Often US Citizens living in other countries find someone they wish to marry and bring back to the United States. We have listed down the best way for you to obtain an immigrant visa for your fiance or spouse.
File for the I-130 Petition while living abroad
US Citizens living outside of the United States that want to bring their partner back to the US with them need to submit Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative). After Form I-130 has been approved, it will be sent to to the consular for processing and the consulate or the embassy will provide the notification and processing information. After completing this step, the applicant will have to choose between 2 visa options –
1) K-3 Nonimmigrant Visa if Applicant is outside of USA
A K-3 visa allows a foreign national entry into the United States during the time they have to wait to get approval from the initial immigrant visa. This visa was formulated to reduce the separation between a US citizen and their spouse. Usually, the applicants of the K-3 visa are waiting for a green card (permanent resident) visa.
Visa Eligibility for K-3
To apply for a United States K-3 visa, both the foreign national and the US citizen must meet the following requirements –
- Be legally married
- Have a pending Form I-130
- Meet all requirements of the International Marriage Broker Regulation Act of 2005
K-3 Visa Application Process
The US Citizen’s fiance must first file for the Form I-130 with the USCIS. After USCIS starts processing the I-130 petition and if the applicant receives a receipt letter, the US Citizen can proceed to file the Form I-129F (Petition for Alien Fiancé). If the applicant receives the acceptance of Form I-129F, the case is then moved on to the US Embassy of that country. The last step is to apply for the K-3 visa through the US Embassy or consulate. This step contains a medical exam and visa interview that the K-3 applicant should prepare for. If the applicant gets the approval they may enter the United States.
2) Apply for Immigrant Visa while outside of the US
After you have filed the I-130 Form, your application will be sent to the National Visa Center, from there they will send a packet of forms and instructions. The international fiancé will then have to complete the required forms and documents, pay the fees, undergo a medical examination, and will have to provide their fingerprints for a criminal background check. The US Citizen will then need to provide an Affidavit of Support, proving that their income is sufficient to keep their spouse off of public assistance.
If everything is in order, the National Visa Center will then redirect the case to the US Embassy abroad. After this, the international spouse will be notified when to come in for an interview. If all the requirements meet, the spouse will be issued an immigrant visa. With this visa, the applicant’s spouse can enter the United States as a permanent resident.