Should I get a K-1 or K-3 visa? 10 Answers as of June 26, 2013

I am US citizen and in a long distance relationship with a guy from my origin country. We used to live in same neighborhood and our families known each other for years. I moved to USA 30 years ago after my marriage but divorced now. That guy's sister lives here in USA close to me and she approached my family for me to get married with her divorced brother. It’s very common in our culture and country back home. My family knows them so they approved with my consent. I started talking to him and after 2 months we both and our families elders decided us to get engaged or get married. His son is 17yrs and 2 months old so we can bring him along with him. I am leaving to meet his family very soon. My question is what petition would be easier while the age limit for kids in both under 21yrs. What is the best option K-1 or K-3? Also 2 months relationship would be enough to satisfy the immigration office? What proof should I bring with me if I get engaged or get married? What are your charges would be for him and his 2 sons(16-17) for K-1 or K-3?

Ask a Local Attorney. 100% Anonymous. Free Answers.

Free Case Evaluation by a Local Lawyer: Click here
Law Offices of Svetlana Boukhny
Law Offices of Svetlana Boukhny | Svetlana Boukhny
K-1 would be a better option to ensure that both of the children will be able to get their green card along with their father.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/30/2011
Fong & Associates
Fong & Associates | William D. Fong
The decision to go K-1 or K-3 is important for the dependent child. The processing times are very close now, so the choice is not really a time issue. But, be advised that the child will be recognized as a stepchild if you marry prior to him turning 18. 21 is the age-out date for most other dependents. Consult with an experienced immigration attorney immediately, as this will affect the son's immigration directly.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 11/15/2011
Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal
Law Offices of Grinberg and Segal | Alexander Segal
This really depends upon your personal preference. Essentially, due you wish to marry in your native country or the United States. It does not matter to the U.S. Government so long as the marriage is valid in the place where it occurred and not contrary to public policy (i.e. polygamy). You will need to provide proof of the marriage such as certified marriage certificate. While your fiancs son will be treated as a child so long as he remains under 21, it is important to note that the step-part relationship must be created before he turns 18. You will be able to petition for him as your stepson if you do not marry before his 18th birthday. Under the circumstances, I would suggest that you marry as soon as possible rather than apply for a K-1 visa. These visas can take several months to approve and you run the risk of your potential stepson not being considered a stepchild for immigration purposes. I would also like to point out that if you file a K-3, you will have to file an immigrant visa petition. A K-3 visa can only be approved if there is a pending immigrant visa petition. You may want to consider only filing the immigrant visa petition. It will save you the filing fee for the K-3 visas. You will have to submit the same evidence for both the K-3 visa and immigrants visa petition. Furthermore, it is important to keep in mind that effective February 1, 2010, when both the K-3 visa and immigrant visa petitions have been approved by USCIS and sent to the National Visa Center or when USCIS approves the immigrant visa petition before the K-3 visa petition, the availability of, as well as the need for, a K-3 visa ends. If the NVC receives both an approved immigrant visa petition and an approved K-3 visa petition, will be the nonimmigrant K-3 visa case will be administratively closed and the immigrant visa petition will be processed. With current processing times, applying for a K-3 visa may be a waste of money. As for your question about the marriage, you have the burden of proving the marriage is bona fide. USCIS does understand how marriage works in various cultures. You should be prepared to show proof of communication with one another such as phone bills, emails, Skype logs, etc. You should also be prepared to answer questions about your intentions. There is no bright line rule as to how long you should be in a relationship. It is how you present the case that matters. We typically charge a fee of $2,500 to file an immigrant visa petition for an overseas individual. However, you do discount when, in your case, three cases are done at once. Typically, we would charge a flat fee of $3,500. You will also be responsible for all filing fees.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 11/15/2011
Law Offices of Alan R. Diamante, APLC
Law Offices of Alan R. Diamante, APLC | Alan R. Diamante
I would rather avoid a k3 since it usually ends up just being an additional expense that does not save you time. You can marry and do I-130 family petition. You want to collect as much evidence you can get regarding that it is a bona fide relationship.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/15/2011
Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC
Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Reza Athari
Why don't you come and see me for a more detailed discussion.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 6/26/2013
    Joseph Law Firm
    Joseph Law Firm | Jeff Joseph
    There are too many questions to answer here by e-mail and there are many options available to you. I would be happy to advise you, but need you to make an appointment for a consultation to properly assess the case.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 11/14/2011
    Immigration Attorneys, LLP | Robert R. Gard
    Generally, there is not much difference in processing times between K-1s and K-3s, but you may want to use the K-3 process because the step-parent relationship must be created through a marriage before any of the children reach 18 years old. The USCIS is quite used to marriages arranged by families, when that is the applicable cultural norm, even in cases where the parties have met only briefly, but the cultural aspects must be documented and established. We generally will not quote a fee until we have had a chance to review all documentation and evaluate a matter based on full information and documentation disclosure, but as a general proposition, it would likely be somewhere between $4,000 - $6,000, pus costs.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 11/14/2011
    American Immigration Services, PLLC
    American Immigration Services, PLLC | Lani M. Nau
    Actually a K-1 is a fiance visa, where they enter and adjust here in the US. A K3 is filed if you married your fiance outside the US. Please feel free to call for further information.
    Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
    Replied: 11/14/2011
    Richard S. Kolomejec, Attorney at Law
    Richard S. Kolomejec, Attorney at Law | Richard S. Kolomejec
    I would just file for the green card after getting married. The K-1 or K-3 doesn't make much sense to do. It takes about a year to bring the family here. As long as the kids are under 21 years old then they will be fine. Just make sure to marry their mother before they turn 18
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/14/2011
Click to View More Answers: