AustinCanada's US Immigration Timeline

  Petitioner's Name: Mark
Beneficiary's Name: Austin
VJ Member: AustinCanada
Country: Canada

Last Updated: 2018-12-16
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Immigration Checklist for Mark & Austin:

USCIS DCF I-130 Petition:      
Dept of State IR-1/CR-1 Visa:    
USCIS I-751 Petition:  
USCIS N-400 Petition:  

IR-1/CR-1 Visa
Event Date
Service Center : National Benefits Center
Transferred? Nebraska Service Center on 2014-03-11
Consulate : Montreal, Canada
Marriage (if applicable):
I-130 Sent : 2013-10-03
I-130 NOA1 : 2013-10-04
I-130 RFE :
I-130 RFE Sent :
I-130 Approved : 2014-04-11
NVC Received : 2014-04-30
Received DS-261 / AOS Bill : 2014-06-05
Pay AOS Bill : 2014-06-05
Receive I-864 Package :
Send AOS Package : 2014-06-09
Submit DS-261 : 2014-06-05
Receive IV Bill : 2014-07-17
Pay IV Bill : 2014-07-18
Send IV Package : 2014-07-21
Receive Instruction and Interview appointment letter : 2014-10-06
Case Completed at NVC : 2014-09-16
NVC Left : 2014-10-17
Consulate Received : 2014-10-20
Packet 3 Received :
Packet 3 Sent :
Packet 4 Received : 2014-10-06
Interview Date : 2014-11-10
Interview Result : Approved
Second Interview
(If Required):
Second Interview Result:
Visa Received : 2014-11-19
US Entry : 2014-11-20
Comments :
Estimates/Stats :
Your I-130 was approved in 189 days from your NOA1 date.

Your interview took 402 days from your I-130 NOA1 date.

Port of Entry Review
Event Date
Port of Entry : CDN-USA Border
POE Date : 2014-11-20
Got EAD Stamp : Yes,Passport Stamp
Biometrics Taken : Yes
Harassment Level : 0
Comments : POE at Douglas (Peace Arch) US-Canada Border Crossing in Blaine, WA on Nov 20 (Thurs), 2014

Since we lived in Vancouver, Canada and we were moving to Seattle, we rented a car to move our moving boxes.

The border crossing wait time was 3 minutes (not POE processing) since we arrived the POE on Thursday at 1pm. There were two border guards (white male in glasses and young white female) in the left booth. I informed the male border guard that I was entering the US to become a permanent resident. I showed my passport with the visa and the sealed envelop. The male border guard talked to the female border guard, "Have you seen this document? Sometime last year, we have begun allowing same-sex couples to sponsor for immigration if they qualify." The male border guard asked us to come inside of the office for POE processing so we parked the car and went inside.

As we entered the office, I saw a long line of people waiting to be served. As we were waiting in the line, the young female border guard we saw outside came to us and asked us to follow her. She took us to the desk of the male border guard we saw outside. It turned out that female border guard was in training and the male border guard was showing her how to process a permanent resident visa.

I found the border guards friendly. The male border guard asked us when and where we got married. He asked me if we were importing the car. I told him that it was a rental car and we rented it to move our stuff. He told me, "That's all you have? You don't have any furniture?" I told him, "We sold our furniture on craigslist!" There was another male border guard (supervisor?) sitting next to him. He looked at me and laughed. The male border guard asked me to have a seat while he processed my paper.

About 10 minutes later, the male border guard asked me to come back to his desk for a fingerprint, to sign a paper, and to verify the address they're sending my 2-year Green Card to. After the end of it, the male border guard told me "Welcome to the United States!" and shook my hand!

Lifting Conditions
Event Date
CIS Office : California Service Center
Date Filed : 2016-08-22
NOA Date : 2016-08-25
RFE(s) :
Bio. Appt. : 2016-10-12
Interview Date : 2018-10-22
Approval / Denial Date : 2018-10-22
Approved : Yes
Got I551 Stamp : Yes
Green Card Received :
Comments : I-551 extension stamp at the Seattle office on July 3, 2017. Valid until July 2, 2018.

