Fiancé Vs. Spouse Visas: Which One Is Faster?

When an American citizen marries a foreign national, there a few different visas that have the same end goal: getting the foreign spouse to live legally in the U.S.

If you’re looking for the best option for you, there are different factors to consider between the different visas. Keep reading to learn the major differences and which route is best for you.

For help selecting the best visa for your unique situation and building a strong case, contact Attorney Eric Price today. We know how important it is for families to stay together, that is why our attorneys fight for you every day. When you partner with Eric Price, you’re counting on the legal expertise of some of the best immigration attorneys in the country. Contact us at 1-855-662-2772 to learn more.

Understanding The Differences Between Fiancé & Marriage Visas

The main difference between a fiancé visa and a marriage visa is that with a fiancé visa, you must get married in the U.S. On the other hand, a k3 spousal visa is for a couple who were married outside of the U.S.

In order to qualify for a K-1 fiancé visa, the foreign fiancé must intend to marry their American partner within 90 days of arriving in the United States. They also must be legally eligible to get married, intend to establish a bona fide marriage, and the couple must have met within the past two years.

In order to qualify for a marriage-based visa, the foreign spouse must show that they are legally married to an American citizen or lawful permanent resident. You must also prove that your marriage is legitimate and not for the purpose of immigration and that both of you are only married to each other. In contrast to fiancé visas, marriage visas are available to spouses of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.

The key differences between the visa types are outlined below.

K1 Fiancé Visa

The K1 fiancé visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows foreign fiancés to travel to the United States to get married and then adjusting the status to a permanent resident AKA green cardholder. The cost of a K1 visa is relatively low at $800. You will have to pay an additional $1,225 to apply for a Marriage Green Card once in the United States.

The K1 visa makes the most sense for couples who want to be with their partner in the United States ASAP, and who want to have their wedding in the U.S.

CR-1 Marriage Visa

CR1 visas are given to foreign spouses who have been married to a U.S. citizen for less than two years. It’s important for marriage-based visa applicants to prove the legitimacy of their marriage.

IR-1 Marriage Visa

The IR1 visa is issued to foreign spouses of U.S. citizens. The IR1 is granted to the immigrant spouse after a two-year period.

The marriage visas are more expensive and cost $1,225 to apply and then another $1,210 for the Marriage Green Card.

Marriage visas make the most sense for couples who don’t mind the average one year wait time before the foreign partner can come to the U.S, and who want to hold their wedding outside of the United States who don’t mind waiting a while to start their life in the U.S.

K3 Spousal Visa

K-3 visas allow foreign spouses of U.S. citizens to enter the U.S. with temporary legal status while awaiting their green card. The K-3 visa is intended for couples who were legally married outside of the U.S.

Processing Timelines

The processing times also differ between each visa type. Here’s what you can expect for each marriage/fiancé visa:

K1 Visa: 16-21 months
CR-1 & IR-1 Visas: 11-32 months
K3 Visa: 9 months -15 months

Which Is The Right Choice For Me?

Deciding which visa to pursue depends on your unique circumstances. For example, if your goal is to get to the United States as soon as possible, the K1 fiancé visa is likely the route for you. But, if your goal is to get a green card ASAP, a marriage-based visa may be better suited for you.

K1 visas are generally preferred over marriage visas, and the K3 visa is not really used anymore because the k1 is considered the easiest, fastest, and cheapest route. A K1 visa also allows the foreign couple to live in the U.S. and start their new life with their new spouse as soon as they are married. On the other hand, the CR-1 and IR-1 marriage visas require the foreign spouse to stay in their home country until the visa is granted — even if they are already married.

What Happens If Visa Application Is Denied?

Having a visa denied can be heartbreaking, but it’s important to know that help is available. Sometimes, the rejection will be as simple as a piece of required paperwork that you forgot to submit. Other times it can be as serious as the consulate officer not believing the legitimacy of your marriage. Either way, as soon as your marriage or fiancé visa application is denied, you must contact an experienced immigration attorney immediately. Immigration law is complex and constantly evolving, and an attorney will help guide you through the process, weigh your options, and find the next best step for you to begin your “forever” in the United States. Your attorney will also make sure you meet all filing deadlines and have all of the required paperwork and documentation to avoid delays in your case. Reasons dor denial.

Contact Attorney Eric Price Today!

Whether your visa application has been denied or you’re just getting started in the application process, count on the experienced team of immigration lawyers at Eric Price. Working with a skilled attorney will help save you time, aggravation, and money.

Our firm is dedicated to changing the lives of immigrants across the U.S., reuniting families across the country. We bring dignity to working people whose lives, culture, and effort strengthen the United States. Contact us today by phone or email for a free consultation.

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