I get calls every day. And the conversation usually starts with no preamble but “I have a girl or boy friend overseas, please tell me, what is the BEST visa to get him or her here, Fiance or Spouse?”
My answer always is “well, it depends upon your situation and what your priorities are. It depends on what is important to you. Is it fastest speed? Lowest Cost? Relative simplicity? Are children involved? How old are they? Do you have enough income to self sponsor or do you need a co-sponsor?” And so on.
Only after I understand what the person’s situation is, and what his or her priorities are, can I suggest what visa might fit.
On reviewing annual US immigration statistics comparing how many K1 fiance visas are issued, compared to CR1 spouse visas, there is no clear cut winner in the “which is better” contest.
Amazingly enough it’s a TIE !
In recent experience about 40,000 of EACH are issued annually.
Again the real answer is “it depends”. That is one of the main reasons I invite future clients to first book a free case evaluation with me. Besides giving us the chance to get to know each other, and feel if we can work together, it gives me the opportunity to learn what is going on, and what the person wants. Then together we discuss the pros and cons and figure out which of the two visas best fits.
But today, I am going to list just the PROS, the TOP positive reasons why most who choose the Spouse Visa path, actually choose it.
Top reason Number 1: No Delay to have Wedding
The top reason couples choose the spouse visa is that well they want to get married immediately. They don’t want to wait for as long as it takes to get a fiance visa. They want to go to the altar now. They have the satisfaction that they are wed now. The paperwork, the visa’s can catch up later.
Number 2: Wedding among Foreign Spouse’s Family
Second reason is they desire to be wed in front of family and friends in the foreign fiance’s home country.
Number 3: Single Application Only
At the end of the day the dream is to have your foreign spouse living permanently with you in the United States. Applying for a spouse visa results in approval of what is called the Green Card. This is proof that the new foreign spouse has permission to remain permanently in the United States. When applying for a fiance visa instead the fiance visa does not approve your foreign partner for permanent residency but only for a short visit to the United States. During the short visit one gets married. Then after marriage applies for permanent residency and applies to get the green card. This means a fiance visa has two applications in order to obtain permanent residency. First they apply for the fiance visa, and then after the wedding apply for adjustment of status to permanent residency. The spouse visa combines the two together so that when the spouse visa is issued the permanent residency is also approved and the green card is waiting for the new spouse upon his or her arrival to the United States
Number 4: Lower Cost
When adding together all the fees it takes to apply for a fiancee visa and then also apply for permanent residency, compared to just applying for the spouse visa which automatically includes permanent residency, the combined government filing and medical exam fees are about $900 less
Number 5: Co-sponsor is Permitted
Some embassies do not allow the use of a co-sponsor for a fiance visa. In case the American sponsor’s income is not enough and a co-sponsor is needed, in such cases the spouse visa would be the only choice in that regardless of what country the foreign partner is from it is acceptable and allowed to use a co-sponsor.
Number 6: Bona fide relationship.
In general there is not too much difference between demonstrating The Bona fides of a engaged relationship versus a married relationship. However in some cases where there has been a previous denial or the couple has spent so much time together, that it looks odd that they are not married by now, then marriage and applying for the spouse visa is the preferred choice.
Number 7: Spouse can work Sooner
Upon arrival on a spouse visa, the spouse is pre-approved for green card and permanent residency. This means that the spouse can take a job and work in the USA immediately. This Compares with a fiance Visa, where the foreign partner is not allowed to work until after applying for adjustment of status and work authorization and usually must wait about 6 months for approval in order to start working. This is especially a problem if the foreign partner is the family breadwinner
The choice is yours, spouse or fiance visa, decide which is best for your own individual situation and priorities.
Click here for information on the Top Reasons K1 fiance visa is considered better
And of course if you want to discuss your options with me personally just book a time for a free case evaluation
By Fred Wahl