Last updated on May 15th, 2019
Are you and your United States citizen spouse living in two different countries because you are waiting to legally enter into the United States?
If your answer is yes, and you are seeking a way to enter into the United States sooner, a K-3 Marriage Visa may be the best option. An IR1/CR1 Spousal Visa is also a great option if you meet the requirements.
We’ll explain the requirements for each below.
Am I Eligible for the K-3 Marriage Visa?
The K-3 Marriage Visa is a nonimmigrant visa specifically for someone in your position. It allows an immigrant to enter the United States to be with their United States citizen spouse while they wait for their green card.
In order to be eligible for a K-3 Marriage Visa, you must:
- Be married to a United States citizen; and
- Have a Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative pending with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS)
Once you have proof that your I-130 petition is pending, you can quickly file the I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé.
While the K-3 marriage visa is a great idea, sometimes it is not even needed. USCIS may approve your I-130 petition before your K-3 marriage visa is issued and you will no longer need a K-3 visa to lawfully enter into the United States.
In the off chance that your I-130 petition takes longer than usual, however, a K-3 marriage visa would be handy. Since there is no application fee for the subsequent I-129F petition, it is a win-win situation, but you have to be eligible in order to apply.
Proof That I Am Married To A United States Citizen
When your spouse submits Form I-130 on your behalf, he will be required to demonstrate that you are his spouse and your marriage is legitimate. He will be required to include:
- A copy of your marriage certificate
- Passport-style photos of both him and you
- A completed Form G-325A Biographic Information for each of you
He is also encouraged to include additional forms of proof that the two of you are married which can include bank statements, joint home ownership, and affidavits from friends.
Proof That I Have Form I-130 Pending
When USCIS receives your Form I-130, they will send you a receipt called Form I-797 Notice of Action to let you know that they have processed your petition.
Be sure to keep track of this receipt because you will be required to include a copy of it with your K-3 Marriage Visa application. It is the easiest way to prove that you have Form I-130 pending.
Are There Any Requirements After I File My K-3 Application?
After USCIS receives and processes your Form I-129F (K-3 application), you will be required to attend an interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
The U.S. Embassy or Consulate will provide you with a list of required actions you must complete before the interview and items you are required to bring to the interview.
What Would I Be Required To Do Before My Interview?
Before your interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate, USCIS requires that have a medical examination done by an approved doctor. At this time, USCIS does not require that you receive any vaccinations.
However, it would be a good idea to have your vaccination completed because USCIS will require you to receive vaccinations for your green card application.
You will also be required to fill out the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application called Form DS-160. Access to Form DS-160 can be found on the U.S. Department of State website.
Once you have completed the online application, you will reach a confirmation page which you print to have for your records.
What Will I Be Required To Bring To My Interview?
Your interview at the U.S. Embassy or consulate is one of the last steps in the visa application process. We are sure you will be ready to finish the whole application process and receive your K-3 visa so you can enter the United States to be with your spouse.
In order to make sure the interview begins smoothly, you should make sure that you bring all the required documents that the U.S. Embassy or Consulate wants to see, including:
- Your valid passport
- A copy of the Form DS-160 confirmation page
- A copy of your marriage certificate
- Copies of birth certificates for kids born to both you and your spouse
- Copies of divorce certificates if either of you have been married before
- Proof that you obtained a medical examination
- Proof that you will be supported financially
Am I Eligible for an IR1/CR1 Spousal Visa?
The second way that you can get into the United States is by applying for an IR1/CR1 Spousal Visa. The IR1/CR1 visa is an immigrant visa, unlike the K-3 visa, that will allow you to enter the United States as a lawful permanent resident.
This process may take more or less time than the K-3 process but begins the same way, by filing Form I-130.
Essentially, you will receive a spousal visa instead of a K-3 marriage visa in the event that the I-130 petition is approved before the I-129F petition.
The I-130 process will generally take about 7 months unless you file directly at U.S. Consulate in your home country. To be eligible for Direct Consulate Filing, your spouse is required to be a United States citizen that is a legal resident of a foreign country where there is a U.S. Consulate.