K1 Fiancé Visas and K3 Marriage Visas Explained
The process of marrying a foreign national and obtaining the proper visa is complicated. That’s why it is important to work with an experienced Immigration Lawyer. Generally, if you plan to bring your fiancé to the U.S. to marry, you will need a fiancé visa. However, if your fiancé is already legally in the U.S. or if you plan to marry in a foreign county, a different process will apply.
You will need to complete the Form I-129F for a fiancé visa. This is the process to generally follow if your fiancé currently resides in a foreign country and you would like to bring that person to the U.S. to marry. To qualify for the visa, the sponsor must show:
- U.S. citizenship
- Intent to marry within 90 days of entrance to U.S.
- Both are free to marry
- Bona fide relationship
You should know that the fiancé visa does not allow unlimited stay in the U.S. Instead, the visa only allows the fiancé to come to the U.S. for 90 days so that the marriage ceremony can occur. Following marriage, the sponsor can apply for permanent residency and a Green Card.
The process to receive a marriage visa will depend upon whether your spouse is already lawfully in the U.S. If you are a citizen, the process typically consists of:
- Lawful Resident in U.S: If your spouse is lawfully in the U.S., you may seek an application to adjust status to permanent resident. For example, if your spouse is currently on an H1B, you could seek a change to lawful permanent resident status.
- Outside the U.S. If your spouse is currently outside the U.S., you may need to file a Form I-130 to attain permanent lawful status for your spouse. This may be a lengthy process and you should talk to a San Jose immigration attorney to learn your options.