Fiancee Visa (K-1) –

A fiancee of a US citizen is eligible for a non-immigrant visa if the marriage will occur within 90 days after the fiancee enters the United States. After the marriage takes place, the American citizen may file for Lawful Permanent Residence (“Green Card”) on behalf of the spouse and he/she may remain in the US.

Marriage to a US Citizen

Spouses of US citizens who have been married for two (2) years are eligible for Lawful Permanent Residence (“Green Card”). If married for less than two (2) years, a conditional Green Card will be issued. The condition will be removed in two years upon a showing that the marriage is still valid.

If the spouse is already within the US, then he or she may legally remain with work authorization until the petition is approved. If outside the US, spouses can file for the new K-3 visa which allows spouses to enter and work in the US while waiting for the Green Card process to be completed. If the marriage occurs outside the US the K visa must be issued by the consulate where the marriage occurred. If the marriage occurred in the US, then the visa application must be filed in the country where the applicant resides.

Immediate Relatives of a US Citizen

Children (under 21 years of age) of US citizens are immediately eligible for lawful permanent residence (“Green Card”). If they are already within the US, they may wait here for their petition to be approved. If outside the US, they can file for the new K-4 visa which allows children of the spouse to enter and work in the US while waiting for this process to be completed.

Parents are also exempt from long waiting periods. However, if outside the US, parents of US citizens will still have to wait for their petition to be approved before entering the US.

Normally, siblings of US citizens and sons and daughters over 21 years of age must wait for their visa to be approved before they can enter the US. However, there may be other ways to obtain permission to enter earlier.

Traditionally, the family of Lawful Permanent Residents (Green Card holders) who are not part of the immigrant’s initial petition, must wait for a period of years before being permitted to enter the US. However, the new V1 and V2 nonimmigrant visas allow spouses of lawful permanent residents and the children of those spouses who are the beneficiaries of immigrant visa petitions filed on or before December 21, 2000, and have been waiting three years or more from the date the INS received the immigrant visa petition to reside in the US with work authorization while they wait for the final completion of their immigration process. Currently, parents and siblings of Lawful Permanent Residents are not eligible for this new visa.

Immediate Relative of a Lawful Permanent Resident

Traditionally, the family of permanent Lawful Permanent Residents who are not part of the immigrants initial petition, must wait for a period of years before being permitted to enter the US. However, the new V1 and V2 nonimmigrant visas allow spouses of lawful permanent residents and the children of those spouses who are the beneficiaries of immigrant visa petitions filed on or before December 21, 2000 and have been waiting three years or more from the date the INS received the immigrant visa petition to reside in the US with work authorization while they wait for the final completion of their immigration process. Currently, parents and siblings of Lawful Permanent Residents are not eligible for this new visa.