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Filed: Other Country: Hong Kong
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Hi to everyone,

I am the foreign partner (from Hong Kong) of a same sex relationship with an American.

Our story is that we met over 20 years ago, and at the beginning we maintained a long distance relationship but for most of those 20 years we have a very close and ongoing friendship. Our bonding starts to become stronger again since two years ago and after gay marriage becomes legal, we begin to look at marriage as an option.

I am now in the US for a tourist visa, mainly to see if we can properly live together for real. It's been two months now and we have come to the point that we know we want to get hitched.

We have looked through the information here and cannot decide whether we should go for the K1 fiancé visa or the IR-1. Since there's no legal gay marriage in Hong Kong, for the IR-1 to work we are thinking of making a quick trip to Canada since I have been told that it's not wise to get married in the US while I am on a tourist visa.

It may be too general a question but we are looking to find the shortest route to get my status so we can be together in the US for now (our base is Albany, CA).

In terms of proving our relationship, we have emails, documents, etc and also a lot of our mutual friends here are willing to sign affidavits for us. But there won't be any joint properties, etc, yet.

In terms of our background we both have professional qualifications.

In terms of finance I have a comfortable level of saving (though probably not relevant for the application) and though he doesn't make a lot as he works for a non-profit, it's well above the required above poverty level. And we even have a rich friend volunteers to be a co-sponsor if necessary.

Any of your inputs are well appreciated.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Ecuador
Timeline

*** Thread moved from CR-1 Process forum to the "What Visa Do I Need" forum. ***


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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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Poland
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I would go for K1 visa. On average, it is shorter. It is not so easy for any of you to marry outside of USA and Hong Kong and I think doing so by filing for K1 visa would be quicker. Gay marriage is legal in CA so there's not problem there. When it comes to Hong Kong law - it doesn't matter. In Poland, there's no such thing as same sex marriage and I know that K1 visa had been granted for the same sex couple. Warsaw Embassy proudly wrote about it on their fb page. So whether gay marriage is legal in Hong Kong or not it does not influence your K1 visa procedure. From what I know (at least for Europe) time for K1 visa to be successfully given is around 6-10 months and for marriage visa it's rather 12 months.

Good luck!

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Filed: Other Country: Hong Kong
Timeline

I would go for K1 visa. On average, it is shorter. It is not so easy for any of you to marry outside of USA and Hong Kong and I think doing so by filing for K1 visa would be quicker. Gay marriage is legal in CA so there's not problem there. When it comes to Hong Kong law - it doesn't matter. In Poland, there's no such thing as same sex marriage and I know that K1 visa had been granted for the same sex couple. Warsaw Embassy proudly wrote about it on their fb page. So whether gay marriage is legal in Hong Kong or not it does not influence your K1 visa procedure. From what I know (at least for Europe) time for K1 visa to be successfully given is around 6-10 months and for marriage visa it's rather 12 months.

Good luck!

Thanks Tyene

Apparently the wait has nothing to do with the location of the embassy. I have been told that applications for K1 from Texas of example take 8-12 months to process, whereas a Japanese friend got it late last year for less than 3 months after his boyfriend (now husband) applied from Oakland in California.

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Poland
Timeline

I think it depends on a number of factors - how many cases people file, etc, etc. Well, the good thing is that you can read the guide's and sketch all the paperwork now for your partner to send when you go back to Hong Kong. You are both together right now so you can both sit down, review all the process, check all the requirements, sketch all the letters of intent, choose all the evidence etc. The more you both discuss and prepare right now the easier it will be for the future when you'll be back for Hong Kong. I do believe though that K1 is shorter than IR-1 and it's a pretty safe bet choosing K1.

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Argentina
Timeline

The K1 visa:

  1. Typically takes 8-10 months from the date of filing, until it is in your hands, if you're approved. It can take longer depending on the embassy or consulate.
  2. There are many fees associated with the K1 visa, which runs about $2500.00 in fees alone after all is done, and you have a 10 year GC in hand.
    • Not only do you have to apply for the K1, and pay the fee, but you have to pay the visa processing fee if it's issued.
    • Then you have to apply for an Adjustment of Status (AoS) to get a green card, which is about $1070; and since you're applying for the AoS you should also apply for the Advance Parole (AP) so the beneficiary can leave the country without abandoning his or her AoS application, and the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to he or she can work.
    • If you are granted a green card (GC) before you've been married for 2 years you're granted a Conditional Green Card (CGC), which means in 2 years you'd have to lift conditions (more fees & paperwork).
  3. Then you have the wedding costs, & the flights.

