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Pete and Katelyn

Clarification on options

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Canada
Timeline

Ive been doing some heavy research online for the past few days and stumbled across these forums which have helped clear up a lot of information for me. I was hoping some helpful people out there could give me some advice on my situation and the best direction to go in.

My situation is as follows:

I am a Canadian citizen living in Toronto, my girlfriend lives in Pennsylvania. We've been together for several years now and we've both reached the point of being worn out by the distance. She's in college with another 18 months to go while I work full time. For a while now we've been discussing the idea of getting married so that I could relocate down to Pennsylvania. After doing research from many different websites I've come across conflicting ideas as to what people should do in this situation. Realistically I'd like to be down there by this time next year with the earliest we could do the wedding being this summer. Is it possible for us to get married and for me to come back up here and to apply for a K3 visa so that I can continue to work in Canada while waiting for my work permits in the US?

On another forum people were talking about how immigration lawyers often recommend that I should simply go down there as a tourist and "randomly" decide to marry her and apply for an adjustment of status from there? Is this an actual option? Any advice on the pro's and con's to this? Obviously this saves on having to get the Fiance visa but this options seems a bit shady to me.

Any other advice that people could give would be appreciated. I don't qualify for any work visas so going down on a work visa isn't an option for me.

Thanks,

Pete


04/13/2009 - I-129F petition sent to VCS

04/22/2009 - NOA1 hard copy received

08/21/2009 - Touched

08/21/2009 - NOA2

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The cheapest route is a spousal visa CR-1 only about 845.00 compared to almost 1500.00 for the K3. It takes about a year for the CR-1, could you elope, come back and then file the CR-1 and have a larger wedding when your visa comes through. Since you are in Ontario, Montreal is not far and that is where they do CR-1s and also the K1 and K3.

Just don't tell them you are going to get married when you go down if you chose to elope - they may not let you in. We chose not to adjust status in USA, as I would never take the chance of a ban if they thought aything was fishy - which it is not, but one never knows with immigration. You can't work while adjusting staus also. Your wife/fiance will likely need a co-sponsor if she is a student also.

Just an idea.

Good luck on what ever you decide.

Janet

Edited by carslo

Met online playing pinochle in late Feb or March 2001

Married in San Luis Obispo - July 18, 2008

Sent application CR-1/IR-1 on August 26, 2008 to Chicago lock box

September 4, 2008 - Touch #1

Approval email sent January 5, 2009 after 4 months and 2 days

NVC Journey Begins....

NVC Case officially in AVR - January 13, 2009

DS-3032 / AOS Bill Generated - January 16, 2009

AOS Bill snail mailed - January 24, 2009

Emailed DS-3032 - January 26, 2009

DS-3032 emailed read in NH January 30, 2009

DS-3032 accepted at NVC 0n February 2, 2009 via email

AOS Bill Shows as PAID - February 3, 2009

I-864 Package Generated - March 21, 2009

Mailed I-864 Package - March21, 2009

IV Bill Generated - February 3, 2009

Paid IV Bill - March 6, 2009 - snail mail

IV Bill Show as PAID - March 21, 2009

Mailed IV Package - March 21, 2009

REF - April 1, 2009 - Transfered to a supervisor

Case Completed at NVC - April 7, 2009

Medical completed May 27/09 in Vancouver

Interview Date - June 22 - SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED

POE -Vancouver @ YVR- June 28

Permanent resident card received July 20,2009

Social Security Card arrived August 2, 2009

April 2011 started ROC - May 27 biometrics - July 30 received 10 year green card!

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: China
Timeline
The cheapest route is a spousal visa CR-1 only about 845.00 compared to almost 1500.00 for the K3. It takes about a year for the CR-1, could you elope, come back and then file the CR-1 and have a larger wedding when your visa comes through. Since you are in Ontario, Montreal is not far and that is where they do CR-1s and also the K1 and K3.

Just don't tell them you are going to get married when you go down if you chose to elope - they may not let you in. We chose not to adjust status in USA, as I would never take the chance of a ban if they thought aything was fishy - which it is not, but one never knows with immigration. You can't work while adjusting staus also. Your wife/fiance will likely need a co-sponsor if she is a student also.

