Should we look for a K-1 visa or a marriage-based green card? – TechCrunch


Here’s another edition from “Dear Sophie,” the advice column that answers immigration-related questions about working at tech companies.

“Your questions are vital to the spread of knowledge that empowers people around the world to rise above the limits and pursue their dreams,” said Sophie Alcorn, a Silicon Valley immigration attorney. “Whether you’re in people ops, a founder, or looking for a job in Silicon Valley, I’d love to answer your questions in my next column.”

TechCrunch+ members get access to weekly “Dear Sophie” columns; Use promo code ALCORN to buy a one or two year subscription with 50% off.

Dear Sophie,

I am a US citizen who has temporarily lived and worked in Germany for the past year.

I got engaged to my wonderful partner last month – a German citizen – but I now have to return to the US for work in a few months.

Should I get a K-1 visa for my fiancé so she can come with me when I come back to the US, or should we get married and live separately until she can get a green card and join me in the US?

—Looking for a quick solution

A composite image of immigration attorney Sophie Alcorn in front of a background with a TechCrunch logo.

Image Credits: Joanna Buniak / Sophie Alcorn (Opens in a new window)

Dear Search,

Today, few things move fast when it comes to immigration – the deep backlogs created by the pandemic are the most recent challenges causing delays. My legal partner, Anita Koumriqian, and I talked about the backlog, the K-1 fiancé/fiance visa, and marriage-based green cards in a recent podcast episode, “Love and Immigration.”

Before the pandemic, it was faster for a fiancé or fiancé to get to the United States on a K-1 visa than it was for a spouse to get to the U.S. on a green card. But things have shifted.

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