A spousal visa is one that allows the spouse of a U.S. citizen to come to the United States. As a United States citizen, there are two options for bringing your foreign spouse to the States:

  • Immigrant visa for a Spouse of a U.S. citizen (IR1 or CR1): This type of visa requires the petitioner to submit an immigrant Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130.
  • Nonimmigrant visa for spouse (K-3): A nonimmigrant visa for spouse (K-3) must be filed must be filed, and the visa must be issued in the country where the couple were married. Once the visa process is complete and the person is issued the visa, they can come to the United States to await processing of his or her immigrant visa case. For this type of visa, the spouse (along with his or her U.S. citizen sponsor) must submit two petitions:
    • Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130, and
    • Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), Form I-129F.

A V Visa is also a nonimmigrant visa that allows the spouse of a lawful U.S. permanent resident to live and work in the U.S. until he or she is eligible to apply for lawful permanent resident status, or another type of visa.

What is an Accompanying Spouse Visa?

An accompanying spouse visa refers to a type of visa that is issued to the spouse of a an individual who has already received a valid visa, for the purpose of traveling to the U.S. An accompanying spouse visa is intended to lessen the time of physical separation.

For instance, a student who has been granted a F-1 visa may bring his or her spouse into the U.S. under the F-2 visa classification. Once the student has finished his or her studies, they must leave the U.S., and so must their spouse.

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Can a Fiancé(e) Also Obtain a Visa?

The fiancé(e) of an American citizen is also eligible to marry and live in the U.S. with a nonimmigrant visa for a fiancé (K-1) . In order to become eligible, he or she must submit an I-129F fiancé(e) petition. It is important to note that the requirements for obtaining this type of visa can be quite strict. The occurrence of immigration and marriage fraud is widespread, and immigration law and the officials who enforce such laws can be rigid.

Dangers of Spouse/Fiancé Visa Fraud

Spouse and Fiancé visas are common, and while it can be tempting, using a spouse or fiancé visa as a way to illegally reside in the country is a serious crime. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will scrutinize applications for a spouse or fiancé visa and will carefully interview the couple.

Read about it here to learn more about Marriage Immigration Law and Fiancé Visa Fraud.

Should I Hire a Lawyer for Help with a Spouse Visa?

If you have any questions related to obtaining a spousal visa for entrance into the United States, you should contact a local immigration lawyer. An experienced attorney will advise you of your best options, and will assist you in the preparation of necessary documents. If necessary, your lawyer will also provide representation at any immigration hearings you or your spouse may have.