Which is Better, K-1 Fiance Visa or CR-1 Marriage Visa?

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The K-1 Fiance Visa and CR-1 Marriage Visa (also called the Spouse visa) both have their own benefits and detriments.

For the K1 Visa, one Fiance must be a US Citizen with the intention of marrying within the 90 days after the foreign Fiance enters the US on the K-1 Visa. Afterward, the Green Card filing may begin through a process called the adjustment of status where the Fiance would be adjusting from a K-1 to a Green Card Holder (also known as a lawful permanent resident). One advantage of the fiance visa is that the process is relatively fast to enter the US compared to the CR-1 Visa.

For the Spouse visa, there are three actual “marriage visas,” and they are as follows: IR-1, CR-1, and K-3 visas.

  • IR-1 Visa means the spouses have been married for MORE than two years when they attend the consular interview.
  • CR-1 Visa means the spouses have been married for LESS than two years when they attend the consular interview.
  • K3 Visa does not consider the length of the marriage, it can have a spouse enter the US as fast as the K-1 Fiance Visa, except it would require Adjustment of Status to a Green Card Holder and K-3 Visas are rarely granted. (K-3 Article found here: The K3 Visa: The Nearly Forgotten Spousal Green Card Visa)

Spousal Visas are generally slower than the Fiance Visa since the Consulates can be greatly backlogged or can shut down due to safety or health reasons. However, when someone enters the US on the IR1 or CR1 Spousal Visa, the Green Card status is immediate and a temporary Green Card is placed in the foreign passport.

Which is Visa is Faster: Fiance Versus Spousal Visa?

While all visa processes are similar, a fiance visa can bring a fiance to the United States quicker. However, the Adjustment of Status can take a few months to a few years, which could make the spousal visa filing quicker in the long run. The key determiner is the I485 Filing needed after entering the US on a K-1 and K-3 Visa.

To see how long the I-485 Adjustment of Status could take in your state, you can check USCIS processing times and search under form I-485:

How do I check USCIS processing times?

More Information on the Fiance Visa:

K-1 Fiance Visa

Related Blog Posts:

Electronic I-130: A New E-filing Option

What does a USCIS Receipt Number (MSC, LIN, SRC, EAC, WAC, IOE) Mean?



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