Fiancee Visa (K-1) vs. Spousal Visa (CR-1)

Should I use a K-1 Fiancee Visa and marry my lady in the United States OR use a CR-1 Visa (Spousal Visa/Marriage Visa) and marry my lady in the Philippines?

We have tried to summarize the advantages and disadvantages of both the K-1 and the CR-1 visa. It is entirely up to you to choose which process to follow. We will be happy to assist you in obtaining either one!


Fiancee (K-1) Visa

This K1 visa is the FASTEST to get, usually taking four to six months processing time.

You don't need to marry immediately in your Fiancée's country or the U.S.

You bring your love to the U.S. as your Fiancee, and both of you have 90 days to get married. This allows you both to get to know each other better and make a better decision about marriage, which for most people is a very important life decision.

You deal nearly exclusively with the U.S. immigration system and U.S. immigration officials here, in the United States. You largely avoid dealing with sometimes arcane and cumbersome legal rules for marriage and immigration in the Philippines.

You avoid dealing with local foreign procedures of marriage in a foreign country.

Your fiancee has a chance to see the country and get familiar with U.S. customs before the marriage.

In general, much less supporting documentation are needed for a K-1 visa, and officials are less picky with the documents than the other way (Philippine marriage and CR-1 Spousal Visa).

Allows both of you the option, subject to the filing and approval of I-131 Travel Authorization, to return to the bride's home country for a "show" or fictitious wedding for the benefit of her family and friends.

Your Fiancée needs to make a strong effort to convince the Immigration Officer at the U.S. Embassy in the Philippines that you are both in love and are planning to get married upon her arrival in the U.S.

You need to make a strong effort to convince your lady and her family that your intentions regarding the fiancee visa are sincere and honorable. This is because most ladies and their families in the Philippines are quite conservative and the fiancee visa means that you will be taking her away from her home on a mere promise of future marriage.

Her close family and friends will NOT see your Fiancée get married in the U.S. unless they could manage to obtain another type of visa such as a tourist visa, which is VERY hard to obtain.

Important Notice: Effective February 1st, 2010, when both petitions have been approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) or when USCIS approves the I-130 before the I-129F, the availability of, as well as the need for, a non-immigrant K-3 visa ends.

If the NVC receives both an approved I-130 petition and an approved I-129F petition: The non-immigrant K-3 visa case will be administratively closed.

Many of our competitors are not informing clients and potential clients of this fact but despite what you may have been told or heard:

The K3 visa is no longer a viable option. We recommend the CR-1 Spousal Visa. To learn more about the CR-1 or IR-1 (depending on length of marriage)

click here: CR-1 Spousal Visa

Spousal visa (CR-1)

You get married immediately. Your spouse's family and friends will be able to attend your wedding.

Since with a Spousal visa your wife gains U.S. legal residency immediately, future immigration work is substantially reduced. There is no need to file for the Adjustment of Status Application and wait for months during which time your wife cannot travel freely without obtaining travel parole every time she travels outside of the U.S.

Another advantage of having a CR1 Visa is the fact that it gives your wife a Green Card and a Social Security Number, and permits her to work immediately in the U.S. upon entry. Furthermore, this visa allows your spouse to travel outside U.S. for business or vacation purposes, provided that she does not remain outside the country beyond six (6) months.

There can be a lot of "red tape". Extensive supporting documentation is usually necessary of a U.S. Citizen trying to get married in a foreign country like the Philippines.

Philippine law prescribes a ten-day waiting period from the filing of the Application to the issuance of the marriage license.

Marriage in a the Philippines can take up to 21 days. It cannot be accomplished in 14 days.

If the contracting parties are between the ages of 18 and 21, they must present written consent to the marriage from their father, mother or legal guardian. While any contracting party between the age of 22 and 25 must present written parental advice, i.e., a written indication that the parents are aware of the couple's intent to marry.

Philippine law requires a Certificate of Attendance in a pre-marital counseling and family planning seminar conducted by the Division of Maternal and Child Health at the Municipal/City Hall in the same municipality or city where the contracting parties applied for the marriage license.

This process is very document-sensitive which means that if you are missing a document, you may have to fly back to the U.S. in order to obtain a necessary document before process can be completed.

You might end up paying more for the expenses, for the marriage ceremony, and Embassy visa processing charges and other fees than you would with a K1 visa.