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K1, Spousal or tourist?? HELP!!

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Hi Everyone,

Firstly this is my first post, brand new to the forum.

Back story, my partner and I have now been associated for 6 years November (2010-2016). I have been to the US in 2013 and met for the first time (face2face besides webcam, etc), Also met his parents. He has been to Australia as well (April 2015). I still have all the boarding passes and receipts etc from my travels and his travels. I am a single mum and they have both taken to each other (my partner and my son). we have photos of being there and being here. There is no father on my son's birth certificate. We chat everyday and video chat as much as we can.

Just over a year ago he asked me to research what we would have to do to get married. I have looked at the fiance, spousal and tourist visa. Getting a little confused, everytime I pick a visa that fits our situation I find information that makes me think otherwise. I have also asked my mum, who has recently become a US citizen, but she did hers quite a few years ago, she advised me on finding some forums of people who have done it recently. Also need to know how long i need to wait before i can work? how much money (ball park figure) i will need to survive till i can work? i am looking into studying also when i get there as i have a cert3 AIN, and wanting to increase my qualifications to become an RN. the processing time for the process from beginning to end? what i need to do to bring my son over?

From what my mum and i can gather from the research we have done, the fiance visa would be best and fastest. ideally i would love to be there next christmas at the earliest. i know i would need to start the process by April 2017 (2 years since seeing each other).

Also any other information people can give me would be great.

Thanks in advance. :)

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There are 2 major options...

  1. Get married in the US. This involves the USC using form I-129F to petition for a K1 visa. This process roughly takes around 6 months once sent. Sometimes more, sometimes less depending on all sorts of factors (embassy involved, background checks, proper paperwork being filed by him, etc.). If approved, the embassy will issue a K1, which is valid for 6 months. Once in the US, you have 90 days to marry for fiance. There are no extensions. Once married, you will need to file for AOS (I-485), which will get you a green card valid for 2 years upon approval. This process takes roughly 12+ months. During the AOS process, you are required to stay in the US. Leaving without Advanced Parole (AP) is an abandonment of your AOS application, and you won't be permitted back in the US. The AP process (normally filed at the same time as AOS) takes abut 3 months for approval. As far as employment is concerned, you will not be permitted to work until you have your EAD. This is also usually filed with AOS, and takes roughly 2-3 months (sometimes a little longer).
  2. Get married either outside the US, or get a tourist visa (i.e. a B1) to visit the US and get married. If doing the latter, then after the wedding you need to leave the US (a tourist visa is a non-immigrant visa). That said, generally you may hit resistance with the tourist visa because visiting a fiance will generally raise a concern that you won't return home (and if questioned, absolutely do not lie!). Anyway, once married the USC can petition for a CR-1 visa (<2 years married) or IR-1 visa (>= 2 years married) via form I-130. This process roughly takes 12-18 months. However, it is a cheaper option, and once in the US, you will be eligible for a green card immediately (2 years for CR-1, 10 years for IR-1). So...basically it takes longer before you can be together in the US, but it's cheaper and avoid the AOS process.

There are other options like a K3 visa, but they're generally administratively closed so I wouldn't recommend it. Which option you go with (K1 or CR-1/IR-1) is really up to you. Good luck!

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If working and or going to school is important to you, do the CR1 route. Then you have a green card upon arrival and can work right away. With the K1 you have to get married and file the adjustment of status. The work authorization takes about 90 days. K1 is more expensive as well. Since you have a child tht is immigrating with you, the K1 does allow for derivatives from the petition while the CR1 does not. However the k2 child would still need to adjust their status to get a green card.

K1=faster to visa, faster to the USA, no need too marry first, more expensive, longer to work or travel (about 3 months of boredom if you are used to working), longer to green card, but must have met in last 2 years.

IR1/CR1=faster to green card, must be married, longer to visa, cheaper

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To add, whichever visa you choose, your son could be included and would go with you.

