Compared to other methods of immigrating to the United States, the K-1 and CR-1 visa categories aren’t so common. However, they stand out as being the methods with the highest rates of approval and faster processing times. Since 2019, the number of K-1 fiancé and fiancée visas issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has held steady at approximately 35,000 per year, and 90 percent of those that result in marriage within 90 days of arrival are approved. Similar approval rates apply to the CR-1 visa, which is granted to immigrants who marry American citizens overseas, although the processing times may be longer than those for the K-1 visa.
When foreigners get married to U.S. citizens and allow immigration law firms to handle the process, they could get an employment authorization card as soon as 90 days from their wedding day if the civil ceremony is conducted and registered on American soil, including territories and military bases abroad. In the case of CR-1 visas, if the wedding took place in a foreign jurisdiction, processing times may take longer if official translations are required, but they’re still faster and more straightforward than other immigration visa categories.
With the above in mind, the high rate of approval and seemingly expedited processing of green card marriage visas are the greatest benefits of this immigration category, but there are other advantages.
Instant Adjustment of Status for Some Immigrants
Getting married to an American citizen is one of the few methods that allow filing a Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative simultaneously with a Form I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status upon entering the U.S. Let’s say a British man marries an American woman in London, where they live together for more than two years before deciding to move to the U.S. In this scenario, USCIS adjudicators can easily conduct background checks because the United Kingdom is a friendly jurisdiction, and their civil registry documents don’t need translation. In other words, the British man could likely get a permanent residency green card shortly after arriving in the U.S.
Family First Preference Visas
For some families, this benefit is the most valuable, especially if they observe traditions in which adult children are expected to care for their parents as they get older. The F1 visa is specifically for the unmarried adult children of the foreign spouse, and it’s usually adjudicated in a streamlined manner when immigration law firms are retained to guide the process.
Easier Advanced Parole
It’s easier for spouses of U.S. citizens to travel abroad, particularly to their countries of origin, before they receive their conditional or permanent green cards. This is extremely beneficial in cases when immigrant spouses must travel back to their countries of origin because of family emergencies. Many couples in Southern California ask their immigration attorneys in San Diego to include USCIS Form I-131 to request advance parole along with their adjustment of status package. When this is approved, applicants don’t have to worry about abandoning their petitions, and they should be able to reenter without consequence.
For more information on issues such as citizenship, naturalization, and family-based immigration, San Diego residents should reach out to the experienced immigration attorneys at KS Visa Law. Call us today at 858-874-0711 to schedule an appointment.