Fiancé Visa Lawyer
A fiancé—or K-1—visa provides the soon-to-be spouse of an American citizen with the opportunity to travel to and live in the U.S. before the wedding takes place. This immigration option allows a long-distance couple to begin living together when planning for their big day.
While K-1 visas are temporary, they provide a clear path to lawful permanent residency shortly after the wedding. A fiancé visa lawyer could provide invaluable guidance and support during the application process.
Who Qualifies for a Fiancé Visa?
Qualifying for the fiancé visa program is as much about the sponsor as it is about the applicant. Foreign residents cannot sponsor themselves for a K-1 visa—even if they are engaged to be married to an American citizen.
To qualify, the sponsor must be an American citizen who has met their future spouse in person (as opposed to having an exclusively long-distance relationship). What’s more, the sponsor must provide evidence they will be able to financially support the applicant. Both parties must also be free to marry, meaning they are not currently married to someone else according to U.S. or international law.
The Significance of a Genuine Relationship
To prevent immigration fraud, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) carefully scrutinizes couples applying for K-1 visas. One crucial factor is whether the sponsor and the applicant have met in person, as fraudulent spouses are more likely to have never met. Specifically, USCIS determines whether the parties have met in person over the two years prior to their application. Regular contact via phone or video chat does not fulfill this requirement, but there are limited situations where a fiancé visa attorney could help couples apply for a waiver.
To ensure the application process goes smoothly, it is always a good idea to provide as much evidence of a relationship as possible. For example, a couple may have photos from when they have been together at the same place.
Time Limits for K-1 Visas
A K-1 visa will not last forever. This type of visa provides a couple with a limited window of time to get married and continue on their immigration journey. Once the expiration date has passed, the K-1 visa holder could be at risk of deportation.
When it comes to this process, there are two important deadlines to be aware of. First and foremost, a K-1 visa holder has at most six months from the date of issuance to adjust their legal status or leave the country. The second deadline to be aware of involves the date of the wedding. The couple must get married within 90 days of the applicant entering the country. Once the wedding is finalized, the noncitizen spouse could seek an adjustment of status and obtain a conditional green card that lets them remain in the country with their husband or wife. A fiancé visa attorney could handle the logistical work involved with these immigration processes while a couple focuses on their big day.
Call an Attorney for Help Securing a Fiancé Visa
If you are planning to marry a foreign resident, you should explore legal options that may allow your fiancé to move to the U.S. ahead of the wedding. While a K-1 visa is temporary, it provides a window for you and your fiancé to plan your wedding as well as a direct path to lawful permanent residency. Call a fiancé visa lawyer at Solano Law Firm to learn more.