One of the most important principles in U.S. immigration law is family unification. The K-1 visa is one way that you can be united with your fiancé(e) who is an American citizen, and you can eventually obtain a “green card”, which permits you to reside permanently in the U.S.
We assist U.S. citizen and foreign fiancées become united in the United States along with their dependent family members through use of the K-1 visa. We prepare the paperwork, guide them through the ever-changing rules, regulations and definitions, coordinate matters with the U.S. government and Embassy abroad, and represent the parties before the INS and U.S. Department of State, as necessary. We guide the parties through the initial visa stage, which must be followed up with a residency application, and see the couple through to the stage of Legal Permanent Residence in the United States, obtaining authorization for the foreign spouse to work and travel while the lengthy process of Permanent Residence winds its way through the U.S. immigration process.
The K-1 Visa is outlined below.
The K -1 Visa is available to an individual who intends to marry a U.S. citizen. Although the K-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa, in most cases it should be understood as a visa that is obtained as the first step toward Legal Permanent Residence in the United States.
K -1 Visa Privileges:
- You and your children under 21 years of age may come to the U.S. in order to marry a U.S. citizen.
- You may apply to work immediately upon entering the U.S.
- If your U.S. citizen fiancé (e) is unable to travel to your home country to marry you, the K-1 visa may be the only solution.
- There are no quota restrictions on the K-1 visa, and the processing times are relatively short.
K-1 Visa Prerequisites and Restrictions:
- You must have a genuine intention to get married to the U.S. citizen petitioner to obtain the visa.
- Both parties must be legally able to marry, that is, of legal age, and with any prior marriages having been officially terminated.
- The couple must have met and seen each other within the past two years, unless their religion forbids meeting before marrying, or if meeting would cause an exceptional hardship.
- You must marry your U.S. citizen petitioner within 90 days after you enter the U.S.
- You must apply for Legal Permanent Residence (“green card”) after you get married if you want to stay in the U.S.
- A K-1 visa expires after 90 days, and cannot be extended beyond that period under any circumstances.
- If you fail to marry within 90 days of your arrival, you may be required to leave the U.S.