Three Secrets About Fiancé Visas and Marriage Visas (K-1 and K-3)


3 Secrets About Fiancé Visas and Marriage Visas

Getting lawful permanent residence through marriage is a crucial and life-changing decision. There are so many categories for visa application and it can get quite confusing. But it is important that you look into each option for you to know which one will work best for you. In this article, we are going to share three secrets that a lot of aspiring green cardholders don’t know about K-1 and K-3 visas, commonly known as fiance and spouse visas. However, it is highly recommended to seek help from a reliable immigration law firm in New Jersey so you can discuss your options with competent immigration attorneys. 

 

What is the difference between a K-1 Fiance Visa and a K-3 Marriage Visa?

A K-1 visa, more commonly known as a fiancé visa allows a U.S. citizen to bring his or her fiancé(e) to the United States with the intention to marry and live in the US. If you have this visa, you will be able to travel to the U.S. However, the countdown begins because you and your fiancé must marry within 90 days of setting foot on US soil.

On the other hand, a K-3 visa, also known as a marriage visa or spouse visa, is for U.S. citizens who want to bring their spouse to the U.S. The goal of the K-3 nonimmigrant visa is to get spouses and other relatives  reunited sooner. Once approved of a K-3 visa, the US Citizen spouse can bring the foreign spouse to the US while the permanent resident visa is in process.

A “spouse” is defined as the legally wedded husband or wife, including same-sex spouses of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents or green cardholders. 

Some would opt to bring their spouses to the U.S. by way of a Petition for Alien Relative (I-130). In general, processing marriage visas under this petition takes between 8-12 months from the time the petition is filed at a USCIS Service Center and the time the Marriage Visa is issued.

Now, when you go the “K-3 Visa” route, you speed up the waiting time! 

To summarize, a K-1 visa is a fiancé visa while a K-3 visa refers to a marriage visa. 

 

Are there similarities between the K1 and K3 VIsa interviews?

For both K1 and K3 Visas, it is important to note that, aside from the documents proving the authenticity of the relationship or the marriage abroad, an exhaustive interview will also be necessary because this is one way for an immigration officer to unearth fraudulent relationships or marriages. 

Here are some questions that may be asked during the interview for a K1 visa:

  • Do you have any relatives in the U.S.?
  • Have you been to the United States before? If so, when, why, and how?
  • Do you plan to get a job in the United States?
  • What is your fiance’s full name?
  • Where does your fiancé(e) live?
  • What are your fiance’s parent’s names?
  • What does your fiance do for a living?
  • What are your fiancé(e)’s hobbies and interests?
  • Has he or she been married before? If yes, when did the relationship end? Why? How?
  • When and how did you meet your fiance?
  • Do you speak and understand your fiance’s language?
  • Has your fiancé ever visited you in your country?
  • Do you have any wedding plans?
  • When and where are you going to have the wedding?
  • Can you provide any evidence that you’ve planned the wedding?

While here are some of the many possible questions that may be asked during a marriage-based green card interview

  • What is your spouse’s full name?
  • How did you meet your spouse? 
  • When did you first meet your spouse in person? 
  • How long have you known your spouse?
  • What are your spouse’s hobbies and interests?
  • Where and when was your spouse born?
  • Does your spouse have any siblings?
  • How long were you engaged before you got married?
  • Describe the proposal/When was it?
  • What type of wedding did you have?
  • When and where was the wedding and why did you decide on that place and time?
  • Who were the bridesmaids and groomsmen at your wedding?
  • Did have any honeymoon plans after the wedding and if so where did you go?
  • Do you and your spouse have plans to have children in the future?
  • Does your spouse have any children?

Remember to answer with confidence, as concise as possible, and most of all, in all honesty.

 

Secret #1: K-1 visa processing tends to move more quickly than K-3 visas.

The fiancé(e) visa process takes approximately six months, and becoming a permanent resident status after that takes about 10 to 12 months. Then, once the couple is married in the United States, they are free to stay in the US and immediately begin life with their new spouse. Of course, there are some requirements you need to meet for this to apply:

  • You must have personally met each other in the two years before filing their petition, except if they have been granted a waiver.
  • Both of you must be of legal age, unmarried, and generally eligible to legally marry.
  • You must establish that there is a genuine relationship that both intend to continue in establishing their married life.

Talk to a visa attorney to determine if the documentation you have is sufficient to get you a fiance visa. 

 

Secret #2: K-1 visa Costs Lots of Money

Although this allows your fiance to join you in the country faster, this option also comes with a higher price tag.

There are three major costs associated with a K-1 fiancé(e) visa. Form I-129F has a filing fee of $535, plus $160 paid to the consulate. That totals $695 strictly to the government.

For the immigrant visa, there’s a filing fee of $535 for Form I-130, $325 to the consulate for the DS-260 application, and a financial support fee of $120. Adjusting your status will cost $1,225 for the Form I-485 fee. Therefore, total government fees (not including attorney fees) come out between $980 and $1,760, depending on if you go through consular processing or adjustment of status.

 

Secret #3: K-1 and K-3 visa holders can work and travel in the US

Yes you can travel and work in the United states even on a K1 or K3 visa, but, you must bear in mind that having the required USCIS documents is crucial. On another note,  having a K1 or K3 visa is an advantage not only because you get to be with your fiance/spouse sooner in the United States, but also because you can get work authorization relatively quickly.  With work authorization, you also get a social security number.  A Social Security number is important because you need it to get a job, collect Social Security benefits, and get some other government services.

 

Seeking legal advice from a trusted immigration attorney is not a secret!

Uniting families can sometimes be problematic because of immigration issues. However, this does not mean that you should give up. There are ways to address your concerns on fiance and spouse visas. An experienced immigration attorney by your side can help you get started on your dream of living in the US with  your loved one. You can call our Andres Mejer Law immigration lawyers in New Jersey today if you want to discuss your case or need help on your green card or immigration journey, and we will let you know if and how we can help.

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