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Confused about visas in general

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Filed: Other Country: Canada
Timeline

Well, I'm confused. That's putting it mildly. I've looked up information about the different visas and read over many, many different threads and posts, and all I've come back with is bewilderment.

I'd basically like to know WHICH visa would be the best for my fiancee and me in our situation. Yes, I have read the comparison list; however, I think I need some human input on the subject.

Okay, here's the lowdown: My fiancee and I have known each other for around four years or more and been together as a couple for a little over a year. We met online. We've recently become engaged. She's a Canadian citizen, and I'm an American citizen. Now off-hand, one might suggest the K1 visa, as that is designed for foreign fiancees to enter the U.S. for 90 days, in which they must get married and then immediately file for AOS, an SS card and an EAD. If I have any of this wrong, please correct me.

We won't be getting married until I've finished my college undergraduate work and have entered graduate school (or immediately before). To make a long story short, I'll be attending to my studies pretty much full-time. I won't really have the time for a job while in graduate school, or if I do, it won't be much since all I'll have is a B.S. degree. Basically, my fiancee needs to be able to come down and immediately look for (and hopefully attain) work. She doesn't want to be without work for several months straight, or longer. I know I can PROBABLY get a joint sponsor out of my Dad, but we need to be able to support ourselves.

Then there's the issue of the wedding itself. With a 90 day limitation, that doesn't leave a whole lot of time for a--as my fiance puts it--"real wedding." She doesn't want a "quickie wedding" and I'm inclined to agree. While my fiancee is fine with a small wedding, she wants something that is memorable and all.

Another potential sore point with the K1 is that my fiancee wouldn't be allowed to leave the country during the processing. She doesn't like that. She's afraid of what might happen in Canada--a family emergency or something. Is there a way for her to go back, in the case of an emergency, without voiding the K1?

What happens to my fiancee after we're married (assuming we do the K1) and we file for AOS, SS and EAD, and all of those take longer than 90 days to complete? Does my fiancee have to go back to Canada or can she stay with me?

Now...about the K3. Does it matter WHERE we're married? Could we get married in the United States or Canada and do the K3? Is my fiancee even allowed to enter the U.S. from Canada using her passport, claiming it's for a visit and then marry an American citizen? Would she have to state upfront her intentions to marry me? Would that prohibit her from entering the country? Do I have to be in the U.S. in order to apply for the K3? In other words, I'd still be a citizen, but could I visit my fiancee after she goes back to Canada after our wedding (as per K3 procedure) for extended periods of time? Could I visit her at all? Could she visit me? After the wedding, does she have to go back immediately, or can she stay in the U.S. for a certain amount of time--or does doing so prolong the K3 process?

What about the IR1/CR1? I've read that in some circumstances it's faster and that the foreign spouse can enter as a permanent resident, with the ability to work. Does this mean they don't need to file for AOS or get an EAD? Do they get their greencard immediately? This would be nice, as it'd allow my fiancee to enter the U.S. and work immediately, but I've also read that she wouldn't be able to join me until ALL of the processing is complete. During the processing time, could I visit her in Canada?

And finally, the DCF. I've read that in order to do this in Canada, I'd need to be a resident of that country for two years (I think). Maybe I'm wrong about that. Whatever the case, I'd need to be living there. And I'm not. However, if I did my masters degree (and maybe even my doctorate, although I've prefer persuing that in the U.S.) in Canada on a student visa, would that allow me the ability to go through with a DCF? Or would the student visa prohibit that? The DCF would be the preferred method, as it's the fastest way to go and enables us to get what my fiancee and I want. But it may be impossible.

Anyway, sorry about this extremely long and verbose post. I just had a lot to say and ask. Any help and/or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks ahead of time! :)

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Philippines
Timeline
Well, I'm confused. That's putting it mildly. I've looked up information about the different visas and read over many, many different threads and posts, and all I've come back with is bewilderment.

I'd basically like to know WHICH visa would be the best for my fiancee and me in our situation. Yes, I have read the comparison list; however, I think I need some human input on the subject.

Okay, here's the lowdown: My fiancee and I have known each other for around four years or more and been together as a couple for a little over a year. We met online. We've recently become engaged. She's a Canadian citizen, and I'm an American citizen. Now off-hand, one might suggest the K1 visa, as that is designed for foreign fiancees to enter the U.S. for 90 days, in which they must get married and then immediately file for AOS, an SS card and an EAD. If I have any of this wrong, please correct me.

