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ducks

Do I need a letter?

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Hiya all, silly question here that you old-timers probably know already, but here is my situation. We've been engaged over a month now but because we both have pretty busy lives this is the first time I'm heading back down to the US for a visit. Since we are now "officially" engaged (yay!) I figure that our paper trail is starting to get important and all. Heck we even kept the diner receipt from my proposal for proof! Long story short I was thinking should I bring a letter from her explaining our situation that we are engaged now for the border crossing? I don't know if it matters but we haven't decided if we should do K1 or CR1 or just "adjust status." I have been doing a lot of reading but don't know yet. Thanks in advance!

 

Oh if a letter is recommended, could it be email or should it be hand written and posted to me first? I suppose hand written I could show the canceled stamp for proof.

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24 minutes ago, ducks said:

I don't know if it matters but we haven't decided if we should do K1 or CR1 or just "adjust status."

About that "adjust status" part. You're not allowed to have preconceived intent to "adjust status."

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The only legal way for you to adjust status is to either marry in the US and go back to Canada while your spouse petitions you with a CR-1, or to file the K-1, marry in the US, and adjust.  There is no legal way around waiting in the queue with the rest of us, even for Canadians.

 

To do what you've described in your post is immigration fraud.

 

And btw, "officially engaged" is not a legal status.  CBP doesn't care whether you bring a letter as such.  It will not affect your admission either way.  Make sure you bring evidence of ties to Canada, and that you return when you say you will. 

 

If you do end up going the K-1 route, you will do letters of intent to marry each other, which you can read about here in the VJ guides.

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Oh yeah I don't want to commit fraud or anything like that, I just like to think about all my options maybe sometimes just a little too much and a little too long and I heard about adjusting status. I'm a natural worrier and all this is just all sorts of way out of my wheel house. So don't worry I'm just thinking out loud as they say. I didn't mean we got "officially engaged" like we went to an engagement courthouse or anything hah! Just saying it's official to us which is all that matters when you're in love. I'm a sap, sorry! I really did keep the receipt though, Deb thought I was a nut job but that just shows you how much in my head I get, because I feel like we've gotta keep everything now just in case! Anyway I still don't know if I need a letter when I cross the border next week and I don't know what letters of intent are but I'll read up more. I guess I'll have her write a letter anyway because it's better to have one and not need it. Thank you for all your answers HRQX and Jorgedig. I guess I have a lot more reading to do.

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2 hours ago, ducks said:

Hiya all, silly question here that you old-timers probably know already, but here is my situation. We've been engaged over a month now but because we both have pretty busy lives this is the first time I'm heading back down to the US for a visit. Since we are now "officially" engaged (yay!) I figure that our paper trail is starting to get important and all. Heck we even kept the diner receipt from my proposal for proof! Long story short I was thinking should I bring a letter from her explaining our situation that we are engaged now for the border crossing? I don't know if it matters but we haven't decided if we should do K1 or CR1 or just "adjust status." I have been doing a lot of reading but don't know yet. Thanks in advance!

 

Oh if a letter is recommended, could it be email or should it be hand written and posted to me first? I suppose hand written I could show the canceled stamp for proof.

Hi there ducks,

 

Your two options as others have stated are the K-1 or the CR-1. With the K-1 you petition via the I-129F form which can take anywhere from 3-6 months for approval. After the approval of the K-1 your case will be sent to NVC and then transferred on to your Consulate which depending on where you live could be Montreal, QC or Vancouver, BC unless things have changed. You will also have to get a medical done before going to your interview. You will then go to your Consulate interview and if approved the visa will be good for 6 months from the date of the medical. Once you receive your visa, you will the enter the US and need to get married within 90 days. After that you adjust status I-485 (AOS), apply for Advanced Parole-I-131 (AP), and Employment Authorization I-765 (EAD). At this time it is again the waiting game. 

 

Now if you chose to go the CR-1 route, you will have to get married and then use form I-130. After the I-130 is approved your approval will then go to the NVC and transferred to the Consulate. I believe at the NVC stage of the CR-1 you would file your adjustment paperwork via form I-485 and affidavit of support via form I-864. You will then have your medical and interview. Visa will have same validity, 6 months from your medical. Once you enter the US your visa acts a green card for a year until you receive your physical green card within the year. With this visa you can come to the US and immediately work. 

 

When scheduling your medical try and schedule it close to the date of your interview, but enough in advance that the Consulate will receive your medical paperwork by the interview. Pretty much if you want to work right away then CR-1 is the visa for you but if you don't mind waiting to work then K-1 is visa for you. Hope this helps. This journey is not quick and patient is needed. Also self care, while taking part in this journey self care is important as it can get stressful. 

