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View Diary: Fighting for my family, haven't slept in weeks (123 comments)

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  •  This is so weird... (none)
    because I just got through the whole immigration process with my husband.  He is an Australian citizen, we got married Nov. 2004, and he had his green card March 2005.  It was quick, and although a giant pain in the ass, and tons of money, it wasn't too difficult.

    I am wondering if we had such an easy time because of where we were living at the time (Maine).  Not a ton of immigration traffic comes through that office.  Also, he is from a very friendly country, Australia.  

    Granted, I don't know your circumstances, but we were married very easily and he was granted his green card very easily.  We need to go back for a second marriage interview, which is standard, next year..but then after then he will just wait the required years and then apply for citizenship.

    •  You may not have a 2nd interview (none)
      It's actually optional (they decide - not you). My husband and I married in August 2001 after he immigrated from Canada on a K-1 Visa.  We turned in out paperwork for removal of conditional status, and really made an effort to show we were seriously married - we even included a family portrait of him and my extended family and him playing with his/my nephew at Disneyland, along with letters from people who knew us and all the required paperwork. Homeland Security waived the follow-up interview and we had our paperwork within 6 months. Now it's on to his citizenship application.  He is a bit nervous because somebody told him he might have to give up his Canadian citizenship to become a U.S. Citizen, and neither of us wants that, so we're dawdling until we get more info.  
      •  Oh goody, a topic where I'm an expert :-) (4.00)
        I'm from Canada.  I met my wife in Grad School in the US.  We married in the US in 1996.  We did all the paperwork from within the US. (I believe that is no longer possible.)  I even did an Advance Parole so we could go to Canada.  We had the first interview, no problem, was issued the two year "conditional permanent residency".  1.8 years later things started to go to hell.  I applied for true permanent residency on time, and my application vanished into a black hole.  It took two years (during which I could not travel) to track it down, and that was with the help of my Congressman's office.  Apparently they'd taken 1.5 years to process it and then sent notification to a non-existent address in a city in which I'd never lived (or visited for that matter).  When that was returned undeliverable by the USPS, they just filed it.

        Anyway, I got my residency once the Congressman's office had the INS resend to the correct address.

        Cut to end-of-2004.  I applied for citizenship, so I can vote.  I got it with no hassle by May 2005.  The citizenship Oath says you foreswear foreign allegences.  The government of Canada does not recognize that as a renunciation of citizenship.  So I am now a dual citizen.

        •  Canada doesn't care (none)
          and even better since two of my kids were born in the States to Canadian parents they get dual citizenship as well.  

          Be sure to hang on to your Canadian citizenship just in case....

          As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

          by lonestar canuck on Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 12:05:05 PM PST

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        •  following up (none)
          A long time ago (like at least 30 years ago) the State department used to try to force people to give up their other citizenships.  For some people that's actually a good idea, because if you're a dual US-some 3rd world dictatorship and you go visit the home country, you're subject to laws that only apply to citizens (draft, treason...) and the US can't help you.  For other dualies, like US-Canada, there is almost no downside.

          Anyway, the US hasn't been trying to get new citizens to give up their old citizenships for quite some time now, and it seems unlikely they'll ever want to again.

        •  I'm going to tell my husband (none)
          I knew that Canada used to not recognize the renounciation, but somebody told him last year that they had changed their policy.  He really doesn't want to give up his Canadian Citizenship (I don't want him too, either), alhtough he'd like to be a citizen of the U.S. as well.  I'll tell him that someone as recently as 2005 didn't have any problems. Thanks. :-)
      •  question (none)
        "He is a bit nervous because somebody told him he might have to give up his Canadian citizenship to become a U.S. Citizen, and neither of us wants that, so we're dawdling until we get more info".

        ..if he wants to become an American citizen..why would he want to retain Canadian ctizenship...assuming you will live here...and do you have any status in Canada now with you husband being Canadian?..I am not up on the laws obviously.  

        Hypocrisy in anything may deceive the cleverest and most penetrating man, but the least wide-awake of children recognizes it....

        by Cal45 on Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 04:06:01 PM PST

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        •  It's nice to have a backdoor. (none)

          As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly.

          by lonestar canuck on Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 06:21:12 PM PST

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        •  I don't have any status in Canada (none)
          Just like he didn't have any status in the U.S. as my husband until 1) he lived here and 2) he and I filled out the right paperwork and answered the right questions.  If we decided to move to Canada, though, he would be able to work immediately and I wouldn't have to go through as difficult an immigration process. It's not that tough to emigrate to Canada, but it would be even easier for us.

          As for why he wants to keep his citizenship... He is a Canadian. He loves his country, and he is proud to be Canadian.  However, he feels that if he is going to live in the U.S. he should be a full participant  in society and pledge his loyalty to the country that supports him. That, to him, means citizenship. I can understand completely. Someday we may move to Canada, and I will want to pledge my allegiance to the country I am living in - but I will never give up my U.S. citizenship.  I'm an American, and proud to be American. It sounds a bit silly when I write it down, but it makes perfect sense in my mind.

    •  Location makes a difference (none)
      Because applications are processed regionally, where you live does in fact make a big difference. Based on what I've heard, your experience was unusually quick--so be thankful for small miracles!
    •  State differences? (none)
      A friend of my husband's, who'd been in the US on an H1B visa for years, was living in Iowa when he got married to an American citizen.  He applied for his green card, and eight or nine months later still had little progress.  They then moved to New Jersey, transferred his application, and six weeks later everything was finished.

      So there might be something to that, but I don't know if it's predictable.

    •  OOOOOH (none)
      Another person married to a Darling Aussie Hubby (DAH for short)! We just filed to have conditions removed a couple of weeks ago!  Then we won't have to deal with USCIS for at least 10 years, even if I cannot cajole the DAH into getting citizenship (that oath thing really bugs him - he is in the US for only one reason:  me!).  That didn't use to excite me physically, before I dealt with the maze of the fiance visa/AOS proecss, but now it does LOL.

      One thing though:  every office is different and they are never different in the same way.  I remember the great California Service Center TPS project that turned what our NOA-1 on the fiance application would be a likely 34 day wait into 250 and I didn't even find out until I looked up our case on the web.  That was around the same time that Texas folks got so tired of waiting they organized and protested in a public demonstration - all Vermont was cranking them out in 60 days and the 4th service center going back and forth between speedy and nightmarishly slow.   So timelines don't really have the same meaning they had even a couple of years ago.

      My separate place for mental meanderings: Political Sapphire

      by shanikka on Thu Mar 09, 2006 at 09:33:00 PM PST

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