K1 Visa vs Marriage Visa

K1 Visa vs Marriage Visa

K1 Visa vs Marriage Visa 2560 1706 Tess Douglas

One of the benefits of having over 2.6 million followers on TikTok is that we can quickly see the most common U.S. immigration questions.  One of the top questions we get:

Should I get a K1 or a marriage visa?

The answer: it depends on what’s most important to you (do you care more about being together with your fiancé as soon as possible, or do you care about saving money?).

We understand that “it depends” is not a helpful answer.  So, to make it clearer, we put together a simple chart.  You can use this chart compare the K-1 fiancé visa with the marriage-based green card.

K1 vs marriage visa chart*This chart applies to couples where one person is a U.S. citizen and the other person is not.  The non-U.S. citizen is typically outside of the United States and the couple is trying to figure out the best way to bring that person to the United States.

The key take-away: if you want to be together in the United States as soon as possible, the K-1 is likely the best option.  However, just because the K-1 is “faster” does NOT mean it is fast.  You still might have to wait 8 months to 2 years!

If saving money is more important, then you will want to go with the marriage-based green card (marriage visa).  The marriage-based green card has less steps, less paperwork, and less fees.

If you go straight to the marriage-based green card, then you don’t have to do the K-1 application.  If you do the K-1 visa, then you have to go through the entire marriage-based green card application process AFTER you get the K-1 visa—but at least you can be in the United States during that time.

If you are interested in learning about how our team can help you with your K-1 or marriage-based green card, or you would like discuss another immigration issue with our team, you can schedule a strategy session with one of our attorneys here. You can also learn more about our immigration services here.


This website and blog constitute attorney advertising. Do not consider anything on this website or blog as legal advice and nothing on this website constitutes the formation of an attorney-client relationship. Book a consultation with us before you act using any information you read here. Past results are not a guarantee of future results and past results do not imply or predict future results. Each case is different and must be judged on its own merits.

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Tess Douglas

I provide representation for a diverse range of immigration matters, including nonimmigrant visas, immigrant visas, criminal immigration issues, appeals, and federal litigation.

All stories by:Tess Douglas
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    Could you provide the simple chart comparing the K-1 fiancé visa with the marriage-based green card, including key factors such as processing time, eligibility requirements, and benefits for each option?
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