Monday, September 16, 2013

Timeline Updated

Back when I had first gotten my two year green card, I put my entire immigration timeline into a picture (see post here). Well, now that I'm done with another step (ROC), I decided to update that image with all the important dates.


(click to enlarge)

Since this is a lot more detailed than the list of dates that was permanently on the right side of my blog, I decided to take down that list and just replace it with this image instead (it enlarges when you click on it).



So, it's finally here! :D

I was a little worried because my mail lady came and dropped off mail. I immediately went to the mail box, but nothing was inside. Yet, the tracking for my green card said it was out for delivery. I was hoping it wasn't accidentally put into any of the other mail boxes (I live in an apartment). But, about 5 minutes later, the mail lady returned and plopped in a bunch more mail, including my green card! Phew!!

Without further ado, here's a picture :)

And now I don't have to deal with USCIS for another 10 years, woohoo! :)


Friday, September 13, 2013

Tracking Number

Sorry for the two posts today :P

But, my case status just updated (again) a few minutes ago. It's the one I've been waiting for:

"The USPS reported that they picked up mail from USCIS containing your new card on September 13, 2013. The USPS tracking number assigned is #########. You can use this number at to view updates to the delivery status of your mail. You should receive your new card within 7 days. If you do not, or if you move before you get it, please call our customer service at 1-800-375-5283."

Yay! Now I can properly track my green card! Expected delivery date is this Monday. I'm pretty much going to pounce on the mail lady when she gets to our apartment building, lol.


Green Card Mailed

Just got another case status change:

"On September 13, 2013, we mailed the new card directly to the address we have on file. You should receive your new card within 30 days. If you do not, or if you move before you get it, call customer service at 1-800-375-5283."

Woohoo! I've heard USCIS mails it with 2-day shipping, so I should get it early next week. Can't wait!


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Green Card Production

Literally just a few minutes ago, I received a text message and email that my case status had been updated.

"On September 11, 2013, we ordered production of your new card. Please allow 30 days for your card to be mailed to you. If we need something from you we will contact you. If you move before you receive the card, call customer service at 1-800-375-5283."

Yay! Finally!

I'm thinking that I can receive the new green card either by the end of this week or early next week. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the case updates again with the tracking number (as it has with some folks). But, as always with USCIS, nothing is guaranteed, lol.


Thursday, September 5, 2013


A little over two hours ago, I checked my mail. Inside was a letter from USCIS!! It was a thin envelope and I was hoping it was an approval and not a RFE. My hands shaking, I opened the envelope. I didn't see anything blue (which was the color of the RFE letter), so I got hopeful. My hands shaking even more I read the letter. All I needed was to read the first word: Congratulations!

Approval letter

Definitely not as fancy as the NOA. It's not an I-797 notice like the others, but I read in the May filers group I'm in that someone else got something exactly like this, so I'm not worried. I'll definitely be glad to have the green card in my hand though!

Just a note: my case status on USCIS's website never updated throughout this entire process. The last update is that on May 2nd, they received my petition. And when I sign in, the "last updated" column is still 5/10/13. So, their site is definitely not reliable, lol.

Also, if you notice, the decision date of my approval is 8/29, which is the day before I even sent my second response. So it seems that USPS actually did deliver my initial police record search to them. Apparently it was just not scanned properly, thus the system never said it was delivered. Hopefully the second response won't cause any issues. I did note in the cover letter that if they did indeed receive the initial response to simply disregard that second copy. But, who knows with USCIS, lol.

I'll update again once I receive my green card. Hopefully it will be just in a few days!


Tuesday, September 3, 2013


I've never been so happy to see the words 'delivered'!

I was anxious all weekend for this second package to be delivered. As soon as I woke up this morning, I checked my USPS tracking. The last update since yesterday was that it was in the same sort facility as where my last package got delayed/lost. Then it finally departed that sort facility, making it's final way to Laguna Niguel, where CSC is located.

