Thursday, December 13, 2012

Great Team Hero

This isn't immigration-related at all, but thought I'd post and share :) Over the weekend, while I was working, a girl came over to cover Food Avenue since one of the LODs (Leaders On Duty) wanted to speak with me. I was a little nervous since he's a little intimidating. But, I was nervous for nothing! He just wanted to take my picture for our Great Team Hero board!! (In case you don't work at Target, lol, that means employee of the month, essentially). I didn't think I'd ever be chosen for that! *big smile*

And then, just last night, another LOD presented a little plush Bullseye dog to me, congratulating me for becoming this month's Great Team Hero. I knew a picture was taken and put on the wall, but I never knew you get a dog!

I've never been chosen as employee of the month before (granted, this is my first job that has that honor available), so I was pretty excited when I found out!

And just to share with you all:


Wednesday, November 14, 2012


So, I thought it was time to do an updates post as it's been a few months since my last post. So, enjoy the lengthy updates :)

Trips: Shortly after my Canadian trip back in June, I went to the Mall of America (in Minneapolis) at the end of July with Ben and his grandmother. That is the biggest mall I've ever been to! Like 4 floors and an aquarium in the basement! And an amusement park!! Then, a few short weeks after that, I went to Seattle with Ben. He had some work training there, so I decided to tag along. Although we had to take separate flights (both there and back) cause his work paid for his flights, but they were too expensive for me so I had to find alternatives. But anyways, we both managed to get there within an hour of each other. While he was in training for 2 days, I explored the city all on my own. And I got to use public transportation!! (Yes, I'm excited about that, lol) And of course, saw the Space Needle! On the weekend, when his training was over, both Ben and I went up the Space Needle to see the city below. Absolutely beautiful!

Work: Going well. Still at Target :) As of a few months ago (August), I've been there a year now :) Not looking forward to this upcoming Black Friday though. My shift is 5am (yes, AM, morning!) to 3:30pm. Ten and a half hours!! Eep! Hopefully, I'm not too exhausted!

School: Almost done! Graduating this upcoming May with two degrees. Pretty excited. Not excited about the fact that I'm taking 25 credits next semester! On the bright side (it's small, but bright), I'm taking 21 credits till March, then the last 2 months will be just the internship I have to do. Hopefully I find somewhere to "work" and get some experience.

Birthday: Hmm, what else? Well, it was my 24th birthday last month (10/10) :) Didn't really do too much special on that day. Ben did get me flowers though! And not at home, he sent them to school!! I was in the library, doing homework, when I got a call from the school's front office, saying a package arrived for me. I immediately head there and discover these gorgeous flowers sitting there. Here's a picture:

Beautiful, right? :) Anyways, that weekend after my birthday, we went down to Sioux Falls (one of the bigger cities in South Dakota, lol) and went out to supper with some friends (who also had a birthday that week), then went to see Taken 2 in theaters. Great birthday weekend!

Credit card: Also, back in September (I believe), I applied for a second credit card (from Amazon, to get points, lol). I was a little nervous to apply online as I didn't know if I'd get approved or not. But, I did!! Got a response within a few minutes after submitting my application. When I got the letter in the mail with my new card, it listed my credit score and I don't recall the exact number, but it was in the high 600's. Pretty good for only moving to the US last year!

Immigration: And that's all I can think about for updates right now. I'm still on VisaJourney (of course, lol!). Oh, I'll be eligible to apply for ROC in a few months (mid-February). It's kind of sad, but I'm actually excited to do paperwork! Although, not looking forward to dishing out like $600 >_<

Anywho, hope everyone is doing well!


Saturday, June 30, 2012

Trip to Canada

So, I realised I never wrote a blog post about my trip to Canada a few weeks ago! To put it simply: it was great!

It was my first time back on an airplane in nearly 2 years, so I was very happy as I love flying! In Sioux Falls (where I departed), I had to go through those new body scanners. Interesting experience! And while I had my connection in Minneapolis, apparently the president of the US was visiting at the same time. I even saw his plane from one of the windows! Once I landed in Montreal, customs was a breeze. Probably helped that it was nearly midnight. I was asked just a few simple questions like where I was from, why I was coming to Canada. I was with the officer for probably less than a minute. Easiest part of the entire flight.

