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butterbandito's US Immigration Timeline

blank avatar   Petitioner's Name: David
Beneficiary's Name: Devin
VJ Member: butterbandito
Country: Canada

Last Updated: 2024-04-24
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Immigration Checklist for David & Devin:

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 : Potomac Service Center
Transferred? No
Consulate : Montreal, Canada
Marriage (if applicable): 2022-02-14
I-130 Sent : 2022-06-16
I-130 NOA1 : 2022-06-23
I-130 RFE :
I-130 RFE Sent :
I-130 Approved : 2023-05-12
NVC Received : 2023-05-16
Received DS-261 / AOS Bill :
Pay AOS Bill : 2023-05-22
Receive I-864 Package :
Send AOS Package : 2024-01-13
Submit DS-261 :
Receive IV Bill :
Pay IV Bill : 2023-05–22
Send IV Package : 2024-01-13
Receive Instruction and Interview appointment letter : 2024-03-07
Case Completed at NVC :
NVC Left :
Consulate Received :
Packet 3 Received :
Packet 3 Sent :
Packet 4 Received : 2024-03-07
Interview Date : 2024-04-19
Interview Result : Approved
Second Interview
(If Required):
Second Interview Result:
Visa Received : 2024-04-23
US Entry :
Comments :
Estimates/Stats :
Your I-130 was approved in 323 days from your NOA1 date.

Your interview took 666 days from your I-130 NOA1 date.

Member Reviews:

Consulate Review: Montreal, Canada
Review Topic: IR-1/CR-1 Visa
Event Description
Review Date : April 20, 2024
Embassy Review : Disclaimer: This is my experience as a young white woman who is a Canadian citizen and who has never travelled anywhere besides the US & Canada. I have no children, and this is mine and my husbands first marriage.

My appointment was April 19th at 9:30 am. I got to embassy at 9:10ish, you have to wait outside. A security guard came outside with a list and asked me when my appointment was. I told him 9:30 and he brought me inside to the lobby. He took my passport and marked my name off of a list. He then led me through to where they do the security check and gave the passport to the person there.

For the security check, I had to take off my jacket, turn my phone off, remove my keys from by bag and put everything in a bin to go through the x-ray. I had a small fanny pack/ cross body bag. I had jewelery on (rings, necklace, bracelets) and I didn’t have to take them off. They only wanted to know if I was wearing a watch.

There are small lockers off to the side, they had me put my phone and keys into the locker and then I took the key to the locker with me.

They gave me my passport back, which now had a sticker on the back with my case #, name, appointment time, and a mention of Purolator (I had paid for the premium delivery to my house). There were also two slips of paper inside which had the same number on it.

Then I got on the elevator to go to the second floor. It looked like a Service Ontario/ DMV. There are multiple little kiosks that are numbered with tv screens above them that have the number that is on the slip of paper. Lots of chairs, two bathrooms and two water fountains.

There is a tv screen that shows what number is being serviced at which kiosk. The kiosks are in an L shape. The ones to the right are where you supply your documents. The ones to the left are where the interviews are done and it’s a little more private. You can’t see the screens for the kiosks to the left, but you can still see the info on the main tv screen and they will also announce the numbers for these kiosks. Everytime a new number is being serviced they play a loud dinging noise. It was funny, but everytime that ding went off everyone flinched and looked up at the screen (including me).

As a note, there were sometimes people missed that their number was on the screen. One person sat there for like 15 minutes before realizing their number was on the screen. They don’t take the number off and just waited until the person finally came up. They made multiple announcements too and I never saw anyone’s number dissapear. They give you what seems like unlimited time to go to the kiosk so there isn’t a risk of missing your slot if you’re in the bathroom or something.

I got upstairs at around 9:20 probably, and was out of the embassy at 11:10. I waited for the document collection for probably about 45 minutes. The woman who was working at the kiosk I was assigned to was so nice and friendly and explained everything that she was doing in a lot of detail.

First she took my passport and one of the little slips of paper with my number. Then wanted to confirm all my information. She said the name of my husband and asked who he was to me. Then she wanted to confirm my Canadian address, my phone number (which had an error) and my intended US address (which also had an error). I was able to get her to correct these. I am not sure why these errors were there, they were as simple as a “4” meaning to be a “9” and a “7” meaning to be a “1". I do not know on what form they got this info off of (I have filled out so many forms!), I was pretty sure they were all typed but maybe they were off of a written form that was a little inelligable or something.

Second she wanted my passport photo and to take fingerprints. They use a little digital fingerprint scan. You put your left hand in first with 4 fingers, then your right hand with 4 fingers then your thumbs at the same time. She went to scan my photo.

Third she wanted my documents. She asked for birth certificate (this is the long form blue one that is made of the same material as Canadian money. I also had the other long form one that is filled out by your parents and the small blue one and these were not needed), marriage certificate and police certficate. Please note, these are all the originals. I had copies but they just wanted original documents.

