K-1 Fiancé Visas

Houston Fiance Visa Lawyers - Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham, P.C.

K-1 Fiancé Visa is a non-immigrant visa in which a U.S. citizen may sponsor a foreign national fiancé to come to the U.S. The purpose for granting the K-1 visa is to allow the U.S. citizen to reunite with the fiancé and get married in the U.S. The U.S. citizen applicant must demonstrate that there is a "bona fide" (good faith) relationship and that the applicant must have met the beneficiary at least once.  That is, the relationships is not a fraud for immigration purposes. Any arranged-marriage will be scrutinized, especially those that are based on an intermediary “referral agencies;” or an arranged marriage. Although arranged marriage are still common in many countries, it is not the usual practice in the U.S. As such, the USCIS and the U.S. Consular abroad is very suspicious of relationships based on online-bride websites. Be sure to contact the Houston K-1 Fiancé Visa Lawyers and the K-3 Spouse Visa Attorneys to assist you in your prepation and insure that all requirements are met for each respective visa application.

If approved, the K-1 fiancé visa holder will be issued a nonimmigrant visa to come to the U.S. for a limited period of 90 days.  Upon arrival, a U.S. Border Patrol and Custom officer would issue an I-94 to the foreign national, authorizing the stay to 90 days.  Within 90 days from the date of arrival, the U.S. citizenand the foreign national fiancé must get married.  Failure to get marry within the 90 days period, or marrying someone else other than the K-1 sponsor, is a violation of the visa requirement and the person will NOT be able to adjust status in the U.S. There may be some exceptions for those that are victims of crime or are victims of trafficking. Certain nationals who are victims of crimes that is eligible under U visas, including domestic violence and/or mental and emotional abuse, may be qualified under other provisions to obtain either U Visa or a self-petition under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA, See below).  Dependents, minor children under the age of 21 that are not married, may also come to the U.S. with the K-1 fiancé as K-2 visa holders.  Foreign nationals who are victim of trafficking, such as bring sponsored to the U.S. for the purposes of involuntary servitude or prostitution, may also be qualified to change status to a T visa. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding T visas and U visas, please contact the Houston T Visa Attorneys and the Houston U Visa Lawyers at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham. for more information.

K-3 Marriage Nonimmigrant Visas

K-3 Marriage Visas are available for U.S. citizen spouses to sponsor for their alien spouses. K-3 are nonimmigrant visas that allow the foreign spouse to come to the U.S. to apply for adjustment of status. In most cases, a K-3 would allow the couple to reunite much sooner than if the spouse were to wait for an immigrant visa from the U.S. Consular abroad. The reason is that the U.S. Consular office must wait the FBI background check to clear prior to issuing the immigrant visa, and that can sometimes take years.

K-3 Marriage Visas are not required for a U.S. Citizen to sponsor a foreign national spouse.  However, there are many advantages why U.S. citizens should file the K-3 visa subsequent to filing an I-130 family-based petition for a foreign spouse (NOTE: The K-3 application may ONLY be filed after the I-130 Immigrant Petition had been filed and a Receipt Notice was provided by the USCIS).  A K-3 Marriage visa allows the foreign national spouse of a U.S. Citizen to come to the U.S. and file for adjustment of status with the USCIS, rather than filing an immigrant visa petition abroad with the U.S. Consular Office.  Note that K-3 visas are only available to spouses of U.S. citizens but are not available to spouse of U.S. permanent residents. 

The advantage is that the K-3 visa holder can come to the U.S. in a relatively short amount of time, compared to the immigrant visa application.  In an I-130 immigrant petition for an alien relative, the foreign national beneficiary must remain in the home  country while applying for an immigrant visa.  Depending on the charge-ability country, the country in which the foreign national was born, the waiting period may take up to 2 years or more.  With the K-3 Marriage visa, the foreign national employee can come to the U.S. and wait while the USCIS is adjudicating the adjustment of status application and granting the alien spouse U.S. permanency residency.  Further, the beneficiary alien spouse can obtain employment authorization while waiting for the green card.  Most importantly, the visa holder can unite with his or her spouse much quicker than filing an immigrant visa petition with the U.S. Consular Office.

Requirements For K-1 & K-3 Visas

As stated previously, the first requirement in which the U.S. citizen spouse must demonstrate to the USCIS, and the foreign national spouse must prove to the U.S. Consular Officer, is that there is a legitimate relationship, a bona-fide relationship.  Again, the USCIS and the Consular Officer will scrutinize this requirement because of the number of fraudulent application.  For this same reason, it is not unusual that the U.S. consular initially rejects the application and the applicant may have to supplement evidence or re-file with the USCIS in the U.S.

