When a couple decides to marry, they may choose to do so in their home country or another where they are not a resident. If the couple chooses to marry in a foreign country, one of the spouses may need a visa to be able to stay in that country and complete the marriage process. There are different types of visas available for this purpose, and each has specific eligibility requirements. This blog will discuss fiancé(e) visas and marriage visas and outline the differences between the two.
What Is the Difference Between a Fiancé Visa and a Marriage Visa?
The biggest difference between a fiancé visa and a marriage visa is that a fiancé visa is for those who are engaged to be married, while a marriage visa is for those who are already married. Other differences include the following:
- A fiancé visa requires that the couple have met in person at least once, while there is no such requirement for a marriage visa.
- A marriage visa allows the spouse to work in the United States immediately, while a fiancé visa does not.
- A marriage visa can be processed more quickly than a fiancé visa.
What Are the Requirements for a Fiancé Visa?
A fiancé visa, also known as a K-1 visa, is available to foreign citizens who are engaged to be married to a U.S. citizen. To be eligible for this type of visa, the following must be true:
- The couple must have met in person at least once in the two years before applying for the visa. There are some exceptions to this rule, such as if the meeting would create a hardship for either person or if cultural customs prevent personal meetings.
- The couple must be legally able to marry in their home country or the country where they will be married.
- The U.S. citizen must intend to marry their fiancé within 90 days of their arrival in the United States.
What Are the Requirements for a Marriage Visa?
A marriage visa, also known as a K-3 visa, is available to foreign citizens who are married to a U.S. citizen. To be eligible for this type of visa, the following must be true:
- The couple must be legally married.
- The U.S. citizen must petition for their spouse to be able to come to the United States.
- The couple must have a valid marriage certificate.
If you are planning to marry a foreign citizen, you will need to decide which type of visa is right for your situation. Both fiancé visas and marriage visas have different requirements, so it is important to choose the one that best fits your needs.
Maney | Gordon | Zeller, P.A. is a premier immigration law firm serving all of the United States. We have helped immigrants from all over the world achieve their American dream. Call (800) 708-4399 to discuss how we can help you.