K-1/K-3 Visa

K-1 Visa

Foreign national fiancé(e)s of US citizens may apply for the K-1 visa to enter the U.S. for marriage. The K-1 visa is unlike other nonimmigrant visas in that it was created to help certain intending immigrants obtain admission to the United States. To be eligible for the K-1 visa, a U.S. Citizen must file an I-129F Petition with USCIS on behalf of the foreign national fiancé(e) with proof that there is a bona fide intention to marry within ninety (90) days of the foreign national fiancé(e)’s entry into the US, that both parties are legally able to marry, and that the U.S. Citizen and the foreign national have previously met in person within two (2) years of filing.

After the I-129F Petition is approved, the foreign national may apply for the K-1 visa at a U.S. consulate. Once the U.S. consulate issues the K-1 visa, the foreign national fiancé(e) may enter the United States. The K-1 visa is a single entry visa and the foreign national fiancé(e) is admitted for ninety (90) days to marry the U.S. citizen petitioner. The K-1 visa permits the foreign national fiancé(e) to work in the United States if s/he applies for employment authorization.

After the marriage of the foreign national fiancé(e) and the U.S. citizen within the ninety (90) day period, the foreign national fiancé(e) must apply to adjust status to Lawful Permanent Resident. If the foreign national does not marry the U.S. citizen petitioner within the ninety (90) day period, s/he must leave the United States or become subject to removal (deportation).

K-3 Visa

The K-3 Visa was created for spouses of U.S. citizens. Like the K-1 visa, this visa was created to help certain intending immigrants obtain admission to the United States. A spouse of a U.S. citizen is eligible for an immigrant visa. However, the foreign national may wait one (1) year or more for USCIS to approve the I-130 petition and the Department of State to issue the immigrant visa. The K-3 visa was created to expedite the entry of the spouse of a U.S. citizen to the United States.

A foreign national is eligible for the K-3 visa if validly married to a U.S. citizen, the U.S. citizen spouse has filed an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative, and the foreign national is the beneficiary of an approved I-129F Petition filed by the U.S. citizen spouse. After the U.S. consulate issues the K-3 visa, the foreign national may enter the United States. A K-3 visa allows the foreign national to travel in and out of the U.S. multiple times. The K-3 visa also permits the foreign national to work in the United States after applying for and obtaining employment authorization.

When the I-130 Petition for Alien Relative is approved, the foreign national may apply to adjust status to Lawful Permanent Resident.