(Closed) K1 visa or Immigrant visa..which is the better route to being together in the US

posted 6 years ago in Legal
Post # 3
Member
2 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Hi there!

Firstly, where are you from?

I am from the UK, my fiance is in Northern VA, and we’ve gone down the K1 route. It’s the safest. If you get married outside the US, you then file for a K3, but it actually takes longer to process than the K1.

If you just got to the US on a holiday and get married, it can be very risky, proving you never had that intention and did it on a whim is pretty difficult.

Your best bet is to suck it up and apply asap for your K1. If you click on this link,

http://www.visajourney.com/timeline/k1list.php?cfl=0&op1=4&op2=d&op3=1&op4=2&op5=5,6,8,10,11,13,14,15,16,17,18,20,21,22,25,26,27,28,108,110,111,208,210,211&op6=Vermont%20Service%20Center&op7=United%20Kingdom&dfile=No&adv=0#

it will take you to a website called ‘visa journey’ where you can track other peoples’ progress with their K1s, and what stage they’re at, and how long they’ve had to wait for each section of the process. Our journey is on there too! We should be getting out NOA 2 (request for more paperwork) in the next few weeks or so, going by people who submitted their applications a few weeks before us!

It’s really hard to wait. Trust me, I know. But I’d rather wait, and have a skype relationship, than risk everything by doing it the wrong way.

Good luck!

Libby

Post # 4
Member
2 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: October 2012

Oh, and also, no need for a lawyer. It’s pretty self explanatory, and there are lots of blogs and websites out there from people who’ve done it before, helping you get through the paperwork.

Lawyers are expensive and unnecessary.

As far as I’m aware there are no hidden costs. You pay for the K1, you pay for your medical exam, you get to the US, get married, and pay for an adjustment of Status (AOS) and apply for green card/work visa. Again, more money… but, hey, love’s worth it!

 

Post # 5
Member
1766 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

K1 is quicker, but you will also have to file AOS once you are married. Also, it will be hard to plan the wedding, since your wedding date depends on when you will get the K1. You will have 6 months to enter the States after the visa is issued, and 90 days to get married once you are here.

The immigrant route (CR1?) will take more time and you won’t be able to live with your husband right after your wedding. On the other hand, you will get your green card right away, shortly after you enter the US.

Either way, you can do this youself. No need to get a lawyer. It’s helpful to find an internet board with other people who are in the process, like the one Libby posted.

Good luck to both of you!

Post # 6
Member
1091 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2018 - Oakland Manor

I love/d visa journey! We did the K1, and I wrote about it for weddingbee. This is the last post I wrote, but it has links to all the others. http://www.weddingbee.com/2011/11/01/the-last-immigration-post/

Currently, we’re in the transition phase between the provisional card and the full 10 year card. The hidden costs for us were all around the K1, there haven’t really been others after that. The hidden costs were mostly around the medical things. For example, the US approved doctors were in London, but London was about 4+ hours from where Mr. D lived. So we had to get train tickets, stay with a friend, pay for the visit, etc. Then we also had to get an approved doctor to transcribe (aka copy) Mr.D’s vaccination records. Looking back, I would have budgeted an additional $500 for the k1 to cover those expenses. 

If you think you’ll want to eventually go for citizenship, do the K1. You can begin the process a year earlier. 

Post # 8
Member
1137 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

VisaJourney = <3

We hired a lawyer, paid him $2,500 to do virtually nothing, and then fired him when I discovered VisaJourney and realized 95% of what he told us was utter bullcrap and we could have done everything ourselves!

My Darling Husband is Canadian and I am American. We lived in border towns and he works in Canada. We went the CR-1 route because if you do the K1, you’re not allowed to leave the US once you enter on your Visa until you receive your Green Card (up to 8 months) and Darling Husband needed to be able to go to work everyday. The only thing that really sucked was that Darling Husband had to live in Canada after we were married for the 10 months that his application was in process, but we could visit back and forth, so it wasn’t unbearable. 

 

Post # 9
Member
1766 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

“I wonder then if it just makes sense to wait the year and do the C-1 immigrant visa (everything done from Jamaica) which is averaging 10-12 months? hmm?”

This really depends on your personal preference.  Would you rather be separated from each other before or after the wedding?  Also, how important is it for you to have permission to work once you are in the US? When you file AOS, it takes about 2-3 months to get the Employment Authorization Document. If you do the CR1, you will be able to work right away once you are here.

Post # 11
Member
2 posts
Wannabee
  • Wedding: September 2012

We were given bad legal advice, set a wedding date and now have learned we need to change our course of action. We will ‘marry’ in advance to start the I130 process. Has anyone does this and will we need a lawyer? so far the I130 and I 295 seem easy breasy.

Visa Journey seems hard to navigate – am I just impatient?

 

Thanks!

Post # 13
Member
1 posts
Wannabee

Hi Island babes, myself n my husband is from Jamaica. I am a citizen n lives in NY b4 we got married last July i was actually thinking about going the F1 route but when i thought of the cost it wasnt worth it u first have to file the I129f which is $340 u only get a non immigrant visa so if any emergency n u have to travel u end up being stuck then u have 3mths to get married after which u have to now adjust ur status with I485 $985 plus $85 biometric fee n the timeline for a actual greencard after that is over a yr. After i got married in july  because i filed for my mom first i waited until late nov(2 mths after she received her green card)to file the I130 $420 for my husband in mid mar i received the AOS bill $80 n the choice of agent form, in mid apr i received the IV bill $230(new law reduced it from $400 in mar2012) just sent in the IV app with documents n waiting 4 an interview date. When he comes here he will already have a temp green card good 4 a yr n he’ll get the perm one by mail n he will get a ss# right away. This way he’s able to get a job n travel without limit as soon as he wants to. Its more time away from him thats where oovoo video chat comes in or i take a quick wknd trip but in all i rather him come with something in his hand than nothing he will be able to help his family more quicker

Post # 14
Member
4663 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

We are filing ourselves. I know SO much about this immigration stuff now because of it.
There are so many steps and so many different agencies: USCIS, NVC, US Border Services, etc.

In the end we signed the paperwork in December/11 and applied for the CR1 (Conditional Resident visa for those married <2 years). This is similar to the K3 visa, but they tend to do the CR1 more now than the K3. It seemed to be easier and faster to get the spousal visa than the fiance visa.

PM ME WITH ANY QUESTIONS because I have tons of info after talking to USCIS on end for many hours and researching obsessively 🙂

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