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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi! Apologies if there has been another post like this but I really just wanted to see what people thought about our situation. My Fiancee and I really want to get married soon in the hope that I can eventually live to the US. We are unsure if it is best to get married here in the UK and then apply for a green card, or if it is best to get married in the US after applying for a K1 visa. We also thought about getting married whilst on a tourist visa but this seems risky.

if anyone has any advice about this, or any idea timelines, that would be such a great help.

we are desperate to be together!
 

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There is a 9 to 12 month wait to get a visa to reside permanently in the States whether you:

a) marry in the States, (no visa necessary and you can do this on the VWP progrma) the Brit flies home and then applies for the spouse visa. DO NOT attempt to adjust status if marrying on the visa waiver program as this could result in refusal and a ban.

b) you apply for a fiance visa, obtain the visa and then marry once in the States, and then adjust status.

c) if you get married in the UK you have to apply for a marriage visitor visa, get married then the US spouse flies back to the States and you then apply for the US spouse visa.


You wait for the US visa whatever route you take; but if getting married is the most important thing for you then go for a)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi,

Thank you so much for your quick reply! This is so helpful.

Right now our priority is to be together as soon as we can but are obviously unsure about which option is best. Is the VWP programme the tourist visa (ESTA)?

Also I'm not sure if you would know this - but I returned to the UK in June after studying abroad in the U.S. so I was on a J1 visa. do you know if i should wait a certain amount of time before returning, if I was to go and get married?

thanks so much again !
 

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Hi,

Thank you so much for your quick reply! This is so helpful.

Right now our priority is to be together as soon as we can but are obviously unsure about which option is best. Is the VWP programme the tourist visa (ESTA)?

Also I'm not sure if you would know this - but I returned to the UK in June after studying abroad in the U.S. so I was on a J1 visa. do you know if i should wait a certain amount of time before returning, if I was to go and get married?

thanks so much again !
- Yes the VWP is the tourist visa with ESTA

- As soon as you are married you can apply for the spouse visa.

- if you want to go the fiance route you can apply immediately.

You won't be together permanently until such time as you obtain the relevant visa.

Have you researched into what is required for your partner to sponsor you?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks so much again for your reply.

Firstly yes, we've both done plenty of research and we would be able to legally marry and apply for the relevant visa. I didn't mention my partner has dual citizenship and is a UK citizen so wouldn't need to apply for a visa to marry.

Would you say it's quicker to apply for a K1 or to marry in the UK, meaning my partner would apply from the U.S.? I would go to the U.S. to marry and then leave but I'm worried about being turned away at border control as I have only recently left the U.S. I have a job starting next month so I would be able to provide this as evidence that I'm returning to the UK.
 

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Thanks so much again for your reply.

Firstly yes, we've both done plenty of research and we would be able to legally marry and apply for the relevant visa. I didn't mention my partner has dual citizenship and is a UK citizen so wouldn't need to apply for a visa to marry.

Would you say it's quicker to apply for a K1 or to marry in the UK, meaning my partner would apply from the U.S.? I would go to the U.S. to marry and then leave but I'm worried about being turned away at border control as I have only recently left the U.S. I have a job starting next month so I would be able to provide this as evidence that I'm returning to the UK.
There is no quick route - you either wait as a fiance or wait as a spouse.

Since your partner is a UK citizen getting married in the US on the visa waiver or getting married in the UK is quick either way - its just the wedding itself which will dictate how long the procedure takes i.e a huge wedding with lots of logistics or a quick registry office ceremony.

If you have strong evidence of returning to the UK, the I don't see you would much of a problem entering the US again for a specific reason like getting married.

When did you leave the US?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks again for your responses - they are so greatly appreciated! there's so much info online it's difficult to sift through it all.

I left the U.S. on June 7th, so it's been about 5-6 weeks. If I entered the U.S. on a visa waiver, border patrol would let me in despite me telling them I was planning on marrying and leaving? getting through border patrol concerns me as I've heard many horror stories! but if I had a return ticket and a job offer letter I don't see how they would turn me away.
 

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5 to 6 weeks!

Why did you not get married while on the J1 visa (since you have now thinking about it only 6 weeks out of the country) ?? !!

Based on the regulations on your J1 you might have been able to get married and adjust status to remain - at least you could have got married.

You can always be turned away at the border............... maybe having left only 5 to 6 weeks ago is chancing it........
 

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Since you're both U.K. citizens if you want to be together that's the place to do it, in the U.K. You can both wait there while waiting for the U.S. visa for one of you.

I don't think you should be concerned about visiting the United States, even after 5+ weeks. U.S. CBP is not in the habit of sending U.K. citizens back in the circumstances you describe. However, if you are concerned, just get married in, say, Denmark.

The one major disadvantage to the K-1 visa is that you have to wait for work permission for some period of time after you marry in the U.S. The IR-1/CR-1 visa provides much quicker work permission after arriving in the U.S.

