K-1 Visas for Fiancées of US Citizens

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Jeffrey B. Steinfeld, PC understands that any time spent apart from one's loved ones can be a difficult and trying experience. We go to great lengths to unite US citizens with their fiancés who are overseas.

K-1 Visas are only issued to fiancés of US citizens. They are not available to fiancés of permanent residents.

There are three basic requirements to receive a K-1 visa:

  • The parties must have met in person within the past two years (in some cases this requirement can be waived-see below)
  • They must have a good faith intention to marry
  • They must be legally able and willing to get married within 90 days of the alien's arrival in the US

Waiver of the in-person meeting requirement:

To obtain a waiver it must be shown that complying with the requirement would result in either extreme hardship to the US citizen, or that complying would violate traditional customs in the alien's home country. This second method of obtaining a waiver will be strictly scrutinized to ensure there is no attempt to avoid the law.

Procedure:

The application is filed at the USCIS Service Center with jurisdiction over the US citizen's place of residence. If the alien has minor children, they will be given derivative status and allowed to enter the US with their parent. The application must include proof of the petitioner's US citizenship and proof that each party is legally able to marry (e.g divorce decrees or death certificates or prior spouses). It is also advisable to submit evidence of marriage plans.

Once approved, the petition remains valid for four months. If the alien does not enter the US in that period, in can be revalidated by either an USCIS district officer or a State Department consular officer for another four-month period, as long as the parties are still able and intending to marry.

Aliens admitted in K-1 status are not allowed to seek an extension of status, or to change to any other nonimmigrant classification. During the 90-day period of admission, the alien must marry the US citizen petitioner. After the marriage takes place, the US citizen spouse may file an application for adjustment of status for the alien spouse.

Please contact Jeffrey B. Steinfeld, PC  for a case-specific evaluation of your K-1 Fiancé visa case. If you live or work in the New York / New Jersey metro area, please call or email us to arrange an in-person consultation in our Hackensack, NJ office.

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