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Jon Paul

Uncertain of the best visa for fiance

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Hello,

I am a US permanent resident becoming a US citizen in January (I had my interview a month ago and I am waiting to take my oath). However, I have a question about getting my British fiance permanent residency in the US.

My fiance is living with me here in the US. She came here on a graduate student visa, but dropped out of school this semester. Because her student visa expires soon (she has to leave the country in January), we aren't sure which route to take. Would it be better for her to come back to the US on a K-1 Visa and get married and start the process towards permanent residency? Or would it make more for her to come back to the US on a visa waiver, get married, then apply for a IR1 (with a simultaneous K-3)? We would like to minimize our time apart, and we would like the process to be over as quickly as possible.

Any advice would be very welcome! We are swamped in all of the acronyms and flowcharts!

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

See the comparason guide

FYI, she is already out of status I believe. Once she dropped out the school reported it and she is no longer in status. She needs to fulfill the requirements of the student visa which is to be a student. It doesn't matter that what her paper visa said

good luck


USCIS
August 12, 2008 - petition sent
August 16, 2008 - NOA-1
February 10, 2009 - NOA-2
178 DAYS FROM NOA-1


NVC
February 13, 2009 - NVC case number assigned
March 12, 2009 - Case Complete
25 DAY TRIP THROUGH NVC


Medical
May 4, 2009


Interview
May, 26, 2009


POE - June 20, 2009 Toronto - Atlanta, GA

Removal of Conditions
Filed - April 14, 2011
Biometrics - June 2, 2011 (early)
Approval - November 9, 2011
209 DAY TRIP TO REMOVE CONDITIONS

Citizenship

April 29, 2013 - NOA1 for petition received

September 10, 2013 Interview - decision could not be made.

April 15, 2014 APPROVED. Wait for oath ceremony

Waited...

September 29, 2015 - sent letter to senator.

October 16, 2015 - US Citizen

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Update: She is not out of status, and won't be for 15 days after the day our university's immigration office updates its students' visa statuses with USCIS, on January 6.

Also, I've been trying to make sense out of that chart all evening, but I can't decide which option suits our situation the best.

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Hello,

I am a US permanent resident becoming a US citizen in January (I had my interview a month ago and I am waiting to take my oath). However, I have a question about getting my British fiance permanent residency in the US.

My fiance is living with me here in the US. She came here on a graduate student visa, but dropped out of school this semester. Because her student visa expires soon (she has to leave the country in January), we aren't sure which route to take. Would it be better for her to come back to the US on a K-1 Visa and get married and start the process towards permanent residency? Or would it make more for her to come back to the US on a visa waiver, get married, then apply for a IR1 (with a simultaneous K-3)? We would like to minimize our time apart, and we would like the process to be over as quickly as possible.

Any advice would be very welcome! We are swamped in all of the acronyms and flowcharts!

Everybody would like to minimize their time apart and if there was a sure-fire, never-fail way to do it, then all on this website would be ecstatic instead of moaning. You have various options but K3 isn't likely in your future. It's still on the books, but rarely happens any more. For the K3, the US citizen (USC) filed a form I-130 petition, followed by an I-129F when they got their receipt for the I-130. Then it was a race to see which got approved first.

I-130 win= CR1 spouse visa

I-129F win= K3 spouse visa

It used to take the I-130 forever so the I-129F would win. Then the process got so fast that the I-130 often won or they got approved at the same time. So the USCIS made a new ruling that when I-130 is approved, the other petition is administratively closed and won't go forward toward a K3. That is what happens pretty much to every case now, so K3 is an old concept.

Marry now of you wish and start the I-130 petition as an LPR. You know there is a wait for visa availability in that scenario because the numbers are limited. But once you get your citizenship, you can inform USCIS and she moves out of the line waiting for availability because there are no limits for spouses of USCs. You get started in the queue faster that way toward the CR1 visa. She remains in the UK during processing.

Or marry later, get your citizenship, and file the I-130. You start your processing at a slightly later date toward the CR1visa while she remains in the UK.

Or get your citizenship, then file the I-129F fiancé petition and she comes here, you marry, she files for adjustment of status (AOS) to get the greencard.

I think CR1 visa is best if you are ready to marry soon. Either way you go, it's going to take maybe 8 months or so and that is a very rough generalization.

There's other options people do like marry while on visa waiver and adjust status without returning to the UK. It's a bit risky and there is no appeal if it all goes pear shaped. Then you've got that overstay on the books that could result in a 3 or 10 year ban from the US. Many people pull it off, but planning to enter as a tourist with immigrant intent is considered fraud, so most do it the proper way because they feel safer that way. Depends on your risk tolerance and if she has anything that might make her inadmissable like crime, drugs, etc. People are advised not to leave the US under any circumstance if doing it that way until the greencard is in hand. So is she prepared for that, even if her best friend wants her to be a bridesmaid in the UK or somebody in her family dies?

