When a K-1 'Fiancé Visa’ is not a good choice

Nothing is more important than family and love. If you intend to marry someone from South Korea the most popular way to unite your family is the K-1 Visa. This 'Fiancé Visa’ is a very popular way to bring a family together here in the United States.

There are limitations to it, however. It can take time and it is only valid when one partner is a US Citizen. When the K-1 is not appropriate, there are other ways for love and family to flourish in America.

The K-3 option

A K-1 Visa requires that the two partners are married in the United States within 90 days of coming here. This visa is only for couples which intend to marry right away. Given that, it is also an option to immediately marry in South Korea.

The wait time for a K-1 visa is up to six months, but a K-3 can be granted in just weeks. It requires that you meet the requirements for marriage in South Korea, which can be a limitation. But it does speed up the process considerably and requires less documentation overall.

This can be a good option for couples who are interested in moving ahead with their lives quickly or have other reasons to unite the family without delay.


The K-1 Visa is only valid if one of the partners is a US citizen. For permanent residents, there is no way to bring a fiancé over to the US. They will have to come over on their own merits.

In this case, marriage in South Korea is really the only option to unite the family. Once that has been done and you are legally married, you can proceed to form I-130. This process can take a very long time, however, but it is your only option.


It is usually advised that an immigration attorney review your situation in all of these cases. You may have choices and there are technical requirements that are important. The process is long enough without making mistakes that require you to start over.

It is important to know that there are always ways of bringing love and family to the United States. There is always paperwork to do it, but there is a visa which is the right choice for you and your partner.


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