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K-1 Fiance Visa VS Spouse Visa

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Hi all, Happy New Year.

My fiancé and I got engaged back in August, and we are now starting to figure out our next steps.

He is a USC in Texas and I am in London, England.

We are looking at filing the K-1 visa as we have heard that is processed more quickly than the spouse visa. Can anyone confirm this and suggest processing times?

Secondly, when filing for the K-1, what evidence have other people submitted to prove their relationship?

Thank you in advance for any information.

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Hi all, Happy New Year.

My fiancé and I got engaged back in August, and we are now starting to figure out our next steps.

He is a USC in Texas and I am in London, England.

We are looking at filing the K-1 visa as we have heard that is processed more quickly than the spouse visa. Can anyone confirm this and suggest processing times?

Secondly, when filing for the K-1, what evidence have other people submitted to prove their relationship?

Thank you in advance for any information.

Hi there,

My first suggestion would be to read the guides section, which will explain the differences between the two visas. Spouse visa takes longer, requires you to already be married and live apart during the process. You are allowed to work immediately afterwards though. K1 is faster, and after you marry, you will not be able to work until authorized - by adjusting your status.

Secondly, no one can give you an approx. suggestion as to processing times. So what I will say is only a rough estimation. Overall K1 is much faster than a CR1, especially since some changes have been made. As of early last year, all newly filed K1 applications are processed at the California Service Center, which at the time was seeing cases completed much faster than the slow and extremely delayed Texas Service Center. This has continued, but it is unknown what the future outcome of this situation will be. As a general rule you should probably expect a wait of at least a few months. Once that part is finished there will be the rest of the process to complete. Even in all this, it will still be faster than a spousal visa, so long as there is no complications with the case.

Overall, the guide will offer suggestions of what to send in with the application. The main requirement of the application is providing proof you have met within two years. Copies of plane tickets, passport stamps, receipts of places you may have gone together, and photographs together. Photographs are secondary evidence, so ensure you send something more than just that. We sent pretty much all of these things and a few other copies of things we found might be useful.


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

 

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Hi all, Happy New Year.

My fiancé and I got engaged back in August, and we are now starting to figure out our next steps.

He is a USC in Texas and I am in London, England.

We are looking at filing the K-1 visa as we have heard that is processed more quickly than the spouse visa. Can anyone confirm this and suggest processing times?

Secondly, when filing for the K-1, what evidence have other people submitted to prove their relationship?

Thank you in advance for any information.

You need to read the guides section for the most of your questions.

As far as what's faster, it really depends. What's faster today may very well not be what's faster tomorrow. It tends to swing a lot.

If your fiance won't have any trouble supporting you for the months it will take to get your AoS and EAD, then there's no harm in going that route, which may be a bit faster.

If you'll need to work right away to support yourselves, then a CR-1 might be a better option.


November 14th, 2013: She's here!

December 12th, 2013: Picked up marriage license.

December 14th, 2013: Wedding

6gai.jpg

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K1 is faster. It will cost $1,070 more for the adjustment of status. To me it was worth the extra money because I wanted my fiancé(now wife) here quicker.

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We supplied 1+ years worth of Skype call logs showing that we chatted for about an hour per day. Since I was calling Olga's cell phone, this showed a substantial financial cost. Also, copies of USPS Customs forms for packages sent overseas and Western Union transaction data for money transfers. We also included passport page scans, hotel bills showing both of our names and lots of photos that identified where and when we were together.

The quality of your documentation is more important than the quantity. 30,000 text mesages loaded with LOLs and ROTFLs will be less useful than documentation showing multiple in-person meetings.

If a reasonable person reviewed your information and concluded that your relationship was 'real', then you will probably be OK.

Good Luck.

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Thank you. My fiancé has been to see me in the UK three times and I have been to Texas to see him four times in the last year. We have lots of evidence, kicking myself for not keeping all boarding passes now - will my email records/info on airline sites help me?

