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K-1 and K-3 Marriage Visas

Being separated from your spouse or your betrothed is heart-wrenching. K-1 and K-3 visas are designed to bring the two of you together.

Bringing your Fiancé or Fiancée to the U.S.

If you’re a U.S. citizen who is engaged and planning to marry your sweetheart in the U.S., then the first step you need to take is to petition the USCIS for a K-1 visa. You are eligible to request the visa if you meet three requirements:

  1. You plan to marry within 90 days of your future spouse’s admission to the U.S.
  2. If either of you have been previously married, you can demonstrate that you are divorced or widowed, or that the marriage was annulled
  3. You’ve seen each other in person within the previous two years, unless that is a violation of your future spouse’s culture or it would be too much of a hardship on you

The process of obtaining a K-1 visa is complicated, which is why you need the guidance of the seasoned Bay Area immigration attorneys at Silver Law Firm. They will advise you and help you move through the steps required by the USCIS and the U.S. State Department. These include repeated background and security checks, form submissions, and interviews with the U.S. Embassy in your future spouse’s county. Once they receive their K-1 visa and arrive in the U.S., then Customs and Border Patrol will decide whether or not they are allowed to enter the country. Once they’re allowed in, they can apply for a temporary work permit that is good for 90 days.

After you’re married, your spouse can adjust their status by applying for a green card. They can apply for work authorization at the same time. At some point, the two of you will be interviewed. If all goes according to plan, then your spouse will receive a conditional green card that’s good for two years. Ninety days before their green card expires, your spouse will need to petition to remove those conditions.

Bringing Your Spouse to the U.S.

If your spouse lives outside of the U.S., you’re likely going to file an I-130 so that they can obtain a green card. If there’s a delay in the I-130 process, then your spouse may need a K-3 visa in order to come to the U.S. You can petition for both at the same time; if the I-130 is granted first, then the K-3 visa is not needed. If the K-3 visa is needed, your spouse will have to apply for the visa through the U.S. State Department once the I-129F paperwork is approved. When your spouse enters the U.S. on a K-3 visa, they’ll automatically be authorized to work here. They may also travel outside of and back into the U.S. The K-3 visa is valid for 10 years if you’ve been married for at least two years, and is valid for two years if you’ve been married for less than two years.

Whether you’re bringing your spouse or your future spouse to the U.S., the process is very technical. It’s important to have the help of experienced Bay Area immigration attorneys to avoid delays. Silver Law Firm will work diligently to bring you and your spouse (or future spouse) together in the U.S.