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Evockzi

What are my options, and what should I expect?

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Basic summary of my life, currently I'm a mixed profession individual living as a Canadian born, Canadian Citizen. After having lost my employment in aircraft maintenance engineering field, I've basically tiered things back, and instead of working up here for the next few years and possibly look at bringing my Girlfriend to Canada, I'm considering the latter and changing occupations into Electrical, and eventually take schooling to go into engineering again.

We've been together for over a year now, and don't play on doing anything move wise until at least early 2016, in mean time I'm doing everything in my power to clear my debt up here, (Will be filing for bankruptcy in a month or so), was left with a vehicle and number of other things after unfortunately being layed off out of my primary occupation, and these debts just are too much for a 23 year old to really account for, so its basically my only option to clear 20k+ in debt that magically accumulated after this disaster. Unless theres something I don't know about this shouldn't affect my eligibility to move down to US, as I'm still planning on saving about 15-25k before moving down. So theres more then enough money for living expenses for 5-6 months and always 10-15k as backup for anything and eventually downpayment savings.

To my knowledge having done more research I don't believe theres a option for me to find work sponsorship down there in the aircraft field, or as an apprentice electrician (or other construction positions)? But I may be wrong, so I'm looking more towards the marriage route and what my options are there.

I remember reading/being told when moving down is there some sort of dependancy check that will be done on my spouse if she's financially capable of supporting me herself, which she wouldn't be, considering we'd be moving into a apartment together, her moving out of her parents so she gets a good start to life on her own, and not having a professional career yet makes medium salary enough for herself and a bit of savings but not two independent people.

So I've read about K-1, K-3 and other visa's but obviously there alot of convolution with the process and how everythings written, and its not 100% clear which way I should go concisely. I understand for K-1 Visa I have to marry her within 90 days, which is fine, we've both discussed it and agreed if it came to it that marriage is an option we'd take it, would obviously ourselves still view each other and girlfriend/boyfriend since I'd want her to have a proper marriage and proposal from me in the future.

My question is between these Engagements, etc how would it all work, moving down there takes alot from me, would it be advisable to take like a week vacation (600$+ likely) down there just to meet with her for a few days just for paperwork sake? Since another part of K-1 Visa is having seen her in last 2 years.

Or Can I just go down with my passport on visitation under the B visa's (unsure what I have to apply to get these if anything? literally just would tell officer at border/airport going to stay with my girlfriend for a few months) And Applying for K-1 after that? Or literally just getting married once I get down there and then doing the Permanent residence application? Or would it be a simplier process going through K-1? Does K-1 Visa get turned into something after marriage occurs, that may enable work, I read that it turns me into a non-immigrant but not a permanent residence?

And Very important through all this, consideration that I want to work as soon as possible to help support her, and myself and start saving for our future together.

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Appears I missed the edit timer;

Doing a little more research, so Taking either K-1 Route, or the Marriage Route as I understand both are actual routes. Both Ways my Fiancee will be questioned for her salary, but given hopefully she'll be working by time to save herself also looking at the 100% and 125% of minimum poverty line for US, 100% basically working out to 7.50$/hr or 125% at 9.50$/hr which would be upper wage of what I'd expect she'd find as a minimum in new employment. Both would be do-able

My question still remains between the two processes which one tends to go smoother, and gets me working faster once I'm down there?

I see that basically if I do the Fiancee route, I wait in Canada until the approval is given follow that timeline guide, and I make my way down there and its basically a month of running around before I should recieve my EAD which will allow me to work while I wait for my I-485? This prolly will cost me a visit still that I wouldn't mind doing for obvious reasons to spend a bit of time with her, and course sounds like it will be mandatory for the K-1 Visa, since moving down there and waiting 30 days then waiting up to basically a month all not being able to work for my K-1 to even start processing, then waiting another month+ until I can finally even hope to get a EAD, So would be 3-4 months of waiting essentially unable to work, vs taking a flight and visiting once, and only having a lay over of about a month waiting for EAD?

I feel like I understand the K-1 system alot more clear now but I'm still fuzzy on the Marriage system version of things, and the positives and negatives of that

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Appears I missed the edit timer;

Doing a little more research, so Taking either K-1 Route, or the Marriage Route as I understand both are actual routes. Both Ways my Fiancee will be questioned for her salary, but given hopefully she'll be working by time to save herself also looking at the 100% and 125% of minimum poverty line for US, 100% basically working out to 7.50$/hr or 125% at 9.50$/hr which would be upper wage of what I'd expect she'd find as a minimum in new employment. Both would be do-able

My question still remains between the two processes which one tends to go smoother, and gets me working faster once I'm down there?

