If your fiancé(e) is not a U.S. citizen, you likely will want to bring him or her to the U.S. so that you can marry and live together. U.S. immigration law provides a means for you to do so, in the form of the K-1 visa. As you will see, there are several steps that you and your fiancé(e) must take in order to complete the K-1 visa process. Perhaps most importantly, once your fiancé(e) arrives in the U.S., you have 90 days in which to legally marry and apply for lawful permanent residency, or a green card. Otherwise, the visa expires and your fiancé(e) must return to his or her home country.
To qualify for a K-1 visa, you (the petitioner) must be a U.S. citizen and must intend to get married within 90 days of your fiancé(e)’s arrival in the U.S. Both you and your fiancé(e) must be legally free to marry, and you must have met one another in person at least once in the two years prior to filing the visa petition. You typically must submit evidence of your ongoing relationship to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) along with your visa evidence. Relevant evidence might include pictures of the two of you with family or friends, letters, cards, or email messages that you exchanged, and/or telephone records or logs.
USCIS normally approves or denies a K-1 visa petition within four to six months of its filing date. If the petition is approved, USCIS will notify the U.S. citizen petitioner and the National Visa Center. Your fiancé(e) then must submit an affidavit of support and any other necessary documentation. Thereafter, your fiancé(e) will be able to enter the U.S. on a K-1 visa.
While USCIS will approve most bona fide K-1 visa petitions, there are reasons that USCIS may deny a petition. For instance, USCIS might deny a K-1 visa petition due to a foreign national’s criminal background, insufficient financial or relationship documentation, medical problems, or a previous marriage of one of the parties that never has been terminated.
The immigration attorneys of Peek & Toland have the experience that you need when you are seeking a visa for you, a family member, or potential employee to enter the U.S. We will determine the facts and evidence that are relevant to your case, evaluate your options, and help you decide the best course of action for your situation. It is our intention to place you in the best position possible to achieve your goals. Contact our Texas immigration attorneys at our office today and learn how we can assist you with your legal immigration matter.