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applepie98

separation time: which one is the best option?

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Hi everybody, this is my first time posting. I have known this site for a few days and tried to read as much as i could: guides, faq etc. I am an Italian citizen, me and my american fiancee decided to get married few weeks ago. Now, after 5 years of long distance relationship ( we started when we were 19 and couldnt get married earlier for a lot of reasons) , separation time has lost all of its romaticism and positives sides you could possibly find. I tried to compare the different kinds of visa and i m wondering which one would be the best option to avoid as much as possible the separation time. I figured we can visit each other while waiting for the visa to be approved but he recently got a job in Hawaii where ive been for the past three months and it's a very expensive journey for the both of us that cannot be made often. Im giving all of these details cause i dont want to give the idea that we are just impatient or not motivated enought to go through challenges. My QUESTION is: would a k3 visa work better for us than a k1 if our main purpose is for me to enter the US in a shorter time? The guide says the fiancee visa is "typically quicker than spousal visa" but it also says "The K-3 was designed to allow the foreign spouse to enter the US even if the I-130 has not been approved". Does that mean I could actually live in the State while im waiting for it?

I am seriously, seriously confused right now.....Thanks to anybody who will give me an answer..

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It means that potentially you can use the CR-1 to enter the states as a spouse (as far as I am aware) but generally the K-1 option is quicker... although if you are with California Service Center I would seriously check the timelines - I am not sure if K3/CR1 visas are taking as long as K1s but it seems to be real slow right now.

On a K1 you can visit each other as long as the non-USC shows strong ties to their home country (letter from employer, rental agreement etc). Again, as far as I am aware, this isn't possible with a K3?

Someone correct me if I am wrong - we learn by our mistakes ;)


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If your main criteria is to shorten the time to be together, assuming you have been together within the last 2 years, filing a K-1 is faster because you can do it today. Filing K-3 would require you to get together and marry before filing.

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The petition process for a K-3 visa involves first filing an I-130. While that petition is pending, you would then file an I-129F. When the I-129F is approved, the beneficiary can be scheduled for an interview, and if successful, can receive a K-3 visa and enter the U.S. The I-130 might not be approved until later. That's how it worked out for my ex-wife. Now, please understand that this is an oversimplified description of the process, but I hope it will help you to understand basically how it works.

From what I'm seeing, the process (from the time the first petition is filed) seems to be generally taking a little longer for the K-3 visa right now compared to a K-1. But, that depends on so many things and may or may not be true in your particular case.

One thing that I would suggest you think about (speaking from experience) is to consider if you'd rather be living separate from your spouse for an indefinite period of time or if you'd rather be living separate from your fiancee for an indefinite period of time. Personally, I think it's more difficult to be already married and not knowing how soon you might be reunited with your spouse. Living apart can be a tough way to begin a marriage.

That's just my opinion.....your mileage may vary. Good luck to you!

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The petition process for a K-3 visa involves first filing an I-130. While that petition is pending, you would then file an I-129F. When the I-129F is approved, the beneficiary can be scheduled for an interview, and if successful, can receive a K-3 visa and enter the U.S. The I-130 might not be approved until later. That's how it worked out for my ex-wife. Now, please understand that this is an oversimplified description of the process, but I hope it will help you to understand basically how it works.

From what I'm seeing, the process (from the time the first petition is filed) seems to be generally taking a little longer for the K-3 visa right now compared to a K-1. But, that depends on so many things and may or may not be true in your particular case.

One thing that I would suggest you think about (speaking from experience) is to consider if you'd rather be living separate from your spouse for an indefinite period of time or if you'd rather be living separate from your fiancee for an indefinite period of time. Personally, I think it's more difficult to be already married and not knowing how soon you might be reunited with your spouse. Living apart can be a tough way to begin a marriage.

That's just my opinion.....your mileage may vary. Good luck to you!