Lots to consider, but when you choose, there will be lots of people to answer your questions here on Visa Journey.

Edited by Nich-Nick

England.gifENGLAND ---

K-1 Timeline 4 months, 19 days 03-10-08 VSC to 7-29-08 Interview London

10-05-08 Married

AOS Timeline 5 months, 14 days 10-9-08 to 3-23-09 No interview

Removing Conditions Timeline 5 months, 20 days12-27-10 to 06-10-11 No interview

Citizenship Timeline 3 months, 26 days 12-31-11 Dallas to 4-26-12 Interview Houston

05-16-12 Oath ceremony

The journey from Fiancé to US citizenship:

4 years, 2 months, 6 days

243 pages of forms/documents submitted

No RFEs

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Just a correction: the NVC administratively closes the I-129F petition if received at the same time or after they receive the I-130. The USCIS has nothing to do with the K3 being obsolete.

Jon Paul: the best option for you two depends on factors like when and where you want to be married as well as cost.

  • A k1 visa allows for a small amount of wedding planning time BUT you have to marry in the USA and the actual date can't be set until the visa is in hand.
  • It is the more expensive option.
  • Your fiancee (who will be your wife) cannot leave the USA without advance parole until she receives her green card.
  • She also cannot work for quite some time either.
  • It can take less time to go through
  • you'll be a couple after marriage

  • CR1 visa allows for as much wedding planning as you want and you can get married anywhere.
  • It's less expensive
  • Your fiancee (who will be your wife) can leave and enter the USA using the visa stamp as a temporary green
  • She can work as soon as she can get an SSN
  • Can take more time to go through but currently seems to be taking less
  • You will probably spend time apart but as she is part of a VWP country she can visit for up to 3 months at a time.


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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Thanks to both of you who posted lengthy, very helpful responses! I just have a couple questions that I'd like more help thinking about.

1. If I apply for a CR1 now, as a permanent resident, will it be a hassle to change my application to that of a US citizen later? Or should I just wait about half a month to be a US citizen before applying? Are there benefits or drawbacks to either course of action?

2. There seems to be some lack of clarity as to whether my fiance can be in the US with visa waiver status while our application is being processed. Would it be legal for her to stay for 90 days at time and not work?

Thanks everyone!

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You can't apply for the Cr1 until you're married and there is some paperwork you need (like the marriage certificate lol) so it may take you half a month or more to get ready to file anyhow.

She can visit but she should have ties to her home country including bit not limited to a return ticket. In the end it is up to the border patrol/customs officer to let her in or not. It's possible they can say no.


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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*** Thread moved from CR-1 Process forum to General Immigration Discussion forum -- OP hasn't yet settled on a visa path. ***


06-04-2007 = TSC stamps postal return-receipt for I-129f.

06-11-2007 = NOA1 date (unknown to me).

07-20-2007 = Phoned Immigration Officer; got WAC#; where's NOA1?

09-25-2007 = Touch (first-ever).

09-28-2007 = NOA1, 23 days after their 45-day promise to send it (grrrr).

10-20 & 11-14-2007 = Phoned ImmOffs; "still pending."

12-11-2007 = 180 days; file is "between workstations, may be early Jan."; touches 12/11 & 12/12.

12-18-2007 = Call; file is with Division 9 ofcr. (bckgrnd check); e-prompt to shake it; touch.

12-19-2007 = NOA2 by e-mail & web, dated 12-18-07 (187 days; 201 per VJ); in mail 12/24/07.

01-09-2008 = File from USCIS to NVC, 1-4-08; NVC creates file, 1/15/08; to consulate 1/16/08.

01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.

04-29-2008 = Fiancee's 4-min. consular interview, 8:30 a.m.; much evidence brought but not allowed to be presented (consul: "More proof! Second interview! Bring your fiance!").

05-05-2008 = Infuriating $12 call to non-English-speaking consulate appointment-setter.

05-06-2008 = Better $12 call to English-speaker; "joint" interview date 6/30/08 (my selection).

06-30-2008 = Stokes Interrogations w/Ecuadorian (not USC); "wait 2 weeks; we'll mail her."

07-2008 = Daily calls to DOS: "currently processing"; 8/05 = Phoned consulate, got Section Chief; wrote him.

08-07-08 = E-mail from consulate, promising to issue visa "as soon as we get her passport" (on 8/12, per DHL).

08-27-08 = Phoned consulate (they "couldn't find" our file); visa DHL'd 8/28; in hand 9/1; through POE on 10/9 with NO hassles(!).

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Thanks to both of you who posted lengthy, very helpful responses! I just have a couple questions that I'd like more help thinking about.

