ADW & JOP's US Immigration Timeline

  Petitioner's Name: JOP
Beneficiary's Name: ADW
VJ Member: ADW & JOP
Country: Canada

Last Updated: 2020-03-31
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Immigration Checklist for JOP & ADW:

USCIS 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 : Texas Service Center
Transferred? No
Consulate : Montreal, Canada
Marriage (if applicable): 2018-11-02
I-130 Sent : 2018-12-05
I-130 NOA1 : 2018-12-07
I-130 RFE :
I-130 RFE Sent :
I-130 Approved : 2019-07-17
NVC Received : 2019-08-02
Received DS-261 / AOS Bill : 2019-08-23
Pay AOS Bill : 2019-08-23
Receive I-864 Package :
Send AOS Package : 2019-09-03
Submit DS-261 :
Receive IV Bill : 2019-08-23
Pay IV Bill : 2019-08-23
Send IV Package : 2019-09-03
Receive Instruction and Interview appointment letter :
Case Completed at NVC : 2019-10-16
NVC Left :
Consulate Received : 2020-02-11
Packet 3 Received :
Packet 3 Sent :
Packet 4 Received : 2020-02-11
Interview Date : 2020-03-13
Interview Result : Approved
Second Interview
(If Required):
Second Interview Result:
Visa Received : 2020-03-20
US Entry : 2020-03-20
Comments : I met my now-wife in September 2016. We married on November 2, 2018, and decided to go with a lawyer to minimize our workload. We sent our I-130 application on December 5, and our priority date is December 7, 2018.

Our application was forwarded to the Texas Service Centre, and we waited patiently as our USCIS and VJ estimates continued to extend. By mid-July, I finally convinced myself to stop stressing over the application, only to receive our attorney's email on July 22 that our case was approved. The NOA2 came by mail on July 23, and our notice was dated July 17. A few days later, CaseTracker notified me that our application was sent to the NVC on July 25. Our lawyer asked us to start collecting financial and civil documentation for the NVC stage.

I waited until August 9 before calling the NVC. I called a few times over 10 minutes before receiving a different automated message that allowed me to proceed to wait 45 minutes to speak with an agent. The agent told me that the NVC received our case on August 2 and to expect a maximum 8-week wait before receiving a case number and the AOS/bills. He could not provide me an estimate.

On August 23, we received an email with an assigned case number. Using the Julian Calendar, the case number was created on August 22. We logged on the same day we received the case number, and our lawyer paid the AOS and IV bills on the same day, August 23.

The payments cleared on August 27 and the AOS and the DS260 forms were made available to us. Unfortunately, it was just before the Labour Day long weekend, so our lawyer did not submit the forms and the documents until September 3. The delay gave me ample time to fill out and review the DS260. I found the DS260 somewhat cumbersome to fill out, often timing out in the middle of my entries and requiring a lot of detail, so I made use of the 1-week delay.

We received a message from NVC on Oct 16, 2019 that all required applicant documents have been received and approved and they will work with the consulate general in Montreal to schedule an interview appointment for me.

We received a message from NVC on Feb 11, 2020 that NVC completed its processing of my immigrant visa application and forwarded it to the US Consulate General in Montreal. My interview was scheduled for Mar 13, 2020.

Upon receiving this message, I scheduled my medical appointment with Dr. Ian Zatzman and completed my medical on Feb 19, 2020. I have updated my experience at the medical in this thread:

https://www.visajourney.com/forums/topic/732610-medical-with-dr-zatzman/?tab=comments#comment-10045936

I received a phone call from Dr. Zatzman's office on Feb 26, 2020 that my medical report is available for pick-up (7 days after my medical last week).

I attended my CR1 visa interview in Montreal on March 13. For full review, please see https://www.visajourney.com/reviews/view-dos-cis-reviews.php?entry=28206

I crossed POE at Lewiston-Queenston Bridge on March 20. For full review, please see https://www.visajourney.com/reviews/view-poe-reviews.php?entry=17098

I finally arrived in San Diego on March 30. As above, I crossed POE on March 20, but returned to Canada to complete some previously planned work engagements before making my final move and received my SSN on March 31, 2020.
Processing
Estimates/Stats :
Your I-130 was approved in 222 days from your NOA1 date.

Your interview took 462 days from your I-130 NOA1 date.


Port of Entry Review
Event Date
Port of Entry : CDN-USA Border
POE Date : 2020-03-20
Got EAD Stamp :
Biometrics Taken :
Harassment Level : 0
Comments : https://www.visajourney.com/reviews/view-poe-reviews.php?entry=17098


Member Reviews:

Consulate Review: Montreal, Canada
Review Topic: IR-1/CR-1 Visa
Event Description
Review Date : March 20, 2020
Embassy Review : Consular Interview in Montreal, Canada

I arrived in Montreal the day prior. It started off a little bumpy, as there was some mechanical issue with the first Westjet plane at Toronto Pearson Airport so we had to disembark and board another flight to Montreal.

I took an Uber from Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport to my hotel at Residence Inn by Marriott (cost about $33 CAD). I chose this hotel because it was a 3-minute walk away from the US Consulate General. I also had “gold” membership status (thanks to my American Express which I obtained for immigration purposes) and received a free upgrade and a late check-out at 2 pm.

