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Best option? K1 Visa?

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So my boyfriend (American) and myself (Canadian) have been dating for 3 years and want to move in together. We actually live only 20 minutes apart along the border so finding out that we need to get married just live with each other is a big step, but one we're willing to take if it's our only option. So my question is, is it the only option? And if it is, does being able to visit each other, pretty much weekly support our case once we start? Should I just followed VJ's k1 visa process chart?

 

Thank you for taking the time to read and answer, I really appreciate it :)

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If you want to immigrate to the US then yes, your only options is either k1 or cr1. 


K1

29.11.2013 - NoA1

06.02.2014 - NoA2

01.04.2014 - Interview. 

AoS

03.2015 - AoS started.

09.2015 - Green Card received.  

RoC

24.07.2017 - NoA1.

01.08.2018 - RoC approved. 

 

 

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Option 1: K-1 Visa

Read the instructions for all forms, and read the guide: http://www.visajourney.com/content/k1guide

ETA: ~7-9 months

 

Know that AOS is required after entering the US and marrying within 90 days ($1225 currently), then ROC 2 years after AOS is approved. Learn the entire process so there are no surprises.

 

Option 2: Get married and do a CR-1 visa

Guide: http://www.visajourney.com/content/i130guide1

ETA: ~12-14 months

 

This is cheaper, gets the actual green card faster, and permits working and traveling abroad right away (unlike the K-1).

 

 

The USC petitioner must be able to support the intending immigrant: I-134 for a K-1, then an I-864 for AOS or a CR-1.

 

You can continue visiting each other during the processing. The time together is a big plus (plus Canada is very low fraud anyway).


Timelines:

Spoiler

AOS (I-485 + I-131 + I-765):

9/25/17: sent forms to Chicago

9/27/17: received by USCIS

10/4/17: NOA1 electronic notification received

10/10/17: NOA1 hard copy received. Social Security card being issued in married name (3rd attempt!)

10/14/17: Biometrics appointment notice received

10/25/17: Biometrics

1/2/18: EAD + AP approved (no website update)

1/5/18: EAD + AP mailed

1/8/18: EAD + AP approval notice hardcopies received

1/10/18: EAD + AP received

9/5/18: Interview scheduled notice

10/17/18: Interview

10/17/18: Approved

?/?/?: Green card received

 

K-1:

Spoiler

I-129F

12/1/17: sent

12/14/17: NOA1 hard copy received

3/10/17: RFE (IMB verification)

3/22/17: RFE response received

3/24/17: Approved!

3/30/17: NOA2 hard copy received

 

NVC

4/6/2017: Received

4/12/2017: Sent to Riyadh embassy

4/16/2017: Case received at Riyadh embassy

4/21/2017: Request case transfer to Manila, approved 4/24/2017

 

K-1

5/1/2017: Case received by Manila (1 week embassy transfer??? Lucky~)

7/13/2017: Interview: APPROVED!!!

7/19/2017: Visa in hand

8/15/2017: POE

 

 

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The visas are immediate family visas (K1) allows you to take that intermediate step.  Without marriage you have no legal connection for visa purposes. 

 

Seeing each other frequently helps, document visits.  Pictures, statements showing spending money in the other person's city, etc. 

 

Just follow the chart, but..the K1 visa carries restrictions, so keep that in mind.  I think getting married and getting a CR1 makes more sense given your ability to travel freely already.  It would save money too. 

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I wouldn't say getting married is your only option, but is usually the easiest and the most guaranteed. As a Canadian you may also have the option of a TN visa if marriage is too big a step at the moment (and kudos to you for asking about other options and not rushing into marriage). A TN would allow you to work in the USA for a period of up to 3 years initially. It's a work-based visa so there are certain requirements but it's actually quite a simple process. You might want to look into that.

 

If you are a student and can afford the fees to attend college in the USA then this could be another option. 

 

There is no visa to "live with my boyfriend to see how it goes", unfortunately. There are marriage visas but as you correctly say, it's a big step. 


 

 

 

 

 

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Wow, woke up to so many great responses. You guys are awesome. my partner and me will definitely look into the CR-1 visa and compare it with K1 and see which one aligns with our goals better, we didn't know we could get married first and then get a Visa. Thought we needed a visa to get married. Again, thank you so much, what a great community :D I'll be around as I do research so see you guys around :)

Edited by aqb

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9 hours ago, geowrian said:

Option 1: K-1 Visa

Read the instructions for all forms, and read the guide: http://www.visajourney.com/content/k1guide

ETA: ~7-9 months

 

Know that AOS is required after entering the US and marrying within 90 days ($1225 currently), then ROC 2 years after AOS is approved. Learn the entire process so there are no surprises.

 

Option 2: Get married and do a CR-1 visa

Guide: http://www.visajourney.com/content/i130guide1

ETA: ~12-14 months

 

This is cheaper, gets the actual green card faster, and permits working and traveling abroad right away (unlike the K-1).

 

 

The USC petitioner must be able to support the intending immigrant: I-134 for a K-1, then an I-864 for AOS or a CR-1.

 

You can continue visiting each other during the processing. The time together is a big plus (plus Canada is very low fraud anyway).

In regards to getting married first, does it matter if it's done in Canada or US? For some reason I thought k1 was our only option due to it being a requirement to get married. I didn't know we were permitted to get married in a foreign country without one.

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28 minutes ago, aqb said:

In regards to getting married first, does it matter if it's done in Canada or US? For some reason I thought k1 was our only option due to it being a requirement to get married. I didn't know we were permitted to get married in a foreign country without one.

