K1 Visa vs Form I 130

Most people who wish to help their fiance(e) immigrate to US have a doubt on what form to file, whether K1 visa or Form I 130. It depends on the the length of the relationship, the supporting evidence, the number of times the sponsor or the petitioner has physically met their fiance(e), are few of the considerations to file the appropriate form.

Only the citizens of the US may file a K1 visa for a fiance(e). If you are a legal permanent resident you may then have to file Form I 130 to petition your spouse. A K1 visa is issued to the fiance(e) of a United States citizen to enter the US and marry the United Citizen within 90 days after the entry of the fiance(e) into US. A K3 visa is used by a US citizen to bring his or her spouse to the US. Form I 130 is used by a US Citizen or a legal permanent resident to petition his or her spouse for a green card.

The average waiting time for K1 visa is approximately 7-9 months, K-3 petitions take approximately 8-10 months and Form I 130 petitions take approximately 8-12 months to be processed.

What Form Must I File?

If you are a US Citizen and you wish to bring your fiance(e) to US to get married you must file K1 visa application. On approval of the petition by the US Citizen, the fiance(e) may travel to United States for a period of 90 days. A K-1 visa requires a fiance(e) to marry his or her US citizen sponsor within 90 days of entry into the United States. The fiance(e) may then obtain work permit to work in the United States. It is mandatory that the US Citizen and the fiance(e) must be married within the 90 days period , so that the fiance(e) will be eligible to apply to adjust status to a lawful permanent resident.

If you are a US Citizen and you wish to bring your spouse to US then you must file K3 visa application. You can apply for a K-3 visa for your spouse only after you have filed the I-130 petition. Your spouse can enter the US on a K3 visa while the I-130 is pending and must apply to adjust status to a permanent resident with the USCIS upon approval of the petition.

Form I 130 is used by either by a US Citizen or a Legal Permanent Resident to petition their spouse to immigrate to United States. This process is a lengthy process when compared to that of K1 and other processes.

A K1 visa holder will not be able work or leave the country until they apply for adjustment of status. When they file for adjustment of status, applications for employment and travel will also have to be filed. After 90 days of filing the petition, the spouse may be able to travel and work.

A K-3 visa is a multiple-entry visa and the spouse may travel out of the country. The K 3 visa holder must apply for an EAD/work permit and it has to be filed along with the adjustment of status application.

Once the adjustment of status application is approved, the applicant acquires legal permanent resident status. They may then obtain employment immediately and also travel outside the country.

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7 Responses to K1 Visa vs Form I 130

  1. Pingback: United Visa Card Services

  2. jenniferp1234 says:

    This article is very informative and helpful. Thanks! Knowing which visa to apply for can be confusing, and everyone’s case is somewhat unique. I’m glad that the I 130 Form was also mentioned in this article. It is important for people to know that they can still help their loved ones come to the US if they are legal permanent residents and not US citizens. I’m interested most in the K1 visa. It is often difficult to know where to start in collecting all the paperwork needed to even apply for a K1 visa. If the US citizen has met his/her Thai fiancé or spouse in Thailand and the couple is applying for the K1 visa from Thailand, then perhaps it is best to seek the advice of a K1 visa attorney in Thailand. I recently spoke to a Thai friend who spent over one year compiling her K1 visa application with her boyfriend. She told me that the journey would’ve been a lot easier if she had found an attorney to help her through the process. I am sure many people apply successfully for K1 visas on their own. However, one misstep and fiancées run the risk of being denied. Applying for a visa is such an intimidating process that applicants deserve all the help they can get, including an attorney and sound advice from a range of sources. I’m glad that blogs such as this one aim to help US visa applicants.

    • Yogesh says:

      Hey hi, i saw and read your feedback. I like it. Do you anything more about K1 visa cause I m whilling to apply from India. Will you help me?? I will be waiting for your reply..

  3. The whole content is informative. I want to ask that Does the term and conditions same for Singapore K1 fiance Visa or there is something different.

  4. A K-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa issued to the fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen to enter the United States.

  5. yurisincero says:

    will the fiance be able to travel around the USA even if they just got married and still waiting for the adjustment of status?

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