Our Adventures with the Fiancé Visa (2000 – 2002)

Our Adventures with the Fiancé Visa  was a blog I kept (beginning in about the year 2000 and ending in 2002) while my husband and I were going through the fiancé Visa process. I’m Canadian, he is from the US and now we are divorced and I’m back in Canada and he is still in the US. Anyway, I am keeping these old posts – just moved them to a new location. 

Some of these were originally written by my husband, Todd. He wrote his name at the end of the post. I have included them because they were part of the old blog I copied all of this from. Part of the adventure. 

Following is the checklist:

  • Petition sent.
  • Medical Appt.
  • Consulate Interview.
  • We’re married.
  • EAD
  • Advanced Parole
  • Fingerprinting

The following are from the CanAm Couples Club where Todd and I have found great advice and support for our adventure.

Note: The CanAm Couples Club was part of Yahoo Groups. I can’t find it (at least not still active) so I am not giving the link. 

This list of posts is in reverse order. Start from the bottom if you want to read them chronologically. 

The End

Fingerprinting in St Louis

Got the Parole

Got the EAD in Chicago

Chicago INS Office

Re: Needing Patience

Hello CanAm Club

EAD OS?

Seasons Greetings!

Crossed the Border

THE Interview

Re: Leaving for THE interview on Tuesday

Leaving for THE interview on Tuesday

Night Before Rant Part 2

Yet Another Moment of Panic

December 6th, 2000!

Wait for Interview

Between Checklist and Interview

Re: Medical Experience

First NOA Received

Return Receipt Returned!

We’re off and running!

SheDragon in Toronto

ADIT pics

Reading (even skimming it) has made me feel sad. I can still clearly remember all the emotions that went along with this adventure in my life. It didn’t end the way I thought it would, the way I wanted it to or expected. But, I’m still going, having adventures and finding new things to learn and do. 

The End

The End
5/20/02

It’s been awhile since I updated this page. There’s not going to be any happy ending to the story for those that like to read ‘Once upon a time’ type things. Todd decided he wants a divorce and since you can’t really have a marriage by yourself I agreed.

Anyway, as far as I know we have heard nothing from the INS about our final (greencard) interview. I’m not staying in the US, I want to go home. I need to start my life all over again, move all over again and figure out a lot of personal stuff. My family are angry about the whole situation. Sometimes I’m angry, most of the time I guess I’m just depressed, sort of empty and drained.

Good luck to the other Canadians going through this. I was going to just take my page down but it might be good for everyone to know it’s not a fairy tale at the end of the rainbow. You might just step into a pile of something you need to scrape off your shoe.

Read more of these old posts – Our Adventures with the Fiancé Visa (2000 – 2002)

Fingerprinting in St Louis

Fingerprinting in St Louis
9/25/01 6:50 pm

Todd and I went to St Louis for the fingerprinting this past Wednesday. It was a lot of travel for me because I just got back from visiting my family in Toronto on Monday afternoon. I’ve certainly had enough road trips for awhile. Well, maybe for a couple of weeks. 😉

Fingerprinting was no problem. It took us longer to actually find the right building than it did to be fingerprinted. It was all done on a computer screen. No messy ink on my fingers. We stayed a few days in St Louis. Todd had the week off. It was great to be swimming each day and have little trips around town. We saw the Science Centre but were too tired of all the walking to make it to the Historical Museum as well. Next trip for that.

It sounds like we should be able to get our file transfered to the St Louis office instead of Chicago. A difference of 4 hours driving each way.

Anyway, thats all the INS news. I’m studying Lotus Notes now. It pays much better than freelance writing or any clerical work. Tomorrow I’m going to the local mall to apply at stores.

Read more of these old posts – Our Adventures with the Fiancé Visa (2000 – 2002)

Got the Parole

Got the Parole
8/22/01 2:29 am

I’m in my parents home typing this, obviously I got the parole. It was a journey of many steps though.

First of all, I had a money order for $100 and they would not accept it. The fee was $95 (not according to the website) and luckily they would take a personal cheque. On the website it also says they will not take cash or cheques. The website is an ornamental decoration, pretty much ignore it.

Next, I needed more papers than I had been prepared for. If you have something which shows your reason for going back to Canada bring it along. It wasn’t a problem not having anything but its something they ask for on the form you fill out when you had over the money. I wrote a note (luckily I had a notebook to rip a page out of) about going for my sister’s wedding.

