If a U.S. citizen plans to marry a foreign citizen the most important advice we can offer is to begin the preparations early to bring the new fiance(é) or spouse to the United States. Depending on the circumstances processing time can take as long as several months. The preparation and timeline is even more critical when children will accompany or follow-to-join the principal visa holder in the United States.
K-1 Fiance(é) Visa
Children (unmarried and below 21 years of age) of a K-1 applicant may derive immigration benefits from the same I-129F petition and are issued “K-2” visas. Children identified in the approved I-129F petition are called “derivatives”.
Derivatives may apply at the same time as the principal applicant parent or may apply later but must be issued K-2 visas within one year from the date the K-1 visa was issued to the principal applicant parent. Derivatives who are following-to-join the principal applicant parent must apply for their K-2 visas in a timely manner to allow visa issuance within the required period.
CR-1/IR-1 Spousal Visa
Children (below 21 years of age and unmarried) of the foreign spouse are also eligible to apply for IR visas if individual petitions are filed on their behalf by the U.S. citizen spouse. Under U.S. immigration law only children under the age of 18 at the time their natural parent married a U.S. citizen are considered “step-children” for immigration purpose. Children who were 18 years or older at the time of the marriage may not be petitioned as step-children. They may be petitioned by the Filipino parent after he/she becomes a lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the United States.