Articles Posted in CR1 Marriage Visa

Getting married to a US citizen is perhaps the fastest way for a foreign national to get a visa to enter the United States and become a Legal Permanent Resident and possibly later, a US Citizen. It’s also the easiest way to stay in the United States after your visa expires. Professing that you are in love with a US Citizen is highly subjective and this reality creates an environment for fraud.

As we all know, people of widely different backgrounds and ages can fall in love. Relationships are formed from an almost endless line of circumstances. Some are formed after diligent search and some by unexpected chance. There is no set formula for falling in love and who we should fall in love with. That being said, there are a few factors or issues that are possible signs of fraud.

Age: Although a great disparity in age is not proof positive of a fraudulent relationship, it will likely give rise to a heightened level scrutiny. An age difference of 25 years of more will raise a few eyebrows. There is no magic age limit, but if the couple are separated by so many years that it’s hard to imagine what they may have in common, it will be an issue that must be overcome. A relationship where one person is in their late 60s and another in their late teens or early 20s is going to be very suspicious. Showing how the relationship was formed and how the couple interacts with each other will be important.

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Obtaining a CR1 Marriage Visa starts with the submission of the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative form and all the required documents with USCIS. After receiving approval of your I-130 form, you will next be contacted by the National Visa Center who will send you a letter or email instructing you to pay your fees and to submit your Immigrant Visa Application Form and your I-864 Affidavit of Support, along with more documents. The National Via Center has updated their form and is now using an online form called the DS-260. This replaces the older DS 230 form.

To start working on the new online DS-260 Immigrant Visa Application form, you will need to go to:  https://ceac.state.gov/CEAC/ and then click on the link for the DS 260 form. Before you can login to complete your form, you will need your NVC case number your NVC ID number. You can find this on your NVC email or letter. As you proceed through the form, you will be asked a number of questions and then when each page is complete, you can proceed to the next page. You cannot proceed to the next page until every question is fully answered. If you need to exit the form to get the answer(s) to a question you cannot answer on the spot, I suggest you save the form and then return later with your answer(s) to continue.

You will need a copy of your USCIS I-797 Approval Notice and a copy of the beneficiaries passport bio page to complete the form.

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Today, there are more options than ever to find someone to help you apply for a Fiance Visa or Marriage Visa. There are discount visa processing companies located in virtually every country in the world, numerous attorneys and law firms, friends who have gone through the immigration process and claim to know something about it, and yourself.

Processing your visa paperwork is a very important step to insure that you and your loved one can stay together and become the family that you want to be. No matter who you hire, great care must be given to your application to make sure it is done correctly and timely. And regardless of who you hire, it’s an expensive undertaking. For sure, there are differences in the fees charged by the various service providers for their work, but when you add in the filing fees, its expensive no matter who you chose. I guess what I am trying to say is that this is no time to be “penny wise and pound foolish”. You will always get what you pay for. The lowest that I have found for the discount Fiance or Marriage Visa processing companies is around $500. That’s really cheap. The most expensive I have found for a law firm is around $2700. I think something like $1000-1300 for the legal work is fair.

The question you should be asking yourself is not who is the cheapest service provider, but who provides you with the best value for your money. To determine this, you have to understand what it is you should be looking for and what level of service and care do you really need. 

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Adjusting status to become a Legal Permanent Resident while in the United States on a Visa Waiver requires careful thought and analysis.

USCIS and the US State Department is particularly sensitive to matching a persons true intent when entering the United States with the appropriate type of visa or special entry permission, like a Visa Waiver. It is an absolute “no no” to use a Visa Waiver to enter the United States for the purpose of getting married and applying to become a Legal Permanent Resident (immigrant). To do so would likely constitute fraud. The visitors intent at the time of entry is the issue.

If a person enters the United States as a visitor under the Visa Waiver program and truly intends to visit with no agenda to get married and then after entering the United States, thereafter decides to get married and wishes to stay, applying for Legal Permanent Residency is a permissible option.

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Today, thousands of students from across the world study in the United States and fall in love with a US Citizen and get married. Understandably, the loving couple want to stay together. This can be accomplished.

Most students arrive on either a J1 or F1 Student visa. Depending on the type of visa originally granted to the foreign student, there are a few alternative procedures that apply to a student who wishes to gain Legal Permanent Residency or their Green Card after getting married to a US Citizen.

Students with J-1 Visa

J-1 Visas are issued to Exchange Visitors who are participating in an established J Exchange program pre-approved by the State Department.

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What makes the CR1 and IR1 Marriage Visas so great is that they come with a Green Card. Once issued, there is no need to do anything else to obtain your Legal Permanent Residency….”Green Card”.  This means no application for an Adjustment of Status! This benefit of the Marriage Visas is in stark contrast to the K1 Fiance Visa, which requires the Beneficiary, once married, to apply for Legal Permanent Residency.In most cases, applying for a Green Card takes hours of legal work, several months of waiting and the filing fees alone are over one thousand dollars.

If you have any questions or would like to discuss the benefits of a Marriage Visa by comparison to a Finace Visa and what Visa is best for you, please feel free to call me at 1-888-515-3529.

Jeffrey C. Pettys