Bringing A Loved One To The US.
Updated and corrected as of 2 June, 2016
OK, you’ve met that special someone and you can’t wait to bring him/her to the US. So what means are available to you? The system of visas for the US is both abroad and complicated issue. I don’t know/can’t advise on every situation (you need a legal professional when you need legal advice, I am not qualified nor do I furnish legal advice).
I can give you the benefit of more than
8 12 years study, research and personal experience, though.
- Tourist Visa: If you desire to enter the United States for tourism, business, or medical visits, a visitor visa is generally required. A visitor visa is a temporary (nonimmigrant) visa for business (B-1) or for pleasure or medical treatment (B-2). However, if you are from a qualified country, you may be able to visit the U.S. without a visa, through the Visa Waiver Pilot Program. Persons planning to travel to the U.S. for a different purpose, such as students, temporary workers, crewmen, journalists, etc, must apply for a different visa. In particular you do not want to think about getting your friend, fiancee or new wife a Visitor’s visa if the intent is different from the stated purpose. Not only are you highly likely to get “caught’, it is very difficult to obtain these classes of visas for many Filipinos. The penalties for visa fraud are harsh so make sure, if you help someone apply, the purpose is as the law requires. It’s also worth noting that a B1 or B2 visa does not allow any form of work (even volunteer work) or formal courses of study … many people each year trip up on this.
- Fiancee Visa (K-1 or K-2): This is the one many of you are most interested in. It is a nonimmigrant (temporary) visa, issued solely for the purpose of a fiance’/fiancee’ entering the US to marry the particular US citizen who has sponsored him/her. It’s good for 90 days stay. If the marriage occurs within the 90 day window, the new spouse may apply to adjust to permanent resident status. If not, they must leave the US.
- Spousal Visa (K-3 or K-4): Spouses of U.S. citizens, and the spouse’s children, can come to the United States on nonimmigrant visas (K-3 and K-4) and wait in the United States to complete the immigration process. Before a K-4 visa can be issued to a child, the parent must have a K-3 visa or be in K-3 status.
Update: The USCIS is currently NOT processing K-3 and K-4 visas. How long this will continue I do not know, see the IR-1 and CR-1 below.
- All the visas listed so far are “Nonimmigrant visas”. That is, the person entering on such a visa must then apply for US naturalization as a separate prices. The CR-1 or IR-1 visas: are immigrant visas .. in other words, a spouse (CR-1) or Immediate Relative of a US citizen.
What Else Do You Need To Know About US Visas?
OK, that’s a road map of US visa, we’ll cover each one in more detail as time permits.
If there’s a particular subject you want me to post on, drop a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org , especially if your question is about Bringing A Loved One To The US.