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Fiance Visa Overview
Only U.S. citizens (and not Legal Permanent Residents) may petition their fiancé from abroad. When a U.S. citizen is engaged to a foreign national residing abroad, the K-1 visa allows the fiancé(e) to enter the United States. Marriage between the U.S. citizen petitioner and the K-1 foreign national must occur within 90 days. Thereafter, the foreign national may apply for adjustment of status.
The process starts with filing a K-1 petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) with the filing of an I129-F. Generally, the U.S. citizen petitioner must have gathered with the foreign national at least once within the preceding two years. This requirement could be waived however if the meeting requirement would result in extreme hardship to the petitioner, or that compliance would violate a long established custom or practice of the beneficiary’s culture.
Once the I-129F is approved, the K-1 applicant must submit a range of documents including a medical report and police certificate(s) and if the K-1 applicant has accompanying children (who would arrive as a K-2 entrant) birth certificate(s) of those children. When the K-1 visa is issued, it is only valid for six months and for a single entry.
Upon entry, the K-1 is issued an I-94 that is only valid for 90 days or three month. The K-1 beneficiary (and if applicable, any K-2 accompanying child) must thereafter file a complete adjustment of status package to ultimately obtain a lawful permanent resident card.
Successfully securing a K-1 visa can be quite arduous and difficult to prove, as establishing a bona fide long distance relationship is a relatively complicated task particularly if one’s fiancé is in a far-off country or in a nation that has security issues.
Consular processing is also a notoriously difficult and complicated area notably with the limited validity period of the K-1 visa. It is therefore highly important to be adequately prepared and avoid unnecessarily pitfalls in this process.
Contact the Law Firm of Kyce Siddiqi. Attorney Siddiqi has experience with preparing K-1 fiance visas and can help you identify enough documentation of the bona fides of the relationship to help ensure that a K-1 visa is successfully issued at the consular post.