Living in the US after marrying can be boring if the spouse or family is not with you. Such people by all means try to bring their family as well to the US . True enough, uniting with the family and living in the US is a pleasant experience. In order to bring the spouse to the US there are certain procedures and guidelines to be followed which are laid down by the US government.
Spouse refers to the legally wedded husband or wife. Spouse immigration is the process where a non U.S citizen living abroad marries a US citizen and later becomes a lawful permanent resident of the US. By applying for the non immigrant K3 visa the spouse can join the US citizen. The K3 is almost similar to the K1 visa but has its own limitations. Under the US immigration laws, the K3 visa should be applied for by the US citizen spouse at the USCIS office where the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative is pending. K3 visa holders can later on apply for adjustment of status with the Department of Homeland Security after the petition is approved.
Filing the K3 Petition:
One of the mistakes that some couples commit is marrying within the foreign country, and then following the K1 visa process to bring their spouse into the US. It is always a well known fact that K 1 visa is only for a fiance, whom he/she is going to marry and not a spouse. Background checking is conducted thoroughly by the Homeland Security and in cases where they find a record of the fiance already married to the U.S. citizen, the whole process will come to a standstill thereby leading to many complications. It is always fair enough to follow the rules and regulations to have a successful entry with a K3 visa .
As a first step, the US citizen sponsor should file a Petition for Alien Relative with form I-130 with the USCIS. After the notice of action is received, Form I-129F is filed which is the Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), for the foreign spouse and children of the spouse. After the USCIS approves the I-129F, the petition will be sent to the National Visa center which after processing will send it to the US embassy or the consulate. Instructions on how to proceed will be given at the US consulate or the embassy.
Required documents as evidence:
When applying for K3 visa there are certain supporting documents required as evidence and need to be shown at the time of the interview. The supporting documents include birth certificates, marriage certificates, evidence of financial support or Affidavit of support, evidence of relationship with the spouse, proof of income, bank account, medical examinations and vaccination requirements, etc . Certain acts like drug trafficking, overstaying on a previous visa and submitting falsified documents will make the applicant ineligible for a visa. The K3 visa generally holds good for the people who have married a US citizen abroad and who live aboard.
The INA (Immigration and Nationality Act) defines a K-1 visa as a non-immigrant visa classification for aliens coming to the United States to marry an American citizen and to set up residence in the United States.
Procedure and requirements for K-1 visa:
To be eligible to file for a K-1 visa the applicant should be :
- A US citizen.
- Must have met his fiancé in person within the previous two years or at least once.
- Should have a serious intention to marry within 90 days of the fiancé’s arrival in the United States.
- Should have a minimum income requirement to qualify for the Affidavit of Support so that the fiancé does not become a public charge.
To get started with the K-1 visa process the American citizen must file a petition on behalf of his alien fiancée with the Form I-129F, Petition for Relative or Fiancée, with the (USCIS) having jurisdiction over the place of the petitioner’s residence in the United States. Such petitions are not generally adjudicated abroad.
Once the petition is approved it will be forwarded by the USCIS to the American consular office where the alien fiancée will apply for his or her visa. This petition is valid only for a period of four months from the date of USCIS action and may be revalidated by the consular officer.
On receipt of an approved petition, the American consular officer will intimate the beneficiary and provide the necessary forms and instructions to apply for a K-1 visa.
As the fiancée visa applicant is an intending immigrant, he or she must meet most of the documentary requirements of an immigrant visa applicant.
The following documents are generally required in addition to the prescribed application forms.
- A valid passport
- Birth certificate
- Divorce or death certificate of any previous spouse
- Police certificate from all places lived since age 16
- Medical examination
- Evidence of support
- Evidence of valid relationship with the petitioner
- As soon as the processing of the case is completed the consular officer will interview the fiancée.
- If found eligible then a visa will be issued which will be valid for one entry during a period of six months.
K-1 Fiancé Visa and U.S. PORT OF ENTRY:
On entry into the US the marriage should take place within 90 days of admission. Following the marriage the spouse must apply to the USCIS for conditional permanent residence status. After two years the alien may apply to the USCIS for removal of the conditions.
K-1 Fiancé Visa Additional Details:
Unmarried minor children who are under 21 years of age of the K-1 visa holder will derive “K-2” non-immigrant visa status from the parent as long as they are mentioned in the petition. A separate petition though is not required if the children accompany or follow the alien fiancée within one year from the date of issuance of the K-1visa. From thereon a separate immigrant visa (I-130) petition is required.
Bringing your loved ones to the United States can be an exciting time. However, one must be prepared and patient, but eventually one can enjoy life together with his/her fiancé.