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DUSTOFF

Trying to decide the best option.. I-129F or I-130?

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I am looking for the pros and cons of both options (I-129F or I-130) with my specific situation.

Background: I am recently engaged to a Canadian.. she is living in Alberta and I am living in NY. I am set to deploy in March for 9 months. I have heard that the I-129F/K1 route can be a little more difficult and even cost more $$ after all said and done. We are both researching the USCIS website and I am also setting up an appointment to talk with my local JAG office.

I just wanted to hear any personal accounts that would possible sway us one direction or the other on the route best for us. If we did do the marriage in Canada before I left it would solely be a paper marriage and then have a proper ceremony upon my return.

Thank you for any advise and help.

Edited by DUSTOFF

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I am looking for the pros and cons of both options (I-129F or I-130) with my specific situation.

Background: I am recently engaged to a Canadian.. she is living in Alberta and I am living in NY. I am set to deploy in March for 9 months. I have heard that the I-129F/K1 route can be a little more difficult and even cost more $$ after all said and done. We are both researching the USCIS website and I am also setting up an appointment to talk with my local JAG office.

I just wanted to hear any personal accounts that would possible sway us one direction or the other on the route best for us. If we did do the marriage in Canada before I left it would solely be a paper marriage and then have a proper ceremony upon my return.

Thank you for any advise and help.

Both processes have the same end result - its just a matter of what is best for your particular situation. We did K1 because my fiance was in Romania and it would have been a hassle for me to get married there. However, now that it is all done , i wish we had done the CR1 route because your spouse is able to work when they get here. The waiting time from when my fiance got here, and we got married (still did only a simple ceremony as planning a big wedding is not real feasible with only 90 days to get married once they enter the country)and then the time from when we filed AOS and got finally got work visa was close to 6 months - so that was a lot of time for my husband to sit at home and not be able to work. Even getting a driver's license was an issue until he had his EAD. I would say if you are going to be deployed shortly after your fiance gets here it might be good for her to be able to work -just to have something to do. If you are ready to get married I would consider the i130 route over the K1 -


K1 Visa                                                                 Adjustment of Status                                                             ROC

Service Center : California Service Center                        CIS Office : Kansas City MO Service Center                           California Service Center

Consulate : Bucharest, Romania

I-129F Sent : 2011-11-18                                 Date Filed : 2012-09-04 Date                            Filed: 2015-05-26

I-129F NOA1 : 2011-11-23                                      NOA Date : 2012-09-06                                                             NOA1 Date: 2015-05-28

I-129F RFE(s) : none                                              RFE(s) : NONE                                              RFE(s): NONE

I-129F NOA2 : 2012-04-12                                                 Bio. Appt. : 2012-10-03                                                              BIO. Appt.: 2015-09-15

NVC Received : 2012-04-26

NVC Left : 2012-05-10                                           EAD/AP Approved : 2012-11-08                             ROC APPROVED:2015-10-26      

Consulate Received : 2012-05-14                               EAD/AP Card Received : 2012-11-17                         Green card Received: 2015-11-04    

Packet 3 Received : 2012-05-17                                          Green card Approved : 2013-07-08                        NO INTERVIEW

Packet 3 Sent : 2012-05-20                                                    NO INTERVIEW

Interview Date : 2012-06-26                                                 Green Card Received : 2013-07-15

Interview Result : Approved                                                 

Visa Received : 2012-06-26                                                   

US Entry : 2012-07-05

Marriage : 2012-08-24

 

N-400 Naturalization:

04/25/2016 N-400 sent to USCIS AZ courier address thru FedEx

05/04/2106 NOA I-797 Receipt Notice Date
05/27/2016 Fingerprints Bio-metrics appointment date
06/08/2016 E-notification of interview scheduling
06/13/2016 Received official letter regarding interview
07/18/2016 Date of Interview
08/11/2016 Date Oath Ceremony
Field Office: Kansas City, MO

event.png
 

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The I-130 for CR-1 takes a little longer at the beginning, but the end result is less expensive and the beneficiary will have a green card and social security number right away, giving them the ability to work almost immediately upon entering the US. With the 129f for K-1 does not give you those benefits because once entering the US you must marry and then file all the forms, the beneficiary will not have authorization to work until everything is accepted and approved, taking several months after they arrive. Our I-130/CR-1 journey took 10 months start to finish, that was including 10 weeks of extra administrative processing because my husband is from a MENA country, it is not common for Canadians to have AP. So it would have been about 6 and a half months if he didn't have AP. For us the CR-1 journey just makes much more sense. At the top of this site are links and flow charts you can study to help make a decision.



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I'm from Alberta too. We went the CR1 route, my hubby was fixin to deploy as well and we got our process expedited because of his impending deployment.

