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Unsure which visa I should apply for

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I'm a 23 years old Canadian girl currently in the US visiting my boyfriend on a tourist visa. I have been here for about 5 months now. My boyfriend and I have been dating for 2 years now and are now thinking of getting married so we can start a life together here in the US. I have to leave the US soon so I don't stay more than the 6 months allowed and I'm afraid that if I leave I won't be allowed back anytime soon. I have been gathering information on the immigration process but I'm still unsure which visa I should be applying for. Ideally, we would like to be able to be together while all the paperwork is being processed. Would it work if we got married, filed for CR-1 then file for K3 when I go back to Canada so I can come back to the US as a non-immigrant to wait for the I-130 approval?

Basically we're looking for the process which involves the least time we'll have to spend apart.

Any help would be greatly appreciated

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*** Thread moved from CR-1 Process forum to the "What Visa Do I Need" forum, on the basis of the query. ***

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01-23-2008 = Consulate gets file; outdated Packet 4 mailed to fiancee 1/27/08; rec'd 3/3/08.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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You can also file the K1 and get married in the USA.


A few interesting things to note about the K1 vs the CR1 and Canadians.

K1 interviews can be in Vancouver or Montreal.

CR1 interviews are ONLY in Montreal.

There is one panel physician (for the medical) near Vancouver, most of the rest are near Toronto, and there is 1 near the consulate in Montreal.

You cannot live in the USA while doing the process but you can still visit. You should always tell the truth to the CBP (US customs) about your intentions for visiting the USA. I visited my husband 3 times while we did the process and made sure to say I was visiting my husband. I brought proof of my ties to Canada. Some people live in border towns and are able to visit every weekend, or every other weekend. Longer stays are harder to get through customs than short stays.

As stated by Ozz if this is truly a spontaneous thing you can marry now and not leave. HOwever you CANNOT leave the USA until you have something called "advance parole" because if you do so you will not be allowed back to continue the process. You would have to start over again with a spousal visa.

Edited by NLR

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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You don't have to leave...but you take a risk doing it this way. After application you won't be able to go back to Canada at all until you have your Green Card in hand. For us that was about 5 months.

Spend a few hours doing a whole lot of reading on here so you understand what getting married while you're on a visit means for Immigration.

Edited by carocaro


2010-07-07 visit to my 2nd home in Phoenix, US
2010-07-24 got married!
2010-09-17 filed AOS
2010-09-23 NOA
2010-10-19 BIO
2010-12-14 Interview Phoenix, AZ
2010-12-15 Approval notice received
2010-12-24 Green Cards received for me & son
2012-09-15 I-751 sent
2012-09-25 I-797, NOA received
2013-01-16 BIO

2013-06-13 Approval notice received

2013-06-27 10yr Green Cards received for me & son


2013-09-27 N-400 Naturalization application sent

2013-10-03 Priority Date

2013-10-07 N-400, NOA received

2013-10-11 I-797C, NOA received

2013-10-25 BIO (notice bio done last 10 months ago)

2013-11-14 In line

2013-12-13 online status changed to "Scheduled for Interview"

2013-12-18 letter for interview

2014-01-21 Interview date that I had to request change due to travel

2014-02-18 Interview in Phoenix

2014-02-22 Naturalization Oath Ceremony - I am officially a dual citizen Canadian/American


2015-11-04 N-400 Naturalization application sent for SON aged 20

2015-11-09 N-400, NOA rec'd for son

2015-11-20 I-797C, NOA rec'd for son

2015-12-02 BIO for son

2015-12-04 In line

2016-01-29 online status changed to "Scheduled for Interview" for son

2016-02-03 letter for interview for son

2016-03-07 Interview in Phoenix for son

2016-03-25 Naturalization Oath Ceremony for my son - he is officially a dual citizen Canadian/American

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Thank you so much for your responses.

You can file CR-1 visa and still be able to visit during the waiting period.

Would I still be able to visit even if I've exceeded the amount of time I'm allowed to spend in the US per year?

After application you won't be able to go back to Canada at all until you have your Green Card in hand. For us that was about 5 months.

The only reason why I would have to go back to Canada would be to get my medication... I renewed my prescriptions in June and they are good until February 2014 so I wouldnt need to go back to renew them. Right now I have enough medication for about a month on me. So I either have to go back to Canada to get more or find a way to have it shipped to me here.

Spend a few hours doing a whole lot of reading on here so you understand what getting married while you're on a visit means for Immigration.

From what I understand it's all about the intent you had when you crossed the border, correct? Initially I was just going to spend the summer with my boyfriend like we did last year but as time went by we realised that we wanted to be together for good and start a life together. I've just graduated from college so nothing was holding me back anymore. We were both against marriage but we soon realised that it might be the only way we could be together so here we are.

Alright so, let me reiterate, we could get married next week then send in the I-485 for adjustment of status and I could legally stay here while the application is processed? We wouldnt have to file in the I-130 at all? If I filled the form I-131 (application for advanced parole) at the same time I filled the I-485 would I then be able to travel to Canada while the adjustment of status is pending?

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According to USCIS if you are in the US now, your (future) husband would file both I-130 and I-485 at the same time, before your current visa expires.


U.S. citizen

Inside the United States (through lawful admission or parole)

File Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status, at the same time. See form instructions for more information.

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