K Visas: Shortening the Waiting Period for Spouses of American Citizens

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Prior to the creation of the K visa, spouses of U.S. citizens who lived abroad were required to complete the lengthy process of obtaining permanent residence in their home country before entering the U.S.  In practice, immigration laws before the existence of the K visa essentially separated married or engaged couples for periods of 2 years or more.  Fortunately, the K visa was created and now couples don't have to wait out the entire green card process while separated from their loved ones.

There are two types of K visas: the K-1 visa for fiances of U.S. citizens, and the K-3 visa for spouses of U.S. citizens.  There are a few noteworthy differences in the processes for obtaining a K-1 or a K-3 visa.  First, the K-3 visa requires that the U.S. citizen spouse submit an I-130 petition in the U.S. before filing for the K-3 visa.  The K-1 visa doesn't require an I-130 petition to be submitted at any time.  Second, the duration of validity of the K-1 visa is only 90 days, as opposed to the K-3 visa which permits presence in the U.S. for a period of 2 years.  The K-1 visa also requires that a fiancee must marry their U.S. citizen petitioner within 90 days of entry into the U.S. 

The elements of proof for a successful K visa application are essentially the same, regardless of if a K-1 visa or a K-3 visa is being sought.  The three elements that any K visa application must satisfy are proof that the petitioner is a U.S. citizen, proof of marriage to the beneficiary (or proof of intent to marry if a K-1 application) and proof that the immigrant has met his/her significant lover at least once over the last 2 years.  K visa applicants should be sure to save evidence of a meeting when they visit their significant other, like photographs, plane tickets, receipts and other types of documentation.

If you are a U.S. citizen and are interested in starting the process to obtain a green card for your spouse, visit this website for more information.

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This page contains a single entry by Jonathan Portner published on July 1, 2009 3:26 PM.

Status of the Illegal Immigrants Right to Obtain a License in Maryland was the previous entry in this blog.

Child Status Protection Act: Aging-Out Protection Explained is the next entry in this blog.

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