Phoenix Immigration LawyerK-1 Fiancé/Fiancée Visa

What is a K-1 Visa?

A K-1 visa is a document you need to if you intend to have your fiancé/fiancée from another country enter into the United States so that the two of you – a US citizen and a resident of another country – can be married. Like many other requests for entry into the US or to obtain citizenship status, the process has multiple stages and can be complex and frustrating. Accordingly, we recommend that you seek the advice of an experienced Phoenix immigration attorney in order to avoid the problems, delays, and negative results that many people experience while going through this process.

The K-1 Visa Process

Obtaining the K-1 visa is just one aspect of a multi-step process necessary to have a fiancé or fiancée travel into the US in order for the two of you to be married. The following list contains the steps that are necessary to do so from start to finish. The ultimate goal, of course, is not simply to marry, but to have the immigrant spouse become a lawful permanent resident of the United States.

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  • Form I-195F. This form is the Petition for Alien Fiancé(ée). It is filled out and filed with the United States Immigration and Nationalization Services by the US citizen, who is the petitioner in the application. As a general matter, the form is intended to demonstrate that you are both free to marry, and that you intend to do so within a period of 90 days. The filing of Form-195F will trigger background checks (criminal, national security, etc.) on both parties. If the petition is approved, it is merely a recognition that there is an intended marriage. It does not guarantee the issuance of a K-1 visa by the US Department of State, nor does the approval constitute permission to travel to the US.
  • Notification to the Petitioner. The Department of State (DOS) will notify the petitioner when the time has come for the foreign fiancé or fiancée to submit his or her application for the K-1 visa. The DOS will conduct background checks, including fingerprinting, on the applicant, who is the foreign fiancé(é). There will be an interview, to which you must bring proof of both your relationship with the US citizen and proof of a medical examination. If you are not inadmissible or otherwise ineligible, the Department of State will issue a visa, valid for no more than six months, to travel to the US in order to seek admission to the country.
  • Admission to the United States. As is the case with any visa, the K-1 visa merely allows you to travel to the United states in order to seek admission from Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). In no way does it guarantee that you will be admitted. CBP will interview the visa holder at the port of entry, including the means necessary to verify your personal identity. If you are admitted, your period of admission will be 90 days. Being admitted on a K-1 visa is conditioned upon marrying The US citizen named in the petition within 90 days. The holder of the visa will not be able to extend that time, nor will he or she be able to modify the application for a different status without first leaving the United States and seeking a new classification.
  • Change of Status to Lawful Permanent Resident. Once the marriage takes place, the foreign national should file, as soon as practicable, Form I-485 with the USCIS, which is an Application to Adjust Status. During this process, background and fingerprint checks will again be performed on both spouses, and interviews may be required. Assuming the application is granted within two years of the marriage, the foreign spouse will be granted conditional permanent resident status, and a Green Card, both of which will be valid for a 2-year period. If the application is granted after the 2-year period from the date of the marriage, the “foreign” spouse will be granted unconditional lawful permanent residence status, as well as a Green Card, both of which will be good for 10 years.
  • Removal of Residency Conditions. If the incoming spouse has any conditions on his or her status as a permanent resident, those conditions must be resolved within 90 days. This is accomplished through yet another form, I-751. The form is called a Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence, and it is filed by both the US citizen and the incoming spouse. The USCIS, at this time, will determine whether the marriage was in good faith. And once again, fingerprinting and background checks will be performed.

Phoenix K-1 Marriage Visa Lawyer

The above list merely describes what is necessary in order to obtain a K-1 visa and bringing your future spouse to the United States for marriage. It is intended to give you an idea of the complexities and the many steps involved. A mistake, a delay, or any one of a multitude of problems or issues may arise during the process. This is where we come in.

Our office is experienced at handling visas of all types, and we can guide you through the maze of forms, help resolve any issues that arise, and answer any questions you may have. Feel free to call Castañeda Immigration Law for assistance with a K-1 visa or any other visa application or immigration issue.

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