We won't be getting married until I've finished my college undergraduate work and have entered graduate school (or immediately before). To make a long story short, I'll be attending to my studies pretty much full-time. I won't really have the time for a job while in graduate school, or if I do, it won't be much since all I'll have is a B.S. degree. Basically, my fiancee needs to be able to come down and immediately look for (and hopefully attain) work. She doesn't want to be without work for several months straight, or longer. I know I can PROBABLY get a joint sponsor out of my Dad, but we need to be able to support ourselves.

Then there's the issue of the wedding itself. With a 90 day limitation, that doesn't leave a whole lot of time for a--as my fiance puts it--"real wedding." She doesn't want a "quickie wedding" and I'm inclined to agree. While my fiancee is fine with a small wedding, she wants something that is memorable and all.

Another potential sore point with the K1 is that my fiancee wouldn't be allowed to leave the country during the processing. She doesn't like that. She's afraid of what might happen in Canada--a family emergency or something. Is there a way for her to go back, in the case of an emergency, without voiding the K1?

What happens to my fiancee after we're married (assuming we do the K1) and we file for AOS, SS and EAD, and all of those take longer than 90 days to complete? Does my fiancee have to go back to Canada or can she stay with me?

Now...about the K3. Does it matter WHERE we're married? Could we get married in the United States or Canada and do the K3? Is my fiancee even allowed to enter the U.S. from Canada using her passport, claiming it's for a visit and then marry an American citizen? Would she have to state upfront her intentions to marry me? Would that prohibit her from entering the country? Do I have to be in the U.S. in order to apply for the K3? In other words, I'd still be a citizen, but could I visit my fiancee after she goes back to Canada after our wedding (as per K3 procedure) for extended periods of time? Could I visit her at all? Could she visit me? After the wedding, does she have to go back immediately, or can she stay in the U.S. for a certain amount of time--or does doing so prolong the K3 process?

What about the IR1/CR1? I've read that in some circumstances it's faster and that the foreign spouse can enter as a permanent resident, with the ability to work. Does this mean they don't need to file for AOS or get an EAD? Do they get their greencard immediately? This would be nice, as it'd allow my fiancee to enter the U.S. and work immediately, but I've also read that she wouldn't be able to join me until ALL of the processing is complete. During the processing time, could I visit her in Canada?

And finally, the DCF. I've read that in order to do this in Canada, I'd need to be a resident of that country for two years (I think). Maybe I'm wrong about that. Whatever the case, I'd need to be living there. And I'm not. However, if I did my masters degree (and maybe even my doctorate, although I've prefer persuing that in the U.S.) in Canada on a student visa, would that allow me the ability to go through with a DCF? Or would the student visa prohibit that? The DCF would be the preferred method, as it's the fastest way to go and enables us to get what my fiancee and I want. But it may be impossible.

Anyway, sorry about this extremely long and verbose post. I just had a lot to say and ask. Any help and/or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks ahead of time! :)

OMG you asked a boatload of questions...

Under certain circumstances a fiance can return to her home country while she is in the 90 day period but if I am not mistaken it is at the discretion of the CO.

Of course she stays with you after you are married.

What 90 day period for the AOS, EAD etc... the 90 day period ends at the sooner of 90 days or marriage. Then the clock resets and you move on to phase two which in and of itself may take 3 or more months.

If she is in Canada for any reason there is no restriction for your travel there to see her.

I am out of breath... I will let others respond to the later questions.


YMMV

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Filed: Timeline

My .02...

I don't think any of us K1 filers want a quickie wedding, but by some circumstance or another we are on this path.

Many of us do a quickie legal ceremony then a formal 'wedding' later. And so we do it. At the end of it all, we want to be together. However we have to do that, we will and do.

I didn't want to be married & apart from my man, hence the K1 not K3 or Cr-1.

Good luck.

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A few points to help you decide.

K-3 is a multiple entry visa. Does not require AP in order to re-enter the US. Can apply for EAD as soon as entered the US, but can take about 3 months to have it in hand.

CR-1 gives you the green card....resident status with conditions if married under 2 years at time of entry to the US. Can work straight away etc. Nothing to do until 90 days before the 2 year anniversary of entry to the US, when one must apply to remove conditions.

There are two options to gain resident status when one has entered on a K-3 visa.

1) apply for AOS, which can take up to a couple of years depending on the District Office one has to apply through. (Check stats on relevant District Office).

2) enter on the K-3, but continue the process through the NVC with the I-130, and once complete at NVC, forwarded to the embassy/consulate and interview scheduled, you can return to do the CR-1 interview and re-enter the US with the CR-1 visa.


You can find me on FBI

An overview of Security Name Checks And Administrative Review at Service Center, NVC & Consulate levels.

Detailed Review USCIS Alien Security Checks

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View Timeline HERE

I am but a wench not a lawyer. My advice and opinion is just that. I read, I research, I learn.

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