Just an idea.

Good luck on what ever you decide.

Janet

Ditto that.

If you wish to immediately take a Job after entry to the USA, the K-Visa is NOT the way to go.

If considering K-3 think carefully about it. CR-1 and K-3 tend to take about the same time, K-3 may save you about a month, however the K-3 has the added pain of adjustment of status, and it NOT a work authorized visa, so also has the added period of limbo waiting for EAD to be able to do things like take a job, get SSN, etc...

For the most part CR-1 tends to take a bit longer than K-3 to get if you prepare for NVC when they request I-864 fee, and Visa fee, as well as documents requested by NVC. In many cases the CR-1 petition reaches the consulate just before K-3 interview, which causes K-3 to get dropped and the interview becomes a CR-1 visa interview.

K-3:

I-130: $355

I-129F: NONE

Consulate: $131

AOS: $1010

($1496)

CR-1

I-130: $355

NVC I-864: $70

NVC Visa fee: $400 ($355+$45)

($825)

I see many posts from K-3 holders stating, "Wow this sucks, I am stuck at home because I don't have EAD, DL, etc, or I am having hard time getting added to bank accounts because of NO SSN." K-3 has a 90 day or longer period of limbo while waiting for EAD or Green-card.

K-3 was developed at a time when CR-1 was taking much longer that today, NVC has greatly streamlined the CR-1 process to the point where K-3 becomes irrelevant.


OUR TIME LINE Please do a timeline it helps us all, thanks.

Is now a US Citizen immigration completed Jan 12, 2012.

1428954228.1592.1755425389.png

CHIN0001_zps9c01d045.gifCHIN0100_zps02549215.gifTAIW0001_zps9a9075f1.gifVIET0001_zps0a49d4a7.gif

Look here: A Candle for Love and China Family Visa Forums for Chinese/American relationship,

Visa issues, and lots of info about the Guangzhou and Hong Kong consulate.

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Canada
Timeline

Thanks for the reply Janet.

One more question that has come up through digging around the site.

The K1 seems like the quickest way for me to get down there despite the obvious draw backs of not being able to work down there while I wait for the EAD once I've put in for the AOS. Does the 90 days on the K1 visa start from when the visa is issued or from the date you cross the border? My girlfriend is away in the UK for 3 months from September to December so I would hate to go through the process of getting a K1 visa only to find that its issued when she's away and that the 90 days starts from when the visa is issued.

Thanks again for the help!


04/13/2009 - I-129F petition sent to VCS

04/22/2009 - NOA1 hard copy received

08/21/2009 - Touched

08/21/2009 - NOA2

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: China
Timeline
Thanks for the reply Janet.

One more question that has come up through digging around the site.

The K1 seems like the quickest way for me to get down there despite the obvious draw backs of not being able to work down there while I wait for the EAD once I've put in for the AOS. Does the 90 days on the K1 visa start from when the visa is issued or from the date you cross the border? My girlfriend is away in the UK for 3 months from September to December so I would hate to go through the process of getting a K1 visa only to find that its issued when she's away and that the 90 days starts from when the visa is issued.

Thanks again for the help!

There are 2 clocks.

The K-1 visa is valid for 6 months after it is issued. You have up to 6 months to use it to enter the USA.

It is VOIDED upon entry to the USA, at which time the 90 day I-94 clock begins. It is this 90 days that you need to marry within.

More info: http://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/reciproc...ocity_3531.html (Note the table at top of page showing K-1 valid 6 months)


OUR TIME LINE Please do a timeline it helps us all, thanks.

Is now a US Citizen immigration completed Jan 12, 2012.

1428954228.1592.1755425389.png

CHIN0001_zps9c01d045.gifCHIN0100_zps02549215.gifTAIW0001_zps9a9075f1.gifVIET0001_zps0a49d4a7.gif

Look here: A Candle for Love and China Family Visa Forums for Chinese/American relationship,

Visa issues, and lots of info about the Guangzhou and Hong Kong consulate.

