K-1 Fiancé Visa Lawyers

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What is a K-1 Fiancé Visa?

The K-1 fiancé(e) visa permits a foreign national to travel to the U.S. and marry his or her U.S. citizen sponsor within 90 days of arrival. As fiancé(e) visas cannot be extended, if the wedding does not occur by the deadline, your fiancé(e) would have to leave the country to avoid being in violation of U.S. immigration law. The K-1 nonimmigrant visa is also known as the fiancé(e) visa. At Bolour / Carl Immigration Group, our fiancé visa lawyers can help you understand your eligibility and guide you through each stage of obtaining a K-1 visa.

What are the requirements for a K-1 visa?

You may be eligible to bring your fiancé(e) to the U.S. on a K-1 fiancé(e) visa if you meet the following requirements.

  • You are a United States citizen;
  • You and your fiancé(e) intend to marry one another within 90 days of your fiancé(e)’s admission to the U.S. on a K-1 nonimmigrant visa;
  • Your marriage must be valid, meaning both you and your fiancé(e) have a genuine intent to establish a life together and the marriage is not for the sole purpose of obtaining an immigration benefit;
  • You and your fiancé(e) are both legally free to marry, in the U.S. and any previous marriages have been legally terminated by divorce, death, or annulment; and
  • You and your fiancé(e) met each other in person at least once within the 2-year period before you file your petition. You may request a waiver of this in-person meeting requirement if you can show that meeting in person would:
    • Violate strict and long-established customs of your fiancé(e)’s foreign culture or social practice; or
    • Result in extreme hardship to you, the U.S. citizen petitioner.

If your fiancé(e) marries you within 90 days of being admitted to the United States as a K-1 nonimmigrant, he or she may apply for lawful permanent resident status in the U.S. If your fiancé(e) has children under age 21 who are unmarried, they may also be eligible to come to the U.S. on a K-2 nonimmigrant visa. If you are already married, plan to marry outside the U.S., or your fiancé(e) is already residing legally in the U.S., your spouse or fiancé(e) is not eligible for a fiancé(e) visa. As long as you marry within 90 days (and the children remain unmarried), they may also apply for green cards along with your new spouse. If you have any questions about your or your fiancé’s eligibility for a K-1 visa, contact our fiancé visa lawyers today.

How to apply?

The first step to obtaining a K-1 nonimmigrant visa for your fiancé(e) is to file Form I-129F, Petition For Alien Fiancé(e) with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The filing fee for Form I-129F is $535.

At each stage in the immigration process, background and security checks in various databases may be conducted on both you and your fiancé(e). The checks are conducted using fingerprints, names, or other biographic or biometric information.

In addition to conducting security and background checks on you and your fiancé(e), USCIS will review your form and accompanying documents to determine if you have satisfactorily established a fiancé relationship. After USCIS approves the petition, and it is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC). NVC will mail you a letter when it sends your fiancé(e)’s case to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where your fiancé(e) lives. Once you receive this letter, your fiancé(e) must complete Form DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, and bring the confirmation page to the visa interview. The visa service fee for the K-1 Fiancé(e) category is $265.00.

The length of time varies from case to case according to its circumstances. Some cases are delayed because applicants do not follow instructions carefully or supply incomplete information. Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a Consular Officer.

K-1 nonimmigrant status automatically expires after 90 days and cannot be extended. Generally, your fiancé(e) must leave the U.S. at the end of the 90 day time period if you do not marry. Our highly experienced immigration attorneys will help you through each step of the K-1 visa process.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to common questions asked by K-1 fiancé(e) visa candidates.

Can a K-1 fiancé visa holder work?

Yes. Once you have entered the U.S., you can immediately apply for work authorization by filing Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization. This work authorization is only valid for 90 days, however. You can also apply for work authorization at the same time that you apply for your marriage-based green card.

What if a K-1 fiancé visa holder has children?

If the foreign national fiancé has children who are under age 21 and unmarried, they can be included in the application and brought to the U.S. with a K-2 visa either with or after their parent. After the wedding, the children may apply for green cards along with their parent.

Can a Form I-129F be filed from outside the U.S.?

No, it must be filed by the U.S. citizen fiancé from inside the U.S.

How can the status of a Form I-129 application be checked?

You can check the status of your application using the 13-character case number that USCIS assigned to you upon receipt of your application.

What if the application is denied?

If USCIS denies your K-1 visa petition, you are permitted to file a timely appeal. It is advisable that you contact an experienced immigration attorney prior to filing your appeal to review your options.

Speak with a K-1 Fiancé Visa Lawyer at Bolour/Carl Immigration Group

If you are interested in applying for a K-1 visa or are planning to marry a foreign citizen who will need a K-1 visa, please do not hesitate to contact our Los Angeles-based fiancé visa lawyers!

Common Reasons For K-1 Visa Denial

K-1 Fiancé visa lawyers can help you steer clear of common pitfalls during your application. The K-1 visa, often referred to as the fiancé(e) visa, allows U.S. citizens to bring their foreign fiancé(e)s to the United States with the intention of getting married within 90 days of arrival.

