K-1 (fiance visa)
The fiance visa allows the fiance of a US citizen to enter the US and marry within ninety days of entry. Once married to the US citizen petitioner, the K-1 visa holder must apply for permanent residence (a green card).
To qualify for the K-1 visa, (1) the fiance must be coming to the US for the purpose of marrying the US citizen; (2) both persons must be legally able to marry within ninety days after the fiance enters the US (all prior marriages must be legally terminated); and (3) the couple must have met each other within the last two years, unless a waiver is granted.
The K-1 visa petition is filed by the US citizen petitioner with the USCIS. Once the petition is approved, the USCIS forwards it to the appropriate US Embassy or Consulate. If it is determined that the fiance would be eligible for a green card, the visa is approved.
The supporting documents accompanying the visa petition are exhaustive. If you wish to get married to your foreign national fiance in the US, contact the Law Office of Sweta Khandelwal at the earliest. The time that it takes for the K-1 visa to get approved has increased considerably in recent years. We have worked with people from multiple nationalities and will ensure that US immigration laws do not disrupt your wedding plans!
K-3 (visa for spouse of a US citizen)
The K-3 visa is a non-immigrant visa for spouses of US citizens. This visa was introduced as the backlogs for immigrant visas for spouses of US citizens increased to one year or longer. The purpose of the K-3 was to shorten the time that a married couple must remain apart while an immigrant visa petition is pending. Specifically, the K-3 allows the spouse who is a beneficiary of a pending immigrant petition to enter the US and adjust their status later, when the immigrant petition is approved.
However, with the processing times of immigrant visas reduced, this visa is no longer recommended in many cases. Add to the fact that the processing time of the K-3 itself has increased defeating the purpose for which this visa was introduced.
To obtain a K-3 visa, two petitions must be filed with the USCIS. First, a petition for an immigrant visa for an immediate relative must be filed (Form I-130); second, the petition for the K-3 non-immigrant visa must be filed with proof that the first petition (Form I-130) was filed.
Once the petition for the K-3 is approved, it is forwarded to a US Embassy or Consulate abroad where the spouse can then apply for the K-3 visa. Children of a K-3 visa holder can obtain a K-4 visa to enter the US with their parent.
Watch the legal segment on Sitaarre TV that was aired on March 11, 2012 to learn more about K visas.