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liz&andrew

so here's the beginning of story - advice requested.

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Argh! this all seems so inordinately challenging -- so I thought just to ask here!

I, Liz, am a U.S. citizen and my fiancee has only Australian citizenship (and has never held U.S. visas either). We recently got engaged.

Our plan is as follows: We will come to the U.S. in late December with the intention of getting married just before Christmas. We have not yet applied for a fiance visa, but thought instead to apply for either the IR1/CR1 or K3 spousal visa.

We had planned to then return to the UK, and apply while living in London. We'd continue living in London (or do travel), while waiting for the U.S visa (because it's my understanding that my partner can't visit the States during the K3 process).

I've got three main questions:

1) Is it okay that we come in to the States this December and get married? Or is there paperwork that we need to fill out in order to get 'permission' to do that? (My partner, Andrew, is staying in the USA for only two weeks... and I'll stay for maybe 3/4 weeks before returning to London). The 'compare' page on visa journey states for both IR1/CR1 & K3: "The couple may have previously been married either outside or within the US (the location does not matter as long as the marriage was officially recognized in the location in which it occurred)." -- but I've read that entering the US with the 'intention' to marry can result in penalties. Is that true?

2) For our situation...it seems the main difference between the K3 & IR1/CR1 is that: a) my partner can enter the USA freely during the K3 process, but will have to wait an extra 90 days to work because of the EAD process; while (b) the IRC1/CR1 stops him from entering the USA "usually" during the process... but he can skip the 90 day EAD process. Have people experienced another main difference between these two VISAs? if so, what would they recommend? And what does "usually" mean? What are the exceptions?

3) It is my understanding that I have to 'sponsor' my fiance. I have not worked in the States for the past four years (I was traveling, then in graduate school in Israel, and was then battling cancer) and do not have a great deal of savings. What are my options here? How should I proceed? If my partner has a large income/savings, doesn't that help because once we're married our finances would be considered 'together'? (I can understand the IR1/CR1 process assessing income separately)

If anyone has answers for us, we would be most grateful. :unsure:

Liz (& Andrew)

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Hi Liz!

In answer to question 1, it is fine to get married in the USA. The problem is when you have intend to marry and then STAY in the USA. Make sure Andrew has a return ticket booked in case of a fussy CBP Officer!

Qu 2: K3 is basically redundant. It ends up turning into a CR-1/IR-1 most of the time, and if it doesnt, ends up taking longer, so your option will be CR-1!

Qu 3: Im a bit iffy in this part, I know that your partners income wont count as that is not going to continue in the US. Assets and Savings do count, but they have to be prety significant to make a difference. Not sure of the exact figures but I believe the Poverty Guideline sheet will help!

You can have a joint sponser, so if you have a family member that may be able to help, it may be worth starting to check out now!

Finally, are you plannign to do DCF? I believe you have to be domiciled in the UK for a certain period of time, so may be worth looking more into that too!

Hope some of this helps!


Nick (USC) and Amy (UKC)

03/08 - Met at University in Albuquerque, NM

08/08 - Back to UK for a few years of travelling UK>US!

10/10 - Wedding Day!

s88ndknc8v.png

USCIS

11/16/10: I-130 package mailed

11/18/10: Express Mail tracking shows delivered

11/23/10: Online banking shows check cleared!

11/26/10: Touched

11/29/10: NOA1 arrives!(dated as 11/18/10)

03/17/11: Touched

04/08/11: I-130 APPROVAL!!

141 days from NOA1 to NOA2

NVC

27/04/11: Emailed Choice of Agent form

~{gap as I spent the summer in England}~

03/11/11: Paid AOS and IV fees

04/11/11: AOS and IV fees shown as PAID

08/11/11: AOS Packet sent

09/11/11: IV Packet sent

18/11/11: RFE received requesting AOS packet (which had already been sent)

21/11/11: RFE received requesting 2010 tax return

22/11/11: Sent 2010 tax return

29/11/11: CASE COMPLETE!!!

26 days through NVC

EMBASSY

10/12/11: Medical @ Bentnick Mansions

30/01/12: Interview @ 9am [APPROVED!!]

01/02/12: Passport with visa inside, and medical packet arrive via courier

02/03/12: Flight to Denver!

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I hope i have understood you correctly...if not i am sory.

