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Immigration help for spouse who is a Canadian Citizen

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A little background:

I currently reside in Michigan. I acquired my US Green Card in 2010 and was consequently naturalized and became an US citizen in 2016. My wife is a naturalized Canadian citizen. We had been in a long distance relationship for 6 years and in July 2019, she visited me over a weekend and we got married in a small ceremony (about 10 or so friends and family). I have the marriage certificate from the district county. She returned back immediately after we got married and has since been in Canada.

I had not filed for a K-1 Fiancee visa prior to getting married as I was not aware at the time. So she entered as a visitor on her Canadian passport when she came here and we got married. While doing some research to start her immigration process, I read that this could constitute as visa fraud. Had I known, we would have gotten the K-1 Visa first. I have doubts that this could be a potential problem for her immigration process. She has not visited the US since and has held a residence and job in Canada.

1) Is this true and if so, how serious is it could it be? What are the steps to resolve it?

To start her immigration, there are some different ways to do it and I am not sure which is the correct way to proceed based on our case:

a) Bring her here and file I-130 (Alien Relative Petition) and I-485 (Adjustment of Status) at the same time.
b) Bring her here and only file I-485 (Adjustment of Status) at the same time.
c) File for I-130 and then file for K-3 visa( Non-immigrant visa for spouse) and then bring her here.
d) Any other?

Would a) and b) be safe as she would come as a visitor and could stay longer than intended while filing I-485 (Adjustment of Status)

We have already been apart for months on end during our long distance relationship and want to be together as soon as possible. I have talked to multiple lawyers and only gotten different answers and have turned here for help. Its very confusing but we want to try and go with the safest option.

Please help! Any info would be greatly appreciated.

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Wales

1 Untrue

a that is not possible

b also not how it is done

c K3 is effectively dead

d CR1 is the only option


Please read the Guides on here and we have a Canada specific forum, many are going through the process.

“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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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Denmark

She returned to Canada after the marriage, so no visa fraud was committed. It is against the law to come to the US with intent to get married and stay in the US on visitation visa/privileges, but it is not against the law to come to the US, get married, then return to the home country.


That being said, no she cannot come back to adjust status. THEN it would be fraud. So options A & B are out of the question as that would be illegal and can result in a lifetime ban from the US. K3 is no longer used (only 4 were issued last year all from Latin America), so option C is also out. Your only option is to petition an I130/I130a for a CR1 immigrant spousal visa. She can come have short visits (and you can visit her) but she cannot come and adjust status, she must live in Canada until she receives her CR1 visa

Our CR1 Journey:


USCIS Stage:

  • Feb 14 2019: NOA1 (NSC)
  • July 31 2019: I129f NOA1
  • Sep 19 2019: I129f NOA2 (Denied - 50 days from NOA1)
  • Sep 19 2019: I130 NOA2 (Approved - 217 days from NOA1)


NVC Stage:

  • Sep 27 2019: Sent to Department of State
  • Oct 31 2019: Case number received (34 days since sent)
  • Nov 1 2019: IV & AOS fees received & paid
  • Nov 14 2019: IV & AOS submitted
  • Dec 18 2019: All docs accepted, but one additional doc requested (5 weeks from submission)
  • Dec 18 2019: Requested doc submitted
  • Feb 19 2020: Documentarily Qualified (9 weeks from 2nd submission, 14 weeks from first submission)


Interview Stage:

  • Mar 11 2020: Interview letter received
  • Apr 1 2020: Interview date
  • Mar 17 2020: Interview cancelled due to COVID-19
  • August 3 2020: Rescheduled letter received, new appointment August 25 2020
  • August 25 2020: Visa approved at interview! (558 days from NOA1)

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Agree with @Boiler and @LilyJ


a.  Not possible

b.  No

c.  K-3 will not happen

d.  Cr-1 is the only way......Current processing time is approx. 12-16 months from filing to visa in hand.



Edited by missileman

"The immigration process demands a great deal of knowledge, planning, time, patience, and money.  A deficit in any of these areas can spell heartbreak."

   -GB, "old man of much life experience"


Retired 20 year United States Air Force Missileer (Retired E-8)

Retired Registered Nurse with practice in Labor/Delivery, Home Health, Adolescent Psych, Adult Psych

Retired IT Professional, Software Developer, Database Manager



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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada

As someone who's been through it (my spouse came to Canada, and we were married there), I can say that without a doubt, CR-1 is the only way to move forward.

Make sure that she maintains very strong ties to Canada (job, home, family) and books return tickets. Absolutely NO open ended (one way) tickets. That will be seen as trying to stay in the US, and she'll most likely be denied entry.

If you can afford it, frequent visits. If you can't afford that, maybe visit her once, and have her visit you once....maybe for a week or two each time.

The rest of the time, phone calls, video chat, text message. Everything counts as proof of a bonafide relationship. Mail each other cards, love letters, whatever you'd like to do to show each other you love each other. But throw nothing away.


Good luck!!

What I miss most about Canada, in no particular order:

My family!

My friends!


Hawkins Cheezies!


Lays Ketchup Chips!


What I don't miss:

-40 degree weather

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