Choosing Between a K-1 Fiancé Visa Immigrant Visa and K3 Marriage Visa

A question we are often asked by our clients is “I want to bring my boyfriend to the U.S., I don’t know where to start, should I get a fiancé visa and get married in the U.S. or get married overseas?” The answer is, it depends on your individual circumstances.

I want to bring my boyfriend/girlfriend to the U.S.

If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, or if you are in a relationship with someone outside of the U.S., you can certainly sponsor your boyfriend or girlfriend to the U.S. Before you make any immigration decision, the first factor you need to consider is what immigration options your boyfriend/girlfriend is eligible for. As we mentioned in the title of this article, there are generally three immigration options which are:

  • Visitor Visa (a.k.a. Tourist Visa or B Visa)
  • Fiancée Visa (a.k.a. K-1 visa)
  • Immigrant Visa
  • K-3 Marriage Visa

Visitor Visa for your boyfriend/girlfriend

If your boyfriend is from overseas, a visitor visa or B visa may be a good immigration option for him. It is relatively cheaper and faster to obtain and it will allow him to visit you temporarily, thus giving the two of you more time to know if you want your relationship to progress further.

However, like the name itself suggests, a tourist visa is only good for temporary visit. It is not intended to be used as a “stepping stone” to a green card. Although, under certain circumstances, foreign nationals can apply for green cards while they are in the U.S. on a tourist visit. If that’s what you’re thinking, you should consult with an immigration lawyer first, just to make sure you do not violate any visa intent issue or the B visa requirements.

Bringing your Fiancée to the United States

If you are considering marriage with your foreign national girlfriend, a U.S. fiancé visa or K1 visa is a possible option for you. To be eligible for a K-1 fiancée visa, you and your fiancée must meet the following requirements:

  • you must be a U.S. citizen
  • you and your fiancé must be free to marry or single
  • you must have met your fiancé in person within the last two years
  • your fiancé resides outside of the U.S.
  • your fiancé is not inadmissible to the U.S.
  • will get married within 90 days of entry to the U.S.

Bringing your Spouse to USA

If you married overseas and want to bring your spouse to the U.S. you should consider getting an immigrant visa or a K-3 visa. Generally speaking K3 visas are quicker than Immigrant Visas. However, Immigrant Visas are generally more efficient in terms of costs and the overall process, as K3 visa require eventual adjustment of status. Consequently, the choice between a K3 Visa and Immigrant Visa is very fact specific and requires a full understanding of each individual’s particular situation in making the appropriate decision. As usual, each case needs to be done appropriately from the start to avoid unnecessary time delays and to give the best chance of approval so that the reasons for the choice between the K3 or Immigrant Visa are enjoyed.


There are a lot of variables in marriage visas, fiancé visas, Immigrant visa and adjustment of status cases. The right answer generally depends on the your individual circumstances. If you want to learn more about each option, feel free to contact Cipolla Law Group online or call (7730 687-0549 for a consultation. We are happy to analyze your case and determine if we can represent you in your marriage green card, fiancé visa, or adjustment of status case. We’re a Chicago based immigration law firm that located in downtown Chicago and Lincoln Park, Chicago. Our multilingual immigration lawyers speak Chinese, Spanish, French and Italian.

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