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Is it easier to get married in Nigeria and apply for I-130 instead of applying for I-29F and getting married in US?

#1 cassjack2004

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 07:09 PM

Hello everyone,

This is my first post to the site. My boyfriend and I have been dating for over 2 years. He's a Nigerian citizen and I'm an American citizen. Our original plan was to apply for the K-1 Visa, have a civil ceremony in the States, and then (at a later time) have a wedding ceremony back in Nigeria. But I was reading about the I-130, Green Card for Family Member, and it looks like it might be easier to get married first in Nigeria and then apply for the I-130. The major drawback there is that he would have to wait in Nigeria at least 5 months while the Green card is getting approved and we both don't want to do that.

Either way we go, we want to get married on Nov 11, 2011. We need to make a decision on whether to start the Fiance visa or if we should just get married in Nigeria and apply for a green card. Anyone have any advice?

Thanks,

Nichole

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#2 JRTLFlores

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 07:19 PM

If you start the Fiance Visa (which I actually recommend over the Spouse Visa), then it's almost certain there's no way to be able to marry in the States on 11/11/11. That's way too soon because the Fiance Visa takes usually between 5-9 months (most countries average about the same, more or less)

From what I do know of the Spouse Visa, that one is even MORE complicated, longer (2 years-ish), and MORE money. I don't recommend that route. I'm not sure what I would do if I were you except change the tentative wedding date or move over to Nigeria for awhile.

I filed for the fiance visa in late December and have a tentative wedding date of Sept. 17th, 2011. As it is, we might have to postpone it a little, and our visa is going at a pretty normal rate. My cousin when through the Spouse Visa route so that's how I know a little about its' timing.

We'll see what some others have to say on this but that's my opinion anyway.

Whatever route you take, it'll all come together and the long wait will be worth it! The greater the sacrifice the greater the joy.
  • 0
07.24.09 Met in Mexico.
03.18.10 Began dating via internet.
07.10.10 Arrived in Mexico, 2nd trip.
12.16.10 Returned home to US. Last time I've seen him :(
12.20.10 I-129f sent to Dallas.
12.28.10 I-129f received.
12.30.10 NOA1
05.04.11 NOA2
05.07.11 Received hardcopy NOA2 in the mail.
05.31.11 NVC receive.
06.02.11 NVC sent.
06.02.11 Consulate Received.
06.13.11 Packet 3 Received.
06.13.11 Packet 3 Sent. (i.e. submitting DS-260 and filling out and printing DS-156 and DS-156K)
06.14.11 Scheduled ASC and interview.
07.10.11 Departure to Mexico City.
07.11.11 Mexico City to Ju嫫ez.
07.12.11 Medical
07.13.11 ASC appointment
07.14.11 INTERVIEW! and APPROVED!! :)
07.21.11 Visa in Transit.
07.22.11 Visa Ready to be Picked Up @ DHL.
07.23.11 Picked up visa @ DHL.
07.23.11 Crossed border to El Paso.
07.24.11 Flight to Boston and FINALLY IN MY ARMS AGAIN!!! Thank you Lord!
09.17.11 Married!
09.27.11 Sent in papers for AOS
02.13.12 Received RFE

#3 Ryan H

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 07:41 PM

From what I do know of the Spouse Visa, that one is even MORE complicated, longer (2 years-ish), and MORE money.


Wrong on the timeframe and wrong on the money. The filing fee for a I-130 is slightly more than the I-129F but with a fiancee visa, there is AOS which costs $1070. You also have the K1 visa fee. I estimate you are looking at 2K in fees for a K1 and AOS and 1K in fees for I-130. I rounded up in my estimates.

As far as timeframes go, the posted times by USCIS from NOA1 to NOA2 are the same, 5 months. Spousal visas have processing at the NVC which if managed properly on the petitioner's end, can be done quickly. You can't control things on the NVC end.

Different processes work better for different people. Each couple must go down the path that works best for them. Just because the K1 process works well for one couple doesn't mean it will work well for another and vice versa. Furthermore, which process is more complicated is in the eye of the beholder.

