Getting a K-1 Visa for Your Foreign Fiancé(e)
Congratulations! Romance is in the air, and wedding bells will soon be ringing for you and your foreign fiancé(e)! Your immigration lawyer recognizes that you and your fiancé(e) are anxious to begin your new life in the United States together, and they would like to help you take care of the legalities surrounding your fiancé(e)’s petition for a K-1 visa. This will allow you two to marry in the U.S. as soon as possible. If you are planning to marry in the U.S., you will need to file a petition for a fiancé(e) visa on behalf of your betrothed before your fiancé(e) can come to the US for your wedding and apply for permanent residence.
Meeting The Criteria for the ‘Marriage Visa’
To begin, you will need to supply your immigration lawyer with proof that you and your fiancé(e) meet certain eligibility criteria. These criteria allow you to confirm your eligibility to sponsor your fiancé(e)’s bid for a K-1 visa and that both you and your fiancé(e) are legally available to marry. They are as follows:
1) You (the petitioner) must be a U.S. Citizen.
2) You and your fiancé(e) must intend to marry within 90 days of his or her entrance into the United States. Your fiancé(e)’s visa will be issued prior to their arrival in the US, but it will not activate until they have arrived in the country.
If you two do not marry during this 90 day period, your fiancé(e)’s K-1 visa will expire and your fiancé(e) will have to leave the United States while you file a new petition. It takes time for petitions to be processed and for visas to be issued; you should work with your immigration attorney and avoid unnecessary delays by planning ahead.
3) You and your fiancé(e) must be legally free to marry. Any previous marriages must be legally recognized as having ended, whether due to the death of the previous spouse, divorce, or an annulment.
4) You and your fiancé(e) must also have met within the two years prior to the filing of your petition.
a. Now, if you and/or your fiancé are marrying in accordance with cultural, religious, or social traditions that do not allow you to meet this criterion, you must provide a statement declaring that this is the case and citing the appropriate religious, cultural, or social tradition.
b. The other exemption to this criterion is if such a meeting would create extreme hardship for you. You will also need to establish this with a statement and/or documented proof.
Employment Authorization Under the K-1 Visa
Once your fiancé(e) has received his or her visa and has arrived in the U.S., he or she can immediately apply for permission to work. This initial work authorization will remain valid for the duration of your fiancé(e)’s K-1 visa; it will also expire at the same time as the K-1 visa. As soon as the two of you are married, however, and your new spouse applies for permanent residence, he or she can simultaneously apply for an extended work authorization.
You Can Petition for Your Fiancé(e)’s Children Too
If your fiancé(e) has a child (or children) who will be joining the two of you in the United States as you build a life and create a family together, you can include that child’s name on the petition that you file on behalf of your fiancé. The inclusion of their name will allow USCIS to immediately consider them for a K-2 visa.
Galstyan’s Immigration Lawyers Ease the K-1 Application Process
Your immigration lawyer supports you and your fiancé(e) as the two of you take the first steps towards beginning a life together. They will draw from all of his legal experience to make sure that your petition for a K-1 visa is approved as quickly as possible so that the two of you can be joined in matrimony here on American soil.