The CR-1 Visa:

  1. Longer wait, typically 10-14 months, if your approved.
  2. Fees and paperwork is much less. Runs about $900 in fees if you don't have to lift conditions on your CGC, $1400 if you do.
  3. Wedding Costs & Flights from a foreign country.

So it's really 6 of one, half dozen of another. What matters more to you: Money or time?

Edited by d3adc0d3

~ Don't forget to 'Vote Up' useful advice from others ~

K1 Visa Journey [April 11, 2013 - August 31, 2014]
[2014-09-20] !!! WEDDING !!!
[2014-09-22] Applied for SSN
[2014-09-26] Marriage License in Snail Mail
[2014-10-22] Notification of SSC in mail, will arrive "within 2 weeks"
[2014-10-27] SSC Arrived!

2015-04-30] Mailed AOS Package!
[2015-06-16] EAD Approved!
[2015-06-16] AP Approved!
[2015-06-23] EAD/AP Card Received!

[2015-10-02] AOS Approved (No Interview)!

[2015-10-07] Greencard Mailed

[2015-10-09] Approval Notice Recieved

[2015-10-09] Greencard Recieved!

I used RapidVisa for my petition; a paperwork service. A K1 is $375.00 to use their hassle-free online application system.

Useful Links:
Igor's List | Advanced Search Tool | Q&A With a Former USCIS Adjudicator
Visa Status Checker (Once you get a Case # from NVC) | Offical USCIS Reasons for a K1 Denial

The advice offered by this user is not legal advice. You should contact an attorney to obtain legal advice.

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Filed: Other Country: Hong Kong
Timeline

The K1 visa:

  1. Typically takes 8-10 months from the date of filing, until it is in your hands, if you're approved. It can take longer depending on the embassy or consulate.
  2. There are many fees associated with the K1 visa, which runs about $2500.00 in fees alone after all is done, and you have a 10 year GC in hand.
    • Not only do you have to apply for the K1, and pay the fee, but you have to pay the visa processing fee if it's issued.
    • Then you have to apply for an Adjustment of Status (AoS) to get a green card, which is about $1070; and since you're applying for the AoS you should also apply for the Advance Parole (AP) so the beneficiary can leave the country without abandoning his or her AoS application, and the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) to he or she can work.
    • If you are granted a green card (GC) before you've been married for 2 years you're granted a Conditional Green Card (CGC), which means in 2 years you'd have to lift conditions (more fees & paperwork).
  3. Then you have the wedding costs, & the flights.

The CR-1 Visa:

  1. Longer wait, typically 10-14 months, if your approved.
  2. Fees and paperwork is much less. Runs about $900 in fees if you don't have to lift conditions on your CGC, $1400 if you do.
  3. Wedding Costs & Flights from a foreign country.

So it's really 6 of one, half dozen of another. What matters more to you: Money or time?

Thanks for the clear explanation!

Money and time are both important but more important is to give me the option to stay and begin to plan on living together.

For K1, I understand that once it's issued I have to get married within 3 months. But during that 3 months, my understanding is that I can begin to look for work, plan for insurance, etc, which I otherwise cannot do with a B2 visa. Is it correct to say that?

And under K1, in point (2), you say the application for AoS to get a green card. What do you mean by that? Do you mean applying to change the fiancé visa (K1) to a 2 years conditional green card?

Again, thanks so much in advance.

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You have 3 options.

1) Get married in the USA. Nothing wrong with getting married while there on a tourist visa. People do it all the time. You file the AOS paperwork and do not leave until you have your advance parole. You file for the advance parole and work authorization (EAD) at the same time as the AOS. You likely will get an interview but it will be at a local USCIS office.

2) Start the K1 process. Takes 6-10 months to get the visa then you still have to adjust your status like above.

3) Get married in the USA or outside the USA and start the CR1 process. You can continue to visit using your B2 visa. Processing takes from 8-18 months with an average of about 12-14. You have a green card upon entry and can work right away if you choose.


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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Filed: Other Country: Hong Kong
Timeline

You have 3 options.

1) Get married in the USA. Nothing wrong with getting married while there on a tourist visa. People do it all the time. You file the AOS paperwork and do not leave until you have your advance parole. You file for the advance parole and work authorization (EAD) at the same time as the AOS. You likely will get an interview but it will be at a local USCIS office.

