Is a K1 fiancée visa the same as a green card?

What is a K1 fiancée visa?
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 the 90 days, the overseas fiancée can and should 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 the couple is still married and together, the condition can be removed jointly through application.   If the couple is not married anymore or is divorced, it becomes very complicated.  It seems straightforward enough, but frequently it is not.

Conditional Green card – Removal of Condition I-751
It is well known that an overseas person marrying a US Citizen may qualify for a green card.  Unfortunately, due to many fraudulent marriage or fiancee visa applications, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) generally pays much closer attention to applications relating to fiancé visas and marriage green cards than other type of family based petitions. It becomes even more complicated if the couple is no longer together or is divorced after the conditional green card is issued and expired.  The purpose of the the need to remove the condition of the marriage based conditional green card is due to the governments concern of fraud.  The government knows many couples applying for green cards through a marriage and fiancé visa are solely for immigration status purposes and not for “love.”  Consequently, even the most legitimate relationships are scrutinized to determine if they really are marriages of love and not marriages of immigration purposes.

The worst case scenario is a legitimate marriage for love is denied and the couple is either required to live apart or move to another country.  Less harsh consequences are an application may be substantially delayed due to additional scrutiny causing stress in the couples lives and in some cases forcing the couple to put their lives on hold.  For these reasons, it is important to put your best case forward and show that your relationship and your marriage is for love and to save on reduce the risks of being delayed and put through significant amounts of stress.

Marriage and fiancé visas are an excellent way to bring your loved one to this country.  If done right, it will ensure that your next holiday season will be spent with your loved ones. Please contact the Cipolla Law Group today if you are seeking an experienced Chicago based K1 Fiancée Visa lawyer.