Two Types of Spouse Visas
There are two types of Spouse Visas. The K3 spouse visa and the CR1/IR1 spouse visa.
- K3 spouse visa
- CR1/IR1 spouse visa
They both require the couple to be married and the foreign spouse to be living abroad. This causes a lot of confusion and many people don't know which one to apply for.
IMMIGRATION UPDATE: CR1 vs K3 SPOUSE VISA
Due to recent U.S. Immigration (USCIS) changes in the K3 visa processing, the K3 visa is no longer significantly faster than the CR1 visa. The K3 visa may be obtained 1 to 2 months quicker than the CR1 visa.
Consider applying for the CR1 Spouse visa over the K3 visa. The length of time for the CR1 Visa 9-11 months for processing and your foreign spouse gets their Green card upon entry into the U.S.
Applying for a K3 / CR1 Visa Simplified
You want to get Spouse Visa the without delays and stress. At TN Visa Expert, we have simplified the application process for you:
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We assist you each step along the way. This includes Embassy support.
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Knowing which forms to complete and how to fill them can be stressful and confusing. To solve this we provide an easy online form and we complete the complicated USCIS forms.
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K3 / CR1 SPOUSE VISA OVERVIEW
K-3 / CR1 Spouse Visa allows a U.S. citizen’s spouse, who is living abroad, to enter the United States, obtain their Green card and live with their American spouse.
The K-3 Spouse visa enables the couple's children to obtain their Green card.
Marriage Visa Expert
A Spouse visa is one of your primary options if you are a U.S. citizen with your spouse overseas and you wish for them to come live with you in the U.S.
K3 Spouse Visa - Important Guidelines
These are important guidelines you must be aware of for the K-3 Spouse visa so as not to violate the terms and be forced to have your spouse leave the United States.
They are as follows:
- K-3 Spouse Petition must be filed by the U.S. citizen with USCIS (US Immigration) on behalf of his/her spouse.
- After the petition is approved, the foreign spouse must obtain a visa issued at a U.S. Embassy or consulate abroad.
- Your unmarried children under the age of 21 are eligible to accompany you on your K-3 Spouse visa. They will apply for the K-4 Visa.
- After using the K-3 Spouse visa to come to the United States you can apply for a U.S. Green Card by starting the Adjustment of Status Process.
- Both parties must be free to marry and be able to demonstrate this fact during the entire process.
- During the visa interview, applicants will be required to present evidence to the Consular Officer that they will not become a public charge (welfare dependents) in the United States. You may present evidence that you are able to financially support yourself or that your U.S. citizen spouse is able to provide support.
K3 Spouse Visa - Eligibility
The main eligibility criteria for getting a K-3 Spouse visa are:
- One person is a U.S. citizen (not a permanent resident or green card holder)
- Both members of the couple are legally married to each other (of legal age)
This visa is not for use by couples who are engaged.
Marriage Visa Expert
Merely living together does not qualify a marriage for immigration. Common-law spouses may qualify as spouses for immigration purposes depending on the laws of the country where the common-law marriage occurs. In cases of polygamy, only the first spouse may qualify as a spouse for immigration. Same-sex marriages are not recognized by immigration law for the purpose of immigrating to the U.S.
K3 Spouse Visa - Get Married in the USA
When you marry outside the U.S. your immigration process to bring your foreign spouse will be slightly different. You will also want to ensure you document the marriage with pictures and get an official marriage certificate.
K3 Visa category is intended to shorten the physical separation between the foreign-citizen and U.S. citizen spouses by having the option to obtain a nonimmigrant K-3 visa overseas and enter the United States to await approval of the immigrant visa petition. After arriving in the U.S. and approval of your petition, K-3 visa recipients will file an Adjustment of Status.
Because the spouse of a U.S. citizen applying for a nonimmigrant K-3 visa must have a immigrant visa petition filed on his or her behalf by his or her U.S. citizen spouse and pending approval, a K-3 applicant must meet some of the requirements of an immigrant visa. It should be noted that under U.S. immigration law, a foreign citizen who marries a U.S. citizen outside the U.S. must apply for the K-3 visa in the country where the marriage took place.