Edited by Ryan H, 03 June 2011 - 07:43 PM.

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September 2007: Met online via social networking site (MySpace); began exchanging messages.
March 26, 2009: We become a couple!
September 10, 2009: Arrived for first meeting in-person!
June 17, 2010: Arrived for second in-person meeting and start of travel together to other areas of China!
June 21, 2010: Engaged!!!
September 1, 2010: Switched course from K1 to CR-1
December 8, 2010: Wedding date set; it will be on February 18, 2011!
February 9, 2011: Depart for China
February 11, 2011: Registered for marriage in Wuhan, officially married!!!
February 18, 2011: Wedding ceremony in Shiyan!!!
April 22, 2011: Mailed I-130 to Chicago
April 28, 2011: Received NOA1 via text/email, file routed to CSC (priority date April 25th)
April 29, 2011: Updated
May 3, 2011: Received NOA1 hardcopy in mail
July 26, 2011: Received NOA2 via text/email!!!
July 30, 2011: Received NOA2 hardcopy in mail
August 8, 2011: NVC received file
September 1, 2011: NVC case number assigned
September 2, 2011: AOS invoice received, OPTIN email for EP sent
September 7, 2011: Paid AOS bill (payment portal showed PAID on September 9, 2011)
September 8, 2011: OPTIN email accepted, GZO number assigned
September 10, 2011: Emailed AOS package
September 12, 2011: IV bill invoiced
September 13, 2011: Paid IV bill (payment portal showed PAID on September 14, 2011)
September 14, 2011: Emailed IV package
October 3, 2011: Emailed checklist response (checklist generated due to typo on Form DS-230)
October 6, 2011: Case complete at NVC
November 10, 2011: Interview - APPROVED!!!
December 7, 2011: POE - Sea-Tac Airport

September 17, 2013: Mailed I-751 to CSC

September 23, 2013: Received NOA1 in mail (receipt date September 19th)

October 16, 2013:  Biometrics Appointment

January 28, 2014:  Production of new Green Card ordered

February 3, 2014:  New Green Card received; done with USCIS until fall of 2023*


#4 Dana-Mića

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 07:41 PM

I suggest you file for the cr/ir1 visa because it takes about the same amount of time as the fiancee visa as well as the fact that it is less costly and he will get his green card right away when he comes to the country and be able to work basically with in a month instead of a couple of months depending how fast you file AOS after the initial fiancee visa.

I am going through the spousal visa and well we are in the NVC stage now and I hope to God I will be done by the end of August with everything.

Edited by Dana-Mića, 03 June 2011 - 07:45 PM.

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Married March 27, 2010
Sent out I-130 December 29, 2010
Recieved NOA 1 January 4, 2011
Touched January 6, 2011
Recieved NOA 2 May 9, 2011
Interview September 27, 2011
Visa in hand Septmeber 30, 2011 (it would of been the same day as the interview but they requested some more info)
POE - JFK, NYC October 12, 2011




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#5 Casprd

Casprd

    Platinum Member



Posted 03 June 2011 - 07:45 PM

Actually the above info from JRTLFlores is a little bit backwards. Spouse visa's CR-1 take about 8 to 12 months now from start to entry to the US. Cost wise they are a little more expensive than the Fiance visa, but once approved you are pretty much done and there are no additional costs. As soon as your spouse arrives in the US they recieve their greencard and can work right away (takes a couple of weeks). Fiance visa requires some additional steps after arrival and in the long run is more expensive, plus it will be months (5 to 6 I think) before your fiance can receive a green card.

Another thing to consider is from the CO's point of view, many of the CO's see the K1 visa as higher risk than the CR-1. Not a blanket rule by any means and it depends on the consulate but I would look in to the approval rates of marriage vs fiance visas from you beneficiaries country and consider that also when deciding. Bottom line is it is better to go with the route most likely to get approval rather than the fastest and least expensive because if you get denied it will cost more in the long run.

Edited by Casprd, 03 June 2011 - 07:46 PM.

