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trailmix's US Immigration Timeline

  Petitioner's Name: Maureen
Beneficiary's Name: Mike
VJ Member: trailmix
Country: Canada

Last Updated: 2008-09-13
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Immigration Checklist for Maureen & Mike:

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 : California Service Center
Transferred? No
Consulate : Montreal, Canada
Marriage (if applicable):
I-130 Sent : 2007-03-08
I-130 NOA1 : 2007-03-17
I-130 RFE :
I-130 RFE Sent :
I-130 Approved : 2007-06-05
NVC Received : 2007-06-20
Received DS-261 / AOS Bill : 2007-07-03
Pay AOS Bill : 2007-07-05
Receive I-864 Package : 2007-08-01
Send AOS Package : 2007-08-02
Submit DS-261 : 2007-07-03
Receive IV Bill : 2007-08-02
Pay IV Bill : 2007-08-02
Send IV Package :
Receive Instruction and Interview appointment letter :
Case Completed at NVC : 2007-11-30
NVC Left : 2007-12-20
Consulate Received :
Packet 3 Received :
Packet 3 Sent :
Packet 4 Received :
Interview Date : 2008-02-19
Interview Result :
Second Interview
(If Required):
Second Interview Result:
Visa Received : 2008-02-19
US Entry : 2008-04-04
Comments : Comments
Estimates/Stats :
Your I-130 was approved in 80 days from your NOA1 date.

Your interview took 339 days from your I-130 NOA1 date.

Member Reviews:

Consulate Review: Montreal, Canada
Review Topic: IR-1/CR-1 Visa
Event Description
Review Date : February 20, 2008
Embassy Review :

So I suggested to my Husband that he write the review, since he was actually there! The only thing I wanted to add was we knew that his passport needed to be valid for 6 months at the time of his interview - when we looked at the expiry date back last year, July 2008 seemed more than sufficient - yeah.

When we were going over all the papers on Saturday or Sunday, we realized that it was only valid for 5 more months - but what are you going to do on the Sunday before the Tuesday interview? Also, we threw in the 2004, 2005 tax returns at the same time, figuring it couldn't hurt to have them, wasn't originally going to include them. It's a good thing we did - while our I-864 is sufficient in terms of assets, I believe they wanted to see the additional 2 years of tax returns just to say hey, the U.S. citizen can in fact do work that will create income (since I'm not working).

Anyway, here is his review, enjoy!

Well then, howdy vj folks. My wife decided I should write the review of the whole interview process thingy for a different take on it all but really it will be my words with her level of detail - well not quite since it still requires using my memory/brain and 2 days of solid walking around Montreal has kind of killed that. But suffice to say if it was my review it would go something like the following:

1. Got to embassy
2. went upstairs
3. talked to some folks about moving
4. went back to the hotel

So in the interest of actually being useful I will try and flesh it out a bit so here goes nothing.

5 oclock woke up after not even close to the required amount of sleep - grabbed all the crap I had sitting on the desk that I had got ready the night before and at 6:15ish started off to the embassy/consulate thingy.

6:20 decided it was really too miserable to be walking around in just a leather jacket.
simultaneously decided if i was to go back to the hotel there was a good chance i wouldnt be able to walk back down the stairs again so figured I should trudge on.

6:40ish made it to the embassy (or is it a consulate? who cares - from hereafter referred to as the embassy). It was snowing, it was windy and I had lost all feeling to any of my facial protuberances. (well that sounded s-m-r-t now didn't it) No one else was there and as I had been forced - I mean it was suggested that I read previous interview reviews I was vaguely aware that the doors didn't open for another 30 mins. I had seen a number of people with Tim Hortons cups so decided in the interest of keeping said facial protuberances wandered back up the road where I found the mecca of warmth. Bought myself a coffee and headed back to the embassy (or was..nvm)

6:50ish made it back to the embassy. I was still first in line - not that I cared at this point - I just wanted them to let me in out of the damn cold. Around 6:55 a car pulled up and asked when the doors open - feeling knowledgable in these things I said in an authoritative voice - I dunno - think it may be around 7:15? *shrug*. Shortly after a couple more people showed up and I gave the same knowledgable response.

7:20 - still standing outside the doors avoiding glances that probably said "and to think I trusted you!" but I didn't know because I was avoiding them - maybe it was just in my head - hour and a half in subzero temperatures in a leather coat can do this to you.