 

While visa is in process you can visit, but have ties to Canada to prove that you will go back, as others have said. 


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17 minutes ago, CDN(ON)-USA(VT) said:

After the approval of the K-1 your case will be sent to NVC and then transferred on to your Consulate which depending on where you live could be Montreal, QC or Vancouver, BC unless things have changed.

Now it's only Montreal: https://ca.usembassy.gov/visas/fiancee/

Quote

Effective April 1, 2016, U.S. Consulate General Vancouver is no longer processing new fiancé(e) (K) visa applications. U.S. Consulate General Montreal will be the interview location for all fiancé(e) visas in Canada. This change applies to all fiancé(e) visa petitions received at the National Visa Center after March 31, 2016. U.S. Consulate General Vancouver will continue to process fiancé(e) visa applications and conduct interviews for petitions they received prior to that date.

 

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17 hours ago, ducks said:

Hiya all, silly question here that you old-timers probably know already, but here is my situation. We've been engaged over a month now but because we both have pretty busy lives this is the first time I'm heading back down to the US for a visit. Since we are now "officially" engaged (yay!) I figure that our paper trail is starting to get important and all. Heck we even kept the diner receipt from my proposal for proof! Long story short I was thinking should I bring a letter from her explaining our situation that we are engaged now for the border crossing? I don't know if it matters but we haven't decided if we should do K1 or CR1 or just "adjust status." I have been doing a lot of reading but don't know yet. Thanks in advance!

 

Oh if a letter is recommended, could it be email or should it be hand written and posted to me first? I suppose hand written I could show the canceled stamp for proof.

Hi ducks -- congratulations on the engagement! I am recently engaged myself (well, mostly engaged, no ring yet 🙄) so I know it's pretty exciting! My fiance and I have had quite the adventure getting to this point -- we were college sweethearts who met through his best friend (whom I had previously dated), then we broke up, then I got back with and eventually married the best friend who I brought over here on a K1. When my fiance's (well, he was only a friend back then!) own marriage started to break down, he turned to me for moral support, and we started to fall in love all over again, which caused MY already horrible marriage to break apart and... phew! I'm exhausted just writing all that. Just happy to be on the other side now, mostly, though my fiance lost his best friend just to be with me. 

 

Anyway, you were asking about a letter. What did you think might go in there? I only ask because I wonder if a CBP officer might look at it and think you had immigrant intent, especially if your fiancee said something like, "ducks and I are in love, and he is coming down here to marry me!" I could imagine that could get you turned away, which obviously you don't want. I went through a K1 process myself before with my ex, and he regularly visited me over here before we were married. He didn't bring a letter with him, but he did bring proof in the form of bank statements that he had plenty of money to support himself and also a letter on company letterhead from his company (he was (probably still is) a company director) saying that he had significant job responsibilities in the UK that he was not abandoning. I think they checked these papers maybe once in the many visits he had here. We were paranoid about not getting him barred from entering the US before the K1 was issued, and after reading about how intent to stay and adjust can get you into big trouble, we decided that the best thing to do is to answer questions honestly but not offer additional information. I would worry that the kind of letter you're talking about is the kind of additional info that might get you into trouble, or at least get turned around.

 

So maybe other people might disagree with me, but I don't think a letter is a great idea, handwritten or emailed.

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6 hours ago, laylalex said:

Hi ducks -- congratulations on the engagement! I am recently engaged myself (well, mostly engaged, no ring yet 🙄) so I know it's pretty exciting! My fiance and I have had quite the adventure getting to this point -- we were college sweethearts who met through his best friend (whom I had previously dated), then we broke up, then I got back with and eventually married the best friend who I brought over here on a K1. When my fiance's (well, he was only a friend back then!) own marriage started to break down, he turned to me for moral support, and we started to fall in love all over again, which caused MY already horrible marriage to break apart and... phew! I'm exhausted just writing all that. Just happy to be on the other side now, mostly, though my fiance lost his best friend just to be with me. 

 

Anyway, you were asking about a letter. What did you think might go in there? I only ask because I wonder if a CBP officer might look at it and think you had immigrant intent, especially if your fiancee said something like, "ducks and I are in love, and he is coming down here to marry me!" I could imagine that could get you turned away, which obviously you don't want. I went through a K1 process myself before with my ex, and he regularly visited me over here before we were married. He didn't bring a letter with him, but he did bring proof in the form of bank statements that he had plenty of money to support himself and also a letter on company letterhead from his company (he was (probably still is) a company director) saying that he had significant job responsibilities in the UK that he was not abandoning. I think they checked these papers maybe once in the many visits he had here. We were paranoid about not getting him barred from entering the US before the K1 was issued, and after reading about how intent to stay and adjust can get you into big trouble, we decided that the best thing to do is to answer questions honestly but not offer additional information. I would worry that the kind of letter you're talking about is the kind of additional info that might get you into trouble, or at least get turned around.

