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Old Mar 27, 09, 11:07 pm   #1
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Can a US immigrant with I-551 stamp enter Canada?

Thinking of bringing my wife to Canada before she gets her green card and while she has the I-551 stamp in the passport. Is this possible?
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Old Mar 28, 09, 12:10 am   #2
 
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Of what country is she a citizen? Are you thinking of flying over or driving?

You may face a delay upon entry if the officer wants to confirm the validity of the stamp, but it shouldn't create a huge issue. I would be more concerned about problems with an airline refusing to board her if she holds a passport which does not permit her visa-free entry to Canada.
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Old Mar 28, 09, 9:08 am   #3
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Indian passport.
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Old Mar 28, 09, 9:34 am   #4
 
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If flying, contact the airline and ask if they'll allow her to board with just the stamp and no green card. If you manage to get to Canada, be sure to point out the stamp to the Canadian officer and explain that you're still waiting on the green card. You may be referred for further examination if they have to confirm the validity of the stamp. It can be done, but there may be some headaches involved.
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Old Mar 28, 09, 10:55 am   #5
 
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As yyzvoyageur says, make sure she points out the stamp. I went to pick up an arriving post-doc at YVR a few years ago and she got delayed in immigration for 4 hours. She told me on the way to UBC that she wasn't that prepared, and just handed them all the documents she thought might be useful (way too many of them)... talk about shooting yourself in the foot!
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Old Mar 28, 09, 11:19 am   #6
 
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Originally Posted by yyzvoyageur View Post
If flying, contact the airline and ask if they'll allow her to board with just the stamp and no green card. If you manage to get to Canada, be sure to point out the stamp to the Canadian officer and explain that you're still waiting on the green card. You may be referred for further examination if they have to confirm the validity of the stamp. It can be done, but there may be some headaches involved.
I think this is the best advice. I would think she would be fine but they should be prepared for secondary screening in Canada.
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Old Mar 28, 09, 1:35 pm   #7
 
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A friend of mine who is a Canadian citizen and has applied for a green card here in the US, went home for Christmas. She got into Canada, but they wouldn't let her out. Seems you can't leave the US once you have applied for the green card until you actually get it. And if you want to leave, you have to have permission in advance of your travel.
Shrugs.....well that is what she went through anyway. They finally let her back into the US, but she can't leave again until her card comes through.
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Old Mar 28, 09, 3:12 pm   #8
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Originally Posted by Emeraldcity View Post
A friend of mine who is a Canadian citizen and has applied for a green card here in the US, went home for Christmas. She got into Canada, but they wouldn't let her out. Seems you can't leave the US once you have applied for the green card until you actually get it. And if you want to leave, you have to have permission in advance of your travel.
Shrugs.....well that is what she went through anyway. They finally let her back into the US, but she can't leave again until her card comes through.
Was your friend here on a work visa or similar (H-1, J-1)? If so I think it is an issue. my question is about my wife who I sponsored. She is coming here as an immigrant and her visa says that once the visa is endorsed it acts as an I-551 for a year. When I was in the process of getting a green card I also had this stamp in my passport and was able to get into the US multiple times. My issue is whether Canada will accept her.
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Old Mar 28, 09, 4:13 pm   #9
 
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Originally Posted by Emeraldcity View Post
A friend of mine who is a Canadian citizen and has applied for a green card here in the US, went home for Christmas. She got into Canada, but they wouldn't let her out. Seems you can't leave the US once you have applied for the green card until you actually get it. And if you want to leave, you have to have permission in advance of your travel.
Shrugs.....well that is what she went through anyway. They finally let her back into the US, but she can't leave again until her card comes through.
Had she applied for advanced parole from the US? You need this to re-enter while an AOS(Green Card) application is pending.
She was extremely lucky in getting back to US, and she is very right in not trying to leave until the stamp is received.
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Old Mar 28, 09, 7:45 pm   #10
 
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Had she applied for advanced parole from the US? You need this to re-enter while an AOS(Green Card) application is pending.
She was extremely lucky in getting back to US, and she is very right in not trying to leave until the stamp is received.
Yep, while the application is pending then you need advance parole to travel. My wife made many a trip using that paperwork. Once the stamp is in the passport then you technically are a resident, it may however be with restrictions. We have applied for visas with some countries and they stated they needed the actual physical green card and the I551 stamp in the passport would not be good enough.
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Old Mar 28, 09, 8:02 pm   #11
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Thinking of bringing my wife to Canada before she gets her green card and while she has the I-551 stamp in the passport. Is this possible?
An I-551 endorsement in a passport seems to be valid for admission to Canada:
http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca....aspx?lang=eng

Make sure it looks like item 12 here:
http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publicati...23-eng.html#a2
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Old Mar 28, 09, 8:38 pm   #12
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Originally Posted by soitgoes View Post
An I-551 endorsement in a passport seems to be valid for admission to Canada:
http://www.canadainternational.gc.ca....aspx?lang=eng

Make sure it looks like item 12 here:
http://www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca/publicati...23-eng.html#a2
Thanks. It looks like my wife will not have the stamp as shown in the pic, but the US visa specifically states that the visa will be an I-551 stamp upon entering the US.

I wasted $85 for a Canadian visa when I had the same stamp.
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Old Mar 28, 09, 9:31 pm   #13
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Thanks. It looks like my wife will not have the stamp as shown in the pic, but the US visa specifically states that the visa will be an I-551 stamp upon entering the US.
So once it is endorsed (with that stamp) when she enters the US, then it seems she would be admissible to Canada. I'd print out the Canadian gov't website info in case the airline has a question.
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Old Mar 29, 09, 2:22 am   #14
 
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Originally Posted by Emeraldcity View Post
A friend of mine who is a Canadian citizen and has applied for a green card here in the US, went home for Christmas. She got into Canada, but they wouldn't let her out. Seems you can't leave the US once you have applied for the green card until you actually get it. And if you want to leave, you have to have permission in advance of your travel.
Shrugs.....well that is what she went through anyway. They finally let her back into the US, but she can't leave again until her card comes through.
I don't understand the reasoning for this. You're still a "resident" here as long as you maintain a permanent address within the US. Common sense-wise, the number of times you temporarily leave the country is, frankly, irrelevant. Or is this the INS bureaucrats just being difficult?
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Old Mar 29, 09, 1:23 pm   #15
 
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I don't understand the reasoning for this. You're still a "resident" here as long as you maintain a permanent address within the US. Common sense-wise, the number of times you temporarily leave the country is, frankly, irrelevant. Or is this the INS bureaucrats just being difficult?
If you've applied for but not yet been granted permanent resident (I-551) status you can't leave the US without "advance parole" while the application is pending. Once you have the card, even if you lose the card, you can still come and go; it's just a lot harder to come back in.
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