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the K1 is good for a period of around 6 months from when it is issued - that means you have 6 months to enter the USA and then 90 days - not three months in which to get married.

:)

Janet


Met online playing pinochle in late Feb or March 2001

Married in San Luis Obispo - July 18, 2008

Sent application CR-1/IR-1 on August 26, 2008 to Chicago lock box

September 4, 2008 - Touch #1

Approval email sent January 5, 2009 after 4 months and 2 days

NVC Journey Begins....

NVC Case officially in AVR - January 13, 2009

DS-3032 / AOS Bill Generated - January 16, 2009

AOS Bill snail mailed - January 24, 2009

Emailed DS-3032 - January 26, 2009

DS-3032 emailed read in NH January 30, 2009

DS-3032 accepted at NVC 0n February 2, 2009 via email

AOS Bill Shows as PAID - February 3, 2009

I-864 Package Generated - March 21, 2009

Mailed I-864 Package - March21, 2009

IV Bill Generated - February 3, 2009

Paid IV Bill - March 6, 2009 - snail mail

IV Bill Show as PAID - March 21, 2009

Mailed IV Package - March 21, 2009

REF - April 1, 2009 - Transfered to a supervisor

Case Completed at NVC - April 7, 2009

Medical completed May 27/09 in Vancouver

Interview Date - June 22 - SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETED

POE -Vancouver @ YVR- June 28

Permanent resident card received July 20,2009

Social Security Card arrived August 2, 2009

April 2011 started ROC - May 27 biometrics - July 30 received 10 year green card!

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Canada
Timeline

One has 6 months(after the interview) to "activate" the visa, which is down at the POE (port of entry), with the k1, ur 90 days to get married starts when u "activate" it

Since ur In Ontario, time wise, the k3 and cr-1 run about the same time, so ur better off to go with the CR-1!

Keep in mind with immigration, it doesn't always make sense. Yes, the k1 should be the fastest of the 3 visas ur discussing, but thats NOT always the case. faster is not always better,lol (that's what she said,lol)

Look over the visas, and decide which one suits u the best: http://www.visajourney.com/forums/index.ph...mp;page=compare

Some of us have gone to the USA and gotten married, then started the process. You don't have to wait till u get back to Canada, get married, and then send in the appropriate paperwork. Filling out the paperwork isnt that hard, just take ur time and do it, and if ya have any questions, ask on VJ. Ensure you checkout the Canadian VJ WIKI pages, probably anwers all ur questions right there!! http://www.visajourney.com/wiki/index.php/Canada or the regula r WIKI http://www.visajourney.com/wiki/index.php/Special:AllPages


Canadians Visiting the USA while undergoing the visa process, my free advice:

1) Always tell the TRUTH. never lie to the POE officer

2) Be confident in ur replies

3) keep ur response short and to the point, don't tell ur life story!!

4) look the POE officer in the eye when speaking to them. They are looking for people lieing and have been trained to find them!

5) Pack light! No job resumes with you

6) Bring ties to Canada (letter from employer when ur expected back at work, lease, etc etc)

7) Always be polite, being rude isn't going to get ya anywhere, and could make things worse!!

8) Have a plan in case u do get denied (be polite) It wont harm ur visa application if ur denied,that is if ur polite and didn't lie! Refer to #1

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Thanks for the reply Janet.

One more question that has come up through digging around the site.

The K1 seems like the quickest way for me to get down there despite the obvious draw backs of not being able to work down there while I wait for the EAD once I've put in for the AOS. Does the 90 days on the K1 visa start from when the visa is issued or from the date you cross the border? My girlfriend is away in the UK for 3 months from September to December so I would hate to go through the process of getting a K1 visa only to find that its issued when she's away and that the 90 days starts from when the visa is issued.

Thanks again for the help!

When you receive a K-1 visa you have 6 months to enter the US. Once you've entered the US and activated the visa, you have 90 days to get your tush to a chapel/court house, etc and get married.

