Spouse and Fiance / Fiancee
There are three basic options for marriage-based immigration:
- K-1 fiance visas
- K-3 spouse visas
- Spouse immigration visas
K-1 Fiance Visas
A K-1 fiance visa is used to allow a person who is engaged but not married to a U.S. citizen to travel to the United States in order to get married. There are three basic requirements that you need to meet in order to qualify for this type of visa: you must intend to marry a U.S. citizen, you must have met your intended spouse in-person within the last two years (some exceptions apply), and you must be legally able to marry.
The process to obtain a K-1 fiancé visa begins with the U.S. citizen submitting a fiancé visa petition. After the petition is approved, it is eventually forwarded on to the U.S. consulate in the fiancé’s home country that will process the visa. The fiancé will then attend an interview at the consulate and hopefully will be issued a fiancé visa. The fiancé then has six months to use the visa to travel to the United States, and must marry the U.S. citizen petitioner within 90 days of entering the United States. After the marriage, you obtain your green card by applying to adjust status.
K-3 Spouse Visas
K-3 visas are very similar to K-1 fiancé visas, except they are used when a U.S. citizen has already married a foreign national. The K-3 visa will allow you to enter the United States. After you enter the United States you obtain your green card by filing to adjust your status to that of permanent resident.
Spouse immigration Visas
If a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) is already married to a foreign national, they can apply for an immigrant visa for their spouse. The process begins a visa petition. In the case of a U.S. citizen petitioner, as soon as the petition is approved you will be able to apply for an immigrant visa and green card at your local U.S. consulate. In the case of an LPR petitioner, the approval of the visa petition will give you a Priority Date. You will have to wait until your Priority Date is current before applying for your immigrant visa and green card.
If your foreign national fiancé or spouse is currently in the United States, you should consult with a green card attorney or immigration lawyer before moving forward with any of the options mentioned above.
Attorney Crispin Lozano is highly experienced at handling a full range of family immigration issues. He will explain the complex process and ensure your immigration matter is handled correctly from start to finish. For a free initial consultation, call us at 1–877-456-9266 to discuss how we can help you reunite your family in the United States. You may also contact us online.