I arrived at my interview at 0915. My appointment time was 0930. As expected, I was turned away by the security guard. They would not allow me to wait out the time in the hallway because of the RBC security guard so I went over to Second Cup to pass the time because it was raining. I returned at around 0928 and was allowed in. By this point, I was 5th in line. I passed my passport to one of the security guards and the provided me with two tickets and my passport back with a sticker in the back. The security guards were actually quite strict, asking one attendee why she needed to have 5 earphones on her. There was an elderly couple in front of me who didn’t understand their instructions and the security guard was not too pleased. I was on my best behavior so I had no issues going through. I had also left most of my belongs and electronics in a safe in the hotel.

I followed the instructions to the 1st floor where there was a medium-size waiting room. The interview windows were in a L-shape. Windows 1-5 one side, windows 6-11 on another. Windows 12 was reserved for US citizens.

I waited until 0950 when my number was called up. They asked for 1 of the my 2 tickets. They also asked for my passport, passport photo x 1, original birth certificate, marriage certificate, divorce certificate. I also provided them with two police certificates (the first one was ripped at the top, and they requested a photocopy of the new police certificate as well). They asked if my spouse updated our i-864 and we had because I moved to a different address, and they took the original copy of the updated i-864. The officer noted she had a copy of our tax transcript from 2018 and asked if we filed our 2019 taxes. I told the officer no but I had my spouses’ 2019 W2s. The officer asked for a copy (not original) and took a quick look at the W2. I suspect the officer looked at my spouse’s wage as she stated “that’s enough”. The officer then took my fingerprints.

I was given the domestic violence pamphlet and told to sit back down in the waiting room to wait for my interview. I sat there from 0955 to about 1110. I note there was about 10 interviewees ahead of me before I was called up. My interview went by really fast, probably the fastest of the people ahead of me. I estimate it took less than 2-3 minutes. I started the interview by asking the officer to confirm my name on file because the NVC interview letter repeated my middle names and the officer confirmed it. The officer asked if I had any questions regarding the domestic violence pamphlet and told me that he reviewed my file already and made me take an oath of honesty and made me e-sign with my fingerprints. The officer then asked me to produce my spouse’s name, city/state, and whether I have travelled outside the United States or Canada recently. I told the officer I traveled to a country that was not at high-risk of COVID-19 in November 2019 and the officer was fine with that. The officer explained that there are a lot of travel restrictions and to simplify matters, he recommended not to travel to any of the countries affected by the travel restrictions. I explained I had no intentions to travel anywhere non-essential given the current situation with COVID-19.

The officer told me my visa was approved and that it will be printed out and mailed to my designated address. I should expect it back before 2-3 weeks. I was not required to produce the DS-5540 or my healthcare insurance letter.

I left the consulate at around 1115 and returned to my hotel room. I received a call from the interviewing officer explaining that my fingerprints did not register so I returned to the consulate at 1130. The security guards were informed that I would be returning and I was told to go back to the same window where I gave my fingerprints again. This time I was assured it went through before leaving at 1135.

Overall, my interview went well. I have been quite happy with the hotel where I plan to stay before my departure flight.

Good luck with everyone who is still undergoing the process.

Interview: Friday, March 13, 2020
Issued AP: Monday, March 16, 2020
Issued - Shipping in 5 days: Tuesday, March 17, 2020
Shipped: Wednesday, March 18, 2020
Tracking information from Canada Post: Thursday, March 19, 2020
Passport in hand: Friday, March 20, 2020
Rating : Very Good


POE Review: CDN-USA Border
Event Description
Entry Date : 2020-03-20
Embassy Review : I will start by saying that this was a unique situation. Today, Canada and US agreed to close the border as of March 21, 2020.
I obtained my CR1 visa on March 20, 2020. I had planned to enter my POE at Toronto Pearson Airport en route to San Diego on March 30, 2020 (delay due to work-related). However, with the uncertainty of the border closure, I decided it was best to activate my CR1 visa and become a permanent resident before flying to San Diego.

I drove from Toronto to Lewiston-Queenston Bridge. With the Provincial Emergency declaration, there was minimal traffic to the border (probably, 1h20 minutes each way). When I arrived at the bridge, there was only one lane open and it was eerily quiet. I explained that I wanted to enter using my CR1 visa and the CBP officer at the booth took my passport, asked me to lower my back windows and took a quick glance, and asked me to park on the left-side where I was directed into the CBP office where I was the only other person there.

Approximately 10 minutes later, I was called up to speak to a very nice officer. He asked me to verify my spouse's name, my intended address and explained some information to me (including my tax obligations, to always carry my green card, etc.) and he stamped my passport and welcomed me to the United States.

Overall, I had a great experience. It was expeditious but mostly because of the unprecedented situation.

(updated on March 20, 2020)
Harassment Level : Low


Timeline Comments: 4

blank avatar Shammykay on 2019-08-23 said:
Thanks for updating. Our NOA2 is one day after yours, so we should be tracking very similar. I will try and keep up with the updates too even as we get to the Montreal interview stage. Good luck!
blank avatar Hawk Riders on 2019-11-17 said:
...hadn't realized how similar our NVC timelines were... too bad we had the wrong police cert and failed DQ initially :/
blank avatar G&Ms on 2020-04-01 said:
Congrats such a thorough timeline thank you for taking the time to map this out in such detail for all of us to understand your experience. Best of luck San Diego is beautiful
Flowergirl 737 on 2020-05-15 said:
Congratulations thanks for sharing your experience with us !
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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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