Though the paperwork is initiated by the U.S. citizen spouse, the final K-3 visa will be issued in the foreign citizen's country.
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K3 Spouse Visa - Application Documents
There are various USCIS forms that need to be completed as well as supporting documents that will make up the complete K-3 Spouse Application. Before you begin filling in the various forms required by USCIS, it will be helpful to first assemble the documents and materials that must accompany the forms when you turn them in.
Obtaining a K-3 nonimmigrant visa involves at a minimum these documents:
- Petition for alien
- Biographic information
- Supporting documents
- Passport picture
- Certified translations
- USCIS fees
K3 Spouse Visa - Application Process
Getting the K-3 Spouse visa is a well defined process and the final step is for you to apply and get your Green Card:
- Mail the visa petition to a USCIS service center.
- USCIS will inform you they have received your K3 visa petition.
- Complete additional forms for foreign spouse and children.
- Case is forward to the U.S. Embassy in foreign spouse’s country.
- U.S. Embassy sends forms and checklist to foreign spouse.
- Complete and send forms to U.S. Embassy.
- Foreign spouse interviews at embassy and receives K3 visa.
- Enter the U.S. and apply for Adjustment of Status for Green Card.
The K-3 Spouse Visa processing time is about 8 months for the foreign spouse to be able to live in the U.S.
K3 Spouse Visa - Fees
The total USCIS filing fees can vary. Here is a basic guideline of what you can expect to pay.
- Filing Form I-130F – $420
- Filing Form I-129F – $0 (Normally $340, but waived for K3 Visa applicants)
- Medical examination (required for each K visa applicant; costs vary from post to post)
- Other costs may include translation and photocopying charges, fees for getting the documents required for the visa application (such as passport, police certificates, birth certificates, etc.), and travel expenses to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate for an interview. Costs vary from country to country and case to case.
The fees are always changing so check the USCIS website for confirmation.
K3 Spouse Visa - Use Visa Streamline Preparation System
You can complete the K3 visa by using the Marriage Visa Expert Preparation System. This system is the best of Option 1 and Option 2. This Visa Preparation System is automated and approved by a lawyer. You will:
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- Avoid worries since our system will complete all the USCIS government forms.
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Popular Visa Questions Asked
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Am I subject to the 2 year foreign residency requirement? I have a J1 visa and my husband is starting my spouse visa application.
Before starting your K3/CR1 spouse application, it is important to know whether the 2 year foreign residency requirement applies to you.
To check if you need to complete the 2 year foreign residency ......
Submitted by: Lydia G. of Seattle, Washington, USARead More
I received my K1 visa - Thank you! How long is my K1 visa valid until?
There are different deadlines, so we will explain the differences here:
1. The K1 visa is valid for upto 6 months to enter the U.S. after it is issued. Check your K1 visa's "valid ......
Submitted by: Bahar M. of Dubai, United Arab EmiratesRead More
I have my Green card, I am married to a U.S. citizen. When can I apply for my U.S. citizenship?
If you are a Green card or permanent resident married to a U.S. citizen then you only have to wait (3) years rather than the standard (5) five years. However, there are other requirements for ......
Submitted by: Carl C. of Buffalo, NY, USARead More
What would disqualify me for the K1 visa, K3 visa or Adjustment of Status?
Certain conditions and activities may make an applicant ineligible for a visa.
Examples of these ineligibilities are:
Trafficking in Drugs
Overstaying a previous visa
Advocating the overthrow of the ......
Submitted by: Susan H. of Boston, MA, USARead More
I am 67 years old and only get 12,000/year from my pension. Is this enough for a K1 Fiance Visa?
No. USCIS does not want your future wife to become a "public charge". You will need to meet 125% of minimum poverty guideline which is about $19,000 USD. You should have a family member be ......
Submitted by: Carl G. of Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.Read More
Do I need a cover letter when submitting my Adjustment of Status?
