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Jenniferrr

Spousal or Fiance? Help!

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Hi everyone!

I've been reading through everyone's stories and all of the tips and guides on this website and they have been extremely helpful. I'm still at a bit of a loss at how my fiance and I should proceed though.

I am a Canadian citizen and my fiance is American. We plan on marrying and moving to the US. I'm wondering what option will be best for us. We particularly want things to go as quick as possible (of course!)

I'm thinking the K1 way is best. It seems they are being processed relatively quickly and I would be able to go to the US, marry, and then stay there.

I am just wondering if we should just go ahead and get married, and then file for the CR-1 instead. It seems to be a better and more straightforward visa, and I wouldn't have to worry about the Employment Authorization application. This looks like it would take longer though.

Essentially, I am mostly curious how long each method takes, and how much each method costs. Also, if there is a way that is recommended and more likely to be approved.

Thank you! Look forward to hearing from you all. Let me know if you need more information on our case!

Jennifer

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Check the following link to compare the two options

http://www.visajourney.com/content/compare


Sent I-129 Application to VSC 2/1/12
NOA1 2/8/12
RFE 8/2/12
RFE reply 8/3/12
NOA2 8/16/12
NVC received 8/27/12
NVC left 8/29/12
Manila Embassy received 9/5/12
Visa appointment & approval 9/7/12
Arrived in US 10/5/2012
Married 11/24/2012
AOS application sent 12/19/12

AOS approved 8/24/13

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Please read and do what is best for your particular situation. But, since you asked for an opinion, I will give you mine.

We went through the K1 process. For us to get married in Brazil, it was turning out to be a logistical fiasco. We would have had to file for marriage license (a 30 day wait in Sao Paulo), I couldn't wait out that period and could only be able to return back to Sao Paulo several months after I left on that particular trip. So we started the K1 route upon my return to the US.

But there are many advantages to the CR1 if you are capable of going that route.

First let me say that the timeframes for approval are very close to one another right now. In fact, there are even some cases where CR1 is faster than K1, but just look at the averages and they are close.

#1 CR1 is cheaper (no filing of adjustment of status saving $1070)

#2 once spouse enters on CR1, they get green card in hand very soon after and considered LPR upon arrival. So, quicker time to LPR which allows one to work and to travel outside of US without troubles associated with advanced parole. (K1 AOS is taking over 7-8 months currently)

The drawback is that even though you are married, you will be apart during the adjudication process. But, you will be apart as fiance also.

If I could have had the knowledge I have now about the immigration process then, I would have rearranged a trip and gotten married in Brazil and filed CR1.

So, that is my opinion for whatever it is worth.

Good luck on your future marriage.

Edited by Que Saudade

"I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant."

K1 Guides and Info

K1 AOS Guide

Link for Rio de Janeiro Consulate's instructions for K1 Visas. They give you this link instead of a packet 3. Everything you need for interview in Rio is here. Boa Sorte

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Are both of you located in Canada right now? Besides looking into the different visas, look into the affidavit of support requirements, that's where some couples aren't as prepared.

There's not that much of a difference in time regarding CR-1 vs. K1. If you already know you're getting married, I'd advise you to go down the CR-1 route because when you finally move to the US, you're not in a time crunch to get certain things done, and you can start working immidiately. Besides, it's less expensive and even though you'll still have a 2 year greencard entering the US on a CR-1, you'll eliminate dealing with USCIS rightaway, waiting around for work permit, greencard and being able to travel outside of the US.

The total cost in the guides are the absolut minimum costs for each visa. Medical examns vary, and prices to and from that(plus embassy) are also factors that aren't accounted for in the total cost.

EDIT: you can visit each other during the proces, no matter which route you choose. Some get turned away at the boarder because having a petition may(or may not) look as if you have more ties to the US than home country(ie. immigrant intent). Others just sail right through the boarder without any issues. Being apart is part of the proces, unfortunately. The processing times for each visa go up and down. When looking at the statistics, please take into consideration that the K1 usually does NOT take 5 months. It takes 5 months(plus/minus) from filing until approved, and after that it may take a few months to get it to the embassy and have your interview. Look into the country specifics here.

Edited by moomin

K1 process, October 2010 > POE, July 2011

I-129F approved in 180 days from NOA1 date. (195 days from filing to NOA2 in hand)

Interview took 224 days from I-129F NOA1 date. (241 days from filing petition until visa in hand)

From filing I-129F petition until POE: 285 days

Click timeline or "about me" for all details.

AOS process, December 2011 > July 2012

EAD/AP Approval took 51 days from NOA1 date to email update. (77 days from filing until EAD/AP in hand)

AOS Approval took 206 days from NOA1 date to email update. (231 days from filing until greencard in hand)

From filing I-129F petition until greencard in hand: 655 days

Click timeline or "about me" for all details.

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Both take around the same amount of time, but he K-1 is more expensive in the long run and takes 'longer' due to the fact you will have to adjust status after you are married.

