K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa Lawyer
K1 Fiancé(e) Visa Background
The K-1 fiancé(e) visa is a nonimmigrant classification of visa that is designed for the foreign-born fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens. It gives those foreign fiancé(e)s the opportunity to come to the U.S. with the intention of marrying their U.S. citizen fiancé(e)s who are sponsoring their visas.
The K-1 visa provides 90 days for the marriage to take place. After that, the foreign fiancé(e) can apply for an adjustment of status with the USCIS in order to become a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) and receive a green card. The K-1 visa also allows for any dependents of the foreign fiancé(e) to come to the U.S. under K-2 visa status.
Due to the fact that the primary purpose of this visa class is for eventual permanent immigration, applicants will need to fulfill some requirements usually associated with an immigrant visa.
Definition of a Fiancé(e)
According to the regulations set by United States immigration law, the official definition of a fiancé(e) is anyone who receives an I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) that has been approved. This person should also be coming to the U.S. to marry the U.S. citizen that has sponsored him or her and filed the petition on his or her behalf.
Both members of the relationship must not have any binding marital obligations. These means that any previous marriages must have been terminated through divorce, annulment, or death, leaving each fiancé(e) free to marry in the U.S. on the date when the
I-129F petition is filed with the USCIS. The marriage must also adhere to the laws that are particular to the specific state where the marriage ceremony will happen.
K-1 Visa Process:
Here are the main steps in the K-1 process:
- The U.S. citizen who is sponsoring the foreign fiancé(e) must submit an I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) to the USCIS field office closest to the area where the U.S. Citizen lives. it is important to note that the I-129F cannot be submitted a U.S. embassy, consulate, or overseas USCIS office.
- After the USCIS approves the petition, it is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) for processing, and the NVC will send it to the U.S. Consulate or Embassy after assigning it a case number.
- Once the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) will apply, receives the petition from NVC, it will provide the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) with specific instructions, including where to go for the required medical examination. The foreign-citizen fiancé(e) will then be called in for an interview at the Consulate for the issuance of a K-3 visa.
Required Fiancé Visa Documentation:
The K1 fiancé(e) and all eligible dependents who wish to apply for the K-2 visa will need to bring these items to the K-1 visa interview:
- Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application DS-160. There should be one completed application per K visa applicant.
- A valid passport with a validity period that extends a minimum of six months past the intended duration of stay in the United States. Note: there may be exceptions that are specific to each country, ask your immigration attorney for more information.
- The foreign fiancé(e)’s birth certificate
- Divorce and/or death certificates from any prior marriages for both the foreign citizen fiancé(e) and the sponsoring U.S. citizen.
- The police certificate from the country in which the foreign-born fiancé(e) currently resides. The police certificates will also be required from any nation in which the foreign fiancé(e) has lived for more than six months since he or she was sixteen years old
- Evidence of an approved medical examination
- Proof of sustainable financial support to evidence that the fiancé(e) will not financially rely on the U.S. economy. (Form I-134, Affidavit of Support, may be requested)
- Two (2) passport-style photos. See these photograph requirements from the Department of State.
- Proof that a valid and non-fraudulent relationship exists between both the U.S. citizen sponsor and the foreign fiancé(e).
- The payment for all accompanying visa fees.
To help ensure that all of your documents are completely filled out and to also help avoid any unnecessary setbacks, it is always advisable to retain a qualified fiancé(e) visa lawyer.
What Should I Expect At The Interview?
The K-1 visa interview is designed to allow immigration officers an opportunity to determine if your relationship is a sham created with the purpose of entering the U.S. through fraudulent means. While this may seem intimidating, it should not be a serious issue for those who maintain a legitimate relationship with their foreign fiancé(e).
The officer will conduct the interview by asking you simple questions about your fiancé(e) and your relationship (e.g. where does he/she work, how long have you known him/her, etc.). Overall, the interview should not take very long and you should be on your way to a green card in no time.
A great way to make sure that you are as prepared as possible for the K-1 visa interview is to go over the specifics of your situation and relationship with an experienced fiance visa lawyer.
What Happens After Marriage?
Once the marriage has taken place, your new spouse is able to apply for Adjustment of Status in order for him/her to work and live permanently in the country, effectively finishing the K-1 visa process
K1 and K2 visa holders may file an application for employment authorization (EAD). It’s important to note that if you file the application prior to filing the Adjustment of Status, then your EAD will expire within the 90-day window (when K-1 expires). For that reason, it’s advised to apply afterward.
Getting a Social Security Number
Most individuals are curious about when they get a social security number following marriage. You are able to acquire an SSN after providing an unexpired I-94. You must also have an EAD first before getting an SSN.
Tip: Applying too soon for your SSN could actually result in delays. Wait approx. 2 weeks after arriving in the country otherwise it may require manual verification from the USCIS because your records of arrival may not be saved in the system yet.
Here’s the process:
Take your marriage certificate with you to the SS office to prove your new marriage name. If you happen to be making a name change after the marriage is finalized, go to the SS office with your marriage certificate to file for a name change.
K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is acceptable proof as evidence of a finance relationship?
Things like family and relationship photographs, phone records, letters, cards, etc. Consult with a K1 Visa lawyer to determine which other documents may be appropriate.
Q. Is a K-1 Visa holder able to exit the US?
A K-1 visa holder upon arriving in the US is not allowed to leave and re-enter on the same visa. If you intend to come to exit the country then re-enter it’s recommended to apply for a travel document with Form I-131.
Q. Is a K-1 Visa holder allowed to work in the country?
Yes, you can. As we previously mentioned they can once they file Form I-765 for employment authorization and meet the other eligibility requirements.
Q. How much time does the entire process take?
There is no exact answer for this since the time period varies largely in relation to the details of the case. For example, the time it takes for your I-129F petition to be processed largely depends on how busy the USCIS service center is. The same can be applied to the U.S. consulate or embassy when it comes to the interview.
However, the processing time for your green card will most likely not be very long. For most green card applicants must wait until their priority date (the date that their immigrant petition was received by the USCIS) is current with the final action dates posted in a monthly visa bulletin by the Department of State.
However, once you are married to your U.S. citizen spouse, you will be considered an immediate relative. This means that you will be able to apply for an adjustment of status as soon as your I-130 petition is approved.
To gain a better understanding of the total amount of time that it will take to go through the K-1 process, it’s best to consult a k1 visa lawyer for more details.
Q. Is there a limit on the number of filing petitions?
Two or more k-1 visa filings in your past may require you to apply for a waiver. Also, if you’ve had an approved K-1 petition within the last two years, the same applies.
Q. What are the consequence of marriage fraud?
There are strict penalties for those who engage in marriage fraud including five years of imprisonment, hefty fines, or both.
Why Do I Need a K1 Visa Lawyer?
The K1 Visa Lawyers at SGM Law Group have assisted several clients with complex situations and have successfully obtained K-1 visa for foreign citizen fiancé(e)s.
The process of sponsoring a foreign fiancé(e) can be very stressful. A K1 fiancé(e) visa attorney can provide you with expert guidance every step of the way and take the burden out of preparing and filing the necessary forms with supporting documentation. If you would like to take advantage of our expertise and our flat K-1 visa lawyer fees, you can fill out this contact form to schedule a consultation today.