United States Consulate General Montreal
By Henry J.Chang*
Debra McCarthy, Consul General (Ext.2297) Bernadette Allen, Chief of the Consul Section (Ext.
2210) Mary Grandfield, Chief IV Section (Ext.3833) Marco Velikonja, Chief NIV Section (Ext.
2230) Daniel Hamilton, Chief of American Citizenship Services (Ext.2204)
The post operates on Eastern Standard Time.
The post prefers to respond to case specific inquiries by facsimile or email but is also willing to answer such inquiries by telephone.
The posts telephone number is: (514) 3989695.
Attorneys should call from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm (EST), when a consular officer will more likely be available.
The post will respond to clear, case-specific questions.
However, general inquiries relating to NIV application procedures and fees are best answered through the appointment system number, which is described below.
United States Consulate General P.O.Box 65 Montreal, Quebec H5B 1G1
United States Consulate General 1155 St.Alexander Street 19th Floor
H2Z ; Henry J.Chang is a partner in the Toronto office of Chang & Boos http://www.americanlaw.com/, practicing exclusively in the field of U.S.
Immigration and Nationality Law.
He obtained his Bachelor of Laws from Osgoode Hall Law School in 1990 and is a member of the State Bar of California and the Law Society of Upper Canada.
Mr.Chang is the current Canadian Chapter Chair of the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
The post is located at the corner of Ren-Lvesque Boulevard and St.Alexander Street, one block west of Bleury Street.
The post prefers to answer inquiries by facsimile or email.
A general email address exists for each consular section.
For passport, citizenship or other American Citizen Services inquiries, the email address is: case-specific inquiries for immigrant, K-2 fianc(e), K-4 spouse, "V", and diversity visa lottery cases, the email address is: non-immigrant visa inquiries that are not appointmentrelated, the email address is: Montreal-NIV@state.gov (this email address cannot provide responses related to appointments).
The general facsimile number for visa matters and consular section chiefs is (514) 398-9748.
The American Citizenship Services fax number is 514-0702.
The post prefers to answer inquiries by facsimile or email.
They will respond to faxes at their expense.
As of July 1, 2001, post requires appointments for all NIV applications.
There are no exceptions.
All appointments are booked through the Minacs Group, a private contractor that handles the posts appointment system.
Appointments may be booked by calling a 900 number; the cost of the call is charged to the callers telephone bill.
The appointment booking numbers are:
12778 (From Canada) 13131 (From the United States)
Because some office telephones and all pay phones block the use of 900 numbers, the Minacs Group also provides an alternate appointment number (10032), which works in both Canada and the United States.
Callers using this number will be required to pay by credit card.
Applicants should call the appropriate telephone number and use Minacs' automated appointment system.
The system assigns a reference number to the applicant, which is used in all future communications relating to the appointment.
The applicant should make record this reference number.
Appointments are available between 2-4 weeks in advance.
Once the applicant has made an appointment through the automated system, he or she will be prompted to confirm the appointment by either calling back at a pre-arranged time, or by choosing the option to speak to an operator immediately.
If the applicant does not confirm the appointment using one of these two options, the appointment will be cancelled.
Applicants who need a more immediate appointment should first get a reference number and then choose the option on the automated menu for a live operator.
The applicant should indicate that he or she wants a more immediate appointment.
The operator will put the applicant on a waiting list for the requested date(s).
The Applicant then calls back
the following day to find out if his or her appointment has been booked.
No additional confirmation is required.
Landed immigrants of Canada will be given priority.
Applicants are also able to book appointments on the Internet at the following web site: http://www.nvars.com/
Delivering Documents to the Post
The post accepts all private courier deliveries (i.e.UPS, Federal Express).
Courier packages should be sent to the posts physical address.
III Attorney Representation
Attorneys are no longer permitted into the building.
For post-interview inquiries, the attorney should contact the appropriate section chief to discuss the case by telephone.
IV Unlawful Presence Bars: Determinations of Inadmissibility Under INA 212(a)(9)(B)(i)(I) and (II)
The posts current position is that every NIV and IV applicant is required to affirmatively demonstrate that he or she has maintained lawful nonimmigrant status in the United States no matter how long ago the period of stay occurred.
The burden of proof remains on the visa applicant.
Unfortunately, in many cases visa applicants will not have a record of extensions granted by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS).
For example, the only record of an extension or change of status may have been on the aliens Form I-94, which was returned to the airline upon departure.
The consulate will likely refuse such applicants.
The post forwards waiver requests to the INS at Dorval (Montreal) Airport for adjudication.
V Nonimmigrant Visas
A.Processing Time and Procedures
The post is open for visa processing from 8:30 am to 11:30 am (ET), except for American and Canadian holidays.
There are no special hours for Canadian nationals or third country nationals.
The American Citizen Services section is open from 8:30 a.m.
to 12 noon, MondayFriday and 2:00-4:00 p.m.
The post does not issue E visas.
Only the United States Consulate General in Toronto issues E visas in Canada.
All NIV applicants must pay the nonrefundable Machine Readable Visa Fee of $45USD directly to post.
As stated above, all visa applicants (including landed immigrants of Canada) are required to have visa appointment as of July 1, 2001.
No walk-ins are permitted.
The post attempts to return issued non-immigrant visas to applicants who are not local residents on the same day as the interview.
However, barring any unforeseen circumstances, the post only guarantees visa issuance by 3:00 pm the following business day.
If the visa application is denied, the attorney may phone the NIV section to request reconsideration.
The attorney should be prepared to provide additional documentation or persuasive legal authority to justify reconsideration.
.Visa Issuance Rates
This post has refused to provide information concerning visa issuance rates.