However, obtaining a K-1 visa can be a complex process, and unfortunately, not all applications are successful. At Bolour / Carl Immigration Group, APC, we assist clients in understanding and navigating the application process, helping them avoid common pitfalls that can lead to denial.

Incomplete Application Or Incorrect Documentation

One of the most frequent causes of K-1 visa denials is the submission of incomplete or incorrect documentation. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the Department of State (DOS) require a comprehensive set of documents to process the visa. This includes proof of the relationship, evidence of meeting in person within the last two years, and an affidavit of support, among others.

Failure To Demonstrate A Bona Fide Relationship

The core requirement for a K-1 visa is to prove that the relationship between the U.S. citizen and their foreign fiancé(e) is genuine. USCIS officers are trained to scrutinize K-1 visa applications for signs of fraud or sham engagements. Applicants must provide substantial evidence such as photographs together, correspondence, and travel records that demonstrate a legitimate relationship. K-1 fiancé visa lawyers can help you find the proper documentation.

Financial Requirements Not Met

The U.S. citizen petitioner must meet certain income requirements to sponsor their fiancé(e) for a K-1 visa. They need to show that their income is at least 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines to ensure that the foreign national will not become a public charge.

Issues With Legal And Criminal Backgrounds

Background checks are a standard part of processing K-1 visa applications. If the petitioner or the foreign fiancé(e) has significant criminal records, particularly those involving violence, drug trafficking, or previous immigration fraud, the visa is likely to be denied. Similarly, previous visa violations by the foreign fiancé(e), such as overstaying a visa or working illegally in the U.S., can also be grounds for denial.

Previous Marriage And Divorce Issues

Both the U.S. citizen and the foreign fiancé(e) must be legally free to marry at the time of filing the K-1 visa application. This means that any previous marriages must have been legally terminated through death, divorce, or annulment. If there is any doubt about the dissolution of previous marriages, or if the paperwork does not conclusively prove that both parties are free to marry, the visa application may be denied.

Misrepresentation Or Fraud

Any form of misrepresentation or fraud found during the K-1 visa application process can result in a visa denial. This includes providing false information, forging documents, or failing to disclose previous immigration or legal issues. Such misrepresentations can also lead to permanent bars from entering the United States.

Get In Touch With Us Today

If you are considering applying for a K-1 visa, or if you have faced challenges with your application, do not hesitate to contact us as soon as possible. Reach out to Bolour / Carl Immigration Group, APC today, and see how the K-1 fiancé visa lawyers from our office can help.

Understanding Eligibility For A K-1 Visa

Your K-1 Fiancé Visa Lawyers can help you and your loved one build a life together in the United States – and at Bolour / Carl Immigration Group, APC, we’ve been helping thousands of clients in the same situation since 1993.

Basic Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for a K-1 visa, several fundamental requirements must be met. First and foremost, the petitioner must be a U.S. citizen. Unlike other visa categories, permanent residents (green card holders) are not eligible to petition for a K-1 visa. The petitioner and the beneficiary must have a genuine intention to marry within 90 days of the beneficiary’s arrival in the United States.

Meeting In Person Requirement

One of the key eligibility criteria for a K-1 visa is that the couple must have met in person at least once within the two years preceding the filing of the petition. This requirement is designed to ensure that the relationship is genuine and that both parties have had the opportunity to get to know each other.

Evidence Of A Bona Fide Relationship

Proving the authenticity of the relationship is a critical part of the K-1 visa application process. Applicants must provide substantial evidence to demonstrate that their relationship is genuine. This can include photographs together, correspondence, travel itineraries, and affidavits from friends and family who can attest to the relationship. 

Financial Requirements

The U.S. citizen petitioner must also meet certain financial requirements to sponsor their fiancé(e) for a K-1 visa. This includes demonstrating that they have sufficient income or assets to support their fiancé(e) and prevent them from becoming a public charge. Your K-1 fiance visa lawyers can help you provide this evidence.

Legal Ability To Marry

Both the petitioner and the beneficiary must be legally free to marry at the time of filing the K-1 visa petition. This means that any previous marriages must be legally terminated through divorce, annulment, or death. Evidence of the legal termination of any prior marriages must be provided as part of the application.

Potential Issues And Red Flags

During the K-1 visa application process, certain issues and red flags can arise that may complicate the approval of the petition. These can include significant age differences, language barriers, or discrepancies in the information provided by the couple.

Processing Time And Next Steps

The processing time for a K-1 visa can vary, but it generally takes several months from the time the petition is filed until the visa is issued. Once the K-1 visa is approved, the beneficiary can travel to the United States, and the couple must marry within 90 days. After the marriage, the beneficiary can apply for adjustment of status to become a permanent resident (green card holder).

Our Commitment To Your Journey

At Bolour / Carl Immigration Group, APC, we understand the importance of bringing loved ones together and are committed to helping you through every step of the K-1 visa process. Get in touch with us today, and see how a K-1 fiance lawyer from our office can help.

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