We have emails, but not tonnes - mostly FaceTime and iMessage, but MILLIONS of photos. We have been sharing his Paypal account for some time to deposit money into to save for this. I imagine this could be used as evidence?

Racking my brain for other forms of evidence also!

Lee&Ana - how much did the entire process cost you total? My fiancé is willing to support me if we do the K1 route and I am out of work but still weighing up pros and cons. It's an exciting and scary decision.


Also, regarding evidence - are photocopies/print-outs of receipts, boarding passes etc acceptable?


And - my fiancé has the invoice for the engagement ring he bought me. Not sure if that is helpful at all...

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Hi there,

My first suggestion would be to read the guides section, which will explain the differences between the two visas. Spouse visa takes longer, requires you to already be married and live apart during the process. You are allowed to work immediately afterwards though. K1 is faster, and after you marry, you will not be able to work until authorized - by adjusting your status.

Secondly, no one can give you an approx. suggestion as to processing times. So what I will say is only a rough estimation. Overall K1 is much faster than a CR1, especially since some changes have been made. As of early last year, all newly filed K1 applications are processed at the California Service Center, which at the time was seeing cases completed much faster than the slow and extremely delayed Texas Service Center. This has continued, but it is unknown what the future outcome of this situation will be. As a general rule you should probably expect a wait of at least a few months. Once that part is finished there will be the rest of the process to complete. Even in all this, it will still be faster than a spousal visa, so long as there is no complications with the case.

Overall, the guide will offer suggestions of what to send in with the application. The main requirement of the application is providing proof you have met within two years. Copies of plane tickets, passport stamps, receipts of places you may have gone together, and photographs together. Photographs are secondary evidence, so ensure you send something more than just that. We sent pretty much all of these things and a few other copies of things we found might be useful.

A CR-1 does not require you to "live apart" while in process. We have been apart 0 days since marriage....Right now we are in the U.S. until March 5th...If you do your research, you can find ways to stay together. She filed for a B-2 before we were engaged. We have had very little time apart in 2 years :)


CR-1 Visa

USCIS

7/27/15 Sent I-130 package to Chicago Lock box

7/29/15 NOA1, TSC

10/7/15 Entered USA for three weeks to close escrow and pack house

12/5/15 Entered USA for 90 days to visit

12/7/15 I-130 approved,NOA2

NVC

12/23/15 NVC received package

1/5/2016 Called NVC

1/7/2016 Called NVC, assigned case # and IIN #

1/7/2016 Assigned choice of agent

1/7/2016 Paid AOS fees

1/21/2016 Paid packet IV fees

2/20/2016 Filed DS-260

3/30/2016 Sent NVC package

4/5/2016 NVC received package

5/5/2016 Email from NVC...case complete with interview date 6/17

6/10/2016 Medical

6/17/2016 Interview - Approved :)

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A CR-1 does not require you to "live apart" while in process. We have been apart 0 days since marriage....Right now we are in the U.S. until March 5th...If you do your research, you can find ways to stay together. She filed for a B-2 before we were engaged. We have had very little time apart in 2 years :)

Since the person is from the UK, and will use the VWP for any regular visit of up to 90 days without abuse, the chances of obtaining a B-2 are unlikely. Unless the poster has a lot of money saved for constant short term visits or the US citizen has some sort of longer-term entry clearance or visa for the UK, it is unlikely they would be able to spend every single day of their marriage together while waiting. This couple is certainly free to visit each other while applying for a spouse or a K1 visa - but unless they have unique circumstances it is unlikely to be able to spend it together for the duration.

Bemydruidess: Photocopies of passport stamps will probably be the most helpful thing. Photocopies of boarding passes should be okay. If you have receipts showing you in the same place at the same time... for instance we supplied receipts showing dinner for two or receipts for movie tickets. We also supplied them with a photocopy of the ring receipt. Our photos we wrote on the back who and where, with the date. We did not send them any online convos or letters or emails. Ten years worth is a headache to go through, and I'm kind of sure with a fairly uncomplicated case at a consulate like London it's not needed to go overboard.