If you get married ASAP (I got married within 2 business days of arriving) you can file for AOS (including Advanced Parole -aka freedom to leave before GC received-- and an Employment Authorization Document) basically immediately. Get all the paperwork in order before you come down, get the court house to make a certified copy (or two, or several) of your marriage certificate before they take it away to be put in the county records.

You could conceivably send off your AOS package within a week of arriving in the US, if you get your ducks in order. If you have a lot of time to kill before you enter the US after you've got your visa in hand, it would be worth it to have an AOS package in a can -- add marriage certificate and stir.

The K-1 theoretically gives you immediate permission to work once you land in the US. The SSN policy document (available from VJ for download) explicitly states that K-1s are allowed to work 'by class of visa' and take that with you to the SSN office and hit them with it if they balk at giving you your SSN.

It takes about 3 months for the AOS package application to cough up an EAD and AP, so timing is everything if working is your priority. I sent in my AOS package in July, and despite getting a Request for Intial Evidence which slowed things down, I got my EAD/AP in September and GC in hand in November.

The bottom line for you is choosing which tradeoff you're going to take. K-1 -- get there faster, have a normal wedding, but unable to work for months (many employers will only accept a GC) or go with the CR-1 -- Work right away, but must get a quickie marriage and be immediately separated for longer.

Edit: I spel gud, and holy beaten to the punch while typing!

Edited by Galateia

K-1

03/09/2006: Sent I-129F

22/11/2006: NOA2 - APPROVED!

31/12/2006: 1 year anniversary

22/12/2006: Package received from Montreal

18/01/2007: Packet 3 delivered to Montreal Consulate

02/02/2007: Medical Exam in London, ON- Wonderful Doctor/Office

30/05/2007: Package 4 received from Montreal

05/07/2007: Interview date - Canceled by request, [promised a Dec date b/c was 6+mo in advance, note on file

Screwed up my interview date, given NOVEMBER, fixed, promised Dec or Jan

06/02/2008: Interview date, medical now expired! APPROVED!

23/01/2008: New Medical done, WHERE THE @#$%! IS IT, DID THE MAILMAN LOSE IT?! (It arrived 30 min after I left for MTL, 1 week overdue. KISS MY LEFT FOOT, AFTER IT'S BEEN WEDGED UP YOUR HINEY AND LOST IT'S STILETTO, CANADA POST!)

14/02/2008: VISA IN HAND!!

18/05/2008: POE - Harassed by ignorant and incompetent Customs Official who grilled me until I answered that the reason why I broke up w/ my Ex was not to date my USC but b/c he was "impotent from a porn addiction". He also insulted my husband's motives for talking to me, dismissed our 2 years together as "not enough to get married", and otherwise trotted out the Spanish Inquisition.

22/05/2008: Ceremony of cohabitation (Legally allowed to get bizz-ay!)

AOS/AP/EAD

02/07/2008: Filed for AOS/AP/EAD

14/07/2008: Received NOA1

09/09/2008: Transferred to CSC

29/09/2008: EAD arrives in mail w/out notice, AP following week

18/11/2008: Email notice letter has gone out, card ETA: 60 days

25/11/2008: GC arrives in mail! TWO YEARS OF RED-TAPE FREEDOM! WOOT!

When you know, you know!

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: China
Timeline
When you receive a K-1 visa you have 6 months to enter the US. Once you've entered the US and activated the visa, you have 90 days to get your tush to a chapel/court house, etc and get married.

If you get married ASAP (I got married within 2 business days of arriving) you can file for AOS (including Advanced Parole -aka freedom to leave before GC received-- and an Employment Authorization Document) basically immediately. Get all the paperwork in order before you come down, get the court house to make a certified copy (or two, or several) of your marriage certificate before they take it away to be put in the county records.

You could conceivably send off your AOS package within a week of arriving in the US, if you get your ducks in order. If you have a lot of time to kill before you enter the US after you've got your visa in hand, it would be worth it to have an AOS package in a can -- add marriage certificate and stir.

The K-1 theoretically gives you immediate permission to work once you land in the US. The SSN policy document (available from VJ for download) explicitly states that K-1s are allowed to work 'by class of visa' and take that with you to the SSN office and hit them with it if they balk at giving you your SSN.