Yes, you have to fill out papers and apply for a finace visa to come here and get married since he has no visa to enter the u.s. you need this as you plan to enter and to marry.Entering the u.s. with the intent to marry and not having a visa permitting you to do so, is definately a problem you want to avoid! There are indeed major penalties if you are caught in such a thing. i am not so familiar witht he differences between the visas. however when it comes to income if you do not currently and for the last 3 years meet the level above poverty level required your only option is a cosponsor. Read the outlines here they are very helpful. Me and my husband our now just waiting for his visa interview to be scheduled and i have done all the work on my own through the help of this site and its wonderful members.

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I hope i have understood you correctly...if not i am sory.

Yes, you have to fill out papers and apply for a finace visa to come here and get married since he has no visa to enter the u.s. you need this as you plan to enter and to marry.Entering the u.s. with the intent to marry and not having a visa permitting you to do so, is definately a problem you want to avoid! There are indeed major penalties if you are caught in such a thing. i am not so familiar witht he differences between the visas. however when it comes to income if you do not currently and for the last 3 years meet the level above poverty level required your only option is a cosponsor. Read the outlines here they are very helpful. Me and my husband our now just waiting for his visa interview to be scheduled and i have done all the work on my own through the help of this site and its wonderful members.

amazngrace, most of this information is incorrect.

1) You need a fiance (K1) visa to marry and then immediately reside in the US. If you want to marry and then leave, that is not a problem (I married in the US and am currently awaiting CR-1 completion in England)

2) You do not have to meet the requirements for the last 3 years, I believe it is better if its for the last year, but so long as you have proof of ongoing employment meeting the poverty guideline you should be okay (I know this doesnt apply to you, Liz, but just thought i'd clarify!)


Nick (USC) and Amy (UKC)

03/08 - Met at University in Albuquerque, NM

08/08 - Back to UK for a few years of travelling UK>US!

10/10 - Wedding Day!

s88ndknc8v.png

USCIS

11/16/10: I-130 package mailed

11/18/10: Express Mail tracking shows delivered

11/23/10: Online banking shows check cleared!

11/26/10: Touched

11/29/10: NOA1 arrives!(dated as 11/18/10)

03/17/11: Touched

04/08/11: I-130 APPROVAL!!

141 days from NOA1 to NOA2

NVC

27/04/11: Emailed Choice of Agent form

~{gap as I spent the summer in England}~

03/11/11: Paid AOS and IV fees

04/11/11: AOS and IV fees shown as PAID

08/11/11: AOS Packet sent

09/11/11: IV Packet sent

18/11/11: RFE received requesting AOS packet (which had already been sent)

21/11/11: RFE received requesting 2010 tax return

22/11/11: Sent 2010 tax return

29/11/11: CASE COMPLETE!!!

26 days through NVC

EMBASSY

10/12/11: Medical @ Bentnick Mansions

30/01/12: Interview @ 9am [APPROVED!!]

01/02/12: Passport with visa inside, and medical packet arrive via courier

02/03/12: Flight to Denver!

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amazngrace, most of this information is incorrect.

1) You need a fiance (K1) visa to marry and then immediately reside in the US. If you want to marry and then leave, that is not a problem (I married in the US and am currently awaiting CR-1 completion in England)

2) You do not have to meet the requirements for the last 3 years, I believe it is better if its for the last year, but so long as you have proof of ongoing employment meeting the poverty guideline you should be okay (I know this doesnt apply to you, Liz, but just thought i'd clarify!)

1 i did say a fiance visa, you cant just enter the US without a visa and she has stated he has never been a card holder, also entering the US to get married without proper ducuments is fraud and will only cause issues in the long run!

2 as far as a co sponsor i meet the guidelines now and last year but not the 2 previous years. i had to get a co sponsor so better to have one in case then to cause yourself delays.

However if i caused confusion i apolojize and we are all here giving our opinions based on our own experiences.

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Thanks for clearing the co-sponser part up.

I really do want to reiterate though, you CAN enter the US, on a visa waiver (ie, without a visa), with intent to marryPROVIDED you leave after and dont try to adjust status.

If you enter the US, without a visa (or even on a different visa) with INTENT to marry AND adjust status, that is when you have problems.

Intending to enter and marry is FINE!

Intending to enter, marry and immediately stay is NOT!


Nick (USC) and Amy (UKC)

03/08 - Met at University in Albuquerque, NM

08/08 - Back to UK for a few years of travelling UK>US!

10/10 - Wedding Day!

s88ndknc8v.png

USCIS

11/16/10: I-130 package mailed

11/18/10: Express Mail tracking shows delivered

11/23/10: Online banking shows check cleared!

