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Returning to the US with a Spouse or Fiance: What You Should Know

By Casey October 5, 2020 (Updated October 5, 2020) 3 min. read

US citizens living in another country often find someone they wish to marry and bring to the United States. If you are a United States citizen living abroad looking for the best way to obtain an immigrant visa for your fiance or spouse, there are a couple of options for you.

File for the I-130 Petition While Living Abroad

If you are a US citizen living outside of the United States and wish to bring your partner back to the US with you, you will first want to file for a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.

When the Form I-130 is approved, it will be sent for consular processing and the consulate or embassy will provide notification and processing information.

After this step, you will have 2 visa options to choose from:

Apply for a K-3 Nonimmigrant Visa While Outside of the US

A K-3 visa allows the foreign national entry into the US while they await the approval of the initial immigrant visa. This visa was mainly made to reduce the separation between a US citizen and their spouse.

Usually, someone who applies for a K-3 visa will do so while waiting for a permanent resident (green card) visa.

K-3 Visa Eligibility

To successfully apply for the United States K-3 visa, both the US citizen and foreign national spouse must:

K-3 Visa Application Process

The United States citizen’s spouse must first file for the Form I-130 with USCIS. This is to make sure there is an appropriate relationship for the purposes of a family-based permanent residence application.

After USCIS starts processing the I-130 petition and you receive a receipt letter, the US citizen can proceed to file the Form I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé (yes, this is the application for a fiance visa, but don’t be confused -what you’re applying for is a hybrid of the fiance and marriage-based visa). If you receive acceptance of Form I-129F, your case is then moved to the U.S. embassy or consulate in the foreign national’s country of residence.

The last step is applying for the K-3 visa through the embassy or consulate. This will also include a medical exam and a visa interview that the K-3 applicant should prepare for. Once the applicant gets approval of the K-3 visa, they may enter the United States.

Apply for an Immigrant Visa While Outside of the US

After filing for Form I-130, your visa case will be sent to the National Visa Center, where they will then send a packet of forms and instructions. The foreign-born spouse will then have to complete the forms and documents, pay the required fees, undergo a medical examination, and be fingerprinted for a criminal background check. The US citizen or green card holder will then need to present an Affidavit of Support, proving that their income is enough to keep their spouse off of public assistance.

If everything you have completed above comes back the way it should, the National Visa Center will then redirect the case to the appropriate United States consulate or embassy abroad. After this, the foreign-born spouse will be notified when to come in for an interview. You may both attend the interview, but you cannot bring an attorney.

If everything checks out, your spouse will be issued an immigrant visa. With this visa, your spouse can enter the U.S. as a permanent resident.

Are You Interested in Bringing Your Foreign-Born Spouse to Live with You In the United States?

If so, Contact VisaPlace today. All our cases are handled by competent and experienced immigration professionals who are affiliated with VisaPlace. These professionals consist of lawyers, licensed paralegals and consultants who work for Niren and Associates an award winning immigration firm that adheres to the highest standards of client service.

Ready for the next step? Book your 1 on 1 consultation now or call us at 1-877-296-0874.

Have a Question related to your Immigration Needs?

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The assessment form should take approximately 5-7 minutes to complete. We will get back to you within one business day to let you know if we are able to help.

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