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My partner and I have been together for over 2 years, we met when I studied/worked in the U.S. but I have since moved back to my home country (Sweden). We have been visiting each other many times since then and we are 100% sure that we are going to get married. I am visiting him again this summer, where I will also have a chance to meet parts of his family I haven't met yet (we lived in a different state than the one he is originally from). After that, we will go ahead and start the visa process. I work as a teacher, and I do not want to leave in the middle of a school year, therefore we have decided (the plan is) I will move back to the U.S. summer of 2020. The processing time for a K1 visa is about 8 months, and from what I understand, a CR1 visa only takes a couple of months longer. So either visa would work for us, timewise, as I understand it. 

 

After looking at the costs, a CR1 visa would be less than half of what a K1 visa cost, plus I would be able to start working right away, hopefully being able to get a job at the start of the new school year. However, cost is not a huge issue. I make enough to pay for my part without "breaking the bank" and my future husband has a high-income job. 

 

My real question here now is, what about the marriage? Would we have to get married abroad in order to file for a CR1 visa? Would it be considered visa fraud if we got married while I'm in the U.S. over the summer (when I am there on an ESTA), even if I do go back to Sweden after and then file for the CR1? Will it even be possible to get married legally/will churches let you get married if you do not have the "proper" visa?

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Posted (edited)

For a CR-1, you can either marry outside the US......or you could marry inside the US while you are here on ESTA.  You would then have to return to your home country for the visa process......short visits are allowed during the process.

Edited by missileman

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It is totally legal to marry in the US, file for a CR-1 and return home, or home then file, either way.

 

Think of how many people come to the US just to marry in Vegas quickly. So of course it is legal and perfectly acceptable.


08/15/2014 : Met Online

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1 minute ago, Ben&Zian said:

It is totally legal to marry in the US, file for a CR-1 and return home, or home then file, either way.

 

Think of how many people come to the US just to marry in Vegas quickly. So of course it is legal and perfectly acceptable.

Vegas may be an option lol! I realize that people do it, I just don't want it to be a problem later when we file for the CR1. Since the ESTA is a tourist visa, I figured it wouldn't look good to get married traveling on that one. There is no reason for us to do this illegally (like some people may do it to save money or to be together quicker) and hope for the best. But, it seems like it is perfectly legal, so it may be the best route to go anyways, especially considering the fact that I wouldn't have to wait months to get a job.

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**Moved from IR-1 / CR-1 Spouse Visa Case Filing and Progress Reports to What Visa Do I Need - Family Based Immigration**


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Posted (edited)

If your intention is just to visit and return home, then you're fulfilling the requirements of the ESTA no matter if you marry or don't marry while you're here. So that's what I would do if I were you, because CR-1 would let you work right away, and you have time if your intention is to move in the summer of 2020.

 

Just make sure that when CBP asks what you intend to do here that you emphasize it's vacation and that you have a job/something else to return home to. Good luck :) And find your way over to the Scandinavian forum if you haven't already!

Edited by LizM

Swedish/American couple, met at university, eventually filed the I-129F petition in 2017.

K1 NOA1: 9/12/2017. NOA2: 3/10/2018. Case # Assigned: 3/28/2018. Embassy Received: 3/29/2018. Medical: 4/18/2018. Interview: 5/3/2018. VOH: 5/8/2018. US Entry (POE JFK): 5/24/2018.

 

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4 minutes ago, LizM said:

If your intention is just to visit and return home, then you're fulfilling the requirements of the ESTA no matter if you marry or don't marry while you're here. So that's what I would do if I were you, because CR-1 would let you work right away, and you have time.

 

Just make sure that when CBP asks what you intend to do here that you emphasize it's vacation and that you have a job/something else to return home to. Good luck :) And find your way over to the Scandinavian forum if you haven't already!

Yeah, most times it's been really easy for me to go through customs (I have been going back and forth five times this past year and a half). However, when I went for seven weeks last summer, the officer was very suspicious and wondered if I was just going back and forth to get 90 more days on my ESTA. I had to explain to him that as a teacher, I get weeks off throughout the year that makes it possible for me to travel the way I do. Nerve wrecking! I had my dog with me that time too, and all I could think of was that they would put me on a plane back for another 12+2h with that poor thing! I went again in February, and then everything was easy peasy again. 

 

I have been checking out the Scandinavian forum, and I'm guessing I will be posting on there when I get closer to applying for the visa :) 

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1 hour ago, MalinB said:

Since the ESTA is a tourist visa, I figured it wouldn't look good to get married traveling on that one. 

Firstly, the ESTA isn’t a visa (I know it’s pedantic but terminology matters in this game). Secondly, this is exactly what we did. And hundreds of others. Nowhere in the VWP terms and conditions does it say you cannot get married whilst visiting. 


 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

If you want to move to the US in summer of 2020, you should get married ASAP because the CR-1 takes about 14 months right now, sometimes longer.  CR-1 is definitely the better option for you, since you can work, get a driver's license, can travel outside the US and return, as a regular LPR the day you arrive.  With a K-1 you're  in limbo for 6 months and can't work or leave the US and return.  Some refer to that limbo period as feeling like they're in prison.  Get married somewhere legally now that gives you a marriage certificate quickly and have your USC partner file the I-130 petition and supporting documents right away.  If you wait and don't get married until June or July of this year your visa may not be ready 12 months later.  For some it takes 15 or 16 months if they get Nebraska Service Center and you have no control over which service center you get.  Good luck!

Edited by carmel34
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As the wife of a Swede who came on a K1 - I can tell you we both wish we had done CR1 instead. Of course, either route will get you to where you want to be in the long run so it isn't a huge regret we live with, but there are 2 primary pros I've always seen with CR1 versus K1 - 1, the cost, and 2, you can work, travel, etc. right away with CR1 opposed to waiting for AOS with a K1. We were lucky and my husband got his green card a little over 4 months after arriving on his K1, but that timeframe is a rarity.

 

Either way - if summer 2020 is your goal, I suggest you and your partner research both options efficiently and make a decision soon, allowing yourselves more than enough time for processing to run its course, to eliminate as much stress or time crunching as possible! It will be stressful enough as it is, potentially, so the less the better :)

 

And good luck!! Always nice to see another Swede around here :) Enjoy your upcoming trip as well!


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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Thanks everyone! 🙏🏻 Even if our goal is summer 2020, I do realize that the visa timelines constantly change and I can only hope we don’t get Nebraska! Lol! I’m thinking, either way, the CR1 will still get me eligible to work faster than the K1. We are not stressing this. We know that we have a lifetime together, we are able to travel to see each other while we’re in the process, and we talk on the phone every day. One year (plus a few months) is nothing! 😄

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1 hour ago, MalinB said:

Thanks everyone! 🙏🏻 Even if our goal is summer 2020, I do realize that the visa timelines constantly change and I can only hope we don’t get Nebraska! Lol! I’m thinking, either way, the CR1 will still get me eligible to work faster than the K1. We are not stressing this. We know that we have a lifetime together, we are able to travel to see each other while we’re in the process, and we talk on the phone every day. One year (plus a few months) is nothing! 😄

That's a fantastic mental approach to this, and a good one to hold onto! It can get daunting along the way, but important to remember what you're doing this for! It is absolutely, positively worth every bit of it in the end - I think anyone who's achieved a K1 or CR1 process will say the same. :)

 

Lycka till!


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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