K-1 visas are also commonly referred to as fiancé visas. The distinction is made by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services to distinguish them from the plethora of other immigration options available. If you wish to marry a foreign resident who is currently living abroad, read on to find out what the fiancé visa is all about and the privileges it allows. At the law office of Julie Beth Jouben, P.A. in Clearwater, we are prepared to help clients with all of their immigration law needs.
What are K-1 Visas?
Non-immigrant K-1 visas are available for engaged couples who wish to perform their marriage ceremony in the United States. The intention of a fiancé visa is to speed up the immigration procedure and allow for the wedding to take place. The plan to get married must be clear before submitting your application for this type of entry.
If your fiancé has any unmarried children under 21, they may be able to receive a K-2 visa, so it is important to include them in the application process. The K-2 holder(s) will also need to apply to adjust their status after their parent is married.
The restrictions on this type of entry are very specific. Make sure you fully comprehend the expectations for you and your fiancé before applying. An experienced immigration attorney in Clearwater can help you to get a solid understanding of the guidelines and how to proceed once you are married.
What are the Guidelines for K-1 Visas?
K-1 visas allow an American citizen to marry his or her foreign fiancé in the United States with specific sponsorship requirements and a time limit:
- You will have 90 days to perform the marriage ceremony. And if the wedding does not take place, the foreign spouse must leave the country. Remaining in the country will not be an option after the 90-day time limit and can result in removal, or jeopardize future eligibility rights.
- If you get married after the 90 day period, your spouse will not be able to apply for permanent residency as a K-1. Instead, you will need to file a brand new petition to sponsor your spouse.
- You must have the legal right to marry at the date of filing. All previous matrimonial ties must be legally severed. A marriage can legally be proven broken through divorce, death, or an annulment.
- You must have proof that you met your fiancé face-to-face within the last two years (this requirement may be waived if meeting your future spouse violates a long-established custom or social practice, or in cases when doing so may result in extreme hardship to you).
You must remember that K-1 visas do not give your fiancé residence rights. Once you are married, the foreign partner must apply for permanent residence to legally reside permanently in the United States. The good news is that your spouse will be able to remain in Clearwater while the application for a green card goes through processing.
Now that you understand the bare basics of fiancé entry rights, you should be aware that whenever families and relationships are involved, there are unique circumstances to consider. An immigration attorney in Clearwater can help you deal with case specific issues that deviate from the norm.
Let Julie Beth Jouben, P.A. Walk You through the Process
Immigration law can be very complicated, especially if your fiancé runs into background issues. If your partner has a criminal record or a history of immigration rights violations, he or she may run into eligibility difficulties. We want to make sure that your K-1 visas are filed correctly the first time, and we can help you work out any particular issues that may challenge your future spouse’s eligibility for gaining entry rights. If you want to get married without delays and snags in the process, call the Clearwater, Florida law office of Julie Beth Jouben, P.A. at 727-449-9929. We will help you through the legal side of your journey towards marital bliss with your foreign partner.