There is nothing more important than bringing your family together and keeping it together. Across borders it often involves rules and regulations which are confusing and difficult to make sense of.

Marrying the partner of your dreams to start a life together in the United States can be very complicated. There are two different ways it can be done, either with marriage here or abroad. Both have their advantages, depending on your unique circumstances. In all cases, however, the process requires careful attention so that the happiest day of your life can become real.

For all spouse visas

US law allows for families to come together and stay together. But in all cases there will be interviews and checks to make sure that it is a genuine, valid relationship. Spousal visas are open to all legal, permanent residents, but some restrictions may apply.

K-1 Visas

If you are not yet married, the K-1 Visa may be the right choice for you. With this visa, you are required to be married within 90 days of arriving in the United States. It also requires multiple filings as your status changes from single to married.

It is a more expensive option as a result, and the many different filings have to be done carefully and without errors. The process is usually much faster, but it can be more expensive. If you are not already married this is generally considered the preferred alternative.

Other options

If you are already married, or plan to marry outside the US, the K-3 nonimmigrant visa is the right choice. Because your status is already declared, there is only one filing necessary for this. It can take longer, however, so if it is possible and affordable the K-1 is usually recommended.

It is also required that you demonstrate that your income is above 12% of the poverty line in order to obtain a visa for a spouse to whom you are already married.

If you are already in the United States and married, or can enter the US through any other means, the K-1 is not an option.

Complications abound

In all cases, the process is difficult and can be very confusing. An experienced immigration attorney  is essential to filing error-free paperwork and moving the process along in a timely manner.

Your happy life together needs the best start that it can. Seeking help to file your spousal visa, regardless of which is most appropriate, is essential to the happiest beginning here in the United States.