Learn about US Spouse Visas, K-1 and K-3, and the importance of family unity in US immigration law. Stay informed about visa scams targeting professionals.
The Importance of Family Unity in US Immigration Law
The concept of family unity has always held a special place in the heart of US immigration law. It recognizes the value of keeping families together.
In line with this principle, US citizens have the option to bring their foreign national spouses to the United States through the K-1 or K-3 Visa processes.
K-1 Visa for US Citizens
If you are a US citizen and want to marry a foreign national, you can sponsor them under the K-1 category. Here’s how it works:
- Submit a K-1 Petition: The US citizen must file a K-1 petition with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- Fiancé Applies for K-1 Visa: Once the petition is accepted, the foreign fiancé can apply for a K-1 Visa at a US Embassy or consulate.
- K-2 Visa for Minor Children: If the foreign fiancé has minor children, they can apply for K-2 visas to travel to the US with the K-1 applicant.
This process allows the couple to get married in the United States.
K-3 Visa for Spouse of US Citizen
If a foreign national is already married to a US citizen, the K-3 Visa provides a temporary solution. Here’s what you need to know:
- File an I-130 Petition: The US citizen must first file an I-130 petition on behalf of their spouse.
- Submit a K-3 Petition: Following the I-130 filing, the US citizen may file a K-3 petition. If approved, the foreign citizen spouse can apply for a K-3 Visa.
- K-4 Visa for Minor Children: Similar to the K-2, the K-4 Visa is available to the minor children of the foreign national spouse.
The K-3 Visa grants the spouse a two-year visa to enter the country. Additionally, the K-3 spouse can apply to change their status and remain in the US while their cases are pending.
However, it’s essential to note that in most cases, filing a K-3 petition with the USCIS requires submitting the I-130 petition first.
The Role of K-3 Visa and I-130 Petition for Spouses in US Immigration
In many instances, the K-3 petition is processed and decided upon before the I-130 petition is accepted.
This means that the foreign national spouse often needs to wait to apply for an immigrant visa at the US Consulate because the K-3 petition becomes void.
The K-3 Visa primarily serves as a backup option if the anticipated I-130 processing is delayed.
Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) have the ability to sponsor their spouses by filing an I-130 petition. However, LPRs are not allowed to file K-1 or K-3 petitions on behalf of fiancés.
Such cases are categorized under the second preference based on family, and the date of filing the I-130 petition determines both the category and the priority date.
Typically, an I-130 petition is only necessary if the marriage occurs after the primary spouse obtains LPR status.
In most cases, a separate petition is not required if the marriage takes place before the primary spouse receives their green card.
Eligibility for K-1 and K-3 Benefits for Same-Sex Couples
Following the US Supreme Court’s ruling in US Visa. Windsor, which recognized same-sex marriages, same-sex couples are eligible for K-1 and K-3 benefits on equal terms with heterosexual couples when applying for US immigration benefits.
Although state regulations concerning marriage can occasionally impact the eligibility of foreign individuals for K-1 or K-3 visas, the recognition of same-sex marriages in state laws is an exception.
If an applicant is legally married to a first cousin and plans to reside in a state that prohibits such unions, their K-3 Visa application may face rejection.
For instance, a same-sex couple legally married but residing in a state that does not acknowledge their marriage cannot have their visa denied solely for this reason.
The Impact of the Windsor Supreme Court Ruling on Immigration Law
The Windsor ruling by the US Supreme Court has had a significant impact on immigration law.
This landmark decision, handed down in 2013, recognized same-sex marriages at the federal level.
Prior to this ruling, the federal government did not acknowledge such marriages, leading to disparities in immigration benefits for same-sex couples.
With the Windsor ruling, same-sex couples gained equal access to immigration benefits, including those available through the K-1 and K-3 visa categories.
This legal change removed discriminatory barriers that previously prevented same-sex couples from enjoying the same rights as heterosexual couples in immigration matters.
Also read :
US Visa Scam Alert: Protecting Professionals from Visa Fraud
While US immigration law strives to promote family unity and provide opportunities for talented workers, it is not without its flaws.
One concerning issue that has come to light is a Visa scam targeting professionals.
Regrettably, this Visa fraud scheme preys on talented professionals by making false promises of job opportunities in the United States.
Many individuals have fallen victim to this deceptive plan, leaving them in dire straits with no job and no financial resources.
Some of these victims are forced to rely on food banks just to make ends meet, and the situation becomes even more dire as some find themselves homeless.
For job seekers looking to relocate to the US, it is crucial to exercise utmost caution and continuously verify the legitimacy of job offers.
Ensuring that offers of employment are genuine can help protect individuals from falling victim to such scams, preserving their financial stability and well-being while pursuing their professional goals.
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