Sometimes a couple may want to get married, however in some cases one of the people are not citizens of the United States. This can cause complications, the wedding may be postponed, and there are decisions to be made as to where the couple will reside and many others. In this case, there is an option called a fiancé(e) visa, also called a K-1, available to those in this type of situation.
A fiancé(e) visa (K-1) allows for one person to enter into the United States, get married, and then apply for the adjustment status to a permanent resident of the U.S. This must be done within the time allotted, generally this time period is 90 days. This is in the case that the couple decides that their permanent residency will be in the United States.
At Pozo Goldstein, LLP, we recognize that the complexities of K-1 visas can be difficult to understand, especially if you are unfamiliar with the legal processes invovled in matters of immigration. Therefore, we encourage interested parties, as well as persons who have unanswered questions, to contact a New York immigration attorney at our office. During your free intitial consultation at the firm, we can discuss these issues with you in further detail.
Before you go through the effort of applying for a K-1 fiancé(e) visa, we suggest reading through the following information. As with any other type of process that requires application and approval, so too does the K-1 fiancé(e) visa. Therefore, it is essential that you do so in good faith. In your petition for a K-1 fiancé(e) visa, you must be able to prove that:
In some cases, exceptions are allowed for the final condition listed above. If it can be shown that the requirement to meet would violate a longstanding or strict custom of the foreign culture or social practices of your fiancé, this requirement can be waived. The other exception to this rule is when the requirement to meet could result in extreme hardship.
It is also important to note that persons who plan to marry a foreign national outside of the U.S. will not be required to file for this type of visa; nor will persons whose fiancés are already legally residing within the U.S. Looking into a Green Card, however, could be necessary in these types of situations.
Am I eligible for a fiancé(e) visa?
To be qualified for applying for a fiancé(e) visa (K-1), you must be a U.S. citizen who intends to marry a foreign national within 90 days of the petition. Both you and your intended spouse must be free to marry (not currently married to another), and must have met in person within two years of the petition. The only time this requirement can be waived is if meeting would violation you or your fiancé(e)’s customs, or if you can successfully prove that it would have caused a severe economic hardship.
How can I apply for a K-1 visa?
Applying for a fiancé(e) visa is generally a two-step process. First, you will need to file a Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) (Form I-129F) with the USCIS office. Upon approval, USCIS will forward your petition onto the National Visa Center (NVC) for processing. Upon it being processed, your petition will be sent to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where your foreign fiancé(e) will apply for their visa.
This is the second step of the process that must be completed by the couple. Once the U.S. Embassy or Consulate receive the petition, they will give specific instructions for the couple to apply for a K-1 nonimmigrant visa. This will include medical examinations, interviews, fingerprinting and processing. This is also when children of the applicants can apply.
We need to make wedding plans. How long do we have to get married?
After you are issued your K-1 visa, you will have 90 days for the marriage ceremony to take place. Upon marriage, your spouse will be able to enter into the process of applying for permanent residency through a green card. If you do not get married within the time allotment, the visa will expire. There is no way in which you can extend this time through any actions, so if you do not get married your fiancé(e) will need to leave the country or will be considered in violation of the law.
If you are looking to petition for a K-1 fiancé(e) visa, don’t wait to contact Pozo Goldstein, LLP. When you align yourself with a member of our legal team, you will be under the representation of a qualified professional whose experience and knowledge can be put to work for you. With our help, you can determine whether or not your situation qualifies you for a visa of this nature. Contact us today to schedule a free in-house case evaluation with a New York immigration lawyer at our office.