 - Jessica is Approved for Canadian Permanent Residency - Victoria, BC

08/11/2016 - Shaun Arrives on F-1 Student Visa - Fairbanks, AK

??/??/???? - Shaun Applies for Adjustment of Status?

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It does look a little strange if you file right away. But as long as you had no intent to do so when you entered the US, you'll be fine. Even intent alone is NOT a reason to deny AOS.

Follow the guide:

http://www.visajourney.com/content/i130guide2

With F-1, the problem could be if one entered on it, never actually went to school, married a USC and filed AOS. That's not your case, you are actually attending school.

Edited by EM_Vandaveer

Entry on VWP to visit then-boyfriend 06/13/2011

Married 06/24/2011

Our first son was born 10/31/2012, our daughter was born 06/30/2014, our second son was born 06/20/2017

AOS Timeline

AOS package mailed 09/06/2011 (Chicago Lockbox)

AOS package signed for by R Mercado 09/07/2011

Priority date for I-485&I-130 09/08/2011

Biometrics done 10/03/2011

Interview letter received 11/18/2011

INTERVIEW DATE!!!! 12/20/2011

Approval e-mail 12/21/2011

Card production e-mail 12/27/2011

GREEN CARD ARRIVED 12/31/2011

Resident since 12/21/2011

ROC Timeline

ROC package mailed to VSC 11/22/2013

NOA1 date 11/26/2013

Biometrics date 12/26/2013

Transfer notice to CSC 03/14/2014

Change of address 03/27/2014

Card production ordered 04/30/2014

10-YEAR GREEN CARD ARRIVED 05/06/2014

N-400 Timeline

N-400 package mailed 09/30/2014

N-400 package delivered 10/01/2014

NOA1 date 10/20/2014

Biometrics date 11/14/2014

Early walk-in biometrics 11/12/2014

In-line for interview 11/23/2014

Interview letter 03/18/2015

Interview date 04/17/2015 ("Decision cannot yet be made.")

In-line for oath scheduling 05/04/2015

Oath ceremony letter dated 05/11/2015

Oath ceremony 06/02/2015

I am a United States citizen!

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It does look a little strange if you file right away. But as long as you had no intent to do so when you entered the US, you'll be fine. Even intent alone is NOT a reason to deny AOS.

Follow the guide:

http://www.visajourney.com/content/i130guide2

With F-1, the problem could be if one entered on it, never actually went to school, married a USC and filed AOS. That's not your case, you are actually attending school.

Okay, that makes me feel a little better. I can honestly say we never intended to go this route, as there was no reason to worry about residency being on an F-1 as long as I went to school. We were together, that's all that mattered to us!

We talked about it in the future as a maybe when I finished or got close to finishing school, but in both of our minds, we were (and most likely still are) planning on moving back to Canada once I graduated.

Thanks!


Shaun, West Coast Canadian. Jessica, Down South American.

04/04/2013 - Met in Las Vegas, NV (That night I knew I would marry her!)

07/01/2013 - First Phone Call

07/20/2013 - Shaun's First Visit - Oklahoma City, OK

08/23/2013 - Jessica's First Visit - Victoria, BC

21/11/2013 - Shaun Visits For Thanksgiving - Oklahoma City, OK

02/01/2014 - Jessica Moves To Seattle, WA

26/04/2014 - Shaun Proposes - Sombrio Beach, BC

22/06/2014 - We Get Married - Coeur d'Alene, ID

04/10/2014 - Jessica Moves To Victoria, BC

07/15/2015 - Jessica Applies For Canadian Permanent Residency - Victoria, BC

12/06/2015 - Jessica Receives Canadian Work Permit - Comox, BC

02/15/2016 - Jessica Moves Back to USA for Dream Job - Fairbanks, AK

08/03/2016 - Jessica is Approved for Canadian Permanent Residency - Victoria, BC

08/11/2016 - Shaun Arrives on F-1 Student Visa - Fairbanks, AK

??/??/???? - Shaun Applies for Adjustment of Status?

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Also, Should I address this in a cover letter with the documents, or wait until the interview if they ask?


Shaun, West Coast Canadian. Jessica, Down South American.

04/04/2013 - Met in Las Vegas, NV (That night I knew I would marry her!)

