K-1 Fiance(e) Visa
On December 21, 2000, President Clinton signed into law the Legal Immigration and Family Equity (“Life”) Act. The intent of the LIFE Act was to reunite families that had been separated for a long time during the process of immigrating to the United States.
This Act created the K visa, which historically, only covered the fiancé/fiancée of a U.S. citizen and the fiancé/fiancée’s children. On August 14, 2001, the Life Act expanded the K visa category to introduce the K-3 and K-4 visa categories.
The K-1 Fiancée Visa is the appropriate visa for the fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen who intends to remain in the United States with his or her spouse. A K-1 visa is issued in a US Consulate to the fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen after an I-129F petition has been approved. This petition is filed in the United States and must include evidence that the parties:
(1) Have previously met in person within two years of the date of filing the petition, unless a waiver is granted;
(2) Have a bona fide intention to marry; and
(3) Are legally able and actually willing to conclude a valid marriage in the United States within 90 days after the fiancé(e) arrival.
If the parties do not marry within 90 days, the K-1 fiancé(e) will be required to depart, and failure to depart will result in the institution of removal proceedings. In addition, K nonimmigrants are ineligible for an extension of stay or change of status.
However, a B-2 visa may be issued in situations where the applicant is entering the United States:
• To simply to meet the fiancé(e)’s family;
• To become engaged;
• To make arrangements for the wedding; or,
• To renew a relationship with the prospective spouse, provided that the consular officer is satisfied that the fiancé(e) intends to return to his or her residence abroad.
The K-1 visa procedure, is much faster than marriage abroad and subsequent visa petition and visa processing procedures. Please contact our firm for more information. We have successfully represented foreign fiancées in K-1 visa from Costa Rica, Colombia, Russia among other countries.