You’re engaged–congratulations! But if you’re a U.S. citizen engaged to a foreign citizen who lives abroad, you may have more on your mind than wedding rings and honeymoons. If you want to live together in the United States, you must take certain legal steps to ensure that you don’t run into any immigration problems and risk your fiancé’s deportation. The most important thing to is filing for a K-1 Visa.
Filing a K-1 Visa: U.S. Citizen Responsibilities
The K-1 Visa, also known as the “fiancé K-1”, allows a foreign fiancé to legally enter the United States and marry within 90 days of arrival. To receive this visa, the U.S. citizen, must file a K-1 petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and provide documents that prove:
- that you’re a U.S. citizen;
- that you and your fiancé have met in person in the two years prior;
- that both of you are legally free to marry;
- that you will marry within 90 days of the foreign fiancée’s entry into the United States.
These requirements are to assure USCIS officials that the marriage is not solely to provide the foreign citizen with a valid U.S. visa. Although the process could take a few months, don’t try to bring your finance to the United States on a visitor’s visa or another visa to get married. Such actions could put your fiancé’s immigration status in jeopardy.
Filing a K-1 Visa: Foreign Fiancé Responsibilities
After the USCIS approves the K-1 petition, the foreign national fiancé must go to the U.S. embassy or consulate in their country to apply for a K-1 visa. In addition to the application, your fiancé must provide a valid passport, a divorce or death certificate for previous spouses, a police certificate, evidence of financial support, among other things. If your fiancé has children, they may apply for entry into the United States under a K-2 visa.
When the K-1 visa is issued, the finance may enter the United States and must marry the U.S. citizen applicant within 90 days. After the marriage, the foreign citizen should file an I-485 application for permanent residence as soon as possible.
Talk to a Knowledgeable Immigration Lawyer
Filing a K-1 petition can be confusing. The USCIS may require additional documents, and you might accidentally submit an incomplete application. If you are in the Raleigh, North Carolina area and have any questions about the process, you should speak to an immigration lawyer experienced at handling fiancé petitions.
At the law offices of Fay & Grafton, our team of Raleigh-Durham & Asheville, NC immigration lawyers would be delighted to help you bring your fiancé to the United States. If you need assistance with the K-1 visa, don’t hesitate to contact us today.