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If you live in one of these 13 countries the process is very quick because you can file the I-130 petition which is the first phase of getting the spouse to the US there at the US Embassy. It only takes 4-6 weeks for a petition to be approved and then 2-3 months for the immigrant visa processing for the CR1 which is a visa for a spouse married less than 2 years or who has not lived in the US with the spouse for that period of time.
Countries in which U.S.C.I.S. has offices are Austria, China, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Italy, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, and the United Kingdom.
If you do not live there then you file the i-130 petition in the US regardless of your residence abroad.
The processing time is 3-5 months and then it is another 3-5 months for the immigratn visa processing.
The I-129F petition is to have the spouse come to the US quicker if there is a severe backlog in processing the I-130 peittions. However, that is not the case now. The I-130s are taking the same amount of time as the I-129F and filing the I-129F can actually delay the case because if the I-130 is approved after the consulate begins the processing for the K3 visa under the I-129F they have to start visa processing all over again for the CR1 since the K3 is no longer available if the petitioni s approved.
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So if I do not live in one of the 13 countries, I file I-130 in the US and wait for the CR1.
Do I need to file I-129F at any later point, or this is a one or the other kind of option (as in I go with the I-130/CR1 versus I-129F/K1 option)?
It is a one or the other option, yes.
Also, can I file the I-485 (+EAD) etc concurrently with the I-130, or do I need to do it in steps? At what point can I apply to adjust my husband?
Your husband cannot file the I-485 +EAD unless he is in the US when you are filing the I-130.
So he will get his CR-1 visa which is the green card, but he gets it by applying for it through the US embassy after the I-130 is approved.
So just to confirm, the I-130/CR1 option will not require any action once he comes to the country, the conditional green card will be mailed to him?
Correct, at the airport they will stamp his passport with temporary evidence of his lawful permanent status so he can apply for his SSN and apply for work.
It takes 30-60 days to get the card in th email
No need to file I-485 etc. or G-325?
CorrectHow about EAD? Will that be granted automatically, or do we need to apply for that, and if so at what point?
He needs no EAD. See my above answer.I assume that when filing the I-130 we need to submit all the evidence such as photos, tax returns, joint documents etc proving the bonafides of the marriage?
Yes, apply for a job, the stamp is his work permit.. he does not apply for a work permit.
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