Many couples look to their engagement as the start of a new chapter in their lives. There’s a lot that couples involved in international relationships must do before they can join one another here in the U.S., though. Securing a K-1 visa is one of the first steps in that process — and there’s no guarantee of securing one.
The processing of your application varies by the consulate. Any failure to supply complete information or to follow instructions may result in delays. Any failure to document the necessary income may result in a denial. It may be necessary to re-apply.
It’s not uncommon for couples facing an uncertain K-1 visa processing time to begin considering alternate options for moving their lives forward. It’s important to understand, however, that both travel to the U.S. or marriage before your K-1 visa’s approval can adversely impact your ability to immigrate.
Can my fiance and I travel to the U.S. while awaiting K-1 visa approval?
Consular officials warn against traveling to the U.S. while the approval of a K-1 visa is pending. They note that it can delay the K-1 approval process if a couple does so. There may be additional security checks that the foreign-resident fiance may need to undergo, no matter whether they travel here under the visa waiver program or with another type of visa.
How can marriage before immigration affect the K-1 visa process?
Understandably, couples may feel the urge to marry if the K-1 visa process appears to be dragging out. You should know that your marriage will disqualify your fiance for the K-1 visa, though. There’s no way to convert a K-1 visa to an IR-1 or CR-1 spousal visa, either. You would, instead, need to restart the visa process all over again to bring your new spouse to the U.S., something that can take additional time.
Navigating the immigration process can be complicated for anybody
There are a lot of complexities involved in the fiance visa process. The choices you make may adversely impact the processing times in your case or disqualify you for a K-1 visa. You may find it helpful to have an attorney guide you through the fiance visa process to ensure that you give yourself the best chance possible of securing it.