Falling in love and proposing marriage to the person you desire to spend the rest of your life with can be a blissful milestone. At the same time, you may decide or have already decided to live together in the country of your citizenship. In the United States, this decision can run into roadblocks if one of you is not an American permanent resident. Because of this issue and the subsequent desire to keep families together, the Fiancé K-1 visa was created. If your significant other is currently residing in and is a citizen of another country, you are eligible to apply for this visa to allow him or her to come to the United States and get married. Additional details for navigating this process are outlined below.
The Basic Requirements
While a K-1 visa is definitely attainable if you and your spouse meet the requirements set forth by American immigration rules, the process can nonetheless be rather daunting and intimidating when taken on by yourself. You will want to hire an immigration lawyer to guide you through the process. This begins with your immigration attorney walking through a series of questions with you and your spouse to make sure you qualify. If there are some potential deficiencies in your application, it is better to settle those matters early so you can avoid any costly denials later on down the road.
The first requirement is that the petitioner must be a citizen of the United States. Permanent residents and those living in America under another type of visa cannot apply for their fiancé to receive a K-1 visa. You must then demonstrate that your intent is to get officially married within the first ninety days of your fiancé’s entry into America. Beyond that, if either one of you has been married before, all such marriages must be officially terminated and verified. This applies to any marriages in a foreign country. Termination can take place via divorce, annulment, or death. These are the essential conditions that must be satisfied prior to applying for the K-1 visa. Beyond that, there are other requirements, such as the financial security of the petitioner and the lack of any major criminal activity in either partner’s records. Your immigration lawyer will go over each of these requirements in detail during your initial meeting.
Some Final Notes
Obtaining a K-1 visa can take some time, so it is important you do not make any travel plans until you have been officially approved. There will be an in-person interview that your fiancé will need to attend before being granted the visa. Depending on the place of application, the petitioner may or may not be able to attend this interview with the fiancé. Any additional questions or details regarding this part of the process will be further explained by your immigration attorney.
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