2) Start the K1 process. Takes 6-10 months to get the visa then you still have to adjust your status like above.

3) Get married in the USA or outside the USA and start the CR1 process. You can continue to visit using your B2 visa. Processing takes from 8-18 months with an average of about 12-14. You have a green card upon entry and can work right away if you choose.

Thanks!

For (1), consider our location is Albany, CA (i.e. Bay Area), how long before an interview will be granted?

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Argentina
Timeline

Thanks for the clear explanation!

Money and time are both important but more important is to give me the option to stay and begin to plan on living together.

For K1, I understand that once it's issued I have to get married within 3 months. But during that 3 months, my understanding is that I can begin to look for work, plan for insurance, etc, which I otherwise cannot do with a B2 visa. Is it correct to say that?

And under K1, in point (2), you say the application for AoS to get a green card. What do you mean by that? Do you mean applying to change the fiancé visa (K1) to a 2 years conditional green card?

Again, thanks so much in advance.

A visa is not a green card, it is permission to enter the country and remain in it legally for the duration specified on your I-94 form, which is handed to you at Point of Entry (PoE). In order to obtain a green card (or legal permanent residency) you must adjust your status.

With a K1 or CR1 visa you would have to leave the country to finish the processing of the visa and re-enter the country with the visa in hand. You would not be able to stay for the entire duration. You must return home for the medical and interview (about a month or two), and you must do so before your I-94 expires (likely sooner than your approval will be) or you risk an overstay ban. With a K1 visa you will not be allowed to work until you have an EAD. You can technically leave the country, but if you do so without an AP you will abandon your AOS application and will not likely be allowed back in, so you'd have to start the CR1 route which is another year of being apart.

If you're looking for your best option to stay in the US, it is to be married in the US and in a state which allows same-sex marriage, and to adjust your status. Keep in mind if you adjust your status they may cast suspicion that you entered the US with the intent to marry, and you may get put through the ringer. I'd recommend getting advice in the correct sub-forum about your specific case.

When you adjust your status, you're adjusting from a visitor to an immigrant. As a spouse of a US citizen you would eligible to adjust your status as long as you meet the other requirements. You should look at the Adjustment of Status from Work, Student, & Tourist Visas sub-forum. Lots of useful information there, and you can get answers for your specific case.

If you marry in the US and adjust your status, as soon as the USCIS has your application you'd be allowed to stay while it is processing. Your interview will be anywhere from 6 months to 14 months from now. While applying to adjust your status, file for the EAD and AP at the same time, these typically arrive within 3 months, and they will give you permission to work and re-entry into the US if you travel abroad.

Edited by d3adc0d3

~ Don't forget to 'Vote Up' useful advice from others ~

K1 Visa Journey [April 11, 2013 - August 31, 2014]
[2014-09-20] !!! WEDDING !!!
[2014-09-22] Applied for SSN
[2014-09-26] Marriage License in Snail Mail
[2014-10-22] Notification of SSC in mail, will arrive "within 2 weeks"
[2014-10-27] SSC Arrived!

2015-04-30] Mailed AOS Package!
[2015-06-16] EAD Approved!
[2015-06-16] AP Approved!
[2015-06-23] EAD/AP Card Received!

[2015-10-02] AOS Approved (No Interview)!

[2015-10-07] Greencard Mailed

[2015-10-09] Approval Notice Recieved

[2015-10-09] Greencard Recieved!

I used RapidVisa for my petition; a paperwork service. A K1 is $375.00 to use their hassle-free online application system.

Useful Links:
Igor's List | Advanced Search Tool | Q&A With a Former USCIS Adjudicator
Visa Status Checker (Once you get a Case # from NVC) | Offical USCIS Reasons for a K1 Denial

The advice offered by this user is not legal advice. You should contact an attorney to obtain legal advice.

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Filed: Other Country: Hong Kong
Timeline

A visa is not a green card, it is permission to enter the country and remain in it legally for the duration specified on your I-94 form, which is handed to you at Point of Entry (PoE). In order to obtain a green card (or legal permanent residency) you must adjust your status.

