Applying for a family visa

On Behalf of | Dec 14, 2020 | Visas

With immigration laws changing, it can be challenging to understand the process needed for foreign-born spouses and families of working U.S. citizens to reside in this country. While there are a number of online resources available, it can help to have seasoned legal counsel that is well-versed in current law to provide immigration services to Royal Oak and Detroit area residents.

According to the American Immigration Council, Michigan has a growing immigrant community, with 40% of the state’s immigrants having a college or higher-level degree. While 7% of Michigan residents are immigrants, another 7% have at least one immigrant parent. And more than half of all immigrants in the state are naturalized U.S. citizens.

The application process for K visas

There are a variety of eligibility requirements for a fiancé, spouse of family member to meet when applying for a family immigration visa, so it is important to know which one you are seeking.

The K-1 visa, also known as the fiancé visa, permits an individual to enter the United States as a nonimmigrant with the intention of marrying their U.S. citizen fiancé within 90 days. After marriage, this visa-holder can then apply for an immigrant visa. Minor children accompanying nonimmigrant fiancées are eligible to receive K2 visas.

A foreign-citizen spouse of an American citizen can apply for a temporary K3 visa while awaiting approval of a residency petition. The K3 and K4 (for the children of the foreign-citizen spouse) visas were created to minimize the time of physical separation of a U.S. citizen to his family while they await approval for residency. If the marriage was outside of the United States, the foreign citizen must apply for the K3 visa from the country where the marriage took place.

There are also specific requirements that must be met during the visa application process, including:

  • Required documents, passporets, such as birth, marriage, divorce or police certificates
  • Medical examinations and/or vaccinations
  • Evidence of financial support
  • Payment of fees

Filing petitions for alien relatives

The steps in this process become complicated, as they must be filed in a certain order. The U.S. citizen sponsor first files the Form I-130, the Petition for Alien Relative to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office, and then upon the USCIS notice of receipt of that petition, the sponsor then files the Form I-129F, which is the Petition for Alien Fiancé(e).

Once the I-130 and I-129F petitions have been approved, the need for a K3 or K4 visa will be at an end.