So, to summarize, one perfectly viable plan would be:

1. Both of you camp out in the United Kingdom.

2. Get married somewhere (e.g. Denmark). (You can schedule a wedding party for some other date if you wish. I'm talking about the civil procedure, not the celebration. The party can be practically anything you want and doesn't have to be at the same time.)

3. Your U.S. spouse files USCIS Form I-130 (and related attachments) to sponsor you for a CR-1 visa. Your spouse may be able to do so via the U.S. embassy in London with Direct Consular Filing.

4. You both wait in the U.K. (or elsewhere in the EU) and enjoy married life together until the visa is ready.

5. When you have your U.S. visa, head to the U.S. with your U.S. citizen spouse.

That'd work.

Note that for a two person household your U.S. citizen spouse will need to demonstrate an income of about US$20,000 or more in order to be a qualified financial sponsor for you. (Your income does not count for this test.) Alternatively, if the two of you together have reasonably liquid assets of US$100,000 or more, and spending those assets would not cause "serious" financial hardship for the household, that should be enough for financial sponsorship. If you cannot pass either financial test you'll need to find a qualified financial co-sponsor to obtain a U.S. visa.
 

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For a fincee visa
K1 Fiance Visa Process Flowchart and Timeline

US Citizen can apply for a special visa to allow a non-citizen (their fiancée) to enter the country in order to get married to a US citizen inside the US.
Once issued, the K1 visa will allow the non-citizen to enter the United States legally, for 90 days in order for the marriage ceremony to take place. Once you marry, the non-citizen can remain in the US and may apply for permanent residence. While USCIS processes the application, the non-citizen can remain in the US legally
The US citizen income must meet the require minimum to fulfill the affidavit of support
currently $19912 for a 2 person household
 

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Hindsight is 20/20:(

If it makes sense financially and career wise for the U.S. party to move to the UK to be able to file DCF is something I cannot say.

What will work better for them - CR1 or K1 is up to their individual circumstances.

All three options currently run a total of 9-12 months.

So - what are priorities? Be able to work upon arrival, move to the U.S., go through two moves?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi, thank you so much for your really helpful reply! I really appreciate it.

Everything you said doesn't completely doable. the only issue is that my partner is tied down with a job at the moment and is unable/doesn't want to leave the job in U.S. So unfortunately that plan wouldn't work :( thanks so much for your time though.

Do you have any idea of how long it would take for me to be able to legally work if we applied for a K1 visa, and then got married? now we are thinking of myself going to the U.S. to get married, then leaving to start my job. do you have an idea of how long the visa application would take? some have told me 4 months while some have told me 12.

thanks again for all your help, it's great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Hi, thanks so much for your reply.

you're certainly right about hindsight. if only.

unfortunately my partner is tied down to a job in the U.S. and doesn't want to leave so us both living in the UK isn't an option, even though it makes a lot of sense.

do you know anything about what it would be like if I went on a tourist visa and got married, then adjusted status? I know this isn't that safe but it does seem like the quickest way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Hi, thank you so much for your really helpful reply! I really appreciate it.

Everything you said doesn't completely doable. the only issue is that my partner is tied down with a job at the moment and is unable/doesn't want to leave the job in U.S. So unfortunately that plan wouldn't work :( thanks so much for your time though.

Do you have any idea of how long it would take for me to be able to legally work if we applied for a K1 visa, and then got married? now we are thinking of myself going to the U.S. to get married, then leaving to start my job. do you have an idea of how long the visa application would take? some have told me 4 months while some have told me 12.

thanks again for all your help, it's great.
 

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Hi, thanks so much for your reply.

you're certainly right about hindsight. if only.

unfortunately my partner is tied down to a job in the U.S. and doesn't want to leave so us both living in the UK isn't an option, even though it makes a lot of sense.

do you know anything about what it would be like if I went on a tourist visa and got married, then adjusted status? I know this isn't that safe but it does seem like the quickest way.
You just left after J1 and plan to claim a spontaneous marriage? It can turn into the slowest way.
 

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Hi, thank you so much for your really helpful reply! I really appreciate it.

Everything you said doesn't completely doable. the only issue is that my partner is tied down with a job at the moment and is unable/doesn't want to leave the job in U.S. So unfortunately that plan wouldn't work :( thanks so much for your time though.

Do you have any idea of how long it would take for me to be able to legally work if we applied for a K1 visa, and then got married? now we are thinking of myself going to the U.S. to get married, then leaving to start my job. do you have an idea of how long the visa application would take? some have told me 4 months while some have told me 12.

thanks again for all your help, it's great.
Not sure you are reading the information we have posted, since your current questions have already been addressed:

Spouse or fiance visa to the US will take between 9 to 12 months (the timescales appear to be going out - it used to be 6 to 9 months)

Do not go and get married and try and adjust status. Yours is not a spontaneous marriage so you will get refused, have to leave and probably a ban.
 
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