The filing fee for the K1 by the US fiance is $340. The UK fiancé will have to pay for a few other fees later on. Once you are married and you file to adjust status, the fee is $1070. US fiancé must also be aware of the financial sponsorship guidelines or they can use a cosponsor for London.


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

 

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Thank you. The only worry we really have is that my fiancé was previously married to a European, they used the AOS route while she was there on a tourist visa which means he became her sponsor. They are now divorced. We are concerned of the income thresholds for him to be my sponsor this time around, and whether we may have to ask his mother to be a co-sponsor. Does anyone have an idea of the financial requirements or if there is a way for him to remove himself as her sponsor? (Not including her being in the USA for ten years working/or dying, which I have so far heard are the only options...)

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This is a decision that you'll need to make together but for the most part, as already stated, the K1 is generally significantly faster that CR1. Even when I applied into a giant backlog at once particular processing center, the slowest K1s were coming in in just about the same time as the fastest CR1s. Now, that backlog no longer exists, and at the moment, the average K1 is taking under 2 months to be processed by USCIS and then 2-3 months at State Department (this is largely embassy dependent, you'd have to ask other UK filers about that. The embassy timelines don't go any faster for CR1s).

Take a look here for K1 timelines (and only look at information for "CSC" now because that is the only place new petitions are being sent)

http://www.visajourney.com/content/k1historical

Versus here for CR1:

http://www.visajourney.com/content/ir1cr1historical

Note especially "Step 3"-- NVC (National Visa Center) for both. This is really the key difference. NVC is the State Department's visa office in the US. K1s pass right through NVC-- just long enough to be routed to the proper embassy, whereas CR1s wait "in line" for processing because they are officially "immigrant visas" (meaning you land with a green card) and K1s are "non-immigrant visas" (meaning that the visa is valid for a limited time and you must apply for the green card once you're here). So now that all (or almost all, it would seem) K1 petitions are going to CSC, you can clearly see that the K1 route is much faster on average. Like I said, even during the huge backlog time (when TSC was taking 8+ months to process petitions), the longest K1s (the most unlucky in their visa type) were coming in in roughly the same timeframe as the fastest CR1s (the luckiest in their visa type).

**Also note** and this is something that most people don't remember to factor in.... you can in theory file the paperwork for a K1 this afternoon (or, rather, your fiance can. And "in theory" because he actually needs something signed by you but that's it). You already meet those requirements and have all of the necessary paperwork etc. To be able to go CR1, he'd have to first travel to you, you get married, wait for the marriage certificate *and then* start what is objectively the longer of the two processes. Even if he gets on a flight this afternoon, you're looking at not being able to start this for a week or more. And we both know he's not getting on a flight this afternoon :)

Now, of course, sheer amount of time to immigration are not the only concerns. Money is a big part of this for most people. He'll need to support you until you can work, which would be 2 to 3 months after you're married and file for the green card (which is a $1070 expense) and then actually able to find a job. You could be looking at over 6 months of unemployment. Also, though, what are the expenses incurred having two homes in two countries? Is that fixed by you moving here or is it a wash because you'd also quit your job? All of that is highly unique to each couple and no one can answer that for you.


