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Isabel&Will

Canada to USA, Moving Belongings (K-1 Visa)

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I'm from British Columbia (west coast) and will be marrying my fiance in Virginia (east coast). We plan to apply for my adjustment of status once we are married so that we can live together, but I'm not entirely sure on the process of moving my stuff. We thought up a few different plans, but I'm not sure if they are all actually possible or feasible, and which option would be best. I am of the understanding that household effects won't be taxed if I have been using them for at least a year, and that I need to create an itemized list, but I'm uncertain about personal effects and personal items and what the exact difference is between them (one seems to be valuables that you personally use, the other seems to be more for items you keep in your personal collection but don't actually use?) If anyone has gone through the process of moving their stuff from Canada to the US and has any advise, that would be greatly appreciated!

I don't have a lot of furniture (maybe a couple of shelves and a desk chair), but I do have a decent collection of books, video games, and collectable figures (not of great monetary value but not items that I necessarily "use", I'd like to keep them because they are something that I would like to share with my fiance). I also have a vehicle I would like to import for my own use. I am definitely overthinking this but am not sure if I can take everything with me at the POE with a rented vehicle, or if we need to be married first, or have already applied for adjustment of status, or if I would already need to have a green card before I can get my stuff.

Option A
Fly there. Check in 1–2 bags of necessities, have a carry on, and use my wedding dress as the personal item. Rent a U-Pak (or similar) cube and have my parents load it up and send it with unaccompanied articles paperwork that I would leave for them, after I am already in the US. I would then try to have my car brought over separately. I would ideally like to send it right before I fly out but then I'd be worried it would get to the border before me and then I wouldn't be able to confirm that I am in the US.

Option B
Rent a Uhaul van, fiance would come up to Canada and we would use one of the Washington border crossings as the POE, and then have a road trip over to Virginia. I would then have my car brought over separately.

 

Option C
The same as B but I would import my personal vehicle and drive it either on its own (without furniture), or with a small Uhaul trailer attached to the back (with furniture)
 


10/02/17: Mailed I-129F; MIA (Suspected lost in the mail)

07/16/18: Mailed I-129F #2

07/30/18:  I-129F Received by USCIS

08/17/18:  Packet sent back to us
08/20/18:  Mailed I-129F #2 (again) with 
cheque in a more obvious and secure location
08/23/18:  I-129F Received by USCIS (again)
08/27/18:  NOA1!

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3 minutes ago, Isabel&Will said:

I'm from British Columbia (west coast) and will be marrying my fiance in Virginia (east coast). We plan to apply for my adjustment of status once we are married so that we can live together, but I'm not entirely sure on the process of moving my stuff. We thought up a few different plans, but I'm not sure if they are all actually possible or feasible, and which option would be best. I am of the understanding that household effects won't be taxed if I have been using them for at least a year, and that I need to create an itemized list, but I'm uncertain about personal effects and personal items and what the exact difference is between them (one seems to be valuables that you personally use, the other seems to be more for items you keep in your personal collection but don't actually use?) If anyone has gone through the process of moving their stuff from Canada to the US and has any advise, that would be greatly appreciated!

I don't have a lot of furniture (maybe a couple of shelves and a desk chair), but I do have a decent collection of books, video games, and collectable figures (not of great monetary value but not items that I necessarily "use", I'd like to keep them because they are something that I would like to share with my fiance). I also have a vehicle I would like to import for my own use. I am definitely overthinking this but am not sure if I can take everything with me at the POE with a rented vehicle, or if we need to be married first, or have already applied for adjustment of status, or if I would already need to have a green card before I can get my stuff.

Option A
Fly there. Check in 1–2 bags of necessities, have a carry on, and use my wedding dress as the personal item. Rent a U-Pak (or similar) cube and have my parents load it up and send it with unaccompanied articles paperwork that I would leave for them, after I am already in the US. I would then try to have my car brought over separately. I would ideally like to send it right before I fly out but then I'd be worried it would get to the border before me and then I wouldn't be able to confirm that I am in the US.

Option B
Rent a Uhaul van, fiance would come up to Canada and we would use one of the Washington border crossings as the POE, and then have a road trip over to Virginia. I would then have my car brought over separately.

 

Option C
The same as B but I would import my personal vehicle and drive it either on its own (without furniture), or with a small Uhaul trailer attached to the back (with furniture)
 

You can come to the US and marry, but you will have to return to Canada to await the visa (CR-1).   Once you have your visa in hand, any of those options should work.  Maybe tow the vehicle behind the U-Haul?  As far as importing and licensing your car to Virginia permanently, that info should be on their DMV site.