Next thing, bring quarters for the photocopier or bring photocopies of your green receipt page and your passport with the I94 page. For some reason we had a discrepancy with the dates between the expiration of the k1 visa and the date we got the EAD card. She said it wasn’t a problem but she did check all my dates.

Once you get through all of the line ups and handing over of paperwork you wait for the agent/ clerk (what are they called anyway?) to take your file and review your case. She came back and asked me about something small and I don’t remember what it was now. Nothing dramatic. The oddest and the luckiest thing that happened that day at the INS was that by pure chance and Irish luck I had our wedding certificate with me. I had just impulsively tucked it into my purse to show my Mom when I saw her here. That was what the INS agent wanted to see and take a photocopy of before granting me the parole.

I really had no trouble getting the parole, just frustrations with things not being what we had expected. I was there over 4 hours. My brother waiting down below in the car to finish driving me home to Toronto.

The parole I got is good for a year with multiple re-entries. What I actually have is enough for three as far as I can tell. Maybe multiple means just three or if I want them I can ask for more. Three is likely enough anyway. I plan to be back in the US early in September. I’d like to come back to visit my family in the Spring when the trilliums are blooming. They don’t have any trilliums down here in southern Illinois, Todd has never even heard of them. 🙂

Read more of these old posts – Our Adventures with the Fiancé Visa (2000 – 2002)

Got the EAD in Chicago

Got the EAD in Chicago
6/15/01 11:40 am

Todd and I had a five hour train trip to Chicago to get the EAD. With taxis, hotel and etc we spent at least $300. We left Sunday evening to get there for the 8:30 AM appointment on Monday. This is the first time I’ve had an appointment and wasn’t at all worried about anything. We got to the right building, on Jackson Street, took a cab there. Cabs were in short supply, the one we phoned was going to be half an hour. While outside waiting another one dropped someone off and I snagged it. Even then we were just in time to get there for the doors opening. There was a huge line, two blocks down one street and around the corner. We found out our appointment letter was a get out of line sooner card. The security people came along and asked who has an appointment. Then they told us to go ahead and get in. Went through the security check. In Montreal the checked through my purse and had us empty pockets. There they just xrayed all our bags (purse and overnight bag) and had us walk through the metal detector. No problem. Todd was cautious because he thought the security would be a bit tighter on the day Timothy McVeigh was executed.

Anyway, we took an escalator up to the second floor, ignored the line there and went through the glass doors to an opened room where we handed over our appointment letter and were told to sit and wait. Familiar territory, eh?

I was in the second group called up. The first batch had an 8:00 appointment which didn’t mean much since the building wasn’t open until 8:30. Its just a way of sorting people out once they get inside. I was called up and they said they needed the green letter with the yellow receipt and a drivers license or other photo ID. I didn’t have a drivers license but Todd and I had recently gotten the photo ID for the state. It looks almost the same as the drivers license card. That was fine. I checked my name and address on their paper thing and I signed my name. I still have to think to sign my married name, still have to remember its me when someone calls me by it too.

Next, a fingerprint, smudged and yet another ear picture. I actually asked the woman taking the picture what the deal is with all these ear pictures. She said she didn’t know. But she was rushed as they were pushing everyone through the process pretty quick. I went back to sit with Todd in the waiting area.

They called me up to pick up the card in about 2 minutes. I went up as they were calling up the next batch of people for ID checking. In the instructions of what to bring they had asked for the marriage license and some other things but none were asked for, only the photo ID and green and yellow receipt.

After that we were out of there. Todd wanted to go back to the hotel until our train at 4:00. But I really wanted to get to the bookstore where I hoped Jane was still working. I wasn’t sure she was still there but we went anyway. Walked part way and then got lost and took a cab. Jane was lovely, even bought me a good coffee. Todd laughs about good coffee, he doesn’t understand. 🙂 It was wonderful meeting Jane and chatting about her trip and her INS experiences. Thanks for the coffee Jane. 🙂

Hope this helps someone else. I can’t think of any other details to add. We got back late on Monday night. Todd _loved_ the train trip. I was just glad to see the end of it. lol

Read more of these old posts – Our Adventures with the Fiancé Visa (2000 – 2002)

Chicago INS Office

Chicago INS Office
5/21/01 8:01 pm

Laura got her EAD approval notice today, and we have been given an appointment date for picking it up.

Longtime CanAm members, might remember that it was exactly a year ago this weekend that I mailed our I-129f petition to the Nebraska Service Center.

Todd

Read more of these old posts – Our Adventures with the Fiancé Visa (2000 – 2002)