Visas by Mail and Waiver of Interview
NIV applications are not accepted by mail, except for V and K-4 visas (which must first be approved by the INS).
The post does not waive personal interviews.
D.Additional Documents and Special Forms
The post uses both English and French versions of Form DS-156.
No special forms are used.
E.Post Acceptance of INS Approval Notices, Cables or Attorney Certified Copies.
The post will process H, L, O and P cases on the basis of an original I-797 notice sent directly to the employer from the INS, along with an attorney certified copy of the petition package.
It will also process H, L, O and P cases on the basis of receipt of a cable notice of approval from the INS, along with an attorney certified copy of the petition package.
F.Policy on B-1 in Lieu of H-
This post follows the guidance contained in the Foreign Affairs Manual (FAM).
VI Immigrant Visas
Processing Time and Procedures
All IV processing in Canada takes place at this post.
The National Visa Center (NVC) preprocesses Montreals IV cases to the Packet 4 stage and appointments are scheduled by the NVC.
All pre-interview inquiries about cases, from petition receipt through interview scheduling, should be directed to the NVC at 603- with the case number.
Approved visas are usually issued immediately following the interview.
Applicants who are refused on the day of the interview usually follow up with documentary submissions by mail, and the issued visas are sent to the applicants by return mail.
The consular post is helpful in ensuring that age-out cases are processed timely.
Call the post for assistance.
Approximate processing time for immediate relative spouse cases is about 4-6 months after Form I-130 is received by the NVC.
Processing time for fianc(e) cases is about 6-8 weeks after the post receives the fianc(e) petition.
The Department of State has recently instructed posts to accept approved employment-based immigrant visa cases for persons with I-824s pending who were last resident in that district and encourages posts to accept such cases from out-of district residents.
However, this post has stated that the request must be made to NVC; it will not independently schedule interviews.
It will also not accept outdistrict cases.
B.Visa Issuance Rates
This post has refused to provide information concerning visa issuance rates.
IV medical exam reports usually take three days.
Appointments must be scheduled at least two to three days prior to visa interview.
Information and instructions about the medical examination are mailed by the NVC in Packet 4.
Applicants (or their representatives) are responsible for scheduling the medical examination.
Applicants must bring documentation evidencing which of the listed/required vaccinations they claim to have already had.
Panel physicians will then provide any additional vaccinations as required to complete the requirements.
There are currently 16 approved panel physicians located in Canada.A list of panel physicians is included in Packet 4 sent out by the NVC.
Each person needs to produce a valid passport with photo I.D.If child is included with the passport of a parent, a separate picture is required for each child.
Panel physicians do not accept any chest X-rays, blood work, or medical results performed outside the clinic.
Applicants under age 15 are not required to have chest x-rays or blood work.
Pregnant applicants should call for further instructions and options.
All fees are required to be paid in full at appointment.
They accept Canadian (not U.S.) cash, or Visa and Master Card.
Personal checks are not accepted.
Fees include all blood work, chest x-rays, medical exam and report.
Any additional vaccinations required will result in additional fees.
Generally, each applicant must come in person to pick up their medical exam reports, and take them to the IV interview.
A family head can pick up for the whole family if they were examined as a group.
The post declines requests to process discretionary out-district cases.
Affidavit of Support Issues
The post strictly interprets Department of State cables relating to Form I-864.
Attorneys should ensure that the petitioner can prove a United States domicile or that a United States domicile is actively in the process of being established (school enrollment in the United States, leases, bank accounts, jobs, etc.).
IRS certification of tax returns is generally not required but may be required by the consular officers as they deem necessary or appropriate in particular cases.
Establishing that the sponsor satisfies the domicile requirement has been a significant problem in family-based first, third and 2b preference cases.
The post often does not believe that an elderly United States citizen parent truly intends to establish domicile in the United States.
In the past, it has demanded evidence that the sponsor has petitioned for his or her foreign spouse (if applicable), terminated his or her Canadian medical insurance, and has obtained sufficient medical insurance in the United States.
F.Additional Documents and Special Forms
There are no special forms used in immigrant visa processing at this post.
F.Following to Join Cases
This post will not accept visa applications from following to join dependents where the principal applicant has adjusted status.
Such requests must be made to NVC; the post will not independently schedule interviews.
Immediate Relative Petitions
Consular posts in Canada no longer adjudicate immediate relative petitions where the petitioner and beneficiary are located within the consular district.
Petitioners residing in Canada must now file immediate relative petitions with the Nebraska Service Center.
VII INS Waiver Policies, Procedures, and Time waivers pursuant to INA 212(d)(3)(A) must be requested at the post.
The visa applicant does not submit Form I-192 to the post.
If the post believes that a nonimmigrant waiver is warranted, it will recommend the approval of the waiver to the INS at Dorval (Montreal) Airport.
The normal processing time for nonimmigrant waivers is approximately 4-6 weeks.
Immigrant waivers (Form I-601) are filed at the post.
Although applications for permission to reapply (Form I-212) are normally filed at the INS District Office having jurisdiction over the place where the alien was removed (the alien will usually obtain permission to reapply before the immigrant interview in such cases), where the applicant is seeking both permission to reapply and an immigrant waiver, both are filed at the post.
The post follows the procedures described in the FAM relating to IV waiver requests.
Attorneys should review the FAM to determine what procedures should be followed for specific Form I-212 or Form I-601 filings.
IV waiver applications are forwarded to the INS at Dorval (Montreal) Airport for adjudication.
The normal turnaround time for Form I-212 and Form I-601 applications forwarded by the post is approximately 6-8 weeks but could be longer..