Marriage/ AOS Timeline:

23 Dec 2015: Legal marriage

23 Jan 2016: Wedding!

23 Jan 2016: "Blizzard of the Century", wedding canceled/rescheduled (thank goodness we were legally married first or we'd have had a big problem!) :sleepy:

24 Jan 2016: Small "civil ceremony" with friends and family who were snowed in with us. December was a bit of a secret and people had traveled internationally and knew we *had* to get married that weekend, and our December legal marriage was nothing but signing a piece of paper at our priest's kitchen table, without any sort of vows etc so this was actually a very special (if not legally significant) day. (L)

16 Apr 2016: Filed for AOS and EAD/AP (We delayed a bit-- no big rush, enjoying the USCIS break)

23 Apr 2016: Wedding! Finally! :luv:

27 Apr 2016: Electronic NOA1 for all 3 :dancing:
29 Apr 2016: NOA1 Hardcopy for all 3
29 Jul 2016: Online service request for late EAD (Day 104)
29 Jul 2016: EAD/AP Approved ~3 hours after online service request
04 Aug 2016: RFE for Green Card (requested medicals/ vaccination record. They already have it). :ranting:
05 Aug 2016: EAD/AP Combo Card arrived! (Day 111)
08 Aug 2016: Congressional constituent request to get guidance on the RFE. Hoping they see they have the form and approve!

K-1 Visa Timeline:

PLEASE NOTE. This timeline was during the period of time when TSC was working on I-129fs and had a huge backlog. The average processing time was 210+ days. This is in no way predictive of your own timeline if you filed during or after April 2015, unless CSC develops a backlog. A backlog is anything above the 5-month goal time listed on USCIS's site

14 Feb 2015: Mailed I-129f to Dallas Lockbox. (L) (Most expensive Valentine's card I've ever sent!)

17 Feb 2015: NOA1 "Received Date"
19 Feb 2015: NOA1 Notice Date
08 Aug 2015: NOA2 email! :luv: (173 days from NOA1)

17 Aug 2015: Sent to NVC

?? Aug 2015: Arrived at NVC

25 Aug 2015: NVC Case # Assigned

31 Aug 2015: Left NVC for Consulate in San Jose

09 Sep 2015: Consulate received :dancing: (32 days from NOA2)

11 Sep 2015: Packet 3 emailed from embassy to me, the petitioner (34 days from NOA2).

18 Sep 2015: Medicals complete

21 Sep 2015: Packet 3 complete, my boss puts a temporary moratorium on all time off due to work emergency :clock:

02 Oct 2015: Work emergency clears up, interview scheduled (soonest available was 5 business days away--Columbus Day was in there)

13 Oct 2015: Interview

13 Oct 2015: VISA APPROVED :thumbs: (236 days from NOA1)

19 Oct 2015: Visa-in-hand

24 Oct 2015: POE !

15 Dec 2015: Fiance's mother's B-2 visa interview: APPROVED! So happy she will be at the wedding! :thumbs:

!

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Since the person is from the UK, and will use the VWP for any regular visit of up to 90 days without abuse, the chances of obtaining a B-2 are unlikely. Unless the poster has a lot of money saved for constant short term visits or the US citizen has some sort of longer-term entry clearance or visa for the UK, it is unlikely they would be able to spend every single day of their marriage together while waiting. This couple is certainly free to visit each other while applying for a spouse or a K1 visa - but unless they have unique circumstances it is unlikely to be able to spend it together for the duration.

Bemydruidess: Photocopies of passport stamps will probably be the most helpful thing. Photocopies of boarding passes should be okay. If you have receipts showing you in the same place at the same time... for instance we supplied receipts showing dinner for two or receipts for movie tickets. We also supplied them with a photocopy of the ring receipt. Our photos we wrote on the back who and where, with the date. We did not send them any online convos or letters or emails. Ten years worth is a headache to go through, and I'm kind of sure with a fairly uncomplicated case at a consulate like London it's not needed to go overboard.

The filing fee for the K1 by the US fiance is $340. The UK fiancé will have to pay for a few other fees later on. Once you are married and you file to adjust status, the fee is $1070. US fiancé must also be aware of the financial sponsorship guidelines or they can use a cosponsor for London.

ummm...the VWP can be used. No need to a b2.



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ummm...the VWP can be used. No need to a b2.

Which is exactly what I said... ;)


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

 

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