Visa Tips for Filipino-American Couples: Where to Get Married?

Many people want to know which is better, to get married in the US or The Philippines. This article will explore the pros and cons of both.

Is it Better to Get Married in the US or The Philippines?

The answer is it depends on your situation and preferences. The K-1 fiancé visa may be faster than the CR-1 spouse visa, but it is more expensive and has fewer benefits. The CR-1 spouse visa may be cheaper and more convenient than the K-1 fiancé visa, but it requires you to get married in the Philippines and wait longer for the visa approval. The K-1 is faster but with the Spouse Visa, your partner can work in the US right away.

Spousal Visa vs Fiancé Visa

How to Get a CR-1 Visa

A CR-1 visa is an immigrant visa for a spouse of a U.S. citizen who wants to live and work in the United States permanently. To get a CR-1 visa, you need to follow these steps:

First, your U.S. citizen spouse must file a Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on your behalf. This form establishes your relationship and your eligibility for an immigrant visa. You can find the instructions and the form on the USCIS website.

Second, after USCIS approves the petition, they will send it to the National Visa Center (NVC), which will assign you a case number and ask you to pay the required fees. You will also need to submit an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) and other supporting documents to show that your U.S. citizen spouse can financially support you in the United States.

Third, after NVC reviews your documents, they will schedule an interview for you at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence. You will need to bring your passport, medical examination results, and other required documents to the interview. You can find the list of documents and the interview instructions on the U.S. Department of State website.

Fourth, if the consular officer approves your visa, they will stamp your passport and give you a sealed envelope containing your visa packet. You will need to present this envelope to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer when you arrive in the United States. You will also need to pay the USCIS immigrant fee online before or after your arrival.

Fifth, after you enter the United States, you will receive your green card (permanent resident card) by mail within a few weeks. Your green card will be valid for two years, and you will have conditional resident status. This means that you will need to apply to remove the conditions on your residence (Form I-751) within 90 days before your green card expires. You can find more information on the USCIS website.

I hope this helps you understand how to get a CR-1 visa.

How Long Does the Visa Process Take?

Please note that the visa processing times are only average estimates for all applicants. Your visa may take more or less time than these estimates and no visa agency can speed up your visa approval.

  • The CR-1 Spousal visa takes 7-10 months
  • The K-3 Spousal visa takes 6-9 months
  • The k-1 Fiancé visa takes 4-12 months

If I Get Married in The Philippines is it Legal in The US?

Yes, so long as the marriage is legally recognized in The Philippines it will also be valid in the United States. However, you must go through the immigration process in order for your marriage to be recognized in the US. Getting married to an American citizen doesn’t guarantee a green card.

Should You Use a Visa Processing Service?

It is possible to go through the 1,000 pages of documents it takes to get a k-1 visa yourself. However, under the Trump administration denials have increased dramatically, processing times have slowed, and the government isn’t as lenient as it once was. That means you need to make sure all your t’s are crossed and your i’s are dotted.

That is why I strongly recommend using a good visa service. FilipinoVisa has a 0% denial rate and takes care of everything for you from her transportation to the medical exam to filling out all of the paperwork. I know several guys who have used them and are very happy with them.

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Lyra Quijano
Lyra Quijano
3 months ago

I just want to ask if my american boyfriend marry me here in the Philippines what visa should i apply for me to able to stay with him in the United States