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Marry Now or Marry Later?


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Filed: Timeline

My love is Canadian, I am American. After reading through many, many posts in various forums, I still don't know which path I should take my next step on. We know we want to live in the U.S. rather than Canada and we are willing to go the K-1 route but, wouldn't it make more sense for her to come here for a visit and get married to me? It seems that bringing my wife here to live carries alot more weight than bringing my fiancee. Is there anything illegal about that plan? Please forgive my ignorance, I may be overwhelmed with info right now. I'm so glad to have found this website! Thanks for any help I can get B)

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Filed: Other Timeline

I don't think being married carries more 'weight'. Most people choose the K-1 simply because it means they can be together sooner.

Here is a chart that shows the pluses and minuses of each:


The posts here are valuable. But use the Guides, FAQ and Links if you really want to get informed.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: England

Planning to come in on a visitor visa and marry is also commiting visa fraud, if you intend for your wife to them stay and adjust status. So you're down to a choice of K1 or K3, and Becca has given you good info about the processing times for each.

Good luck with whichever route you take!


Make sure you're wearing clean knickers. You never know when you'll be run over by a bus.

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Colombia


Johanna & Peter

Colombia / U.S.A.

I-129F / K-1 Fiancee Visa

08-20-02 - Met Johanna in Armenia, Colombia

10-05-05 - K-1 Sent to TSC

10-14-05 - Received NOA1 by E-Mail (Day 9)

12-22-05 - Reveived NOA2 By E-Mail & Mail (Day 78)

03-03-06 - Interview Date! (Day 149) Approved

03-10-06 - Johanna Arrived

05-27-06 - Married

I-485 / AOS (Did not applied for EAD or AP)

06-05-06 - Sent I-485 application to Chicago via USPS (Day 1)

06-06-06 - AOS Package Delivered at 12:29PM

06-12-06 - Received NOA1 by Mail

06-14-06 - Check Cashed

06-22-06 - Received Appointment Notice for Biometrics

06-26-06 - "Request for Additional Evidence" Online, waiting for letter

06-29-06 - Biometrics Done!

06-30-06 - Received RFE Letter by mail. (Missing Birth Certificate)

07-10-06 - Sent RFE by Express Mail USPS

07-11-06 - RFE Delivered @ 10:54AM Sign by D. Atwell

08-28-06 - AOS Transferred to CSC E-mail & USCIS Website (Day 85)

08-30-06 - Touched #1

08-31-06 - Touched #2

08-31-06 - E-Mail from CRIS & USCIS-CSSO - CSC received AOS Application

09-01-06 - Touched #3

09-01-06 - NOA by Mail Regarding Transfer to CSC

09-05-06 - Touched #4

09-07-06 - Touched #5

09-13-06 - Touched #6

09-15-06 - AOS Approved by Online Status & E-mail

09-21-06 - Received GC and Welcome Letter (Day 109)

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Yes I wouldn't advise coming here and marrying first. That is seem as dishonest and fraud and would leave your case open to all sorts of speculation and suspicion from immigration.

We had our AOS interview just a few weeks ago and one of the things our immigration officer talked about was her frustration the with the stupidity of people who think they can marry first and then tell the government afterwards.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Australia

Of course she can come to the US and marry you if you so choose... BUT SHE HAS TO GO HOME AGAIN AFTERWARDS. It's perfectly legal to come to the US to marry a USC and then leave the country before your legal stay ends, but it's NOT legal to come to the US, marry a citizen and settle down straight away. Most people do a K-1 because it is quicker to process than a K3 and you'll be together sooner...

Karen - Melbourne, Australia/John - Florida, USA

- Proposal (20 August 2000) to marriage (19 December 2004) - 4 years, 3 months, 25 days (1,578 days)

STAGE 1 - Applying for K1 (15 September 2003) to K1 Approval (13 July 2004) - 9 months, 29 days (303 days)

STAGE 2A - Arriving in US (4 Nov 2004) to AOS Application (16 April 2005) - 5 months, 13 days (164 days)

STAGE 2B - Applying for AOS to GC Approval - 9 months, 4 days (279 days)

STAGE 3 - Lifting Conditions. Filing (19 Dec 2007) to Approval (December 11 2008)

STAGE 4 - CITIZENSHIP (filing under 5-year rule - residency start date on green card Jan 11th, 2006)

*N400 filed December 15, 2011

*Interview March 12, 2012

*Oath Ceremony March 23, 2012.

ALL DONE!!!!!!!!

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Russia
Most people do a K-1 because it is quicker to process than a K3 and you'll be together sooner...
Statistically speaking the K1/K3 route is rare in comparison to other adjustment of status methods. Although the numbers are not conclusive, my guess is that more people actually come as visitors, marry, and never go back rather than choosing the K1/K3 method. It is the intent to immigrate upon entering as a non-immigrant that is illegal. Therefore, having the intent to visit and to see if your boyfriend or girlfriend is right for you is perfectly acceptable. If that visit blossoms into a decision of marriage it can be done on the spot and no visa fraud is committed and no one has to go back home. Since you have already decided on marriage before your arrival; this method would not apply to you.
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