 

So maybe other people might disagree with me, but I don't think a letter is a great idea, handwritten or emailed.

Hey Laylalex thank you for all your insight and congratulations on your engagement! Man, there's no feeling like it in the world to know you're going to share the rest of your life with that person. We are very lucky people. What a roller coaster ride you have been through too. This will be my first time but my fiancee (so strange to type that!!!) has gone through some pretty hard times too. I hope I'm the guy to change all that, fingers crossed!

 

Thank you for your advice on my letter question, finally an answer I can use! Everyone has been so helpful in this post but thank you for answering my question! You make some very good points. I guess I just really over-think things a lot. Here I am thinking about the future "proof" that I will need, when actually I should be thinking of the here and now. We're meeting her mom next week to break the big news when I go down and it would break their hearts if I got turned away because I was over-thinking things.

And I guess I said something wrong (sorry guys!) bc we're not close to filing yet. To make it clearer were just looking at our options of K1 or CR1 or adjusting status. We haven't decided yet and still collecting info. We might get a lawyer too. I think I can do the paperwork and maybe just have him look over everything to make sure it gets done right and also to help me make sure we don't make mistakes.

 

But anyway we decided this morning before your answer that she will mail a letter to me today explaining our situation and I will bring it across with me and show it at the booth. But I think what I will do now is just have the letter in case it seems like I will need it. If they need it, I will have it. I don't know why I stress out about these things. Sometimes the easiest solution is right in front of your face, and that is my first advice to this group from a noob. :)

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1 hour ago, ducks said:

Hey Laylalex thank you for all your insight and congratulations on your engagement! Man, there's no feeling like it in the world to know you're going to share the rest of your life with that person. We are very lucky people. What a roller coaster ride you have been through too. This will be my first time but my fiancee (so strange to type that!!!) has gone through some pretty hard times too. I hope I'm the guy to change all that, fingers crossed!

 

Thank you for your advice on my letter question, finally an answer I can use! Everyone has been so helpful in this post but thank you for answering my question! You make some very good points. I guess I just really over-think things a lot. Here I am thinking about the future "proof" that I will need, when actually I should be thinking of the here and now. We're meeting her mom next week to break the big news when I go down and it would break their hearts if I got turned away because I was over-thinking things.

And I guess I said something wrong (sorry guys!) bc we're not close to filing yet. To make it clearer were just looking at our options of K1 or CR1 or adjusting status. We haven't decided yet and still collecting info. We might get a lawyer too. I think I can do the paperwork and maybe just have him look over everything to make sure it gets done right and also to help me make sure we don't make mistakes.

 

But anyway we decided this morning before your answer that she will mail a letter to me today explaining our situation and I will bring it across with me and show it at the booth. But I think what I will do now is just have the letter in case it seems like I will need it. If they need it, I will have it. I don't know why I stress out about these things. Sometimes the easiest solution is right in front of your face, and that is my first advice to this group from a noob. :)

Glad to help! It is a really exciting time, treasure it because the process is going to drive you crazy! I'd be really careful about what she puts in that letter, as I said before, if you feel you really, really need to show it. I have heard about people getting turned away because they had documents with them that made it look like they were going to come here and stay on a tourist visa, which is a BIG no-no.

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9 hours ago, ducks said:

To make it clearer were just looking at our options of K1 or CR1 or adjusting status.

Just to clarify...your only options are the K1 or CR1.  There is no separate "adjusting status" option, as you cannot cross into the States on a tourist visa/Canadian passport with the intent of remaining and adjusting status from within the US.  The adjusting status part would come after entry on a K1 and after marrying in the US when you would then later file the AOS paperwork.

 

If you do the CR-1 route, you can get married in the States on a tourist visa but would then have to return to Canada to wait out the processing there (or she travels to Canada and marries you in Canada, and you remain in Canada during the process whilst she returns to the States).  You are able to visit each other during the processing time, though, should all go well.


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Hi Going through thanks for the clarification. Yeah we definitely are only just thinking about all the different options and don't have any intent yet to do anything. I definitely will not be getting married this trip, just going down for a quick visit, make our announcement and spend some much needed time together. We plan on talking over all of our options while we're together. We tried talking on Skype about it all, but we get distracted and things are always hectic at her place. We plan on taking the kiddos to her mum's for the weekend so we can just spend time together and really focus on us and what our plans are and what our strategies for having me make the big move are. It's why I keep doing so much research because I know she's going to have lots of questions and I want to make sure I know most of the answers. Or at least I will know where to find them. So mostly just an "us time" visit, no time to get married, maybe another trip, who knows!

 

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