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Hi guys!

 

At the very beginning of my visa journey and the first thing I need is advice on is which visa I should look into.  Here's my background...

 

I'm a UK citizen, my girlfriend lives in California and has two children from a previous relationship so it makes more sense for me to relocate rather than her.  We've been together two years (long distance, meeting up in person during holidays etc.)  We are unquestionably committed to being together for the long term...so that's making me think K-1?

 

On the other hand, I am a High School Physics and Chemistry Teacher with 9 years experience and a Master's in Chemistry, which might give me the option of J-1 instead?

 

I am also an internationally published author, my first book was briefly a bestseller in the US and my second is soon to be published there.  I highly doubt this qualifies me for an O, I don't think I'm anywhere near that level of "alien with extraordinary talent" but thought I would ask in case anyone knew.

 

So...where should I begin?  What kind of Visa is my most sensible option to start investigating?

 

Thanks a bunch.  I'm looking forward to getting to know this community.

 

 

 

 

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4 minutes ago, timquark said:

Hi guys!

 

At the very beginning of my visa journey and the first thing I need is advice on is which visa I should look into.  Here's my background...

 

I'm a UK citizen, my girlfriend lives in California and has two children from a previous relationship so it makes more sense for me to relocate rather than her.  We've been together two years (long distance, meeting up in person during holidays etc.)  We are unquestionably committed to being together for the long term...so that's making me think K-1?

 

On the other hand, I am a High School Physics and Chemistry Teacher with 9 years experience and a Master's in Chemistry, which might give me the option of J-1 instead?

 

I am also an internationally published author, my first book was briefly a bestseller in the US and my second is soon to be published there.  I highly doubt this qualifies me for an O, I don't think I'm anywhere near that level of "alien with extraordinary talent" but thought I would ask in case anyone knew.

 

So...where should I begin?  What kind of Visa is my most sensible option to start investigating?

 

Thanks a bunch.  I'm looking forward to getting to know this community.

 

 

 

 

I don't know much about the J visa category but just keep in mind the K1 will require you to get married within 90 days of your entry and also file for a change of status within that time frame. With the K1 you will not be allowed to work until you receive approval and at the current time getting work approval is said to be a 3-6 month wait depending on where your US citizen lives. That does not include your wait time to go through the I129f process.  Seeing that you are a established in your profession, I thought you might want to know the information about not working. Most people overlook that part.  That's all I have hoped it help. Good luck on your journey.

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If you think this is a long term relationship and marriage is in your path you might want to consider the CR1 visa. It will take a little bit longer than the K1 but it gives you the added benefit that you can start working as soon as you arrive in the US. Keep in mind a J1 is not a dual intent visa and from what you say it sounds like you wish to immigrate to the US, not come on a temporary basis. There is a two year period after leaving on your J1 that would have to wait before pursuing a green card visa (barring you get a waiver)

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CR1 is the obvious option.


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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Forget the K-1. It has no benefit for you whatsoever. The CR-1 is much better if you are going down the marriage route (which is the most logical and straightforward route).

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

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1 hour ago, designguy said:

If you think this is a long term relationship and marriage is in your path you might want to consider the CR1 visa. It will take a little bit longer than the K1 but it gives you the added benefit that you can start working as soon as you arrive in the US. Keep in mind a J1 is not a dual intent visa and from what you say it sounds like you wish to immigrate to the US, not come on a temporary basis. There is a two year period after leaving on your J1 that would have to wait before pursuing a green card visa (barring you get a waiver)

That's extremely useful!  Especially what you said regarding the J1 two year waiting period after it's concluded. 

 

What happens if I move to the US under the J1 and got married while living there?  Would I still be required to leave at the end of the J1 term and wait for two years or can I apply for a K1 or a CR1 while I am in the US i.e. switch from J1 status to K1 status, or do I have to wait for one to expire first?

 

 

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3 minutes ago, timquark said:

That's extremely useful!  Especially what you said regarding the J1 two year waiting period after it's concluded. 