My medical exame results were sent by the doctor directly to the embassy. I had my appointment on April 3rd with Dr. Randall Lee in Scarborough, and they sent the documents to the embassy on April 10th. They said they would be in contact with me to tell me they sent them but they weren’t. I had to call the office to confirm that they sent them, no big deal but something else that should be checked.

When I had originally uploaded the I-864 to the visa website, my husband's taxes for 2022 did not meet the requirements (he was in school). They did documentary processing but just had a note when they emailed me that I would have to bring more financial documents in to prove his income. His taxes for 2023 were well over the requirements, so I got him to fill out the I864 again, included his 2023 tax return, letter of employment stating income, and pay stubs. I also got his parents to fill out the I-864 as joint sponsors just in case. All she asked was if 2022 was his most recent tax return, I told her I had the one for 2023. All she wanted was the 2023 tax return and nothing else.

That was all she needed, she returned the picture but kept everything else. This whole process took probably 10 mins.

I then waited another 45ish minutes and then my number was called to go over to the left side kiosks for the interview. My interviewer was super nice and friendly as well. He asked if I wanted to conduct the interview in English or French.

I’m a little fuzzy on this part and I was so keyed up but this is what I remember. It was very calm, not scary and pretty conversational. He asked me to raise my right hand to swear that I was telling the truth and then got me to do my fingerprints again, but he only got my fingers not thumbs (don’t know why). Here are the questions I remember, I tried to get them in the right order:
1. How and when did you meet?
2. What made your relationship grow from casual talking to dating?
3. When did you meet in real life? Did you got the US or did he come to Canada?
4. How frequently do you see eachother?
5. What was your longest stay?
6. Have you travelled anywhere besides the US in 5 years?
7. Have you been physically present in any country besided the US or Canada in the past 5 years? Question is the same as above - don’t know why it was asked twice or worded differently.
8. What does your husband do for a living? He also asked if he had got a raise recently based on the fact that his income from 2022 to 2023 had changed so darastically. I explained about how he was in school before but is working now, no issues.
9. Do you or your husband have any previous marriages/ divorces or any children with each other or anyone else?
Last question was a tricky one that needs some background info:
When I saw my husband last (April 2022), we drove over the border to Canada together and my husband was denied entry due to a DUI from 2013. We were turned right back around and because we were married, I had my car, we were just married (Feb 2022) but didn’t have a pending visa application yet, it was determined that I didn’t have strong enough ties to Canada and was asked to withdraw my application for entry and was given a sheet of paper that had a list of things I would have to present to prove ties to Canada if I wanted to cross the border again. I had to leave my husband there with no car and he had to walk to the visitors centre to call an uber (very traumatic experience - story for another day). I was nervous about this experience because while I knew it didn’t constitute being “denied entry” it was still an issue that I felt could negatively effect my visa. I was so scared about it I never reattempted entry. There must have been a vague note about this on my file, because he said “Okay, now for a kind of heavy question - which I don’t think is a problem - but can you let me know what happened at the border in April 2022?” I explained everything above and gave him the piece of paper given to me at the border. Once he saw the paper and got my explanation he totally understood the situation and acted like it was no big deal.

Right after he said “Okay I am going to say something to make you happy now. I am going to approve your visa either today or early next week.” He gave me a fist bump through the glass and a tissue and said “You can go cry now.” because I had some happy tears. He also gave me a sheet of paper that has instructions on how to check your visa status and the tracking information for when they return the passport. You check your status on the same website/ login that you used to register your appointment and pay for the shipping to get your passport back.

He returned my documents (except for passport and the police certificate - I think he may have kept the police certificate by mistake but I’m not sure).

The whole interview process probably took about 10 minutes. A lot of this time was him entering information into his computer too. We probably only spoke for 5 minutes.

I checked my status 7pm the same night and it showed the visa was issued.

I wrote this very detailed review because I hope it will help someone else who is nervous or scared. I was extremely nervous about this interview, and the reviews that other people wrote on here were so helpful and calmed me down a lot. Everyone that I interacted with or overheard working there were very nice, polite, friendly and patient. They weren’t scary or mean like some border security guards can be, which is what I was afraid of.

I had every single document I ever submitted for the original CR1 and the DS260. I also had the interview letter and the DS260 confirmation page that has the barcode at the bottom that they say you need to show when you get there. They didn’t ask for any of these.

The only documents I needed to show were:
1. Passport
2. Birth certificate
3. Police certificate
4. Marriage certificate
5. Passport photo
6. 2023 tax return for spouse

Looking back, I would still bring all the same documents in my huge binder. You never know what they might need or ask for, better to be safe than sorry.
Rating : Very 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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