top of page

NON-IMMIGRANT VISAS
FOR MARRIAGE

Although the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs has categorized K-1 and K-3 Visas under nonimmigrant visas at this time, it is crucial to consult official sources for the most accurate and up-to-date information, as immigration policies can change.
K-1 Visa

 

The K-1 visa, commonly known as the "fiancé(e) visa," is technically a non-immigrant visa. However, it's unique in that it is specifically intended for foreign nationals who intend to marry a U.S. citizen and reside permanently in the United States. Upon entering the U.S., the K-1 visa holder is expected to marry their U.S. citizen fiancé(e) within 90 days and then apply for an adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident (i.e., to get a green card).

So while the K-1 visa is categorized as a non-immigrant visa, its purpose is to facilitate the process of becoming an immigrant. After marriage to the U.S. citizen sponsor and subsequent adjustment of status, the foreign national can apply for a green card and, eventually, for U.S. citizenship if they meet the eligibility criteria.

In summary, although the K-1 visa is technically a non-immigrant visa, it serves as a pathway to immigration and permanent residency.

K-3 Visa

The K-3 visa is a specific type of U.S. visa intended for the foreign-citizen spouse of a U.S. citizen. Similar to the K-1 visa for fiancés, the K-3 is often categorized as a non-immigrant visa. However, like the K-1 visa, the K-3 visa also serves as a pathway to immigration and permanent residency in the United States.

The primary purpose of the K-3 visa is to shorten the time that married couples are separated while waiting for an immigrant visa to become available. After arriving in the United States on a K-3 visa, the foreign-citizen spouse can then apply for an adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident (i.e., obtain a green card).

The K-3 visa is a somewhat unique category in that it is officially classified as a non-immigrant visa, but it is intended for those who wish to establish permanent residence in the United States. After the foreign-citizen spouse arrives in the U.S., they typically apply to adjust status to a lawful permanent resident.

Difference between K1 and K3 Visas:

The K-1 and K-3 visas are both U.S. visas designed for different situations involving relationships with U.S. citizens, but they serve different purposes and have different requirements and processes. Here are some key differences:

K-1 Visa (Fiancé(e) Visa)

  1. Purpose: Designed for foreign nationals who are engaged to be married to a U.S. citizen and wish to enter the United States to get married.

  2. Relationship Status: You must be a fiancé or fiancée of a U.S. citizen; you cannot already be married.

  3. Time Frame for Marriage: You must marry your U.S. citizen fiancé(e) within 90 days of entering the United States.

  4. Children: Unmarried children under 21 of a K-1 applicant can enter the U.S. on a K-2 visa.

  5. Adjustment of Status: After marriage, the K-1 visa holder must apply for an adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident (i.e., obtain a green card).

  6. Work Authorization: A K-1 visa holder can apply for work authorization upon entering the U.S. but it is generally only valid for the 90-day period of the K-1 visa.

  7. Single Entry: Typically, the K-1 visa is a single-entry visa, meaning the fiancé(e) can enter the U.S. one time for the purpose of marriage.

K-3 Visa (Spouse Visa)

  1. Purpose: Intended for the foreign-citizen spouse of a U.S. citizen to enter the United States while waiting for an immigrant visa (IR-1 or CR-1) petition to be approved.

  2. Relationship Status: You must already be married to a U.S. citizen.

  3. Children: Unmarried children under 21 of a K-3 applicant can enter the U.S. on a K-4 visa.

  4. Adjustment of Status: Once in the U.S., the K-3 visa holder can apply for an adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident.

  5. Work Authorization: A K-3 visa holder may apply for work authorization after entering the U.S.

  6. Multiple Entry: Typically, the K-3 visa allows for multiple entries into the U.S. while waiting for the adjustment of status.

  7. Path to Green Card: The K-3 visa holder usually applies for a green card after arriving in the U.S., but the K-3 visa is generally used as a faster method to enter the U.S. while waiting for the approval of the CR-1 or IR-1 immigrant visa.

Both visas are considered "non-immigrant" in classification but are intended for those who wish to eventually immigrate to the U.S. Each has its own set of eligibility criteria, application procedures, and timelines, so you'll need to carefully consider which is most appropriate for your situation. Always consult official government sources or legal experts for the most current and personalized advice.

If you're eligible for a K-1 or K-3 visa, we are here to assist you throughout the application process. In case you are unsure about your eligibility for a K-1 or K-3 visa, we invite you to book a consultation session with us for personalized guidance.

 

CONTACT

OUR
OFFICES

Virginia Office

1750 Tysons BLVD, #1543

, McLean, VA 22102

New York Office

745 5th Ave, #500

New York, NY 10151

 

Click Here to Find Us

CONTACT

Contact Us

Opening Hours

Mon - Fri

9:00 am – 5:00 pm (EST)

Join Our Email List

Thanks for submitting!

bottom of page