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Dani and Alex

Wedding planning

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Hi everyone! My fiancé and I submitted our I-129F in early January 2019 and *hope* to have him in the US with me by the end of 2019. We plan to get married in the courthouse in the US right when he moves here and apply for his work and travel authorization while awaiting his green card. Ideally, we would like to have an actual wedding ceremony in Croatia (where he's from) in the summer of 2020. We need to be sure he can travel back by then. We will also be married on paper but call each other "fiancé" until after we've celebrated in the ceremony with our family.

 

So... are there any major holes in our plan? Anything we should predict could go wrong? We're hoping to look at wedding venues when I visit this summer but could wait to book anything for our wedding until he has his travel authorization. Thanks for your help!

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1 minute ago, Dani and Alex said:

Hi everyone! My fiancé and I submitted our I-129F in early January 2019 and *hope* to have him in the US with me by the end of 2019. We plan to get married in the courthouse in the US right when he moves here and apply for his work and travel authorization while awaiting his green card. Ideally, we would like to have an actual wedding ceremony in Croatia (where he's from) in the summer of 2020. We need to be sure he can travel back by then. We will also be married on paper but call each other "fiancé" until after we've celebrated in the ceremony with our family.

 

So... are there any major holes in our plan? Anything we should predict could go wrong? We're hoping to look at wedding venues when I visit this summer but could wait to book anything for our wedding until he has his travel authorization. Thanks for your help!

You can think about estimated dates, just don't book anything until he has AP in hand (as you already mentioned) and don't make any non refundable down payments!

 

Visa process takes 10-12 months on average and right now EAD/AP takes 4-6 months, where most people get it with 5/5,5 months. But that's right now, it might be different in one year. 

 

Did you guys consider CR1? I know you already filed for K1, but you could withdraw and file CR1 if you want. It seems to fit your picture a little more. But in the end it's up to you guys

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3 minutes ago, C90 said:

You can think about estimated dates, just don't book anything until he has AP in hand (as you already mentioned) and don't make any non refundable down payments!

 

Visa process takes 10-12 months on average and right now EAD/AP takes 4-6 months, where most people get it with 5/5,5 months. But that's right now, it might be different in one year. 

 

Did you guys consider CR1? I know you already filed for K1, but you could withdraw and file CR1 if you want. It seems to fit your picture a little more. But in the end it's up to you guys

We looked into the CR1 but thought the K1 would be the faster way to get him to be here with me. Admittedly I'm still confused by the two options. Is there an advantage of failing the CR1 over the I-129F? 

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Just now, Dani and Alex said:

We looked into the CR1 but thought the K1 would be the faster way to get him to be here with me. Admittedly I'm still confused by the two options. Is there an advantage of failing the CR1 over the I-129F? 

At this moment K1 is 9-12 months and CR1 I think 12-14 months, so it's not that much longer.

 

Advantage of CR1:

 

- He gets his green card the moment he enters the country, which gives him the right to work and travel right away.

- Because of this the process is cheaper (you don't have the AOS costs)

- He will be eligible for 10 year green card and citizenship way faster then via K1

 

Advantage of K1:

 

- It's slightly faster

- He has some time to adjust to life in the States before working, since EAD/AP right now takes 4-6 months.

 

Since it seems important for you guys to be able to have a (big) wedding in Croatia, you could have that and then file for CR1. That way you don't have to worry about wedding planning afterwards.

If you pursue CR1, make sure you have enough evidence to show. It seems like you guys are together for a little bit already, so that shouldn't be a problem (plane tickets, hotel bookings, pictures, passport stamps, once you're married you can add him to some insurances like life insurance, sometimes health and car insurance)

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Posted (edited)

The K-1 timeline has been speeding up again, though. A huge number of October filers just got their NOA2, which means things are speeding up even more. So I think there's a pretty reasonable chance that your fiance would have his travel papers by summer 2020.