I completely agree with this - that is probably the reason that we filed for K1. The separation sucks - big time - but knowing that you're working towards it by keeping busy with the visa process helps. You know that soon you'll be with your SO forever... (L)


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Thanks everybody. Now..we talked to a lawyer today and he gave us three options: a. fiancee visa, b. spousal visa, c. we get married in the States (i got here under visa waiver program and still im here) and then my fiance' can fil up a petition for me to get a Green Card. This would take about five-six months. During this period im not allowed to leave the country and there's always the risk (he pictured it as a quite low risk) that they can find out my "out of status" situation and deport me preventing me to come back to the States for the next three years. I would like to know if anyone has experienced something similar cause as right now i would actually be willing to take the risk.

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Thanks everybody. Now..we talked to a lawyer today and he gave us three options: a. fiancee visa, b. spousal visa, c. we get married in the States (i got here under visa waiver program and still im here) and then my fiance' can fil up a petition for me to get a Green Card. This would take about five-six months. During this period im not allowed to leave the country and there's always the risk (he pictured it as a quite low risk) that they can find out my "out of status" situation and deport me preventing me to come back to the States for the next three years. I would like to know if anyone has experienced something similar cause as right now i would actually be willing to take the risk.

Entering the United States under the VWP with the intention of staying is illegal. Your lawyer should know that. Actually your lawyer *does* know that, but he's under-selling it to you. Is it really worth the risk of being deported and not being able to reunite with your spouse for 3 years or even longer? Furthermore, there is no guarantee that you will be allowed to adjust status under these terms. Yes, a lot of people do it, but there is no guarantee. It's an awful lot to risk.

Do it right and at worst you'll be separated 6-8 months, although nothing is preventing you from visiting during that time.

EDIT: Okay I just re-read that you've already entered the US, so you can make a case that you did not enter the US with the intention of staying. Just make sure you understand the consequences of this route. It carries risks that could be really bad for your relationship.

Edited by mox

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Thanks everybody. Now..we talked to a lawyer today and he gave us three options: a. fiancee visa, b. spousal visa, c. we get married in the States (i got here under visa waiver program and still im here) and then my fiance' can fil up a petition for me to get a Green Card. This would take about five-six months. During this period im not allowed to leave the country and there's always the risk (he pictured it as a quite low risk) that they can find out my "out of status" situation and deport me preventing me to come back to the States for the next three years. I would like to know if anyone has experienced something similar cause as right now i would actually be willing to take the risk.

Entering the United States under the VWP with the intention of staying is illegal. Your lawyer should know that. Actually your lawyer *does* know that, but he's under-selling it to you. Is it really worth the risk of being deported and not being able to reunite with your spouse for 3 years or even longer? Furthermore, there is no guarantee that you will be allowed to adjust status under these terms. Yes, a lot of people do it, but there is no guarantee. It's an awful lot to risk.

Do it right and at worst you'll be separated 6-8 months, although nothing is preventing you from visiting during that time.

EDIT: Okay I just re-read that you've already entered the US, so you can make a case that you did not enter the US with the intention of staying. Just make sure you understand the consequences of this route. It carries risks that could be really bad for your relationship.

We are totally aware this colud be riskful, but why would a lawyer hint so much for us to do it like he did? I m not sure if he could get any money benefit from us following this route rather than the other, but i would think it' s mostly because he had many cases like ours before, couples that did it the riskiest way and didnt get in trouble. I definetely didnt come here at first with the intention of marrying, i got my return ticket and i got emails i wrote before leaving in which talking to my fiance' i clearly say im not intentioned to stay in the Sates more than 90 days. Still deciding what we are going to do, i just hope we'll get lucky either way!

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.... personnally... i would follow the K1 path (a tiny bit longer but WWAAAYYYY safer)

And you can visit anyway.

If you do the other way around (the illegal bblablabla) you will... be stuck withing the US (not working) when you can probably work in italy and save up for the fees coming up anyway.


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