K-1 & K-3

The K-1 category allows a U.S. citizen to bring her/his fiance’/e to the United States on a temporary basis. The K-3 category provides a temporary option for spouses of U.S. citizens. Both categories involve processing for individuals who are outside of the United States. Both require the filing of a petition with the USCIS followed by a visa application at an appropriate U.S. consulate. It is necessary to establish that the relationship is bona fide. Both categories are nonimmigrant, temporary categories. An applicant must demonstrate eligibility for an immigrant visa, as the purpose of the K-1 and K-3 categories is to facilitate entry to the United States in anticipation of filing for permanent residence.

The K-1 permits entry to the U.S. for only 90-days for purposes of entering into a marriage with the U.S. citizen petitioner. The K-3 allows entry to the U.S. for two years. Further steps must be taken to obtain permanent residence based upon the relationship that formed the basis of the K-1 or K-3 petition.



  • Must establish a bona fide intention and legal eligibility to marry
  • Proof that the parties have met in person within two years of filing the petition (This requirement may be waived for reasons of extreme hardship or custom.)
  • U.S. citizen must file I-129F petition with the USCIS (There are limitations on multiple petitions being filed by same petitioner.)
  • Foreign national fiance’/e must apply for a visa at a U.S. consulate.
  • U.S. entry permitted solely for the purpose of marriage to the U.S. citizen petitioner within a 90-day period
  • Minor children can accompany in K-2 status


  • Must establish that marriage is bona fide
  • U.S. citizen must first file I-130 petition, followed by I-129F petition
  • Foreign national spouse must apply for visa at a U.S. consulate in country of marriage
  • Entry to U.S. permitted solely for purposes of obtaining permanent residence via spousal relationship
  • Minor children can accompany in K-4 status

How We Can Help You

  • The Murthy Law Firm can assist couples in assessing the K-1 and K-3 as immigration options.
  • We consult with individuals and couples contemplating or pursuing K-1 or K-3 visas.
  • We represent and guide couples throughout all phases of the K-1 or K-3 process.
  • We are available for representation and related advice as required to transition from K-1 or K-3 status to U.S. permanent residence.