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Getting married to an American citizen

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Hi everyone,

I am searching for information to my situation and I hope one of you can help me :)

I am French citizen, I live in Austria right now. My fiancé is an American citizen living in the States with a stable professional situation, capable of supporting me financially if need be. We want to get married in the States soon. I have 2 questions to this topic:

1. Does anyone know which documents are required from both my side and my fiancé's side to get married?

2. Which type of visa should I chose to get my green card? I am not sure the K1 visa is the most suitable one... And if I am married, then do I chose the visa K3 for example or how do I do this the best way without waiting forever?

3. If I am married, can I start working in the States?

Thanks for your feedback, whoever :)


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1. Depends on where you want to get marry. In the US, you will only need an acceptable ID (your passport) to marry. (This is not an immigration issue.)

2. If you wish to marry in the US, then a K-1 fiancée visa. If you wish to enter as married, then a CR-1 spousal visa.

The wait is the wait. There is nothing you can do about waiting forever. Look on this site and you will see that everyone waits.

3. Being married to a USC does not allow you to work immediately. You need work authorization. If you enter on the K-1, then you will have 3 months where you can not legally work while you wait for work authorization, an EAD. If you enter in the CR-1 spousal visa, you automatically get a green card authorizing you to work immediately.

Research the two paths. There are pros and cons to both. You need to decide which route is best for you.

Best of luck

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Have a good look over the guides if you are considering the K1 visa. It's pretty straightforward and will tell you what documents are needed from both parties. http://www.visajourney.com/content/k1guide

Keep in mind the sponsour must make enough under the current guidelines. Once you are eventually approved with visa in hand, then you can marry in the US. Then you will have to adjust your status. You will not be eligible to work until authorized. I believe the state of Iowa is covered under the California Service center, if you decide to do a K1. That means, your wait will be shorter than what it would be if your fiancé were from a different state and stuck at the Texas Service Center.

This flowchart gives you an overview of the K1 process. http://www.visajourney.com/content/k1flow

Either way requires waiting, and being separated until approval, the exception is the fiancé visa doesn't allow you to work immediately until you adjust.

K-1 - AOS & ROC Timeline  - Immigration and the Health Exchange Price of Love in the UK Thinking of Returning to UK?


First met: 12/31/04 - Engaged: 9/24/09
Filed I-129F: 10/4/14 - Packet received: 10/7/14
NOA 1 email + ARN assigned: 10/10/14 (hard copy 10/17/14)
Touched on website (fixed?): 12/9/14 - Poked USCIS: 4/1/15
NOA 2 email: 5/4/15 (hard copy 5/11/15)
Sent to NVC: 5/8/15 - NVC received + #'s assigned: 5/15/15 (estimated)
NVC sent: 5/19/15 - London received/ready: 5/26/15
Packet 3: 5/28/15 - Medical: 6/16/15
Poked London 7/1/15 - Packet 4: 7/2/15
Interview: 7/30/15 - Approved!
AP + Issued 8/3/15 - Visa in hand (depot): 8/6/15
POE: 8/27/15

Wedding: 9/30/15

Filed I-485, I-131, I-765: 11/7/15

Packet received: 11/9/15

NOA 1 txt/email: 11/15/15 - NOA 1 hardcopy: 11/19/15

Bio: 12/9/15

EAD + AP approved: 1/25/16 - EAD received: 2/1/16

RFE for USCIS inability to read vax instructions: 5/21/16 (no e-notification & not sent from local office!)

RFE response sent: 6/7/16 - RFE response received 6/9/16

AOS approved/card in production: 6/13/16  

NOA 2 hardcopy + card sent 6/17/16

Green Card received: 6/18/16

USCIS 120 day reminder notice: 2/22/18

Filed I-751: 5/2/18 - Packet received: 5/4/18

NOA 1:  5/29/18 (12 mo) 8/13/18 (18 mo)  - Bio: 6/27/18

Transferred: Potomac Service Center 3/26/19

Approved/New Card Produced status: 4/25/19 - NOA2 hardcopy 4/29/19

10yr Green Card Received: 5/2/19 - Error will need to file I90 >_<


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~Moved from K1 Process to What Visa Do I Need Forum~

~Inquiry about family visas~

Completed: K1/K2 (271 days) - AOS/EAD/AP (134 days) - ROC (279 days)

"Si vis amari, ama" - Seneca




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