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FIANCEE VISA (K-1) VS. SPOUSAL VISA (K-3)

Many of you are puzzled at this moment asking yourself all over again: Should I use the K-1 visa and marry in the United States or marry in her home country and use the K-3 visa (spousal visa)?

Every case is unique, it is impossible to provide a blanket answer that would apply in every situation. Below we attempt to summarize the advantages and disadvantages of the K-1 and K-3 visa processes. It is up to you and your fiancee to choose which process to follow. We will be happy to assist you with either one!

FIANCE(E) VISA (K-1)

ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES
1. You don't need to marry immediately in your Fiance(e)'s country or the U.S.

2. You bring your loved one to the U.S. as your Fiancee, and both of you have 90 days to marry. This allows you both to get to know each other better and make a decision about whether you want to spend the rest of your lives together. It also allows your fiancee to see where and how you live before committing to the marriage.

3. You interact nearly exclusively with the U.S. immigration system and U.S. immigration officials in the United States.

4. You avoid dealing with local foreign procedures of marriage in a foreign country in a foreign language.

5. Your fiancee has a chance to see the country and get familiar with U.S. customs and language before the marriage.
1. Close family and friends will NOT see your Fiance(e) get married in the U.S. unless they could manage to obtain another type of visa such as a tourist visa, which is hard to obtain. However, you can hold a non-binding, non-legal ceremony to express your feelings for each other which her family and friends could attend in her country.

SPOUSAL VISA (K-3)

ADVANTAGES DISADVANTAGES
1. You are both together immediately. Your wife's family and friends are able to attend your wedding without any delay.

2. Local marriage in a foreign country can sometimes be accomplished in 10 days, or less.

3. If you can prove that you are living and working in your fiances' country for a period of 6 months you can file directly with the consulate in your fiancees country which will speed up the process. However, you must be able to prove that you have resided in the country and worked for a minimum of 6 months prior to the application.

4. Since with a Spousal visa your wife gains U.S. legal residency immediately, future immigration work is substantially reduced. There is no need to file for the Adjustment of Status Application and wait for months during which time your wife cannot travel freely without obtaining travel parole to travel outside of the U.S.

1. Extensive supporting documentation is normally required of a U.S. Citizen to get married in a foreign country.

2. It is a two-step process, instead of one. First, you are required to submit a package for the Form I-130. Second, upon USCIS Notice of Action, you would need to send the I-129F Package. It takes time and a lot of patience from both of you.

3. This process is very document-sensitive which means that if you are missing a document, you may have to fly back to the U.S. in order to obtain a necessary document before the process can be completed.

4. All your documents must be translated into the native language of that country where you are planning to get married. The translation must be certified with attached apostle.

5. You may end up with more expenses for the marriage itself and Embassy visa processing charges and fees.

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Costa-Rica Women
Law Office of Maria V. Jones
202 E. Earl Drive Suite 440
Phoenix, AZ 85012
(602) 559-1197
visa@wwdl.net

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