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K-1 Fiance Visa Versus K-3 Spousal Visa

I can already see the wheels turning in your head: Why not get married in Russia and apply for a K-3 Spousal Visa rather than a K-1 Fiancť Visa?

It will make your fiancť happy. Her friends and relatives can come to the wedding. Her father and mother can be there. It will even be a lot cheaper than paying for a wedding and reception in America.

Fair enough.

But before you get the idea that it is better to get married in Russia and bring your wife over to America on a K-3 Spousal Visa rather than a K-1 Fiancť Visa, consider the following:

First, a K-3 Spousal Visa is as complicated to file as a K-1 Fiancť Visa. There is no shortcut as far as paperwork or waiting time is concerned.

Secondly, the CIS countries require almost as much paperwork for an American to get married in their country as the US requires for a Russian woman to get married here.

As you already know by now, CIS countries love paperwork.

Documentation Required For CIS Marriage:

As an American, you would have to provide documentation of your ability to marry. You would need to have certified copies and certified translations of those documents from English to Russian for your birth, divorce, or other types of papers.

You would need to provide certified copies of your passport and certified translations of those certified copies.

You would need to apply for a marriage license. In CIS countries, church weddings do not have any official status. You must get married in a civil ceremony for it to be official.

Once you get the green light, you may get married in Russia, but most likely you are going to need to make a return trip to Russia in order to get married.

You probably wonít have all the necessary documents required to apply for a wedding license in Russia with you during your first trip to Russia.

So you fly home. You send off all the required documents from America to your fiancť (two to three weeks for the mail). The documents need to get translated into Russian for certified copies (one week).

Local Marriage License:

Next you must apply for the marriage license (you need to fly back to be present at the application for the marriage license.)

You wait around for the marriage license to be issued (one to two weeks). Once itís issued, the civil service takes place.

But your wife wants a church wedding too. You need to provide documents to the priest that you are Orthodox. Oh, I forgot youíre not Orthodox.

Well, did you bring your baptismal records or church documents that prove that you are at least a Christian? Oh, you didnít?

Youíre not Christian? Well, no church wedding for the two of you!

Well, you could probably lie and say youíre Orthodox and come up with enough money that you could find a priest to marry you without providing documentation.

Of course, your new mother-in-law already has a sour taste in her mouth after all of this Ė fudging church records, humph.

Wedding invitations are sent out. One to two weeks later, the wedding takes place. Itís a fun two to three day event.

But of course, you arenít used to drinking quarts of vodka days on end, so you need a few days at your mother-in-lawís home made spin dry clinic to pull your liver out of a tail spin.

The Honeymoon:

You take a week off for a honeymoon to Cyprus. You return to Russia. Your relatives welcome you back. Now itís time to file the Form I-130 Spousal Visa.

Itís two months later than it was when you first decided to get married. You spent the better part of the last month away from America, waiting for the marriage license, the civil ceremony, the church ceremony, and the honeymoon.

And now you get to start the process to file her K-3 Spousal Visa. With a K-3 Visa, itís going to take you just as long to get her to America as it would have if you had filed a K-1 Fiancť Visa in the first place.

But now itís two months later. If you want to return for your wifeís interview at the embassy, you will then be making another trip to Russia. You have taken nearly a month to a month and a half away from work and your responsibilities at home.

Maybe youíre retired? Maybe itís time you can afford to take off? Maybe itís not?

By the time you pay for the extra trip to Russia, you still are a little ahead financially than you would be if you had a full wedding and reception in America because of the difference in the cost.

But now itís two months later. If you want to return for your wifeís interview at the embassy, you will then be making another trip to Russia. You have taken nearly a month to a month and a half away from work and your responsibilities at home.

Maybe youíre retired? Maybe itís time you can afford to take off? Maybe itís not?

By the time you pay for the extra trip to Russia, you still are a little ahead financially than you would be if you had a full wedding and reception in America because of the difference in the cost.

Maybe You Aren't Planning A Big Wedding:

But maybe you werenít planning on having a big church wedding and reception in America. Well then, you really arenít ahead financially, are you? Maybe you are about even from a financial standpoint.

Youíve waited two more months than you would have to get your wife to America if you had applied for the K-1 Fiancť Visa originally as you planned.

Youíve spent at least an extra month away from home. How did that affect your business or other parts of your life?

So from a time standpoint, you are way behind than if you applied for a K-1 Visa.

The wedding was a lot of fun, but you canít drink like you could during your fraternity days, so your health is a little further behind than it would be if you had applied for the Fiancť Visa.

But maybe you made your wife and your mother in law happy, and that was worth whatever extra time, money, pain, and suffering you had to endure getting married in Russia rather than bringing her home as a fiancť.

Maybe it was worth it all. Maybe it wasnít. You decide. I tried to paint the picture as accurately as I can from my vantage point.


About the Author: John has been to Russia and CIS countries many times. He has been successfully married to his Belarussian wife for over five years. He will show you how to meet her, how to bring her home, and how to successfully survive marriage to a Russian woman.
http://www.russian-luv.com/fiance.html




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