What Is a K-1 Visa?
The K-1 fiance visa is a non-immigrant visa that permits the fiance of a U.S. citizen to enter into the U.S. and to marry the U.S. citizen.
Who qualifies for a K-1 visa?
As a fiancé or fiancée of a U.S. citizen, you are eligible if you are:
- Legally eligible to marry under the law of both nations and any previous marriages must have been legally terminated by divorce, death, or annulment.
- Planning to getting married within 90 days of entering the U.S.
- Entering the U.S. solely for the purpose of marriage
- You met each other, in person, at least once within 2 years of filing your petition. There are two exceptions that require a waiver:
- If the requirement to meet would violate strict and long-established customs of your or your fiancé(e)’s foreign culture or social practice.
- If you prove that the requirement to meet would result in extreme hardship to you.
What are the benefits of applying under this visa category?
The K-1 visa is valid for 6 months and the visa holder must marry within 90 days of entering the U.S. Also, the time it takes to get a K-1 visa is typically shorter than getting an immigrant visa. Once you marry, you may apply for permanent residence and remain in the United States while USCIS processes the application.
How can an attorney help in this process?
An attorney can ensure that all necessary documentation is processed and can prepare the petition and visa application more quickly. When preparing forms, filing and compiling documentation for eligibility both from the petitioner’s side and beneficiary’s side, it is not an instinctive process. It’s essential to provide proper documents in a timely manner to avoid unnecessary delays. Even in cases where a petition includes the required documents, papers should be presented in a logical format so that the immigration officer reviewing the case will make a favorable decision. An immigration attorney with substantial experience in family based immigration can help avoid the many costly pitfalls and help you sail through the process easily.