With a K1 or CR1 visa you would have to leave the country to finish the processing of the visa and re-enter the country with the visa in hand. You would not be able to stay for the entire duration. You must return home for the medical and interview (about a month or two), and you must do so before your I-94 expires (likely sooner than your approval will be) or you risk an overstay ban. With a K1 visa you will not be allowed to work until you have an EAD. You can technically leave the country, but if you do so without an AP you will abandon your AOS application and will not likely be allowed back in, so you'd have to start the CR1 route which is another year of being apart.

If you're looking for your best option to stay in the US, it is to be married in the US and in a state which allows same-sex marriage, and to adjust your status. Keep in mind if you adjust your status they may cast suspicion that you entered the US with the intent to marry, and you may get put through the ringer. I'd recommend getting advice in the correct sub-forum about your specific case.

When you adjust your status, you're adjusting from a visitor to an immigrant. As a spouse of a US citizen you would eligible to adjust your status as long as you meet the other requirements. You should look at the Adjustment of Status from Work, Student, & Tourist Visas sub-forum. Lots of useful information there, and you can get answers for your specific case.

If you marry in the US and adjust your status, as soon as the USCIS has your application you'd be allowed to stay while it is processing. Your interview will be anywhere from 6 months to 14 months from now. While applying to adjust your status, file for the EAD and AP at the same time, these typically arrive within 3 months, and they will give you permission to work and re-entry into the US if you travel abroad.

Thanks so much for your long and thoughtful reply! It's amazing to see how everyone are being so helpful.

The bottom line is that we don't want to be separated for too long (say for up to 5-6 months waiting for a K-1), so I am studying every possible options now including AoS from B2.

I know getting hitched in the US can be tricky, and I cannot do that in this trip because I have a commitment in Hong Kong in 4 weeks. If we do that AoS now it seems I won't be able to get out for at least the next 3 months.

Another option we're looking at is getting married in Canada. The plan is that before coming back in my next trip (possible before Xmas), me and my partner will meet in Vancouver first, get registered there, I entry with my B2 and apply for AoS in the Bay Area when we get home.

Knowing that the whole process may take longer, at least I will be with my partner and it seems I can apply for parole (that allows me to travel) and EAD (that allows to work) during the wait.

Any suggestions?

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Argentina
Timeline

Thanks so much for your long and thoughtful reply! It's amazing to see how everyone are being so helpful.

The bottom line is that we don't want to be separated for too long (say for up to 5-6 months waiting for a K-1), so I am studying every possible options now including AoS from B2.

I know getting hitched in the US can be tricky, and I cannot do that in this trip because I have a commitment in Hong Kong in 4 weeks. If we do that AoS now it seems I won't be able to get out for at least the next 3 months.

Another option we're looking at is getting married in Canada. The plan is that before coming back in my next trip (possible before Xmas), me and my partner will meet in Vancouver first, get registered there, I entry with my B2 and apply for AoS in the Bay Area when we get home.

Knowing that the whole process may take longer, at least I will be with my partner and it seems I can apply for parole (that allows me to travel) and EAD (that allows to work) during the wait.

Any suggestions?

The K3 is nearly phased out, as it's more or less defunct at this point. While they still "offer" them, many people don't go that route because it simple doesn't make much sense anymore, they're more expensive and more "trouble" than a CR1 visa, they take the same amount of time, and [if I recall correctly, I could be mistaken on this one] with a more likelihood of denial than a CR1.

  • The K-3 nonimmigrant visa is for the foreign-citizen spouse of a United States (U.S.) citizen. This visa category is intended to shorten the physical separation between the foreign-citizen and U.S. citizen spouses by having the option to obtain a nonimmigrant K-3 visa overseas and enter the United States to await approval of the immigrant visa petition. K-3 visa recipients subsequently apply to adjust status to a permanent resident (LPR) with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) upon approval of the petition. Because the spouse of a U.S. citizen applying for a nonimmigrant K-3 visa must have a immigrant visa petition filed on his or her behalf by his or her U.S. citizen spouse and pending approval, a K-3 applicant must meet some of the requirements of an immigrant visa. It should be noted that under U.S. immigration law, a foreign citizen who marries a U.S. citizen outside the U.S. must apply for the K-3 visa in the country where the marriage took place.
  • The IR1/CR1 visa is an immigrant visa for the foreign-citizen spouse of a U.S. citizen. This visa category is intended to immigrate a foreign-citizen to the U.S. When you enter the U.S. you will have Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) status immediately and can immediately apply for a Social Security Number (SSN) and work.

