|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.
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.
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
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.