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About ADW & JOP

  • Rank
  • Member # 316175
  • Location Toronto, ON, Canada

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • City
    San Diego
  • State

Immigration Info

  • Immigration Status
    IR-1/CR-1 Visa
  • Place benefits filed at
    Texas Service Center
  • Local Office
    Phoenix AZ
  • Country

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  1. I actually made the same mistake. I submitted the rip copy (taped) to the NVC but I got another one. When I explained what I did to the immigration officer, she just took my new copy. I didn’t ask whether she would have accepted the old one in it’s taped condition. Same philosophy as before, you can take the risk but I didn’t want any unnecessary delays. I was in the last batch of interviews prior to the Montreal consulate shutting down in 2020 (crossed the border the day the border closed), so I am glad I didn’t leave anything to chance. Sucks that it cost more, but now that I’ve been here for over a year, it doesn’t keep me up at night =]
  2. I can only speak from my one experience but I think it's very plausible that at some point in the history of the Montreal consulate, someone may have been asked to procure their spouse's birth certificate. My approach to the interview is that it took 15+ months to get to the interview, I was not going to leave anything to chance and have the process delayed any further. If they ask for any documents that is listed on their checklist (they will define what is applicable), I think it's fair game and if you don't have it, then they may ask you to submit it after your interview and result in further delays. At my interview, someone I talked to brought the wrong type of beneficiary birth certificate (short-form vs long-form) and his visa was not approved and he said he had to submit something later (I didn't get the whole story because I was finished and left).
  3. For whatever it’s worth, I did not need to show the petitioner’s birth certificate. You should bring it as it is listed in the documents you should bring on the website. Perhaps make a notarized copy before you send it off via mail. https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/Supplements/Supplements_by_Post/MTL-Montreal.html
  4. Not in California. You have to redo the whole drivers license process as if you just turned 16 - written test and road test. However, for CRA purposes (NR-73), you can show severance of residential tie by voluntarily giving it up.
  5. Not hard. I wrote about my experience getting one before. I obtained it by filing MFJ with my spouse. Essentially, you can get it if there’s a reason why you need to report something to the IRS. I don’t know how long it took, but when I was applying for licensure, I was quoted 8 months. You won’t get your SSN until at the earliest a week after you landed in the US and there are stories of unexpected delays. I decided to pursue the ITIN route as I awaited for my visa.
  6. Another thing for you to consider when you move to Florida: if you plan to work as a nurse, you should look into getting your licensure. In California, you require either an ITIN or SSN to apply. I obtained an ITIN a year prior to my move in order to get my California license prior to moving to the US, which made it a lost easier to find work as soon as I arrived.
  7. You need to bring enough documentation that will show the CBP that you have every reason to return to Canada. For me, my occupation was the big one. Bring as much as can to show that you will return. A six-week visit is a decently long one. The general advice I read before is that you need to be in Canada more time than in the US, the greater difference the better. I made a spreadsheet to keep track of my visits.
  8. I've visited my spouse 12 times during the processes, 3-4 times after DQ. Make sure you bring as much documentation to show your residential ties (I brought a folder each time), and I was questioned only once - they asked my occupation. Depending on where your POE is, you may experience it differently. I entered through Toronto and you speak with the CBP before you board a flight. You have to answer honestly, but you don't need to provide unnecessary information that is not specifically asked. If they find you inadmissible for whatever reason, don't argue, turn around and go home. As long as you answer honestly and don't do anything that will lead to a bar, it shouldn't affect the immigration process.
  9. You can try one of these local port of entries. https://www.cbp.gov/contact/ports/ca Make sure you have the necessary forms ready. https://help.cbp.gov/s/article/Article-218?language=en_US I had a shipping company do this for me, but when I spoke with another shipping company who did not do the forms at the POE along the Canadian/US border, they said to do it locally. Since you are in OC, may as well try one of these local places nearest to you first. Also, the process of registering your vehicle with the DMV sucks as well. Make sure you meet the requirements and see if you need to do the star station smog test prior to visiting the DMV (will save you an unnecessary trip of waiting only to realize you need to get one done beforehand) Good luck!
  10. Not in California. I needed to re-do the whole thing.
  11. That's what they told me. I had a secured credit card that I obtained a year before I moved to start building a credit history. They told me that the global transfer program is only for individuals who have no established credit history. I was also an authorized user of my spouses card which helped lengthen my credit history (as far as I can see on my credit scores, my credit history dates back to when she first became a holder of said credit card).
  12. Once you activate your visa in your passport, your visa in your passport because your temporary green card. I used it to get my driver's license and to apply for work with no issues. The physical green card took me approximately 5 months to get with some persistent nagging. Once you hit 90 days, you can submit any inquiry. I submitted twice, prior to involving the ombudsman.
  13. From my experience, I submitted an inquiry after 90 days. They forwarded my inquiry to another place. I did't hear from them for another month, and so I submitted another inquiry. When I submitted the second inquiry, I also submitted a report to the ombudsman, who responded within days telling me that the situation has been handled. A few days after I submitted to the ombudsman, I get a message stating my card is being printed and received my card a couple weeks after that. I was not in a particular rush to get it, but it was hanging over my head. I did wonder if I involved the ombudsman earlier, whether I would get it sooner. However, the ombudsman submission requires you to highlight what you have already done to try to resolve the issue, so make sure you keep a trail.
  14. Also, I should mention you needed to bring the CBP paperwork to the DMV as they need proof of proper import.
