K-1 Fiancé and K-3 Spouse visa
K Visa categories for Fiancé and Spouse of US Citizen (K-1, K-2, K-3, K-4)
If you are a US citizen, and you have a foreign national fiancé or spouse who is living abroad, a K visa may be available to allow your fiancé or spouse to come to the US. The K visa allows your fiancé to come to the US so you can get married and apply for a green card, or allows your spouse to come to the US to live with you and get a green card. If you have questions about getting a K visa for your fiancé or spouse living overseas, contact The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates to speak with one of our attorneys. We have more than 50 years of combined legal experience in a wide variety of complex and immigration law matters.
K-1 visa for fiancés
Without the K-1 visa, a US citizen who has a foreign national fiancé living abroad would have to travel abroad in order to get married. Then the foreign national spouse could come to the US on a K-3 visa (explained in a following article) or go through the marriage-based immigration process while living outside the US. The purpose of the K-1 visa is to allow your fiancé to come to the US so you can get married, and then you can begin the immigration process here in the US. It is recommended that you begin the immigration process immediately after you get married. You will have 90 days to get married after your fiancée enters the US.
K-2 visa for children of fiancés
Children of your fiancé may obtain a K-2 visa that will allow them to come to the US as well. In order to qualify for the visa, the child must be under 21 years old and unmarried. There are special concerns for older children that may prevent them from getting green cards once they become 21 (also known as “aging out”), so it is imperative for you to carefully plan the dates when you get married and when you file your green card applications (see following articles for more information).
K-3 visa for spouses
Previously, although a US citizen’s fiancé living abroad could get a K-1 visa to come to the US, no such visa category existed for spouses so a US citizen’s spouse could not. This seems unfair that spouses would have less rights than fiancés. Consequently, the Legal Immigration Family Equity (LIFE) Act was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on December 21, 2000, which gave similar visa privileges to spouses of US citizens through the new K-3 and K-4 visa categories for US citizen spouses their children.
K-4 visa for children and spouses
Your foreign national spouse may bring his or her children to the US with the K-4 visa if they are eligible. In order for children to qualify for the K-4, they must be under 21 years old, unmarried, and have a step-parent relationship with the US citizen. Older children may not qualify for a green card if they were over 18 years of age at the time of the marriage (see following article for more information). If you have any questions about the K visa, please contact our immigration attorneys at The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA to schedule a consultation with an attorney at an office near you.