It takes about 3 months for the AOS package application to cough up an EAD and AP, so timing is everything if working is your priority. I sent in my AOS package in July, and despite getting a Request for Intial Evidence which slowed things down, I got my EAD/AP in September and GC in hand in November.

The bottom line for you is choosing which tradeoff you're going to take. K-1 -- get there faster, have a normal wedding, but unable to work for months (many employers will only accept a GC) or go with the CR-1 -- Work right away, but must get a quickie marriage and be immediately separated for longer.

Edit: I spel gud, and holy beaten to the punch while typing!

NOTE: K-1 is not a work visa, it is a fiancee visa for entry to the USA and marriage, K-1 is "Work Auth" primarily to be able to get the SSN, some states are strict in their interpretation of a federal law that requires persons applying for a "license" to have SSN, this can cause a problem with marriage license if only one person has SSN and the other (the K-1 holder) does not.

You may want to look carefully at form I-90.

The SSN will be marked "Valid with DHS auth only" This indicates that an item in column A and B will be needed to prove work authorization.

http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/men...00045f3d6a1RCRD

Employers can use e-verify to confirm work auth, a K-1 wont have it unless they have "EAD" stamp, EAD card, or Green-card. http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/men...0004718190aRCRD

USCIS tells SSA to treat K-1 as work auth so that the K-1 can get SSN.


OUR TIME LINE Please do a timeline it helps us all, thanks.

Is now a US Citizen immigration completed Jan 12, 2012.

1428954228.1592.1755425389.png

CHIN0001_zps9c01d045.gifCHIN0100_zps02549215.gifTAIW0001_zps9a9075f1.gifVIET0001_zps0a49d4a7.gif

Look here: A Candle for Love and China Family Visa Forums for Chinese/American relationship,

Visa issues, and lots of info about the Guangzhou and Hong Kong consulate.

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Canada
Timeline
When you receive a K-1 visa you have 6 months to enter the US. Once you've entered the US and activated the visa, you have 90 days to get your tush to a chapel/court house, etc and get married.

If you get married ASAP (I got married within 2 business days of arriving) you can file for AOS (including Advanced Parole -aka freedom to leave before GC received-- and an Employment Authorization Document) basically immediately. Get all the paperwork in order before you come down, get the court house to make a certified copy (or two, or several) of your marriage certificate before they take it away to be put in the county records.

You could conceivably send off your AOS package within a week of arriving in the US, if you get your ducks in order. If you have a lot of time to kill before you enter the US after you've got your visa in hand, it would be worth it to have an AOS package in a can -- add marriage certificate and stir.

The K-1 theoretically gives you immediate permission to work once you land in the US. The SSN policy document (available from VJ for download) explicitly states that K-1s are allowed to work 'by class of visa' and take that with you to the SSN office and hit them with it if they balk at giving you your SSN.

It takes about 3 months for the AOS package application to cough up an EAD and AP, so timing is everything if working is your priority. I sent in my AOS package in July, and despite getting a Request for Intial Evidence which slowed things down, I got my EAD/AP in September and GC in hand in November.

The bottom line for you is choosing which tradeoff you're going to take. K-1 -- get there faster, have a normal wedding, but unable to work for months (many employers will only accept a GC) or go with the CR-1 -- Work right away, but must get a quickie marriage and be immediately separated for longer.

Edit: I spel gud, and holy beaten to the punch while typing!

NOTE: K-1 is not a work visa, it is a fiancee visa for entry to the USA and marriage, K-1 is "Work Auth" primarily to be able to get the SSN, some states are strict in their interpretation of a federal law that requires persons applying for a "license" to have SSN, this can cause a problem with marriage license if only one person has SSN and the other (the K-1 holder) does not.

You may want to look carefully at form I-90.

The SSN will be marked "Valid with DHS auth only" This indicates that an item in column A and B will be needed to prove work authorization.

http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/men...00045f3d6a1RCRD

Employers can use e-verify to confirm work auth, a K-1 wont have it unless they have "EAD" stamp, EAD card, or Green-card. http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/men...0004718190aRCRD

USCIS tells SSA to treat K-1 as work auth so that the K-1 can get SSN.

