K-3 Marriage Visa Process
The United States Visa obtainment process can be daunting as well as confusing because there are so many different visa categories, and each category has a slightly different way of processing through the American Immigration system.
There are three major types of United States Family visa categories available to Fiancees and Spouses of American Citizens.
The United States K1 Fiance Visa
The K1 visa (or Fiancee Visa) is only available for the foreign fiancee of a United States Citizen. This visa isn’t an option for the fiance or fiancee of a Permanent Resident in the United States. The major requirements are that the couple have met within two years of application submission (this requirement may be waived, but from a practical standpoint it is unlikely). The American Citizen must show that he or she can support the foreign fiancee and that they have a bona fide relationship. The K1 visa process tends to be the fastest of all US Family Visa categories.
The US Immigrant Visa
The US Immigrant Visa is the usual method for bringing a foreign loved one to the USA. Unlike the other visa categories mentioned in this piece, the Immigrant visa is available to the spouses of American permanent residents. The Visa obtained in this category is commonly referred to as the CR1 or IR1 visa. The CR1 Visa Process takes the most amount of time, but once obtained, the visa confers lawful permanent residence upon the alien’s entry into the United States or America.
The United States K3 Visa
The K3 marriage visa is sort of a hybrid petition as it has elements of both the K1 visa process and the CR1 Visa Process. Where a couple has yet to formalize a marriage, the K3 visa is probably not the wisest option because a K1 processes more quickly and an Immigrant visa has the benefit of permanent residence upon arrival. The applicant for a K-3 visa must first submit an I130 application and then after USCIS receives that petition, they must turn around and file an I-129f application.
Even though there are many visas that can be obtained based upon a relationship with a United States Citizen. There are also derivative child visas available to the children of the intending immigrant. A K-2 visa is the child visa which is the derivative counterpart of the K-1. The K4 visa is the child derivative of the K3 visa. Finally, the CR2 and IR2 are the child derivatives for the children of Immigrant visa holders. In the case of the Immigrant visas, a separate petition will likely need to be filed in order for the step-children of the US Citizen to enter the USA.