I went out to get groceries, and once I came back, I of course checked the tracking again. It arrived at the local post office there! I was elated as this was one step further than my original package. Although, the delivery date changed to tomorrow, I was just happy it made it to Laguna Niguel.

Then, like, 5 minutes ago, I decided to check again for the heck of it. And lo and behold, it said it was delivered!!! I pretty much freaked out, lol! So, USCIS (finally) has my response, after a nearly 2 week delay thanks to USPS.

Hopefully, I'll be getting an approval soon. I'd say about half of May filers have already been approved. I'm hoping it's my turn soon! Keeping all fingers crossed now for a swift approval!


Saturday, August 31, 2013

Copy of Response Mailed

So, bad news. My original response never got delivered (according to USPS tracking). It was supposed to have been delivered Thursday, August 22nd, but the last update was that it left a sort facility in California, less than an hour away from the California Service Center. I figured there just might be a glitch and it didn't update.

By Monday, I was getting a little antsy. I looked on USPS's site and it said to wait to call after 5 days from mailing has passed. Which would make it Wednesday. So, I waited.

Wednesday came and the phone calls began. I first called USPS and explained the situation. The lady I spoke with said she'd contact a supervisor at a local office in California. I then received an email (from a previous online inquiry) that I should call a Consumer Affairs number in California. That lady said because it wasn't in her district (eh??) that she couldn't see any more information, so I was directed to a Consumer Affairs in South Dakota. Spoke to another lady and she said she'd contact some one at the last post office my package was at to see if they can locate it. She also suggested I call USCIS to see if they received it.

Upon calling USCIS, they had no information for me. Upon 3 different calls, they told me that they won't be able to see anything until after 30 days or once the review has finished. Dead end there.

After contacting the Consumer Affairs in South Dakota again on Friday, the same lady I spoke with told me she hadn't heard back, so she sent another email.

At this point, I wasn't sure what to do. Wait until they found it (if at all) or send another package. I made a scan of the RFE letter, so I had that available. And since the police record search was sent by email, I had an endless supply of that.

After some contemplation, I decided to send another copy. I decided to write up a cover letter and explained, in as little sentences as possible, what had happened with USPS and that this was a second response to the RFE that was sent out.

I'm keeping all fingers crossed this second package makes it to CSC this time. It should be delivered this coming Tuesday. Because of USPS, a little under 2 weeks have been wasted :( Who knows, I could have had my approval already...


P.S. In other news, I got my hair dyed on Thursday. All blue :) Only positive thing that's happened this past week...

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Response Mailed

When I woke up at 10am (yes, I slept in :P), I noticed that, about 2 hours previously, I received the record search in my email.

I was concerned about a few things, but after creating a thread on VJ about it, I was reassured that everything was most likely okay. So, I printed it out, included the USCIS letter on top, and stuffed it inside the provided envelope.

I then proceeded to the post office here in town. I of course wanted tracking, so the envelope was put into a clear Priority Mail envelope. Not only would I get tracking, but it'd shave off one day, compared to First Class mail. Cost me an extra $5, but I think it's worth it.

So, it should arrive on Thursday. Now, to just wait. I'll post again once it arrives at USCIS in California.


Monday, August 19, 2013

Police Record Update

Just got back home from my little excursion.

I first went to the police department. Told the lady there that I needed a letter saying I had no criminal record. She asked for what purpose and I replied immigration. She went off to talk to someone and came back within a minute. She told me that I should go to the Clerk of Courts in the County Courthouse and get that done there.

Thankfully, the Courthouse isn't far from the police department; just a few blocks away. A kind gentleman (not sure if he worked there or not, lol) showed me where the Clerk of Courts was (I don't know the Courthouse at all with its maze of floors and offices, lol).

Once I got in, I explained to the lady there what I needed. Showed her the USCIS letter with the paragraph about needing a letter stating no criminal record. She produced a form I had to fill out. There were 3 searches I could choose: criminal, civil, or both. I wasn't sure if I needed criminal or civil, so I chose the 'both' option. Figured I'd cover all my bases that way.

