Getting married can be a complicated process. In addition to planning the wedding, you have to worry about getting the right documents and having them signed by the proper authorities. This process can be a lot more complicated if you wish to marry someone who is a foreign national who wants to relocate to the United States.
Individuals who are in this type of situation may wonder if they should get married in another country and then move back to the United States, or if the foreign fiancé should travel to the United States to be married here. For many, a K-1 fiancé visa is the most convenient option. Filing a K-1 fiancé visa can typically take less time than getting married in a foreign country and then filing for a spousal petition through consular processing or the K-3 petition.
The K-1 fiancé visa allows foreign nationals who are engaged to travel to the United States with the intention of marrying a U.S. citizen who sponsored the petition. Upon arrival in the United States, the foreign citizen will have 90 days to get married. The foreign citizen will then have to apply for an adjustment of status to become a permanent resident. In addition, our office has a great track record of securing a tourist visa (either B-1 business or B-2 visitor) to actually allow the fiance to come into country even before their fiance visa is approved.
Simply saying that you are engaged and in love is not enough to secure a K-1 visa. Foreign-citizen fiancés must meet a number of criteria for acceptance into the visa program. For example, the foreign and U.S. citizen must have met in person within the past two years unless there was extreme hardship preventing the meeting.
When seeking a K-1 visa, your attorney will begin the process by filing documents here in the United States. Once approved, the petition will be sent to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where the fiancé lives. Next, both parties will have to take a visa interview. Depending on the circumstances of the case, the foreign citizen may need a passport, proof that he or she is legally able to get married, police certificates, medical examinations, evidence of financial support, two photos, and evidence of a relationship.
Whether you plan on filing a K-1 fiancé visa or a spousal petition, make sure you receive guidance from experienced and knowledgeable Los Angeles immigration lawyer Scott McVarish throughout the process. Mistakes made during the application could delay your visa and threaten your immigration status.