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hahktep

Any reason I might want an attorney to file for CR-1?

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I am not sure if I'll have a difficult case, so I wanted to run this by this forum, as it seems to be a very helpful place.

I'm a US citizen who is planning to get married in Korea in February. My fiancee and I first met many years ago through work (I was visiting Korea on a business trip) but we had no idea we'd ever be planning to get married one day. Three years ago she visited the US for business and we were able to spend a few weekends together, and had a nice time, but still had no idea that one day we would be engaged. We exchanged a few facebook messages over the past few years. This past August, I visited Korea for a family reunion and made plans to met her again for fun, and over the course of a few nights hanging out we discovered we *really* liked each other, even after those 3 years of not meeting. We decided to try a long distance relationship, and in the course of about a week, she decided she wanted to move to America so we could try to make a life together. A month later she visited the US and I proposed to her, and she accepted. We are planning to get married in February, and I am planning to apply for a CR-1 visa (i.e. send out the I-130) after we get our marriage certificate, wedding photos, and paperwork ready.

I'm fairly confident I can handle the paperwork and process being a detail oriented person, so I just want to get people's opinions on whether I would want to hire an attorney to help? I'm a little worried about proving the validity of our marriage, given that we will have only spent a total of maybe 5 weeks together total by the time we are married. In terms of evidence of a bona fide wedding, at the time of submitting application we will have:

- Korean marriage certificate

- wedding photos

- travel photos together from her recent trip to America

- travel photos together when I visit her and her family in December

- travel photos together when I visit her and her family in February for the wedding

- Boarding card and airline ticket info for when I visit Korea in February and December

- daily chat transcripts from instant messaging

- emails about planning for immigration and marriage

- affadavit of bona fide marriage from my parents

I can't think of much else that we can use as evidence. Has anyone had experience with applying for CR-1 for a spouse they had only briefly met before deciding to get married? Will this be enough evidence to make a case? Is Korea a high fraud risk country?

Some other notes: I am learning Korean but am still very beginner status. She uses English in communicating with her managers, and is quite capable of communicating herself but has some trouble with understanding. Could this cause difficulties in the future?

Thank you for your feedback.

Edited by hahktep

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Filed: Lift. Cond. (apr) Country: China
Timeline

My answers in bold and red regarding your evidence list.

In terms of evidence of a bona fide wedding, at the time of submitting application we will have: Just an FYI on semantics, you will be submitting a petition, not an application.

- Korean marriage certificate You will only need a photocopy; be sure that it is accompanied by a translation

- wedding photos

- travel photos together from her recent trip to America

- travel photos together when I visit her and her family in December

- travel photos together when I visit her and her family in February for the wedding

- Boarding card and airline ticket info for when I visit Korea in February and December

- daily chat transcripts from instant messaging Don't overdo here, select a few transcripts spanning the length of your relationship

- emails about planning for immigration and marriage

- affadavit of bona fide marriage from my parents skip these, they carry little to zero weight in the overall evaluation of a file and you plenty of other evidence

I can't think of much else that we can use as evidence. Has anyone had experience with applying for CR-1 for a spouse they had only briefly met before deciding to get married? Will this be enough evidence to make a case? Is Korea a high fraud risk country? South Korea is typically not considered a high fraud country

Some other notes: I am learning Korean but am still very beginner status. She uses English in communicating with her managers, and is quite capable of communicating herself but has some trouble with understanding. Could this cause difficulties in the future? Unlikely

Thank you for your feedback.


Our journey:

Spoiler

September 2007: Met online via social networking site (MySpace); began exchanging messages.
March 26, 2009: We become a couple!
September 10, 2009: Arrived for first meeting in-person!
June 17, 2010: Arrived for second in-person meeting and start of travel together to other areas of China!
June 21, 2010: Engaged!!!
September 1, 2010: Switched course from K1 to CR-1
December 8, 2010: Wedding date set; it will be on February 18, 2011!
February 9, 2011: Depart for China
February 11, 2011: Registered for marriage in Wuhan, officially married!!!
February 18, 2011: Wedding ceremony in Shiyan!!!
April 22, 2011: Mailed I-130 to Chicago
April 28, 2011: Received NOA1 via text/email, file routed to CSC (priority date April 25th)
April 29, 2011: Updated
May 3, 2011: Received NOA1 hardcopy in mail
July 26, 2011: Received NOA2 via text/email!!!
July 30, 2011: Received NOA2 hardcopy in mail
August 8, 2011: NVC received file
September 1, 2011: NVC case number assigned
September 2, 2011: AOS invoice received, OPTIN email for EP sent
September 7, 2011: Paid AOS bill (payment portal showed PAID on September 9, 2011)
September 8, 2011: OPTIN email accepted, GZO number assigned
September 10, 2011: Emailed AOS package
September 12, 2011: IV bill invoiced
September 13, 2011: Paid IV bill (payment portal showed PAID on September 14, 2011)
September 14, 2011: Emailed IV package
October 3, 2011: Emailed checklist response (checklist generated due to typo on Form DS-230)
October 6, 2011: Case complete at NVC
November 10, 2011: Interview - APPROVED!!!
December 7, 2011: POE - Sea-Tac Airport

September 17, 2013: Mailed I-751 to CSC

September 23, 2013: Received NOA1 in mail (receipt date September 19th)

October 16, 2013: Biometrics Appointment

January 28, 2014: Production of new Green Card ordered

February 3, 2014: New Green Card received; done with USCIS until fall of 2023*

 

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Thanks for the replies Ryan H.

Does anyone have a similar timeline? My fiancee and I have been on a quick track to marriage (knowing each other for a few years only very casually, starting a relationship in August, getting engaged in October, then married in February). Is this enough time to make a successful petition?

Thanks for the help, all.

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