There were 3 ways to receive the results: mail, email, or fax. Since I don't have a fax, that was out. I would have liked to get a hard copy in the mail, but it stated an envelope was needed, along with a stamp, which I did not have on me. So, I chose email. In the end, that'll probably be way faster to receive than snail mail anyways. Just hoping USCIS won't have issues with a printed email :/

As for the price, the lady told me I could check this box on the back of the form to waive the fee. I wasn't exactly sure WHY I was allowed to waive the fee, but if I didn't have to pay the $20 for the record search, that was fine by me, lol!

I asked how long it'd take to receive the results. She told me within 24-48 hours. I was hoping I'd be able to get it all done today, but alas, no such luck. So, hoping I'll get it back instead on the shorter end of that time frame since I want to mail this out ASAP, preferably tomorrow.

I'll post another update once I do receive the results and mail it out.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Letter from USCIS

Got home from a mini-vacation earlier this afternoon and just got around now to checking the mail. Inside was a letter from USCIS. The entire way down the hall and back into my apartment I was praying it was an approval (despite nothing indicating this on USCIS's website, although this isn't uncommon). Sat down and ripped open the letter.

Apparently my second set of fingerprints was rejected, being illegible. I now have to go to a local police department and get a letter indicating I have no criminal record.


I'm planning on going to the police department tomorrow morning and hoping they'll be able to do this without a hassle (and for cheap). I'll then mail it off ASAP (after scanning everything, so I have a copy for my records).

Wish me luck!


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Mount Rushmore and Dyed Hair

Non-immigration post :P

Just wanted to say I finally got to see Mount Rushmore (basically the one and only thing my state, South Dakota, is known for) this last weekend! Here's a picture of my husband and me :)

And in other news, I dyed my hair (again) two days ago on Thursday. I really like how it turned out :D :D

(can you tell where I got my shirt? :P )

/end of non-immigration post


Friday, June 28, 2013

Non-Immigration Interview

So, I can officially say I've been interviewed!

A few days ago, someone (Dan) commented on my previous post, asking to interview me about my immigration from Canada to the US. I of course accepted! :)

So, without further ado, you can find that interview on his website here:


Monday, June 17, 2013

Second biometrics appointment

Whoops, forgot to write up this post the other day!

Anyways, last Thursday, I headed to Sioux Falls for my second biometrics appointment. Before I got there though, just less than one or two miles away, I ended up being pulled over for speeding :( I had just gotten off the interstate and didn't see any speed limit signs, so I was going about 40-45mph. When I finally saw a sign for 30, I slowed down. But, I guess it was too late. This was my first time being pulled over, and I was hoping to just get a warning, especially since I don't even live in the dang city, but nope, no luck. Although I was going 11 over the speed limit, the officer reduced it down to 5, giving me a much lower ticket. Still $85 though *sigh* If anyone wants to help pay for it, I'd gladly take donations for the Pay Lindsay's Speeding Ticket Fund, lol :P

Back to the appointment. Arrived a few minutes late, due to being pulled over, which made me worry a little. Wasn't sure how strict these people were. But, there were no issues. It was 9am and there was only one other person in the waiting room.

Once again, I got scanned in. The security guard asked for my notice, my green card, and all other IDs I had (such as driver's licenses, SSN, passport, etc). Whaaaat?! First time, all I needed was my green card, as it states in the letter. Not so with this officer. I gave over my driver's license (which is all I had out of his list), even though I doubt it was looked at at all by the receptionist, but whatever! I had to fill in the same form again as I did last time. Easy peasy! I put the clipboard with the form, notice, green card, and driver's license on the receptionist's desk.

The only other person there was called up and I only had to wait about 5 minutes for her to get her fingerprints done and her picture taken. Then it was my turn. Thankfully, this second time went a lot faster. My fingers weren't as problematic as the first time. Although, the lady did explain that they don't need to spend as much time the second time around as the FBI will only be using the second set to compare to the first. So, before I knew it, we were done. Only took 6 minutes for this second set! First time around, I was there for at least 20 minutes!

