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K1 visa, marriage, but go to different country instead of filing AOS ?

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: France
Timeline

Hi there, 

My fiancee and I have started the visa process at the very beginning of the year, but like many people on this forum, the Coronavirus situation has thrown everything off balance and has made things much harder and uncertain for us.
Faced with issues both familial and financial, we have started to reconsider our options, including getting married in the US through the K1 as intended but then issuing a spouse visa for her back in my own country, and live there together for a few years.
We assumed we would have to file spouse visa if we want to come back to US, which is fine.

Now, as the title states, the K1 is technically non immigrant but is needed to marry with intent to immigrate.
Besides, we may have to prove connection to my country without intent to immigrate which would be hard since.... we filed K1. 😄
Lots of research on our end, but we must admit we are pretty confused at that point, and basically worried about how it could affect our future eligibility for U.S. immigration benefits.

Does anyone know of instances where people do K1 but decide to go to a different country instead of filing AOS, and what the consequences would be (other than needing to go through the visa process again to the US later).

Thank you !

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: New Zealand
Timeline
17 minutes ago, J/A said:

Hi there, 

My fiancee and I have started the visa process at the very beginning of the year, but like many people on this forum, the Coronavirus situation has thrown everything off balance and has made things much harder and uncertain for us.
Faced with issues both familial and financial, we have started to reconsider our options, including getting married in the US through the K1 as intended but then issuing a spouse visa for her back in my own country, and live there together for a few years.
We assumed we would have to file spouse visa if we want to come back to US, which is fine.

Now, as the title states, the K1 is technically non immigrant but is needed to marry with intent to immigrate.
Besides, we may have to prove connection to my country without intent to immigrate which would be hard since.... we filed K1. 😄
Lots of research on our end, but we must admit we are pretty confused at that point, and basically worried about how it could affect our future eligibility for U.S. immigration benefits.

Does anyone know of instances where people do K1 but decide to go to a different country instead of filing AOS, and what the consequences would be (other than needing to go through the visa process again to the US later).

Thank you !

The K-1 is a ‘one and done’ visa.   It is valid for one entry for the purpose of marrying the petitioner within 90 days.   If you leave without filing for AOS, there is no further benefit.   Marriage to a USC alone confers no benefit.

 

The exact same thing can be done on a tourist visa (arrive, marry, leave), so its a more expensive way to do that.

 

You are free to do whatever suits you.  Future immigrant visa petitions will not be compromised by having had a K-1 without AOS.

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She should simply visit the US as a tourist if your fiance has a French, or other Visa Waiver Program country eligible, passport.  File for a spousal visa when you are about 18 months from wanting to return to the US.


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Filed: Citizen (pnd) Country: Haiti
Timeline
2 hours ago, J/A said:

Hi there, 

My fiancee and I have started the visa process at the very beginning of the year, but like many people on this forum, the Coronavirus situation has thrown everything off balance and has made things much harder and uncertain for us.
Faced with issues both familial and financial, we have started to reconsider our options, including getting married in the US through the K1 as intended but then issuing a spouse visa for her back in my own country, and live there together for a few years.
We assumed we would have to file spouse visa if we want to come back to US, which is fine.

Now, as the title states, the K1 is technically non immigrant but is needed to marry with intent to immigrate.
Besides, we may have to prove connection to my country without intent to immigrate which would be hard since.... we filed K1. 😄
Lots of research on our end, but we must admit we are pretty confused at that point, and basically worried about how it could affect our future eligibility for U.S. immigration benefits.

Does anyone know of instances where people do K1 but decide to go to a different country instead of filing AOS, and what the consequences would be (other than needing to go through the visa process again to the US later).

Thank you !

If your plan is to live in France for a period of time why don’t you scrap the idea of US immigration and look into getting the US citizen residency in France? 
If you go the k1 your permanent residency would be the US- you can’t go back to live in France... 

If you do the k1 and then don’t adjust status Well you just contributed (or wasted) a whole bunch of money to the US Government and slowed down the time for others. Makes no sense.

Edited by Luckycuds

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Approved: 10/23/18 -no interview

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Hello,

I, the OP's fiancee, am the US Citizen in this situation. To clarify:

 

In Fall 2019, when researched, we believed K1 was the best route for us as I am established (there is an age gap) and would have much more to give up (we would be financially more stable).

K1 was filed March 2020, the OP is the beneficiary, a French citizen, and our K1 has not been adjudicated by USCIS yet.

What are our options from here since a process has already been started...

 

Many things have happened since COVID. We have had many difficulties come up as roadblocks  to our engagement and relationship, most involving his family, some involving the uncertainty introduced into the US Immigration system due to COVID and some other potential changes to my financial situation. 

