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DominiqueL

K-1 vs CR-1, considering the backlog

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Hello everyone!

I am currently weighing the pros and cons of each option and one thing that kind of remains a question mark is the TSC backlog. Am I right in thinking that due to that issue, K-1s are taking longer, and are, in fact, not that much more efficient time wise than the CR-1? From what I've bear reading in these forums, there just seems to be a lot of uncertainty when it comes to the K-1. (Or maybe I'm totally wrong.)

Any thoughts are appreciated!

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Hello everyone!

I am currently weighing the pros and cons of each option and one thing that kind of remains a question mark is the TSC backlog. Am I right in thinking that due to that issue, K-1s are taking longer, and are, in fact, not that much more efficient time wise than the CR-1? From what I've bear reading in these forums, there just seems to be a lot of uncertainty when it comes to the K-1. (Or maybe I'm totally wrong.)

Any thoughts are appreciated!

I-129Fs (the seed of a K-1) routed through TSC right now are trash. The research you have concluded that led you to the conclusion that there is a lot of uncertainty is not unfounded. That said, some petitions that would normally have been routed to TSC seem to be being routed to CSC once they leave the Dallas Lockbox for some reason.


ROC Timeline!

Service Center : California Service Center

NOA1 : 2017-09-01

Biometrics : 2017-09-28

 

AOS Timeline!

Marriage : 2015-01-10

AOS/EAD/AP NOA1 : 2015-01-20

Biometrics : 2015-02-17

EAD/AP Approved : 2015-03-17

EAD/AP Card Received : 2015-03-27

NPIW : 2015-06-11

AOS Approved : 2015-11-24

GC Received : 2015-12-01

 

K-1 Visa Timeline!

Service Center : Texas Service Center

Transferred? No

Consulate : Frankfurt, Germany

I-129F NOA1 : 2014-03-11

I-129F NOA2 : 2014-08-12

Consulate Received : 2014-09-15

Interview Date : 2014-11-13

Interview Result : Approved

Visa Received : 2014-11-15

US Entry : 2014-12-31

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I-130s (the petition for CR-1s) are also experiencing a significant delay at the NVC (National Visa Center---where all petitions are sent before being forwarded to consulates abroad):

http://www.visajourney.com/content/ir1cr1historical

So it appears (and CR-1 filers would need to confirm this, and I apologize if I'm reading it incorrectly), that even if you get through a USCIS service center faster with an I-130 than you would get through TSC with an I-129f (which is right now true for all service centers), you'd still be looking at a 5ish month wait at NVC before being ready for the next step, whereas I-129fs get through NVC in an average of 10 days (as of now). K-1s are still faster than CR-1s (because CR-1s come with a green card essentially automatically, which I believe is what the holdup is about. K-1s don't, but that visa essentially allows you to wait for the green card in the US rather than overseas)

Plus, you'd have to add in the time to travel to get married, wait for the marriage certificate etc, whereas the I-129f you could pretty much file today if you're a heck of a lot more organized and have a more cooperative fiance than I do (the man hates paperwork, and until recently seems to have thought that if he ignored it, it would go away. Heh. Our very first "real" fight was over the G-325a. Lol. How romantic).

Edited by CatherineA

Marriage/ AOS Timeline:

23 Dec 2015: Legal marriage

23 Jan 2016: Wedding!

23 Jan 2016: "Blizzard of the Century", wedding canceled/rescheduled (thank goodness we were legally married first or we'd have had a big problem!) :sleepy:

24 Jan 2016: Small "civil ceremony" with friends and family who were snowed in with us. December was a bit of a secret and people had traveled internationally and knew we *had* to get married that weekend, and our December legal marriage was nothing but signing a piece of paper at our priest's kitchen table, without any sort of vows etc so this was actually a very special (if not legally significant) day. (L)

16 Apr 2016: Filed for AOS and EAD/AP (We delayed a bit-- no big rush, enjoying the USCIS break)

23 Apr 2016: Wedding! Finally! :luv:

27 Apr 2016: Electronic NOA1 for all 3 :dancing:
29 Apr 2016: NOA1 Hardcopy for all 3
29 Jul 2016: Online service request for late EAD (Day 104)
29 Jul 2016: EAD/AP Approved ~3 hours after online service request
04 Aug 2016: RFE for Green Card (requested medicals/ vaccination record. They already have it). :ranting:
05 Aug 2016: EAD/AP Combo Card arrived! (Day 111)
08 Aug 2016: Congressional constituent request to get guidance on the RFE. Hoping they see they have the form and approve!

