Only persons who are fiancées of U.S. citizens do not apply to fiancées of permanent residents.
Individuals who plan to marry a citizen who is outside the United States may qualify or apply for a K-1 Visa, and that program gives them eligibility or an entry to marry within 90 days after that person has entered the country and also to apply for permanent residency.
In this process, the person must inform immigration that they plan to have a wedding within three months of entry into the United States.
K-1 Visa VS Family Petition With Consular Processing Which Is Better?
This depends on what the couple’s plans and dreams are, because with a Fiancé Visa the processing time may change depending on the applicant’s country of origin.
Normally, it is less time to come under a K-1 Visa because you can come only on that Visa, and then, you have to apply for your permanent residence after entry, but normally, the K-1 process is about six months faster.
There may be a higher cost if you decide to come under K-1, and there are more steps in this type of process.
Let’s say someone, for example, is studying, has a job, and is not ready to move to the United States, sometimes it is better to get married and file a Family Petition based on the marriage.
In this way, the person can come directly to the United States with their permanent residency because there are fewer steps, but it takes more time.
If the couple tells us that they want to be together as soon as possible, they don’t care if it is going to cost more, or if there are more steps in the process, we recommend the Fiancé Visa, but if they want to work things out, prepare a little more, the other process after they get married is better.
Is The K-1 Visa A Fraud?
What a person needs to do if they are planning to take out this type of Visa is to prove that they have met their partner in person at least once in the last two years.
The package that is made for the K-1 Visa case has as proof of that meeting, perhaps photos, tickets, or something that we can use to prove it, and a letter from each of the petitioner and the beneficiary stating that they plan to marry after the entry of the beneficiary.
That type of package does not require much evidence of a bona fide relationship because obviously, that couple has not lived together very long, or perhaps never lived together, so it is possible to win a K-1 Visa case without much evidence.
This Visa requires that the immigrant after entry adjust their immigration status only by marriage to the petitioner.
So, there is no way to come to the U.S. on the K-1 Visa and then change to another type of immigration case or marry another person, you need to arrange for marriage with the person who has asked you, there are not many other options after coming other than getting married.
In our experience, there’s no fraud but sometimes what can happen is that there are people who are out of the country and just want to emigrate to the United States, they are looking for relationships with citizens to be invited for that Visa and they do not love their fiancé.
This is something that does happen, so we must be careful with this type of procedure and make sure that this is a real relationship, for both, the immigrant and the citizen.
What Do I Do If My Immigrant Fiancée Has No Contact With Me?
If you are a U.S. citizen and have begun the K-1 Visa process and your fiancée does not contact you after entering the U.S., you may be at high risk that they may not want to live with your fiancé.
Anyway, as we explained above, it is not that they will have many immigration options other than marrying the citizen, because that type of Visa comes only with a three-month permit which is 90 days, and then you have to get married to get permanent status.
For them to have legal status within the United States, they will have to marry the citizen, otherwise, they will not be able to start another type of immigration case.
Is The K-1 Valid If I Marry Someone Else?
No, there are many restrictions with this type of Visa, after entering with a K-1 you cannot apply for a VAWA case, you cannot marry another person, you cannot arrange for a job, and you cannot change to a Student Visa.
You have to marry the person who applied for you under that type of Visa because otherwise, you will not be able to apply for any immigration case.
At Lincoln-Goldfinch Law we have had cases of people who did get married, and normally, the fiancés will receive a conditional residency after they get married, that is the residency that has two years of durability, it is possible to remove the conditions on the residency afterward without having to remain married to the petitioner.
In the future, there are ways to separate or divorce and still have that immigration status, but between those 90 days after entry and permanent residency, there are no options other than marrying the person who applied for it.
The Marriage Ceremony & The K-1 Visa
If a couple is already legally married, they cannot apply for the Fiancé Visa, they cannot have a marriage and make that kind of case, but if they have only had a ceremony that is not legal, they could still make the Fiancé Visa.
In our opinion, this is not recommended because if the USCIS find photos on your social networks of the wedding on the beach with your dress in white or something like that, they can deny the case of engaged and say that you are married.
There are some places like the state of Texas where a couple can legally marry without registering with the county, for example.
It is called common law marriage, there is a list of countries where it is possible to get married legally without knowing that you are doing so.
The most advisable and the best option is not to have any ceremony or celebration of the couple, of the marriage, or anything until they are already in the United States within 90 days after entry.
Can A Previous Marriage Affect A K-1 Visa? & Living In The Same Country
It is possible to apply for the K-1 Visa if they have been married before, they will only have to prove that they are legally divorced.
We have to submit the divorce decree with the case, and it is also possible to apply if you are currently living together in another country, that is normal.
We just have to show that you have plans to move to the U.S. together and get married within those 90 days, that is something we can include in your letters of explanation.
What Happens After Obtaining The K-1 Visa?
The couple will be able to return in the future to the petitioner’s home country or the country they choose to live in, but there is a waiting period and it is important to know and be prepared as well.
That waiting time is something that can prove to be difficult among those couples because the fiancée is coming to the United States on their Fiancé Visa.
Let’s say the couple gets married within those 90 days, then, they’re going to have to submit the permanent residency package to the immigration agency, and that package comes with eligibility to travel outside of the United States, but the immigrant has to wait for that Travel Permit and Work Permit which can take about six months to nine months after sending the package.
So, at least the wait for the immigrant fiancée to be able to work legally and to be able to travel legally outside the United States is going to be more like six to nine months.
That waiting time can be difficult for a person new to the United States without family, friends, or a job, you have to be prepared to live that time together.
The couple is sometimes living together for the first time, in a new country, so they should be prepared for this time which can be very stressful according to our experience with our clients.
Can I Apply For A Visa For My Partner & A Family Member At The Same Time?
Yes, it is possible to petition for two people at the same time, but what happens is that a petitioner has to show that they are earning enough income to support each immigrant they are petitioning for.
For each person you want to add to a petition increases the amount of money you have to count on, which is around 5000 dollars.
The petitioner is going to have to prove that they are indeed making more money if they are petitioning two people at the same time, but if they are not making enough money, they may be able to find a co-sponsor who can deliver their documents in the case of those people.
If you find yourself in a similar situation and do not have an attorney, you should consult with us because it is possible to make many mistakes in this type of process, and we at Lincoln-Goldfinch Law can guide you through the process.
Should you have any further questions about your petition, the K-1 Visa, or your specific case, you may 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.