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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. One would argue that if national leaders erred on the side of caution and heeded the advice of the World Health Organization, we wouldn't be in this predicament.
  2. Yeah this is crazy and rough timing for me. I have some work shifts this weekend. I just received the notification that my visa was issued and my passport is being mailed to me earlier today. Usually these border closing seem to have a period of time before it actually closes. If so, I may just drive to the border, activate my visa, then return to Canada before moving down in a week or so. The CNN article states that it is likely more "flexible". Hopefully it is at least similar to the EU ban which allowed for spouses of US citizens.
  3. Source? Any idea whether this would stop me from activating my CR1 visa at the border?
  4. The border rule is not in effect yet. It will be closed on March 18. Let us know how this plays out. I am quite curious myself.
  5. If you are neither a citizen/permanent resident of Canada, immediate family of a Canadian citizen/permanent resident or a US citizen, you are NOT allowed to enter Canada even to drive down to the US. A journalist asked the government panel today about even people with student visas in Canada, and the deputy Prime Minster Freeland said only if its for essential services. I suspect a ETA will not be granted but let us know how that works out. This rule applies to everyone (Canadians and Americans) that enters Canada from a different country.
  6. Also immediate families of Canadian citizens and Canadian PRs.
  7. I don't think that's even possible anymore. You can't transit through Canada without entering customs. The only people who could do so would be folks who can get through the Canadian border.
  8. Beat me to it Seems like US citizens are still exempted (but not permanent residents)? Citizens, permanent residents of Canada and immediate family of citizens (?PR) will not be affected. Edit: Actually, I am not entirely sure about US citizens.
  9. I think you might have to file an FBAR in 2020 anyway. You may want to double check because at some point during tax season 2020, you have more than 10,000 USD in a foreign country (in this case, Canada). I filed the FBAR in 2018 and it was quite simple.
  10. I've done research on this topic. There is some uncertainty as to whether you can start building your credit score using an ITIN. When I obtain my SSN, I intend to substitute my SSN with my ITIN number with my preexisting credit card with Capital One and notify various credit bureaus. I will update the thread once I do so to see if it made any difference.
  11. FBAR was pretty easy to file for one year. I needed to do it anyway because I needed to file a joint tax return to obtain an ITIN and most of my assets were in Canada. I didn't need to file a tax return in 2019 as I didn't meet the substantial presence test and I hadn't moved to the US yet. I moved most of money in 2020 as I plan to immigrate this year anyway. I am already added to her credit card as an authorized user. Just trying to build more credit with my own credit card, but we will see.
  12. My wife and I married in November 2018 and we started our immigration journey when we filed the I-130 on December 5, 2018. Along the way, I’ve learned some valuable lessons and experiences that I would like to share with the community. It may be helpful to anyone who plans to start their immigration journey from Canada to the United States. Travelling to the US Prior to meeting my wife, my travels to the United States was limited to rare family trips. I met my wife in a developing country where she was completing her fellowship. We maintained a long-distance relationship, where I visited her 4-5 times in this country, but also started visiting her in the US starting from January 2017. By mid-2017, I decided to apply for a Nexus card, which ended up being a great investment at $50 USD for 5 years. Looking at my i94, I have visited my wife 20 times in the US since 2016 (22 times if you include transits through the US). The Nexus card made it easy for me to visit my wife, even as I go through the immigration process. In total, I have visited my wife 12 times since we filed the i130 (anywhere from 6-26 days), all of which through Toronto Pearson Airport. I have visited her throughout the immigration process, last of which is a final trip a week prior to my interview at the US Consulate General in Montreal. With the Nexus card, I have not had any issues crossing at Toronto Pearson Airport. I always bring my employment information, bank statements, etc. but have never required to show them. I was careful to limit my visits somewhat as I didn’t want to qualify for the Substantial Presence Test requiring me to file my taxes with the IRS. Preparing for the Move I did file my 2018 taxes with my wife jointly with the purpose of obtaining an ITIN. I learned through trial-and-error that the W7 needed to be filed with our tax return (there was a lot of misinformation when I contacted the IRS and was turned away at the IRS Taxpayer Assistance Center with the W7 alone). The ITIN allowed me to apply and obtain my professional license in California (a tax number is required in California) and apply for a secured credit card (I hoped to jump start my credit score). With regards to building my credit score, I am still not 100% sure whether what I’ve done will help. I will be sure to update this thread when I find out. I obtained a secured credit card with my ITIN and was added to my wife's credit card as an authorized user. In preparation to obtain more US credit cards when I move, I’ve developed a cross-border relationship with my Canadian bank and obtained an AmEx card to take advantage of the Global Card Transfer program. To transfer my assets to the US, I started liquidated my assets in 2018, converting my CAD to USD gradually using Norbert’s Gambit with Questrade over the past year. This gave me a better return than through TD bank and Transferwise. I essentially took CAD from my TD CAD account, sent it to Questrade, performed Norbert’s Gambit, sent USD back to my TD USD account then transferred it cross-border to my TD America account. Aside from some commission fees to Questrade for the Norbert’s Gambit (note there are tax obligations for capital gain, which is negligable as it implies that you the USD/CAD conversion has worked in my favor, and you need to be familiar with CRA's superficial loss rule), I was able to move my money to my TD America (US-based) account with no other fees. You need to be aware of your CRA/IRS reporting requirements for having foreign bank accounts exceeding a certain threshold. Anyway, that is it for now. My interview is next week and I will be sure to add to this thread as I continue through my visa journey.
  13. You can follow this link to see what vaccines are required for my age group. If you are not in this age group, you can navigate the website.
  14. I'd be wary of this comment. The other physician who does immigration visa medicals in the GTA does not provide vaccinations, as indicated on their website. Completed Vaccine Checklist for each applicant. Please print the vaccine checklist form (see below) for your age group only and have this form completed by your family doctor or walk in clinic. Vaccinations are mandatory and are required by the US Government. Vaccinations received outside Canada should be shown to the doctor completing the vaccine checklist. We DO NOT give vaccines in our office.
  15. I don't know. I would call Dr. Zatzman's office to see if those services are available. The clinic itself includes other family physicians and Dr. Zatzman told me he use to be the head of family medicine at the nearby hospital. Can he do it? Sure. Does he do it? Call his office. I had a follow-up post right after my initial post which outlines how soon it took to get my results. It took 7 days. I went to pick it up, but according to another VJ user who had it delivered by courier services, it took about 8 days to get to the Niagara region.
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