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Pros and Cons of Visas AFTER approval

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Hi all,

I've seen the page on visa journey that compares the i-129 and i-130 Visas but I was wondering if anyone had more knowledge or info about the after math of these Visas. For example I heard that it's hard for the beneficiary to get their drivers license when going the i-129f route. Any info would be much appreciated. We're trying to choose the best route for us!


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Just now, 1potato2potato said:

Hi all,

I've seen the page on visa journey that compares the i-129 and i-130 Visas but I was wondering if anyone had more knowledge or info about the after math of these Visas. For example I heard that it's hard for the beneficiary to get their drivers license when going the i-129f route. Any info would be much appreciated. We're trying to choose the best route for us!


Some things depend on the beneficiaries country, but below is an average statement. If (s)he is from a high fraud country every visa can take longer




-Usually faster, what means you're together sooner (right now about 10-12 months from filing till visa in hand, assuming nothing weird like long AP happens)

-After arrival in the US it takes about 5-7 months after filing AOS/EAD/AP for the immigrant to be able to work and travel outside the US (some local offices are very quick with GC interview and will grant the GC even before the EAD/AP is processed, check your local office via https://egov.uscis.gov/processing-times/

- Besides the I129F costs you have to pay for AOS ($1200+)

-Some states allow people to get a DL while AOS is pending, some when they have EAD and some only with GC. Check your local DMV website. Also, some states will allow immigrants to drive up to a certain time with their foreign license what's a big win (in PA you can drive up to 1 year with your foreign license and get your DL when your AOS is pending)




- Usually longer processing times (right now about 12-15 months I think assuming nothing weird like long AP happens. Check the processing times on the USCIS website)

- It's cheaper then I-129F

- Immigrant gets 2 year GC right away

- Immigrant can start working right away

- Immigrant can get a DL right away in every state (check your local DMV if they need some kind of driving lessons, some DMV's require this)


So it's really up to if you can wait a little longer to be together or that you rather have your fiancé here earlier but (s)he won't be able to work or leave the country for the first few months. 

Edited by C90

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Every couple has their own priorities, and each couple must decide which visa is better for their situation.

    Slightly faster arrival in the US (currently about 3 months sooner)    
    More expensive than CR-1    
    Requires Adjustment of Status after marriage (expensive and requires a lot of paperwork)    
    Spouse can not leave the US until she/he receives approved Advance Parole (approx 5-6 months)    
    Spouse can not work until she/he receives EAD (approx 5-6 months)    
    Some people have had problems with driver licenses, Social Security cards, leases, bank account during this period    
    Spouse will not receive Green Card for many months after Adjustment of Status is filed.


    Slightly slower arrival in the US (currently about 3 months later)

    Less expensive than K-1    
    No Adjustment of Status(I-485, I-131, I-765) required.    
    Spouse can immediately travel outside the US    
    Spouse is authorized to work immediately upon arrival.    
    Spouse receives Social Security Card and Green Card within 2 or 3 weeks after entering the US    
    Opening a bank account, getting a driver's license, etc. are very easily accomplished with GC, SS card, and passport.

    Spouse has legal permanent Resident status IMMEDIATELY upon entry to US.


"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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We had no issues getting anything. My husband had a social security number already from prior internships, but had no issues getting a driver's license or updated SSN card once he got his EAD. Once he got his green card he got the "work authorization" removed without issue from the SSN card. No issues adding him to my banking account.


He never had an issue with proving eligibility to work and yea. 


Think everyone's experience differs obviously. Some have it relatively smooth and some have it hard either route honestly.

08/15/2014 : Met Online

06/30/2016 : I-129F Packet Sent

07/08/2016 : NOA 1 Received

08/25/2016 : NOA 2 Received (48 days)

11/08/2016 : Interview - APPROVED!

11/18/2016 : Visa in hand

11/23/2016 : POE - Dallas, Texas

From sending of I-129F petiton to POE - 146 days.


02/03/2017 - Married 


02/24/2017 - AOS packet sent

03/06/2017 - NOA1's received via text

03/31/2017 - Biometrics appointment Completed

06/01/2017 - EAD/AP Combo Card Received in mail

12/06/2017 - I-485 Approved

12/14/2017 - Green Card Received in mail - No Interview





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~~Moved to What Visa DO I Need, from K1 P&P the OP is exploring options.~~


Met Playing Everquest in 2005
Engaged 9-15-2006
K-1 & 4 K-2'S
Filed 05-09-07
Interview 03-12-08
Visa received 04-21-08
Entry 05-06-08
Married 06-21-08
Filed 07-08-08
Cards Received01-22-09
Roc X5
Filed 10-17-10
Cards Received02-22-11
Filed 10-17-11
Interview 01-12-12
Oath 06-29-12

Citizenship for older 2 boys

Filed 03/08/2014

NOA/fee waiver 03/19/2014

Biometrics 04/15/14

Interview 05/29/14

In line for Oath 06/20/14

Oath 09/19/2014 We are all done! All USC no more USCIS


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~~~Off-topic commentary posts removed; when posting in this thread, limit replies to answering the OP's questions.~~~

