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My fiance (US citizen, resides in the US) and I (Canadian citizen, resides in Canada) are trying to figure out the best route to take for immigration. We plan to reside in the US.

 

I have been researching the best I can without a lawyer but it is quite confusing. Thankfully a kind Redditor pointed us in the direction of this website.

Our goal is to be able to be together in person the quickest way possible, the cheapest way possible, and give me the quickest way to be eligible to work in the US.

I thought the K1 was the quickest, cheapest, most straight forward (we could file without a lawyer, I could enter and move all my things upon entry), and would give me the ability to work but I believe I have something wrong there.

 

Do you have any advice or knowledge about the two processes, the pros and cons?

 

Thank you for your time.

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Posted (edited)
36 minutes ago, inbriars said:

Our goal is to be able to be together in person the quickest way possible, the cheapest way possible, and give me the quickest way to be eligible to work in the US..

You don’t have a single goal.  
 

You need to rank your goals in order to make your decision.  
 

K-1 and even CR-1 are hellish imho, imo, and IME. IR-1 is where it is at: the least amount of interaction with USCIS and no messing around with temporary documents.  

 

Edited by Mike E

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Country: Canada
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Posted (edited)
9 minutes ago, Mike E said:

You don’t have a single goal. 

 

Our single goal would be to be together the quickest way. Based on your statement, it sounds like we cannot have all three goals. I am starting to see that people recommend the CR1 vs K1 due to the fact that they can work when they arrive, vs. K1 has a 6-9 month wait time while adjustment of status processes?

From what I read, we wouldn't be eligible for the IR until after we have been married for 2 years.

Edited by inbriars

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Canada
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Posted (edited)

Do you have a skillset/degree that qualifies you for a TN visa?  That's the quickest.  TN, by the way, is work only.  It's not an immigrant intent visa.  It's entirely employment based.  

 

Otherwise, spousal is likely the best route.  Yes, it will take probably 12-18mo, but it means you move to the US and are eligible for a social and can work straight away.  

 

You are eligible for a spousal straight away.  It will be a conditional, 2 year green card and you'll have to remove conditions, but not a big deal. 

Edited by mam521

Montreal IR-1/CR-1 FAQ

 

Montreal IR-1/CR-1 Visa spreadsheet: follow directions at top of page for data to be added

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, inbriars said:

Our single goal would be the be together the quickest way. Based on your statement, it sounds like we cannot have all three goals. I am starting to see that people recommend the CR1 vs K1 due to the fact that they can work when they arrive, vs. K1 has a 6-9 month wait time while adjustment of status processes?

From what I read, we wouldn't be eligible for the IR until after we have been married for 2 years.

A K-1 would be less than wise, imho.  A CR-1 is vastly superior....especially since you can still visit each other during the process.

Every couple has their own priorities, and each couple must decide which visa is better for their situation.

K-1        
    More expensive than CR-1    
    Requires Adjustment of Status after marriage (expensive and requires a lot of paperwork)    
    Spouse can not leave the US until she/he receives approved Advance Parole (approx 6-8 months)    
    Spouse can not work until she/he receives EAD (approx 6-8 months)    
    Some people have had problems with driver licenses, Social Security cards, leases, bank account during this period    
    Spouse will not receive Green Card for many months after Adjustment of Status is filed.
    A denied K-1 is sent back to USCIS to expire
  

CR-1
    Less expensive than K-1    
    No Adjustment of Status(I-485, I-131, I-765) required.    
    Spouse can immediately travel outside the US    
    Spouse is authorized to work immediately upon arrival.    
    Spouse receives Social Security Card and Green Card within 2 or 3 weeks after entering the US    
    Opening a bank account, getting a driver's license, etc. are very easily accomplished with GC, SS card, and passport.

    Spouse has legal permanent Resident status IMMEDIATELY upon entry to US.
   


 

Edited by Crazy Cat

"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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Posted (edited)

The quickest way to a green card is a spousal visa...a CR-1.  In addition, it is the most straight forward and less expensive.

"I thought the K1 was the quickest, cheapest, most straight forward (we could file without a lawyer, I could enter and move all my things upon entry), and would give me the ability to work but I believe I have something wrong there."  Yes, that was a miscalculation.  Good luck.

Edited by Crazy Cat

"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: AOS (apr) Country: Kazakhstan
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Posted (edited)

~ Topic moved from K1 forum to What Visa Do I Need ~
 

Sorry, but there’s no such thing as quickest in US immigration. Montreal is one of the busiest consulates in the world. K1 and CR1 would take about the same time for you and because of that I’d go with spousal: if you gotta wait essentially the same time might as well choose a more superior of the two. 
 

14 minutes ago, inbriars said:

K1 has a 6-9 month wait time while adjustment of status processes?

8.5-12 months for employment authorization card (EAD) and a year on average for a green card. Some longer, for example Seattle is a 2 year wait time. I received my GC in 7 months, never received EAD/AP

Edited by powerpuff

 

 

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Country: Canada
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8 minutes ago, Crazy Cat said:

A K-1 would be less than wise, imho.  A CR-1 is vastly superior.

I don't know how to reply to people so please ignore the quote.

 

Thank you so much for your post, it is really helpful laid out like that.

