This video is for those who have not quite decided yet, which path is best for them. You are still trying to decide whether to get married first and apply for a CR1 spouse visa, or stay engaged and apply for the K1 Fiance Visa then marry once your partner arrives to the USA.
I am going to talk about both paths side by side, so you’ll understand what happens with either, and hopefully this will bring you closer to decide one way or the other.
And by the way last year there were about 40 thousand spouse visas issued, and also about 40 thousand fiance visas issued, so there is not a clear cut favorite, in answering the “which is better question”
Your partner needs permission from the US government to allow her or him to enter the USA. If you are just married, this is called a CR1 Spouse Visa, if you are planning to marry after arrival to the USA, this is called a K1 Fiancee visa.
Finally your Partner attends the interview at the US consulate.
This is the BIG event.
During the interview, the consular officer must be CONVINCED your the relationship is bona fide and not a sham for immigration purposes.
As previously mentioned, at the interview, is where the high quality VisaCoach “front loaded application” typically wins the day.
The consular officer always reviews the case file before the interview starts. We craft your application so that he finds many good reasons why he should trust you and approve the visa. Even before he invites your Fiance or Spouse to sit in front of his desk, we want him to have seen our carefully selected and presented evidences and be mentally prepared to say “yes”.
Typically, the interview turns into a fast and friendly, formality. Most VisaCoach clients hear “Welcome to the USA” in just 3 to 4 minutes
One to Two weeks later your Partner’s passport with visa are delivered, to her or him via courier, and then and your Partner has six months to start the trip to join you in the USA.
Here again is where the paths between Spouse Visa and Fiance Visas split up.
Arriving on a CR1 spouse visa, your spouse is already approved for permanent residency. Usually your partners Green Card, which proves permanent residency has been granted arrives in the mail in about 2 to three months. You are now temporarily done with immigration, however the new green card is conditional, only valid for 2 years. In two years we must go back to USCIS to upgrade it. More about this later.
Arriving on a K1 fiance visa, you have 90 days to “get to know each other better”, if that is what you need, AND to marry. You don’t have to marry, but if you do not, your foreign fiancee should leave the USA before the 90 days is up.
After the wedding your Fiance does not have to leave the country, she or he can remain with you as your spouse, IF you apply to US immigration for permission for her to remain in the USA as a lawful permanent resident. This is called Adjustment of Status. Your new spouse adjusts her or his status from that of a temporary 90 day fiance visa visitor to a permanent resident.
At the end of the Adjustment of Status application process your spouse gets what is known as the Green Card.
But US immigration is still cautious, still skeptical. The Green card that is granted is only “conditional”. Meaning it is good for only two years.
Now the paths of Fiance and Spouse visas join again.
And from now on there no longer is any different treatment. In both cases you are married, living together in the USA, and holding Conditional Green Cards that expire in two years.
Before the two years is up we apply once again. This time it is called “Application for Removal of Conditions on Residence” We apply, it is granted and now your spouse gets a regular Green Card that does not have conditions.
A year later, (after a total of three years as a permanent resident) your spouse, is eligible to apply for US citizenship and get a US passport.
And don’t worry. Even though there are many steps, VisaCoach is ready to help you through each and every step, from Visa through to Conditional Green Card then Un-conditional Green Card and finally to US Citizenship
By Fred Wahl