Family Based Immigration Law – Non-Permanent Residency
Marriage and Family Visas
The foreign fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen may obtain a temporary “marriage visa” called a K-1 visa. This visa allow the foreign fiancé(e) to come to the United States and wait here to obtain permanent residency through adjustment of status rather than waiting in his/her home country. The purpose of the K-1 marriage visa is to avoid long separations between the U.S. citizen and his/her loved one while waiting.
In general, the U.S. citizen petitioner must show that he or she will marry the K-1 fiancé(e) within 90 days of the latter’s arrival in the U.S. The petitioner must also show that both parties are free to marry and any previous marriages have been legally terminated. Finally, it must be demonstrated that the petitioner and the applicant have met, in person, at least once within the two years preceding the date of filing the visa petition (subject to certain exceptions).
Children of the K-1 principal may enter the United States in K-2 dependent status.
The foreign spouse of a U.S. citizen may obtain a temporary “marriage visa” called a K-3 visa. This visa allows the foreign spouse to come to the United States and wait here to obtain permanent residency through adjustment of status, rather than waiting in his/her home country. The purpose of the K-3 marriage visa is to avoid long separations between the U.S. citizen and his/her loved one while waiting.
In general, the U.S. citizen spouse must first file an I-130 petition on behalf of the foreign spouse. It is prudent for the U.S. citizen petitioner to file an I-130 for any minor children of the foreign spouse at the same time he/she files the I-130 for the spouse. The petitioner must then file form I-129F for the spouse. Upon approval, the I-129F will be forwarded to the Department of State for scheduling of the visa interview.
Children of the K-3 principal may enter the United States in K-4 dependent status.
Upon visa issuance and entry to the United States, the K-3 spouse can apply for adjustment of status (i.e. permanent residence) at any time, and any K-4 children can apply for adjustment concurrently with or at any time after a Form I-130 has been filed on his/her behalf by the U.S. citizen petitioner.
K-3 and K-4 visa holders are admitted to the United States for a two year period, subject to possible extension in two year increments so long as an I-130 visa petition or corresponding adjustment of status application remains pending.