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Oops!  Have you applied for a K-1?   Sorry, I missed that.  So yes, once you have the visa, you can cross at Blaine with all of your belongings.  Personally, I would try to bring everything at once, since you won't be able to go back into Canada until granted AP, should anything go awry with having your parents try to export it all.

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Just now, Jorgedig said:

Oops!  Have you applied for a K-1?   Sorry, I missed that.  So yes, once you have the visa, you can cross at Blaine with all of your belongings.  Personally, I would try to bring everything at once, since you won't be able to go back into Canada until granted AP, should anything go awry with having your parents try to export it all.

Oh phew I had a mini panic there haha. Yes, sorry, I would be entering with a K-1 visa. So it's alright for me to bring my belongings when I'm crossing and we wouldn't need to be married yet? Part of me is a bit worried since it's technically not an "immigrant" visa, so I feel like I shouldn't be technically "moving" before I'm married if that makes sense. I agree that getting it all in one go would probably be the best option, I'm just not sure about the legalities of driving and such.


10/02/17: Mailed I-129F; MIA (Suspected lost in the mail)

07/16/18: Mailed I-129F #2

07/30/18:  I-129F Received by USCIS

08/17/18:  Packet sent back to us
08/20/18:  Mailed I-129F #2 (again) with 
cheque in a more obvious and secure location
08/23/18:  I-129F Received by USCIS (again)
08/27/18:  NOA1!

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1 minute ago, Isabel&Will said:

 

Oh phew I had a mini panic there haha. Yes, sorry, I would be entering with a K-1 visa. So it's alright for me to bring my belongings when I'm crossing and we wouldn't need to be married yet? Part of me is a bit worried since it's technically not an "immigrant" visa, so I feel like I shouldn't be technically "moving" before I'm married if that makes sense. I agree that getting it all in one go would probably be the best option, I'm just not sure about the legalities of driving and such.

Since the K-1 visa requires the holder to marry in the US within 90 days, there really is no option but to "move" here.  Even the land border CBP folks are aware of this stipulation, although they don't see as many as the airport officers.  You should be fine coming across with personal/household items.

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Btw, if you have Netflix, I highly recommend the show "Border Security:  America's Front Line."  It is actually a Canadian show, and features border crossings at Blaine and Windsor, ON, as well as DTW and JFK.  There was one story about the parents of a Canadian trying to bring all of her stuff across via Michigan, and they had evidence of her upcoming wedding, but no evidence of her visa or status.  In this particular situation, the daughter was not on a K-1, but had entered the US with the plan to marry and adjust status, so they were turned away.  

 

Anyway, if you go that route, maybe have them bring a photocopy of your passport and K-1 visa, so that CBP can confirm that there was no misrep.

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20 minutes ago, Isabel&Will said:

 

Oh phew I had a mini panic there haha. Yes, sorry, I would be entering with a K-1 visa. So it's alright for me to bring my belongings when I'm crossing and we wouldn't need to be married yet? Part of me is a bit worried since it's technically not an "immigrant" visa, so I feel like I shouldn't be technically "moving" before I'm married if that makes sense. I agree that getting it all in one go would probably be the best option, I'm just not sure about the legalities of driving and such.

While the K1 isnt technically an immigrant Visa, everyone knows you are moving to stay. Thats the point of it.

 

You have one year to bring your items without import duties (for typical things youd be moving- furniture, clothing, personal effects, etc) no matter whether you do that when you immigrate on the K1, or sometime within the year. But if you are moving on a K1, you risk not getting AP before that timeframe, so I would do it when you move over.

 

Importing your vehicle is different, depending on where it was manufactured. If it is American or Canadian built (possibly Mexico too), there are no import duties on it (at least this is my understanding). If it is, say, Korean made, then there are. Again, that is my understanding of it.


5/7/2018 K1       Application mailed

5/9/2018             Application rec'd and signed for (sent via fedex)

5/14/2018          NOA1 Email notification

5/18/2018          NOA1 Paper copy rec'd (i797C)

 

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14 minutes ago, Jorgedig said:

Btw, if you have Netflix, I highly recommend the show "Border Security:  America's Front Line."  It is actually a Canadian show, and features border crossings at Blaine and Windsor, ON, as well as DTW and JFK.  There was one story about the parents of a Canadian trying to bring all of her stuff across via Michigan, and they had evidence of her upcoming wedding, but no evidence of her visa or status.  In this particular situation, the daughter was not on a K-1, but had entered the US with the plan to marry and adjust status, so they were turned away.  

 

Anyway, if you go that route, maybe have them bring a photocopy of your passport and K-1 visa, so that CBP can confirm that there was no misrep.