Didn't need to take a second picture, thank goodness. I actually liked the picture from the first time around, and I'm usually picky with pictures, lol. I then collected my things and was out the door!

And now the long wait begins (unless I get extremely lucky and my case gets reviewed sooner by some miracle). I think it's taking around 6-9 months to hear anything, so I'm not expecting to hear anything until later this year. Although, a little part inside of me will always hope that every time I check my case status online or open the mailbox, I'll find we were approved really quickly :)


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Trip to Canada

Well, I'm typing this while I wait for my flight back to the US begins boarding.

Last Friday, May 31, I headed to Canada. I first had to drive the 2 hours to Fargo, then took a flight to Minneapolis. There were unfortunately storms going on around us, so our plane was an hour delayed to take off as we had to wait to be re-routed. There were about twenty other planes on the tarmac as well, just waiting for instructions. Finally landed in Montreal around 11:30 local time.

The week flew by. Had many hot dogs at Belle Province all week (13 in total!). Got to visit my mother, her boyfriend, and my sister a couple times during the week. Also visited my grandparents and my uncle and his wife.

Monday was a really fun day. First went to the US consulate to meet up with two VJ members who had interviews that morning. They both passed!! We chatted a little while at Tim Hortons. Afterwards, I then went on by myself to Olympic Park, where I visited the new planetarium, went up the tower (almost 600 feet high!), and finally the Biodome. Although I was by myself, I had a blast!

Left for the airport today around 3. Had to check in with an agent as the little machine didn't like my expired green card, lol. Security was no issue. One lady was sticking a little wand in my suitcase and laptop case, but not my purse. Not sure what that was all about. I was then selected to get scanned in those big TSA machines. Then onto customs.

I'll admit, I was a little nervous cause I had an expired green card. I had my extension letter, but still, I was nervous. Anywho, it was finally my turn. First just handed over my passport, boarding pass, and declaration form. The officer asked why I was going to the US. And I told him I lived there. Due to my Canadian passport, he asked me what right I had living in the US. That's when I handed over my green card. And after looking at it, I gave over my extension letter. That's when the officer told me he recognized me. He was the officer that had denied me the first time, three years ago! I couldn't believe he would remember me! So, for the next 5 minutes, as he processed my paperwork, we talked over me being denied, and the immigration process, and such. Although he denied me last time, he was still nice to me about it. This time around, he was still nice, but I was allowed entry to the US. Yay! :)


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Second biometrics

Well, just got a letter from USCIS in the mail today. I was hoping it was some ridiculous fast approval notice, but alas, no.

"The FBI was unable to process your fingerprint card. In order for USCIS to continue processing your application, it will be necessary to have your fingerprints re-taken." *sigh*

So, the appointment has been made for 6/13 at 9am. Yes, 9am. And the office is an hour and a half away. It's going to be one early morning, let me tell you. Oh well.

Only good news: I do remember the guy saying when I got my biometrics done the first time that if the fingerprints are rejected, that I'd only have to get them done a second time, as they'll compare the second ones to the first. So, at least after this, I don't have to worry about getting them done a third time.


P.S. Leaving for Canada this Friday! :)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


Before I begin, it's our third year anniversary today! Woohoo! :)

Anyways, went to Sioux Falls today to celebrate and before we went for lunch, we headed to the USCIS office there. Arrived there about 11:30. Asked the guard if I can do an early walk-in. He directed me to the receptionist where I then asked him. He took my biometrics letter and went to the back, to ask someone. The minute he was gone, my heart was beating the entire time. I very much hoped to be able to do it. Not one single person was there getting biometrics done, so I thought I had a good chance, but you know how strict those officers can be. But, my hopes soon came true. The receptionist came back and told me I can do an early walk-in. Woohoo!

I was scanned in by the guard I first spoke with. And by scan, I don't mean like airport scanners. I mean like those little hand-held scanners. Had to stand with my arms outstretched! Once that was done, I had to fill out a simple sheet with my name, birth date, sex, hair color, eye color, height, weight, A number, application number, and phone number. Think that was it. Oh, there was also a section on previous names, but I don't have any, so skipped that. Once I was done, I was instructed to bring it up to the receptionist along with my biometrics notice and green card.