 

It's true that you could just get married in Croatia ASAP and switch over to CR-1 instead -- which is what a lot of people on these boards advise. But it sounds like you had your reasons for doing K-1 instead of CR-1. (Like, in my case, my fiance and I were not ready to get married just for the sake of doing the CR-1, and also we just want to be together in the US sooner so the K-1 was absolutely right for us -- plus I have the resources to cover the period when he won't be able to work.) Do what makes sense for your situation. If you don't want to get married immediately then stick with K-1.

 

On the other hand, if it's really important to you to have a wedding in Croatia (especially a big one that requires lots of advance planning), then you might incur a lot of extra stress and uncertainty with the path you're on. Because even though it's likely your fiance would have his travel papers in time for a summer 2020 wedding, he wouldn't have them during much of the *planning process* for that wedding. So you'd be taking a leap of faith. Which doesn't always work out. Do you envision your 2020 Croatian wedding being a huge event, with lots of people coming over from the US to attend? Or would it be a pretty small thing that can be planned on shorter notice?

 

 

Edited by ReyOfJakku

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On 2/28/2019 at 10:16 PM, ReyOfJakku said:

The K-1 timeline has been speeding up again, though. A huge number of October filers just got their NOA2, which means things are speeding up even more. So I think there's a pretty reasonable chance that your fiance would have his travel papers by summer 2020.

 

It's true that you could just get married in Croatia ASAP and switch over to CR-1 instead -- which is what a lot of people on these boards advise. But it sounds like you had your reasons for doing K-1 instead of CR-1. (Like, in my case, my fiance and I were not ready to get married just for the sake of doing the CR-1, and also we just want to be together in the US sooner so the K-1 was absolutely right for us -- plus I have the resources to cover the period when he won't be able to work.) Do what makes sense for your situation. If you don't want to get married immediately then stick with K-1.

 

On the other hand, if it's really important to you to have a wedding in Croatia (especially a big one that requires lots of advance planning), then you might incur a lot of extra stress and uncertainty with the path you're on. Because even though it's likely your fiance would have his travel papers in time for a summer 2020 wedding, he wouldn't have them during much of the *planning process* for that wedding. So you'd be taking a leap of faith. Which doesn't always work out. Do you envision your 2020 Croatian wedding being a huge event, with lots of people coming over from the US to attend? Or would it be a pretty small thing that can be planned on shorter notice?

 

 

 

You make really excellent points. I've been keeping up with timelines of other couples who have filed before us and am also hopeful that the process will go faster than quoted. He and I just want to live together as soon as possible and luckily I also have the means to support us until he can work. We're two months into the waiting process now so hopefully our K1 plans will pan out faster than a CR-1 would.

 

The wedding would be very small and family would be okay with 2 months notice. We'll do everything in advance (Catholic wedding) to plan what we can and will get married in a small church. We're not picky but we do want to have a small celebration with both families. It sounds like we have to both be okay with planning last minute once we get his travel approval or be okay with "chancing" it if we plan sooner.

 

This is all very helpful, thanks everyone!

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Nothing wrong with doing that so long as you are aware of the risks and restrictions the come with the K-1 process.

The process is wayyyyy too unreliable to reliably predict what will happen a year from now.


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

10/24/18: Green card produced notice

10/25/18: Formal approval

10/31/18: 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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Moved from K1 Process & Procedures to Working & Traveling During US Immigration forum.


Our journey:

Spoiler

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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On 2/26/2019 at 7:06 PM, Dani and Alex said:

. We will also be married on paper but call each other "fiancé" until after we've celebrated in the ceremony with our family.

 

So... are there any major holes in our plan? 

Once you are legally married you are not fiancés. You are spouses. Calling yourselves anything but spouses or husband/wife is trouble. You need to demonstrate that you are in a bonafide marriage.  

 

You go to AOS interview and the officer “asks” for the K-1’s phone.  AOS is then rejected because the day before there was a text using the term fiancé.  

 

If the ceremony in Croatia is paramount to you, the cr1/ir1 is the way to go.  

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