The wedding the next day was absolutely beautiful! I'm so happy for my uncle and my (new) aunt!

On Monday morning, I went downtown to meet up with a VJ couple who had their interview that morning. (They got approved by the way! Grats Sheeshka!) We ended up going to a nearby Tim Hortons and just chatting for a bit. Afterwards, I headed down to the Science Center in the Old Port as there was a Star Wars exhibit that I wanted to attend. Two hours later, with hundreds of pictures taken, I headed back home by walking to the nearest train station and riding the train for an hour. That day was my first day back on a metro and train in quite awhile! :)

The week in Canada kind of flew by quickly. Thursday arrived quickly. And it was an early morning as well. I think I had to wake up at 5:30 or so to get to the airport in time for my flight. Surprisingly, it wasn't that busy. I managed to get through security relatively quickly (no body scanner!) and then it was customs. I was slightly nervous as it was my first time going into the US as a resident and not just a visitor. I managed to get a lady that did not smile. I'm not a fan of those kind of officers, but oh well. I handed her my passport and green card. She asked me where I was going and why. She then took my green card and looked at her computer for awhile without saying anything. After a very long minute of silence, I was finally allowed to go. Phew.

All in all, the trip was amazing and well worth the $600 I paid :) I wonder when I'll be going to Canada next?


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Car and Flight Tickets

Just a personal update. I finally got a car!! It's Ben's old Alero that he stopped driving more than 2 years ago and had given back to his aunt. His aunt's son was no longer using it, so it passed on to me! I got it almost on the one year anniversary I've been in the US (which was on May 12th)! Here's a picture:

Also, that same weekend I got the car, I finally booked my plane tickets to Canada. If you want to stalk my flight, here's the details:

Anyways, been a good few weeks! Happy I finally got a car and very excited for my upcoming trip to Canada!


P.S. It was our 2 year wedding anniversary yesterday :)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Canadian Taxes

Well, good news for me! :D

I called up Revenu Quebec last Friday inquiring if I needed to file a Quebec tax return. After being transferred SIX times, I finally got through to an agent. I explained my situation and, according to him, I do NOT have to file a Quebec tax return! This was due to my situation (no kids, no income earned in 2011 while as a Canadian resident, and ceasing to be a resident in 2011). This made me smile!

I then called up the Canadian Revenue Agency's International Tax Office last night and after three hours of on and off again calling trying to get through, I finally got an agent. I explained my situation (no income earned in 2011 as a Canadian resident, ceasing to be a resident in 2011) and that agent also informed me that I don't have to file a Canadian tax return! This made me smile again!

The CRA agent though did explain that I should send them a letter explaining my situation (me moving to the US), which I had already been planning on doing. I've got one written up for Revenu Quebec and another for the Canadian Revenue Agency. I also have some other situation updates to inform them of (previous common-law relationship ended, new marriage with current spouse). Hopefully they actually update my file with these three things and don't beat around the bush or anything as I've heard horror stories of the CRA/RQ not updating files for years!

So, after I mail these two letters, the only tax returns I have to worry about in the future is for the US with the IRS :)


Sunday, April 29, 2012


Forgot to post this the other week, but I recently made a flowchart showing the different stages for the IR-1/CR-1 process: USCIS, NVC, Medical/Interview/POE.

 Here it is (click to enlarge):

You can also find it on Google Docs, here. If you want to print it out or something ;)

Also, thanks for all the votes in my previous post! There's a definite winner. If you haven't voted, please do so! I greatly appreciate it! :)


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Website URL

Hi everyone! *waves*

So, I've been slowly working on my site (kinda hard between school and work, but I squeeze some time in). Just been working on the content so far, not the actual code yet.

Anyways, I don't know what URL to buy yet, and I was hoping you guys could help me out a little! I've created this poll and I'd really appreciate it if you could vote for your favorite URL out of the choices. It's all anonymous, so no one will know. I'd just like to get an idea of what other people would like. It'll take just one second of your time. Choose a button next to your favorite and hit vote. That's all! Thanks to everyone who votes!