He took it from me and told me to sit back down as he entered the information. Less than 5 minutes later, he called me back up. He proceeded to take my fingerprints. Unfortunately, this caused some issues as my fingerprints kept getting rejected. He had to override a lot of them. Hopefully that doesn't become an issue later on... Anyways, probably like 10 minutes later, he told me to take a seat and took my photograph. Then, I digitally signed something.

We returned back to the receptionist's desk and he returned the biometrics notice to me, with a stamp on it showing the date I got my fingerprints/photo done. Gave me a little comment card to fill out about their service (I gave them 'excellent' across the board). And he then told me when I got my 10-year card that I would have to mail in my present, expired green card to their office.

All-in-all, great experience! Was out of there within 20 minutes, the most of that chunk being my fingerprints! Along with the delicious food (lunch and dinner) and movie, our anniversary was great! :)


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Biometrics letter!

The biometrics letter just arrived in the mail this morning! Woohoo!

It's scheduled for June 4th, so while I'm in Canada (but of course, lol). I'm going to attempt an early walk-in this Tuesday while I'm in the town where the center is (about an hour and a half away). Since South Dakota is a pretty dead state when it comes to immigrants, I'm sure I'll have no issues.

I'll update on Tuesday once I'm back on how it went. Wish me luck!


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Check cashed, NOA updates

So, yesterday, when I woke up, I had a text from my husband saying our check had finally been cashed, woohoo! Although right before I went to bed Monday night (5/13) at midnight, there was nothing there. Yet, when I looked at my bank account on Tuesday (5/14), it said the posted date of the check was 5/13. Hmmm. Well, regardless, I was happy yesterday!

But, I'm even happier today!! A little past 10am, I heard the mail man arrive at our apartment and heard the mailboxes being open and letters put in. As soon as I heard the door close behind them, I grabbed my keys and rushed out. Inside my mailbox was only ONE letter. Wanna guess what it was? My NOA letter from USCIS!!!! *huge grin*

So, I'm now "legal" again as my green card expired on Sunday. And I cancelled my InfoPass appointment, saving me almost 10 hours total of driving, woohoo!

Today's a great day! :D


Sunday, May 12, 2013


So, on Friday, I graduated from college here!! I'll be getting two degrees (they only mail them in July): Programming and Visual Communications :) Add in the one I already have from Canada (Social Sciences), and I'll have three degrees under my belt, woot!

Here's a picture from Friday:


P.S. In other news, my green card expires today, lol.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Trip to Canada

Just booked my flight to Canada :)

Leaving from Fargo on May 31st around 4pm, 2.5 hour layover in Minneapolis, and arriving in Montreal around 11pm. Staying until June 6th, where I leave around 6pm, 2 hour layover in Minneapolis, and arriving back in Fargo around 11pm. Then a 2 hour drive home XD

Keeping all fingers crossed I get my NOA (aka extension letter) before I leave. I still have my InfoPass appointment with USCIS in Minneapolis. I actually just changed the date to a week later, giving me some more time to get the letter, so it's now scheduled for May 23rd (Thursday). I'll change it again for some week of the 27th next Thursday when the next week's work schedule is released.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Package Delivered!

As the title says, my package was delivered today! :)

As I mentioned in my last post, CSC (as well as VSC) have slowed down on issuance of NOAs. Because of this, I decided to make an InfoPass appointment with my "local" field office (local being a 6 hour drive!) in Minneapolis (did I mention it's not even in the same STATE?), so I can get a stamp in my passport which will extend my green card's validity. Managed to get a date for May 14 (2 days after my green card expires). I'm hoping the letter arrives before then and I can just cancel the appointment, but I'm leaning more towards no, based off the data I'm seeing on VJ.