K-1 Visa Timeline:

PLEASE NOTE. This timeline was during the period of time when TSC was working on I-129fs and had a huge backlog. The average processing time was 210+ days. This is in no way predictive of your own timeline if you filed during or after April 2015, unless CSC develops a backlog. A backlog is anything above the 5-month goal time listed on USCIS's site

14 Feb 2015: Mailed I-129f to Dallas Lockbox. (L) (Most expensive Valentine's card I've ever sent!)

17 Feb 2015: NOA1 "Received Date"
19 Feb 2015: NOA1 Notice Date
08 Aug 2015: NOA2 email! :luv: (173 days from NOA1)

17 Aug 2015: Sent to NVC

?? Aug 2015: Arrived at NVC

25 Aug 2015: NVC Case # Assigned

31 Aug 2015: Left NVC for Consulate in San Jose

09 Sep 2015: Consulate received :dancing: (32 days from NOA2)

11 Sep 2015: Packet 3 emailed from embassy to me, the petitioner (34 days from NOA2).

18 Sep 2015: Medicals complete

21 Sep 2015: Packet 3 complete, my boss puts a temporary moratorium on all time off due to work emergency :clock:

02 Oct 2015: Work emergency clears up, interview scheduled (soonest available was 5 business days away--Columbus Day was in there)

13 Oct 2015: Interview

13 Oct 2015: VISA APPROVED :thumbs: (236 days from NOA1)

19 Oct 2015: Visa-in-hand

24 Oct 2015: POE !

15 Dec 2015: Fiance's mother's B-2 visa interview: APPROVED! So happy she will be at the wedding! :thumbs:

!

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Ooh thanks for the historical processing times link, I had yet to discover this!

Travel time to get married is not an issue for us (we are very lucky) and getting the certificate in NYC (where we will get married either way) doesn't seem too difficult, so I really am leaning toward the CR-1. I guess I was just looking for one more thing to add to the pro column.

There just seems to be less stress with the CR-1. When you apply for that, you're expecting a bit of a wait whereas K-1 these days seems to be extremely random.

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I do not know if the current NVC processing times have increased or not. My husbands CR-1 was sent from the USCIS to the NVC in August 2014 and he had his interview in January 2015 and received his visa in February 2015.

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CR1 have a lot of bonuses especially for Canadians who live on the eastern side of Canada.


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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Well you don't have so far to travel for an interview, unlike us married couples on the western side.

You get a green card right away which means you can travel outside the USA, work, claim EI right away instead of waiting 90 days for those things. That makes it easier to get a driver's licence, SSN, etc... Because you also get your green card right away you can apply for citizenship sooner if that's your wish.


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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The problem with taking the information and processing times at the time of filing is that things can change after you file, so the element of uncertainty is always a threat.

We used the guidelines at the time of filing: TSC was just under 5 months on average. Then they transferred a batch of petitions and we thought it would shorten the time. it didn't. We had been getting quotes and plans in draft for a February/March wedding, but it took us nearly 8 months to get our NOA2 and we still have to go through the consular process before we get our visas.

The point is, for some reason with USCIS, you can't use the logic that if the line gets longer behind you, you wait less. Anything can happen. You just have to make the best decision you can with the information you have available at the time and be prepared that there may be hiccups or nice surprises along the way.


Lee & William

8/2/2014 - Sent I-129F Petition with USPS by Express Mail
8/4/2014 - I-129F delivered to dropbox
8/6/2014 - NOA1 Text/E-Mail received
8/11/2014 - Alien Registration Number Changed (Text/E-Mail) / NOA1 Letter received by Mail
3/16/2015 - NOA2 Text/E-Mail received (224 days)
3/20/2015 - Sent to NVC
3/31/2015 - NVC Received
4/1/2015 - Case Number Assigned
4/7/2015 - NVC Sent to Embassy
4/10/2015 - London Embassy Received
4/11/2015 - Medical
4/15/2015 - Packet 3 Received
4/12/2015 - Packet 3 Sent
4/23/2015 - Packet 4 Received
5/18/2015 - Interview - APPROVED
5/30/2015 - Visa collected from courier
6/1/2015 - POE
6/14/2015 - Wedding

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Yeah, that's kind of the logic that's leading me to pick the CR-1. With that, you know you're getting a long wait no matter what and there's time to get one's things in order, no 90 day rush to organize a wedding and no waiting to work. As my significant other and I live in the same time zone just a 6 hour drive away, this really is the most logical choice.

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