The following article will briefly explore the comparative advantages and disadvantages of the United States fiance visa and the United States Marriage Visa.
The travel document which is commonly utilized to bring a foreign fiance to the United States is referred to as the K-1 visa. The K1 fiance visa permits the visa holder to stay in the United States for a statutorily prescribed period of time: 90 days. Within this 90 day period the couple must legally marry and apply for adjustment of status in order for the foreign fiance, now spouse, to remain lawfully in the USA.
Immigrant marriage visas are somewhat different from their K-1 counterparts because the Immigrant spousal visa confers lawful permanent residence to the alien spouse upon lawful admission by the United States Customs and Border Protection Service (USCBP) at an American Port of Entry. There are basically two types of Immigrant spouse visas: the CR-1 visa and the IR-1 visa. The CR1 visa provides conditional lawful permanent residence to the visa holder upon being lawfully admitted to the United States. In general, this means that the alien spouse of a United States Citizen in the USA must submit an application to have the conditionality of their residence lifted before they will be permitted to remain in the United States for an indefinite period of time. The IR-1 visa is meant for use by spouses of U.S. Citizens who have been legally married for at least two years at the time that the alien spouse is lawfully admitted to the US by the Customs and Border Protection Service (USCBP).
The US fiance visa process moves comparatively quicker compared to the Immigrant marriage visa process. However, the United States fiance visa is considered by many to be an inferior travel document compared to an immigrant visa because of the aforementioned status differential. To put it simply: entering the U.S.A. in lawful permanent resident status places a foreign loved one in a significantly better position compared to an foreign national entering the USA in K-1 visa status. For some, the immigration status of an alien loved one is less concerning compared to the issue of getting said loved one admitted to the USA as fast as legally possible. The K-1 visa offers a sort of expedited route to admission to the USA, but it should be noted that the K-1 process effectively bifurcates the Green Card process thereby necessitating adjustment of status upon arrival which can be costly and time consuming.
Those interested in gaining more insight into issues surrounding K-1 and Immigrant visas are well advised to look into the adjustment of status process in order to come to an informed decision about what type of travel document best suits the needs and preferences of those concerned.