I see that basically if I do the Fiancee route, I wait in Canada until the approval is given follow that timeline guide, and I make my way down there and its basically a month of running around before I should recieve my EAD which will allow me to work while I wait for my I-485? This prolly will cost me a visit still that I wouldn't mind doing for obvious reasons to spend a bit of time with her, and course sounds like it will be mandatory for the K-1 Visa, since moving down there and waiting 30 days then waiting up to basically a month all not being able to work for my K-1 to even start processing, then waiting another month+ until I can finally even hope to get a EAD, So would be 3-4 months of waiting essentially unable to work, vs taking a flight and visiting once, and only having a lay over of about a month waiting for EAD?

I feel like I understand the K-1 system alot more clear now but I'm still fuzzy on the Marriage system version of things, and the positives and negatives of that

Coming to the US on a tourist visa with the intention to get married and adjust status is immigration fraud.

K3 visa is obsolete.

Your options are K1 (fiance) visa and IR-1/CR-1 (spousal) visa.

Read this comparison: http://www.visajourney.com/content/compare

With the spousal visa you can start working ASAP after arrival.

K1 guide: http://www.visajourney.com/content/k1guide

IR-1/CR-1 guide: http://www.visajourney.com/content/i130guide1

Edited by YouAndMeForever

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So if I understand this correctly, the CR-1 will allow me to work immediately, but all the same we have to manage to consummate the marriage, but not all within the same trip, so it essentially would be the same situation of what happens in the Fiancee Visa just we would do a Vegas style marriage, legal in her state. Then I would Return home and continue life as I-130 processes for CR-1. As long as I don't plan on staying within the country as this whole deal proceeds.

Where it says that the CR-1 can take up to 16 months, is the 7 month window fairly accurate till point where I can actually come down and work? And is there a likely case of this kind of applicaiton failing based on a short interation time, leading to a marriage or not really applicable, and people in a legitimate relationship should be fine?

Where K-1 will require me to also travel down meet in person, but not require me to go as far as marriage, meet in person have record of it, wait then when that 6 month window works for me follow up with the I-129F application, when that passes and my finances are in place, I would travel down marry her, then apply for EAD which would take about 1-2 months max I assume. Which obviously including with the additional fee's with the filing is much more finacially demanding option since I would be forced to travel, and marry her and wait until my EAD is processed until I can work? So I would 100% have to prepare to put aside at least 3-4 months worth of living expenses.

Both Options sound compelling but I'm confused a little bit how to exactly... marry someone without the intent of adjusting status, would it be as I explained about just going down there and instead of getting engaged we get married then do application for CR-1? Vs Just meeting face to Face, and doing K-1 Application, since both of these seem to incure the same travel expenses, being put in a situation where I'm unable to work for 2 months obviously incurs A Lot more costs.

Would my situation be Eligible for CR-1? Its sounding a little bit more cost saving in the long run if work is going to be an issue for a long time period.

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To add having viewed alot of peoples time lines with CR-1, it seems to the little bit extremes taking at least a year until I can enter the country and work? Year + is a bit much, and I'd rather take my savings and be with my girlfriend/fiancee over the rest of the EAD approval period once I arrive.

If I could expect to say apply for my CR-1 in September, 2015, and expect to get in around February then I would go for it no problem, but I believe I could at least be assured that K-1 processes much faster then this; I mean is it entirely accurate, the guide that has rough expectation times.

Also what do the different service centre's mean and have to do with where our application actually goes? TSC and CSC and VSC, my girlfriend lives in Lousiana so I imagine Texas centre would be closest, but they also have longer wait times queued back 8 months currently according to the website, how does this work exactly?

Edited by Evockzi

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There's no way to nail down exact times. There are too many variables but you can generally manage expectations based on the way things are when you file. That doesn't mean the timelines couldn't change while you're in the middle of the process.

So generally speaking:

CR1/IR1 takes longer but, costs less overall and you get a green card upon entry. You can work right away.

K1 is shorter, but you don't get a green card right away. You have to apply for adjustment of status and ead/ap after you get married. In the end, it costs a bit more.

