Fiancé Visa (K-1)

The K-1 visa for fiancés offers a wonderful opportunity to unite couples in the United States, but it is one of the most misunderstood visa types, so it is important to be aware of the requirements and limitations and see how this visa coordinates with other immigration plans.

At Odunlami Law, we help couples obtain K-1 visas and derivative visas. We also assist with taking the next steps on the immigration journey to establish a secure future. Our team understands the challenges immigrants face because we’ve all traveled this road as well. We guide you through with compassion and support.  

What a K-1 Visa Does

A K-1 fiancé visa enables U.S. citizens to bring their foreign fiancés or fiancées (hereinafter just fiancé (s) to denote all gender)  into the U.S. so they can get married in the States. This visa is not appropriate for:

  • Couples who are already married
  • Couples who plan to hold a wedding outside the U.S.
  • Couples in which both partners already reside in the U.S.

Instead, you need to use other procedures to gain permanent resident status for a foreign partner, but Odunlami Law can assist with the process. 

Eligibility for a K-1 Fiancé Visa

The U.S. citizen spouse is the partner who files a petition to start the process of obtaining a K-1 visa that will allow their fiancé to enter the U.S. Both partners must intend to hold the marriage ceremony within 90 days of the time the fiancé enters the U.S. That means both spouses must be free to marry at the time of applying for the visa. If one partner’s divorce has not been finalized, you will need to wait to apply for a K-1 visa.

The intended marriage must be valid, and both partners must be committed to building a life together. In other words, neither of you can be planning to marry just to gain immigration status. In most cases, partners must prove that they have met in person at least one time during the previous two-year period. This requirement can be waived if meeting in person would violate established customs of your fiancé’s culture or enforcing the meeting requirement would cause extreme hardship to the U.S. partner.

Proving that Your Relationship is Bona Fide

Couples are often surprised to learn that they need to present evidence to demonstrate that they share a genuine relationship and that their engagement is not a scam arranged for immigration benefits. If officials believe a relationship is not genuine or “bona fide,” they will deny your K-1 visa.

An experienced immigration attorney can help you gather, prepare, and submit persuasive evidence to prove the validity of your relationship. Evidence might include photos of the two of you together, receipts to show that you’ve traveled to visit each other, date-stamped messages showing regular communication between you, and formal declarations prepared by you, your fiancé, or others. These declaratory statements must meet certain requirements to be considered valid evidence, so it is important to comply with requirements. This is another area where an immigration attorney can assist.

How the K-1 Visa Process Works

It seems like it should be simple for a U.S. citizen to bring their fiancé to the U.S., but the process is more complex than many people expect. The steps required generally include:

  • Filing a petition for your fiancé with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) along with supporting documentation.
  • If USCIS approves the petition, they send the information to the National Visa Center. They in turn forward it to the U.S. embassy or consulate closest to where you fiancé lives.
  • Your fiancé is scheduled for an interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate, and comes with appropriate documentation to answer questions.
  • If approved, your fiancé receives a nonimmigrant K-1 visa valid for up to six months.
  • Your finance travels to the U.S. and you get married within 90 days.
  • Your new spouse can apply for a Green Card by filing Form I-485 Adjustment of Status.

Remember that the K-1 visa is a temporary visa granted for the purpose of holding a wedding in the U.S. To gain permanent resident status, your fiancé must first get married and then apply as your spouse.

Odunlami Law Helps Engaged and Married Couples Avoid Delays in Obtaining Visas

Whether you are being reunited with the aid of an K-1 visa or you will use another process to finalize your family immigration goals, the Odunlami Law team is ready to assist anywhere in the country. We can also help obtain K-2 visas for children of fiances, as well as K-3 and K-4 visas to enable spouses and children of U.S. citizens to gain lawful entry into the U.S.

U.S. immigration pathways and requirements can be very confusing, but we work with you to find the best options for your situation and ensure that your applications clearly demonstrate your eligibility to avoid unnecessary delays in processing. To get a personalized plan for your immigration goals, contact Odunlami Law today.

Schedule a consultation with an immigration attorney and get your case started today.
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