How to Bring Your Fiancé or Spouse to the United States

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How to Bring Your Fiancé or Spouse to the United States

If you are engaged to or have already married, someone from another country, you are likely looking at the next steps in order to bring your significant other to the United States. A fiancé visa can be used to bring your future spouse to the United States, while married couples have added visa options to consider. It is important to speak with a knowledgeable Chicago immigration attorney who can advise you on what the best option is for your situation.

K-1 Fiancé Visa

The fiancé visa is the K-1 visa that is used to bring your significant other to the United States. It is a non-immigration visa that will allow him or her to stay in the country for up to 90 days. During this time, the couple must get married in order for the visa holder to apply for legal status and become a permanent American resident. To apply, you must meet three requirements. These are:

  • There must be a legitimate, good faith intention to get married;
  • You must have met each other in person within the last two years, or the USCIS must grant a waiver; and
  • You must be able to legally get married under United States law within 90 days of the K-1 visa holder’s arrival.

K-3 Visas

As an American citizen, you have a right to bring your foreign spouse to the country and live legally. One option is an immigrant visa, either an IR-1 visa or a CR-1 visa. There is another option called the K-3 visa which is a non-immigrant visa that can actually help speed things up some. The K-3 visa can be issued in the country in which the marriage occurred. In this scenario, the foreign spouse can return to the United States with you to live without waiting for the immigration visa application to be processed. This is a huge benefit because immigrant visas can take an extremely long time to be approved. Once your spouse is in the country, the K-3 visa holder will ultimately be able to apply for their adjustment of status through Form I-485.

Applying for an immigrant visa for your spouse can take even longer if they decide your application needs further administrative processing, which will occur after your spouse’s applicant interview with a consular officer.

Retaining a Chicago Immigration Attorney

While the process might look straightforward at first glance, applying for a fiancé or spouse visa can be complex and stressful. If you make a mistake, it could cause significant delays or wind up with the government throwing your case out. Contacting an experienced Chicago immigration attorney can alleviate those concerns. At Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC, we have over four decades of experience helping couples with their immigration needs. Contact us at 312-332-2550 to schedule a consultation.