There are a lot of types of Visas out there, some commonly known as Tourist Visa, Student Visa, Work Visa, and it says in the name whether the reason is that you’re coming in.
That Visa is a ticket to enter the United States. If you come with a Tourist Visa you’re going to be a tourist, if you come with a Work Visa, work, and the same with the Student Visa, for study purposes.
With a Fiancé Visa you’re coming here to get married to your U.S citizen spouse, and then apply for a Green Card, which is the famous Fiancé Visa.
Who’s Eligible To Apply For The Fiancé Visa?
There are some eligibility requirements as with everything in the world of immigration in the United States.
Only a U.S sponsor can do this process for their non-us citizen fiancé that lives abroad.
They both have to be able to get married, which means that they’re single and able to get married, there’s no serious criminal history for either of them.
If you have a criminal history, always talk to Lincoln-Goldfinch Law Firm first before you do anything.
You must have met in person within the last two years of filing for this type of Visa, and finally, the U.S sponsor needs to meet an income requirement, it’s a hundred percent of the poverty guideline, and for a family of two that’s a little bit over $18,000 a year.
If you don’t meet that you can find a joint sponsor but those generally are the requirements for a Fiancé Visa.
Immigration mostly cares about the legality of the marriage, so you have to be divorced, and your previous marriages need to be annulled, to be legally able to marry both parties.
If My Fiancé Married In Their Origin Country, Do They Have To Be Divorced To Have The Fiancé Visa?
It doesn’t necessarily mean they need to get divorced, it just needs to be a legally binding divorce.
Some people get married in Mexico, for example, then they come to the U.S and maybe live here, and then get divorced, that’s fine as long as they are legally divorced in the location in which they are getting divorced.
Requirements For Long-Distance Couples
There’s a two-year meeting in-person requirement, it’s just about what you’ve met within the past two years.
There’s not a specific amount of time in which you must have met previously, before filing this Fiancé Visa but it does need to be within two years of filing.
We can find some exceptions to that and with anything immigration-related you have to show receipts.
If for whatever reason you couldn’t meet in person the last two years, let’s say for example for cultural norms or religious reasons, then, you need to show some receipts of that.
A letter from a religious leader, for example, letters from family members, things like that.
If there’s extreme hardship, for whatever reason it’s dangerous for you to travel, or if it’s dangerous for your fiancé to travel, showing evidence of that as well is a must.
Those are generally the two exceptions for meeting in person, otherwise, you must have met in person within the last two years of filing.
How Does The K-1 Visa Work If The Fiancé Belongs To A Communist Party?
This Visa goes more to those admissibility questions a lot of people are familiar with, where they ask you if you have participated or plan to participate in polygamy, have been a member of the Nazi Communist party, and what organizations you’re associated with.
Normally, being a communist does not necessarily mean that you’ll be denied this.
Being a member of a Communist party and for example, having partaken in violating the human rights of other people, then yeah, that’s a big problem.
If we are just generally talking about your political opinion, that isn’t enough, you will have to divulge that and they may want to ask you some follow-up questions at the interview, but just being a communist alone is not enough to be denied this kind of Visa.
K-1 Visa & USCIS Proof Process
What’s normally included in this application is a statement from both parties saying that they intend to get married within ninety days of that person entering on the K.1 Visa.
Showing proof of engagement isn’t necessary, you don’t have to have an engagement party, you don’t have to have this grand proposal or anything like that, but it’s great to include that evidence if you do because it shows that this is a legitimate relationship.
There are no requirements on how you propose or what you do, just as long as you state in your declaration that you intend to get married, that’s usually enough.
Is There An Interview Before The K-1 Visa Is Approved?
Yes, and the first step is the U.S citizen filing this application petitioning for this person to get a K-1 Visa.
Then, once they do, that person (the non-citizen fiancé) needs to fill out an application online so that they can get this Visa at their nearest U.S Consulate or Embassy.
As with most Visas, it doesn’t matter what kind, you generally have an interview at the Consulate so that they can review the application that you filled out, and they reviewed the documents that you submitted.
You’ll also need to go through a medical exam. That interview is just to make sure that everything is in order, they have all the documents and if they want more that’s usually the time that they ask for more, and of course, they’ll ask you questions about how you met your fiancé.
After the interview at the Consulate is completed, that’s the time when you get the K-1 Visa and your passport.
What Happens With My K-1 Visa After The Interview At The Consulate?
Once you have that K-1 Visa in your passport, the next step is to book the flight because you are now able to come to the United States.
The day that you come to the United States on that K-1 Fiancé Visa, the countdown starts 90 days, you need to get married within those next 90 days.
The next steps are to come here, and then get married, that’s super important because you have to get married within 90 days.
If you don’t have enough time, if you don’t have 90 days to plan an extravagant wedding, don’t worry, you can do that later.
Go to the courthouse, sign the documents, get married, and then, whenever you want to be based on your family, because everyone has their ways of how they want to celebrate their love, you can do that but immigration is a legal process.
I Entered With A Tourist Visa & Met My Fiancé In The U.S With My Expired Visa?