The CR1 visa would allow you to work and travel abroad the minute you enter the US and get your green card. There's no need for AP or EAD, as you'll be a GC holder almost immediately.

I would recommend that your and your fiance(e) apply for a CR1 visa, and for you two to get hitched in the US ASAP; Vegas does same sex weddings and since you're in California it's pretty close by. The sooner you can start that process, the sooner you'll both be able to live together permanently. Go visit that forum I mentioned to you, to see what kind of evidence you'll need to provide for a CR1 visa and gather anything and everything you can whilst you're both physically together in the US; and worry about what you need to gather in Hong Kong once you're back.

If you already have a visitor visa you can return to visit, however you'll need to prove ties to return to Hong Kong or they may deny you at POE in US and ship you back. It doesn't happen often, but if you get a CPB officer who's in a shitty mood they might deny you. Visas don't grant you entry, they just mean you're allowed to "request permission" for entry (weird logic, I know). You can still get denied at the border.


~ Don't forget to 'Vote Up' useful advice from others ~

K1 Visa Journey [April 11, 2013 - August 31, 2014]
[2014-09-20] !!! WEDDING !!!
[2014-09-22] Applied for SSN
[2014-09-26] Marriage License in Snail Mail
[2014-10-22] Notification of SSC in mail, will arrive "within 2 weeks"
[2014-10-27] SSC Arrived!

2015-04-30] Mailed AOS Package!
[2015-06-16] EAD Approved!
[2015-06-16] AP Approved!
[2015-06-23] EAD/AP Card Received!

[2015-10-02] AOS Approved (No Interview)!

[2015-10-07] Greencard Mailed

[2015-10-09] Approval Notice Recieved

[2015-10-09] Greencard Recieved!

I used RapidVisa for my petition; a paperwork service. A K1 is $375.00 to use their hassle-free online application system.

Useful Links:
Igor's List | Advanced Search Tool | Q&A With a Former USCIS Adjudicator
Visa Status Checker (Once you get a Case # from NVC) | Offical USCIS Reasons for a K1 Denial

The advice offered by this user is not legal advice. You should contact an attorney to obtain legal advice.

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Filed: Other Country: Hong Kong
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I would recommend that your and your fiance(e) apply for a CR1 visa, and for you two to get hitched in the US ASAP; Vegas does same sex weddings and since you're in California it's pretty close by. The sooner you can start that process, the sooner you'll both be able to live together permanently. Go visit that forum I mentioned to you, to see what kind of evidence you'll need to provide for a CR1 visa and gather anything and everything you can whilst you're both physically together in the US; and worry about what you need to gather in Hong Kong once you're back.

If you already have a visitor visa you can return to visit, however you'll need to prove ties to return to Hong Kong or they may deny you at POE in US and ship you back. It doesn't happen often, but if you get a CPB officer who's in a shitty mood they might deny you. Visas don't grant you entry, they just mean you're allowed to "request permission" for entry (weird logic, I know). You can still get denied at the border.

Thanks d3adc0d3!

Our situation is that now I must leave by late November for some works in Hong Kong. Amazingly I was given a 6 months B2 visa and I have been in California for 2 months now.

We did look at the CR1 option but have been told that:

  • getting married now in CA or anywhere in the US will risk the violation of B2's conditions (but then we have also been told it's all about intent)
  • if I get married now in the US and begin the CR1 or any AoS procedures, I won't be able to leave for a while until I successfully apply for a parole, and I must be back in HK in late November

So what we have been considering include the following options:

  • once I am back in Hong Kong, we begin the K-1 process, which can take up to half a year and during the whole time I cannot travel to the US (need confirmation though)
  • I return shortly after the November trip, and before I come in we meet in Vancouver first to get hitched, and come in for the CR1 process (or actually we can do it now in Canada during this trip, and when I am back next trip with a B2 again we begin the CR1 process)

What I have been specifically NOT to do is to get married within the US now but don't do anything this trip, come back next time as a B2 as it will be shown on record that I am married to an American citizen.

So I am not entirely sure what you views on those options, in particular the part about marrying within the US now ASAP.

Thanks in advance!

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Argentina
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Thanks d3adc0d3!

Our situation is that now I must leave by late November for some works in Hong Kong. Amazingly I was given a 6 months B2 visa and I have been in California for 2 months now.

