Bringing a loved one who is a non-U.S. citizen into the country requires a lot of paperwork and submission of all required documents to the U.S. embassy or consulate of her country of origin. Your Filipino wife or bride-to-be has two types of visa to consider if she intends to immigrate to the United States with you. If you are engaged and have not married yet, apply for a K1 or fiancé visa. If you are already married, apply for a K3 or spouse visa.
Things You'll Need
- Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130)
- Proof of U.S. citizenship
- Proof of income
- Proof of Filipino citizenship
- Marriage certificate
- Valid ID
- Old and new photos
Apply for a “Petition for Alien Relative” using the Form I-130 at your local U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This is sufficient to enable your Filipina bride to go to the United States. However, this is a relatively long process. It usually takes about two years for the issuance of a visa. This means your wife will not be allowed to enter the United States until the visa arrives. For this reason, many still consider getting a K3 visa for their wives at the U.S. Embassy in Manila right after applying for this petition to allow them to go to the United States, while they wait for the immigrant visa petition to be approved.
Apply for a K3 visa. Your application will only be accepted if there is already a pending application for the “Petition for Alien Relative.” This application must be accompanied by a number of documents and you and your wife must be qualified for the application to be processed. Primary documents to submit include proof of your U.S. citizenship, proof of her Filipino citizenship, identification documents (any government-issued ID) for both you and your wife and marriage certificate. During the visa interview at the U.S. Embassy, you also will be required to prove your relationship through old and new photos together.
You, as the petitioning U.S. citizen, must possess the following qualifications: a U.S. citizen of legal age (at least 21 years old); must be married to the beneficiary (Filipino spouse); and must pass the minimum income requirement provided by law.
Your spouse, as your beneficiary, must pass the following requirements and qualifications: a Filipino citizen of legal age (at least 18 years old); must be legally married to the U.S. petitioner; must have no legal impediments or criminal records that may stop her from traveling overseas; and must pass the medical exam prior to the interview at the U.S. Embassy.
Wait for the issuance of the K3 visa. Processing usually takes between eight months and one year. Once the visa is approved, your bride will already be allowed entry to the United States. Once she reaches the country, she is allowed to apply for an Adjustment of Status (AOS) so she can convert her non-immigrant status to that of an immigrant. She will also be allowed to work in the United States as long as she gets the required Employment Authorization Document coming from the local USCIS office where you reside.