This page provides information for U.S. citizens wishing to bring a foreign national fiancé(e) living abroad to the United States to marry.If you plan to marry a foreign national outside the United States or your fiancé(e) is already residing legally in the United States, you do not need to file for a fiancé(e) visa.
If you petition for a fiancé(e) visa, you must show that:
- You (the petitioner) are a U.S. citizen.
- You intend to marry within 90 days of your fiancé(e) entering the United States.
- You and your fiancé(e) are both free to marry and any previous marriages must have been legally terminated by divorce, death, or annulment.
- You met each other, in person, at least once within 2 years of filing your petition.
There are two exceptions that require a waiver:
- If the requirement to meet would violate strict and long-established customs of your or your fiancé(e)’s foreign culture or social practice.
- If you prove that the requirement to meet would result in extreme hardship to you.
After the Fiancé(e) Visa is Issued
Once issued, the fiancé(e) visa (or K-1 nonimmigrant visa) allows your fiancé(e) to enter the United States for 90 days so that your marriage ceremony can take place. Once you marry, your spouse may apply for permanent residence and remain in the United States while USCIS processes the application.
Children of Fiancé(e)s
If your fiancé(e) has a child (under 21 and unmarried), a K-2 nonimmigrant visa may be available to him or her.
Permission to Work
After admission, your fiancé(e) may immediately apply for permission.
What happens if we do not marry within 90 days?
Fiancé(e) status automatically expires after 90 days. It cannot be extended. Your fiancé(e) should leave the United States at the end of the 90 days if you do not marry. If your fiancé(e) does not depart, he or she will be in violation of U.S. immigration law. This may result in removal (deportation) and/or could affect future eligibility for U.S. immigration benefits.
We want to make plans for our wedding. How long will this process take?
Each case is different, please contact us to help you navigate the process
K-3/K-4 Nonimmigrant Visas
Immigration law allows the alien spouse of a U.S. citizen and his or her minor children to be admitted to the United States as non-immigrants while they are awaiting the adjudication for Alien Relative. It also allows them to obtain employment authorization while they are waiting.
To be eligible for a K-3 non-immigrant visa, an individual must:
- Be married to a U.S. citizen
- Have a pending Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, filed by the U.S. citizen spouse on his or her behalf
A child may be eligible for a K-4 visa if:
- He or she is unmarried, under 21, and the child of a qualified K-3 non-immigrant visa applicant
Note: In order for a K-4 who is a step-child of a USC to immigrate as a relative of the USC step-parent (whether through adjustment of status in the United States or an immigrant visa abroad) the marriage between his or her parent and the USC must have occurred before his or her 18th birthday.
Benefits and Limitations of K-3/K-4 Nonimmigrant Visa
The benefits of the K-3/K-4 visa include:
Once admitted to the United States, K-3 non-immigrants may apply to adjust status to a permanent resident at any time. Upon admission to the United States, K-4 non-immigrants may file an application for adjustment of status concurrently with or at any time after a Form I-130 has been filed on his or her behalf by the U.S. citizen petitioner.
Upon admission, K-3 and K-4 non-immigrant visa holders may obtain employment authorization. Upon filing an application for adjustment of status, K-3 and K-4 non-immigrant visa holders may also apply for employment authorization based on that pending application even if the K-3 or K-4 non-immigrant status expires.
The Limitations of the K-3/K-4 Nonimmigrant Visa
When the K-3’s application reaches the Department of State, an immigrant visa is immediately available to him or her such that the he or she and his or her children are no longer eligible for K-3/K-4 non-immigrant status, but rather must immigrate as lawful permanent residents. If the K-4 does not have an approved application at the Department of State at that time, he or she will be ineligible to immigrate with the spouse of the USC.
Automatic Expiration of a K-3 Non-immigrant Visa
A K-3 visa holder’s authorized stay automatically expires 30 days after any of the following events:
- USCIS denies or revokes the Form I-130 visa petition
- USCIS denies a Form I-485 filed by the K-3 non-immigrant or Department of State denies the immigrant visa application filed by the K-3 non-immigrant
- Termination of the marriage through divorce or annulment
Note: A K-4’s authorized stay automatically expires when the K3’s status expires.
If Your Child Turns 21 Before Obtaining Immigrant Status
Holders of K-4 non-immigrant visas will be admitted to the United States for 2 years or until the day before their 21st birthday, whichever is shorter. The K-4 non-immigrant ‘s status will expire when he or she turns 21. If the USC petitioner filed the application on a K-4 non-immigrant’s behalf before the K-4 turned 21, he or she may continue to be eligible for adjustment of status under the Child Status Protection Act.
If Your Child Marries Before Being Issued an Immigrant Visa
The K-4 non-immigrant’s status automatically expires 30 days after he or she marries.
Advance Parole for K-3 or K-4 Family Members
Applicants presently in the United States in a K-3 or K-4 non-immigrant classification may travel outside the United States and return using their K-3 or K-4 non-immigrant visa. The only time advance parole is necessary is if the K-3 or K-4 non-immigrant visa has expired and the applicant has an adjustment of status application that remains pending.
Changing to Another Non-immigrant Visa Category
K-3 or K-4 non-immigrant visa holders cannot change status in the United States to another non-immigrant visa category.