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Which is Better: K1 Fiance Visa or CR1 / K3 Marriage Visa?

10th November 2010
By fianceevisa in Immigration Law
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Which is Better: K1 Fiance Visa or CR1 / K3 Marriage Visa?

It is a common enough question of many U.S. citizens with a Filipina fiancee. Would a fiancee visa be faster to get than a Philippines marriage visa? Should they get married here in the United States or go back to the Philippines and marry there? The answer will depend on a lot of things. Some more important considerations are the length of time the relationship has been in existence, the number of times the couple has seen each other face-to-face, and the personal goals and timetable that they are aiming for.

At, we can help you weigh these considerations more fully and explain to you in detail the differences between a fiance visa and a Philippines marriage visa.

Which will take longer to process?

The fiancee visa petitions are generally known to be approved faster than the CR1 or K3 visa petition. The average wait time for a Philippines fiance visa is 4 to 6 months depending on where the petition was filed (the busier the U.S. Citizen Immigration Services (USCIS) office, the longer it will take the petition to be processed). The CR1 or K3 visa petition, on the other hand, averages 5 to 12 months approval time.

Which is more expensive?

The filing fee for a fiancee visa petition (Form I-129F) is $ 455.00. Once the petition is approved by the USCIS, the fiancee will have to undergo medical examination, which costs from $200.00 to $300.00. She will also have to pay the visa application fee of $350.00. When filed as a CR1 or K3 visa petition, the Form I-129F has no filing fee. However, the petitioner must have already filed the I-130 petition on behalf of their spouse, this costs $355.00. When approved by the USCIS, the fiancee must also pay for a medical exam and visa application fee of approximately $500. The medical exam is typically the same as with the K1 visa.

Adjustment of status

Upon arrival to the the United States, a K1 visa holder must marry within 90 days. After that, they must file for adjustment of status to a Lawful Permanent Resident. The fee for this is $1,010. A Philippines marriage visa holder, on the other hand, has two years in which to apply for an adjustment of status. The fee is also $1,010. A spouse who entered the country on an I-130 petition, meanwhile, does not need to apply for adjustment of status. They already have legal permanent resident status upon entry to the United States.


The fiancee visa may prove to be the fastest way to get your bride to the United States but because of the Adjustment of Status process that they have to undergo, following their arrival, it might prove to be the more expensive option, albeit potentially faster. All these are just a general comparison of a straightforward K1 visa and K3 visa application.

Call us now at (888) 894-8655 or visit us at for a more in-depth study of your case. With our experience with visa processing, we guaranty a quick and smooth visa process for you and your partner.
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