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Service Center : California Service Center
Consulate : Guangzhou, China
Marriage (if applicable): 2010-04-26
I-130 Sent : 2010-06-01
I-130 NOA1 : 2010-06-08
I-130 RFE : 2010-11-05
I-130 RFE Sent : 2010-11-06
I-130 Approved : 2010-11-10
NVC Received CaseFile: 2010-11-16
NVC Casefile Number Issued: 2010-11-22
Received DS-3032 / I-864 Bill : 2010-11-23
OPTIN EMAIL SENT TO NVC: 2010-11-23
OPTIN ACCEPTED by NVC: 2010-12-14
Pay I-864 Bill 2010-11-23
Receive I-864 Package : 2010-11-23
Return Completed I-864 : 2011-03-30
Return Completed DS-3032 : 2010-11-23
Receive IV Bill : 2010-12-17
Pay IV Bill : 2011-03-16
AOS CoverSheets Generated: 2010-11-27
IV Fee Bill marked as PAID: 2011-03-18
IV CoverSheets Generated: 2011-03-18
IV email packet sent: 2011-04-4
NVC reports 'Case Completed': 2011-5-2
'Sign in Fail' at the Online Payment Portal: 2011-5-2
Final Review Started at NVC: 2011-5-2
Final Review Completed at NVC: ????
Interview Date Set: 2011-5-5
Appointment Letter Received via Email: 2011-5-6
Interview Date: 2011-6-1
Approved!!!!!

I-751 Sent : 2013-07-02

I-751 Bio Appointment Date 2013-08-02

10 Year Green Card Approved!!!!!


#6 missicy

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 07:52 PM

If you file I-129F for K1 visa now, he won't be in the US in time for 11/11/11 wedding, but in the first half of 2012.
If you get married 11/11/11 and start CR1 visa process, he will be in the US with you in the end of 2012.

So if you absolutely want to get married Nov 11, then your only option is CR-1.
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#7 cardinal

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 08:40 PM

There are a bunch of ladies in the SS Africa regional forum (http://www.visajourn...ca-sub-saharan/) who brought their fiances/husbands from Nigeria on K1 or CR1. You might check with them to get their experiences with these types of visas in Lagos.
good luck and congratulations!
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#8 JRTLFlores

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Posted 03 June 2011 - 08:52 PM

On a spreadsheet once, I calculated out all anticipated costs involved in both the Fiance and Spouse visa, up to citizenship. The spouse route was significantly more costly.

Also I guessed I'm confused about the timing, because my cousin went for the spouse visa and it took him 2 years from start to finish (finish being getting her green card). Plus he said that since he was in the military, they were actually even able to expedite it to go faster. Maybe things have changed even in the last 3 years??

So if the timing is different than I thought, then missicy's comments should be correct and good succinct advice. What I mentioned is just the kind of information we had to go by to make the same decision. Two years sounded way too long, and we preferred to marry in the bride's country (mine) anyway, so the decision there was a little easier than yours perhaps.

Although, I will say a couple things on wedding dates. We had wanted 09.10.11, which is another popular date. TheKnot.com was warning not to pick popular dates like these simply because sooo many people want them that expenses from vendors become so much higher. Granted, if money is not an issue, go for it. Just a thought to keep in mind though. I was pretty set on 09.10.11 for awhile but finally gave it up when the church I really need to have it in did not have that day available. In the end it's not as much about the date as it is about committing yourselves to each other for all the days of your lives.

