K-1 Fiancè(e) Visa
K1 Fiancé Visa Lawyer in Chicago
A K1 visa or fiancée or fiancé visa is an immigrant visa, available for U.S. citizen and their fiancée. Although a fiancée visa or K-1 visa is not a green card but it is similar to a marriage based green card that ultimately leads to permanent residency. It allows fiancé(e) of U.S. citizens to enter the United States for the purpose of marriage, if it can be taken place within 90 days of entry. A K1 fiancée visa must be initiated or petitioned by a U.S. Citizen fiancé(e) and upon approval of the K1 visa, the foreign fiancé can enter the U.S. to get married with his/her American fiancé. After the marriage, the foreign spouse will be eligible for a permanent residency (a.k.a. green card) via the marriage based adjustment of status process.
A K1 fiancé visa is a great immigration option for U.S. citizens who wish to marry their overseas’ girlfriend or boyfriend and ultimately settle their lives together in the United States.
Who is eligible for a K1 Visa?
A K1 fiance visa must be sponsored and petitioned by a U.S. citizen. If a U.S. citizen is engaged to a foreign national fiancee, he/she can file a K1 visa to petition the fiance(e) to enter the U.S. In short, the following individuals are eligible to apply for a K1 fiance visa:
- Foreign national who is engaged to a U.S. citizen and wants to get married in the United States.
- Foreign national who resides overseas and plans to permanently live in the U.S. after marriage with his/her U.S. citizen fiancé(e).
What are the requirements for a K1 fiancé visa?
- K1 petitioner must be a U.S. citizen.
- Both the foreign national fiancé(e) (the K1 beneficiary) and petitioner must be free to marry whereby all prior marriages have been terminated through death, divorce, or annulment.
- Both K1 petitioner and beneficiary must have met in person within the last two years, unless meeting would create an extreme hardship or other exceptions apply.
- K1 visa fiancé(e) seeks to enter the U.S. solely to marry his/her fiance.
- Marriage must be taken place within 90 days after entry to the U.S. on the K1 visa.
What is the process of K1 visa?
To apply for a K-1 fiance visa, it involves the following steps:
- The U.S. citizen fiance must petition a K1 visa in the U.S. on behalf of the foreign national fiance.
- The initial filing packet will be adjudicated by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the U.S.
- Once the initial filing is approved, the K1 fiance visa petition will be forwarded to the National Visa Center and the overseas consulate post where the foreign fiancé(e) resides.
- A K1 fiance visa interview will be taken place during this stage of the process. The general purpose of the K1 interview is to ascertain that the fiance relationship is genuine, and the overseas fiancé is admissible.
- Once the K1 visa is approved, the K1 visa holder has generally six months to enter the U.S. before expiration of the visa.
- Upon entering the U.S. on the K1 fiance(e) visa, the foreign national fiance must marry the U.S. citizen fiance within 90 days.
K-1 Adjustment of Status
Getting married with a U.S. citizen does not automatically grant you the legal status to permanently live in the U.S. Upon marriage with your U.S. citizen fiance, you will be eligible to file for a conditional residence status (marriage based green card) by adjusting your status. Adjustment of status is a separate application as it leads to conditional residency.
K-1 Fiancée Visa Frequently Asked Questions
A common question we hear is, “What should we do, should we apply for a K-1 Fiancé visa, K-3 Marriage Visa, an or Marriage Green Gard Adjustment of Status?” Our common response is, it depends on your individual circumstances and we have to analysis a few important factors .
The first factor is under immigration law what the clients are eligible for. Some of the common factors that we need to consider are:
(i) is the foreign spouse currently in the United States on a valid visa?
(ii) has the foreign spouse accrued unlawful presence in the U.S.?
(iii) is the US Citizen overseas or in the US?
The second factor is when and where do the clients want to get married? If the fiancé is overseas, and they can wait the 6 to 12 months for the case to be adjudicated, then the answer is a fiancé visa is the appropriate visa. Alternatively, if the fiancé in the US on a valid visa such as a student visa or B visa, he/she may be able to file for a marriage green card and adjustment of status. Or in more complicated scenarios, if the fiancé is on a tourist visa (B visa) or a visa waiver. There are a lot of variables in marriage visas, fiancé visas, and adjustment of status cases. The right answer generally depends on the clients individual circumstances.
This is a question that causes a lot of confusion. The answer is no. However, a fiancée visa can quickly lead to a permanent residency (green card). A fiancée visa (K-1 visa) enables a US Citizen to bring an overseas fiancée to the United States so that the couple can get married. The sole purpose of the visa is to get married in the US. The marriage must take place within 90 days of the overseas fiancée entering the United States. If the marriage does not take place within 90 days, the fiancée must leave the United States and visa extensions are not granted to the K1 visa.
The good news is once the marriage takes places within 90 days, the overseas fiancée can apply for a green card if the couple intends on living in the United States. Once the green card application is issued, it will be on a conditional basis for two years. After the two years is up and if the couple is still married, the condition can be removed jointly through the removal of condition application. If the couple is not married anymore or is divorced, it becomes complicated. They may have to apply for a waiver for their removal of condition application. It seems straightforward enough, but frequently it is not.
Experienced K-1 Fiancée visa lawyer in Chicago
Due to the complexity of K-1 fiance visa and adjustment of status and the potential issues affecting your eligibility such as past immigration issues, previous marriage, or personal history, we strongly advise you to hire an experienced immigration lawyer to guide and represent you through this important process. At CIPOLLA LAW GROUP, we have successfully secured numerous fiancée visas for our clients. We knows the common pitfalls and are skilled at helping you to achieve your immigration goal. Call 773-687-0549 or contact us for a consultation.
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