If you’ve finally met the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you likely plan on getting married to make it official. However, if your partner is a foreign citizen, you may not know whether this is possible. Fortunately, you can apply to sponsor your foreign-citizen fiancé for a K-1 visa. Please continue reading to learn about the K-1 financé visa and how a determined Middlesex County, New Jersey Family Immigration Lawyer can help you through each step of this complex legal process.
What is a K-1 visa?
A K-1 visa, or a fiancé visa, is a nonimmigrant visa that allows a foreign-citizen fiancé of a U.S. citizen to travel to the U.S. to marry their U.S. citizen sponsor. It’s imperative to note that the K-1 visa permits a nonimmigrant to enter the U.S. to get married to their U.S. citizen sponsor within 90 days of their arrival. The foreign citizen will then apply for an adjustment of status to eventually become a permanent resident (LPR) with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) through the marriage green card process. Ultimately, the K-1 visa allows a U.S. citizen to sponsor their foreign partner to enter the U.S. to get married. However, they must meet specific eligibility criteria to obtain this type of nonimmigrant visa:
- The sponsoring fiancé must be a U.S. citizen (green card holders are not permitted to sponsor a foreign-citizen fiancé for a K-1 visa)
- Each partner must prove that they are unmarried
- The couple must prove their relationship is valid
- The couple must prove that they’ve met at least once within two years of applying for the visa (exceptions apply in cases of extreme hardship or meeting would violate religious norms)
- The couple must submit a document that stipulates they intend to get married within 90 days after the foreign-citizen fiancé arrives in the U.S.
- The U.S. sponsor must meet the income requirements (they may use a joint sponsor if they are not able to meet this requirement)
If you meet the eligibility requirements, the U.S. citizen fiancé can begin the application process by filing Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé with USCIS. This step proves that the relationship between the two parties is valid. The U.S. sponsoring fiancé must also provide supporting documents. From here, the USCIS will send a receipt of notice within 30 days. If the petition is approved, USCIS will send an approval notice, and your case will be handed off to DHS. The sponsored fiancé will receive a notice from the U.S. Embassy in their home country, where they will complete Form DS-160 and undergo an interview to review their documents. Once these requirements are met, the K-1 visa will be approved, and the sponsored fiancé will be permitted to travel to the U.S. to get married.
If you plan on applying for a K-1 visa, please don’t hesitate to contact a trusted lawyer from the Law Offices of Aditya Surti, LLC, who can help you through each phase of this process to maximize your chances of being approved.