Wishing you all the best from the States and Mexico,
Tina and Ramon :)
  • 0
07.24.09 Met in Mexico.
03.18.10 Began dating via internet.
07.10.10 Arrived in Mexico, 2nd trip.
12.16.10 Returned home to US. Last time I've seen him :(
12.20.10 I-129f sent to Dallas.
12.28.10 I-129f received.
12.30.10 NOA1
05.04.11 NOA2
05.07.11 Received hardcopy NOA2 in the mail.
05.31.11 NVC receive.
06.02.11 NVC sent.
06.02.11 Consulate Received.
06.13.11 Packet 3 Received.
06.13.11 Packet 3 Sent. (i.e. submitting DS-260 and filling out and printing DS-156 and DS-156K)
06.14.11 Scheduled ASC and interview.
07.10.11 Departure to Mexico City.
07.11.11 Mexico City to Ju嫫ez.
07.12.11 Medical
07.13.11 ASC appointment
07.14.11 INTERVIEW! and APPROVED!! :)
07.21.11 Visa in Transit.
07.22.11 Visa Ready to be Picked Up @ DHL.
07.23.11 Picked up visa @ DHL.
07.23.11 Crossed border to El Paso.
07.24.11 Flight to Boston and FINALLY IN MY ARMS AGAIN!!! Thank you Lord!
09.17.11 Married!
09.27.11 Sent in papers for AOS
02.13.12 Received RFE

#9 patient2010

patient2010

    COUNTING IT ALL JOY



Posted 04 June 2011 - 06:38 AM

Hello everyone,

This is my first post to the site. My boyfriend and I have been dating for over 2 years. He's a Nigerian citizen and I'm an American citizen. Our original plan was to apply for the K-1 Visa, have a civil ceremony in the States, and then (at a later time) have a wedding ceremony back in Nigeria. But I was reading about the I-130, Green Card for Family Member, and it looks like it might be easier to get married first in Nigeria and then apply for the I-130. The major drawback there is that he would have to wait in Nigeria at least 5 months while the Green card is getting approved and we both don't want to do that.

Either way we go, we want to get married on Nov 11, 2011. We need to make a decision on whether to start the Fiance visa or if we should just get married in Nigeria and apply for a green card. Anyone have any advice?

Thanks,

Nichole





I think u need to look at ur overall relationship and weigh which one works best. Please keep in mind this is Lagos ur dealing with. Lagos is tough. Either way u go he will have to wait in Lagos to be approved for the visa and although thex give timeframes immigration moves to the beat of there own drum. I chose K1 bcuz i felt that it was a better fit for me and my husband we came through the process without a scratch. FYI there is no easy way when dealing with Naija
Attached File  DSC02603.jpg   14.92KB   19 downloads



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November 5, 2010 Interview 7am APPROVED!!!!!! (6months 4weeks 1day) THANK YOU LORD!!!!!

(look at my about me page in my profile if you want to see my entire k1 journey)


AOS Journey:

Feb.4, 2011 Mailed AOS packet
Feb. 7, 2011 Pkt delivered in Chicago
Feb. 10, 2011 Received txt and email of NOA for AOS, EAD, and AP
Feb. 11, 2011 Check cashed for AOS
Feb. 12, 2011 Touched
Feb. 14, 2011 received hard copy of NOA for AOS, EAD& AP
Feb. 18, 2011 received appt letter for biometrics
Feb. 28, 2011 biometrics appt @10am
Feb. 28, 2011 received txt/email AOS case transferred to csc
Mar 1, 2011 AOS Touched
Mar 3, 2011 received hard copy of AOS transfer to csc
Mar 4, 2011 AOS Touched
Mar 28, 2011 Received txt/email saying card production has been ordered. (1month 3eeks 3days)
Mar 28, 2011 Received 2nd txt/email saying we have registered this customer permanent residence status
Mar 29, 2011 Received 3rd txt/email says card production has been ordered.
April 1, 2011 greencard and welcome letter in hand!!
April 5, 2011 received txt/email EAD card production ordered
Will Start Removing Conditions Dec 2012!!!!

