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FIANCEE/SPOUSE VISAS (K-1/K-3)

The USCIS offers several options for individuals living overseas who are intending to marry a US citizen, or who have already married a US citizen and wish to immigrate to the United States.  Persons in the former situation might consider the K-1 “fiancée” visa, and those in the latter may be eligible for the K-3 visa.


K-1 VISA


The K-1 “fiancée” visa allows its holder to travel to the United States to marry a US citizen, and remain in the US while his or her adjustment of status (green card) petition is pending.  Once the marriage is complete, an individual married to a US citizen must petition for either an adjustment of status (if they are already in the United States in another valid nonimmigrant status) or via consular processing (if they currently reside outside the United States).  Once the green card is approved, its holder will have achieved lawful permanent resident status in the US.  Upon approval, the K-1 visa may be exercised at any time within the next 180 days.  Once the visa holder arrives in the US, they have 90 days in which to marry their fiancée. 

 
K-3 VISA

The K-3 visa is designed to allow a foreign spouse of a US citizen to travel to the United States, file for a marriage-based adjustment of status to permanent resident status, and remain in the US while his or her green card petition is pending.  K-3 holders can apply for work authorization while waiting for their green card to be approved. 

Due to long waits for certain types of overseas consular processing of green cards, both the K-1 and K-3 visas can be an advantageous option for couples who wish to remain together while the green card process is underway.