What is a K-1 Visa?
It is not uncommon to fall in love with someone abroad. Whether it’s finding someone on a trip, finding someone while studying abroad, online dating, or cultural practices.
We can help your relationship blossom into marriage. Often, those who fall in love abroad, desire to have their loved one come to the U.S. We can help turn the dream of starting a new life and family into a reality. Call SD Immigration Lawyers today for a free consultation.
The K-1 visa allows for U.S. Citizens to bring in foreign national fiancés into the United States to marry. This is often the method, where those who begin romance abroad, after able to continue their love in the U.S.
The person applying (petitioner) must:
- Be a U.S. Citizen;
- Intend to marry your fiancé within 90 days of entering the United States;
- You and your fiancé are free to able to married to each other; In other words you have COMPLETELY TERMINATED any previous marriage you have had; Polygamy (marriage with multiple spouses) is generally a crime in the United States. Any intent to conduct polygamy will result in denial of your K-1 Visa application and possibly, criminal charges; Please contact our firm to make sure you or your future spouse’s previous marriage has been legally terminated.
- Both you and your fiancé have met each in person other within two years of the filing of the K-1 petition. However there are two exceptions: 1) if it is a strong cultural practice that meeting each other in person is strictly prohibited, then a waiver will likely be granted or 2) the proof this requirement would result in great hardship, then a waiver will likely be granted. A common example, would be those coming from a culture where arranged marriages are permitted (e.g. Middle East).
- Once your petition has completed its processing, you will have an interview; and hopefully receive your K-1 Visa. The interview process can be stressful. They are experience officers who ask a lot of questions. Questions can range from “how did you meet your fiancé?” to “what is your fiancé’s position at work?” So, it is important to have a lawyer present with you or prepare you for those sort of questions. The presence of a lawyer alone, can demonstrate your seriousness about the matter, relieve anxiety, and let you be yourself.
- Sometimes, you and your fiancé may have to attend a fraud interview, in order to assuage the government’s concerns that your intended marriage is legitimate. If you are summoned to a fraud interview, it is essential to have a lawyer present to help address the government’s concerns. At the very least this requires the consultation with a lawyer beforehand because if the government does make a finding of fraud, there are serious criminal consequences. Please contact our firm to help guide you through this process, so that we can take the hard steps necessary to show that your marriage is legitimate.
What if my fiancé has a child?
Your future spouse can certainly bring his/her children (as long as they are unmarried and under 21). A K-2 visa will be made available. Be sure to include your fiancé’s children on your I-129 form.
What is the process of applying for a K-1?
You must file an I-129 (Petition for Alien Fiancé). Please contact our firm for further assistance. The form can be found here: http://www.uscis.gov/i-129f
We want to get married how long does it take?
The process varies from country to country. Please visit https://egov.uscis.gov/cris/processTimesDisplayInit.do for more information.
After processing, you have 90 days to get married. The marriage process is simple. You have to go to the county courthouse; have a ceremony; and get a marriage certificate.
How much money do I need to qualify for a K-1 visa?
You must meet 125% of the federal poverty guideline requirement. If you do not meet this requirement, your petition is not a lost cause. You can have a sponsor submit an affidavit of support, to meet the government’s requirement. The sponsor must show that his/her household income is equal to or higher than 125% of the U.S. poverty level for his/her household size. Often times, sponsors are family members.
Can I renew my K-1 visa?
Yes, a consular officer can review your K-1 visa petition. This requires a written request to the Embassy that includes a statement of your intention to go forward with the marriage.
What if my fiancé is a “mail order bride?”
The fact that your fiancé is a “mail order bride” does not immediately create a finding of marriage fraud, nor will it immediately raise flags. You are still a viable candidate for a K-1 petition, so long as you can make a showing of the above-stated requirements.
What if my K-1 Visa has been denied?
If your K-1 Visa has been denied, it is not over yet. You can start all over again and re-file a new I-129. Contact our firm, on how to best proceed, even if you have a denial in your file. We can help offer different options on how to make sure your dream can be a reality someday.
Are all countries eligible?
Yes. Although common countries would be neighboring countries like Canada or Mexico, in today’s age K-1 Visas come from all around the world.
What do I do next after my fiancé and I get married?
After marriage the foreign citizen can become a lawful permanent resident. Our firm can help you with that transition.
Where can I learn more?
Please contact SD Immigration Lawyers.
Can SD Immigration Lawyers help me with this option?
Certainly, please contact our qualified experienced attorneys at (619) 808-7877.