Can’t bear to be separated from your fiancé(e) or can’t wait to be reunited with your spouse who is overseas? If you are a U.S. citizen and have a foreign fiancé(e) or spouse, you may apply for a K-1 or K-3 nonimmigrant visa to bring them to the U.S.!
We often have clients ask us if they can propose to someone over the phone and then petition to bring their loved one to the U.S. The answer to this question is: it depends. Generally, a client is thinking of the K-1 visa when they ask this question.
What is the K-1 visa?
The K-1 visa applies if you have a foreign fiancé(e) who is currently overseas, whom you intend to marry in the U.S. The K-1 visa lets your fiancé(e) travel to the U.S., where you must marry each other within 90 days of your fiancé(e)’s arrival (if you do not marry, your fiancé will be required to leave). BUT – for this visa you must have known your loved one for two years and met them at least once in person unless you meet a religious or cultural exception (which you must establish). You can learn more here.
Many people are not familiar with another fiancé(e) visa, the K-3 visa, which might be the visa that they didn’t know they were looking for.
What is the K-3 visa?
The K-3 visa, on the other hand, is if you have a foreign spouse, whom you already married overseas. The K-3 visa lets your spouse travel to the U.S. to be with you while you wait for approval on a spouse petition. It’s supposed to make the waiting less painful and speed up how soon you can see your loved one! To learn more about this visa, please visit our webpage.
Sometimes you might be eligible to apply for both a K-1 or K-3 prior to getting married. However, one visa may address your circumstances better than the other visa. There are also specific consequences to each visa process and different government fees and legal fees for each visa that may play a role in your decision. Additionally, sometimes it may be more suitable simply to proceed with a spouse petition rather than a fiancé petition.
Contact us to learn more about the visa that best applies to you.