Fiancé Visa (K-1 VISA)
If you and your fiancé(e) are ready to start your life in the U.S., but one of you is a foreign national, you will need to get a fiancé(e) visa. A fiancé(e) visa allows you to marry in the United States and does not require you to get married before starting a new chapter in the U.S. However, you and your spouse must meet specific requirements to qualify for a K-1 visa.
Requirements for a Fiancé(e) Visa
Below we have put together the requirements needed to obtain a fiancé visa:
- One of you must be a U.S. citizen,
- You must have met your intended spouse in person within the last two years (with some exceptions), and
- You both are legally able to marry.
Once your application is submitted, it will be forwarded to the National Visa Center and sent to the embassy indicated in the petition. Generally, the process takes about nine months or less. Once your fiancé arrives in the United States, you must marry within 90 days from the date they entered the United States. Otherwise, the visa will expire, and the beneficiary of the fiancé must return to their country of origin.
New laws in the United States now extend fiancé visas to same-sex couples, so long as you intend to marry in a state that recognizes same-sex marriages.
K-1 Visa Exceptions
Many cultures have different ideas about how marriages and engagements should occur. The USCIS has carved out certain exceptions, such as the in-person meeting requirement if it is against your cultural norms or will otherwise cause undue hardship.
Common Reasons Why Fiancé Visas Get Denied
Applying for a fiancé visa on your own can present many complications, as well as cause a visa denial if you make the following mistakes:
- Not properly signing documents.
- Not entering proper information on visa applications.
- Not using the proper forms.
- Not showing evidence that a real relationship exists which could be construed as a sham or fraudulent marriage.
You and your partner must intend to marry within 90 days of your foreign fiancé’s arrival in the United States. Failure to marry him or her within the 90-day time-frame will then change your fiancé’s immigration status to unlawful. If you’ve failed to marry your fiancé within the 90-day window, it’s imperative to contact an Orange County immigration lawyer immediately for help.
Fiancé(e) Visa FAQ
Can I Change My Status to a Fiancé Visa Inside the United States?
You cannot change your status to a fiancé visa while inside the United States. A fiancé visa is a non-immigrant visa for those living abroad.
Will My Fiancé Have Work Authorization?
As soon as your fiancé arrives, you should apply for a social security number. You should also apply for permission to work.
How Do I Apply for a Fiancé Visa?
Work with a skilled immigration attorney when applying for your fiancé visa. An immigration lawyer will ensure that you do not make unneeded mistakes that delay your application or otherwise cause a denial in your application.
Orange County Immigration Attorneys
Applying for a fiancé visa can be complicated, especially at the consular processing stage. Contact an Orange County immigration lawyer today for a consultation. Yekrangi & Associates serves Orange County, including Irvine, Costa Mesa, Anaheim, Mission Viejo, Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, and major cities throughout Southern California.
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