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K-1 vs CR-1/Marry on VWP then Return Home

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I'm from the US, my partner is from the UK. I'm reading some mixed information online and want to be sure.

 

We were thinking about getting married in the US (since this is where we plan to live for now). He would then return to Britain THEN we would apply for a spouse visa. That way, he can still work during the processing/accepting wait.

 

In doing this, we could avoid the K-1 processing time and extra fees associated with it.

 

The thing is, we would get married while he was on visa waiver program from the UK. I am reading that this is OK as long as he as the intent to return home to the UK (he will have a return ticket). But some websites seem to caution against it, saying that it is legal but a little risk.

 

Just want to make sure that is really is ok and that we wouldn't run into an unusual issues.

 

Thanks in advanced!

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Yes...he can marry while on VWP. However what's illegal is coming to marry AND adjust status with the intention of doing so. What you plan on doing is fine.

IF he was already in the us, you could file for AOS. But since he isn't, you can't go that route. So go ahead, marrying in the us and then returning and filing for spousal visa is perfectly fine :) 


K-1:
06/08/2016: I-129F Sent

06/16/2016: Check cashed

06/20/2016: Acceptance 

08/23/2016: Approval

09/03/2016: NVC received our petition

09/08/2016: In transit to Stockholm Embassy

09/09/2016: At Stockholm Embassy

09/13/2016: Checklist received, DS-160 filled out & submitted, $265 fee paid

09/20/2016: Chest x-ray completed

09/21/2016: Physical completed

09/28/2016: Embassy received completed medical

09/29/2016: Interview date, APPROVAL 

10/14/2016: Visa ISSUED

10/17/2016: Visa received

 

AOS
12/22/2016: I-485, I-131, I-765 Sent

01/10/2017: Check cashed

01/11/2017: Acceptance I-485 & I-131

02/03/2017: Biometrics completed

02/15/2017: I-765 Acceptance

04/17/2017: Your case is ready to be scheduled for an interview

05/18/2017: Your case is ready to be scheduled for an interview

05/25/2017: Service request submitted for I-131
06/02/2017: Service request submitted for I-765

06/06/2017: I-765 "New Card Is Being Produced"

06/08/2017: I-131 Approval letter in mail

06/08/2017: I-765 "Card Was Mailed To Me"

 

 

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The K-1 is a lot faster in terms of being able to be in the US together. But it's more expensive and he won't be able to work immediately, he'll have to adjust status and then wait for work authorization. This is a huge turn off for some people as they need to be able to work and don't want to just hang around in the US without a job.

 

I wouldn't worry too much about him coming here to marry. As long as he plans to go back, you should be fine. If he has a return ticket, a lightly packed bag and it is clear that he's just coming for a visit, I really doubt there would be an issues.

 

I would say if him working, either in the UK or in the US, is a big factor: just get married and go for the CR-1/IR-1. That way when he finally gets his US visa, he can work immediately upon arrival.


03639.png                  

                  🇷🇺  ♥  CR-1 via DCF in Moscow! ♥  🇺🇸

Spoiler

26-Jul-2016: Married abroad :3
21-Dec-2016: I-130 filed at Embassy
29-Dec-2016: I-130 approved! Yay! 

17-Jan-2017: Case number received :]

21-Mar-2017: Medical Exam completed

24-Mar-2017: Interview - approved!

29-Mar-2017: CR-1 Visa received (via mail)

02-Apr-2017: USCIS Immigrant (GC) Fee paid

28-Jun-2017: Port of Entry @ PDX

21-Jul-2017: No SSN after three weeks; applied in person at the SSA

22-Jul-2017: GC arrived in the mail

31-Jul-2017: SSN arrived via mail, hurrah!

                     I-90 GC Replacment (for Erroneous GC)

Spoiler

22-Jul-2017: GC arrives in the mail – middle name is cut off 😕

01-Aug-2017: Sent in I-90 online via website

05-Aug-2017: Biometrics scheduled

23-Aug-2017: Biometrics done @ USCIS office; kept GC!

16-Jul-2018: RFE for supporting docs!! D:<

31-Jul-2018: USCIS Appointment at local field office..

22-Aug-2018: Mailed GC back to USCIS in response to RFE

29-Aug-2018: GC received by USCIS

17-Sept-2018: Received CORRECTED GC in the mail! Finally!!