1. If I apply for a CR1 now, as a permanent resident, will it be a hassle to change my application to that of a US citizen later? Or should I just wait about half a month to be a US citizen before applying? Are there benefits or drawbacks to either course of action?

2. There seems to be some lack of clarity as to whether my fiance can be in the US with visa waiver status while our application is being processed. Would it be legal for her to stay for 90 days at time and not work?

Thanks everyone!

To save half a month, no. But you're not married yet so I was thinking if she left and came back in perhaps the summer on VWP just to marry and file or your oath ceremony got delayed, it was an option I would throw out there for you to know about.

Visiting on VWP is legal. Getting in isnt guaranteed. A 90 day visit, short trip out of the US, then another 90 day entry is the kind of thing that gets questioned. And considering she's been here for a year or two, if she came back end of January saying her return ticket was 90 days out, they may have more reason to question or deny so soon a return. And she likely wouldn't have strong ties to a job, lease, school enrollment or such responsibilities to make much of a case that she surely would return to the UK on time. It's a judgement call by the officer on duty, so consider her chances with how it looks to a total stranger depending on how much time she's already been here, how long she is asking to stay on VWP, how soon she returns, and what she could show as having closer ties to the UK as incentive to return to the UK. They frown on people appearing to want to "live" in the US on a tourist VWP entry. They could even say "don't come back until you have that CR1visa" if they think she' s trying to stay too long on the heels of being here as a student. A short stay of a few weeks would go over much easier. But you never know for sure how it will go with the one guy who gets to decide.


England.gifENGLAND ---

K-1 Timeline 4 months, 19 days 03-10-08 VSC to 7-29-08 Interview London

10-05-08 Married

AOS Timeline 5 months, 14 days 10-9-08 to 3-23-09 No interview

Removing Conditions Timeline 5 months, 20 days12-27-10 to 06-10-11 No interview

Citizenship Timeline 3 months, 26 days 12-31-11 Dallas to 4-26-12 Interview Houston

05-16-12 Oath ceremony

The journey from Fiancé to US citizenship:

4 years, 2 months, 6 days

243 pages of forms/documents submitted

No RFEs

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Just for your info, upgrading your application once your citizenship is final should be very simple. My husband called USCIS right after his oath ceremony. A couple of weeks later he received a request for a copy of his certificate and a few days after they received that we got the approval of the I130 petition. Obviously we were a few months into the application when he completed the naturalization process.


01/27/2011 - Trevor's N400 submitted
02/18/2011 - Married
04/02/2011 - NOA1 hard copy received - priority date 03/30/2011
07/08/2011 - Trevor is now a USC - called USCIS to request upgrade of the petition.
08/02/2011 - NOA2
09/08/2011 - LND case number received, medical booked
09/26/2011 - Case complete at NVC
09/30/2011 - Interview date assigned
11/08/2011 - Interview - approved!!
11/10/2011 - Visa in hand
12/04/2011 - POE in Atlanta
12/12/2011 - SSN number received in mail
12/12/2011 - Welcome notice received
01/06/2012 - Green card received
09/06/2013 - File for Removal of Conditions
10/01/2013 - Biometrics for ROC
02/03/2014 - Card production email received

02/17/2014 - 2nd card production email received

02/28/2014 - 10 year Green card received

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When are we going to see a post where the couple would like to spend as much time apart as possible?


England.gif England!

And in this crazy life, and through these crazy times

It's you, it's you, You make me sing.

You're every line, you're every word, you're everything.

b0cb1a39c4.png

ROC Timeline

Sent: 7/21/12

NOA1: 7/23/12

Touch: 7/24/2012

Biometrics: 8/24/2012

Card Production Ordered: 3/6/2013

*Eligible for Naturalization: October 13, 2013*

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When are we going to see a post where the couple would like to spend as much time apart as possible?

Isn't that the Effects of Major Family Changes on Immigration Benefits forum? :whistle:


Part One: The K-1 Visa Journey:

USCIS Receipt of I-129F: January 24, 2012 | Petition Approval: June 15, 2012 (No RFEs)
Interview: October 24, 2012 - Review | Visa Delivered: October 31, 2012



Part Two: Entry and Adjusting Status:

POE: November 18, 2012 (at SFO) - Review
Wedding: December 1, 2012 | Social Security: New cards received on December 7, 2012.
AOS Package (I-485/I-765/I-131) NOA1: February 19, 2013 | Biometrics Appt.: March 18, 2013
AP/EAD Approved: April 29, 2013 | Card Received: May 6, 2013 | AOS Interview Appt.: May 16, 2013 - Approved Review Card Received: May 24, 2013

Part Three: Removal of Conditions:

Coming Soon...

"When you're born you get a ticket to the freak show. When you're born in America, you get a front row seat." – George Carlin

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