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Marriage to a U.S. Citizen

Spouses and Fiance(e)s of U.S. Citizens

A United States citizen cannot transmit citizenship to a spouse.  A spouse or fiancé(e) who wishes to take up indefinite residence in the United States requires one of the following visas:

Immigrant Visa

An immigrant visa is required if you are married, or intend marrying outside the United States.  The spouse of a U.S. citizen will qualify for immigration in the immediate relative category.  For further information, please follow this link.  Note:  Applicants who qualify for a visa on the basis of a marriage which was entered into less than two years prior to the date on which he/she is admitted into the United States as an immigrant, will be granted conditional resident status

Nonimmigrant (K-3) visa

Spouses on whose behalf an immigrant visa petition, Form I-130, has been filed, may also be eligible for the nonimigrant K-3 visa.  The visa entitles the holder to travel to the United States to await the approval of the immigrant visa petition. For further information, please follow this link

Fiance(e) Visas

If you will marry in the United States with the intention of taking up  indefinite residence after marriage, you will require a fiancé(e) visa.  For further information, please follow this link.

Note:  If you do not intend taking up indefinite residence in the United States but will continue to live and work abroad after the marriage ceremony you should apply for a B-2 visa, or if eligible travel visa free under the Visa Waiver Program.

Accompanying children

Children of U.S. citizens who have no claim to U.S. citizenship are eligible for immigration either in the immediate relative category, if under the age of 21 and single, or the family based preference category if over the age of 21 and/or married.  Note: Step-children of a U.S. citizen will qualify for immigration in the immediate relative category only if the marriage creating the relationship of step-parent and child occurred before the child’s eighteen birthday.

Derivative visa status is accorded to the child under the age of 21 of the beneficiary of a fiance(e) visa petititon, provided the child has no claim to U.S. citizenship.  

IMBRA - Rights & Protections Pamphlet

  • Thread If you are a spouse or fiance(e) of a U.S. Citizen, or spouse of a Lawful Permanent Residents, please read the Rights and Protections pamphlet before your visa interview to learn about your rights in the United States relating to domestic violence, sexual assault,and child abuse and protection available to you. The consular officer will verbally summarize the pamphlet to you during your interview.