  15. Green card After a ~4 month wait, I decided to submit an online inquiry on MyUSCIS to understand why there has been no progress or status update on my green card since port of entry. I paid all my immigration fees prior to my POE. I received a generic response stating that my inquiry has been forwarded to the office handling my case and that they would be in touch with me. After waiting another 4 weeks without hearing from the office, I sent another inquiry though MyUSCIS and received a similar response. I contacted the ombudsman via a electronic form and received a response within days explaining that they investigated and my green card was now in production. About a week later, I logged onto MyUSCIS it stated that the case was now closed and my card has been mailed and I received my green card ~6 months from my POE. I wasn't in a rush to receive my green card, but I do wonder whether reaching out to the ombudsman earlier would have facilitated the process faster. Importing My Vehicle I had done a lot of research on importing my vehicle prior my POE. I had obtained a certificate of conformity from Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. back in December 2019 stating that my car was my vehicle was certified by the manufacturer to conform to all applicable Canadian Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (CMVSS), US Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS), California Air Resources Board (CARB) Emission Regulations, and US Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Emission Regulations. I also obtained a letter from Audi Finance stating that my vehicle was paid in full. I had done a lot of research to try to find the most cost efficient way to transport my vehicle from Toronto to San Diego, including a straight drive from Toronto to San Diego, importing it from Toronto to Vancouver (originally planned to attend a friend's wedding), then drive down and enjoy the West Coast or ship it directly from Toronto to San Diego. I relied heavily on internet reviews, recognizing the biases typically associated with reviews. Initially, I planned the Toronto to Vancouver route, however, with COVID, plans changed. My wife and I tried sharing one car, but with both of us commuting to work, we decided to bite the bullet and ship my car done in late August. By this time, many of the shipping companies did not directly transport vehicles on their own, but relied on third-party companies. Fortunately, I did found a company that offered a competitive price (cheaper to Hansen's Forwarding) with enclosed transportation. Overall, I was very satisfied with their service. My communications with them was through email and they asked me to fill out a bunch of applications forms, asked for a copy of my certificate of conformity, bill of sale, evidence of authorized stay (they didn't initially recognize a photocopy of my temporary i-551 in my passport, but this was eventually clarified), and a picture of my odometer. The provided me a pick-up date at the address of my choice, came on time, and told me to expect my car in San Diego in 10-14 days. I didn't hear from them until the transport driver called me the day prior to arrival and indicated an estimated time of arrival. My car actually arrived earlier than expected and I found their service to be excellent. A couple of quirks that would have made the experience even better: One, they only accept wire transfer. Two, there is no method to track progression - I had no idea my car was coming earlier had it not been a call I received the day prior to delivery date, which was fortunate that I had the week off. In total, I spent approximately 3500 USD (shipping, custom brokerage, duty). Registering My Car in California DMV California makes ServiceOntario look like Amazon Prime. To be honest, I had a relatively easy experience getting my driver's license back in July, but I think that was the exception not the rule. First off, I found the information on the website re: importing new vehicles to be a little vague. It gives the general requirements, but I wasn't too sure whether I needed a smog test and whether the smog test needed to be at a Star Station. On the website, under importing a vehicle, it states "you may also need: a smog certificate", but under smog inspections, it states "your vehicle does not need a smog inspection if your vehicle is gasoline-powered and less than four model years old", which is true in my case. However, I decided to go ahead with a Star Station Smog Test prior to visiting the DMV because I did not want to line up at the DMV just to find out I needed a smog test. Unfortunately, the smog test failed because the OBDII monitor, specifically the EGR/VVT system, was not ready. I had some maintenance work on my car done 1 month earlier and the vehicle was transported and not driven for a while, so the technician at the Star Station told me to drive for ~100 miles and come back for a free re-test, as this may ready my monitors. I decided to try my luck at the DMV with a pre-filled out vehicle registration application anyway because I had the week off and went to a "less busy" one. I lined up for a couple of hours and even the DMV agent managing the line wasn't too sure whether I needed a smog test so he went to ask a senior personnel and it turns out you do need a smog test in California even when your vehicle is less than 4 model years old. I stayed in line to hand in my application, pay my registrations fees, received a temporary 30-day permit and was told to return to have my vehicle inspected by an agent and complete the process within a month. A side note: I initially tried using one of the private "business partners" of the DMV to see if I can register my car without going to the DMV. I called in advance, was told it was fine, but after spending 1 hour there, a manger told me they don't process imported vehicles from outside the US. I am not sure whether this applies to other companies. Passing the Smog test was quite a project. I decided to buy my own OBDII monitor (30ish dollars on amazon). After driving 100 miles, the EGR was still not ready so I proceeded to perform the "drive cycle" at midnight for four consecutive nights to see if I can ready my OBDII monitors. Unfortunately, no luck so I brought my car into the local Audi dealer where they investigated the OBDII monitor. They noted everything was working fine, then proceeded to reset the monitors and voila! It took them less than an hour to accomplish four nights of work. I brought my car back to the Star Station and I passed my smog test. I brought my car back to the DMV for the inspection. The line was long, but the inspection was relatively straight forward. Interestingly, my vehicle has some labels but not all. However, the agent accepted my certificate of conformity from Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. and it was approved. I had to line up again to see another agent, but by this point, I decided the risk of being turned away before closing time was too high so I came on another day. On the final day, I came an hour before opening and was 50th in line. Fortunately, the DMV triaged customers based on their needs and because I was only there to drop off some forms, I was in and out 30 minutes after the DMV opened that day. All in all, this ordeal shortened my life expectancy by a few years from the risk of melanoma lining up in the sun, sleep deprivation, and unnecessary stress. To me it was worth it because I have a very special and clearly unhealthy bond to my car, but it took a lot of money, time and effort for a car that had no issues with conformity.
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