It is now being considered for me to immigrate to France instead of the OP immigrating to the USA. This would potentially solve many of our newly developed road blocks. Marrying in France and immigrating is very complicated and daunting due to the amount of documentation a US Citizen needs to marry in France (French system loves paperwork and specific translation requirements, more than the US system). For this reason we think it might be best to still marry in the USA.

1. So would he still come under the K1, we marry within the 90 days, then we go through the paper work with the French Consulate to have me immigrate to France for a few years?

2. Would this cause any problems down the road when we decide to come back to the USA (we still want to have our future life together in the USA, the move to France would most likely be temporary 3-5 years)?

3. Is there a better way to do this?

 

Thank you,

 

Also, none of this will happen until after the borders between US and France open...we're gathering information for our options.

Edited by KittyKyalesca
further clarification

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Filed: Country: Vietnam (no flag)
Timeline

Hi,

 

1.  Continue the K-1 since that's the only option to move forward that you have at this time.  

 

2. Coming on the K-1, marrying, and leaving before the 90 days will not create any problems for an immigration visa in the future.

 

3.  The million dollar question.  Here are the two things to consider.  1) Does it matter where you marry?  US? France?  Another country?  2) What is required for you to immigrate to France?  Can you legally go to France as a tourist and get residency and work authorization?  

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5 minutes ago, aaron2020 said:

3.  The million dollar question.  Here are the two things to consider.  1) Does it matter where you marry?  US? France?  Another country?  2) What is required for you to immigrate to France?  Can you legally go to France as a tourist and get residency and work authorization?  

1) I do not have the amount of paid time off needed, or the ability to take leave to travel to a 3rd country for us to marry. My physical health is also another road block for lots of traveling, one reason why the OP has always come to the US to visit me and not the other way around. Traveling tends to get me sick for extended periods of time. The additional finances needed to marry in a 3rd country is also something we'd like to avoid. Is there a list of countries that allow civil weddings when you are not a resident of the country and supply a recognized marriage certificate?

2) Immigrating to France via Spouse visa is very simple, however, immigrating to France without already being a spouse is difficult (seems that way for every country, being a Fiancee and not a Spouse honestly sucks when it comes to immigration)  ---

 

a) This is the reason we sought to marry in the USA, have our marriage recognized by the French Embassy, then have me immigrate to France on a French Spouse Visa which requires minimal paperwork and does not have the same restrictions of the long stay visa, and why we are posing these questions. I would take courses by the government to learn french and civic classes under this route.

 

b) Without an already recognized marriage, I would need a long stay visa, which would be very difficult for me to get given the requirements for it. I need to quit my job to go to France, I would also not work, given my physical and mental health (this is one of the reasons we chose K1 in the first place), even when I am allowed to work. This is where our difficulty comes in for long stay visa as you need to prove that you have the money to support yourself in France while on said visa to be approved (roughly 2500 euros per month they expect). I also do not speak french, not even a little bit, this is also a negative for long stay visa. The amount of paperwork, certified translations through only accepted translators, the defined expiry of said paperwork  and the time frame of each process (obtaining long stay visa and the marriage application) create a very stressful process that must be extremely carefully times and does not allow for much error or delay. Its doable, but the amount of stress involved is not very agreeable if there is another way.

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Russia
Timeline
1 hour ago, KittyKyalesca said:

Is there a list of countries that allow civil weddings when you are not a resident of the country and supply a recognized marriage certificate?

Denmark, Iceland, and Gibraltar are the usual suggestions for third-country marriages in/near Europe (did some looking into this before deciding to just do a K-1).

 

Most Caribbean countries also are good for this, I think (and I think Mexico, too) if you wanted to get married in a third country close to the US instead of close to France. An thread here from 2016 suggested Canada varied a lot by province.


K-1                             AOS
NOA1 Notice Date: 2018-05-31    NOA1 Notice Date: 2019-04-11
NOA2 Date: 2018-11-16           Biometrics Date: 2019-05-10
Arrived at NVC:  2018-12-03     EAD/AP In Hand: 2019-09-16
Arrived in Moscow: 2018-12-28   GC Interview Date: 2019-09-25
Interview date: 2019-02-14      GC In Hand: 2019-10-02
Visa issued: 2019-02-28
POE: 2019-03-11
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Looking at the countries you listed and a few others, I really don't think marrying in a 3rd country is and option for us. It costs a lot more money and/or requires my ability to travel for an extended period of time, which i don't have the luxury of having. We only want a civil marriage and will not have a lot of witnesses available to us, even less if they have to travel to a 3rd country. There won't really be a ceremony of any kind until much later in our marriage due to finances and issues between families. Our marriage is more like an elopement so we can start our lives together at this point in time. 

