How I Met My Husband

Immigrating to the United States was the last thing I thought I would need to do but I was willing to do anything to be with my husband (fiance at the time). I met my husband back while I lived in Canada and he lived in the United States. We were both teenagers and weren’t really thinking too much about our future.

We were friends online for many years but didn’t really want a long distance relationship at the time. So we left it at that, and remained good friends while focusing on finishing high school and college.

When we did eventually want to be together in the same city, we couldn’t agree on was who was eventually going to move.

We increased our communication and decided to get serious about our relationship. After a few visits we began researching the US immigration process. We were in for a big surprise because the entire process was extremely complicated and confusing! Back then there wasn’t as much help online as there is now so things have gotten a little better.

My goal for this website is to help make the process of US immigration clear, simple and smooth.

Below is a chart of the process for the K-1 visa. Yes, this is really all the steps you have to take and don’t get me started with detours such as RFEs!

k1-process

Applying For The K-1 Visa

When we were gathering all the required documents, forms and evidence, no one was there to help us figure it out. We were so scared about making a mistake because our life together was on the line!

You can just imagine the type of nightmares I was having thinking that some immigration officer would ultimately not like the shirt I wore for my interview and then automatically deny me. Okay, so that is an exaggeration but many immigrants are terrified that they might get denied and their relationship could crumble under this outcome.

The USCIS website had some information but it just wasn’t easy to understand. Even to this day, it is still difficult to read and understand just what exactly is expected of you.

If you work for the USCIS and happen to read this: please make the immigration process simpler and have a step by step guide available. This would make things a lot better for intending immigrants to submit correct applications.

In the meantime, I have created my own Visa Guides that help you follow step-by-step how to gather all the documents, forms and evidence to submit to the USCIS.

After gathering as much information as we could I started compiling our documents that were needed and we finally sent it off in late 2011. We crossed our fingers and hoped we would be approved for the K1 visa (fiancee visa). I mean it when I say that I was obsessed with checking the mail, my email and my phone for any news about our visa.

It was all that I could think about for many months. Even though I was working full time during the waiting period, I still couldn’t get my mind of the waiting. It felt like forever! All I wanted was to finally move to the US and marry my fiance but it was all out of my control and all I could do was wait.

We Dealt With Some Setbacks

Unfortunately, it wasn’t that smooth and we received an RFE (request for evidence) and this caused me to panic. I totally stressed out and would get into arguments with my fiance about the entire situation. Usually I am a very positive person but the immigration process really did a number on me.

The request was for tax transcripts (instead of returns) and more “evidence of bona fide relationship” whatever that means, right? I guess looking back we really didn’t submit enough evidence thinking that our relationship was genuine so why should we need to try to prove it. If your reading this, make sure to submit TOO MUCH evidence if possible because it’s better than getting an RFE and having your visa delayed.

After we responded to the RFE it took another few weeks to get a notice for my medical exam and interview.

Medical Exam Experience:

The medical was easy and I had to travel to Montreal to a specific clinic to have it done. It was similar to an annual check up. I brought my vaccination record and need only one booster shot which the nurse gave me.

When it was time for the physician to give my a thorough check up, it took about 10 minutes and he checked my vitals, asked about medical history, had my x-ray done and that was it. I paid the $130 fee (it was not covered under OHIP) and had to wait for the final results in the mail.

K-1 Visa Interview Experience

My interview was also at the US consulate in Montreal. I got there the night before my interview and stayed in a hotel right next door to the consulate. My interview was scheduled for 8:00am but I got there around 6:30 to wait before they opened the door. It is fine to get there early no matter what time you are scheduled for an interview.

I was 2nd in line and there were about 10 people there by the time they opened the door. Note: bring an umbrella or jacket because you don’t want to be cold or wet while waiting inside.

Once I got through security, I was given a ticket number and asked to wait in a room with everyone else. There were a few people that were there as a couple and most were there alone like I was. We were then escorted to an elevator and to another floor.

I sat there waiting for my number to be called and it was finally my turn I went over to the little glass window and handed over my passport and folder full of documents. The lady that interviewed me was very nice and knew that I was a little nervous. She asked me about where I was from and when I said “Ottawa” she said that she has family in Ottawa which broke the ice.

She asked a few questions:

  • When did you meet your fiance (and where)?
  • What does your fiance do for a living?
  • When will you get married?
  • When was the last time you saw each other
  • What is your fiance’s address?

After I answered all those questions, she said “Congratulations, you are approved!” Wow what an amazing feeling! A huge burden has been lifted and now I can plan our future together and not worry about any setbacks.

The entire process for the K1 visa took us about 8 months and lots of money and time. The interview seemed to be the easiest part for me.

I hope our story can help you no matter what country you are applying from. Take a look the Visa Guides that are available for each visa class. I tried to make it as simple and straightforward as possible so that you can follow the steps and submit a complete application.

If after submitting your application, you are approved – come back and let me know!

Married and Living Together

Now, my husband and I live happily together. He is my best friend and I couldn’t imagine my life without him. It was well worth everything we had gone through to get to this stage.

Since moving I have adjusted to living in America. I consider it my home and have adapted very well. I call my family back home now and they joke that I am starting to sound more “American” everyday.

I love Denver! It is one of the most beautiful cities to live in. I have made some new friends, we got our puppy a year after I got here and life is good!

If you and your partner are having a difficult time with the immigration process, don’t let that tear your relationship apart! Be strong together and no matter the setbacks you will get through this!

I received my K-1 fiance visa in my passport. I had up to 6 months to make the move to the US. I quit my job, converted my Canadian dollars to US dollars and said goodbye to friends and family.

I packed all the important things I wanted to bring with me and shipped the light boxes to my fiance. I then drove my car across the US border with the heavy boxes and was on my way to my new home.

The happiest day of my life is finally here! I need to settle in my new home and prepare for our wedding. We have 90 days to plan it and then there is more paperwork to file with the USCIS.

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2 Comments on "Our US Immigration Story"

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Penny
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hi! Thank you for your information. I like it so much! It makes me have a clear mind to apply for K1. However, May I ask 1 question from the lady officer: When will you get married?

How did you reply from this question? Can I say ASAP? Or by the time when the K1 visa approved.
If the question asked, When do you want to have children? Can I say ASAP too?

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