There are pros and cons to both. The pro to the K1 is that it is quicker right now and you don't have to spend your first year(ish) of marriage apart from your spouse. That was huge for us in our decision to do the K1. CR1 gets the green card immediately and that's obviously a huge advantage.

There really is no right or wrong visa. You should do whatever fits your circumstances better. Either way you will have to meet in person. You can't really get around that (except for very extreme situations which someone from Canada really, really probably doesn't qualify for).

The service centers are who process the petition. They all handle various types of petitions. Petitions are not sent to service centers based on where the USC lives for the I-130 (for the CR/IR). Currently it appears that all I-129Fs (for the K1) are being sent to CSC to help balance the workload. Anyone's guess is as good as mine what they will be doing with those in a few months time. It is a factor, but you have zero control over it either way.

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Wooderz gave you the best answer you can hope for. You and your fiancee need to decide what is best for you as a couple. Should she not make enough financially or have enough savings to cover the difference, then she can get a joint sponsor. Any USC or LPR can joint sponsor you for the move. Your credit does not follow you to the USA but it's wise to pay off your debts if possible in case you two should ever make the move back to 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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Interesting, so far looking through alot of peoples K1 EAD after marriage seems to take 60-100 days, which is tolerable (60 being average) Since basically 2 months of savings isn't a big deal I easily have that much. I do plan on dealing with my debts here so I don't have head hunters after me if I decide to move back to canada any point in my life and my 20k debt suddenly is 200k lol.. or something like that, may as well clear it now, thats good to know that moving to US would give me a blank sheet as far as credit rating? My credit got smashed because of vehicle purchase, being layed off from what was deemed permanent employment having to drop like 3 contracts, leases, etc and not have money to feasibly pay all of them. If I can get down there and start a clean credit card again to start building credit that would be like beyond amazing.

K-1 is the option I'm certain I'll be going for, as I'd rather take the debt on me, Marry her under her terms after we meet vs having to marry then move back apart, seems alot more superficial then me going down, meeting with her and going ok we really like each other lets do this, fast foward 4-5 months and bam down there get married which makes alot more sense.

I would have enough savings to cover basically a entire year of living expenses by those standards, 15,000$ US I don't know if that is applicable? Since I can transfer it to her account or a account in our name, what does sponsorship entail I'll try to read more about it but those acronyms mean nothing to me atm.

Only other question is have is when is her fiancial situation assessed and for how long? She's not completely financially independent at least how it would be seen here in Canada for information sake she is 20 going on 21 this winter, like I said before I'm sure she can get work in next few months and start saving again (she wiped out her car hydroplaning and wasn't able to get another one yet) Is it deemed right at time of I-129F and anytime after that or?

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I'm confused, have you guys not met at all? You'll need to meet before filing for either visa, unless you can prove that religious or culture is why you can't meet before hand.

Secondly, her income will be assessed AFTER the I-129F has been approved. It gets assessed when you would have your interview at the canadian colsulate.

I had this same issue, but I'm a single mom with a child. Our I-129F should be approved (hopefully) by the end of this month if all the time lines work out right. I was lucky and got mine sent to California mid April, other people are waiting a year. After that it goes to the NVC and then sent to Montreal, pretty much then (say month, month and a half from now) I send in the papers showing my income and my co-sponsors income. It could literally be anywhere from a couple of months after you petition to a year after you petition. Tbqh, I went and got a job asap even with my hardships that would generally be seen as reasonable to not work (my child is disabled), but I want the best chance for our family when my fiance is here so, you gotta do what you gotta do.

My fiance is in the same situation as you, he has 15k saved up and we can easily live off that between the time he's here and when he gets his work approval, but at the same time unless you already normally sent her money over the course of your relationship they might feel that you're trying to fudge the numbers. In my case, my fiance sends me a fair chunk of money every month, but has done so for a couple of years now, we share both our incomes and have for a while, believe it's only normal to do that when you're engaged and plan on becoming married.



