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F-1 --> K-1 inside the US

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Filed: Other Country: Russia

I came to the US on F-1 visa as a student. About a year and a half ago I met my wonderful girlfriend Nicole and we've been living together for over a year now. After my graduation in May 2007 she moved with me to another city where I got a job.

I didn't get an H-1B visa this year, because the quota was reached faster than I got a job offer, so I'm working on OPT (Optional Practical Training) which expires in the beginning of May 2008.

My company is going to apply for an H-1B on my behalf on April 1, 2008 but it does not mean that I'm going to get H-1B for sure given the situation with these visas right now, and in any case I'll be out of job between May and Oct 1, 2008 which sucks from the financial point of view.

Me and Nicole are seriously thinking about getting married, but we'd prefer not to rush into a marriage in a month, but to do it, say, in July 2008, so we could prepare everything properly. It'd be also great if I could still be working between May and July (weddings are expensive), so she had an idea that I could apply for a K-1 visa which would give me a work authorization.

Is it possible for me to get a K-1 status from inside the US? Any other recommendations, ideas concerning our (mine and Nicole) situation are very welcome!

Thank you!

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: England

As long as you are 'in status' in the US, there is no need to file for a K1. You can just marry and then go through AOS by filing the I-130 in the US. From what I have read in your post, you entered the US for the sole purpose of studying.....as it happens you have fallen in love and want to marry, therefore it is perfectly ok to marry in the US (without filing for a visa for the right to do so) and adjust status as you did not enter the country with the intent to stay. If your visa runs out and should you return home, then yes, you need to file for K-1......but if you are not planning on leaving then there is no need.

My K1 Timeline

06 09 2007 I-129F sent to VSC

08 09 2007 I-129F received by VSC

11 09 2007 NOA1

13 09 2007 Check cashed

16 01 2008 NOA2 (126 days since NOA1)

31 01 2008 Packet 3 received

06 03 2008 Packet 3 sent to Embassy (I took my sweet time gathering documents)

14 03 2008 Packet 4 Received

09 04 2008 Interview APPROVED

18 04 2008 Visa in hand :0)

22 07 2008 POE JFK (EAD stamp given without even asking)

02 08 2008 Wedding


18 08 2008 AOS sent

21 08 2008 AOS received at Chicago lock box

11 09 2008 Biometrics

25 09 2008 Case transfered to CSC

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You cannot file the K1 and stay in the country. The only other option, if you're not yet ready to get married, is the H1B visa. Sorry to hear that you did not make the quota cut off. Is the company willing to file the H1B again? Other than the H1B or another F1 visa, the only way you can continue your legal stay would be through marriage and AOS.

08/17/08: Mailed N400 to TSC

08/19/08: USPS attempted delivery

08/20/08: TSC received N400

08/21/08: TSC cashed check

09/02/08: Received NOA...........Priority date: 08/20/08

..............................................Notice date : 08/22/08

09/02/08: Received Biometrics Notification

09/18/08: Biometrics completed - Charlotte DO

10/24/08: Received Interview Letter

12/08/08: Interview @ 1:00pm. APPROVED!

01/05/09: Oath Ceremony 10:00AM. Now officially a USC!!!


01/17/09: Applied for US Passport and passport card

01/28/09: Received US Passport

01/29/09: Received US passport card

01/29/09: Received naturalization certificate back from passport office

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Philippines

K-1 is a visa that allows you permission to seek entrance into the USA... You are already here..... You do not need another visa..

You cannot file the K1 and stay in the country.

Yes you can but it will require a trip home..... Not practical in all situations

Edited by fwaguy


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IMO if you're being sponsored on the H visa, stick with it. Get married (if and when you are ready) and then file for AOS. Bypass the K visa altogether. However, should you guys decide you need more time to think marriage through (and there's certainly nothing wrong with that), dont overstay whatever visa you're on. It can reflect badly on you later on if you go home and decide to apply for a K visa at a later time.

Whatever you choose, good luck! :thumbs:

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