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K - Fiancé / Spouse (Married Abroad)

K - Fiancé / Spouse (Married Abroad)

The K visa is a temporary visa designed for spouses and fiancés of U.S. citizens to come to the U.S. to live.

K-1 - Fiancé

Persons that intend to marry a U.S. citizen in the U.S. and live there may apply for a K-1 visa. A fiancé refers to a person who is engaged or contracted to be married. The marriage must be in accordance with the laws of the state in the U.S. where the marriage will take place and occur within 90 days of entry. Generally, the U.S. citizen and his/her spouse must have met in person within the past two years.

After the marriage, the new spouse may apply to become a permanent resident. If he/she does not intend to do so, the new spouse must leave the country within 90 days of initial entry.


K-3 - Spouse (Married Abroad)

Persons that marry a U.S. citizen abroad may apply for a K-3 visa. The K-3 visa is typically a means for the spouse to come to the U.S. and live legally while he/she is waiting for permanent immigration status.


A spouse refers to a lawful husband or a wife. It does not refer to persons living together. There may be instances where a common-law spouse may be considered, depending on the laws of the country where the common-law marriage occurs. In cases of polygamous marriage, which is illegal in the U.S., only the first spouse is eligible to apply for the K-3 visa.

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Statutory authorization for this type of non-immigrant visa can be found in Section 101(a)(15)(K) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 USC § 1101(a)(15)(K)) at the following link:
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/usc.cgi?ACTION=RETRIEVE&FILE=$$xa$$busc8.wais&start=134104&SIZE=314774&TYPE=TEXT.
The requirements are further detailed in 8 CFR § 214.2(k), and available at: http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/cfr_2008/janqtr/pdf/8cfr214.2.pdf.

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