They don't base her financial independence on canadian terms, they would base it off of what they will look at when you apply for the green card. The green card financial needs are the same as the fiance visa (k1 needs), the only difference is, is she's not legally bound to support you through K1, where as legally herself and her cosponsor will be legally bound to make sure you have your financial needs met once you apply for the green card. Her finances will ALWAYS be considered, even if they're non-existant because she'll be the primary sponsor. So, if it will just be you and her in the married household (no one else living there) then she would need to show that either she made (without your money) an annual income of 19,912$ a year. Any income less than that she has to compensate with having assests, they look at INCOME over assests. If she doesn't make that much, she can find someone who can offset the balance who may make more, they can be the co-sponsor. In my situation, I make about 10k a year, my mother will be co-sponsoring and she makes 23k a year, both of these are pure income. For a family of 3, which is what we'll be when my fiance is here and we're married (me, him, my daughter), the minimum needed is 25,112. Obviously between my mother and myself we make 32k a year which is well over the minimum.

The lines can be found here. http://www.uscis.gov/sites/default/files/files/form/i-864p.pdf



While you do seem to be very confused on the process, I just want you to know that she should really be the one that gets all the info and make sure she's got it all straight as she'll be the one petitioning for you.

Edited by ash1101

*More detailed timeline in profile!*
 
Relationship:     Friends since 2010, Together since 2013
 

Spoiler

Met online: June 2010
Started dating: March 20, 2013
Engaged: November 27, 2014
Married: Feburary 20, 2016



The K-1 Process:    Done in 208 days                                               
 

Spoiler

04/27/15- NOA1 Recieved                                                    
06/02/15 - NOA2 Recieved
09/22/15 - Interview       (221g for more documents (a SECOND cosponsor), see profile for more details!)                                            
11/09/15 -  ISSUED!!                                                              
11/10/15 - Passport received                                                
02/20/16 - Wedding!              


                                                
 AOS   Done in 77 days                                                                            
 

Spoiler

04/08/16 - I-485, I-765, I-131 AOS Application recieved by USCIS
04/12/16 - 3 NOA1's received in mail
05/14/16 - Biometrics for AOS and EAD
06/27/16 - I-485 Case to changed to "New Card being produced"  (Day 77)
06/27/16 - I-485 Case changed to Approved! (Day 77)
06/30/16 - I-485 Case changed to "My Card has been mailed to me!"
07/05/16 - Green Card received in mail! 

 



ROC 

05/09/18 - Mailed out ROC to CSC

05/10/18 - CSC Signed and received ROC package
06/07/28 - NOA1 

06/11/18 - Check cashed

06/15/18 - NOA received in the mail

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As for who gets the info and who does what, it really doesn't matter. My husband is the USC and he wanted to hire a lawyer to do all of this. I decided I didn't want to spend the money after finding this website and did pretty much everything regarding our case up to this very moment. He did his part by signing dotted lines, making sure I had documents I felt we needed, and he also paid for everything. I am a planner and he is not. C'est la vie.

For a k1 they determine if she meets the poverty guidelines twice. Once at the K1 visa interview (which takes place in either Vancouver or Montreal, whichever is closer) and again when you do the adjustment of status. The first uses form I-134 and the second uses a legally binding I-864.

There is a lot of information that you have, that really isn't relevant at all to the process. While the details help us, help you, the government doesn't care. As mentioned, if she does not make the poverty guidelines at the time of the interview, she can have a joint sponsor. A family member, or friend perhaps, who does meet the guidelines that is willing to sign the forms with her. It can be any US citizen or permanent resident who is living in the USA.

Marrying her under her terms may not be what the K1 allows for. You MUST marry within 90 days of entry to the USA. The visa takes an undecided amount of time. You have 6 months from the interview in which to enter the USA. So even if you use up the entire time allotted that gives you just under 270 days in which to plan a wedding if she wants a large one. Keep in mind a large wedding is not necessary though. :)

Edited by NLR

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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We've never met, we met online and really hit it off found each other extremely compatible have great patience for each other etc, and seriously talked about trying to move together, course that we are from US and Canada makes it incredibly complex in comparison to just moving in together if we lived across Canada or across US from one another.

Getting married isn't ideal but its the option we're faced with to make us getting together work in any regard, we're going to take it slow and just do the obvious thing that we need to do first off meet up with one another and go from there.

I'm good at advocating for these things I understand she will have to know the system as well, but obviously I'm going to be helping her figure this out when it comes to doing forms etc, I'm not gonna tell her if you really love me go do this complex research of how to get me over there xD. And I feel same way, I have experience organizing a great deal of things with my Ex in the states prior getting them medical care and numerous other things setup locally through district offices for someone suffering from pretty bad social anxiety, and I'm pretty comfortable making the long distance telephone calls to organize everything between embassies etc, familiar with having to get various consent to speak on behalf's etc

Obviously We'd follow K-1 if we decide to go for that, marrying immediately after I enter US with Visa.