My personal opinion; The fact that you are Canadian, I would go the CR-1 route. Get married in either Canada or the U.S., it doesn't matter. File for the CR-1 Visa. You can visit as much as you want. Always remember it is up to the CBP officer if you are allowed in the country, Canadian's do get denied on occasion. My husband never had any issues.

Keep in mind for the CR-1 Visa costs, other than filing fees;

Fed-ex mailing fees. You're going to be sending a lot of forms to your fiance (or wife)Don't send it Canada Post!!

Cost of the bajillion and a half passport photos you'll have to have made (not really that many, but it seems like it)

Printer ink, you'll use a LOT of it! You'll be printing out forms and relationship evidence like a fool.

Medical exam and the fee. It can be done in Vancouver, Montreal or Toronto. If you don't live close to any of those cities, you will have travel expenses.

Your interview will be in Montreal. Period. Plan to spend at least a week there if you don't live close by and choose to have the medical there.

You'll want to visit during holidays, include those expenses.

Once it's all done, you'll have the moving expenses.

From our experience, beginning to end, it cost us about $8,000.00 Filing fees, medical fee, incidentals, visits, trip to Montreal for 10 days, buying a trailer and the moving expenses.


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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Thanks for your opinions! I am thinking the CR-1 route will be better then, and certainly more cost effective.

My fiance is living in the US right now, and we have looked into the affidavit of support requirements and those are all fine.

Thank you so much though, it honestly helps hearing from other people who have done this instead of just reading about fees and processes.

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Hi everyone!

I've been reading through everyone's stories and all of the tips and guides on this website and they have been extremely helpful. I'm still at a bit of a loss at how my fiance and I should proceed though.

I am a Canadian citizen and my fiance is American. We plan on marrying and moving to the US. I'm wondering what option will be best for us. We particularly want things to go as quick as possible (of course!)

I'm thinking the K1 way is best. It seems they are being processed relatively quickly and I would be able to go to the US, marry, and then stay there.

I am just wondering if we should just go ahead and get married, and then file for the CR-1 instead. It seems to be a better and more straightforward visa, and I wouldn't have to worry about the Employment Authorization application. This looks like it would take longer though.

Essentially, I am mostly curious how long each method takes, and how much each method costs. Also, if there is a way that is recommended and more likely to be approved.

Thank you! Look forward to hearing from you all. Let me know if you need more information on our case!

Jennifer

We researched long and hard before deciding and we went the CR1 route as well. My husband needed to be able to travel back and forth so Fiance was out the window. Our expenses aren't as much because we life only 60 miles apart and see each other each weekend to get signature/documents/copies etc. We can also drive to Toronto, and Montreal for medical and interview and only spend 1 night in each place.

Good Luck to you.


Married 10-27-2011

I-130 Sent : 11-12-2011

I-130 NOA1 : 11-22-2011

I-130 Approved : 5-25-2012

NVC Received : 6-19-2012

Received NVC Case # : 6-22-2012

Received DS-3032 / I-864 Bill : 7-9-2012

Pay I-864 Bill 7-9-2012

Receive I-864 Package : 7-10-2012

Return Completed I-864 :7-10-2012

Receive IV Bill : 7-17-2012

Pay IV Bill : 7-18-2012

Emailed DS-260: 7-22-2012

RFE: 7-30-2012

Sent RFE docs: 7-31-2012

Case Complete 8-7-2012

Interview Date: 9-24-2012

Interview Result : APPROVED!!!!! YEA!!

POE:9/29/2012

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We are amidst the CR-1 route for reasons as most others have mentioned:

- virtually the same time frame

- Green card in hand essentially upon arrival

- more cost efficient

We live under an hour apart by car and one of us has crossed every weekend for the last couple years. One crossing to which I phoned and inquired on my circumstances once married, advised me they would not permit me to cross as I was deemed "high risk". I chose not to cross for a few weeks and my spouse rather crossed instead. I then chanced another local crossing and have since not had issues at all, even though all facts were presented to them. So yes, any given Officer has the right to refuse you entry but it appears also certain crossings may be much more strict.



  • 04/14/12 - Married
    05/10/12 - Filed I-130 Petition
    05/17/12 - NOA1 Received
    05/22/12 - I797C Received
    08/02/12 - NOA2 Received
    08/30/12 - DS3032(DS261) & I864 bill received, sent, & paid
    09/01/12 - Receive I-864 Package
    09/08/12 - Submit I-864 Package
    09/14/12 - Receive & pay IV Invoice
    09/18/12 - IV Payment Complete & DS-260 Unlocked
    09/20/12 - Submit DS-260
    10/04/12 - Submit DS-260 Supporting Documents
    10/10/12 - Medical
    10/15/12 - Resubmitted I-864 Package
    10/18/12 - Case Complete
    11/01/12 - Case expedited to Montreal
    11/14/02 - Interview
    11/14/02 - APPROVED

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