Fiancé Visas, Spousal Visas
Immigration Attorney Kavitha Ramasami is experienced in processing family petitions. She understands that separation from your loved ones is extremely difficult. Contact her today to get more information or to schedule an appointment so that she can begin helping you with your immigration needs.
Under the K-visa category, a United States citizen can petition to bring a foreign national spouse or fiancé to the U.S. The fiancé or spouse can also be accompanied by their children. There are multiple visas within this category and it is advisable to have the assistance of an attorney when navigating through the K-visa process.
K-1 Fiancé Visa
A K-1 Fiancé Visa is a nonimmigrant visa that is issued to the fiancé of U.S. citizen. A nonimmigrant visa is issued to individuals with a permanent residence outside the U.S. but who wish to travel to the United States on a temporary basis. For example, for medical treatment, education, business, or as a tourist. In contrast to this, an immigrant visa is issued to individuals who seek to live in the U.S. permanently.
U.S. immigration law defines a foreign national fiancé as the recipient of an approved Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé, who intends to enter the U.S. to marry his or her U.S. citizen fiancé. A K-1 visa permits this individual to enter the United States for a period of 90 days within which they must marry the U.S. citizen who sponsored their visa. The eligible children of a K-1 visa holder can receive a K-2 visa to accompany the K-1 fiancé to the U.S. Children with K-2 visas can attend school and after the marriage has taken place, apply for employment authorization. Also, after the marriage has occurred, the K-1 visa holder can apply for permanent resident status in the United States. There are some conditions to the K-1 visa and they include the following:
- The sponsor of the K-1 visa must be a U.S. citizen and both the U.S. citizen and the foreign national fiancé must have been legally free to marry at the time the petition was filed and must remain legally free to marry after the filing as well.
- The petitioner and foreign national must provide evidence that they intend to marry within 90 days of the fiancé’s entry to the U.S. and the pending marriage must be legally possible according to the laws of the state in which the marriage will take place.
- Generally speaking, the foreign national fiancé and the U.S. citizen sponsor must have met in person within the two-year period before the visa application was filed. However, the United States Customs and Immigration Service can grant a hardship exemption for this requirement if it finds that it was too difficult for the parties to meet within the two-year time frame, or if a meeting before the marriage would violate the cultural norms of the U.S. citizen sponsor or the foreign national fiancé.
Generally, individuals apply for a fiancé visa for faster processing. Because a fiancé visa is classified as a nonimmigrant visa, it is a shorter process than applying or a marriage visa. We understand that “time is of the essence’’ when you are separated from your loving ones. You need an experienced attorney in providing the required documents and in moving the process along as quickly as possible.
K-3 Spouse Visa
A K-3 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that is issued to the foreign spouse of a United States citizen. U.S. law defines a spouse as a legally wedded husband or wife. Also, same-sex spouses of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, and their minor children are now eligible for the same immigration benefits as opposite-sex spouses. However, please note that the mere act of living together does not qualify as a spousal relationship for immigration purposes, regardless of how long the cohabitation has taken place. Common law spouses may qualify as spouses for immigration purposes. This will depend on the laws of the country in which the common law marriage took place. Lastly, with respect to polygamy, only the first spouse may qualify as a spouse for immigration purposes.
The goal of the K-3 visa is to shorten the physical separation between the foreign national and the U.S. citizen spouse by giving the foreign national the option to obtain a K-3 nonimmigrant visa overseas and enter the United States to await approval of his or her immigrant visa application. The spouse of the U.S. citizen must also have filed an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative in order for the foreign national to receive a K-3. This filing provides evidence of the foreign national’s intent to stay in the United States. Proof of the filing of the I-130 Petition must be included with the K-3 spouse visa petition. Also, under U.S. law, a foreign national who marries a U.S. citizen outside the U.S. must apply for the K-3 visa in the country where the marriage took place. Unmarried children of the K-3 visa beneficiary may accompany the K-3 holder to the United States on a K-4 visa. Similar to the K-3 visa, the K-4 allows its beneficiary to remain in the United States while their immigrant visa petition is being considered by USCIS Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Foreign National Children of U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents
U.S. citizens must file a separate immigrant visa petition for each of their foreign national children. Children do not receive derivative status on their parent’s immediate relative petition. If you’re a U.S. citizen, you can file a petition for an unmarried child who is under 21, an unmarried son or daughter who is 21 or older, married sons and daughters of any age. If you’re a permanent resident, you can file a petition for an unmarried child who’s under 21 and unmarried sons and daughters who are 21 or over.