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jlb734

Hey, I read your intro post below. How the visa process is coming along for you? My FI is British and we considered it, but decided against....

Re: jlb734

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    jlb734jlb734 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Hi!

    The whole process is more an exercise in patience than anything else.  We're fairly early into our process, but it's been smooth so far.  Basically it starts with a massive packet of forms and information proving that you actually do know each other, have a legit relationship, and do intend to get married.

    I, being the US citizen, had to submit the initial paperwork and $455 fee (crazy!) to our service center in VT (your service center varies based on the state you live in--PA submits to VT)--we'll soon get our 1st Notice of Action (NOA) when the paperwork enters the queue for processing.  Eventually, they'll send a NOA2, which means we're approved.  The VT processing center averages 5mo. from NOA1 to NOA2 right now, which means the waiting game is just beginning for us.

    Once the initial paperwork is processed, FI will have to get a medical exam done, and go to the Embassy in Montreal, Quebec for an interview.  Once the interview takes place, he'll be issued the K-1 visa!  The visa is valid for 6mo, but once he enters the US, we have to be legally married within 90 days.

    The whole process supposedly can take 9mo. start to finish, because it can take 4 months to get a date for an interview in Montreal.  All of the wait times vary based on where your FI is immigrating from.

    Of course, all of this makes trying to plan a wedding extremely difficult, because we won't be able to set a date at least until he has an interview date set!  It's going to be a very trying year or so for both of us, but in the end, it'll all be worth it.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    edited December 2011
    The 90-day thing is the reason why we decided against that route. We have people coming from abroad spending +2K on plane tickets and needing time to get visas. That just didn't make sense in our case

    We also thought about doing the K3 but we don't believe in living apart on our first year...

    Yeah, patience takes a  whole new meaning with immigration. Hope all works out for you.
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    jlb734jlb734 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Thanks!!

    Yeah, we're finding a whole new meaning for the word 'patient'.

    We're actually planning on setting a date and booking a place when he gets his interview date--they issue the visa either right then and there, or send it in the mail within 10 days.  So if they schedule him an interview date 4 months down the road, that'll give us those 4 months, plus the 3 months after he enters the US to plan a wedding!

    It's going to be quite the journey, but a whole lot of fun and soooo worth it in the end.

    How did you guys end up deciding to handle it?
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    edited December 2011
    I am moving to London (and I am freaking out) and after a while we will do the marriage visa to come back in 2 or 3 years (when we start having kids)

    It's a bit of a dilemma because I want to give birth (when the time comes) here in the US since my siblings/church/friends/support system are here but the long maternity leave in Europe is pretty appealing. LOL! So we will see when the time comes.

    It's ok because I still have my European citizenship (Belgium) so no problems with work permits 

    Now if I could only find a job in the next 2 months.

    That's nice that you can plan things in 4 months. So around what time do you think he will have the interview? (I didn't know they schedule appointments that far in the future- 4 months out)
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    jlb734jlb734 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    It really really depends on the Embassy.  He lives near Toronto, so his nearest Embassy is in Montreal.  They usually are backed up by at least 4 months, sometimes as much as 6.  A lot of locations have shorter waits for interviews.  He proposed almost 2 weeks ago, and we immediately put together the first round of paperwork, which I mailed on April 1st.

    Currently, the processing center I had to go through runs at about 5 months for processing.  At that point, the approved application goes to the National Visa Center for more processing, but that part's pretty quick--about 2 weeks.  Then they forward it to Montreal, who contacts FI with more paperwork and arranges an interview date, which will be 4-6 months from then.

    All said and done, if everybody sticks with their average processing times, he should be contacted sometime in early September, for an interview date in December/January.  He'll get the visa very quickly after that, and is planning to move here within a few weeks--which will give us until approximately April 2011 to be married, within the 90 day window.

    I guess when you think about it like that, setting a date in September for a wedding in April isn't as bad as I initially thought--and a good chunk of planning/brainstorming can be done ahead of when we set the date!

    When we had initially decided that we wanted to be together permanently, we looked into the pros and cons of me moving there vs. him moving here--believe it or not, it's actually even more difficult to bring a fiancee into Canada!

    That's got to be a super exciting thing to be moving to London, and a ton to think about and plan for!  Does he have family in Europe that is coming over for the wedding?
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    edited December 2011
    Yeah, each country's immigration has its up and down. I know Canada is stricter because of all the benefits people get such as almost free daycare, health care, etc... His brother got married in Canada last year and it took months for their mom to get the visa. She even had to do all kinds of medical tests) For our wedding, I filed for her and in 3 weeks she had the visa (my grand ma didn't though :( and I am trying to appeal...

    He has 2 brothers and their families in Germany, another one and his family in France and 2 cousins in Italy. Some other siblings are in South Africa, Cameroon, Australia. And besides most of my siblings here in the States, my family is just as dispersed.

    You won't imagine the headaches I am getting over the visas right now. Almost there though!.

    As for you, you seem to have stuffs figured out, which is good! And you are right, setting a date in September for an April wedding is not bad in your case. There are few things you can do ahead of time...

    Are you using a lawyer or are you guys going through the procedures on your own?
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    jlb734jlb734 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Wow, that's quite a spread of people all over the place--an international mountain of paperwork to get visas for everybody.  And to think I thought getting FI's grandparents to get passports to come from Toronto for the wedding was going to be hard!

    And we are doing all of the visa paperwork for him on our own--it's a very straightforward case and process, just a lot of waiting.  The only issue is that it may be difficult for either of us to cross the border for visits between now and then--when the border officers scan passports and see a pending fiance visa case, they get all skeptical about whether or not the person has intentions of staying illegally.  Seems silly to me, but apparently some have issues crossing.  We're just crossing our fingers for quick processing times!
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    edited December 2011
    Same for us. But you should be able to go see him without a problem. At least that's what I do

    My Fi and I see each other about once a month. We used to have me go twice and him come once but that's changing now because the US immigration has started to fuss everytime he comes (he is using the visa waiver program) and ask him to "get a visa" and you know they don't give tourists visa to people in the visa waiver program areas. They gave him so much grief during the Christmas Holidays saying he was coming way to often for a visitor and almost didn't let him in. He hasn't been here since December/Ianuary because we didn't want to take chances for the wedding.... So I go...

    So we are ready for the trip in May. Technically, if they give him a hard time at immigration at the airport, he just have to prove that he is not coming to stay (letter from his job, morgage/house papers, my work employement there if i get a job or proof that I am actively looking for work there, bills in both our names there, etc)

    So much headaches...

    I hope yours get sorted out very quickly!
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