Besides having an expired green card, I want the extension letter asap as I'm hoping to travel to Canada May 31-June 5. I would think almost a month would be enough time to get the letter from USCIS, but who knows with those people! Keeping all my fingers crossed!


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

ROC Package

Well, it's finally been done. The ROC package has finally been sent! It ended up being around 2.5 inches thick and weighing in a little over 3 pounds. Instead of paying nearly $50 to overnight it to California, I decided to pay the $13 for it to arrive Thursday. Figured it was only one day longer.

Here are two pictures of the final package:

And follows is what was included in the package (in order):

-$590 check
-cover letter
-I-751 form
-copy of front and back of my green card
-copy of marriage certificate
-copy of joint tax return transcripts for 2010, 2011, 2012
-copy of lease agreement (2011 to present)
-copy of driver's licenses showing common address
-copy of first car insurance ID card with my name added
-copy of most recent statement for car insurance with both our names listed on the current policy
-copy of car title listing us both as owners
-copy of this year's benefits of my husband's through his employer listing me as a dependent as well as beneficiary of his life insurance
-copy of my living will, listing my husband as beneficiary
-copy of my husband's living will, listing me as beneficiary
-screenshot of our ISP account, listing us both as "users" (since only one name can be on the statements)
-screenshot from early 2011 on Verizon listing both our numbers (I initially had this for evidence for our interview in Canada)
-statement from late 2011 from Verizon listing the same two numbers
-statement from early 2013 from Verizon with my name listed in the In Care Of portion
-copy of my bank statements from 2011-2013
-copy of my husband's bank statements from 2011-2013
-copy of recent relationship change application at our bank making each other joint owners on our checking/savings accounts
-copy of bank account details for checking/savings account, listing both our names as joint owners
-copy of check submitted for payment showing both our names
-original affidavit from a couple that live about 2 hours away whom we visit every few months
-original affidavit from my husband's uncle and wife, whom we lived with for awhile, as well as his uncle being my teacher at school
-original affidavit from a couple that live in Minnesota (near the Canadian border!) that we see only about once a year, but speak to them online almost once a day
-copy of my college acceptance letter and unofficial transcript to show I've established here in town
-copy of 15 pictures (with captions) throughout our marriage, starting once I moved here

Definitely a good chunk of evidence. I am nervous about a few things though:

1. We only have this year's benefits of my husband's listing me as dependent/beneficiary, even though I was added when he first began working there in the summer of 2010. But my husband keeps like no records, and if he does, it's lost as he's not organized like me XD Plus, we're not on each other's health insurance plans. He has his own, and I had mine through my employer as it was only $40/month. Although, it recently ended at the end of March as I wasn't eligible for this year's as I wasn't working a high enough average of hours, so I'm currently without. But adding myself on his will cost I think he said an additional $100-200 per month. Which is ridiculous in my opinion as the only time I see a doctor is once yearly for a renewed prescription of birth control. And since it's only around $200 for that, it's almost better at this point to just save each month some money as an emergency fund. But, anyways, I digress!

2. Our living wills were only done (and signed) last week, so it may seem a little late for the reviewing officer.

3. We don't have our utilities, ISP, and phone statements in both our names, as they only allow one name for each. I did provide an explanation about this, so I'm hoping it's alright.

4. Our bank accounts were just made joint about 3 weeks ago. So, like the living wills, it may seem a little late. But for us, non-joint accounts worked for us. And I always helped pay some of the bills by just transferring the money to my husband's accounts as all the bills were already set up in his name and account before I moved here. I provided an explanation of this, but you never know with these people.

Anyways, the package has been sent and I know I should stop worrying as I won't hear anything back for quite a few months (like, end of the year). I've been following an April filers thread for ROC, and everyone (except for those that filed the very first few days of the month) is still waiting for their receipt notices. Which makes me a little antsy as my green card expires on May 12th, just under 2 weeks. Hoping CSC cleans up their act real soon. Because if I need to make an InfoPass appointment to get my passport stamped to extend my green card, I have to travel to Minneapolis, which is about a 6 hour drive away O_o

Alright, this is a long enough post, I'll stop typing now. I'll update once my package has arrived at CSC, once my check has been cashed, once I've gotten the receipt notice, once I've gotten the biometrics notice, and of course once I'm approved :)


New I-751 Form

About 2 weeks ago, USCIS released an updated I-751 form (and instructions). The fee ($590) is still the same. Previously, the form was one column and the instructions were two columns. Now, the new form is two columns and the instructions are one column. They flip-flopped in layout.

