K1 vs. K3 Visa: Everything You Need to Know

Immigration is notoriously a difficult process when it comes to the USA. The process is long and often arduous, so it’s important to make things as easy on yourself as possible.Do you know the difference between a K1 Fiance Visa and a K3 Spousal Visa? Here’s a simplified guide explaining the whole K1 vs K3 visa thing.

One reason people immigrate is that they’ve fallen in love and want to join their significant other in the United States.

There are a few types of visa that can accommodate this, and you may hear the terms K1 vs K3 visa floating around. Each can get you to the States to be with your spouse or spouse-to-be, so does it matter which you choose?

Read on to find out those key differences.

k1 vs k3 visa

What Is the K1 Visa?

The K1 visa is a fiance visa. Couples can apply for a K1 visa to bring their loved ones to the United States as long as they are engaged, with a few conditions.

The couple must agree to marry within 90 days of their arrival in the States, otherwise, they can be in violation of their visa terms and no longer allowed to stay.

They must also have met in person within the last two years and be equipped with plenty of evidence to prove the legitimacy of their relationship. Pictures, affidavits from family members and friends, plane tickets, and text transcripts are often included in a K1 visa application.

Many people choose to go through this route as it doesn’t involve marriage first.

What Is the K3 Visa?

When it comes to a spousal visa, you may have heard the term CR1 most often. A CR1 visa allows a spouse to travel to the States and stay, as long as the couple are already married. It provides a lot more advantages than the K1 visa since a spouse can work and travel immediately on the CR1 visa.

However, the processing time is a lot longer.

This is where the K3 visa comes in. A K3 visa allows the spouse to stay in the states while the CR1 is being processed, so it involves filing two applications. It’s a non-immigrant visa that allows temporary residency while a decision is being made about the CR1.

K1 vs K3 Visa: Which to Get?

Ultimately, there’s very little point to the K3 visa these days. Because the CR1 processing time has shortened, USCIS considers the need for a K3 visa to be rare, and very few applications are approved.

The K1 visa is still quicker than the CR1, which means you’ll be in the States with your loved one sooner. If your plan was to file the CR1 and then K3 for both the advantages the CR1 can bring and the speed, you should think again.

A K3 visa would only be approved if there were some serious hold-ups with your visa application.

Weigh Everything Up!

When it comes to a K1 vs K3 visa, it’s important to weigh everything up. If you’re already married, you might as well apply for the CR1 and try to apply for the K3, since it’s free and no great loss if it’s rejected.

However, if you have the choice and haven’t tied the knot yet, the K1 is the speedier option.

For more travel tips, check out the rest of our blog!

Last Updated on May 15, 2023

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