7:25 there was motion! they opened the doors and asked us to form a line on the other side of the doorway where I was standing. That would be a line forming on the left hand side of the doors. Feeling empowered for not being too wrong I just eased my way into the front of the line on the other side - Hey I had been waiting longer than anyone else anyway! The guard guy gave me a little plastic tag saying "A window #9" then was beckoned by another guard up to the security checkpoint.

After removing absolutely everything out of pockets and dumping it all into the tray - taking off jacket and belt etc etc went through where they had to check my wallet because apparently I had too many coins in it for their liking. The guy told me to go downstairs and wait there. After putting stuff back into pockets and throwing on the jacket the guard behind a desk advised me to hurry up because they needed that space. Feeling subdued I decided I wouldn't tell him I was still wanting to put on my belt but instead gave a sheepish nod, grabbed my jeans in one hand and wandered downstairs to finish getting dressed. I mean really.

Anyway, after taking a seat in the front row with a direct path to the elevator the guard came down and told us that at 7:45 someone would come to take us upstairs. As told, the same guard then came back into the room and told us that A through D were to follow him. I stood up and eyed the elevator door and just as I was about to head off the guard looked in my general direction and said in a not at all friendly voice "What do you think you are doing?" gulp. Following his gaze I realized that he was actually talking to the person behind me who had stood up. Apparently his surname started with a C so thought the guard was referring to him. It is interesting to note that not everyone gets one of those tags. I turned around and showed him the tag I had which gave him more of an idea of what the guard was talking about. By this time of course everyone else had made it to the elevator in front of me.

Nevermind that - I knew the doors opened from the other side! Of course that would have meant hurdling the baby in a stroller but hey - I was getting there first damnit! The guard then informed everyone on the way up to the 19th floor that yes the doors did in fact open from the other side which ruined any chance of passing anyone. So the doors open everyone filed out in a less athletic manner and made their way to the mini waiting room outside windows 9-12.

We were then asked to hand in our interview letter and passport which we did and then move out into the main waiting room outside the elevators. I keenly noticed two sections one marked US citizen services and one marked Immigration Visas. While everyone else went and sat in the US citizen services section (it was a little closer) I obediently went to the immigration section. I figured that if someone looked maybe I would score some brownie points (hey everything could help!)

About 10 mins later I was called up to window 12 (yes they call by the tags so hurdling the baby wouldn't have actually helped). There I was asked to double check the spelling and address that was on the application and to hand over the medical minus the xrays. The lady asked when my wife was planning on moving back to the states and I very helpfully answered - the same time as me. To which she said - okay, well when will that be? We chuckled and I advised sometime in March. At least she saw the humour in it which I took as a good sign. I then went back to the waiting room.

After the other 3 were called by other people I was called back to window 10 this time. The same woman had just changed windows and now wanted me to do fingerprint scans and to sign something or other. Then it was back to the waiting room.

At around 8:50ish I was called to room #8 - the closet. I walked in and chatted to the guy there. He asked for my passport photos and advised we would have to talk about more paperwork in a little bit which I took for "we are not going to approve you today so steel yourself". He asked about my wife's work and where I was planning on working, asked about assets we had in Canada. He then started to tell me about 1040's and having to file back taxes for my wife when I helpfully chirped up that I had the transcripts with me. He took a copy and seemed to be a little more chipper (he was very friendly throughout the whole process let it be said).

After this he took a second look at my passport and asked how long it would take to get it renewed (it expires in July) when I mentioned that it takes a couple of weeks he thought about it and moved on to looking at paperwork.

At this point I saw what seemed to be a summary sheet that he was referring to - he then grabbed said sheet - marked "OK" and signed two places where it said "NO" (note from trailmix: this is the sheet, checklist-like - that the interviewer is referring to - apparently they had marked No next to expiry date for passport and financial information - I think if my Husband hadn't had the 2004 and 2005 tax transcripts that the visa would have been delayed until we submitted them) and told me that the only thing left to say is "good luck with the move I am going to approve you for a limited visa that will last until your passport expires". He told me how everything was going to be mailed back to me etc - it was all kind of a blur at that point and I headed back out into the cold.

I am sure there are many details I have left out but I will leave that stuff up to my wife to fill in - she can vouch that I am not very good with details. Anyway - hope this fulfills some kind of need / curiosity that some of you may have about the process.

**Trailmix note: The interviewer also mentioned that if my Husband was going to be in Montreal on Wednesday he could pick up his passport/visa in person. As he wasn't going to be, the guy mentioned that it would be printed yesterday or today and definately would be sent out today.
Rating : Good

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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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