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Get a Marriage-Based Visa

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Marriage Visa Types

If you are a U.S. citizen, there are two ways to bring your foreign spouse (husband or wife) to the United States. They include:

  • The K-3, Nonimmigrant visa for spouse; or
  • Immigrant visa for a Spouse of a U.S. Citizen (IR1 or CR1)

The application for a nonimmigrant K-3 visa for a spouse, who is married to a U.S. citizen, must be filed and the visa must be issued in the country where the marriage took place. After the visa process is completed and the visa is issued, the spouse can then travel to the United States to wait for the processing of the immigrant visa case. Both the Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) and the Form I-129F (Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)) must be filed.

In obtaining an immigrant visa, the U.S. citizen petitioner must file Form I-130 and Form I-485. If the foreign national spouse is in the United States, Form I-130 can be filed concurrently with the Form I-485 (Application for Adjustment of Status). If the foreign national spouse is outside the U.S., the Form I-130 must be filed and approved before the Form I-485.

Marriage Visa Eligibility

  • The petitioner (spouse) filing Form I-130 must be U.S. citizen
  • The U.S. citizen petitioner (spouse) must be 18 years of age or older.
  • The U.S. citizen petitioner (spouse) must have residence in the United States.

Marriage Visa Eligibility

After the visa (Form I-130) petition is completed, it is then submitted to the National Visa Center. The National Visa Center reviews the Marriage Visa filed and may request further documentation for verification of the marriage.


Once all the National Visa Center requested documentation is submitted and received, the marriage visa is sent to the local U.S. Embassy having authority over the foreign national spouse's place of residence. The foreign national spouse will be required to attend a marriage visa interview at the Embassy prior to the visa being issued. Once the marriage visa is issued, the spouse can then immigrate to the United States.

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