11/26/10: Touched

11/29/10: NOA1 arrives!(dated as 11/18/10)

03/17/11: Touched

04/08/11: I-130 APPROVAL!!

141 days from NOA1 to NOA2

NVC

27/04/11: Emailed Choice of Agent form

~{gap as I spent the summer in England}~

03/11/11: Paid AOS and IV fees

04/11/11: AOS and IV fees shown as PAID

08/11/11: AOS Packet sent

09/11/11: IV Packet sent

18/11/11: RFE received requesting AOS packet (which had already been sent)

21/11/11: RFE received requesting 2010 tax return

22/11/11: Sent 2010 tax return

29/11/11: CASE COMPLETE!!!

26 days through NVC

EMBASSY

10/12/11: Medical @ Bentnick Mansions

30/01/12: Interview @ 9am [APPROVED!!]

01/02/12: Passport with visa inside, and medical packet arrive via courier

02/03/12: Flight to Denver!

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1 i did say a fiance visa, you cant just enter the US without a visa and she has stated he has never been a card holder, also entering the US to get married without proper ducuments is fraud and will only cause issues in the long run!

2 as far as a co sponsor i meet the guidelines now and last year but not the 2 previous years. i had to get a co sponsor so better to have one in case then to cause yourself delays.

However if i caused confusion i apolojize and we are all here giving our opinions based on our own experiences.

Yes, you can. You can enter the US and get married, leave and apply for a CR-1 Visa. It is only fraud if you enter to get married and NOT LEAVE THE US.

We are not giving "opinions on our experience" we are giving out advice on the laws of immigration. Yes, some experience comes into play, but the nuts and bolts of it are in black and white.

Some countries have different rules when it comes to the Consulate path. People from VWP countries do not have to get visitor visas to come to the US to visit. My husband has visited several times while his CR-1 is in process with no visa and no problems. Remember to give due regard to what country the OP is filing from.


USCIS- 260 Days

6/8/11~ Mailed I-130 Application, withdrew Canadian PR application
6/16/11~ NOA1 email and text message Case routed to CSC (Priority Date)
7/12/11~ The 'Money Order' Incident/Returned to Tennessee
8/03/11~ TOUCHED!
3/2/12~ APPROVED! NOA2!

NVC Electronic Processing- Montreal- 19 Days

3/21/12~ Received case number & IIN 20 Days after NOA2
3/21/12~ Sent in opt-in email
3/22/12~ Opt-in accepted
3/23/12~ DS-261 Submitted, never accepted
3/29/12~ AOS bill invoiced and paid
3/30/12~ AOS shows PAID- AOS Package emailed/received, DS-3032 emailed/accepted
4/2/12~ IV bill invoiced and paid
4/3/12~ AOS Checklist documents emailed(first time)
4/4/12~ IV shows PAID- DS-260 submitted/ IV Package emailed/received
4/4/12~ AOS Checklist documents sent again for CYA (second time)
4/5/12~ IV package accepted! No Checklists!
4/6/12~ AOS Checklist emailed(third time)
4/9/12~ AOS packet accepted (finally)
CASE COMPLETE!!

Interview 354 days from NOA1/ 362 days from initial filing date
5/29/12~ Medical@ Medisys, Montreal
6/4/12~ Interview APPROVED!!!
08/07/2012~ POE Emerson, MB/Pembina, ND by land
08/09/2012~ HOME!! 424 days from initial filing date!
08/14/2012~ SSN Received
09/10/2012~ Received Green Card

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I would definitely look at whether you qualify for DCF (direct consular filing) or not as suggested above. Then everything is done through London instead of getting mailed to the US so it shaves off time for you.

As stated by many people there is no issue getting married in the US and then leaving to file. If you needed a visa to get married the destination wedding industry would be toast. It happens all the time and is perfectly legal as long as you don't intend to stay.

Best wishes :)

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So are you both currently living in London?

It is fine for your fiance to enter on the Visa Waiver Program to get married, and then return abroad. He may not need to tell them about his plans, but if asked he will have to tell the truth about marrying and so should be prepared to prove that he does just intend to get married and then return abroad. So proof of his job, proof of a lease, etc., may come in handy.

K-3 is designed to be applied for alongside CR-1, and is for when the CR-1 process takes a long time. But nowadays generally both petitions are approved in the same time-frame, and they just ignore the K-3 application and process the CR-1. So that is the route you will go.