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: New Zealand
Timeline

OP, just to play devil's advocate for a moment....you may be able to pull off getting a visa to live in France.   However: without speaking a word of French, having physical/mental health issues, and relying on your fiance for absolutely everything, do you think that would work out for you long-term?  If you are an adult who is used to being productive and working and contributing to the world, how would you feel to suddenly be completely dependent on someone in a place where you cannot communicate in a most basic way?

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Somebody else already said this, but what about having your French fiancé enter the US as a tourist, get legally married in the US, and start your process for immigrating to France? That way you wouldn't waste your time following through with the K1 visa. If travels from EU are still banned, your fiancé could work around it by flying through and spending time in a non-EU country before entering the US.

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Filed: EB-3 Visa Country: Germany
Timeline

OP how long would you be coming and staying In the US on the k1 before going back to France?


My suggestion would be to still file for the AOS unless you plan on leaving right after the wedding. Otherwise you jeopardize your ability to visit the US in the future if you overstay 

Edited by designguy

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Ukraine
Timeline

Hello,

 

I am in a similar situation to you guys.  My wife came here on a K1 early last year.  We married, but she had to return due to a family emergency.  We did not adjust status.  I went through the process of getting a residency visa for Ukraine at one point when I thought about living abroad for a year or two and then emigrating together with her back to the US.  I obtained the visa but ultimately didn't use it - we decided it would be best for me to stay and visit each other on several long trips instead.  We already applied for the spouse visa, got it approved, and we are now waiting for her interview.

 

1.  Yes, the OP can come to the US on a K1, marry, and then leave within the 90 days (to not overstay the visa).  

2.  The USC spouse can go live abroad with the OP, and immigrate to US later via a spouse visa.

3.  The current timeline for the spouse visa is about 6-8 months.  I think it's mostly due to the current EO's restricting other visas - the spouse visa is given priority processing because it's the only family visa (other than immediate child under 21) that can be granted this year.  The timeline may change next year.  But I would suggest you file as soon as possible - you can always delay it at the NVC stage.

4.  There are no problems with having a K1 visa, not adjust status, and then applying for a spouse visa.  Just make sure you do not overstay on the K1.

 

As someone else mentioned, if time is a concern, I would suggest the OP abandon the K1.  Instead, go to a non-travel restricted country for 2 weeks, travel to the US on ESTA, and marry.  

 

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10 hours ago, Jorgedig said:

OP, just to play devil's advocate for a moment....you may be able to pull off getting a visa to live in France.   However: without speaking a word of French, having physical/mental health issues, and relying on your fiance for absolutely everything, do you think that would work out for you long-term?  If you are an adult who is used to being productive and working and contributing to the world, how would you feel to suddenly be completely dependent on someone in a place where you cannot communicate in a most basic way?

To be perfectly honest, while there are pros and cons with both routes, I would be completely relieved with the aspect of not having to work. Suffering through life just to hold a job and an independent living, in my opinion, isn't contributing much to the world, and shouldn't be the only measurement to whether you're contributing to something. Not everyone is capable of surviving the constant hell of giving their entire life to work (this is what I am forced to do for this living) while struggling and suffering through disabilities. It is exhausting, I admire people who have the ability to do that, but I rather be happy and dependent than miserable, exhausted/drained physically/mentally constantly just to have a job, be independent and "contribute to the world."

 

I am not young and have been struggling alone for a very long time. It was our goal to begin with, once we have financial stability, for me to become a house wife that worked part time, volunteer or pursued my dream hobby which would actually contribute to the world more than me forcing myself in a job that makes me sick mentally and physically just for financial independence.  

 

I am lucky to have a very accommodating boss, but their patience with me and my difficulties isn't unlimited and at some point I will need to go on disability if I continue as I am now. The other reason why they are able to be so accommodating is because I basically am killing myself to meet their expectations and make up for my shortcomings, and I am reaching my limit of being able to keep this up. Please do not judge people on their ability to "contribute to the world" based on their independent finances and work status. It is very degrading to those of us who have physical and mental difficulties to be held to a standard we cannot meet because society and corporations insist on defining our worth by the job one has and how much suffering they can push through.

 

In terms of learning the language, this would be easiest if I lived in France without a job. My time would be spent focused on learning the language (this is something I have extreme difficulty with now because of work stress/exhaustion), I would be required to take classes in France for such purposes, and my Fiance and his friends would help. 

 

There are stressful conditions to either option we choose, but me losing work and being dependent on the OP is not one of them. We are weighing our options and the pros and cons to each on a scale, but to properly do this we need information which is why we asked the question.

 

Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to respond to our questions.

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Philippines
Timeline

Travelling under COVID is the issue right now, but a third country to marry is not always that expensive and there are plenty that have very few requirements.

 

As an example:

https://www.discoverpuertorico.com/weddings/info/everything-you-need-to-know-about-getting-married-puerto-rico

 

Then your spouse can begin the process to bring you to France.


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