Edited by Ryan H

Our journey:


September 2007: Met online via social networking site (MySpace); began exchanging messages.
March 26, 2009: We become a couple!
September 10, 2009: Arrived for first meeting in-person!
June 17, 2010: Arrived for second in-person meeting and start of travel together to other areas of China!
June 21, 2010: Engaged!!!
September 1, 2010: Switched course from K1 to CR-1
December 8, 2010: Wedding date set; it will be on February 18, 2011!
February 9, 2011: Depart for China
February 11, 2011: Registered for marriage in Wuhan, officially married!!!
February 18, 2011: Wedding ceremony in Shiyan!!!
April 22, 2011: Mailed I-130 to Chicago
April 28, 2011: Received NOA1 via text/email, file routed to CSC (priority date April 25th)
April 29, 2011: Updated
May 3, 2011: Received NOA1 hardcopy in mail
July 26, 2011: Received NOA2 via text/email!!!
July 30, 2011: Received NOA2 hardcopy in mail
August 8, 2011: NVC received file
September 1, 2011: NVC case number assigned
September 2, 2011: AOS invoice received, OPTIN email for EP sent
September 7, 2011: Paid AOS bill (payment portal showed PAID on September 9, 2011)
September 8, 2011: OPTIN email accepted, GZO number assigned
September 10, 2011: Emailed AOS package
September 12, 2011: IV bill invoiced
September 13, 2011: Paid IV bill (payment portal showed PAID on September 14, 2011)
September 14, 2011: Emailed IV package
October 3, 2011: Emailed checklist response (checklist generated due to typo on Form DS-230)
October 6, 2011: Case complete at NVC
November 10, 2011: Interview - APPROVED!!!
December 7, 2011: POE - Sea-Tac Airport

September 17, 2013: Mailed I-751 to CSC

September 23, 2013: Received NOA1 in mail (receipt date September 19th)

October 16, 2013: Biometrics Appointment

January 28, 2014: Production of new Green Card ordered

February 3, 2014: New Green Card received; done with USCIS until fall of 2023*


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Same as others have said - it really just comes down to the particular couple's/applicant's priorities. I think the biggest pain point for most, when it comes to choosing K1 versus CR1, is that you can't work immediately. For some, that may not be a deal breaker. My husband was fortunate enough to get his green card issued relatively soon after his AOS submission, but the wait can get monotonous.


Other than that, I can say for us (going the K1 route), nothing really seemed complicated. Of course, it can vary depending on location, employers, etc. I was able to add my husband to my health insurance at work before he'd even gotten his Social Security Number/card in the mail. He got his SSN with no problem. We got him a state ID in 15 minutes. Driver's license shouldn't be a problem either.

Håll ut, y'all.


               K1 Process                                                                                AOS Process

July 2015 - met online thanks to Zak Bagans                                                            May 25, 2018 - South Carolina marriage license issued

June 2016 - first in-person meeting                                                                             May 26, 2018 - legally married

August 2016 - stateside visit                                                                                        June 7, 2018 - applied for Social Security Number [manual verification required]

February-April 2017 - stateside visit                                                                           June 18, 2018 - SSN/card received in the mail

April 4, 2017 - got engaged                                                                                          June 30, 2018 - submitted I-485 (AOS)/I-765 (EAD)/I-131 (AP) together

June 5, 2017 - submitted I129F                                                                                   July 9, 2018 - AOS/EAD/AP electronic NOA1 received

June 12, 2017 - received NOA1                                                                                   July 13, 2018 - AOS/EAD/AP hard copy NOA1 received (dated July 6, 2018)

December 1, 2017 - received NOA2                                                                            July 25, 2018 - Biometrics appointment (Charlotte, NC)

January 17, 2018 - NVC received case                                                                      August 1, 2018 - case status updated to "Ready to be Scheduled for Interview"

January 18, 2018 - received NVC case number by phone                                      August 11, 2018 - case status updated to "I-485 Interview Scheduled"

January 24, 2018 - packet received via email                                                           August 16, 2018 - AOS Interview Scheduled letter received

February 15, 2018 - medical appointment                                                                 August 28, 2018 - visited civil surgeon (Winston-Salem, NC) to complete I-693

February-March 2018 - trip to Gothenburg                                                                                                [beneficiary had to get one remaining vaccination stateside]

February 22, 2018 - interview at the US Embassy in Stockholm                            September 18, 2018 - I-485/AOS Interview in Greer, SC

                                    [passed, pending receipt of medical papers]                           September 18, 2018 - case status updated to "Card Has Been Issued/Mailed"

February 27, 2018 - medical papers received by Embassy                                     September 25, 2018 - Green Card received in the mail

March 5, 2018 - visa received in the mail with passport                                          October 6, 2018 - traditional wedding with family & friends

May 16, 2018 - POE in Charlotte, NC



Up next.... Removal of Conditions!

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