If your fiance has savings of over $55,000 then that should do for the support requirement. Otherwise, you will need to find a friend/family member in the US willing to co-sponsor. Alternatively, you will have to return to the US and find a job.

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Thanks for clearing the co-sponser part up.

I really do want to reiterate though, you CAN enter the US, on a visa waiver (ie, without a visa), with intent to marryPROVIDED you leave after and dont try to adjust status.

If you enter the US, without a visa (or even on a different visa) with INTENT to marry AND adjust status, that is when you have problems.

Intending to enter and marry is FINE!

Intending to enter, marry and immediately stay is NOT!

Yes i stand corrected you can with the intent to marry as long as you can prove strong ties that you will return. Sorry for all the confusion. i wasnt cathcing on to what the mistake was i was making till 20 more people pointed it out lol that is why i love this site we are all here to help eachother

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Foreign Spouse's money is counted as 1/5th of the computed gap in USCitizen's PovertyLine Thresh-hold. Joint Bank account not matter, it must be in USCitizen's Name (only) to count at normal 1/3rd of the computed gap.


Sometimes my language usage seems confusing - please feel free to 'read it twice', just in case !
Ya know, you can find the answer to your question with the advanced search tool, when using a PC? Ditch the handphone, come back later on a PC, and try again.

-=-=-=-=-=R E A D ! ! !=-=-=-=-=-

Whoa Nelly ! Want NVC Info? see http://www.visajourney.com/wiki/index.php/NVC_Process

Congratulations on your approval ! We All Applaud your accomplishment with Most Wonderful Kissies !

2mzcunl.gif

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wow -- thanks for all the replies! this community really is wonderful! We posted our questions just before going to sleep, and had such great news when we awoke! (i.e. YAY! we can get married!!)

So, to comment on the three areas:

1) Yes, we both intend to return to London after Christmas. Andrew will be entering into the US on his still valid 'Visa Waiver Program'. If the CBP officer asks the purpose of his journey, I assume it's best for him to state that he's coming to the US for both holidays and marriage -- but doesn't intend to stay. He'll be sure to have his tenancy and employment documents to prove his need to return.

2) Okay - thanks. Sounds like we'll just stick with the IR1/CR1 process.

3) Yes, my partner does have over $55,000 in savings... so it would be helpful if that avoids us requesting one of my relatives to sponsor. I'll do some more reading around the PovertyLine information and see if that helps me.

Oh -- and to answer the question around DCF: I'm only in London on tourist VISAs, so I believe that negates my ability to use the DCF process. The DCF summary page here says permanent residence abroad must be legally established for a period of six months. I would have thought tourist visas don't qualify for 'permanent' residence... but perhaps I should ask more about that within the DCF forum.

Again -- thanks to everyone for their replies... especially Amy&Nick.

Regards, Liz.

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Oh -- and to answer the question around DCF: I'm only in London on tourist VISAs, so I believe that negates my ability to use the DCF process. The DCF summary page here says permanent residence abroad must be legally established for a period of six months. I would have thought tourist visas don't qualify for 'permanent' residence... but perhaps I should ask more about that within the DCF forum.

You are correct, living in a country on a tourist visa does not count as permanent residence. As you have correctly concluded, it negates your ability to utilize DCF.


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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1 i did say a fiance visa, you cant just enter the US without a visa and she has stated he has never been a card holder, also entering the US to get married without proper ducuments is fraud and will only cause issues in the long run!

2 as far as a co sponsor i meet the guidelines now and last year but not the 2 previous years. i had to get a co sponsor so better to have one in case then to cause yourself delays.

However if i caused confusion i apolojize and we are all here giving our opinions based on our own experiences.

Fiance visa is totally different to what they want to do and an Aussie can come here any time on a VWP ESTA visa so as he is not intending to stay he can come on the VWP.


Divorced !st November 2012.

Married only 2 years 1 month

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Sometimes my language usage seems confusing - please feel free to 'read it twice', just in case !
Ya know, you can find the answer to your question with the advanced search tool, when using a PC? Ditch the handphone, come back later on a PC, and try again.

-=-=-=-=-=R E A D ! ! !=-=-=-=-=-

Whoa Nelly ! Want NVC Info? see http://www.visajourney.com/wiki/index.php/NVC_Process

Congratulations on your approval ! We All Applaud your accomplishment with Most Wonderful Kissies !

2mzcunl.gif

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