We did look at the CR1 option but have been told that:

  • getting married now in CA or anywhere in the US will risk the violation of B2's conditions (but then we have also been told it's all about intent)
  • if I get married now in the US and begin the CR1 or any AoS procedures, I won't be able to leave for a while until I successfully apply for a parole, and I must be back in HK in late November

So what we have been considering include the following options:

  • once I am back in Hong Kong, we begin the K-1 process, which can take up to half a year and during the whole time I cannot travel to the US (need confirmation though)
  • I return shortly after the November trip, and before I come in we meet in Vancouver first to get hitched, and come in for the CR1 process (or actually we can do it now in Canada during this trip, and when I am back next trip with a B2 again we begin the CR1 process)

What I have been specifically NOT to do is to get married within the US now but don't do anything this trip, come back next time as a B2 as it will be shown on record that I am married to an American citizen.

So I am not entirely sure what you views on those options, in particular the part about marrying within the US now ASAP.

Thanks in advance!

Getting married would not violate anything on your visitor visa, coming to the US on a visitor visa with the intent to immigrate is visa fraud, however. You had no intent to immigrate when you entered the US, and you're leaving after the marriage to apply for a visa the legal way.

You can get married and not adjust your status, instead you and your fiance(e) (then spouse) can apply for a CR1 after your return to Hong Kong, a CR1 would take just about the same amount of time as a K3 and would end up being less paperwork and fees, and frustration with working/traveling abroad once you enter on the CR1 visa.

So my recommendation is to get married in the US asap, and once you're back in Hong Kong apply for a CR1. It might be a couple months longer than a K1, but it'll be worth it with less the hassle and fees in the end. Plus you can always visit each other during the process. If I recall correctly a visitor visa is good for 10 years; your stay next time may be limited to only a couple months, but you don't have to re-apply for a B2, unless your B2 expires.


~ Don't forget to 'Vote Up' useful advice from others ~

K1 Visa Journey [April 11, 2013 - August 31, 2014]
[2014-09-20] !!! WEDDING !!!
[2014-09-22] Applied for SSN
[2014-09-26] Marriage License in Snail Mail
[2014-10-22] Notification of SSC in mail, will arrive "within 2 weeks"
[2014-10-27] SSC Arrived!

2015-04-30] Mailed AOS Package!
[2015-06-16] EAD Approved!
[2015-06-16] AP Approved!
[2015-06-23] EAD/AP Card Received!

[2015-10-02] AOS Approved (No Interview)!

[2015-10-07] Greencard Mailed

[2015-10-09] Approval Notice Recieved

[2015-10-09] Greencard Recieved!

I used RapidVisa for my petition; a paperwork service. A K1 is $375.00 to use their hassle-free online application system.

Useful Links:
Igor's List | Advanced Search Tool | Q&A With a Former USCIS Adjudicator
Visa Status Checker (Once you get a Case # from NVC) | Offical USCIS Reasons for a K1 Denial

The advice offered by this user is not legal advice. You should contact an attorney to obtain legal advice.

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Because you already have a B2 visa you don't have to worry about visiting. However if you do not AOS on this trip, which it sounds like you can't, then you cannot reenter the USA at a later date with that intention. The CBP will turn you away as it's illegal to enter the USA with the intent to stay and it's fraud to say otherwise.

What people have told you is based on that, not based on if you can get married or not. You can certainly get married in the USA. I'm confused what record shows you're married at all? Granted I'm Canadian but I visited my husband 3 times after marriage and told the CBP that I was visiting him and how long I was staying. They asked where I worked, where he worked, and a few other questions each time (it varied) but I was never denied entry.


Thanks so much for your long and thoughtful reply! It's amazing to see how everyone are being so helpful.

The bottom line is that we don't want to be separated for too long (say for up to 5-6 months waiting for a K-1), so I am studying every possible options now including AoS from B2.

I know getting hitched in the US can be tricky, and I cannot do that in this trip because I have a commitment in Hong Kong in 4 weeks. If we do that AoS now it seems I won't be able to get out for at least the next 3 months.

Another option we're looking at is getting married in Canada. The plan is that before coming back in my next trip (possible before Xmas), me and my partner will meet in Vancouver first, get registered there, I entry with my B2 and apply for AoS in the Bay Area when we get home. You cannot do this.

Knowing that the whole process may take longer, at least I will be with my partner and it seems I can apply for parole (that allows me to travel) and EAD (that allows to work) during the wait.

Any suggestions?


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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