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  1. #21
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    Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think she's going to be in any big trouble. I do agree with those saying she'll need an immigration lawyer, though. I've seen immigration lawyers being able to solve much trickier stuff than that. This sounds like nothing in comparison.

    Quote Originally Posted by taf2002 View Post
    I can't remember what the permanent resident status ultimately cost us. It was over 26 years ago. My husband recently got his green card reissued & it cost about $700 I think. He has to do the same every 10 years.
    I assume he doesn't want to become a citizen?

  2. #22

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    I could be wrong, but I thought a US citizen could sponsor an immediate family member (in this case his wife) for a green card? I also thought that Canadian citizens could stay here (USA) any length of time and work too, even without a green card or a work visa. After working/living here for 3 years your brother could sponsor her for US citizenship, if she is interested in becoming a citizen. However, as I wrote in my earlier post, an immigration attorney should be able to answer those questions quite easily. I don't know how easy/difficult it would be to get those answered by the INS if they are contacted by phone. Like most govt agencies they may be short handed, which means long wait periods on phone.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    I also thought that Canadian citizens could stay here (USA) any length of time and work too, even without a green card or a work visa.
    You can't work in the US without a SSN, and you can't get a SSN without documentation of citizenship or a visa that allows you to work. And anyone who works in the US must pay taxes there, and possibly in their home country as well, depending on the type of visa they have.

    I strongly, strongly recommend getting a reputable immigration lawyer. The INS is not an organization you want to mess with, and you could easily pay for missteps made now for years to come. Even when you have a visa, they can yank it at any time, not to mention make it difficult to travel in and out of the country.

  4. #24
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    So I was introduced to a friend of a friend on the phone yesterday; he's an immigration professor at the University of Pennsylvania; I will meet him on 12/15/11 to go over the paperwork before submission. He said there's really no need to be alarmed cuz of the special agreement (sorry, forgot the term he used) between the U.S. and Canada, that is different with other countries. At any rate, he said Kayla could still remain in the states while Johnny petitions her, and she should use the same U.S. address, not Canada's, as her primary residence. Kayla would be applying for "adjustment for permanent resident status" since she is now in the U.S., and has entered the U.S. legally. Needless to say, I'm now very confused, and will bring some of the concerns posted here when I meet with the professor on 12/15. Again, thanks for everyone's input.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by WindSpirit View Post
    I assume he doesn't want to become a citizen?
    He didn't when we got married but it took us almost a year to get the new green card, which costs about the same as citizenship, & now he's sorry that he didn't go that route. He will probably file for citizenship between now & the time he'll need a new green card. Or maybe right away. He gets pissed every election because he can't vote.

    Quote Originally Posted by Vash01 View Post
    I could be wrong, but I thought a US citizen could sponsor an immediate family member (in this case his wife) for a green card?
    He can. Her problem is that she didn't do the correct paperwork when she entered the US, not that she doesn't have a sponsor. When we got married, my husband drove down here & he stopped at the border & got an entry paper with statement of intent which was used on subsequent paperwork. She doesn't have this entry paper.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fan123 View Post
    Kayla would be applying for "adjustment for permanent resident status" since she is now in the U.S., and has entered the U.S. legally.
    It doesn't sound like she did enter the US legally. Waitiing another two weeks without a lawyer sounds a bit iffy to me. Especially since nothing will happen over the Christmas season and it all stretches back to September...

    The professor is just a professor, he's not a lawyer is he? I think meeting a lawyer, soon, would be far more useful.

  7. #27
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    it sounds like you are doing all of the work to get her status changed. are they doing anything on their own?
    I feel like I'm in a dream. But it can't be a dream because there are no boy dancers!

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Angelskates View Post
    It doesn't sound like she did enter the US legally. Waitiing another two weeks without a lawyer sounds a bit iffy to me. Especially since nothing will happen over the Christmas season and it all stretches back to September...

    The professor is just a professor, he's not a lawyer is he? I think meeting a lawyer, soon, would be far more useful.
    I believe Kayla did enter the U.S. legally, I mean the same way she has always in the past with her Canadian passport and Driver's License, no problem. If it was not legal, the patrol person at Buffalo, NY would had rejected her. The professor is not a lawyer, so perhaps we should get one?

