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Is it easier to get a Fiancee visa (K-1) or a Spouse visa (IR1 or CR1)?

Mesquite, TX |

I am engaged to a Filipino woman and we're planning on marrying when I go back to the Philippines in Jan. I'm not sure which visa would move us quicker through the process to get her here.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Best answer

    Processing times for both fluctuate. Generally the fiance visas move a bit faster, but that is definitely not always the case. As my colleague pointed out, there is a backlog for the spousal petitions, but it seems that will be hopefully be getting resolved soon. There will be an additional step to adjust status if she does come here as a fiancee. I would probably recommend doing the spousal petition, since you are already planning to get married in January anyway, and also because, as my other colleague pointed out, the Philippines are considered a higher fraud country. If you are already married, it tends to prove that the relationship is bona fide, more so than an engagement. Either way be prepared to prove up the relationship. Best of luck!


  2. Probably a spouse petition. You should be aware that these petitions are generally approved in the U.S. by USCIS but when immigrants seek to immigrant visas abroad they often have troubles at the consulate due to the prevalence of fraudulent marriages. The Philippines is generally considered a high marriage fraud country and you are highly encouraged to seek legal counsel. Otherwise, you may see significant delays in the issuance of her immigrant visa. Good luck.

    This communication should not be construed to create an attorney client relationship. All information provided is for general informational purposes only. You should not rely on any general information provided to make important legal decisions affecting your life and you should instead consult with an attorney. During any private consultation, a competent attorney will review your particular situation, research the specific legal provisions that apply, and create an individualized case plan for you and your family.


  3. processing times for both are available at uscis.gov - you can make an informed decision by checking it out. In my opinion, a fiance visa may be faster if approved and all goes well at the interview. There has been a huge backlog with the adjudication of the I-130s. However, yesterday CIS has issued a memo indicating they are doing all they can to shorten this process up. In either way, I would consult with an experienced attorney to discuss the pros and cons for both.

    Irene Vaisman, Esq. 11 Broadway, Suite 615 New York, NY 10004 (646) 253-0516 This is not legal advice and a client attorney relationship is not created. For a free consultation call (646) 253-0516.


  4. A spouse petition, but note that deciding between the two is something you should do after a thorough discussion with an immigration attorney to go over pros and cons. You can learn more on your own by checking these video guides... K1: http://westimmigration.com/k1-fiancee-visa-do-it-yourself-guide/ vs. I-130/NVC (marriage petition) http://westimmigration.com/i-130nvc-do-it-yourself-guide/

    Hasan Abdullah is an attorney licensed in the State of Illinois. The answer provided is informational use only. One should not act or refrain to act solely based on the information provided. No attorney/client relationship is created unless an Agreement is signed by the attorney and the client.

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