K-1 Visa Classification
K-1 visa, also known as the “fiance(e)” visa, is used by U.S. citizens wishing to bring a foreign national fiancé(e) living abroad to the United States to marry may apply for K-1 Visa. It is applied on behalf to the individual who is engaged to a U.S. citizen, and who wishes to enter the U.S. to marry the U.S. citizen and apply for lawful permanent residence.
To qualify for a K-1 visa, the applicant must have plans to marry his or her U.S. citizen fiancé(e) within 90 days of entering the U.S. and be legally eligible to marry. The K-1 visa applicant and the U.S. citizen fiancé(e) must have met in person during the two years prior to filing the K-1 petition. An applicant may apply for a waiver of the in-person meeting requirement in cases where meeting in person would violate established cultural traditions or would cause extreme hardship for the applicants. Ultimately, the U.S. citizen and the fiancé(e) must prove that they have a bona fide relationship.
Children of Fiancé(e)s.
If fiancé(e) of US citizen who is entering the US on K-1 visa has a child (under 21 and unmarried), a K-2 nonimmigrant visa may be available to him or her.
K-3 Visa Classification
The alien spouse of a U.S. citizen may be admitted to the United States as nonimmigrant while he/ she is awaiting the adjudication of a Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative. The K-3 visa classification applies to an individual who is already married to a U.S. citizen. It allows the applicant to enter the U.S. to join his or her U.S. citizen spouse and wait in the U.S. to complete the lawful permanent residence process in the US.
To qualify for a K-3 visa, the applicant must be legally married to a U.S. citizen and be the beneficiary of an immigrant Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130 filed by his or her U.S. citizen spouse. A K-3 visa is valid for two years and for multiple entries into the U.S.
Eligibility to Work
K-3 visa holders are eligible to apply for work authorization upon arrival in the U.S. based on their K status. They may also separately apply for work authorization and a travel permit when applying for lawful permanent residence.
Accompanying Family Members
The unmarried children, under the age of 21, of a K-3 visa applicant are eligible to apply for K-4 dependent status.
Following their entry into the U.S., K-3 visa holders can apply for lawful permanent residence by filing an application with USCIS. However, they cannot apply to change their status from K non-immigrant status to any other non-immigrant status or to extend their K-3 status. A K-3 visa holder has up to two years to apply for U.S. permanent residence, although he or she may initiate the permanent residence process immediately upon entering the U.S.