I much prefer the older form (it was easier to read in my opinion), but I prefer the new instructions. So, basically, I prefer the one column layout.

What's new with the I-751 form though is that it's now asking for an email address. Which might indicate something (like emailing you when they receive the package or something, who knows).

Anyways, I should be sending my own ROC package out tomorrow. I'll write up a blog post then about what I included and such.


Saturday, March 9, 2013

USCIS Immigrant Fee

So, back in December, USCIS released information on a new $165 immigrant fee that took affect on February 1st, 2013. Now, one must pay this fee after they receive their visa package after a successful interview and before they immigrate to the US. At the interview, they hand out a notice explaining what the fee is and how/when to pay it. If you'd like to read it now, please click here. (Huge thank you to VJ member MsHogan for scanning and sending me this document, I truly appreciate it!) You can also read information about the fee on USCIS's website, here.


Saturday, March 2, 2013

Tax transcript

Real quick update. Just got our 2012 tax transcript in the mail today. Requested it on the 21st, so a little over one week to receive, which is a little slower than previous times. It is mid-tax season though, so completely understandable.


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Passport update

Well, my initial passport application got rejected by Passport Canada due to my passport photos. They said my eyes weren't fully visible (like a little, itty bitty part was hidden) and there was a flash on my forehead (you can see the photo for yourself a few posts below or by clicking here to go to that post). D'oh >_< So, I went back to Walmart where I had the photos done and got a refund as my photos were rejected because of them, wasting me both time and money.

For round two, I went to Walgreens. They weren't 100% positive they did Canadian sizes, but lo and behold, their photo machines had an international section for passport photos, Canada being one of the countries. So, got those done and this time, kept my glasses off, to prevent any errors. You can see these photos below (again, excuse the meh expression):

I then mailed my passport application in again, keeping my fingers crossed. I didn't bother paying $30 this time for it to arrive within 5 days. So, I paid like less than $5 instead for it to arrive in a week, and no tracking. I kept all fingers crossed it would get there.

After like a week or two after sending in my passport on January 25th, I began to call Passport Canada twice a week to see if they had received it. Finally, around mid-February, they told me they had received it on February 7th and they were just beginning to process it. So, I started to call once a day to get status updates. I felt like I was going through NVC all over again!

A few days after they told me they received it, I saw my credit card had been charged the C$97 fee from Passport Canada. I called up asap and found they had accepted my application, phew!

And just last week, they told me they had ordered for my passport to be printed. And then last Friday, they told me they had shipped it! After getting a very long tracking number for FedEx (and when I say long, I mean like 30+ digits long!), I tracked my passport. Yesterday, it arrived safely at my apartment and I finally had a passport again! What a relief!

Enjoy the photo below of my brand new, shiny passport :)


Monday, February 25, 2013

Tax update

Well, we had sent our tax return online on February 2nd. TurboTax finally sent it on February 14 (since we had education credits and IRS was only accepting those kind of returns on the 14th). On the 21st, our refund got approved, and my husband got the amount deposited over the weekend!

I ordered 2012 tax transcripts for my ROC package on the 21st, so I'm thinking they'll arrive sometime this week, as it's never taken longer than a week to arrive (for us anyways). I'll leave an update once I do get them.


