US Immigration law allows three methods for US citizens to bring future spouses or spouse to the United States: the K-1 Fiance Visa, K-3 Alien-Spouse Nonimmigant Visa and the Alien-Spouse Immigrant Visa. The K-1 Visa and K-3 generally take less time to process than the Alien-Spouse Visa. The Alien-Spouse Visa, however, is a proven path toward lawful permanent residency for your spouse.
Unlike K-1, for K-3 and Alien-Spouse Visa, a marriage is prerequisite. For K-3, an I-129F petition must be filed and approved in the United States and later complete the Consular Processing at the Post for the issuance of a K-3 visa. For, an Alien-Spouse Visa, if the marriage takes place abroad, an I-130 petition should be filed after the marriage. This petition should be filed either with USCIS in the United States, or at a US Embassy or Consulate abroad.
Please contact USCIS or the appropriate foreign service post for details about what specific documents you will need to file an immigrant petition for a new spouse. For more information, read our section on Family-Based Immigration.