Another extension stamp on July 16, 2018. Valid until July 15, 2019.

N-400/I-751 combo interview on Oct 22, 2018. USCIS decided not to issue me a 10-year Green Card since I was applying for US Citizenship (N-400).

Event Date
Service Center : Phoenix AZ Lockbox
CIS Office : Seattle WA
Date Filed : 2017-08-22
NOA Date : 2017-08-24
Bio. Appt. : 2017-09-22
Interview Date : 2018-10-22
Approved : Yes
Oath Ceremony : 2018-10-23
Comments : My combo (N-400/I-751) interview experience at the Seattle office. I brought my spouse, but my IO didn't bother interviewing him (who was waiting outside)! I guess I sent more than enough supporting documents for my I-751 application! My IO asked me how we met, if my spouse has visited my hometown and met my parents, who usually cooks, who usually manages our finances, if we're thinking about adopting children, etc.! My IO asked me to show her our joint condo ownership certificate since I told her that we bought a condo 1.5 years ago. :thumbs: I also showed her our 2017 joint tax return transcript. For the citizenship part, I scored the first 6 questions correctly! - What do we call the first ten amendments of the Constitution? - We elect a President for how many years? - What is the name of the Speaker of the House of Representatives now? - Who lived in America before the Europeans arrived? - When was the Declaration of Independence adopted? - Name one of the two longest rivers in the United States? My IO asked me to read "George Washington was the first president of the United States." and write "Lincoln was president during the Civil War." My combo interview took 30 minutes!

Member Reviews:

Consulate Review: Montreal, Canada
Review Topic: IR-1/CR-1 Visa
Event Description
Review Date : November 13, 2014
Embassy Review : Interview - Nov 10 (Mon) at 9:30am (APPROVED!)

I live in Vancouver so had to fly coast to coast for my interview. However, I used my mileage and paid only $180 for a round-trip airfare ($940 on Expedia!). AND I stayed at my friend's house in Montreal so I paid $0 for staying there!

The night before the interview, I couldn't fall asleep until 2am because I go to bed around 12:30am (PST) so 2am (EST) was 11pm (PST) for me! I got up at 6am (EST) so slept for only 4 hours!

I arrived at the US Consulate in Montreal at 7:40am. The door was still closed and there were only four people waiting in front of the building. Since my interview was on Monday in Montreal (party city), I figured out that all COs (Consular Officers) went to bed around 3am after a party so nobody was at work at 7:40am. I went to McDonald's for breakfast (not Tim Hortons since I wanted to eat American breakfast before my US Green Card interview).

I went back to the Consulate at 8:30am. I was glad to see that someone finally came to work and opened the door. Since there was no line, I was able to go through the security and went downstairs and take the elevator to the 19th floor by myself. I had no problem at the security since I only brought my application package and mobile phone. They were able to store my mobile phone there. Once the elevator door opened, I was greeted by a visa receptionist. She was a beautiful black woman kind of looked like Tyra Banks from "America's Next Top Model"! I thought I was on the wrong floor since I didn't expect to see a "model" at the US Consulate. She gave me a card with #8.

According to many interview reviews I've read, most people finished their interviews within one hour so I thought I was going to be done before 9:30am. Well, I kept waiting and waiting! LOL! I was super bored so I was doing yoga (not a headstand pose, of course) in the waiting room.

Someone finally called my number to Window 2 at 10:30am. There was a black woman (not the "Tyra Banks" visa receptionist) at Window 2. She was fine (but not too friendly). I tried to have a small talk with her, but she seemed to be busy going over my paper work and typing at the same time so I let her do her work. I didn't want to disturb her because that could end up her making mistakes and delaying my visa process. She asked for my my passport and medical exam results. She asked me my US social security number since I lived in the US. She didn't bother with my petitioner's birth certificate (I received an email from the Montreal Consulate asking me to bring it) or my two passport-sized photos. She was going to use the photos that I sent to NVC (which I didn't like because my face was too oily) so I showed her my updated passport-sized photos. She liked my new photos better so she used them and gave me back my old passport-sized photos back (which went into a trash bin). She took my fingerprints and gave me a domestic violence info sheet (she probably did't know that I took a karate class). That was it! Back to waiting (translation: back to yoga)!

