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Beginning K-1 Process while residing outside the US

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Hi, I'm a US citizen with a permanent residence (domicile) in the US, and my job is with a US company based in the US. However, I'm temporarily residing in Germany. I also have official proof of my residence here in Germany etc.

 

Is it possible to start the K1 process in Germany or do I still need to go back to the US? Any ideas? Thanks in advance! :)

 

Jordan

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2 minutes ago, jobsande said:

Is it possible to start the K1 process in Germany or do I still need to go back to the US? Any ideas?

If you get married, you can file the CR-1 spousal visa I-130 petition directly in Germany at the USCIS field office in Frankfurt. It is called Direct Consular Filing (DCF). This option is much, much faster than a K-1.

 

https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/find-uscis-office/international-offices/germany-frankfurt-field-office

 

However, you must already be married to file for this petition. There is no DCF for K-1's.


03639.png                  

 🇷🇺  ♥  CR-1 via DCF in Moscow (2016-2017) 🇺🇸  Read about my DCF experience here and here.

Spoiler

26-Jul-2016: Married abroad 👩‍❤️‍👨
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)

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; told to keep GC!

16-Jul-2018: RFE for original card!! 🤬

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!! 😂

 

📑 I-751 Removal of Conditions (2019-???) 📝

Spoiler

28-Jun-2019: Conditional GC expires

30-Mar-2019: Eligible to apply for ROC

??-???-2019: TBA...

 

 

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Thanks for the super fast answer! It sounds like you'd recommend that, though of course it'd mean getting married now vs later... how much faster is it?

 

And for the K1, I guess I'd first need to file an I-129F petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the United States, right?

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10 minutes ago, jobsande said:

Thanks for the super fast answer! It sounds like you'd recommend that, though of course it'd mean getting married now vs later... how much faster is it?

Significantly faster. I did the CR-1 via DCF and from filing the I-130 to getting the visa in hand, the whole process took about 3 months. So basically after 3 months, my husband has his CR-1 immigrant visa that has work authorization from the day he entered the US. For most folks, if they did the I-130 via the lockbox, they would have to wait about 1+ year to get the visa in hand.

 

I'm not personally familiar with the K-1 timeline but, according to the official USCIS website, depending on what service center your application gets processed by, it's taking anywhere from 6 to 10 months just to process the I-129 petition, not including the NVC and other steps that are required after the petition is approved. With DCF, there is no NVC step, everything is done by the Embassy after the petition is approved and there is no fee for filing the Affidavit of Support.

 

But yes, you would have to get married somewhere (any country where the marriage is legal, can even be a third country, i.e. not the US or Germany) in order to file for DCF. Hopefully some folks who have done K-1's can chime in and also share their experience.

 

Official processing times here:

https://egov.uscis.gov/processing-times/

Edited by millefleur

03639.png                  

 🇷🇺  ♥  CR-1 via DCF in Moscow (2016-2017) 🇺🇸  Read about my DCF experience here and here.

Spoiler

26-Jul-2016: Married abroad 👩‍❤️‍👨
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)

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; told to keep GC!

16-Jul-2018: RFE for original card!! 🤬

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!! 😂

 

📑 I-751 Removal of Conditions (2019-???) 📝

Spoiler

28-Jun-2019: Conditional GC expires

30-Mar-2019: Eligible to apply for ROC

??-???-2019: TBA...

 

 

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Awesome, super helpful.. based on your advice we are now looking into the CR-1. Even though that means we will probably have to wait in Europe much longer (3 months processing time would be amazing but I've heard it's much longer in other places so we can't 100% count on that sadly!) it's worth it since it's a more direct (less steps) process and overall cheaper.

 

Thanks!

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6 hours ago, jobsande said:

Awesome, super helpful.. based on your advice we are now looking into the CR-1. Even though that means we will probably have to wait in Europe much longer (3 months processing time would be amazing but I've heard it's much longer in other places so we can't 100% count on that sadly!) it's worth it since it's a more direct (less steps) process and overall cheaper. 

I think there are some folks on this forum who have done DCF in Germany...I will tag @Mark88 as I know they might be a good resource. I found a couple threads from last year:

 

It's true that you'll need to prepare a ton of documents while doing DCF, but it's the same stuff you'd need to do for a K-1 initially, so that part does not change. But you'd need to consider the time it will take you to prepare those documents. Our I-130 was approved after 8 days in Moscow, but then the rest of the time was really just me preparing documents. Some people are faster and some are slower. I had a kind of complicated case with getting the joint sponsor so I needed time to prepare that.

