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Getting Married In The Philippines
Many of my clients who have fallen in love with someone from the Philippines, file for a K1 Fiance Visa so their fiancés can to come to the US to get married. Applying for a K1 Fiance Visa seems to be the most popular course of action for most couples to get married and live together in the United States. The K1 Fiance visa works great, but there is another very good option to consider. You could get married in the Philippines and apply for a Marriage Visa instead.
If you get married in the Philippines, you will need to file for a CR1 Marriage Visa instead of the K1 Fiance Visa. The overall costs and processing times are similar, but the CR1 Marriage Visa has one big advantage over the K1 Fiance Visa, it comes with a Green Card. Once the Filipino spouse arrives in the United States on their CR1 Visa, USCIS will send him or her their Legal Permanent Residency Card (commonly known as the Green Card).
If you decide that you would like to get married in the Philippines and then apply for a CR1 Marriage Visa, you need to review the rules for getting married in the Philippines. You can find the most current rules and the steps for getting married in the Philippines by visiting the US Embassy site for Manila, Philippines at: http://manila.usembassy.gov/marriage.html.
There are rules for a church wedding and for a civil wedding. Either way, you should carefully review the steps for each and follow all procedures. Make sure you allow yourself enough time in the Philippines to complete all the required tasks and waiting periods.
Fiance Visa, Letters of love and Intent
When applying for a Fiance Visa, both the Petitioner and the Beneficiary (the couple) should submit signed personal letters describing how they met and fell in love and further state their intent to get married within 90 days after the beneficiary fiance arrives in the US. The fiance visa is granted to those couples who are truly in love and have met in person at least once within a 2 year period of time prior to the application filing date for the fiance visa. Each letter should describe how you met one another and what caused you to fall in love. You should describe your meeting and the things you did together. Because the fiance visa requires you to get married within 90 days after the beneficiary fiance arrives in the US, each of your letters should state that you intend to get married as required. I always recommend that each of my Fiance Visa clients state at the end of their letters that they intend to get married within 90 days after their future wife or husband arrives in The United States.
If you have any questions about applying for a K1 Fiance Visa, please feel free to call me toll free at 1-888-515-3529. I am always happy to answer your questions.