If you are as citizen of the United States wish to unite with your non-citizen fiancé, you may need to apply for a K-1 visa on his or her behalf. A K-1 visa is a powerful and essential tool that unites couples and helps them start a new life in the United States. With a K-1 visa, you may marry your spouse in the country and live together. If successful, you will have to marry within 90 days of your spouse’s arrival. Once married, you and your spouse can work towards an adjustment of status, starting the process towards naturalization. For the most part, when the requirements are satisfied and barring any legal issues, most K-1 visas are approved. Fiancé visas are processed by the Immigrant Visa Section of the United States’ embassies and consulates across the globe. The process deserves the attention of an experienced immigration attorney. To discuss your legal situation with an experienced and effective immigration attorney, contact The Law Office of Neal Richardson Datta.
For a non-citizen fiancé to be eligible for a K-1 visa, the petitioner must be a U.S. citizen. The petitioner must file a form I-129F, demonstrate the intention to marry within 90 days and provide evidence that the couple has met the fiancé in person at least one time within 2 years prior to the filing, with some exceptions, including if the meeting would have violated a long-established custom or subject the couple to extreme hardship in some way.
Proving the validity of the relationship
With so many cases of fraud and forced marriages, immigration officials may scrutinize the validity of the relationship. Some people experience requests for documentation. It is always a good idea to preserve evidence, including photographs and correspondences, evidence of financial support, or anything else that demonstrates a lasting, prominent relationship.
Issues that can impact a K-1 visa
The approval of one’s I-129F petition does not automatically award a spouse a K-1 visa. The foreign fiancé may be subject to medical exams, an interview, and a criminal background check, all with the potential to derail the proceedings. Regarding the criminal background check, while some crimes may simply delay the issuance of a visa, other, more egregious crimes could subject a person to a denial, barring them from entering the country. For many, failure to schedule the necessary appointments and incomplete applications are the major obstacles that interfere with the process. It is important to have an attorney’s guidance.
Adjustment of status
If the petitioner is successful in bringing his or her spouse to the United States and marry within the allotted 90 days provided, the couple can move on to the next step, adjusting one’s status. The couple can file a form I-485, the application to register permanent residence or adjust status. This form is the application for a Green Card. If successful, a Green Card holder can file for citizenship.
Failure to marry within 90 days
The fiancé visa status automatically expires after 90 days. If a couple does not marry within 90 days, the fiancé will need to leave the country. Failure to do so could result in the violation of immigration law and the possibility of deportation and the jeopardy of future eligibility. That said, if a couple was married outside of the 90 days, the petitioner and spouse may file a Form I-130, a petition for alien relative, requesting the Green Card for your spouse. The limitation is that one’s foreign spouse will not be able to apply for said Green Card on any other basis besides marriage.
Contact an experienced immigration attorney
If you are a U.S. citizen who wishes to bring your fiancé into the United States to marry, it is important to discuss your legal matter with an attorney. This document-heavy, invasive process deserves legal guidance. Our firm is ready to walk you through the steps of obtaining a K-1 visa and helping your spouse gain citizenship thereafter. Before plunging into the process, retain the services of an experienced immigration attorney that can protect your future. Contact The Law Office of Neal Richardson Datta.