The reality television show 90 Day Fiancé has made many people curious about the fiancé(e) visa and how it works. The show hints at some of the problems couples have with when trying to get a visa but the reality of dealing with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can be very frustrating.
If you have any questions about Green Cards and marriage in Los Angeles, the Law Offices of Victoria J. Suh is here to help you take control of your future. Call us today at 213-387-2888 to learn how we can help.
What is a Fiancé(e) Visa?
A fiancé or fiancée visa is called a K-1 nonimmigrant visa. The K-1 visa is for couples who intend to get married within 90 days of the fiancé(e) entering the U.S. To qualify for a K-1 visa, the couple has to have a bona fide relationship and intent to establish a life together and not just for the purpose of getting legal status in the U.S.
According to the USCIS, eligibility also requires having met the fiancé in person at least once within the two-year period before filing the petition. However, couples can request a waiver of this in-person requirement if they can show that meeting in person would violate customs of the fiancé's foreign culture or social practice or it would result in extreme hardship to the U.S. citizen.
A K-1 visa is not the right type of visa for a couple who is already married, intends to marry outside the U.S., or where the fiancé already has lawful status in the country.
A K-1 visa provides for 90 days of legal status in the U.S. If the couple marries within 90 days of entry to the U.S., he or she may apply for lawful permanent resident (LPR) status in the U.S. to get a Green Card.
Petitioning for a K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa?
The process to get a K-1 visa can take months. At any stage during the petition process, the USCIS may conduct background and security checks of the petitioner and fiancé. After the petition I-129F form is approved, the fiancé will apply for the K-1 visa through the U.S. embassy or consulate in the fiancé's country.
U.S. immigration officials are often suspicious of K-1 visa applicants or couples applying for citizenship based on marriage. They may suspect the marriage is not bona fide or the couple is only marrying for immigration benefits. It can be hard to convince immigration officials that the marriage is valid when they suspect marriage fraud.
Showing the relationship is bona fide or legitimate may require submitting evidence of the couple's relationship, including photographs together, travel receipts where the couple met in person, correspondence between the couple, and statements from friends or relatives attesting to the engagement and relationship.
Many couples can only afford one chance to get the petition and visa approved. This is best handled by an experienced U.S. immigration law attorney who understands what the government is looking for when reviewing visa applications.
Immigration Help for Spouses in Los Angeles
At the Law Offices of Victoria J. Suh, we have a proven record of helping clients in tough immigration situations. Whatever your immigration matter, you do not have to face it on your own. The Law Offices of Victoria J. Suh is here to help you take control of your and your family's future. Initial consultations are always free, so contact us today.