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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Australia

Come someone explain to me basically what the exact difference between these are?

I understand the K-1 is for a non-wed couple that wants permission to get married, and the k-3 is for an already married couple.

I basically want to know, why don't we just get married and then get a k-3 rather than do the k-1 and have to wait?

Thank you.

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IR-1/CR-1 has now pretty much replaced the K-3

People might choose K-1 over IR-1/CR-1 because the K-1 is usually much faster, or they may not be able to marry first (if the non-US citizen is unable to get a tourist visa for the US, for example). Or they might not want to spend time apart as a married couple.

There are disadvantages to the K-1 (more expensive, and the non-US citizen does not automatically become a green card holder upon arrival in the US and must apply and wait before they can work in the US and travel outside the US.

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The K3 is virtually obsolete now a days, the chances of getting it are really low. The reason is because the I-129F these days usually takes about the same time as the I-130 to get approved, therefore if the I-130 and the I-129F are both approved, the K3 path has to be closed.

The K3 path is possible when the I-129F gets approved and sent to the NVC before the I-130. The only way for K3's to be issued more frequently is if the I-129F's were processed fast again, like they used to be.

Plus you would have to be married first, file the I-130, and then file the I-129F in order to do the K3. The K1 path is more expensive, but it means that you are here sooner because you are waiting out most of the process here in the states, rather than abroad.

Also if you did decide to do the K3, and were able to get it, it would take the same time or maybe longer than the K1. Because for the K3, since you have to get married and file the I-130 first, all of this would take time, when the K1 could already be in process.

This does not constitute legal advice.

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Filed: Citizen (apr) Country: Canada


This link might be helpful

good luck

August 12, 2008 - petition sent
August 16, 2008 - NOA-1
February 10, 2009 - NOA-2

February 13, 2009 - NVC case number assigned
March 12, 2009 - Case Complete

May 4, 2009

May, 26, 2009

POE - June 20, 2009 Toronto - Atlanta, GA

Removal of Conditions
Filed - April 14, 2011
Biometrics - June 2, 2011 (early)
Approval - November 9, 2011


April 29, 2013 - NOA1 for petition received

September 10, 2013 Interview - decision could not be made.

April 15, 2014 APPROVED. Wait for oath ceremony


September 29, 2015 - sent letter to senator.

October 16, 2015 - US Citizen

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Philippines

If you file K-3, it will be turned into CR-1, and you are looking at 14-18 months.,.,.,.K-1 is 5-6 months at TSC and 3-60 days at CSC..,.,.,it is YOUR choice!

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Filed: K-1 Visa Country: Belarus
When I was choosing between K-1 and K-3 (they don't give it now and replaced for IR-1/CR-1)

I chose K-1 because I can't arrive in USA by tourist visa. To the processing time is important in my case. I chose to wait 5-6 month. It's much less than 12-18 month for marriage couples.

But it's your choice anyway

Good luck (F)(F)(F)




Service Center : Texas Service Center
Transferred? No
Consulate : Warsaw, Poland
I-129F Sent : 09/12/2014
I-129F NOA1 : 09/18/2014
I-129F RFE : 11/19/2014
RFE Replay : 11/25/2014
I-129F NOA2 : 12/08/2014 (81 days from NOA1)
NVC Received : 12/16/2014
NVC Case Number: 12/17/2014
NVC Left :12/19/2014 (4 days in NVC)

Medical : 01/19/2015
Consulate Received : 12/24/2014 (5 days in transit to Consulate)
Interview Date : 01/27/2015
Interview Result : Approved
Visa on hands: 01/28/2015

USA Entry 02/07/2015

Marriage 03/20/2015


Removal of Conditions

09/12/17: I-751 mailed - Vermont Service Center

09/27/17: NOA1

12/26/18: RFE




02/23/19: N-400 Filed Online

02/23/19: NOA1


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I would just like to clarify this because there seems to be some confusion. The K3 hasn't been replaced by the CR1/IR1. They are and always have been separate visa categories.

A K3 visa is a dual intent nonimmigrant visa given to the spouse of a USC for the purposes of traveling to the US, and then adjusting status to a permanent resident by submitting form I-485 once inside the US.

A CR1 visa is an immigrant visa given to the spouse of a USC, who has been married for less than 2 years, for the purposes of traveling to the US and becoming an LPR upon entry.

An IR1 visa is an immigrant visa given to the spouse of a USC, who has been married for 2 years or more, for the same purposes as a CR1.

***Note: When a person who receives a CR1 immigrant visa enters the US on or after their second marriage anniversary, they will be granted IR1 visa category upon entry.

When a person in K3 status adjusts to an LPR, they are given either CR6 or IR6 visa category. CR6 and IR6 are the equivalents of CR1 and IR1, respectively, for those who adjust status in the US.

The reason why the K3 is less common to get currently, is because of the processing times of the I-129F for a K3 spouse. If the I-129F is approved and sent to the NVC before the I-130, the K3 visa is what the intending immigrant will apply for.

Whenever the I-130 is approved before the I-129F, or whenever both the I-130 and the I-129F are both approved by USCIS and sent to the NVC, the K3 visa path is no longer an option and the intending immigrant has to proceed with the CR1/IR1 visa process.

Edited by Ian H.

This does not constitute legal advice.

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