The K-1 Visa is for people who are outside of the United States, the fact that you’re inside of the United States (because again, this K-1 Visa is to enter the United States) you could if you plan on going back, coming back on a K-1 Visa.
If the Tourist Visa already expired in March, for example, it’s been quite a while since you have accrued some unlawful presence, and that can have some effects once you leave.
If you’re already here in the United States on a Tourist Visa and you get married here, then you can apply for a Green Card and adjust your status from a Tourist to a Green Card holder.
In that way, you don’t have to get that Fiancé Visa to come to the United States because you’re already here.
What Are The Most Common Mistakes Clients Make When Filing A K-1 Visa?
The most common mistakes we see for our clients when filing a K-1 Visa are the common mistakes that we see for most clients filing anything.
That would be not telling your immigration lawyer everything about you if there’s criminal history if there are past marriages or anything to be said.
As advice, you should never lie to your lawyer, we’re on your side, talk to us, don’t feel any shame, and we’re not here to judge, we just need to know everything so that we can properly advise you.
After The K-1 Visa Is Approved, How Much Time Do I Have To Come To The U.S?
Somewhere between four and six months. When they give you the K-1 Visa, it has an expiration date, so you need to come before then.
Once you’re here, the 90 days start. Can those 90 days be extended? No. They cannot, although the K-1 Visa before you come here, can be extended.
Sometimes it can, especially if there’s some reason that you need to submit you could ask for that. but generally four to six months.
Once you get that on your passport, that’s when you need to come over here.
What If My Fiancé Has Kids? Can They Also Be Part Of The K-1 Visa?
Yes, they’re included in that application. When the U.S citizen is petitioning for their fiancé in the application, it asks if that person has any children, they should all be listed regardless of whether they plan to come with you or not.
So long as your child is under 21 years old and unmarried, then they can go through the process at the Consulate, submitting that online application requesting for, this would be a K-2 Visa for the children.
They’re able to do that, they can come with the fiancé or they can come afterward even if that person got married.
Let’s say someone is engaged, they’re on a K-1 Visa, they come to the United States and get married. Even though they’re already married, their kid can still come in on a K-2 Visa and come join them so long it’s within one year of when that K was approved.
Do I Have To Wait To Petition My Fiancé If I Recently Got Divorced?
Legally you can do it the day after the divorce, morally, that’s up to you.
As we all know, legal processes tend to take time, so there may be divorce proceedings that take longer than expected, and the fiancé may not have been able to petition his partner for it.
Normally, there is no window of time to wait to apply for a K-1 Visa if you are already legally divorced.
What If I Don’t Get Married In Those 90 Days?
If you missed that deadline that’s really really bad because the whole point of this K-1 Visa is that you promised you would get married within 90 days.
Generally, if you get married on day 91, for example, then you kind of have to start the whole process all over and do an I-130 form, and then get a Green Card.
If you live in Texas, Texas recognizes common law marriage, so technically the day you came in here and you’ve created this common law marriage, that’s kind of when it started, so there’s an easy way out if you’re in Texas.
You can register the common law marriage, and make sure that the date is before those 90 days.
If it’s 91 days and you’re not in a State that recognizes common law marriage, you’re just gonna have to start all over, or you’re going to have to leave the country.
In The K-1 Visa 90-Day Process, Can I Have A Travel Permit?
Unfortunately, no. A K-1 Visa is a single entry. There’s some exception for traveling to Canada and Mexico but it doesn’t restart those 90 days.
We don’t recommend traveling because there’s always this risk that you won’t be able to get back in, so no, you can’t travel for your safety.
If you get married soon and you apply for that Green Card, part of that Green Card application includes a Travel Permit, so, if you do want to travel it’s just a matter of sitting tight and waiting for that Work or that Travel Permit based on the Green Card so that you can leave the country or go on a honeymoon.
What Happens If My Fiancé Abuses Me?
Unfortunately, this is pretty common and that’s why there are some options, but it depends on each situation.
If you came here to the United States, you got married and there’s abuse after you get married, you need to file for a Green Card.
You can self-petition under the VAWA program and you can still apply for that Green Card you’re petitioning for yourself.
You just need to show the sort of things that happen in your relationship to abuse and cruelty, and because of that, you won’t depend on your spouse to sponsor you for that, you can petition for yourself.
If you didn’t get married and maybe there’s a police report of some domestic violence or something happening, then, there’s an option of possibly a U Visa for you.
Otherwise, unfortunately just because of this type of status, if you didn’t get married and there is abuse and there is no police report, the options are limited for you, at least in immigration but you still have rights, you can still get a protection order, you still have rights to defend yourself as a person, in immigration the options are limited but to protect yourself and your family you do have those rights.
In case you have additional questions about your Fince Visa, abuse, or your specific case, you can contact us at (855) 502-0555.. After a brief 10 minute evaluation of your case over the phone, we will let you know what options you have. You can also follow us on our social networks so you don’t miss our weekly broadcasts on Facebook, YouTube and Twitch.