U.S. Lawful Permanent Residency is a green card. You will have to have that status for a few years before you can apply for U.S. Citizenship. There are essentially three ways for you to come and none are really fast, unfortunately:
1) The K-1 fiance visa takes 6 to 9 months, but you must have met your U.S. Citizen fiance before at least once 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 you enter the U.S., then you have to marry and then you have to pay $1070 for the I-485 and you will have to wait about 5 to 7 months and get another interview that you attend with your new spouse so that you can get Residency.
2) The K-3 spouse visa takes 6 to 9 months, you must be married to the U.S. Citizen. The I-129F will cost $340 and $350 for the visa processing fee. Then after you enter 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 to the U.S. Citizen. The fees are $420 for the I-130, $330 for the visa processing fee, $88 for an Affidavit of Support fee. But once you enter the U.S., you enter as a Resident and you do not have to file (or pay for) an I-485 nor do you have to attend an additional interview. You just get your 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 you can use to enter the U.S. while that process is pending. You will most likely have to wait outside.
Here is a link to those visas:
and another link:
I know you do not want to wait. I know it is very inconvenient. I know you want to be together sooner rather than later, but I have this same conversation two or three times per day on this website. No one ever likes it and believe me, if there was an easier or faster way, I would tell you. I know you will probably say, “but what about this...?” or “but what about that...?” But I will most likely continue to have bad news for you. I am truly sorry. The problem is that the U.S. concerns over security and fraud in this area are more important than a 6 to 9 months inconvenience to you. The way they see it is that if it truly is a real relationship, it will survive that length of time apart. Again, I am truly sorry. I wish I had a faster and easier way to tell you about.
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