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My fiance and I have only about a year of knowing each other. we've met and hit it off great and got engaged fairly quickly.  my concerns lead me to ask these questions because i really am not sure. for either the k1 or cr1 visas, does it matter the length that we have known each other? also, for the cr1 visa i read that we have to show either that we have leased a place and it has both of our names, or a joint bank account and stuff like that and well.. we have none of that because he does not live here, he is in south korea and we only visit each other not long enough to have things in both our names. is that something that can be explained? or is there no way around that?

another big concern of mine is whether i should actually go with the cr1 visa or k1. ive seen something about it not being a good idea to get married while he visits me here in the states because it could be considered fraud? 

im so sorry for my newbie questions, but what better way of easing my mind than to obain information from others who have been through this and know much more than i do.

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~~Moved to What Visa Do I Need, from Tourist Visas~~


Spoiler

Met Playing Everquest in 2005
Engaged 9-15-2006
K-1 & 4 K-2'S
Filed 05-09-07
Interview 03-12-08
Visa received 04-21-08
Entry 05-06-08
Married 06-21-08
AOS X5
Filed 07-08-08
Cards Received01-22-09
Roc X5
Filed 10-17-10
Cards Received02-22-11
Citizenship
Filed 10-17-11
Interview 01-12-12
Oath 06-29-12

Citizenship for older 2 boys

Filed 03/08/2014

NOA/fee waiver 03/19/2014

Biometrics 04/15/14

Interview 05/29/14

In line for Oath 06/20/14

Oath 09/19/2014 We are all done! All USC no more USCIS

 

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Don't worry about the 1 year thing. That's not as short a time as they've seen and as long as you've got evidence of a real relationship, the time doesn't matter.

 

Basically, he cannot come into the US on a non-immigrant visa (or with just his passport on the visa waiver program) with the intention of getting married and staying and applying for his green card ("adjusting status"). He can come in for a wedding, even his, so long as he leaves within his 90-day stay. 

 

So basically,  you're free to marry anywhere in the world you want to, and then go through the CR1 process.

 

Or, you apply for a K1 fiance visa which allows folks to come in un-married with the intent to stay and adjust status. 

 

K1s tend to be faster than CR1s but that's because CR1s come with a green card on arrival and K1s need to apply for it (and wait for it--- the time difference between the visas, which is what lets  you cross the border, is more or less the time it takes to process the green card, which is what lets you stay and work). Basically where do you want to wait for your green card, US or abroad? There's no right answer, each couple's scenario is different.

 

For us, I'd wanted a period of engagement because I didn't want to feel rushed to the alter, I'd wanted my family to meet my fiance, I was perfectly able to support the two of us when he first arrived and couldn't work (you can't work on a K1, you need to wait for work permit, aka EAD, which takes about 3 months from the time you apply for it, so because you can wait 3 months to marry and apply, can be 6 months or more out of work), and in fact I would have had him not work and take English classes and volunteer in the community for the first few months anyway, so it all worked out for us. Other people would rather take the extra 4 or 6 months of separation and be able to just come in and have that be that, get to work immediately etc. 


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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4 hours ago, CatherineA said:

Don't worry about the 1 year thing. That's not as short a time as they've seen and as long as you've got evidence of a real relationship, the time doesn't matter.

 

Basically, he cannot come into the US on a non-immigrant visa (or with just his passport on the visa waiver program) with the intention of getting married and staying and applying for his green card ("adjusting status"). He can come in for a wedding, even his, so long as he leaves within his 90-day stay. 

 

So basically,  you're free to marry anywhere in the world you want to, and then go through the CR1 process.

 

Or, you apply for a K1 fiance visa which allows folks to come in un-married with the intent to stay and adjust status. 

 

K1s tend to be faster than CR1s but that's because CR1s come with a green card on arrival and K1s need to apply for it (and wait for it--- the time difference between the visas, which is what lets  you cross the border, is more or less the time it takes to process the green card, which is what lets you stay and work). Basically where do you want to wait for your green card, US or abroad? There's no right answer, each couple's scenario is different.

 

For us, I'd wanted a period of engagement because I didn't want to feel rushed to the alter, I'd wanted my family to meet my fiance, I was perfectly able to support the two of us when he first arrived and couldn't work (you can't work on a K1, you need to wait for work permit, aka EAD, which takes about 3 months from the time you apply for it, so because you can wait 3 months to marry and apply, can be 6 months or more out of work), and in fact I would have had him not work and take English classes and volunteer in the community for the first few months anyway, so it all worked out for us. Other people would rather take the extra 4 or 6 months of separation and be able to just come in and have that be that, get to work immediately etc. 

thank you so much for your input and for clearing that bit up for me, i kept seeing different information on the matter and was just uncertain. although it may take a little longer, im leaning more towards the cr1 visa just because of the greencard on arrival. but do you know about the whole joint things situation? like having bills in both names and that sort of thing? we dont have any of that and im wondering if that would affect this entire process.

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15 minutes ago, jaliuana said:

thank you so much for your input and for clearing that bit up for me, i kept seeing different information on the matter and was just uncertain. although it may take a little longer, im leaning more towards the cr1 visa just because of the greencard on arrival. but do you know about the whole joint things situation? like having bills in both names and that sort of thing? we dont have any of that and im wondering if that would affect this entire process.

 

Not a problem, this can be confusing. And yes, the green card on arrival is a big benefit for not too much longer a processing time. They're used to seeing newlyweds and so joint leases and bank accounts etc aren't strictly necessary in your situation. Think about it this way: these guidelines for evidence were established before internet dating was common and when long distance relationships were much harder to conduct (because no internet) so most of the married couples they'd see are because the American had been living overseas and got married there. Now, things are pretty different and they know that. That doesn't mean that you don't need to show anything, but that they're not going to expect to see a joint mortgage or anything for a couple that has been married 6 months and doesn't live in the same country. 

 

I can't speak from experience because we went the K1 route, but reading in the CR1 forums can give you a good idea of what sort of evidence of a bona fide relationship you probably already have, and can make sure you establish.


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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12 hours ago, jaliuana said:

also, for the cr1 visa i read that we have to show either that we have leased a place and it has both of our names, or a joint bank account and stuff like that and well.. we have none of that because he does not live here, he is in south korea and we only visit each other not long enough to have things in both our names. is that something that can be explained? or is there no way around that?

 

USCIS as well as a CO at the Embassy or Consulate will not expect or require a couple that lives apart in separate countries to have joint property or a joint lease or a joint bank account.


Our journey:

Spoiler

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*

 

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