So, to try and clarify what you are saying - The K1 allows me to get an SSN but isn't in itself a work visa. I would plan to arrive only a few days before the wedding so that I could get on with the AOS process straight away but I understand that I would need a SSN to get a marriage license correct? So the plan of action would be to arrive in the country, get the SSN, get married, put in the papers for the AOS, EAD and AP and then wait around until the EAD comes through. I don't intend to work in the US on my K1 visa before getting married (that is if I go ahead with this idea).

The CR-1 would be ideal but due to various family situations, running off and eloping is a last option for now so if I were to go with the CR-1 then it would add another 6 months to a year onto things.

Again, thanks to all for the help. Its a big relief to find somewhere online where you can get sound advice on these matters :)


04/13/2009 - I-129F petition sent to VCS

04/22/2009 - NOA1 hard copy received

08/21/2009 - Touched

08/21/2009 - NOA2

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Bermuda
Timeline

I think that what Galateia was saying is that if you marry and send off the AOS with a week or so of entering on the K-1, you lose very little working time. If you've managed to get a temporary EAD stamp when you activated your K-1, you might even have the permanent EAD before it runs out.

Of course the 90 day estimate for getting the EAD after filing for AOS is just an estimate an estimate (though a good one) , which is why I said might.

She's suggesting coming to the US with all the AOS forms ready to go so you can send them as soon as you have the marriage certificate.

It depends on what state you marry in whether you need an SSN to get a marriage license. I didn't need one in Georgia. In fact, we got our marriage license when I was just visiting. I didn't even have the K-1 yet. We got married within two days of me entering the US with the visa.

~ Catherine

Edited by BermyCat

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Canada
Timeline

Sometimes the k1 takes a year!!! and yes just because one has a SSN card does mean ur legally able to work.


Canadians Visiting the USA while undergoing the visa process, my free advice:

1) Always tell the TRUTH. never lie to the POE officer

2) Be confident in ur replies

3) keep ur response short and to the point, don't tell ur life story!!

4) look the POE officer in the eye when speaking to them. They are looking for people lieing and have been trained to find them!

5) Pack light! No job resumes with you

6) Bring ties to Canada (letter from employer when ur expected back at work, lease, etc etc)

7) Always be polite, being rude isn't going to get ya anywhere, and could make things worse!!

8) Have a plan in case u do get denied (be polite) It wont harm ur visa application if ur denied,that is if ur polite and didn't lie! Refer to #1

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Canada
Timeline
I think that what Galateia was saying is that if you marry and send off the AOS with a week or so of entering on the K-1, you lose very little working time. If you've managed to get a temporary EAD stamp when you activated your K-1, you might even have the permanent EAD before it runs out.

Of course the 90 day estimate for getting the EAD after filing for AOS is just an estimate an estimate (though a good one) , which is why I said might.

She's suggesting coming to the US with all the AOS forms ready to go so you can send them as soon as you have the marriage certificate.

It depends on what state you marry in whether you need an SSN to get a marriage license. I didn't need one in Georgia. In fact, we got our marriage license when I was just visiting. I didn't even have the K-1 yet. We got married within two days of me entering the US with the visa.

~ Catherine

Thanks for the clarification Catherine. To follow up on one of your comments - if I were to enter and get my K1 visa stamped for work authorisation and I were to get married a few days later, does that work authorisation still stay in effect for the rest of the 90 day period? I had read elsewhere that the pre-marriage work authorisation on the K1 visa is terminated as soon as you are married and apply for an AOS?


04/13/2009 - I-129F petition sent to VCS

04/22/2009 - NOA1 hard copy received

08/21/2009 - Touched

08/21/2009 - NOA2

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I think that what Galateia was saying is that if you marry and send off the AOS with a week or so of entering on the K-1, you lose very little working time. If you've managed to get a temporary EAD stamp when you activated your K-1, you might even have the permanent EAD before it runs out.

