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Hi. I'm a US citizen. My girlfriend and I will probably be married some time in the next several months and I'm planning on going back to the USA for more university studies. Naturally we'd like to include her on this adventure back in the US of A. She'd also like to get more education and some work experience abroad (she's a translator, so it would be nice for her to experience working in a Native English speaking country). I don't know if we'll stay there for five years, ten years, or forever, but all this Visa stuff needs to be taken care of.

Number one question: Should I BEGIN with the "K-3 Visa", put off marriage until we land and go for a "K-1 Visa," or just do one of the Spouse Visas right off the bat? I find this confusing.

Do I need to worry about income levels? I've been living and working in Taiwan and my income has been reported slightly LESS THAN or maybe almost equal to the US poverty level. (Unfortunately employers here do not report income properly, though I have filed my US taxes correctly, which put me quite above the poverty level). Should this cause troubles?

I think anyone operating in an Asian country knows that "accounting books" don't exist at all and people don't pay taxes properly. I reported things honestly to uncle Sam every year, so this should be straight, right?

Are there any normal pitfalls that people get stuck in?

We've been dating for five years, met originally in person (My Bus Got diverted to pick up extra people going to Taipei. Next to me was the last available seat because I'd left my bag of fruit there. She politely asked me to move it. Then I noticed she was reading the Catcher in The Rye, so I started talking to her. Synchronicity and incindiary prose has led to something very wonderful). We have travels together every year for the last 3 years, stamped on our passports to India, Japan, Thailand. We can call friends, show photos of us together during the past five years, or whatever else is necessary. Even most business owners in our towns could vouch for us having been seen together constantly in the past five years.

No kids. Neither of us ever married before. In our middle 30s.

Is there ANYTHING else I should be thinking of before I get a ring, start filing out forms and paying application fees? Should I be aware of any normal sources of cussing and swearing in situations like mine?


Edited by phdinfunk

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First off.... congratulations ;)

The choice between doing the K-1 or the CR-1 is deeply personal - really weigh the pro's & con's of each and find which will work for you the best....

Myself, we went the CR-1 route so that I could work right away when I get to the US, and be able to cross back into Canada without having to wait for the AP (Advanced Parole)..... others choose the K1 route to be together sooner.....

Take some time to read through the guides to understand the costs of each as well because this is an expensive journey :P

Sometimes (cannot speak for your country) when you are already living together abroad, the first stage through USCIS is auto-expedited, meaning you get your approval really quickly (I've seen as quick as 2-3 weeks). BUT this is not an official thing and does not always trigger - so don't rely on it!!

Otherwise the whole CR1 journey takes about a year..... and requires A LOT of patience!! In my experience here in the forums, those who take the time to really understand the process, know what to expect and when to expect it seem to get through a little faster because they stay on top of their cases.....

Overall, Best wishes!!!

Met in the SCA - DRACO INVICTUS!  08-14-2014 Married in Ann Arbor, MI



USCIS.... DONE  in 150 day from NOA1 to NOA2 (TSC)

NVC... DONE  in 116 days from NOA2 to final CC

Final Steps... DONE in 350 days from NOA1 to POE
POE 08-11-2015 in Detroit, MI 





Removal of Conditions

07-11-2017 NOA1 date (rec'd on 14th)

08-03-2017 Daughter and I completed biometrics; May 2018 - I had to redo my biometrics (reason unknown)

WAC17283xxxxx....and we wait...400 days

07-13-2018 I-551 extension stamp (12 mths) obtained at USCIS office in Detroit

09-20-2018 Transferred to TSC

10-15-2018 Text notification "New Card Being Produced"   YAY!!

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1-forgt the K3 it is basically obsolete

2-read the K1 and CR1/IR1 guides on this site

3-if you want her to follow you to the US as soon as possible, get married now and file for the CR1 now, a K1 will take 6 months to a year to process and during that time, your fiancé will not be living with you in the US

4-YES you will need a joint sponsor, foreign income in the majority of cases does not count for sponsorship



Married December 19, 2014

I-130 Petition sent January 14, 2015
NOA1 date January 20, 2015 (NSC)

NOA2 date May 28, 2015 :dance::dance::dance:

Mailed to NVC June 4, 2015

NVC Received June 10, 2015

NVC Case Number Assigned June 23, 2015

NVC AoS Invoice via Mail June 24, 2015

NVC Selected Agent Over Phone June 30, 2015 (Unable to logon to CEAC)

NVC IV Invoice via email received July 1, 2015

NVC AoS/IV Package Mailed July 2, 2015

NVC AoS & IV Fee Paid Online (CEAC is working) July 6. 2015

NVC Document Scan Date July 6, 2015

NCV AoS & IV Fee marked as paid in CEAC July, 7 2015

NVC DS 260 Completed July 8, 2015

NVC CC July 30, 2015 (24 days after scan date, about 2 months post NOA2)

Interview Scheduled on August 26, 2015

Interview P4 Email Received August 27, 2015

Medical in Islamabad September 2, 2015

Interview Date September 22, 2015 CANCELLED (Embassy is Over scheduled) :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry: :cry:

Interview Scheduled on September 10, 2015

Interview Date October 14, 2015 APPROVED

Visa Issued October 16, 2015, 9 months start to finish

POE JFK October 26, 2015

GC in Hand Jan 8, 2016

RoC I-751 NOA1 August 31, 2017 (Vermont Service Center)

Biometrics October 2, 2017

I551 Stamp in Passport August 2, 2018

18 Month Extension Letter August 3, 2018

Applied for Naturalization N-400 Online July 30, 2018

Biometrics August 23, 2018

10 year GC is in production September 17, 2018



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Wow, thanks for the replies!

ChristinaG: Looks like CR1 might be the winner since she really wants to start working in the USA ASAP. It's funny, but she has a degree in English and has been working as an interpreter. She's pretty psyched up just to go to the states and work a normal job to make her English more perfect.

Anyways, we have the option to basically keep living here until everything gets approved. What's one semester? Thanks for the tip on possible expediting due to us living together here.

1) Copy that. K3 didn't make sense to me anyways, since it seemed to duplicate other Visas but have fewer rights.
2) I'm reading around and trying to get a feel for it. CR1 initially appeared to be more daunting somehow and I was thinking I would need a lawyer. But the more I read, the more it looks do-able.
3) Reading LingChe's guide so far, in addition to the main site guides, it does look like just starting the CR1 process and staying on top of it might be the best choice in the long run. Seems like you're telling me exactly what I was already beginning to gather.
4) Okay, thanks for that information. I'll get on the phone with my parents tonight so I'll have those forms as needed.

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