If you are a US citizen and want to have your fiancé legally join you in the States, you have several options. Finding the best option for your situation and following through can sometimes feel complicated and overwhelming. A K1 Immigration Visa can make a great choice, allowing you and your fiancé to be together soon. This article will explain what a K1 Visa is and walk you through seven benefits of getting one so you can decide if this option is for you.
What is a K1 Visa?
A K1 Visa allows a non-U.S. citizen who is engaged to a legal U.S. citizen to enter the United States and gain legal permanent residency after marriage. The couple must intend to marry within 90 days of the foreign fiancé entering the United States. The foreign partner must complete an interview with a U.S. consulate before the visa will be approved.
What are the Requirements?
The couple must prove they have had an in-person visit within the last two years and the U.S. citizen must prove that he or she can financially support their fiancé. This means that they U.S. citizen’s income cannot be below the federal poverty level. The visa can be denied if either partner has committed certain crimes. The foreign partner can also be denied if he or she has a disease that can be a risk to U.S. residents.
How to Obtain a K1 Visa
If you want to learn more about this visa option, it is best to speak to an attorney who has experience with immigration. An attorney from Modern Law Group can help you determine if you fulfill all of the requirements for a K1 Visa and help you get started in the process. An attorney can help you file your petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Because the K1 Visa has strict requirements, working with an experienced attorney is the surest way to get your visa approved.
7 Benefits of Getting a K1 Visa
1. Ability to Become a Permanent Legal Citizen
The greatest benefit of a K1 Visa is the ability to become a lawful citizen. The citizen fiancé can apply for adjustment of status for the foreign fiancé after the K1 Visa is granted and the couple is married. Once the adjustment of status is approved, the foreign partner is granted a green card. The green card grants permanent legal citizenship in the United States.
2. A U.S. Marriage
A K1 Visa allow the couple to get married in the United States. This is a great benefit for the U.S. citizen as all American family will be able to attend the wedding. It also cuts down on travel for the couple, as both partners will be living in the United States after marriage. International travel is time-consuming and expensive. The savings from less travel can go toward the wedding or living expenses.
3. It’s Fast
A K1 Visa is processed faster than other immigration methods. A typical marriage visa takes about a year or longer, while a K1 Visa usually only takes about seven-to-ten months. The exact time it takes will depend on a number of factors, but it is almost always a faster process than obtaining a typical marriage visa. This allows the couple to be together sooner. It also lets the foreign partner start building their new life in the United States faster.
4. 90 Day Grace Period
When a K1 Visa is approved and the foreign partner enters the U.S., the couple has 90 days before they need to get married. This gives them three months to get to know each other better and be sure they want to marry. With other visas that don’t offer a grace period, the couple is rushed to marry. It also gives the partners a chance to plan a wedding together and make final arrangements. Having time together before marrying can make all the difference in creating a lasting and happy marriage.
5. It Applies to Same-Sex Couples
The K1 Visa applies to all legal marriages, making it a great option for same-sex couples. At one time it was very difficult for a foreign citizen to legally enter the United States based on marriage to a same-sex partner. However, in 2013, the Supreme Court ruled on the Defense of Marriage Act, regarding same-sex marriages. In part, this ruling made it possible for same-sex couples to obtain a K1 Visa. If all requirements are fulfilled, same-sex couples can use the visa the same way heterosexual couples do.
6. Overlap with Green Card Process
After obtaining the K1 Visa, the foreign partner will begin the process of obtaining a green card by petitioning for an adjustment of status. The green card proves the foreign partner has permanent legal residency in the United States. The application for a green card can be complex, but there is a lot of overlap between the K1 Visa application and the green card application. This simplifies the process of becoming a permanent resident.
7. Ability to Obtain Travel and Work Documents
Once a K1 Visa has been approved and the couple marries, the U.S. partner requests an adjustment of status to legal permanent resident for their partner. This process can take some time, but with a K1 Visa, the U.S. partner can request travel documents and a work visa for their partner. These documents help the foreign partner to get employment faster and start to build a life in the United States right away.
Obtaining legal permanent residency in the United States can be complex. Perhaps you met your fiancé online or while travelling and aren’t sure how to start the process of obtaining their legal entry into the United States. This can be a very stressful situation. If you fulfill all requirements, the K1 Visa might be your solution. Speak to an attorney who has experience with immigration law to determine if this is the best route for you to take. The right attorney can make the process simple for you and your fiancé.