Of course the 90 day estimate for getting the EAD after filing for AOS is just an estimate an estimate (though a good one) , which is why I said might.

She's suggesting coming to the US with all the AOS forms ready to go so you can send them as soon as you have the marriage certificate.

It depends on what state you marry in whether you need an SSN to get a marriage license. I didn't need one in Georgia. In fact, we got our marriage license when I was just visiting. I didn't even have the K-1 yet. We got married within two days of me entering the US with the visa.

~ Catherine

Yes, that is what I was saying. :thumbs:

Also, Yu, you will notice that the paragraph you highlighted was in reference to the SSN and how to use the policy document to prevent the SSN office from refusing to give you a SSN because you aren't work authorized. Note I said 'theoretically' allowed to work, in the eyes of the SS as per their own policy document.

As for the question of whether marriage invalidates the maybe-work-authorization powers of the K-1, YMMV. I applied for Canadian EI with the 'work authorization' of an unexpired I-94 (what they staple and stamp when you activate your visa) while I waited for my EAD to come through. Some EI people accept the K-1 with unexpired I-94 as permission to work, some say it's invalidated when you marry (warning: some SSN people claim this as well), and some say that only an official EAD will do.

So it's a nasty case of YMMV. Either way, it's in your best interest to marry immediately and file for AOS before the ink on your certified copies of your marriage certificate is dry, to ensure that your EAD comes ASAP.

If I were going through this process again, I would ask for an EAD stamp that explictly says that I have work authorization when I activated my visa, and if they assure you that the unexpired I-94 is "the same thing" like they told me, ask them to give you a letter from their supervisor stating that it is a de fact EAD that gives you official permission to work, and have it signed and dated by the supervisor with whatever ID they have.

Maybe that will give them pause and stop them from BSing K-1ers coming through looking for the stamp. :ranting:


K-1

03/09/2006: Sent I-129F

22/11/2006: NOA2 - APPROVED!

31/12/2006: 1 year anniversary

22/12/2006: Package received from Montreal

18/01/2007: Packet 3 delivered to Montreal Consulate

02/02/2007: Medical Exam in London, ON- Wonderful Doctor/Office

30/05/2007: Package 4 received from Montreal

05/07/2007: Interview date - Canceled by request, [promised a Dec date b/c was 6+mo in advance, note on file

Screwed up my interview date, given NOVEMBER, fixed, promised Dec or Jan

06/02/2008: Interview date, medical now expired! APPROVED!

23/01/2008: New Medical done, WHERE THE @#$%! IS IT, DID THE MAILMAN LOSE IT?! (It arrived 30 min after I left for MTL, 1 week overdue. KISS MY LEFT FOOT, AFTER IT'S BEEN WEDGED UP YOUR HINEY AND LOST IT'S STILETTO, CANADA POST!)

14/02/2008: VISA IN HAND!!

18/05/2008: POE - Harassed by ignorant and incompetent Customs Official who grilled me until I answered that the reason why I broke up w/ my Ex was not to date my USC but b/c he was "impotent from a porn addiction". He also insulted my husband's motives for talking to me, dismissed our 2 years together as "not enough to get married", and otherwise trotted out the Spanish Inquisition.

22/05/2008: Ceremony of cohabitation (Legally allowed to get bizz-ay!)

AOS/AP/EAD

02/07/2008: Filed for AOS/AP/EAD

14/07/2008: Received NOA1

09/09/2008: Transferred to CSC

29/09/2008: EAD arrives in mail w/out notice, AP following week

18/11/2008: Email notice letter has gone out, card ETA: 60 days

25/11/2008: GC arrives in mail! TWO YEARS OF RED-TAPE FREEDOM! WOOT!

When you know, you know!

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada
Timeline
When you receive a K-1 visa you have 6 months to enter the US. Once you've entered the US and activated the visa, you have 90 days to get your tush to a chapel/court house, etc and get married.

If you get married ASAP (I got married within 2 business days of arriving) you can file for AOS (including Advanced Parole -aka freedom to leave before GC received-- and an Employment Authorization Document) basically immediately. Get all the paperwork in order before you come down, get the court house to make a certified copy (or two, or several) of your marriage certificate before they take it away to be put in the county records.