Dec. 26, 2012 mailed ROC paperwork
Dec. 28, 2012 NOA for ROC paperwork
Jan. 7, 2013 received bio appt letter
Jan. 24, 2013 bio appt.
June 22, 2013 10yr green card received


68z00wwuiyl.png

#10 cassjack2004

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 08:41 AM

Thank you everyone for your advice. It has really helped me have a realistic understanding of all that it takes to get either route processed. I talked to my fiancee about this and we still want to go the K1 route mainly because we don't want to have to be separated again for months after we get married. We're still hoping for the November date but that seems less and less likely from looking at everyone's timelines. Thanks again and I'll keep you posted!
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#11 NigeriaorBust

NigeriaorBust

    igwe and lolo



Posted 04 June 2011 - 08:49 AM

If you filed today for an I 129 F it would be approved out of USCIS between 4 months (Oct) and 7 months ( Jan). Allow another month to get to the consulate and at least another 2 months for them give you the interview slot and you are looking at early/mid next year. You could be together then but your planned wedding date is gone. If you have to get married 11/11/11 it will be in Nigeria. Once you get married you can file the CR1 and that process is also about a year so he will be here late 2012 to early 2013. The third route is to get residency in Nigeria and then do a direct consular filing . But you need 6 months of residency ( not a visitors visa) before you file. That process could start the clock before you marry and the DCF usually takes about 4 months after you file( after you are married AND have the 6 months residency.
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This will not be over quickly. You will not enjoy this.


#12 pushbrk

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    Straight Talk Member



Posted 04 June 2011 - 08:51 AM

Wrong on the timeframe and wrong on the money. The filing fee for a I-130 is slightly more than the I-129F but with a fiancee visa, there is AOS which costs $1070. You also have the K1 visa fee. I estimate you are looking at 2K in fees for a K1 and AOS and 1K in fees for I-130. I rounded up in my estimates.

As far as timeframes go, the posted times by USCIS from NOA1 to NOA2 are the same, 5 months. Spousal visas have processing at the NVC which if managed properly on the petitioner's end, can be done quickly. You can't control things on the NVC end.

Different processes work better for different people. Each couple must go down the path that works best for them. Just because the K1 process works well for one couple doesn't mean it will work well for another and vice versa. Furthermore, which process is more complicated is in the eye of the beholder.


Yes, the best choice for you will depend on your circumstances and priorities. If the wedding date in Nigeria is the top priority, then plan on doing that, followed by a CR1 visa process. Expect the process to take a minimum of 7 months but more likely 9 or 10. That will give you plenty of time also to get very acquainted with the process and learn how to document and build your relationship so that you can have a successful spouse visa process through the Consulate that sees the highest percentage of fraudulent relationships of all US Consulates in the world.



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Facts are cheap...knowing how to use them is precious...
Understanding the big picture is priceless.  Anonymous


#13 Harpa Timsah

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 03:21 PM

On a spreadsheet once, I calculated out all anticipated costs involved in both the Fiance and Spouse visa, up to citizenship. The spouse route was significantly more costly.


This is incorrect. I am not sure where you were getting your information from, but the K-1 is more expensive.
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AOS for my husband
8/17/10: INTERVIEW DAY (day 123) APPROVED!!

ROC:
5/23/12: Sent out package
2/06/13: APPROVED!


#14 pushbrk

pushbrk

    Straight Talk Member



Posted 04 June 2011 - 04:22 PM

On a spreadsheet once, I calculated out all anticipated costs involved in both the Fiance and Spouse visa, up to citizenship. The spouse route was significantly more costly.



Your calculations are wrong. In terms of government fees the difference is $848, in favor of the spouse visa. If it's an IR1 instead of a CR1 the difference is $1,438.



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Facts are cheap...knowing how to use them is precious...
Understanding the big picture is priceless.  Anonymous


#15 Ning

Ning

    Diamond Member



Posted 04 June 2011 - 06:08 PM

Yes, the best choice for you will depend on your circumstances and priorities. If the wedding date in Nigeria is the top priority, then plan on doing that, followed by a CR1 visa process. Expect the process to take a minimum of 7 months but more likely 9 or 10. That will give you plenty of time also to get very acquainted with the process and learn how to document and build your relationship so that you can have a successful spouse visa process through the Consulate that sees the highest percentage of fraudulent relationships of all US Consulates in the world.

I hope the OP reads this & accepts this as exactly correct in every way. Especially the reference to what occures at that counsulate. There have been many cases that were very troubled from there here on V J.
Additonaly there is a lot of bad info given here about timing & cost that needs to be disregarded.
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