How will marriage affect the K1 visa process? 3 Answers as of February 24, 2011

My fiance (US citizen) and I (German citizen) plan on getting married in May 2011 and filed the I-129 Petition with the CSC in October 2010. The processing times are stated as 5 months. At the time we did not realize that those 5 months only refer to the time between Notice of Action 1 and Notice of Action 2 and not to the time for the whole visa process. Since we still have not heard anything from California, I am now extremely concerned that I may not get the K1 visa before our already scheduled wedding. Yes, we do now understand that we should not have made the plans before having the K1 visa in hand, but at the time we were not aware of that as we figured there would be enough time. I have the following questions: 1. We cannot change the date of the wedding as our families have already booked their tickets and hotel rooms and the wedding has been planned and paid for. If I do not receive the K1 before the wedding date, I will have to go back to Germany as my 90 day period within the tourist waiver program is up before that. Will I be able to come back as a tourist and get married to my fiance? I understand that I possibly will have to go back to Germany and re-start a whole new visa (for the spouse) process. Upon entry into the country before our wedding I would like to keep things truthful. Will Immigration let me enter if I tell them what is going on? I understand that I may have problems if I state that it is our intent to get married. 2. Would it be possible to stay in the country with my husband and file for adjustment of status from here? 3. Would it be possible to just get married now and file for adjustment of status now as it really was not our intent to get married during this 90 day period? We could still hold the official ceremony in May so that we would not have to waste our families' tickets. I am so worried about this whole process as I would like to do things the right way, but I cannot cancel the wedding in May. Thank you for your help.

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Theresa E. Tilton, Attorney at Law
Theresa E. Tilton, Attorney at Law | Theresa E. Tilton
Since you are on the visa waiver program, a direct adjustment of status will not be possible.

If I were in your shoes, I would do what is often done in Germany: Get married here in the USA in a quiet civil ceremony now, then have your big wedding celebration as planned in May 2011.

If you marry here, you must apply with the I-130 for an immigrant visa, and I-485 for adjustment of status.

It is not advisable to try to enter the USA on a tourist visa. You have already given your intention to immigrate with the I-129 fiancee application. It is a fraud to use a tourist visa when you are an intending immigrant.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 2/24/2011
Nicastro Piscopo, APLC
Nicastro Piscopo, APLC | Louis M. Piscopo
You need to make an appointment and see an immigration attorney. Your situation is too complicated to be addresses and answered through email. There are various options, but all of them require more information and details, too many to answer by exchanging emails.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 2/24/2011
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law
William C. Gosnell, Attorney at Law | William C. Gosnell
Do not cancel the wedding in May. You could get married now and file the necessary paperwork as Husband and Wife. This process really takes over two years.
Answer Applies to: Tennessee
Replied: 2/24/2011
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