07/01/2013 - First Phone Call

07/20/2013 - Shaun's First Visit - Oklahoma City, OK

08/23/2013 - Jessica's First Visit - Victoria, BC

21/11/2013 - Shaun Visits For Thanksgiving - Oklahoma City, OK

02/01/2014 - Jessica Moves To Seattle, WA

26/04/2014 - Shaun Proposes - Sombrio Beach, BC

22/06/2014 - We Get Married - Coeur d'Alene, ID

04/10/2014 - Jessica Moves To Victoria, BC

07/15/2015 - Jessica Applies For Canadian Permanent Residency - Victoria, BC

12/06/2015 - Jessica Receives Canadian Work Permit - Comox, BC

02/15/2016 - Jessica Moves Back to USA for Dream Job - Fairbanks, AK

08/03/2016 - Jessica is Approved for Canadian Permanent Residency - Victoria, BC

08/11/2016 - Shaun Arrives on F-1 Student Visa - Fairbanks, AK

??/??/???? - Shaun Applies for Adjustment of Status?

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No need to address it.


Entry on VWP to visit then-boyfriend 06/13/2011

Married 06/24/2011

Our first son was born 10/31/2012, our daughter was born 06/30/2014, our second son was born 06/20/2017

AOS Timeline

AOS package mailed 09/06/2011 (Chicago Lockbox)

AOS package signed for by R Mercado 09/07/2011

Priority date for I-485&I-130 09/08/2011

Biometrics done 10/03/2011

Interview letter received 11/18/2011

INTERVIEW DATE!!!! 12/20/2011

Approval e-mail 12/21/2011

Card production e-mail 12/27/2011

GREEN CARD ARRIVED 12/31/2011

Resident since 12/21/2011

ROC Timeline

ROC package mailed to VSC 11/22/2013

NOA1 date 11/26/2013

Biometrics date 12/26/2013

Transfer notice to CSC 03/14/2014

Change of address 03/27/2014

Card production ordered 04/30/2014

10-YEAR GREEN CARD ARRIVED 05/06/2014

N-400 Timeline

N-400 package mailed 09/30/2014

N-400 package delivered 10/01/2014

NOA1 date 10/20/2014

Biometrics date 11/14/2014

Early walk-in biometrics 11/12/2014

In-line for interview 11/23/2014

Interview letter 03/18/2015

Interview date 04/17/2015 ("Decision cannot yet be made.")

In-line for oath scheduling 05/04/2015

Oath ceremony letter dated 05/11/2015

Oath ceremony 06/02/2015

I am a United States citizen!

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Also, Should I address this in a cover letter with the documents, or wait until the interview if they ask?

Wait, what? No. Don't address anything you weren't asked about. That's good advice when it comes to USCIS. File your concurrent I-130 and I-485 and just wait. Your intentions for coming here are irrelevant right now. Your marriage is legit and that's all that really matters.

Good luck!

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I figured I should just let it go, but at the same time didn't want to not address it and I should have.

Thanks to both of you for the reply!

Also I'll need the luck, this will now be my second set of immigration paperwork (Canada, now US) since meeting my wife. Luckily she's worth it! :)

Edited by Shaun&Jessica

Shaun, West Coast Canadian. Jessica, Down South American.

04/04/2013 - Met in Las Vegas, NV (That night I knew I would marry her!)

07/01/2013 - First Phone Call

07/20/2013 - Shaun's First Visit - Oklahoma City, OK

08/23/2013 - Jessica's First Visit - Victoria, BC

21/11/2013 - Shaun Visits For Thanksgiving - Oklahoma City, OK

02/01/2014 - Jessica Moves To Seattle, WA

26/04/2014 - Shaun Proposes - Sombrio Beach, BC

22/06/2014 - We Get Married - Coeur d'Alene, ID

04/10/2014 - Jessica Moves To Victoria, BC

07/15/2015 - Jessica Applies For Canadian Permanent Residency - Victoria, BC

12/06/2015 - Jessica Receives Canadian Work Permit - Comox, BC

02/15/2016 - Jessica Moves Back to USA for Dream Job - Fairbanks, AK

08/03/2016 - Jessica is Approved for Canadian Permanent Residency - Victoria, BC

08/11/2016 - Shaun Arrives on F-1 Student Visa - Fairbanks, AK

??/??/???? - Shaun Applies for Adjustment of Status?

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I figured I should just let it go, but at the same time didn't want to not address it and I should have.

Thanks to both of you for the reply!

Also I'll need the luck, this will now be my second set of immigration paperwork (Canada, now US) since meeting my wife. Luckily she's worth it! :)

It happens. It's easier the second time around. That paperwork from Canada is probably the strongest proof of your bona fide relationship.