If I'm mistaken from research I did isn't it 15,930 a year for the 100% poverty income bracket for K-1, vs CR-1 which is the 19,912 or 125%. And long as her income meets 100% of poverty bracket for 2 individuals according to I-864P, or the 2 household .

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Fair question with the interview as I've googled this a bit and haven't hitten anything, my Fiancee wouldn't need to be interviewed directly correct? Would just be me traveling to Vancouver (which is close by and is a easy trip I live in southern BC) and residing for the physical interview at the US consolate? I read all steps under the http://www.visajourney.com/content/k1flow and I don't see a case where my Fiancee besides from a paper stand point has to travel to any interviews etc? Which is good for me since I'm in a more capable position for long distance travel to go to interviews etc. So just double checking how much traveling/work would be ultimately required of her, since I'd ideally like to keep that to a minimum as she doesn't have alot of well options or a car of her own at the moment to go on a long distance overnight trip somewhere.

Sure this would be a case where some people would raise red flags about our relationship but to assure anyone I won't be rushing this, and will be going as slow as necessary. More over just trying to get the System under my belt understand everything expected of me, and look forward to moving down to US sometime after 2016 x3

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If your girlfriend is in the military then it's 100% the poverty level. If she's NOT in the military then it's 125%.

The rule of thumb is usually 100%, but it depends on the consulate. REASONABLY speaking most of them SHOULD be using the green card standards, which is 125% because if you're going on a K-1, you're looking at applying for your green card anywhere between day 3 and day 90 that you enter the country. So most try to stop anyone who clearly will just end up getting tied up in the system out of the way.

Even still, some people have claimed that while their consulate requires the papers, they were simply never asked to even show the financial aspect of things. It just depends on the consulate officer. But you should prepare for the maximum, which would be them basing it off of the green card requirements. That and really, imo, preparing for the maximum is preparing for the minimum 2-3 months after you enter the country anyways.

The worst part would be that you're fine for the K1 process I-134 financial papers, but then you try to go for your green card and you can't get it, because the difference is a bit larger.

Edited by ash1101

*More detailed timeline in profile!*
 
Relationship:     Friends since 2010, Together since 2013
 

Spoiler

Met online: June 2010
Started dating: March 20, 2013
Engaged: November 27, 2014
Married: Feburary 20, 2016



The K-1 Process:    Done in 208 days                                               
 

Spoiler

04/27/15- NOA1 Recieved                                                    
06/02/15 - NOA2 Recieved
09/22/15 - Interview       (221g for more documents (a SECOND cosponsor), see profile for more details!)                                            
11/09/15 -  ISSUED!!                                                              
11/10/15 - Passport received                                                
02/20/16 - Wedding!              


                                                
 AOS   Done in 77 days                                                                            
 

Spoiler

04/08/16 - I-485, I-765, I-131 AOS Application recieved by USCIS
04/12/16 - 3 NOA1's received in mail
05/14/16 - Biometrics for AOS and EAD
06/27/16 - I-485 Case to changed to "New Card being produced"  (Day 77)
06/27/16 - I-485 Case changed to Approved! (Day 77)
06/30/16 - I-485 Case changed to "My Card has been mailed to me!"
07/05/16 - Green Card received in mail! 

 



ROC 

05/09/18 - Mailed out ROC to CSC

05/10/18 - CSC Signed and received ROC package
06/07/28 - NOA1 

06/11/18 - Check cashed

06/15/18 - NOA received in the mail

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Go with the 125%.

No your fiancee does not need to be interviewed for the K1. However not everyone has an interview waiver for the AOS from K1, so there may be an interview there.


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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At point of AoS thats fine, I'll be down there and I can bring her where-ever to go get interviewed with me etc.

Given basically just need to earn 9.50$/hr from what I understand to meet the 19,912 income bracket, I don't know of any sponsors that would be willing to setup, would be a complex enough matter with her family as it is, but sounds like we both got alot of time to figure that out.

I think I have a handle on most of it, I'm certain she'll be making at least that much when she gets working if not, I'm sure we can figure something out since she does do some work on the side art wise etc.

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Just an FYI, the poverty guidelines are raised every year. Minimum wage does not reflect the poverty guidelines either.


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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