4

That sounds incredibly familiar, I watched a few episodes of a border security show, might have been that exact one. That was partly why I was worrying about whether or not I needed to already have my green card before I bring my stuff over, to prove I'm legally residing there. My plan was to leave copies of documentation and the itemized lists and such with my parents, with everything packed and labelled already...though I suppose that might not be enough depending on the situation. I believe with UPak the company would be the ones bringing it across, so I'd need to make sure they had all my documentation evidence and such.


10/02/17: Mailed I-129F; MIA (Suspected lost in the mail)

07/16/18: Mailed I-129F #2

07/30/18:  I-129F Received by USCIS

08/17/18:  Packet sent back to us
08/20/18:  Mailed I-129F #2 (again) with 
cheque in a more obvious and secure location
08/23/18:  I-129F Received by USCIS (again)
08/27/18:  NOA1!

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Just now, Isabel&Will said:

That sounds incredibly familiar, I watched a few episodes of a border security show, might have been that exact one. That was partly why I was worrying about whether or not I needed to already have my green card before I bring my stuff over, to prove I'm legally residing there. My plan was to leave copies of documentation and the itemized lists and such with my parents, with everything packed and labelled already...though I suppose that might not be enough depending on the situation. I believe with UPak the company would be the ones bringing it across, so I'd need to make sure they had all my documentation evidence and such.

Sounds like a great plan!  Better safe than sorry. 

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1 hour ago, Isabel&Will said:

That sounds incredibly familiar, I watched a few episodes of a border security show, might have been that exact one. That was partly why I was worrying about whether or not I needed to already have my green card before I bring my stuff over, to prove I'm legally residing there. My plan was to leave copies of documentation and the itemized lists and such with my parents, with everything packed and labelled already...though I suppose that might not be enough depending on the situation. I believe with UPak the company would be the ones bringing it across, so I'd need to make sure they had all my documentation evidence and such.

As long as you come on the K1 visa then you can bring whatever you want to bring. 

 

The only time Canadians usually get in trouble is when they try to bring everything BEFORE being issued a visa and are promptly denied entry.

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living where u do i know u realize that crossing the Rockies by vehicle in winter (starting soon)  is impossible

we fly to Oregon from here to visit

the snow is measured soon in feet and passes will be closed

you may have to drive down the coast to find a route open 

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3 hours ago, adil-rafa said:

living where u do i know u realize that crossing the Rockies by vehicle in winter (starting soon)  is impossible

we fly to Oregon from here to visit

the snow is measured soon in feet and passes will be closed

you may have to drive down the coast to find a route open 

 

1 hour ago, Jorgedig said:

With NOA1 on 8/27, it is unlikely to still be winter when she drives down.

Yeah I'm assuming I won't be at that stage until April or May at the earliest, so the snow should hopefully be gone even with a late spring... just trying to do as much research as I can now while I have time so I don't have to panic as much later


10/02/17: Mailed I-129F; MIA (Suspected lost in the mail)

07/16/18: Mailed I-129F #2

07/30/18:  I-129F Received by USCIS

08/17/18:  Packet sent back to us
08/20/18:  Mailed I-129F #2 (again) with 
cheque in a more obvious and secure location
08/23/18:  I-129F Received by USCIS (again)
08/27/18:  NOA1!

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On 10/7/2018 at 10:48 PM, Isabel&Will said:

 

Yeah I'm assuming I won't be at that stage until April or May at the earliest, so the snow should hopefully be gone even with a late spring... just trying to do as much research as I can now while I have time so I don't have to panic as much later

No furniture?   ship boxes UPS

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Hey there! I just got my approval for my K-1 visa so me and my fiance were just planning the same thing and it sounds like we may have a similar amount of stuff (I have kitchen stuff, a lot of collectibles and games, and 2 books shelves + 2 carts).

 

Our distance is a LOT shorter than yours (Nova Scotia --> NYC) however what my fiance is doing is renting a cargo van in NYC, driving to Nova Scotia, loading me up and driving back. The reason he's renting it in NYC is that UHaul only rents cargo vans locally (no long distance drop offs) but it STILL ends up being cheaper for us then renting a 10' Uhaul. For your distance however, it may be cheaper to rent the 10' Uhaul and drop it at your final destination.

 

When you go to cross the border we have seen MANY websites say that you need a full inventory of all of your stuff. What I did when I packed my stuff up (I was staying with family because my lease went up, so the majority of my stuff is already packed and in storage waiting for the move) was write everything that was in the box down in a notebook (like "Hair / Make-up, Over the counter medicine, bathroom shelves, shampoo / body wash -- Bathroom Box #1") and also wrote that on the outside of the box itself. This will apparently really help facilitate a quick border crossing.

 

Good luck, and I hope your process goes quick! :)


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