The second requirement for K-1 fiance and K-3 Marriage nonimmigrant visas is that the applicant, the U.S. sponsoring spouse, must demonstrate that he or she can financially support the alien spouse and his or her dependents, if any.  The U.S. citizen spouse must demonstrate that he or she makes at least 125% above the poverty rate, based on the number of people in the household, including the alien spouse and dependents.  By showing that the sponsoring spouse can financially support the household, it would less likely that the alien spouse would become a public charge.  In fact, the financial support application is a contract between the sponsor and the U.S. government in which the U.S. sponsor agrees to provide necessities and financial support for the alien spouse and his or her dependents. 

To calculate the minimum income requirement, 125% above the poverty line, the U.S. sponsor must use the poverty guideline issued by the USCIS, Form I-864P.  The following example best illustrate how the calculation works.

Example 1:

Mr. X is a U.S. citizen who wishes to sponsor for his spouse from Thailand.  Mr. X was previously married and is currently has 1 dependent living with him.  Mrs. X is a Thai national, who was born in China but later immigrate to Thailand.  Mrs. X was also previously married and has one 10 year old child that is currently living with her.  The couple met when Mr. X went to Thailand on a vacation.  Since the couple met the first time, Mr. X had traveled to Thailand on 2 other occasions, once to be engaged and the second time to get marry.  Mr. X filed an I-130 petition to sponsor Mrs. X and her dependent child.  Subsequently, the Houston K-3 Marriage Visa Attorneys at the Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham. assisted Mr. X to file a K-3 Marriage Visa on behalf of Mrs. X. 

Mr. X is a mechanic and annual income is $25,000 per year.  In addition to his annual salary, Mr. X also has a checking account with a balance of $3,000 and a saving account of $15,000.  Mr. X also owns a house in which he has $40,000 in equity (the value of the property is $40,000 higher than the outstanding principle balance). 

The question is, whether Mr. X have met all requirements to sponsor Mrs. X under a K-3 visa?  The short answer is, YES!  Mr. X met Mrs. X in Thailand as a tourist, and not through a “bridal-agency.”  Further, since they met the first time, Mr. X had went to Thailand on 2 other occasions, evidencing that it is more likely that he has established a bona-fide relationship.  Because the couple is married, the K-3 is the appropriate visa, not the K-1 Fiancé Visa.

With respect to income, Mr. X needs to show that his income is 125% above the poverty line, which is $27,562 for a household of 4 (Mr. X and his child and Mrs. X and her child), according to the poverty guideline by the USCIS at the time of this article.  Because Mr. X makes $25,000 per year, his salary alone is insufficient.  However, because Mr. X has property and other liquids, his annual income will more likely than not be calculated as follows:

$3000/5 = $600

$15,000/5 = $3,000

$40,000/5 = $8,000

Adding together, Mr. X has $11,600 in “other assets” and $25,000 in his annual salary.  Therefore, adding all assets and salary, Mr. X has an annual income of $36,600, well qualified under the USCIS poverty guideline, as of the date of this article. 

One final note, because Mrs. X was born in China, her charge-ability is “China” and not Thailand, even though she is a Thai national.  In this case, because an immigrant petition for an immediate relative, a spouse, is always available.  If Mr. X were not a U.S. citizen, the K-3 visa would not be available because a K-3 visa is reserved for only U.S. Citizens. Because of this reason, and other benefits, the Houston Immigration Attorney and the Houston Green Card Application Lawyer at Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham always urges U.S. permanent residents to file their naturalization application as soon as they are eligible.



Immigration Law is a vast area of law and requires an immigration attorney with years of experience to understand the intricacies of the Immigration & Nationality Law. Please contact the Southwest Houston K-1 Fiancé Visa Attorneys and the Houston K-3 Marriage Nonimmigrant Spouse Visa Lawyers to ensure proper documentations to show that the foreign national does not have the presumed “immigrant intent.”  Please call the one of our Houston K-1 Fiancé Sponsorship Attorneys and the Spring Texas K-1 Visa or West Houston K-3 Visa Immigration Lawyers at Law Offices of Steven Tuan Pham today at 713-517-6645 or complete our Contact Form. At Veritas, you will have the opportunity to work directly with a Houston Immigration Attorney or a Houston K-3 Marriage Visa Lawyer.  Our attorneys are accessible and will always return your calls within 24 hours.

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