No, but it helps with your application. A cover letter explains what you are requesting and provides a summary of everything you have included. This enables the Officer to more easily process your case....
Submitted by: Marilyn L. of San Francisco, California, USARead More
My fiance is in the U.S. on a TN Visa. I am on a visitor visa in the U.S. Can we get married so I can begin working?
You can get married and you will be able to get a TD Visa as a dependent. The TD Visa does not allow you to work. You must obtain your own work visa....
Submitted by: Lisa B. of Los Angeles, CaliforniaRead More
I am not sure whether to apply for a K3 Spouse Visa or a CR1 Visa, what do you recommend?
Applying for the K3 Visa or the CR1 Visa depends on your situation. CR1 takes longer but you get your Green card upon entry. K3 Visa allows you to enter slightly quicker and be together ......
Submitted by: Maria C. of Mexico City, MexicoRead More
We are considering an Adjustment of Status for my Green card. My visa has expired and my wife's annual income may not be enough. We are told we need a sponsor, is this true?
You are correct if you do not meet the minimum requirements that you may require a sponsor. But you should have an immigration expert review your financials to quickly determine if there is a way ......
Submitted by: Boris F. of Pasadena, CA, USARead More
Are same sex gay couples able to apply for immigration status via Adjustment of Status, K1 Fiance Visa or K3/CR1 Spouse Visa?
Yes! DOMA has been repealed and as of June 26, 2013 we have begun helping same sex couples apply for their marriage visas and green cards.
If you have questions, call us at 800-471-6326 ......
Submitted by: Milton C. of San Francisco, California, USARead More
I filed my K1 Visa application, but we have not heard from the Consulate about the marriage visa interview and it has been 3 months. What can I do?
Did you receive either your NOA1 or NOA2 - This is the I-797 Notice of Action forms. If so, you have nothing to worry about. If not, then you should contact NCSC at 1-800-375-5283....
Submitted by: J. Davidson of Irvine, California, USARead More
How long will Deferred Action be granted for?
It is issued in 2 year increments and you can renew again for another 2 years....
Submitted by: Raul S. of Chula Vista, California, USA.Read More
Can I work when I receive Deferred Action?
Yes, you can work and you will receive a Social Security Number....
Submitted by: Juan L. of Vista, CaliforniaRead More
How do I apply for Deferred Action?
You will need to submit a request to USCIS to review your case. You will also need to show supporting evidence that you meet the requirements....
Submitted by: Miley B. of Los Angeles, CaliforniaRead More
I am applying for my marriage visa (adjustment of status) and I am very worried if the immigration officer will think I am committing marriage fraud since we only have known each other such a short time. What can I do to avoid this and stay married and get my wife's green card?
US Immigration Officers zealously examine all individuals seeking immigration benefits based upon their marriage to a United States Citizen.
Unfortunately, sometimes they are overzealous in their suspicion of immigration fraud and couples in ......
Submitted by: Raul Gomez of Vista, CaliforniaRead More
Do I apply for the TN Visa as a NAFA Engineer occupation? I am getting a Computing Science degree and have a job for a Software Engineer.
Depends. You choose your NAFTA role based on your degree, the degree the job requires and the job duties. Both should match up. In most cases, a computing science degree means you apply as a ......
Submitted by: S. Wang of San Diego, CaliforniaRead More
Can I travel and leave the U.S. while on a TN Visa?
Yes! You can travel abroad while on a TN Visa. Remember to keep your Form I-94. Many travel agents accidentally take it from you at the ticket counter....
Submitted by: Jayson L. of Surrey, B.C.Read More
Question: I've got a bachelors degree from India which is relevant to the US position. Will I have problems applying for my TN Visa?
Answer: You will need to get a credential evaluation for your education and ensure it meets the minimum 4yr bachelor's degree requirement under NAFTA (TN1 Visa). Use a reputable firm like: http://www.globaledu.com...
Submitted by: Vageesh M. of Toronto, OntarioRead More