Engagements and marriage are among the most common reasons that people pursue family-based immigration. Someone who falls in love and wants to start a family will obviously need to live close to their intended partner.
There are immigration programs for those who have already married someone who is a citizen of another country. United States citizens also have the option of supporting a fiancé and helping them enter the United States. The K-1 or fiance visa allows someone from another country to lawfully travel to the country to get married and potentially live here indefinitely.
What do people need to know about K-1 or fiancé visas?
They typically require an interview
There have always been concerns about fraud and abuse of visa programs that provide marriage and engagement-based immigration opportunities. Those applying for a K-1 visa typically need to attend an interview where they validate the legitimate relationship that they have with their fiancé. They may need to bring evidence of a pre-existing relationship, ranging from social media posts and pictures of joint travels to letters written by family members.
Advanced wedding planning is almost always necessary
A K-1 visa is a very short-term visa. Someone who enters the country to marry a United States citizen can only stay in the country for 90 days at most unless they get married. At that point, they can file paperwork for a provisional green card. However, until the marriage occurs, the person with the K-1 visa could still face removal from the country. Putting a wedding together can be a very big logistical challenge, so people typically need to begin that process well before they secure the visa and buy a plane ticket.
A fiancé will only receive a provisional green card
Typically, green cards for permanent residents are good for 10 years. However, those who marry and then apply for a green card typically only receive a temporary, two-year green card. They can then submit the necessary paperwork at the end of that two years and transition to a 10-year green card like most immigrants have.
Those who are familiar with the rules of the K-1 visa program may have an easier time bringing their fiancé to the United States successfully and without undue delay. Seeking legal guidance can be helpful in this regard.