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K1 Fiancé(e) Visa vs. K3 Spouse Visa

Similarities between K1 and K3:

  • Both K1 and K3 visas are used by American citizens to bring loved ones to the United States.
  • Both K1 and K3 visas belong to the non-immigrant category, but visa holders are considered immigrants.
  • Both K1 and K3 visa holders are allowed to adjust their status to become permanent residents while in the U.S.
  • Both K1 and K3 visa holders may receive conditional green cards first, and must apply to remove the conditions.
  • Both K1 and K3 visa holders are allowed to work and travel after with proper USCIS documents.
  • Both K1 and K3 visas are filed using Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance(e).
  • Both K1 and K3 visa holders may bring their children as derivative beneficiaries into the U.S. (as K2 and K4, respectively).

Differences between K1 and K3:

  • K1 visa is for a fiance (fiancee) of a U.S. citizen (before marriage), while K3 is for a spouse of a U.S. citizen (after marriage).
  • K1 visa doesn't require an immigrant petition (I-130), while K3 visa must have an immigrant petition filed for the beneficiary.
  • K1 visa holders must adjust status to obtain green cards, while K3 visa holders may choose adjustment of status or consular processing after I-130 approval.
  • K1 is a one-entry visa, while K3 allows multiple entries.
  • K1 visa is valid for six months, while K3 visa is valid for two years.
  • K1 visa holder's child (K2) may adjust status without I-130, while K-3 visa holder's child (K4) must have a separate I-130 filed on their behalf.

For more details on each visa type, see also:

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