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CR-1, Filing in Korea... Please Help!

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I've only just signed up here and I am sure there must be existing threads about this, but all that I have seen so far have enough little idiosyncrasies to make them difficult to translate to my situation.

I understand that step 1 is filing I-130.

-as for that, I have seen wait time estimates from one month to one year. The website for the office in Seoul says that it usually takes less than one month. Is that a blatant lie? Everything else I look at has people waiting several months.

After that, I understand we should submit another torrent of documents before we can set up an interview. Among these is the Affidavit of Support... I took a look at it and I honestly have no idea if I stand a chance of being approved. As soon as we move to the US, I'll be enrolling in graduate school and will be living off of savings and loans for a couple years. My spouse will be able to work, so that will help, too. I know there are people immigrating to the US every day with absolutely nothing. I really have no idea about what they are looking for or what the parameters are.

I'm currently in the "totally overwhelmed and feel like jumping off the nearest bridge" phase.

Maybe I am just dreaming here, but assuming we do all of the documents properly the first time around and move as quickly as possible between steps, is it possible to get the visa in hand within 3 months?

Is it even possible in theory? Is there any kind of fee we can pay to speed things up?

My visa in Korea will expire in October and we would like to go together. I can't imagine a situation in which we are trying to do this from opposite sides of the planet for over a year. It seems so cruel that government bureaucracy should be such a huge hurdle for people who just want to live a peaceful life together.

I'm sorry if I sound desperate or scatter-brained. I'm just looking for any reassurance I can possibly get. Everywhere I look has a different set of instructions. Every information source has conflicting information with every other. I feel like I am going insane.

I just want to live with the person I love and get on with our lives.

Thanks in advance for anyone who can offer some guidance.

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I can help you with some information on this specific matter you are experiencing.

I am also applying for a CR-1 for my wife who is living in Seoul and I am living in the USA.

Here is the deal:

As long as you and your spouse are currently living in Seoul then the Embassy in Seoul will process your specific Visa case. Things still clear through NVC and Homeland Security but it as done at their level and not yours. The end result is that the process in your case is going to move fast. Three months is about the average assuming you have everything in order.

Where it gets a bit rougher is when the petitioner lives stateside and the spouse lives in Korea. The Embassy will not process anything for you. Everything has to be initiated by the petitioner in the United States. This is where time and patience comes into play. All the situations where you are seeing seemingly endless wait times falls under this type of processing.

If you can file in Seoul because you live there... 3-4 months.

If you can't.... 8-12 months assuming there is no RFE's involved.

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Also, to add on about your AOS thoughts. If you don't have a job in the United States you will very likely need a Co-Sponsor on your AOS. They fill out I-864A. This is generally done by close family member from the petitioners side. It complicates things a little more but My Brother-in law was Sponsored with an I-864A in a local Seoul Visa filing (your exact possible situation) and it still only took 3 months for them.

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Wow... Thank you so much for contributing to this thread. Your clarity is extremely reassuring.

I was under the impression that filing directly in Seoul would be faster, but I also feared it may have just been wishful thinking. I can handle 3-4 months.

We have enough combined savings to get us by for at least a year, and that's only if we can't find any jobs. But maybe it's safer and easier to just get the cosponsor right from the start, I guess. It doesn't really matter where the money comes from in the end, but whatever makes them ask the fewest questions and moves the process the fastest is probably the best.

Thanks again.

If I may, could I ask you which stage you are currently in? Is it possible/advisable to just prepare all of the necessary documents for the entire process at once and just submit them as we go along? And if so, do you know exactly which forms we will need?

I know about I130, 864, g325a... is DS260 needed? Anything else I don't know about yet? I've seen various things from various sources and determining which ones I need can be difficult.

I really appreciate your response.

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This forum can be really helpful to answer all of those questions. These are all the same questions I had when I started.

On most members profiles you can see something at the bottom that says "timeline" Click on that and you will get a stream of dates of their particular immigration process. (you could start by looking at mine)

Right now I am on the tail end of my NVC processing in New Hampshire. I am awaiting my "Case Complete" status and keeping my fingers crossed that there will not be a dreaded "Checklist" aka RFE (request for evidence) this happens when a petitioner or beneficiary do something out of sequence, submit incorrect forms, forget to sign something on a form, or when for whatever reason the adjudicator sees something they don't like.

Once I get a Case Complete the Petition goes to Seoul and from there my spouse can complete her interview process at the Embassy and from there a Visa. Then we can schedule a flight, and bring her home.

My case though is vastly different from yours based on how we as petitioners had to file.

There is a really good I-130 checklist cover sheet available in the I-130 section of this Forum. Its very well explained and it is also the one I used for my own I-130.

For the I-130, after you make your initial Embassy appointment you will complete the form and assemble all necessary original documents. Make 3 copies of every original document and assemble a total of 4 packets. 1 is originals that you hand carry to you appointment. 2 is the packet that is carried in addition to the originals to your appoint. 3 is your packet of copies. 4 is your spouses packet. Have everything assembled and in order before your appointment.

From there they will receive it at the window and you will pay the initial 420 dollars fee.

From there I get a little fuzzy because I was unable to go through any further motions in Seoul before I was referred back to the USA based on my address not being Korean.
However, I do know that there is an AOS of support. It sounds like you will do the I-864 fortunately when filed abroad there is no fee. Domestically, its 120 dollars. After a period of time you will need to pay the IV Fee bill which is 325 dollars and from there is when you fill out the online Visa application on the CEAC website. Make sure to print the confirmation cover sheet as your spouse will need it for the interview. From there they will schedule the interview and you will be all set. Seoul Embassy is pretty good. I have known them to process 3 cases from Korea and they all went smoothly in and around the 3-4 month point. I am a little hesitant to throw out to much more on those cases because simply stated they were not my case and I am not completely familiar.

Always have your documents in order, and ready to carry to the embassy for whatever reason. (things get lost) Never give away your last copy.

One timeline I saw that was relative to what you are about to go through was this one. There is a Texas service center listed on there but that is likely an error because the dates move to quickly for it to be a true file to the Texas service center. This one was done start to finish in Seoul:


I hope that helps and if there are members that have better info please feel free to add on or make corrections if I have misspoken.

Sayalin is really really sharp in their posts. Look for the Sayalin Wiki in the CR-1 Section of the forum. :)



Edited by chrislily

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~~moved to DCF forum from IR1/CR1 process and procedures. OP is taking the DCF route.~~

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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