Montreal (the consulate where your future wife would interview) is pretty dang slow. I'd probably look into getting my congress person's immigration liaison to help speed things along.

I don't think JAG will be able to help you much, unless their office deals with ALOT of immigration related issues. I know the JAG here had very little immigration knowledge.

Good luck with everything!

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Thank you all for the responses! My fiance was intending on staying in Canada during my deployment no matter if we married before I left or waited till I returned. As someone suggested I'll study the flow charts and try to plan out which option is best.

added question: If we decide to go K-1.. is there an timelimit for her to enter the US once she receives the visa? I know we have 90 days after she enters the country, but what I am asking is if she receives the visa and I am still months away from returning from deployment, can she enter at her leisure?

Thank you.

Edited by DUSTOFF

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The K1 visa is valid for 6 months after it is issued. So she would have 6 months to enter the US on the K1 visa - you then have 90 days once she enters the country to get married. If she is planning on staying in Canada then the K1 visa might be a better choice.


K1 Visa                                                                 Adjustment of Status                                                             ROC

Service Center : California Service Center                        CIS Office : Kansas City MO Service Center                           California Service Center

Consulate : Bucharest, Romania

I-129F Sent : 2011-11-18                                 Date Filed : 2012-09-04 Date                            Filed: 2015-05-26

I-129F NOA1 : 2011-11-23                                      NOA Date : 2012-09-06                                                             NOA1 Date: 2015-05-28

I-129F RFE(s) : none                                              RFE(s) : NONE                                              RFE(s): NONE

I-129F NOA2 : 2012-04-12                                                 Bio. Appt. : 2012-10-03                                                              BIO. Appt.: 2015-09-15

NVC Received : 2012-04-26

NVC Left : 2012-05-10                                           EAD/AP Approved : 2012-11-08                             ROC APPROVED:2015-10-26      

Consulate Received : 2012-05-14                               EAD/AP Card Received : 2012-11-17                         Green card Received: 2015-11-04    

Packet 3 Received : 2012-05-17                                          Green card Approved : 2013-07-08                        NO INTERVIEW

Packet 3 Sent : 2012-05-20                                                    NO INTERVIEW

Interview Date : 2012-06-26                                                 Green Card Received : 2013-07-15

Interview Result : Approved                                                 

Visa Received : 2012-06-26                                                   

US Entry : 2012-07-05

Marriage : 2012-08-24

 

N-400 Naturalization:

04/25/2016 N-400 sent to USCIS AZ courier address thru FedEx

05/04/2106 NOA I-797 Receipt Notice Date
05/27/2016 Fingerprints Bio-metrics appointment date
06/08/2016 E-notification of interview scheduling
06/13/2016 Received official letter regarding interview
07/18/2016 Date of Interview
08/11/2016 Date Oath Ceremony
Field Office: Kansas City, MO

event.png
 

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A CR1 visa also has the 6 month rule, however it is NOT 6 months from issuance, it is 6 months from the date of the medical. I think it's the same for the K1. Because she is in Canada she could just cross over to see you etc.. then go back. A Canadian has up to 10 years to move all their stuff but they still have to abide by the "more time in the USA than out of it" to keep their green card. Study the guides and comparison charts. Ignore the "can't visit" part of any of the guides because most of us Canadians don't have trouble visiting the USA, but we should bring proof of ties to our country (like a letter from an employer, a lease, car insurance/registration, bills and also the NOA1 letter if possible.) I've never been asked to see any of the proof but it's better to have it if it's needed. (BTW I'm in Alberta as well... small world. I suppose us Albertans like our American Military. LOL My husband was USAF when I met him but he's out now.) The K1 is signifiganctly more expensive but remember as a CR1 she would have to do the interview in Montreal. Also there isn't a panel physician in Alberta, but there is one in BC (Surrey, by Vancouver), one in Montreal and 2 in Toronto.

Also if your deployment is almost there by the time you're filing, you can file for an expedite for active military deploying (as long as it's probably to an active zone.)

We decided due to the cost and the ability to work right away that we would go after a CR1 visa. This isn't a cheap process by any means, and it meant that we couldn't live together after we were married which sucks. But it means that I can travel right away (I have a daughter who is choosing to stay in Alberta) and I work soon after if I choose to. Also it was cheaper, because either way you have to buy plane tickets or pay for gas, along with a hotel room and meals. I'm not sure if Montreal costs more than Vancouver, but I have a feeling it doesn't.


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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For the K1 visa it expires 6 months after the date of issue - not after the medical.