While I was doing a yoga warrior's pose to get ready for my interview, I had a chat with a woman who was also there for an interview. She didn't know what Visa Journey was. She sent her I-130 application three years ago! Her number was 15 (I was #8) so I told her that she might have to come back tomorrow for her interview since we were waiting forever!

At 12:10pm (Yes, 12:10pm, not a typo of 11:10am), I was finally called to Window 6 for my interview! It was a small room without a door so I could hear people talking in the waiting room. My CO was a white woman. She asked me to take an oath to tell the truth. I said "Yes and of course!" She asked me the following questions:

- When did you get married? - Sept 27, 2013
- How long have you known your spouse? - 17 years
- How long have you been living together? - For the last 17 years
- What does your spouse do for a living? - Documentation Manager / Technical Writer
- Why are you moving back to the US? - Because the US Supreme Court killed DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), we can now go back to the US.
- Where in the US are you moving back to? - Seattle! Since we sold our house in Vancouver, we have hired a real estate agent in Seattle to buy a house in there.

She said, "Oh, you're buying a house in Seattle! I love going to open houses and seeing other people's houses!" She smiled. I smiled back at her and said, "Oh, yes! Me too!"

She said, "I really like the way you put your application package together. It's super organized and you definitely made my job easier so thank you very much". I said, "I just love making your job easier!" I made her laugh!

Then, she said, "I'm approving your visa." Since I wanted to hear it again so I said, "I'm sorry, I didn't hear you. (Of course, I heard her!) Did you just say I'm approved?" She said, "Yes, you are approved!" I screamed "YES!!!!" I said it so loudly and I'm willing to bet that everyone in the waiting room heard my voice! She laughed again!

I told her, "I brought tons of US domicile documents! Do you want to see them?" She said (while still smiling), "Someone did his homework since you knew the US domicile was going to be an issue, right?" "No, I don't need to see them because you're going back to the US because DOMA is dead. It makes perfect sense!"

I said, "You really made my day, actually my year! I'm so happy right now!" She said, "My pleasure! You'll receive your passport back in a week with the visa!"

She said, "You can get ready for your move now!" I said, "I'm more than ready for the move since we sold everything. In fact, we only have a couple of boxes to move!" She laughed again (maybe she thought I was joking? We only have few boxes to move) Then, she said, "That's excellent! It's nice to have a fresh start!"

As I left the interview room, I waived at her and said "Thank you very much! Have a great day!" She smiled and waived back at me and said, "Have a great day too!"

I went back to the waiting room and told the woman who had #15, "Hahaha! Approved!" She said, "I know! I heard you! Actually, everyone heard you!"

I left the Consulate at 12:30pm so I was in the building for 4 hours! I have definitely improved my yoga skills since I was doing yoga while waiting!

Status Update: my status changed to "Issued" on Nov 12 (two days later, but Nov 11 was a holiday).

Rating : Very Good

Timeline Comments: 1

blank avatar Parsi2017 on 2018-10-23 said:
Congratulations for successfully arriving to the end of this long journey. I am still anxiously waiting. Would you kindly tell me: - Why did your case took so long? - Did you go to interview with your spouse? - What questions were asked in relation to i751 part of your interview? THANK YOU VERY MUCH
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*Notice about estimates: The estimates are based off averages of other members recent experiences
(documented in their timelines) for the same benefit/petition/application at the same filing location.
Individual results may vary as every case is not always 'average'. Past performance does not necessarily
predict future results. The 'as early as date' may change over time based on current reported processing
times from members. There have historically been cases where a benefit/petition/application processing
briefly slows down or stops and this can not be predicted. Use these dates as reference only and do not
rely on them for planning. As always you should check the USCIS processing times to see if your application
is past due.

** Not all cases are transfered

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