K visa (fiance/fiancee/Spouses of U.S. Citizens)

The K-visa categories for fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens and their accompanying minor children (K-1 and K-2 visas) were created to speed up the immigration process for such individuals so they could travel more quickly to the United States.

By allowing a fiancé(e) and his/her accompanying minor children to be admitted to the United States as nonimmigrants, fiancé(e)s can be spared a long separation from their intended spouse, while continuing their processing for an immigrant visa after the marriage takes place.

Eligibility Criteria

You may be eligible to receive a green card as a K nonimmigrant fiancé(e), spouse, or his/her minor child if you:

  • Are the beneficiary of an immigrant visa petition that was filed by a U.S. citizen for their spouse or fiancé(e), or the minor children of that spouse/fiancé(e)
  • Have been admitted to the United States as a K Nonimmigrant
  • Met the requirement to marry the U.S. citizen fiancé(e) within 90 days of entry, if a K-1 visa holder
  • Are eligible to adjust status as the spouse or child of a U.S. citizen, or the minor child of a K-1 visa holder
  • Have an immigrant visa immediately available
  • Are admissible to the United States

Legal Immigration and Family Equity (LIFE) Act

The Legal Immigration and Family Equity (LIFE) Act amendments of 2000 added the K-3 visa category for foreign spouses and K-4 category for stepchildren of U.S. citizens.  Due to a backlog of immigrant visa petitions (Forms I-130, Petition for Alien Relative) at that time, a long separation could occur between the overseas fiancé(e) and their intended U.S. citizen spouse.  To prevent a long separation, U.S. citizens were allowed to file an additional petition on Form I-129F while their Form I-130 was pending to allow their foreign spouses and his/her minor children to come to the United States as nonimmigrants in an expedited manner.

The LIFE Act requires applicants to apply for a K-3 visa in the country where their marriage to the U.S. citizen petitioner occurred, or in the event the petitioner and applicant were married in the United States, the country of the applicant’s current residence. After arrival in the United States, they could then complete their processing for permanent residence.

All K nonimmigrants are required to file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence and Adjust Status, after arrival to adjust status as a permanent resident of the United States. K nonimmigrants may only adjust status as a permanent resident through the same U.S. citizen (fiancé(e), spouse, or stepparent) that petitioned for them to receive their K visa status.