K-1 and K-3 US Spouse Visa – I-130 Petition

Around Valentine’s Day, engagement announcements often increase in frequency. The value of family unity has been revered in United States immigration law for a long time. Consequently, US citizens desiring to admit a spouse of a foreign national into the country may do so by applying for a K-1 or K3 visa.

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K-1 Visa for US Citizens

Under the K-1 category, a U.S. citizen may sponsor a foreign national, allowing the couple to wed in the country. A K-1 petition is submitted to US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by the U.S. citizen. After acceptance, the fiance must register for the K-1 visa at a US Embassy or consulate. Minor children of the foreign national fiance may apply for K-2 visas to accompany the K-1 applicant to the United States.

K-3 Visa for Spouse of US Citizen

Under the K-3 category, a foreign national who is married to a U.S. citizen may obtain a transient residence permit. A considerable duration of separation may be required for the couple as a result of the customary immigration visa application process. A K-3 petition may be submitted by the U.S. citizen after the submission of an I-130 petition on the spouse’s behalf. The foreign national may apply for a K-3 Visa, which would grant the spouse a two-year visa to enter the country if the application is approved.

The K-4 Visa, which is extended to minor offspring of the foreign national spouse, shares similarities with the K-2 Visa. After being admitted to the country, the K-3 spouse may file for a change of status and remain in the country while their cases are pending. The K3 serves no purpose. When submitting a K-3 petition to USCIS, the I-130 must typically be submitted first.


The K-3 petition is typically resolved before the I-130 being approved. As the K-3 petition is promptly revoked, the foreign national spouse is not permitted to apply for an immigrant visa at the US Consulate until a later date. The only practical application for the K-3 is in the event of a delay in the anticipated I-130.


Benefits of K-1 and K-3 US Spouse Visa

K-1 Visa (Fiancé(e) Visa):

  • Enhanced Egress for Matrimony: A U.S. citizen’s foreign fiancé may enter the country on a K-1 visa to enter into matrimony within ninety days of their arrival.
  • Authorized Entry: The foreign fiancée may marry the U.S. citizen petitioner and subsequently apply for Adjustment of Status (Green Card) to obtain permanent resident status.
  • Authorization to Work: While awaiting Adjustment of Status and following matrimony, the holder of a K-1 visa may petition for a work permit.
  • Qualifications for a Green Card: With a valid marriage and successful adjustment of status, the holder of a K-1 visa can legally establish permanent residency in the United States.

K-3 Visa (Spouse of a U.S. Citizen):

  • Assists in the Admission of Spouses: Spouses of U.S. citizens who are awaiting the approval of their immigrant visa petitions overseas are eligible to apply for the K-3 visa.
  • Easier Admission for Spouses: It grants entry to the foreign spouse into the United States pending the processing of their immigrant visa petition.
  • Authorization to Work: The K-3 visa holder may submit an application for a work permit in a manner analogous to the K-1 visa, while they await the Adjustment of Status.
  • Streamlined Procedure for Immigrant Visas: Couples can be reunited more swiftly with the assistance of the K-3 visa, which is valid while the immigrant visa petition submitted by the U.S. citizen spouse is processed.

LPR can sponsor a Spouse by filing an I-130 petition

An LPR is authorized to submit an I-130 petition in support of a spouse, but not a K-1 or K3 petition in support of a fiancé. Such cases are submitted under the second preference based on family. The priority date and category are both determined by the date the I-130 petition is lodged.

An I-130 petition is typically necessary solely in cases where the couple enters into matrimony after the primary spouse obtains LPR status. A distinct petition is typically unnecessary when the marriage occurs before the issuance of the green card for the primary spouse.

Same-sex couples Eligible for K-1 and K3

US v. Windsor decision rendered by the Supreme Court of the United States. In the application process for US immigration benefits, including those awarded under the K-1 and K3 categories, same-sex couples are afforded the same treatment as their heterosexual counterparts. Although state regulations about marriage may at times impact the eligibility of foreign nationals for K-1 or K3 visas, this is not the case with state regulations concerning the recognition of homosexual and lesbian ceremonies.

An applicant’s K3 Visa application may be denied if they intend to reside in a state that prohibits such unions and are lawfully married to their first cousin. For instance, the visa application of a legally wedded same-sex couple seeking to reside in a state that does not recognize matrimonial unions cannot be denied solely based on this fact.

An elucidation of the Windsor decision rendered by the Supreme Court and its implications for immigration law is provided. U.S. immigration law is not exempt from imperfections. Advocating for family unity, even in the K-1 and K3 categories, is a commendable undertaking.

US Visa Scam Alert

Visa fraud specifically targets highly skilled laborers originating from the United States. This article provides clarification on some concerning news. A Visa fraud that has been targeted at professionals will be discussed.

Desperate professionals have fallen victim to visa fraud schemes that entice them with bogus employment guarantees. Numerous individuals were duped by this illusory scheme, resulting in their hopelessness and financial deprivation. These individuals are forced to depend on food banks for survival. As more individuals lack access to shelter, the gravity of the situation intensifies.

Prospective employees who wish to relocate internationally must exercise extreme caution and verify the legitimacy of employment offers continuously. These fraudulent activities not only have the potential to destroy your aspirations for a prosperous future but also pose a threat to your life.

  1. What are K1 and K3 visas?

    The main difference between the two types of visas is that the K1 fiancé visa is issued to a foreign national who is not yet married to a U.S. citizen, while the K3 spousal visa is for couples who are already married.

  2. Which is faster, K-1 or K-3?

    K1 Fiance Visas are generally preferred (over the Marriage Visa and K3 Marriage Visa) as the visa of choice for engaged international couples as they are considered the easiest, quickest, and least expensive route.

  3. How long can I stay in the U.S. with a K3 visa? 

    The validity period of an immigrant and fiancé(e) visa is based on the medical examination, the maximum validity of which is six months from the date on which it is performed. You will be advised further during your interview. K-3 visas are usually valid for travel for two years from the date of issuance.

Asim Khan

Asim Khan is a distinguished author and career consultant with an exceptional background in guiding individuals towards achieving their professional aspirations. With a wealth of experience in career development and a profound understanding of the intricacies of the job market, Asim has emerged as a beacon of guidance for those seeking to carve out a successful career path.

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