    Quote Originally Posted by my little pony
    it sounds like you are doing all of the work to get her status changed. are they doing anything on their own?
    I have always been the big brother in the family; when it comes to big family matters, mom always ask me to intervene, despite my obvious limited knowledge on the matter. As in some of the things we do, it is about trial and error, and some hand-holding along the way. This issue is however much above my head, so I'm trying to seek help from all avenues without the need to pay a lot of money.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fan123 View Post
    I believe Kayla did enter the U.S. legally, I mean the same way she has always in the past with her Canadian passport and Driver's License, no problem. If it was not legal, the patrol person at Buffalo, NY would had rejected her. The professor is not a lawyer, so perhaps we should get one?
    What was illegal about Kayla's entry into the US was her intent and border security wouldn't have been able to identify that. The INS can certainly infer it from her subsequent action, though. Yes you need to talk to a real immigration lawyer and soon. Often lawyers will give an initial consult for free or at minimum cost so they can at least find out what they need to do.

    This is not an insurmountable problem and should be fairly easy to solve but the longer they wait the more complicated it becomes.


    Quote Originally Posted by Fan123 View Post
    This issue is however much above my head, so I'm trying to seek help from all avenues without the need to pay a lot of money.
    You've been given the best help here, over and over. The advice to get a lawyer. If they'd done this by the rules in the first place they wouldn't be in this mess. It costs what it costs.
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  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fan123 View Post
    Aaron, I have just tried to call one of the numbers listed on the website, but got only a recording, tried to call the Consulate in Philly, was referred to the one in Buffalo, NY...she then referred me back to the INS in Philly, lol. So frustrating. I will let my sister in law and brother know...perhaps it's worth to get a lawyer, despite their limited income. I heard the application fees, lawyer fee, etc can total $2,500! We already paid $40 to a nonprofit immigration organization for a consultation this morning...they would charge us $1,800 if we are assigned to one of their lawyers.

    Thanks though for all your quick replies!
    Is the $1800 just the lawyer fee, or is it for the whole thing? If it's for the whole thing, that's a real bargain. Just processing the forms is $1500 or more (required INS fees), so you'd be paying only a few hundred dollars for the lawyer. A good lawyer's office will also make sure all the forms are good to go before submitting. If a form isn't properly and completely filled, it will be sent back, taking another few months. Low-fee lawyers are probably overwhelmed with cases, though, so they may have to wait a very long time. When (not if!) they meet with a lawyer, they need to be completely honest. It won't be used against them because it's protected by attorney-client confidentiality. Since this case isn't straightforward, you need to be prepared to spend maybe $1000 or more for just the lawyer. It sounds like a lot now, but it's actually a small price to pay to ensure the best chance of getting a good outcome quickly. The longer you wait, the more likely a bad outcome is. And the longer you wait, the more complicated the case becomes, and the higher the lawyer fees will be.

    In addition, with all the talk of changing immigration laws, if they wait, there's a real chance the laws will tighten.

    While the professor can give you advice, he can't take care of the legal details. In fact, he'll probably tell you to speak with a lawyer! I would definitely ask the professor for lawyer recommendations. When you interview potential lawyers--many of them provide free consultations--it's essential to ask how much experience they've had with Canadian immigrants because Canadians may get special privileges that citizens of other countries don't.

    By the way, you're doing a lot of the legwork for your brother and sister-in-law, but once they hire a lawyer, if you still want to be involved, you'll need them to write a statement allowing their lawyer to talk to you. Many lawyers, for good reason, will only speak with their clients, not their clients' family members, without explicit written permission. You often will be allowed to accompany them to the initial meeting though.

    I've heard that the INS makes the fees so high because they don't want people applying who have little to no personal funds to support themselves in the US.
    Last edited by Gazpacho; 12-03-2011 at 09:02 PM.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by WindSpirit View Post
    Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think she's going to be in any big trouble. I do agree with those saying she'll need an immigration lawyer, though. I've seen immigration lawyers being able to solve much trickier stuff than that. This sounds like nothing in comparison.

    I assume he doesn't want to become a citizen?
    I agree.

  12. #32
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    Thought I update everyone on my younger brother and his new wife's status to stay and live in the U.S. Johnny and Kayla got interviewed from an INS official last week, and they just got approval in the mail that her petition to be a legal permanent resident was approved! Her green card will arrive in 3 wks. All this was done while she remained in the U.S., with the help from the law professor to review the completed forms and you guys. Thanks again!

  13. #33

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    Glad it worked out. I was nervous -- my b-i-l was excluded from the U.S. for several months because he married my sister after getting a visa to come to the US as a post-doc but before entering the country. It was a mess. Luckily, my folks had a pretty good congressman.

  14. #34

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    Yea!
    Use Yah Blinkah!

  15. #35

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    Congratulations, glad this worked out to everyone's benefit!

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