Canadian Fiance of an American Citizen applying to medical school

Hopeful2021

Psyched
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Jun 24, 2016
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Hey everyone,

I was wondering if anyone knows anything about my current situation. I am a Canadian Citizen and have finished my undergraduate degree in Ontario, Canada. My stats are cGPA of 3.6 and sGPA of 3.65 and my MCAT is 510. I have a bunch of TA/Research/shadowing experiences as the highlights of my extracurriculars/employment. I will be applying to US MD and DO schools for 2021 entry. My Fiance is an American Citizen and we are planning to get married this summer as such I don't yet have a legal status in the states. I understand that when I'll be applying to medical school in June 2020, I will be considered an international student thus decreasing my chances of getting into any of the schools significantly, especially MD schools. I have also looked into the immigration process and it looks like it will at least take 6-8 months for me to be able to have a legal status in US through the spouse sponsorship process. I currently live in Canada and he lives in US and the wedding will be in Canada so I can't apply for the Fiance visa, which usually comes before Adjustment of Status, because it requires me to move to the US first and then get married there which is not our plan.

So my question is, should I go ahead and apply this cycle anyway knowing I will be viewed as an international or wait until next cycle and increase my chances once I am all moved and settled in in the states and have my green card? Is there a way of updating my legal status on my application should it change during the application cycle (but not right at the time of the June opening date) and will schools care about that?

I know it is a unique case and I would appreciate any insight anyone could give me.

Thank you so much in advance :)
 

GreenDuck12

5+ Year Member
Mar 30, 2014
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Hey everyone,

I was wondering if anyone knows anything about my current situation. I am a Canadian Citizen and have finished my undergraduate degree in Ontario, Canada. My stats are cGPA of 3.6 and sGPA of 3.65 and my MCAT is 510. I have a bunch of TA/Research/shadowing experiences as the highlights of my extracurriculars/employment. I will be applying to US MD and DO schools for 2021 entry. My Fiance is an American Citizen and we are planning to get married this summer as such I don't yet have a legal status in the states. I understand that when I'll be applying to medical school in June 2020, I will be considered an international student thus decreasing my chances of getting into any of the schools significantly, especially MD schools. I have also looked into the immigration process and it looks like it will at least take 6-8 months for me to be able to have a legal status in US through the spouse sponsorship process. I currently live in Canada and he lives in US and the wedding will be in Canada so I can't apply for the Fiance visa, which usually comes before Adjustment of Status, because it requires me to move to the US first and then get married there which is not our plan.

So my question is, should I go ahead and apply this cycle anyway knowing I will be viewed as an international or wait until next cycle and increase my chances once I am all moved and settled in in the states and have my green card? Is there a way of updating my legal status on my application should it change during the application cycle (but not right at the time of the June opening date) and will schools care about that?

I know it is a unique case and I would appreciate any insight anyone could give me.

Thank you so much in advance :)

You won’t be able to change your residency information once your submit AMCAS for verification. If you submit as a non-US citizen, you will be viewed as such for the duration of the application cycle. Given your GPA and MCAT it might make sense to wait till you have established not only citizenship but residency in a state. State schools usually have a preference for in state applicants and you will have a better shot at admission.

personally, if I were in your shoes, I would see if your fiance would be comfortable with getting legally married before the wedding, in the US at a court house, so that you have more time to get citizenship and residency.
 
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candbgirl

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Jul 14, 2005
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Your stats are average at best. We don’t know about your ECs but you should probably wait. This will allow you to apply to all of the US med schools and not just those that take international,students. It will also give you time to do some clinical experiences in America and some nonclinical volunteering too.
 
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Mar 14, 2019
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You didn't say too much about your ECs, so I'll assume you don't have a lot of the clinical experiences/non-clinical volunteering service to others that schools like to see. That, combined with very average stats, probably means you won't have a lot of success, so you should probably focus on your wedding and ECs, and wait to apply until you have legal status and have had time to more fully flesh out your ECs.
 
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enchantments

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Feb 20, 2018
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Just wanted to say if you have any questions about the immigration process, feel free to PM. My wife and I went through the same thing (although I'm the American in our case). We were very recently assigned the final interview date after 1.5 years since the initial filing of the i-130 (CR-1/Spousal Visa).

By the way, I absolutely recommend having a courtroom marriage in the States prior to a traditional ceremony/reception up in Canada (this is exactly what we did). It allows you to expedite the legal process by several months. In any case, expect the process to take 1 year minimum, and it's not uncommon for it to take two years before you get your green card in hand. We were fortunate not to have too many setbacks and it still took us this long. We have friends that went through immigration as well, and they ended up being delayed significantly because their immigration lawyer screwed some of the paperwork up. FYI you absolutely don't need an immigration lawyer for this process unless there's some sort of red flag in your case.
 

thumbz

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Jan 12, 2010
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My other opinion

Your stats are good for the Canadian friendly DO schools. If you don't want to delay the process and don't have dreams of doing plastic surgery you could apply, get an F1 visa (which is quick and easy) and then adjust your status to a green card after you get married. That's the path I took and the adjustment of status only took 8 months and was a piece of cake. It also won't give you the significant opportunity cost of starting practice a year later (probably worth ~250k). Food for thought.
 
Aug 2, 2019
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Hi!

I know this is a super old thread but I'm currently in a similar position as OP -- making our way (slowly) through the adjustment of status application and waiting for a final decision/interview before applying, hopefully this spring for 2022 entry.

The only reason I'm commenting is for any other Canadians/international students who come across this thread in the future; the suggestion above by thumbz is actually not a viable immigration option. Entering the USA with a non-immigrant visa (F1) with the intention of staying and adjusting status is immigration fraud and is illegal. Just wanted to make sure nobody unintentionally finds themselves in hot water!! :)
 
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