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CR-1/K1 and Children (title edited)

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My girlfriend is living in Japan and I'm naturalized U.S. citizen. We want to tigh the knot and live together in USA. As everyone we want the process to take as little time as possible and be painless (haha silly us).

As we know there two ways to approach this, either K-1 or CR-1. So we are debating the best option. The wait time vs status in U.S. seems to be the driving factor. But in addition she has two children who are also part of the process and we don't want to end up waiting for the kids and running family life in two places.

One child is 12 and the other is 17. What makes most sense. K-1 or CR-1?

I understand when we get married before the older child turns 18 I will be consider step-parent. In any case I must submit I-130 for all 3 family members, don't I? If so do I do it at the same time when I submit 130 for my wife, or do I need to wait? What if my wife gets the status approved before the kids?

On the other hand if we go with K-1 path, what happens with children's? Are they automatically part of the process? What about failing for status adjustment after we get married? Do we need to do it for all three or the spouse status change will be applicable to kids? What if the older child is over 18 at the time we are together?

I'm sure many of members here went through similar dilemma so any comments and thoughts would be very appreciated. thanks.

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~Moved from IR1/CR1 Process to What Visa Do I Need Forum~

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

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If you marry before the child turns 18 then both can come over to the USA. They can be derivatives of the K1 visa should you choose to go that route but each AOS (adjustment of status) will cost you $1070 and all 3 need to do it. To do this you simply make sure their names on the petition then apply for a k2 visa for them when your fiancée applies for her K1.

In total a K1 with both children would be:

$4345 plus travel, medical, and police checks (the 17 year old will need one.)

A CR1 would be:

$2850 plus travel, medical, and police checks

Because either visa can take up to a year (generally K1 is faster but occasionally it's not) the older child may age out if you choose the K1 route.

Personally, although it takes longer generally speaking, I would go with the CR1 route to ensure that both children are able to immigrate. If you don't you risk the older child being too old and you'll have to petition her separately after the fact with an I-130.

To go the CR1 route you submit all 3 petitions at the same time with their required documentation as per the I-130 instructions. Even if all the I-130s are not approved at the same time you can slow the process down at the NVC stage to ensure everyone is caught up but normally all three I-130s will be joined and generally approved about the same time period. Then you can proceed at the NVC, again making sure everything is done and all 3 should have a case complete and interview at about the same 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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