Currently, would it be faster to petition for a fiance visa and marry in the U.S. or to marry abroad and file form I-130 after marriage?

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Currently, would it be faster to petition for a fiance visa and marry in the U.S. or to marry abroad and file form I-130 after marriage?

I am a U.S. citizen living in the state of Washington and I plan to marry this
year but my fiance is located in Mexico. Neither of us have been previously
married or have children. I am 21 years old and my fiance is 20 years old. I’m
concerned with the length and the cost of the process I choose. I would like to
choose the fastest process available that will allow my fiance to come to the
U.S. But I would also like to know an estimate of the costs of each process.

Asked on January 13, 2017 under Immigration Law, Washington

Answers:

SB Member California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

If your fiancee does not currently have a visa with which to enter the US, you can only really do consular processing and the timeline and costs will be very similar in terms of what happens before she can enter.  The fiancee visa is about 9-12 months, then she gets the visa if approved and can enter the US for 90 days to get married to you and then she applies for the green card based on the marriage.  If you get married first and then petition for her as your spouse, the process will also take about 9-12 months and when approved, she would be issued an immigrant visa with which to enter and upon entry to the US she will be issued a green card.


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