Fiancé & Spouse Visas (K-1 & K-3 Visas)

K-1 visas allow U.S. citizens to bring their foreign national fiancé(e) to the U.S. in order to marry.

Colorado immigration attorney Lisa E. Battan will prepare the forms and help you to organize the supporting documents for your K-1 visa petition and for your spouse's permanent residence (green card) application. The fiancé(e) visa process can be broken into three steps, as follows:

1. United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): The U.S. citizen ("Petitioner") files a visa petition for his or her fiancé(e) ("Beneficiary") with USCIS in the United States. The petition must be approved.

After we have all of the signed forms and the documents we need from you, we will start the process by filing the fiancé(e) visa petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). USCIS will then send us a receipt notice. The receipt notice will contain an estimate of how long it will take USCIS to process the petition. The receipt notice will also contain a receipt number that we can use to track the case online. We will provide both of you with this number as well so that you can track the case status.

2. The National Visa Center (NVC): USCIS sends the approved visa petition to NVC. NVC creates a case record and forwards the approved petition to the appropriate embassy or consulate so the Beneficiary can be interviewed regarding his or her eligibility for a visa.

3. The Embassy/Consulate: The embassy or consulate receives the approved petition from the NVC, sends the Beneficiary a packet of forms and instructions, and schedules the Beneficiary for an in-person interview. The consular officer conducting the interview will decide whether the K-1 visa should be issued. The visa may be issued on the same day as the interview, or the applicant may have to return to the consulate at a later time to pick up the visa. If the consulate has any problems in issuing the visa, they should give you those reasons in writing.

The consular process can take several months, although processing times vary greatly.

If the consular officer approves the Beneficiary's visa application, the consulate will issue him or her a K-1 visa. The visa will be valid for six months, and the Beneficiary must enter the U.S. during that period. Please note that a K-1 visa is a "single-entry" visa, meaning that if a K-1 entrant leaves the U.S. after entry, the U.S. government will require him or her to obtain a new visa in order to return.

Within 90 days of the Beneficiary's entry to the U.S., the two of you must marry. After you marry, we will file the Beneficiary's permanent residence application with USCIS. Within three months after we file the applications, USCIS will issue the Beneficiary a work authorization card which will allow him or her to work in the U.S. The Beneficiary may also apply for a travel document, called "advance parole," which will allow him or her to travel outside U.S. while the permanent residence application is pending. Once the Beneficiary applies for permanent resident status, he or she cannot leave the U.S. without a travel document, or the application will be deemed abandoned and the Beneficiary will have to remain outside the U.S. until we can find another way to bring him or her back. It takes USCIS about three months to issue a travel document.

As the last step in the permanent residency process, you may both be required to attend a personal interview at the Denver USCIS office. At this time you will be asked to present evidence showing that you are married and residing together. This evidence can include joint tax returns, joint bank accounts, a joint lease or mortgage, joint utility bills, joint insurance and photographs.

For more information about the permanent residence process, contact the law firm of Lisa E. Battan, P.C. today.

K-3 Visas/Spouse Visas

If you are already married, then you are no longer eligible to apply for the K-1 visa. You should apply for a K-3 visa to bring your spouse to the U.S. The K-3 visa process is similar to the process used for K-1 visas, but not exactly the same.

First we will file the Immigrant Petition with USCIS. Once we have the receipt notice for that filing, we can file a form I-129F K-3 petition with USCIS.

After the USCIS approves the K-3 visa petition, your spouse will apply for their visa at the U.S. consulate in their home country. The process will be largely the same as described above. Your spouse will have a medical exam. The consulate will take care of getting police clearances, or they will give her directions of how to get the clearances. At the end of the consular process, your spouse will have a personal interview to determine if they are eligible for the visa.

The K-3 visa allows your spouse to enter the U.S. multiple times. The visa will be valid for two years. Your spouse can apply for permission to work during that time. It normally takes USCIS about 90 days to process the work authorization application.

The two of you can file your spouse's permanent residence applications any time after he or she arrives. The permanent residence process is as described above.

Contact Us

Contact a K visa attorney today to discuss your situation with a seasoned Colorado immigration lawyer. We are dedicated to helping you and your family to have the best possible experience with our immigration system.