P.S. My checking account is looking real nice and my husband still needs one more day to transfer the rest of my portion of the refund :)

Saturday, February 2, 2013


Well, we finally submitted our taxes about an hour ago online through Turbo Tax. Expected refund: $2860 :) Since I had education credits and the IRS are only processing education credits starting mid-February, it'll still be awhile before we get our refund. Which I'm a little bummed about as I wanted to 1). use the money to pay for ROC, and 2). request a tax transcript to show we filed married filing jointly. So, either I wait until early March (which is when Turbo Tax said we should expect our refund) to file for ROC, or file early, taking money from my savings account (or something) and just simply send our tax return (instead of a tax transcript). Guess I'll just play by ear and see what happens...


Monday, January 14, 2013

Passport and Transcripts

According to USPS's site, my mail's location, as of today at 8:39am, is "Canada". Very descriptive, lol. So, I know it's made it into the country safely, but I have no idea if I'm going to get any more tracking now that it's in a different country (besides proof of delivery). Guess I'll just have to wait and see!

In other news, I'm going to be eligible to file for ROC next month. I'm weirdly excited to file paperwork again, lol! Once the date gets closer, I'll post what I'm planning on sending in. I don't have all the evidence finalized yet, so until then... :P

But, I did request a tax transcript last Wednesday, the 9th, for tax year 2011 showing that Ben and I did 'Married Filing Jointly'. Just checked the mail a few minutes ago and it already arrived! That's less than 4 business days from requesting it to receiving it. The IRS are on top of things at the moment! (So if YOU need a tax transcript, for whatever reason, order it NOW!)


Friday, January 11, 2013

Canada Passport Renewal

So, about last week sometime I was looking at my passport and realised that it expires next month, in February. I immediately got my butt in gear to get it renewed!

Since I was eligible, I filled out the simplified renewal form (found here). All that was needed with that, besides the form, was the fee (of C$97), my passport, and two passport photos.

I managed to fill out the application, but was held up on the section about references as I didn't know the addresses and phone numbers off hand with the two people I was planning on using. After sending them a message via Facebook, they both responded quickly enough and I had the form finished the next day.

The only thing holding me up at that point was the passport photos as they needed to be taken by a commercial photographer. I was at first planning on taking the photos myself, like I had with the NVC, medical, and interview photos, but alas, it's not allowed! So, at first, I thought the only place I could get photos done here in town was the post office. Then I found online that Walgreens does passport photos, along with the portrait studio in Walmart. Before going anywhere though, I wanted to make sure these places did CANADIAN sizes, as I didn't want US sizes. So, first I called up Walgreens and the representative said they did and they cost $10.99 for a set. I tried calling Walmart, but they didn't pick up their phone whenever I called for two days. But I finally got a hold of them and they do Canadian sizes as well, but cheaper, at $9.99 a set. Finally, I called the post office. Let me tell you, the guy who picked up had no clue (for whatever reason) what I was asking when I asked if they did Canadian sizes for passport photos. I'm like alrighty then, lol. So, I decided to go with Walmart as they were cheaper. They might have been my only option as I have a friend who works at a Walgreens in another state and she told me they only do US sizes, so I don't know if we just do things differently here or the lady on the phone was wrong.

Anyways, long story short, I tried getting my passport photos done at Walmart on Tuesday, but unfortunately, once I got there, I realised they were closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. So, I went on my lunch break yesterday, Thursday. Let me tell you, I HATE getting passport photos done, just because you can't smile. In my last passport, I looked soooooo pissed off. This one wasn't so bad, but still. Enjoy:

(No, I don't wear my glasses that low, the photographer told me I had to do that XD)

So, now that I had the passport photos, I was ready to mail off my package! I headed to the post office as soon as I received the photos. I put the form at the back, the photos in a small Ziploc bag, with my passport in a bigger Ziploc bag, and paperclipped the entire thing together. After dishing out $30 for Express mailing with tracking, my package was off!

According to Passport Canada's site, mailed in applications take 20 business days to process, so I'll hopefully have my passport back next month. I'm having small anxiety issues not having my passport on hand, just in case something happens and I need to travel to Canada for an emergency. I'm sure everything will be fine though :)

I'll post an update once my package has arrived at the Passport Canada office, as well as when I have my new passport on hand. Wish me a swift process!