Which URL do you prefer? free polls 


EDIT: So, I've removed the poll from this post as I miss my theme. I went with another poll site that uses different code, and it's appearing to function properly with my theme. If you want to see the results from the previous poll, you can view the results here.

Thursday, April 5, 2012


Spent about an hour putting together this very thorough timeline of my immigration process (as well as the relationship and visits). Enjoy :)

(click to enlarge)


P.S. Happy Easter weekend everyone!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Special Announcement ^_^

No, I'm not pregnant if that's what you're thinking :P

For a couple weeks now, I've had an idea stirring and have recently started to act on it. What's this idea you ask? My very own website dealing with US immigration! It'll be just information-based though, no forums or anything like that.

But I need your help, folks. I'm stuck on what my domain/title should be. So, I'd appreciate all comments and suggestions. Here's what I've got so far: (or .info or .net or .us) - Journey Through US Immigration* (or .info or .net or .us) - Immigration Momma** (.com, .info, .net are all taken >_< ) - Journey Through US Immigration(?)

*This term was created in the March thread as a name for myself XD
** My username on VJ (as well as other sites and such)

So, I need help on deciding on a domain, as well as the ending domain (.com, .info, .net, .us). Thoughts anyone?


So, what will you actually find on my eventual, public website? Well, here's my current menu (might evolve later on):

Types of Visas and Costs
List of all the various US visas as well as the costs for an IR-1/CR-1 visa (form fees and such).

Overview of Process
My own summary of the entire immigration process (from USCIS to NVC to medical to interview to POE/green card/SSN and even beyond to ROC and citizenship). I'm possibly going to create my own flowchart for a visual summary.

Little check boxes the user can check off for each package/stage to make sure everything is included (so pretty much a listing of documents needed, but more interactive for the user).

Forms and Correspondence
A link to all forms needed in this process (divided by stage: USCIS, NVC, etc). My own cover letters, additional sheets, employment letter, as well as my own filled out forms (using different information of course). I'm going to upload pictures of USCIS notices (NOA1, NOA2), tax transcripts, green card, SSN (all with information redacted, obviously). And I'm going to include correspondence received from USCIS and NVC.

Current Time Frames
As the name suggests, it'll be current time frames for various parts of the process (I-130 approval, case number assigned, DS-3032 accepted, etc etc). As some of these time frames constantly change, I'll be updating this page most often. Also going to include a link to my NVC processing times spreadsheet.

Pretty self explanatory. Going to copy the FAQ I created for the March 2011 thread on VJ (found here:

Going to copy most of the links/guides from the first post of each monthly NVC thread I create (March's can be found here: Also going to include links to embassy/consulate info, proof of bona fide relationship evidence list, interview questions, medical info, how to get tax transcripts, etc.

Going to copy my tips from my wiki (under the 'List of Common RFEs'). Also going to include tips on how to get Skype logs/chats for relationship evidence.

Contact Information
Include email address and phone numbers for: USCIS, NVC, DOS, as well as their hours.

Section I'm most excited about :D I'm going to be creating my own videos on: filling in forms (every single one!), how to organize packages and interview folder, how to track your package by DHL, how to check sites (USCIS, NVC portals), how to scan things (for EP), and how to use the immigration timeline function on VJ.

Directly linking to this blog :)

I'm going to include a link of VJ for reviews, as well as including my own medical review, interview review, and POE review.

My Story
I'm going to write out a short description of how our relationship evolved, including each other's visits, as well as my previous denials. I'm going to include my full timeline, from start to finish. I'm going to include pictures throughout our relationship. And finally, a link to my VJ profile.

Just a short contact form for questions/comments/suggestions.

And, a sneak peak for all my followers:

That'll be the home page. Of course, more will be added :P But this is what I got out of working on the site for like the first hour or so.

