Which Visa Should I Use for Bringing My Significant Other to the U.S.?

  • Jan 25 2019

There are many different types of visas, each with their own criteria, and each equally necessary in their own specific situations. Because of the number of visas, it can be confusing when trying to figure out the correct visa to apply for when trying to bring your significant other into the United States. However there are distinct differences that can help you to understand which visa is right for you.

K-1 Fiancé Visa

The K-1 Fiancé Visa serves to allow for a U.S. citizen’s foreign fiancé to enter into the United States for the purpose of getting married within 90 days of entrance. K-1 Visas, which usually take 5 to 7 months from the time that the petition is filed to the day that the visa is issued, are generally the most preferred by engaged international couples. This is because they are held to be the quickest, least expensive, and overall easiest of all of the visas to obtain.

In order to receive a K-1 Fiancé Visa, the I-129F Petition must be filed with the USCIS Service Center. A couple must have met within the past two years and meet the other requirements to begin the petition immediately. Once it is approved, it is sent to the embassy overseas during which time it requires further processing and an interview with the fiancé must be conducted. After this has been completed the K-1 Fiancé Visa will be issued. Once the visa is issued and the couple marries, the foreign spouse may stay in the U.S. with his or her new spouse.

CR-1 and IR-1 Marriage Visas

Though the K-1 Fiancé Visa is generally hailed as quicker and simpler for international couples looking to get married, the CR-1 and IR-1 Marriage Visas are meant specifically for the purpose of an American citizen’s foreign spouse being able to enter into the U.S. for immigration.

Like the K-1 Fiancé Visa, these Visas also usually take between 5-7 months from the time that the I-130 Petition is filed until the Marriage Visa is issued. The process while similar varies slightly. First an individual must file the petition with the USCIS, whereupon its approval the National Visa Center will contact the petitioner for further processing requirements. Once a couple is married, it can begin the petition.

Once the Center has approved of it, the Petition is then sent to the overseas embassy for the final step of processing, which includes a spouse interview prior to the issuance of the visa. After the USCIS approves of the petition, U.S. residents are required to wait until an Immigration Visa number is available. Due to this additional waiting period, Marriage Visas can prove to be much slower and expensive than the K-1 Fiancé Visa. Unlike the K-1 Fiancé Visa, when applying for a Marriage Visa even if the couple has married, the spouse overseas must remain there until they actually receive the visa.

Contact Us Today!

Navigating Immigration Law is no easy feat. If you should have any questions concerning which visa is right for you, it’s in your best interest to consult with a knowledgeable and experienced immigration attorney. At Talamantes Immigration Law Firm, APC we would be happy to discuss your best options. For more information, contact us today!


Posted in: Immigration Law