A Quick Lesson on K Visas

American Citizens wishing to bring their foreign spouses to reside within the United States can do it through an Immigrant Visa for a Spouse of a U.S. Citizen (IR-1 or CR-1) or a Non-Immigrant Visa for a Spouse (K-3). Similarly, U.S. citizens can bring their foreign fiancé(e)s to the country to live and get married through a Non-Immigrant Visa for a Foreign Fiancé(e) (K-1).


K1 / K-1 VISA: Non-Immigrant Visa for a Foreign Fiancé(e)


American citizens wishing to bring their foreign fiancé(e)s to get married and to live in the United States must file an (I-129F) Petition for Alien fiancé(e) in the United States. The I-129F petition must be filed with the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services at the USCIS Immigration Field Office in the area of residence. This petition cannot be filed at an embassy, consulate, or U.S. Immigration Office abroad.


IR-1 or CR-1 Visa:
Immigrant Visa for a Spouse of a U.S. Citizen


American citizens can obtain immigrant visas for their spouses by filing a Petition for a Relative Alien (Form I-130) with the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services within the United States at the USCIS Immigration Field Office in the area of residence. Because the petitioner must fill an affidavit of support (Form I-864) that is required for all (IR1) immigration cases, the applicant must have a residence within the U.S. before an immigrant visa can be issued to the spouse.


K3 / K-3 Visa: Non-Immigrant Visa for a Spouse


Spouses of U.S. Citizens, along with the spouse’s children, are eligible to enter the United States and remain in the country to complete their immigration process on non-immigrant visas (K-3 and K-4). K-4 visas are issued to a child only after the parent has obtained a K-3 visa or is in K-3 status. The application for a non-immigrant visa for spouse (K-3) must be filed in the country where the marriage took place, because it is there that the visa must be issued. After the spouse has completed the visa process and obtained the visa, the spouse is able to travel to the U.S. to wait for the immigrant visa case to be processed. This process requires two petitions:


  • Petition for Alien Relative, Form 1-130
  • Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), Form I-129F

    If you have a question about a K visa or any other question regarding an immigration issue, call my office at 616-233-9300 or email me at rfmirque@mirquelaw.com

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