As for work, with a K-1, you would not be able to work until 3 months after you file AOS (adjustment of status), aka permanent residency, aka green card. So if you arrive in the US and marry soon after, and send the paperwork for the AOS, you could work in 3-4 months.

With a CR-1, you could work as soon as you arrive in the US because you would have your temporary green card stamp in your passport.

I think the same applies to studying but I'm not sure.

Edited by Eric-Pris

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Not commenting on which visa is best, but if you're concerned about your career, make sure you do all the right steps.

I've been a nurse (RN) for 15 years. Getting a US license (it goes by what state you live in) can take time and money.

https://www.discovernursing.com/steps-for-foreign-educated-nurses#.WGPiP4FOKEc

Feel free to msg me any nursing related questions

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Not commenting on which visa is best, but if you're concerned about your career, make sure you do all the right steps.

I've been a nurse (RN) for 15 years. Getting a US license (it goes by what state you live in) can take time and money.

https://www.discovernursing.com/steps-for-foreign-educated-nurses#.WGPiP4FOKEc

Feel free to msg me any nursing related questions

thanks for the link.

i have looked into the nursing courses. i have been advised to redo my AIN course as a CNA course (15 weeks, i think) when i get there and obtain employment in a hospital so that i get health insurance through them and they will be able to help me with obtaining higher qualifications. I have been in contact with schools in the state i am moving to about courses and so on. I am also going to obtain my high school certificate in 2017.

thanks for the advice. :)

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thanks for the link.

i have looked into the nursing courses. i have been advised to redo my AIN course as a CNA course (15 weeks, i think) when i get there and obtain employment in a hospital so that i get health insurance through them and they will be able to help me with obtaining higher qualifications. I have been in contact with schools in the state i am moving to about courses and so on. I am also going to obtain my high school certificate in 2017.

thanks for the advice. :)

You will need your GED to obtain any further schooling in the USA.

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also i do have a conviction for dui and reckless driving (no one was hurt or killed, son in car, history of depression and anxiety). 1st offence, never had a speeding fine or anything before that, haven't drank since, everything has changed is so much better since happened early 2016 (depression and anxiety under control). i have been reading that i could apply for a waiver. i also was told that i would need a copy of the police report and court transcripts.

does anyone know anything about this? i am hoping it doesn't effect or it may be a little harder and take a little bit more time to get in but not impossible!! i know if it is denied i don't know what i would do. :crying:

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A history of depression and a DUI? This will be difficult but not impossible. You will need a police certificate (everyone does) as part of the process. Did you go to prison? If so, you will need your prison record too. Depending on what's on your police record, and what the actual conviction and sentence was, your visa may or may not be denied. The officer that makes that decision will advise further regarding whether a waiver is possible.

If it is completely denied and you are unable to immigrate you do what other people in the same situation have done (my husband included - he was denied a visa to come to my country and has a lifetime ban due to his criminal history) - the person without a criminal history moves to the one who does. So your fiancé would move to you, just as I had to move to my husband's country. Wasn't our first choice either but you do what you have to do.

Edited by JFH

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A history of depression and a DUI? This will be difficult but not impossible. You will need a police certificate (everyone does) as part of the process. Did you go to prison? If so, you will need your prison record too. Depending on what's on your police record, and what the actual conviction and sentence was, your visa may or may not be denied. The officer that makes that decision will advise further regarding whether a waiver is possible.

If it is completely denied and you are unable to immigrate you do what other people in the same situation have done (my husband included - he was denied a visa to come to my country and has a lifetime ban due to his criminal history) - the person without a criminal history moves to the one who does. So your fiancé would move to you, just as I had to move to my husband's country. Wasn't our first choice either but you do what you have to do.

there was no prison time, i didn't even get a fine (besides court costs) i am in the middle of 15 months loss of licence (ends in august 2017) and good behaviour (18 months, ends november 2017).

unfortunately that is not possible my partner has 2 sons and i am not taking him away from them (they live with their mother). he would probably have a harder case getting here then (i hope) of me getting there. I've spoken to him and he has said we will work it out, some way of being together.

thanks

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