Nearly one-fifth of all fiance visas that were issued in 2016 went to citizens of the Philippines and about 24 percent of minors brought to the U.S. on K-2 visas were issued to children from this country as well. The total number of fiance visas in the U.S. is higher than it’s ever been, tripling since the late ’90s, as more Americans use the K-1 visa to bring foreign fiances into the country.
Who Is Coming to America to Get Married?
While the Philippines is the most popular foreign country for Americans to find their international romances, accounting for about 18 percent of K-1 visas each year, a large number of fiance visas are also issued to other countries. The Dominican Republic and Vietnam take second and third place on the list, each accounting for about 1,900 fiances. China, Mexico, Thailand, Canada, United Kingdom, Columbia, and Russia are also popular. These ten countries are responsible for about 53 percent of all fiance visas that are issued.
Why Are More Filipino Immigrants Getting Married in America?
A large number of Filipino fiances can partially be attributed to the increased population of Filipino-Americans in the U.S. because a large number of immigrants prefer to marry a spouse from their home country as part of a cultural tradition.
The Philippines also consists of a poorer economy. It is common for Filipinos to work abroad for better opportunities, with many individuals supporting native relatives through remittances.
The K-1 and Other Types of Visas
The K-1 has been under scrutiny after the 2015 San Bernardino shooting raised concerns about immigrants coming to the U.S. without due process, but it’s actually very similar to immigrant visas. As the cases are pre-processed via the immigrant operating system and all applicants undergo the same background and security checks as individuals who apply for green cards.
While the K-1 visa is the most common type of visa for immigrants who wish to marry someone in the U.S., couples can also apply for CR-1 or K-3 visas if they choose to marry before gaining entry into the U.S. Depending on the specific case, these visas can take anywhere from 6 months to a full year to process.