The K-1 visa is designed specifically to allow a U.S. citizen to bring his or her fiancé(e) to the United States so that they can get married. This allows the foreign spouse to become a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. There are several steps that need to be followed properly in order to get the visa approved without any delays.
In this blog we generally talk about what needs to be done to properly obtain a K-1 Visa. Please note that this blog barely scratches the surface of all the legal aspects of the application process. This is not meant to be an advice blog, but rather an overview of the process. If you are seeking to bring your fiancé(e) to the U.S., it is best to come to talk to us to ensure that your process will be as smooth as possible.
Petitioning the USCIS for Recognition of Fiancé(e)
The first step is for the U.S. citizen (known as the “petitioner” during this process) to file Form I-129F to petition for the non-citizen fiancé(e) to get approval to come to the U.S. for marriage. In this petition, it must be shown that both parties are free to marry, and that you intend to get married within 90 days of the fiancé(e) arriving in the United States. This form is filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS).
Case Number is Assigned & Sent to Embassy or Consulate of Fiancé(e)’s Location
USCIS will create a case for you and notify the embassy or consulate where the fiancé(e) is located that they will need to file for the K-1 visa. The fiancé(e) will need to go through a normal visa interview, provide proof of a relationship with the petitioner, pass a medical examination, and other normal steps for obtaining a visa. If there are no issues, the fiancé(e) will be issued a K-1 visa that will allow them to enter the U.S. once.
Fiancé(e) Travels to the U.S. to Get Married
When the fiancé(e) comes to the United States, he or she will need to go through a normal inspection by the customs and border protection agency. If admitted, the fiancé(e) will be allowed to stay in the country for up to 90 days, during which the fiancé(e) and the petitioner must get married.
Foreign Spouse Applies for Adjustment of Status
Once married, the K-1 visa holder needs to file form I-485 to seek an adjustment of status to become a permanent resident. This should be done as soon as possible to avoid any potential issues and will allow the spouse to remain in the country until a decision is made regarding their immigration status. If there are no issues, the foreign spouse will receive a conditional permanent resident status for two years
Petition for Removal of Conditions on Residency
Within the 90 day period prior to the end of the conditional resident status, the spouse must petition to remove conditions on their residence. If there are no issues with the petition, the spouse will receive permanent resident status.
Do Not Go Through This Alone
As you can see, there are a variety of time-sensitive, specific steps that need to be processed, and missing them at any point can cause serious issues. Contact the Law Offices of Connie Kaplan to get the help you need to avoid any unnecessary obstacles today!