If you get married and then apply for a spouse visa, the marriage can take place anywhere in the world. The only requirement is that the marriage is legal. So, Canada, USA, a beach in the Bahamas, a castle in Europe, a cruise ship... wherever you want. 


 

 

 

 

 

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9 hours ago, aqb said:

In regards to getting married first, does it matter if it's done in Canada or US? For some reason I thought k1 was our only option due to it being a requirement to get married. I didn't know we were permitted to get married in a foreign country without one.

The K1 visa has the requirement to get married within 90 days of entering the US on the visa - not the opposite, i.e. the requirement for marriage in the US (or anywhere for that matter) is not the K1 visa. It's simply an option for people that aren't married yet to be able to have their fiance legally enter the country with the intent to marry and stay and AOS.

Edited by Suss&Camm

K1 Visa & AOS

Spoiler

2016-03-19         i-129F Sent
2016-03-24         i-129F NOA1
2016-06-14         i-129F NOA2
2016-07-08         NVC Rec'd
2016-07-12         Case #
2016-07-13         NVC Left
2016-07-14         Consulate Rec'd
2016-07-19         Medical
2016-08-11         Interview Date (approved)
2016-09-06         Issued
2016-09-09         Visa In Hand
2016-10-19         POE Dallas Fort-Worth
2016-10-30         Our Halloween Wedding

2016-11-16         AOS package sent (i-485, i-131, i-765, i-864, g-325a, DS-3025)
2016-11-17         AOS package delivered to Chicago lockbox
2016-11-23         NOA1's by e-mail and text (@ 10:30 pm CT)
2016-11-26         NOA1 hard copies
2016-12-03         Biometrics appointment in mail
2016-12-07         Biometrics (Early walk-in Desoto, appointment was for Dec 13th)

2017-02-17         Notice of card in production by email and text (@8:00 am CT, i-765) - Day 92

2017-02-22         Notice of approval by email and text (@1:00 pm CT, i-765 and i-131) - Day 97

2017-02-22         Notice of card being mailed by email and text (@7:00 pm CT, i-765) - Day 97

2017-02-25         EAD/AP combo card arrived in mail - Day 100

2017-03-03         Notice of green card in production by email and text (@4:00 pm CT, i-485) - Day 106

2017-03-03         Notice of approval by email and text (@6:00 pm CT, i-485) - Day 106

2017-03-11          Green card arrived in mail  - Day 113

2018-12-03          First day to file for ROC (i-751)

 

giphy.gif

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3 minutes ago, aqb said:

Thank you @JFH @Suss&Camm that makes a lot more sense now. Another question I have is how come CR1 is cheaper than K1 Visa? From the looks of it they look pretty much the same.

 

The visa parts are similar... but the K1 has the added process of AOS after marriage which costs an additional $1,225

 

Idk if it answers your question, but with the spousal visa there is no AOS you go through those requirements at the NVC as a part of visa pre-processing. K1's aren't processed at all at the NVC (NAtional Visa Center)

 

Both go through petition processing at USCIS before that and consular processing. After the consular processing the spousal visa is complete and a green card will be issued at POE. For the K1 they submit the AOS application after all this, after marriage.

Edited by Suss&Camm

K1 Visa & AOS

Spoiler

2016-03-19         i-129F Sent
2016-03-24         i-129F NOA1
2016-06-14         i-129F NOA2
2016-07-08         NVC Rec'd
2016-07-12         Case #
2016-07-13         NVC Left
2016-07-14         Consulate Rec'd
2016-07-19         Medical
2016-08-11         Interview Date (approved)
2016-09-06         Issued
2016-09-09         Visa In Hand
2016-10-19         POE Dallas Fort-Worth
2016-10-30         Our Halloween Wedding

2016-11-16         AOS package sent (i-485, i-131, i-765, i-864, g-325a, DS-3025)
2016-11-17         AOS package delivered to Chicago lockbox
2016-11-23         NOA1's by e-mail and text (@ 10:30 pm CT)
2016-11-26         NOA1 hard copies
2016-12-03         Biometrics appointment in mail
2016-12-07         Biometrics (Early walk-in Desoto, appointment was for Dec 13th)

2017-02-17         Notice of card in production by email and text (@8:00 am CT, i-765) - Day 92

2017-02-22         Notice of approval by email and text (@1:00 pm CT, i-765 and i-131) - Day 97

2017-02-22         Notice of card being mailed by email and text (@7:00 pm CT, i-765) - Day 97

2017-02-25         EAD/AP combo card arrived in mail - Day 100

2017-03-03         Notice of green card in production by email and text (@4:00 pm CT, i-485) - Day 106

2017-03-03         Notice of approval by email and text (@6:00 pm CT, i-485) - Day 106

2017-03-11          Green card arrived in mail  - Day 113

2018-12-03          First day to file for ROC (i-751)

 

giphy.gif

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29 minutes ago, aqb said:

Thank you @JFH @Suss&Camm that makes a lot more sense now. Another question I have is how come CR1 is cheaper than K1 Visa? From the looks of it they look pretty much the same.

The K1 is most helpful to people who have no way of entering the US otherwise. 

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Derailing from visa options, I'm curious, does anyone have recommendations for what I should make sure I've done prior to or during the whole process. For example I see there's a medical examination at some point and they check your medical history. Is that something I should update before heading it. Is my Canadian licenses still good even in my CR phase, same with a Canadian insured vehicle. Etc etc. Basically things you wish you got out of the way before it became a cumbersome to the process of immigrating.

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