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It happens. It's easier the second time around. That paperwork from Canada is probably the strongest proof of your bona fide relationship.

Should I submit anything from Canadian Immigration, or just bring that to the interview as further proof?

Did you have to go through the Canadian side as well?


Shaun, West Coast Canadian. Jessica, Down South American.

04/04/2013 - Met in Las Vegas, NV (That night I knew I would marry her!)

07/01/2013 - First Phone Call

07/20/2013 - Shaun's First Visit - Oklahoma City, OK

08/23/2013 - Jessica's First Visit - Victoria, BC

21/11/2013 - Shaun Visits For Thanksgiving - Oklahoma City, OK

02/01/2014 - Jessica Moves To Seattle, WA

26/04/2014 - Shaun Proposes - Sombrio Beach, BC

22/06/2014 - We Get Married - Coeur d'Alene, ID

04/10/2014 - Jessica Moves To Victoria, BC

07/15/2015 - Jessica Applies For Canadian Permanent Residency - Victoria, BC

12/06/2015 - Jessica Receives Canadian Work Permit - Comox, BC

02/15/2016 - Jessica Moves Back to USA for Dream Job - Fairbanks, AK

08/03/2016 - Jessica is Approved for Canadian Permanent Residency - Victoria, BC

08/11/2016 - Shaun Arrives on F-1 Student Visa - Fairbanks, AK

??/??/???? - Shaun Applies for Adjustment of Status?

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Should I submit anything from Canadian Immigration, or just bring that to the interview as further proof?

Did you have to go through the Canadian side as well?

Good question. To prove bona fide relationship, there's a wide array of documents you can submit. I would consider Canadian immigration documents as good as a deed to a co-owned house or a birth certificate of a child a couple may have together. The real question is, how much of that documentation to submit to convey the point? Perhaps a notification of approval that shows sponsor, spouse and the approved status with a note or post-it that explains what the document is. I would certainly also bring as much of the remaining docs as possible to the interview.

Yes, I have gone through Canadian immigration but not as a spouse of a Canadian and it was many decades ago. The days when you could cross the northern border with a library card. :)

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Just to (I hope) make you feel even more reassured, we are actually in a somewhat similar situation! The details are different, but we met in my husband's country and moved back to the US (my country) together before getting married so that he could continue his PhD studies (he'd been on leave for some national service). Like you, we weren't sure at the time of our future plans in terms of visas/location/employment after he graduates, but we've decided since that applying for a GC before he graduates gives us the most options. Like you, I was worried that this would be misinterpreted as some kind of shady situation by the officials (I'm a worrier), but so far it's going okay, our status is at "interview ready to be scheduled." Of course we don't have the GC yet, but it seems like everything will be okay! Good luck^^

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Should I submit anything from Canadian Immigration, or just bring that to the interview as further proof?

Did you have to go through the Canadian side as well?

I would submit the Canadian permanent resident stuff. It shows you intended to stay in Canada, recently. You ill be fine. this really wont be that complicated, it seems overwhelming at first but your intentions are all golden, dont worry about the optics. your good to go.

Harry

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Thank all! I'm feeling a little better about it all. Worst case they ask and I explain it. :)


Shaun, West Coast Canadian. Jessica, Down South American.

04/04/2013 - Met in Las Vegas, NV (That night I knew I would marry her!)

07/01/2013 - First Phone Call

07/20/2013 - Shaun's First Visit - Oklahoma City, OK

08/23/2013 - Jessica's First Visit - Victoria, BC

21/11/2013 - Shaun Visits For Thanksgiving - Oklahoma City, OK

02/01/2014 - Jessica Moves To Seattle, WA

26/04/2014 - Shaun Proposes - Sombrio Beach, BC

22/06/2014 - We Get Married - Coeur d'Alene, ID

04/10/2014 - Jessica Moves To Victoria, BC

07/15/2015 - Jessica Applies For Canadian Permanent Residency - Victoria, BC

12/06/2015 - Jessica Receives Canadian Work Permit - Comox, BC

02/15/2016 - Jessica Moves Back to USA for Dream Job - Fairbanks, AK

08/03/2016 - Jessica is Approved for Canadian Permanent Residency - Victoria, BC

08/11/2016 - Shaun Arrives on F-1 Student Visa - Fairbanks, AK

??/??/???? - Shaun Applies for Adjustment of Status?

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