Which Visa is better — Fiancé Visa or Marriage Visa?
U.S. citizens looking to bring their partner into the country on a K Visa must decide whether to apply for the K1 or the K3 Visa. The answer to this question will depend on the particulars of each case, but knowledge of the basic differences between the K1 and K3 will be helpful for unsure applicants.
If you and your loved one are not yet married, but plan to be married in the U.S., the K1 aka “Fiance(e) Visa” is most likely for you.
If you have already been, or plan to be, married in your loved one’s native country, before settling in the U.S., then the K3 aka “Marriage Visa” is probably the one you would want.
However—as with most immigration issues—this is not a cut and dry situation. There are other advantages and disadvantages for both visas. Applicants must carefully consider these before making a choice.
K1 Fiance(e) Visa:
One of the biggest advantages is that the Fiance(e) Visa allows you and your partner to spend more time together in the U.S. before being legally bound. Couples get a 90-day courtship window before the wedding must take place, during which the foreign partner can live in the U.S. This uninterrupted time together can help solidify a couple’s commitment and provide a strong base for the upcoming marriage.
In addition, U.S. Immigration, rather than a foreign government, processes K1 applications, and require only a single petition. This means K1 Visas are typically approved faster than K3 Marriage Visas.
Further, getting married in the U.S. means your marriage will be legal and recognized by U.S. Law. And, importantly, if any problem arises during the immigration process your American attorney can serve as the point person—thus keeping you from being endlessly shuffled between government agents.
Please note that if you are your partner do not get married within the 90-day window the foreign partner must return to their native country; and, it may require more persuasion to prove the legitimacy of your relationship. Your application must also be perfect, or the approval process could be delayed a year or more.
K3 Marriage Visa:
Some of the advantages of the Marriage Visa is that couples married in the foreign partner’s country won’t have to work as hard to prove the relationship to the foreign immigration consulate. Also, the K3 grants the foreign partner immediate legal U.S. residency. And the foreign partner is permitted to freely travel back and forth between the U.S. and her native country.
On the downside, the K3 application process involves two steps instead of one, and all documents must be translated into the language of the foreign country. If a single form is missing from your application you will face serious delays, keeping in mind that dealing with foreign-speaking immigration officials can be extremely difficult. Also, the U.S. partner must be granted permission by the foreign country to get married there, and marriage laws between the U.S. and other countries are not always compatible.
How Our Attorneys Can Help
As you may have suspected, there are quite a few factors to consider when choosing between the K1 and K3. Making the wrong decision can result in a significant setback for you and your partner. Our experienced lawyers can help identify the best course of action, whether it be through a K1 Fiancé Visa or Marriage Visa, and walk you through every step of the process.
Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.
Thank you. Your submission has been sent.
Ernest Law Group, PLC is located in Virginia Beach, VA and serves clients in and around Norfolk, Portsmouth, Fort Monroe, Hampton, Virginia Beach, Chesapeake, Chesapeake City County, Hampton City County, Norfolk City County, Portsmouth City County and Virginia Beach City County.
Attorney Advertising. This website is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. [ Site Map ]
Martindale-Hubbell and martindale.com are registered trademarks; AV, BV, AV Preeminent and BV Distinguished are registered certification marks; Lawyers.com and the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rated Icon are service marks; and Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings are trademarks of MH Sub I, LLC, used under license. Other products and services may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective companies. Copyright © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC. All rights reserved.