US Immigration for Spouse

US spouse visa

US Spouse Immigration

Fiancé(e) Visas
Eligibility Requirements

If you petition for a fiancé(e) visa, you must show that:

You (the petitioner) are a U.S. citizen. You intend to marry within 90 days of your fiancé(e) entering the United States. You and your fiancé(e) are both free to marry and any previous marriages must have been legally terminated by divorce, death, or annulment.

Once issued, the fiancé(e) visa (or K-1 nonimmigrant visa) allows your fiancé(e) to enter the United States for 90 days so that your marriage ceremony can take place. Once you marry, your spouse may apply for permanent residence and remain in the United States while USCIS processes the application.

Children of Fiancé(e)s

If your fiancé(e) has a child (under 21 and unmarried), a K-2 nonimmigrant visa may be available to him or her.

Permission to Work
After admission, your fiancé(e) may immediately apply for permission to work. Any work authorization based on a nonimmigrant fiancé (e) visa would be valid for only 90 days after entry. However, your fiancé (e) would also be eligible to apply for an extended work authorization at the same time as he or she files for permanent residence.
What happens if we do not marry within 90 days?

Fiancé(e) status automatically expires after 90 days. It cannot be extended. Your fiancé(e) should leave the United States at the end of the 90 days if you do not marry. If your fiancé(e) does not depart, he or she will be in violation of U.S. immigration law. This may result in removal (deportation) and/or could affect future eligibility for U.S. immigration benefits.

Green Card for an Immediate Relative of a U.S. Citizen

To promote family unity, immigration law allows U.S. citizens to petition for certain qualified relatives to come and live permanently in the United States. Eligible immediate relatives include the U.S. citizen's:

  • Spouse
  • Unmarried child under the age of 21
  • Parent (if the U.S. citizen is over the age of 21)
Immediate relatives have special immigration priority and do not have to wait in line for a visa number to become available for them to immigrate because there are an unlimited number of visas for their particular categories.
Turning 21 years of age.

When an immediate relative child of a U.S. citizen reaches the 21 years of age, he or she generally will become a "first preference" (F1) category son or daughter (over 21 years of age) of a U.S. citizen, and will no longer have a visa immediately available. This change may result in a significant delay in adjustment of status or visa processing because he or she will now need to wait for an immigrant visa to become available.

Child Status Protection Act.

In certain cases, the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) may allow you to retain the classification of "child" even if you have reached age 21. Generally, your age is "frozen" as of the date your U.S. citizen parent files the application for you. To determine if the CSPA applies to you, see the Child Status Protection Act page .

Getting Married.

If an immediate relative child under age 21 gets married, he or she can no longer be classified as an "immediate relative" and will become a "third preference" (F3) category married son or daughter of a U.S. citizen and a visa would no longer be immediately available. You must notify us of any change in your marital status after the application has been filed for you and prior to becoming a permanent resident or obtaining an immigrant visa.

Green Card for a Family Member of a Permanent Resident

To promote family unity, immigration law allows permanent residents of the United States (green card holders) to petition for certain eligible relatives to come and live permanently in the United States. A permanent resident may petition for his/her spouse and unmarried child(ren) of any age to immigrate to the United States. Congress has limited the number of relatives who may immigrate under these categories each year so there is generally a waiting period before an immigrant visa number becomes available. If your family relationship qualifies you as an eligible relative of a U.S. permanent resident, then you are in what is called a "family preference category."

If you are currently outside the United States and are one of the specified eligible categories of relatives of a permanent resident, you can become a permanent resident through consular processing. In this process the Department of State will issue you a visa. If approved, you may then travel on the visa and will officially become a permanent resident when admitted at a U.S. port of entry.



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