There are two ways that a U.S. citizen can bring their alien spouse and his or her minor children to live legally in the United States while they await the approval of Form I-130.
It also allows the spouse to obtain employment while waiting. Known as the K-3 visa, this is a nonimmigrant visa for the nonimmigrant spouse of a U.S. citizen.
Before taking on the task of applying for any immigration issue you should consult with a licensed attorney, authorized and experienced in handling cases before these government agencies.
In the case of an American citizen, who has been married, or resides in another country which is not unincorporated territory of the United States, has options to start the application for the K-3 Visa at the embassy of that country, if this is permitted.
The application process entails submitting two forms to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). First the Form I-130 submitted on behalf of your non-citizen spouse and once USCIS has received this form, the second step is to file Form I-129F or Petition for Alien Fiance(e), once approved by USCIS these forms will be forwarded to the Department of State for processing.
The other alternative is for the U.S. citizen to sponsor their spouse immigrant visa to the U.S. In this case the foreign spouse should carry out the visa procedure outside the U.S. Once they arrive in the U.S. the spouse can continue the process to obtain permanent residency status immediately.
Once admitted into the U.S. the nonimmigrant spouse may apply to adjust their status to that of permanent resident. This process can be started at any time after Form I-130 has been filed by the U.S. citizen petitioner.
In both cases you must be legally married; an unmarried partner cannot sponsor visas to the United States. If the spouse who is the U.S. citizen wants to bring their foreign spouse and their minor children to the U.S. he/she must submit a visa petition to a local USCIS office. In some cases where a US Embassy accepts immigrant visa petitions, this can be requested where the foreign spouse resides.
Speaking with an experienced and skilled immigration attorney is the first step when dealing with any immigration issue, one who is authorized to practice immigration law in Dallas and throughout Texas.
Always consult with an experienced immigration attorney