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US citizen to Canada (marriage visa app) : ??'s ab timeline, where to apply, etc

dakoda

Newbie
Jan 28, 2014
6
0
Hi there. I have been dating my Canadian boyfriend for a year and a half and we are researching our options for moving to Canada. We want to get married a little later this year.

My questions are :

1.) How long does it take for the whole process to be complete after the application has been submitted? I know online it says 35 days for the first approval, and then 6-12 months for approval (if applying out-land). Can anyone give me their personal experience of whether this is accurate or not for a US citizen who is marrying a Canadian? Is it faster or slower?

2.) If I am living in the US, does it matter if we get married in Canada or in the US? Is one better than the other?

3.) I know you can apply Inland or Outland - do I have the option to chose which one? If so, which one is better and faster?

I'm trying to get all my research done so we can do this efficiently and fast! Seems like there are a lot of hoops to jump through. Any help you have is appreciated.
 

keesio

VIP Member
May 16, 2012
4,805
382
Toronto, Ontario
Category........
Visa Office......
CPP-O
Job Offer........
Pre-Assessed..
App. Filed.......
09-01-2013
Doc's Request.
09-07-2013
AOR Received.
30-01-2013
File Transfer...
11-02-2013
Med's Done....
02-01-2013
Interview........
waived
Passport Req..
12-07-2013
VISA ISSUED...
15-08-2013
LANDED..........
14-10-2013
It is strongly recommend you do OUTLAND. Average time seems to be 8-10 months these days if you submit a proper application for Americans going through Ottawa visa office. And you can still visit your husband in Canada during the sponsorship process.

It doesn't matter if you get married in the US or Canada

I sponsored my wife from the US. Got married in NY and then sponsored her outland. Took about 7 months for her to get her landing paper (COPR). The timelines seems to have lengthened a bit but still pretty reasonable.
 

rice-racer

Star Member
Aug 15, 2012
91
0
Similar, just sponsored my wife and her teen daughter from US, outland application.
We got married in Canada, July 2012. They continued living in US, sponsorship docs arrived at Immigration Mississauga Dec 30/2012.
Once married, it took time to get papers in order, FBI check, Medicals for both, then sent in December.
Without any missing documents, it took until last week, January 21/2014 for her to receive landing papers (just over a year).
There was a 3 month strike last year, caused delays, but still can take the same time.
Be patient, get your ducks in a row and go forward.
Remember, if you just move here, you can't work, medical insurance issues.... depending where you live, what province, makes a difference, so be wise of your choices.
 

dakoda

Newbie
Jan 28, 2014
6
0
Thank you! It is nice hearing from people who have been through the same process. Did you fill out all the paperwork yourself, or did you have a lawyer or visa agency help you? We were going to do it ourselves, but I want to make sure it is all correct to make sure it processes without any hitches. My fiance lives in Alberta. Which province did you apply for?

Other than that...seems like I just need to get all the paperwork lined up...unless you have any more advice? I know sometimes when you begin a process like this there are unexpected things you run into - anything I should watch out for that you can warn me for in advance?
 

keesio

VIP Member
May 16, 2012
4,805
382
Toronto, Ontario
Category........
Visa Office......
CPP-O
Job Offer........
Pre-Assessed..
App. Filed.......
09-01-2013
Doc's Request.
09-07-2013
AOR Received.
30-01-2013
File Transfer...
11-02-2013
Med's Done....
02-01-2013
Interview........
waived
Passport Req..
12-07-2013
VISA ISSUED...
15-08-2013
LANDED..........
14-10-2013
dakoda said:
Thank you! It is nice hearing from people who have been through the same process. Did you fill out all the paperwork yourself, or did you have a lawyer or visa agency help you? We were going to do it ourselves, but I want to make sure it is all correct to make sure it processes without any hitches. My fiance lives in Alberta. Which province did you apply for?

Other than that...seems like I just need to get all the paperwork lined up...unless you have any more advice? I know sometimes when you begin a process like this there are unexpected things you run into - anything I should watch out for that you can warn me for in advance?
I did it all myself. It is not that hard to do... but it is time consuming. It takes longer than you think. A few suggestions:
1) You will need to get a background check for the US. Basically you need to get an FBI certificate that says you are clean. You mail fingerprints to the FBI and they run a check on it and give you a letter with the results. You need to provide this original letter with your application. It can take 6-10 weeks to get this from the FBI. The trick is to do it far in advance so you get it when you are ready to mail out your application.... but not TOO far because the letter is only valid for 3 months from the date CIC receives your application. So you need to time it right. Some people decide not to wait and mail out their application without the letter and then send it to CIC later. That may work fine. But I personally would have everything in there from the start
2) The name you use for the application is what is in your passport. If you change your name after marriage but not update your passport, then the name in your application is still your maiden name. This name will be used by CIC for everything, including your PR card at end. However, it is no big deal to update you passport after you send in the application and update CIC about this. My wife did that and at the end, everything was in her new married last name and it did not delay anything.
3) Fill out the forms via computer (download the PDF version of the application). It avoids issues with messy handwriting and helps to fill out some of the questions
4) Take your time filling out the application and then double/triple-check it. I've read too many times where someone had the whole application returned to them because they missed a signature or missed a field to fill out. There was one or two places I missed and I only caught it on the third time i was checking all the papers.
5) The sponsor application also needs your signature. I ran into that. I got my wife's signature for all her stuff, then flew back to Canada to fill out my (sponsor) stuff and mail it all. But when filling out my forms, I noticed that I needed her signature also for one of them. So I flew back to the US to get it.
6) Pay everything up front. I think you have an option to pay one of the fees later. But that can delay your application as they wait for payment. If you pay everything upfront, there will be no delay. Don't worry, if for whatever reason things don't work out, you will get a refund. I think for us, everything cost $1040 (don't know if it has gone up since then).

If I think of more, i'll let you know.

Good luck!
 

dakoda

Newbie
Jan 28, 2014
6
0
Thank you so much! Between this, and other things I have read on this form, I feel a lot more confident in getting through this process. I appreciate your time to respond to my questions :) If I think of anything else I need to know - I may message you.

Cheers!