 

I just checked the USCIS Frankfurt official processing time for DCF and it currently says about 2 months for an I-130: https://egov.uscis.gov/processing-times/international-operations-office

 

But yeah, you'd definitely need some time after that to get all the other paperwork together for "part 2" of DCF. However, again, this is all the same stuff you'd need to do with a K-1 eventually as well. I'll also tag @Jorge V to chime in as he is familiar with DCF as well.

 

 

Edited by millefleur

03639.png                  

 🇷🇺  ♥  CR-1 via DCF in Moscow (2016-2017) 🇺🇸  Read about my DCF experience here and here.

Spoiler

26-Jul-2016: Married abroad 👩‍❤️‍👨
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)

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; told to keep GC!

16-Jul-2018: RFE for original card!! 🤬

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!! 😂

 

📑 I-751 Removal of Conditions (2019-???) 📝

Spoiler

28-Jun-2019: Conditional GC expires

30-Mar-2019: Eligible to apply for ROC

??-???-2019: TBA...

 

 

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**Moved from K-1 Fiance(e) Visa Case Filing and Progress Reports to DCF subforum; OP is considering pros and cons of DCF v. K-1 in Germany**


03639.png                  

 🇷🇺  ♥  CR-1 via DCF in Moscow (2016-2017) 🇺🇸  Read about my DCF experience here and here.

Spoiler

26-Jul-2016: Married abroad 👩‍❤️‍👨
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)

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; told to keep GC!

16-Jul-2018: RFE for original card!! 🤬

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!! 😂

 

📑 I-751 Removal of Conditions (2019-???) 📝

Spoiler

28-Jun-2019: Conditional GC expires

30-Mar-2019: Eligible to apply for ROC

??-???-2019: TBA...

 

 

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2 minutes ago, TandSarahJane said:

From what I've read,  if u own property in the US then you can't file DCF.

Where did you read that? Source??

 

There is another guy in the forums here doing DCF in Thailand who owns property in the US. I have never heard that at all. If anything, owning property in the US would make it easier for intent to re-establish domicile. (Heck, technically I "own" property in the US that's under my name somewhere, it's just that it's managed by my father in another state than where I live.) Can you back up that statement with evidence please?

Edited by millefleur

03639.png                  

 🇷🇺  ♥  CR-1 via DCF in Moscow (2016-2017) 🇺🇸  Read about my DCF experience here and here.

Spoiler

26-Jul-2016: Married abroad 👩‍❤️‍👨
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)

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; told to keep GC!

16-Jul-2018: RFE for original card!! 🤬

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!! 😂

 

📑 I-751 Removal of Conditions (2019-???) 📝

Spoiler

28-Jun-2019: Conditional GC expires

30-Mar-2019: Eligible to apply for ROC

??-???-2019: TBA...

 

 

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Just now, millefleur said:

Where did you read that? Source??

 

There is another guy in the forums here doing DCF in Thailand who owns property in the US. I have never heard that at all. If anything, owning property in the US would make it easier for intent to re-establish domicile. Can you back up that statement with evidence please?

its on the checklist for DCF, state department site.  They also state that, if ur not qualified for DCF they will forward the application through the normal queues.

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4 minutes ago, TandSarahJane said:

From what I've read,  if u own property in the US then you can't file DCF. 

 

U can file your K1 while abroad but u still file it at the lockbox in TX and use your US address.

That doesn't make sense, in my mind.........it's residence country that determines DCF .


"Experience can be a tough teacher to those who fail to heed good advice"- Missileman, 12/6/18

"Only a fool would fail to heed the advice of someone who has walked in his shoes"- Missileman, 2/8/19

"What I am to be, I am NOW becoming"- Benjamin Franklin

First career- 20 year Retired E-8, USAF Missileer,

Second career-Retired Registered Nurse, experience in Labor& Delivery, Home Health, Adolescent & Adult Psych

Third career-Retired IT Developer & Database Administrator for surgical services dept.