You could conceivably send off your AOS package within a week of arriving in the US, if you get your ducks in order. If you have a lot of time to kill before you enter the US after you've got your visa in hand, it would be worth it to have an AOS package in a can -- add marriage certificate and stir.

The K-1 theoretically gives you immediate permission to work once you land in the US. The SSN policy document (available from VJ for download) explicitly states that K-1s are allowed to work 'by class of visa' and take that with you to the SSN office and hit them with it if they balk at giving you your SSN.

It takes about 3 months for the AOS package application to cough up an EAD and AP, so timing is everything if working is your priority. I sent in my AOS package in July, and despite getting a Request for Intial Evidence which slowed things down, I got my EAD/AP in September and GC in hand in November.

The bottom line for you is choosing which tradeoff you're going to take. K-1 -- get there faster, have a normal wedding, but unable to work for months (many employers will only accept a GC) or go with the CR-1 -- Work right away, but must get a quickie marriage and be immediately separated for longer.

Edit: I spel gud, and holy beaten to the punch while typing!

NOTE: K-1 is not a work visa, it is a fiancee visa for entry to the USA and marriage, K-1 is "Work Auth" primarily to be able to get the SSN, some states are strict in their interpretation of a federal law that requires persons applying for a "license" to have SSN, this can cause a problem with marriage license if only one person has SSN and the other (the K-1 holder) does not.

You may want to look carefully at form I-90.

The SSN will be marked "Valid with DHS auth only" This indicates that an item in column A and B will be needed to prove work authorization.

http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/men...00045f3d6a1RCRD

Employers can use e-verify to confirm work auth, a K-1 wont have it unless they have "EAD" stamp, EAD card, or Green-card. http://www.uscis.gov/portal/site/uscis/men...0004718190aRCRD

USCIS tells SSA to treat K-1 as work auth so that the K-1 can get SSN.

So, to try and clarify what you are saying - The K1 allows me to get an SSN but isn't in itself a work visa. I would plan to arrive only a few days before the wedding so that I could get on with the AOS process straight away but I understand that I would need a SSN to get a marriage license correct? So the plan of action would be to arrive in the country, get the SSN, get married, put in the papers for the AOS, EAD and AP and then wait around until the EAD comes through. I don't intend to work in the US on my K1 visa before getting married (that is if I go ahead with this idea).

The CR-1 would be ideal but due to various family situations, running off and eloping is a last option for now so if I were to go with the CR-1 then it would add another 6 months to a year onto things.

Again, thanks to all for the help. Its a big relief to find somewhere online where you can get sound advice on these matters :)

I got married in PA and you do NOT require an SSN # to obtain a marriage license in this state. I got married first and applied for my SSN a few weeks after! Good luck!


K-1

I-129F sent to Vermont: 2/19/08

NOA1: 2/21/08

NOA2: 3/10/08

Packet 3 recd: 3/25/08

Packet 3 sent: 4/18/08

Appt letter recd: 6/16/08

Interview at Montreal Consulate: 7/10/08 **APPROVED!!**

K1 recd: 7/15/08

US Entry at Buffalo, New York: 11/15/08

Wedding in Philadelphia: 11/22/08

AOS

AOS/EAD/AP filed at Chicago Lockbox: 12/17/08

NOA: 12/29/08

Case transferred to CSC: 1/7/09

AOS Approval: 4/2/09

Biometrics appt: 1/16/09

EAD received: 3/12/09

AP received: 3/13/09

AOS approval notice sent: 4/2/09

GC received: 4/9/09

ROC

Sent package to VSC: 1/5/11

NOA1: 1/7/11

Biometrics: 2/14/11

Approval letter received: 8/1/11

GC received: 8/11/11

Citizenship:

N-400 sent to Dallas lockbox: 3/1/12

NOA1: 3/6/12

Biometrics: 4/9/12

Interview: 5/25/12

Oath Ceremony: 6/4/2012

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