1) The K-1 fiancee visa takes 6 to 9 months, but you must have met before during the last two years in order to process it. The I-129F will cost $340 plus a $350 fee for the visa processing fee. After she enters the U.S., then you have to marry and then you have to pay $1070 for the I-485 and she will have to wait about 5 to 7 months and gets another interview that you attend with her so that she can get Residency.
2) The K-3 spouse visa takes 6 to 9 months, you must be married. The I-129F will cost $340 plus $420 for the I-130, and $350 for the visa processing fee. Then after she enters the U.S., you must still file the I-485 for $1070 and wait for the marriage interview about 5 to 7 months later.
3) The CR-1 visa (or IR-1 if your marriage is more than 2 years old) takes about 1 year or so. You must be married. The fees are $420 for the I-130, $330 for the visa processing fee, $88 for an Affidavit of Support fee. But once she enters the U.S., she enters as a Resident and she does not have to file (or pay for) an I-485 nor does she have to attend an additional interview. She just gets her green card in the mail a few weeks later.
So the K-1 and K-3 are faster but generally more expensive. The CR-1 (and IR-1) are slower, but generally cheaper. And no, there is no middle-visa that she can use to enter the U.S. while that process is pending. She will most likely have to wait outside.
Here is a link to all three:
As far as your second question, unfortunately you cannot do that. If you marry before the K-1 is approved AND before she enters the U.S., that would invalidate the K-1. So she would have to enter the U.S. on the K-1 and after that is when she could get married.
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Thank you for the information. I now have a clear idea of what we need to do and the best course of action. Thanks.
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