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What Are the Differences Between the K-1 and the Marriage Visa?

1.75 minute read
"Many people are confused between a fiance and a marriage visa. Here are some explanations that will clear things up."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Aug 5, 2021
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Many people are confused between a fiance and a marriage visa. Here are some explanations that will clear things up.

What Is the K-1 Fiance Visa?

The K-1 Visa, also known as the Fiance Visa, is for engaged partners of United States citizens who wish to come to the US to get married within 90 days of their arrival in the country. This nonimmigrant visa is also for foreign fiances who do not have another way of coming to the US. 

If they fail to marry within 90 days of arrival, then the foreign partner must return to their home country. It is a good option for couples who wish to spend some time together before getting married. 

What Is the Marriage Visa?

There are 2 types of marriage visas:

Spouse is Overseas

US citizens and lawful permanent residents are authorized by the US to file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, to sponsor the immigration of their spouse who is currently residing abroad. This allows the foreign spouse to apply for a marriage visa through the nearest US consulate. Spouses of lawful permanent residents will be required to wait for a visa to become available before applying for a marriage visa. 

Spouse is within the US 

If the spouse of a US citizen is currently residing in the US with a valid visa, then the spouse can file Form 1-130 and Form I-485 to adjust their status to a permanent resident.

The marriage visa process usually takes longer than a fiance visa. However, it takes only 4-7 months if the spouse is already present in the US and just needs to adjust their status.

What Are the Main Differences between a K-1 Visa and a Marriage Visa?

To be eligible for a K-1 Visa, you do not need to be married to your partner to initiate the process. They can come to the US to get married. They may apply for Adjustment of Status after getting married.

For a marriage visa, the applicant must be already married to their petitioner to start the visa process. They directly receive an immigrant visa and receive their green card once they have entered the US.

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