K1 Visa                                                                 Adjustment of Status                                                             ROC

Service Center : California Service Center                        CIS Office : Kansas City MO Service Center                           California Service Center

Consulate : Bucharest, Romania

I-129F Sent : 2011-11-18                                 Date Filed : 2012-09-04 Date                            Filed: 2015-05-26

I-129F NOA1 : 2011-11-23                                      NOA Date : 2012-09-06                                                             NOA1 Date: 2015-05-28

I-129F RFE(s) : none                                              RFE(s) : NONE                                              RFE(s): NONE

I-129F NOA2 : 2012-04-12                                                 Bio. Appt. : 2012-10-03                                                              BIO. Appt.: 2015-09-15

NVC Received : 2012-04-26

NVC Left : 2012-05-10                                           EAD/AP Approved : 2012-11-08                             ROC APPROVED:2015-10-26      

Consulate Received : 2012-05-14                               EAD/AP Card Received : 2012-11-17                         Green card Received: 2015-11-04    

Packet 3 Received : 2012-05-17                                          Green card Approved : 2013-07-08                        NO INTERVIEW

Packet 3 Sent : 2012-05-20                                                    NO INTERVIEW

Interview Date : 2012-06-26                                                 Green Card Received : 2013-07-15

Interview Result : Approved                                                 

Visa Received : 2012-06-26                                                   

US Entry : 2012-07-05

Marriage : 2012-08-24

 

N-400 Naturalization:

04/25/2016 N-400 sent to USCIS AZ courier address thru FedEx

05/04/2106 NOA I-797 Receipt Notice Date
05/27/2016 Fingerprints Bio-metrics appointment date
06/08/2016 E-notification of interview scheduling
06/13/2016 Received official letter regarding interview
07/18/2016 Date of Interview
08/11/2016 Date Oath Ceremony
Field Office: Kansas City, MO

event.png
 

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NikiR,

Thanks for you advice. So you had to to travel all the way to Montreal from Alberta? She lives right outside Edmonton.. so a medical and/or interview couldn't be set up in Calgary or anywhere closer?

Edited by DUSTOFF

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I haven't gone to the interview yet but no, you can't get a medical or interview any closer. They only have 4 panel physicians and you HAVE to use one of those. Immigrant visas are only processed in Montreal (K1 have the option of Vancouver... Lucky buggers.. lol)

Trust me, I wish we could do it closer. I do not look forward to the week I will eventually have to spend in Montreal. It just sounds expensive.


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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Honestly I think in cases where there is no rush, k-1 is better, but that's my personal opinion. K-1 and ir-1 were designed so they would both cost the same by the time your fiancée or wife gets her green card, the problem is the side costs.either way you have to pay for medical, for interview and finger printing, for accommodation for the interview and plane tickets and all that,so I don't see much of a difference. We chose k-1 because for us, considering he was military and we couldn't live under the same roof, proving a relationship was easier than proving a marriage, so we went down that route. Choose whatever visa or way you think you'll have a more rock solid case in

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Because my husband was PCSing to Germany, we did the I-130 route, and from sending the petition to me arriving in the USA was 3 months. We expedited this though, as I needed to get here to do the medicals etc. for going to Germany.

I would go for I-129 if you don't want to go through the process quickly.

The person who said above you need to go to an active zone for deployment is incorrect - there's several scenarios for a military expedite, including ours with the PCS. It all happened very fast though, and I had to enter the country within 6 months of the issuance of the visa (which was great for us! but probably not what you're looking for).

Either way since speed isn't your incentive, probably either would be absolutely fine. It's no more difficult to prove a marriage than a relationship, as someone said above, I actually think it was easier for us to prove a marriage. We were together 9 months before our marriage, and married 5 days when we filed for the I-130! If your marriage is legitimate then if you went the I-130 route you have nothing to worry about.

Good luck!


See my timeline for my expedited I-130 application due to military pcs

n-400

Expedited naturalization (under s 319(b) INA) due to military pcs

n-400 sent: 2013-02-02

NOA1: 2013-02-15

Biometrics date rec: 2013-02-15

Biometrics date: 2013-03-07 (EB walk in 2013-02-20)

Second biometrics: 2013-03-19 (First set unclassifiable)

Inline for interview: 2013-03-21

Testing/interview date: 2013-03-27

Oath ceremony: 2013-03-27

Moving to Germany! 2013-04-13

I'm A United States Citizen

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Key word there was probably... means not sure, think this is how it is... but I knew someone else would chime in. LOL Always someone to correct you if you're not sure. ;) I'm helping strictly from a Canadian/American relationship standpoint even though this is in the military forum. I can't ask my husband how it went with his ex wife and deployment since she was American also. I was only dating him for a short time before hubs left the AF after 8 years in Jan last year.


You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.  - Dr. Seuss

 

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