So, if you have any suggestions for my site, I'll gladly take them. And I'll more than likely be blogging about my progress here :)

I've actually already gotten my first video created and uploaded! To see the video (and hear what I sound like :P ), click this link for the YouTube video: It's just for the G-1145, so nothing exciting at all :P Tell me what you guys think :)


Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Consulate Maps

So, I've wanted to do this for awhile: draw the inside of the consulate in Montreal. I hadn't found anyone who had done it when I was waiting for my interview, and I wish I had so I can get the gist of what I'd be seeing, so it'd be easier to find my way around. Well, I finally got around to doing this for another VJ member (whose interview is tomorrow, good luck!) and thought I'd post them here as well to share with everyone!

They can be found here or scroll down to see them in this post. Keep in mind, you'll have to click on them to maximize it to see it much better.

The first three pictures are to show you better where you will be lining up. The last two are hand-drawn maps of the inside of the consulate. There is no guarantee on stuff scaling in those last two pictures XD

The main street (running ~ north/south) is Renee Levesque. They have doors on that side, but those aren't the ones you want. On Saint Alexandre (running ~ west/east) are the doors where you want to line up. The 1 is where the first person would be, 2 where the second person would be, 3 where the third person would be, etc. So, when facing the doors, the line extends to the left.

A closer view of the consulate. Again, 1 is where the first person is, 2 where the second person, etc etc.

Front view. Numbers again are for the line, leading off to the left. Stand as close as possible to 1 and the doors. 

This is the first part of the consulate, entering through the doors at 1. You then move through a security checkpoint and through a scanner, at 2. You're then directed down a long staircase, at 3. You arrive in a large room, at 4, with a telephone, picture booth, and lots of chairs surrounding the elevator. At 5 is the elevator. When you enter, stand at the far left corner, marked by the X. Maximize the picture to see more details. 

View of top floor where the documents are handed in and interview takes place. You enter by the elevator at 1. The secretary is there to greet you and show you where to line up (follow red arrows). At 2, you'll one by one go up to a window where you get a number (C1 means you're first). You then sit down in one of the chairs. At 3, you hand in all documents (AOS package, certificates, medical results, etc). You also get your fingerprints done here. After sitting back down, you'll then be called to one of the interview rooms at 4. Once all finished, you leave back through the elevator and out the consulate. 

It'd probably be best if you read my review as well, to know more specifics about the process. These pictures (and short descriptions) are just to give a layout of the place, not the exact details. Hope these pictures (specifically the last two) help everyone going through the consulate in Montreal! If you want to know more, don't hesitate to ask here!


Taxes Update

Well, sometime last week, Ben got our tax refund deposited into his bank account. He then sent me $750 (which I'll be using for my eventual plane ticket to Canada).

And I have yet to file my Canadian taxes *bonk on the head*


Monday, March 12, 2012


Wow, no new posts since October! Just thought I'd write something short to keep everyone updated!

As of two days ago, I've been working at Target for 7 months now! Second longest job I've ever had XD I believe sometime soon, after annual reviews are done, I'll be receiving a raise, so I'm excited for that of course. Not sure how much extra I'd be getting per hour, but who cares, it's extra money! Also, a few weeks ago, I was finally eligible to start a health plan through work, so I'm working on that and trying to figure out what I need/want. I'll update later on about that once I actually get it.

School's going great as well. After the first semester, CIS (Computer Information Science) students decide which track they want to do in the program. I was originally just going to do Programming, but I found out that the Web Design track would just be an additional 6 classes along with all the programming classes (since the two tracks are so similar), so I decided to go for both! So in May 2013, I'll get two degrees from this school, Programming and Web Design! :)

And, of course, it's tax season. Ben and I filed our US taxes a few weeks ago by snail mail. Tried doing it online, but it kept giving us errors when confirming our identities through either an IRS pin or last year's AGI. So, instead of getting our refund within a few days, it's going to take a few weeks instead. Oh well. But, it'll be worth it as the expected refund is $2925! Most of it coming from my school tuition!

Also, my uncle is FINALLY going to marry his long-time girlfriend (now fiancee) this coming June, so I'm planning a one-week visit to Canada. My first time going back since I moved to the US. I'm pretty excited! I'll be using a portion of the tax refund to pay for my flight :) And I'm thinking of getting some pink highlights put back into my hair while I'm there. I miss colour!

Anyways, I believe that's all the updates I have. Hope everyone is doing well!