 

Immigration Journey:

  • Texas Service Center after transfer from Nebraska
  • Consulate :Taipei, Taiwan
  • Marriage: 7/30/2015
  • I-130 NOA1 : 4/27/2016
  • I-130 Approved :9/8/2016
  • Case received at NVC: 10/11/2016                               
  • Case # and IIN#: 10/24/2016
  • AOS Fee Invoiced:10/24/2016  
  • AOS Fee Paid:10/25/2016
  • IV Fee Invoiced:10/24/2016  
  • IV Fee Paid:10/25/2016
  • DS-260 Completed: 10/28/16
  • Scan Date:11/9/2016
  • Supervisor review: 12/21/16 
  • Checklist: 1/13/17 
  • Case Complete: 4/10/17
  • Interview Date: 5/8/17 
  • Visa  "ISSUED": 5/10/17
  • Visa and Passport in hand/Flight to USA Booked!!!: 5/12/17  
  • POE Dallas DFW on June 22, 2017
  • SS Card received : 7/3/2017
  • 2-year Green Card received in mail: 7/15/17
 

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2 minutes ago, TandSarahJane said:

its on the checklist for DCF, state department site.  They also state that, if ur not qualified for DCF they will forward the application through the normal queues.

link, please?  I'd like to check that out.


"Experience can be a tough teacher to those who fail to heed good advice"- Missileman, 12/6/18

"Only a fool would fail to heed the advice of someone who has walked in his shoes"- Missileman, 2/8/19

"What I am to be, I am NOW becoming"- Benjamin Franklin

First career- 20 year Retired E-8, USAF Missileer,

Second career-Retired Registered Nurse, experience in Labor& Delivery, Home Health, Adolescent & Adult Psych

Third career-Retired IT Developer & Database Administrator for surgical services dept.

 

Immigration Journey:

  • Texas Service Center after transfer from Nebraska
  • Consulate :Taipei, Taiwan
  • Marriage: 7/30/2015
  • I-130 NOA1 : 4/27/2016
  • I-130 Approved :9/8/2016
  • Case received at NVC: 10/11/2016                               
  • Case # and IIN#: 10/24/2016
  • AOS Fee Invoiced:10/24/2016  
  • AOS Fee Paid:10/25/2016
  • IV Fee Invoiced:10/24/2016  
  • IV Fee Paid:10/25/2016
  • DS-260 Completed: 10/28/16
  • Scan Date:11/9/2016
  • Supervisor review: 12/21/16 
  • Checklist: 1/13/17 
  • Case Complete: 4/10/17
  • Interview Date: 5/8/17 
  • Visa  "ISSUED": 5/10/17
  • Visa and Passport in hand/Flight to USA Booked!!!: 5/12/17  
  • POE Dallas DFW on June 22, 2017
  • SS Card received : 7/3/2017
  • 2-year Green Card received in mail: 7/15/17
 

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5 minutes ago, TandSarahJane said:

its on the checklist for DCF, state department site. 

Where? Link? There is no "generic" DCF state department website, just googled and found this:

 

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/the-immigrant-visa-process/petition/submit-a-petition/filing-petitions-outside-the-us.html

 

Says nothing about owning property in the US anywhere. Again, where is your source? Link it please. P.S. I just checked the official DCF page for Frankfurt Germany and there is not mention whatsoever about ownership of property in the US disqualifying someone from filing DCF there.

 

https://www.uscis.gov/about-us/find-uscis-office/international-offices/germany-frankfurt-field-office

 

Edited by millefleur

03639.png                  

 🇷🇺  ♥  CR-1 via DCF in Moscow (2016-2017) 🇺🇸  Read about my DCF experience here and here.

Spoiler

26-Jul-2016: Married abroad 👩‍❤️‍👨
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)

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; told to keep GC!

16-Jul-2018: RFE for original card!! 🤬

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!! 😂

 

📑 I-751 Removal of Conditions (2019-???) 📝

Spoiler

28-Jun-2019: Conditional GC expires

30-Mar-2019: Eligible to apply for ROC

??-???-2019: TBA...

 

 

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2 minutes ago, missileman said:

That doesn't make sense, in my mind.........it's residence country that determines DCF .

if u think about it,  it could be that way to prevent people from trying to cut the line by going TDY

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Check with Frankfurt on the DCF requirements.  Most require 6 months continuous residency in the foreign country.  If you have lived in Germany for 6 months before filing and satisfy their required evidence for that, DCF is the best option after getting married.

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