2016 K1 Fiance Visa or CR1 Spouse Visa: Which is better? faq K118

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When bringing your partner to live with you in the United States, you have two choices and they both include marriage. Either plan to marry in the USA and apply for a Fiance Visa (K-1) or marry first then apply for a Spouse (CR-1) visa. Which is better for you, depends on your priorities. The three main considerations most couples have are speed, cost, and how early the spouse can work in the USA
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Fiancee or Spouse visa, Which one is right for you? http://www.visacoach.com/choosing-marriage-visas.html
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Front Loaded Fiance Visa Petition http://www.visacoach.com/front-loaded-petition.html
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K1 Fiancee Visa http://www.visacoach.com/how-bring-fiancee-to-usa.html
K1 Fiance Visa Timeline http://www.visacoach.com/k1-visa-timeline.html
CR1 Spousal Visa http://www.visacoach.com/how-bring-spouse-to-usa.html
CR1 Spouse Visa Timeline http://www.visacoach.com/cr1-visa-timeline.html
Green Card /Adjustment of Status http://www.visacoach.com/how-apply-green-card.html
When bringing your partner to live with you in the United States, you have two choices and they both include marriage.

Sorry, but US immigration does not offer a boy or girlfriend visas.

Lets start by comparing the K-1 and the CR-1. First of all, the K-1 Visa is a Fiancée Visa. You are both free to marry but not married. This visa allows your foreign fiancée to enter the USA for up to ninety days. If she marries you within those ninety days, she is then eligible to apply for permanent residency and to stay in the USA and to obtain her green card.

The Spouse Visa, CR-1 Visa allows your foreign spouse, who you already married, to enter the United States and her permanent residency is already pre-approved. Actually there are two kinds of spouse visa, the CR1 and the IR1. The only difference is how long you are married. If married less than two years your spouse gets a CR1 visa. If married longer, your spouse gets an IR1. Since most of my married clients are newlyweds, I will just refer to CR1 visas, but the process is the same for IR1’s also.

Spouse or fiance visas are similar, but which is better for you, depends on your priorities. The three main considerations
most couples have are speed, cost, and how early the spouse can work in the USA.

For Speed, the fiance visa is about 7 months faster.
For Economy the spouse visa costs about $700 less.
For work in USA, the spouse visa allows your spouse to work immediately upon arrival.

The process for a K-1 Fiancée Visa is as follows. First of all, you have to have met face to face. This does not count webcams or Skype or telephone calls. This means the two of you, being physically in the same space, meeting each other, seeing each other, breathing the same air. That’s the basic eligibility requirement.

Then, once you have met, you decide you want to marry and are engaged you submit a fairly substantial application to USCIS, that’s Homeland Security. Homeland security reviews the petition and usually within two to three months later approves (their part) then passes the case on to the US Department of State.

The Department of State operates our consulates around the world. They’ll send your case to the consulate that’s closest to your fiancée. The consulate asks her in for a screening interview and that is when the visa is approved or denied. visa. Once the Visa is granted, the visa is good for six months and she can travel to the USA. Once here, she gets ninety days, to look over the situation, and get married to you.

After the wedding there is one final step, your spouse’s K1 visa is expiring, for permission for your new spouse to remain permanently in the USA you need apply for “Adjustment of Status.”
Your spouse is “adjusting” her status from a temporary (90 day) visitor to a Lawful Permanent Resident.

In the case of a Spouse visa, you first marry your foreign partner. You then prepare and submit the spouse visa application to Homeland Security. USCIS reviews and hopefully, approves within two to three months.

After USCIS approval, they pass on your case to the Department of State, to their National Visa Center, NVC located in New Hampshire.