 

I worry about the processing time for the CR-1, that it will delay us being able to live and be together. Do you know how to tell the processing time? It appears it depends on which office processes your paperwork, but I don't know how to tell which would receive ours.

I worry with a K1 that I would have difficulty visiting, versus with a CR-1 (if I have it correct) I can freely visit?

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Canada
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1 minute ago, inbriars said:

I do not unfortunately, I have looked into this route. Thank you so much!

No worries.  

 

I'd do spousal.  Get married, file ASAP.  The paperwork isn't actually too bad.  If you go slowly and carefully, you can do it without a lawyer easily enough.  It will probably take about 8mo for the I-130 approval and then a couple of more months to get through the NVC and interview.  You will enter the US, able to work.  

 

Unfortunately, there is absolutely nothing fast about immigration and your wife will likely have to return to the US to establish domicile once you've gotten past the I-130 approval phase.  It sucks, but as long as you maintain sufficient ties to Canada, you can visit her until your interview.  


Montreal IR-1/CR-1 FAQ

 

Montreal IR-1/CR-1 Visa spreadsheet: follow directions at top of page for data to be added

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1 minute ago, inbriars said:

I don't know how to reply to people so please ignore the quote.

 

Thank you so much for your post, it is really helpful laid out like that.

 

I worry about the processing time for the CR-1, that it will delay us being able to live and be together. Do you know how to tell the processing time? It appears it depends on which office processes your paperwork, but I don't know how to tell which would receive ours.

I worry with a K1 that I would have difficulty visiting, versus with a CR-1 (if I have it correct) I can freely visit?

The processing times between a K-1 and a CR-1 are actually not much different.  However, the time to a Green Card is a lot faster with a CR-1.  You can visit at the discretion of CBP at the border.  


"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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Country: Canada
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3 minutes ago, powerpuff said:

~ Topic moved from K1 forum to What Visa Do I Need ~

Thank you for moving the post to the proper area and for your help.

 

Do you know if it is possible to get married in the US, but come back to Canada while the CR-1 processes (and visit in between)?

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Canada
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Just now, inbriars said:

Thank you for moving the post to the proper area and for your help.

 

Do you know if it is possible to get married in the US, but come back to Canada while the CR-1 processes (and visit in between)?

Yes, as long as you leave, you can get married in the US.  People do Vegas weddings all of the time :)  You could plan whatever you want and get married essentially wherever you want.  


Montreal IR-1/CR-1 FAQ

 

Montreal IR-1/CR-1 Visa spreadsheet: follow directions at top of page for data to be added

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Filed: AOS (apr) Country: Kazakhstan
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Just now, inbriars said:

Do you know if it is possible to get married in the US, but come back to Canada while the CR-1 processes (and visit in between)

Yes that is allowed

 

Regarding your question on how long would K1 take if you’re going through Canada. It’s about 2 years. See the post/timelines below:


https://www.visajourney.com/timeline/k1list.php?op6=All&op66=All&op7=Canada&op1=h&op2=&op3=1&op4=1&op5=5%2C6%2C8%2C10%2C11%2C13%2C14%2C15%2C16%2C17%2C18%2C20%2C21%2C22%2C25%2C26%2C27%2C28%2C108%2C110%2C111%2C208%2C210%2C211&cfl=

 

 

 


 

 

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1 minute ago, inbriars said:

Our single goal would be the be together the quickest way.

Historically k-1 had been faster. Not so much the past 3 years.  Picking K-1 today is betting 1. that the Covid induced K-1 backlog will ebb in time to make a difference to you and 2. that there won’t be more Covid lock downs at USCIS and the Montreal consulate.  If I could legally bet against these outcomes I would.  
 

1 minute ago, inbriars said:

 

Based on your statement, it sounds like we cannot have all three goals. I am starting to see that people recommend the CR1 vs K1 due to the fact that they can work when they arrive, vs. K1 has a 6-9 month wait time while adjustment of status processes?

9 months is optimistic. More like 12 or more months.  

1 minute ago, inbriars said:

From what I read, we wouldn't be eligible for the IR until after we have been married for 2 years.

Technically true but as a practical matter this is false considering that the goal is to avoid I-751 aka removal of conditions. You can avoid I-751 with a CR-1 if you enter the USA  2 or more years after the date you marry.  Two  points about a spousal immigration visa (SIV)

 

1. A family based SIV starts with an I-130.  Once the I-130 is approved, visa processing commences and the beneficiary controls the pace up until requesting an interview appointment. 

 

2. Once a SIV has been issued,  the beneficiary has 6 months  to use the SIV.  

 

So I-130 is approved 18 months or more after the date of marriage, the beneficiary goes full steam ahead  with the paving.  
 

Otherwise the beneficiary waits until the 18 month wedding anniversary to start the visa processing phase. If the visa is issued before 2 year marriage anniversary, the beneficiary waits until the 2 year anniversary of the marriage and then enters the USA. Legally the  beneficiary will be issued a 10 year green card.  
 

Considering how long people waited for past 3 years, 2 years isn’t much.  The drama, the cost, and time wasted with I-751 makes IR-1 /  slow rolled CR-1 the best of all paths. 

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