 

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My wife and I considered both options as well and went with the CR-1 route (though we married in the UK since she is from there...I think location of a wedding may matter more to women, but maybe that is just generalizing).

 

It is definitely helpful to be able to continue working while waiting for the CR-1 (though my wife unfortunately had to leave her job earlier than she would have liked). However the CR-1/IR-1 route is definitely longer, and you will spend more time apart which is unfortunate. Also his visits while waiting for that visa to the US may be frought with some tension (Once you are married, every time he comes back to visit he will be under scrutiny. It's very variable though so people have had no trouble, my wife had a lot of trouble).


Regardless, congrats and good luck on the process. This website is a great resource.

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20 hours ago, TXS said:

I'm from the US, my partner is from the UK. I'm reading some mixed information online and want to be sure.

 

We were thinking about getting married in the US (since this is where we plan to live for now). He would then return to Britain THEN we would apply for a spouse visa. That way, he can still work during the processing/accepting wait.

 

In doing this, we could avoid the K-1 processing time and extra fees associated with it.

 

The thing is, we would get married while he was on visa waiver program from the UK. I am reading that this is OK as long as he as the intent to return home to the UK (he will have a return ticket). But some websites seem to caution against it, saying that it is legal but a little risk.

 

Just want to make sure that is really is ok and that we wouldn't run into an unusual issues.

 

Thanks in advanced!

That is exactly what I did. No issues doing it that way that way at all. I had no trouble with my CR-1 and upon entry to the US I automatically became a permanent resident.


ROC from CR-1 visa (Green Card expiration date was Nov 24th 2016)

 

Link to the evidence I submitted. Be sure to send evidence spanning your entire marriage (especially for K-1) or as far back as you can. Just one or two bank statements will not cut it. I primarily focused on the two years of living here since I came in on a CR-1. If you don't have the fundamentals (i.e. joint accounts/policies), you can explain why in the covering letter. E.g. "While we do not have joint utilities, we both contribute to them from our joint bank account".

 

September 26th 2016: I-751 package sent to CSC

September 28th 2016: Package delivered
September 30th 2016: Check cashed
October 3rd 2016: NOA1 received with receipt date of 09/28/16
November 3rd 2016: Biometrics received with appointment date of 11/14/16.
November 14th 2016: Attended biometrics appointment
October 30th 2017: Infopass appointment to get I-551 stamp
February 26th 2018: I-751 case number (aka the NOA1 receipt number) becomes trackable
March 14th 2018: Submitted service request due to being outside of processing time.

March 15th 2018: ROC approved. 535 days (1 year, 5 months and 17 days)

March 29th 2018: Card being produced

April 4th 2018: Card mailed out

April 6th 2018: Card in hand. Has incorrect "resident since" date. Submitted service request on I-751 case (typographical error on permanent resident card) and an I-90 online.

April 2018 - August 7th 2018: Tons of service requests, emails and now senator involvement to get my corrected green card back because what the heck, USCIS

August 8th 2018: Card in production thanks to the direct involvement of Senator Sherrod Brown's team

August 13th 2018: Card mailed

August 15th 2018: Card in hand with correct date. :joy:

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I'm from the U.K. and we married in the USA when I was visiting on the VWP then went home to complete the process and I finally got my visa and moved here last December. What you are proposing is perfectly legal. I also continued working in the U.K. and then moved here and started a new job within 2 weeks. It was very important for me to be able to work right away which is why the CR-1 was perfect for us. 

Edited by JFH

 

 

 

 

 

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Yes, him being out of work for possibly 3-6 months is simply not going to work. While it would be great to have him here sooner, there is no way I could support us both, unfortunately. Sounds like the CR-1 is the only way to go.

 

Thanks for the responses, I'll share this with the BF.

 

For those of you who did this process from the UK to the US (although I'm not sure if the country matters), how long did it take from submitting paperwork to successfully being approved? 

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5 hours ago, TXS said:

Yes, him being out of work for possibly 3-6 months is simply not going to work. While it would be great to have him here sooner, there is no way I could support us both, unfortunately. Sounds like the CR-1 is the only way to go.

 

Thanks for the responses, I'll share this with the BF.

 

For those of you who did this process from the UK to the US (although I'm not sure if the country matters), how long did it take from submitting paperwork to successfully being approved? 

See my timeline. Last year it took us 10 months and 1 day from mailing the I-130 packet to going to my interview at the London embassy. 


 

 

 

 

 

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