 

What happens if I move to the US under the J1 and got married while living there?  Would I still be required to leave at the end of the J1 term and wait for two years or can I apply for a K1 or a CR1 while I am in the US i.e. switch from J1 status to K1 status, or do I have to wait for one to expire first?

 

 

First would your J1 be subject to a 2 Year HRR?


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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11 minutes ago, timquark said:

That's extremely useful!  Especially what you said regarding the J1 two year waiting period after it's concluded. 

 

What happens if I move to the US under the J1 and got married while living there?  Would I still be required to leave at the end of the J1 term and wait for two years or can I apply for a K1 or a CR1 while I am in the US i.e. switch from J1 status to K1 status, or do I have to wait for one to expire first?

 

 

You cannot switch to a K-1 in country. A K-1 (which, by the way, you should completely rule out - it is useless to you) can only be applied for outside the US. 

 

It’s fraudulent to apply for a J-1 with a plan to remain. You must demonstrate no immigration intent for a non-immigrant visa. 

 

If you're wondering why I'm recommending that you scrap the idea of the K-1, it’s because it’s an over-priced tourist visa that allows you to stay in a tourist status for 90 days (no work, no formal education, in many states no driving) with the added feature that you can pay even more money to stay if you get married within the 90 days. You then have the AOS period where you still can’t work (or drive in some states) for many more months. So you are paying more to get less. You can get married on a VWP visit and file a CR-1. With that visa (which is cheaper) you are a full permanent resident (aka green card holder) from the minute your passport is stamped at the airport and can work and enjoy all the benefits of permanent residency from day one. No limbo status like you have with the K-1. You surely didn’t spend all those years reaching this point in your career to then be unemployed for many months? 

Edited by JFH

 

 

 

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Just now, JFH said:

You cannot switch to a K-1 in country. A K-1 (which, by the day you should completely rule out - it is useless to you) can only be applied outside. 

 

It’s fraudulent to apply for a J-1 with a plan to remain. You must demonstrate no immigration intent for a non-immigrant visa. 

 

If you're wondering why I'm recommebding that you scrap the idea of the K-1, it’s because it’s an over-priced tourist visa that allows you to stay in a tourist status for 90 days (no work, no formal education, in many states no driving) with the added feature that you can pay even more money to stay if you get married within the 90 days. You then have the AOS period where you still can’t work (or drive in some states) for many more months. So you are paying more to get less. You can get married on a VWP visit and file a CR-1. With that visa you are a full permanent resident (aka green card holder) from the minute your passport is stamped at the airport and can work and enjoy all the benefits of permanent residency from day one. No limbo status like you have with the K-1. You surely didn’t spend all those years reaching this point in your career to then be unemployed for many months? 

That's wonderfully helpful!  Thank you.  Everyone on this forum seems so willing to offer clear advice.  I certainly don't want to fraudulantly apply for a J-1!  CR-1 certainly looks like my best option :)

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1 hour ago, timquark said:

CR-1 certainly looks like my best option : )

Like mentioned above, you can marry in the US on a VWP visit. Then the US citizen files an I-130 petition and you eventually interview in London for the CR-1:

 

Edited by HRQX

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J-1 and O-1 are visas for temporary stays. They require you to go home when done.

If you want to immigrate, go with a CR-1 (spousal) visa. A K-1 can work as well, but likely isn't of much value in your circumstances. Those would be - by far - the simplest options versus trying to find an employer to petition you for an work visa.


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

12/1/16: sent

12/14/16: 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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4 hours ago, TennilleO said:

With the K1 you will not be allowed to work until you receive approval and at the current time getting work approval is said to be a 3-6 month wait depending on where your US citizen lives.

The work permit is not dependent on the place where you live. It is processed at the National Benefits Center in Lee's Summit. MO. Other hand the green card interview time depends where you live since it happens at the local USCIS office which can be highly backlogged.

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