It is possible for a U.S. citizen to bring his or her spouse or fiancé to the United States with a temporary immigrant visa. This is one of the most common ways to bring someone into our country, but it can be a complicated process. There are a number of different ways to obtain a visa and not all applicants are accepted.
The law allows foreign citizen fiancés to travel to Los Angeles to get married here. However, the marriage must take place within 90 days of arriving in the country. After the marriage, the immigrant spouse may then apply for permanent residency through the K1 visa program.
To obtain a K1 visa, the U.S. citizen who is sponsoring the foreign citizen must file a Form I-129F with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Both spouses must prove that they were legally allowed to marry and that they met in person within the past two years. The foreign spouse may also have to undergo a medical examination and receive a number of vaccinations.
A K3 visa, however, is for couples who were married in a foreign country. The foreign spouse may enter the United States after the marriage as a non-immigrant until the K3 application has been approved. This way, someone can enter the country shortly after being married abroad and then apply for permanent residency while living here. The couple will have to qualify as spouses in the country where they were married and the foreign citizen will have to apply for a K3 visa in that country. The U.S. citizen will then have to sponsor the foreign spouse by filing a Form I-130. As an alternative to the K-3, your immigration attorney may advise applying for permanent residency through consular processing. You can be assured that our attorneys will discuss these options at your consultation.
It is absolutely vital to the application process that no mistakes are made in the paperwork. The slightest error can delay the acceptance of the visa and even lead to deportation. It is therefore helpful to receive guidance before, during, and after the application process from an experienced Los Angeles immigration attorney to make sure that everything goes smoothly.