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Queens Immigration Law
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Fiancé(e) Visas: From Application to Marriage

picture of man and woman with wedding ring

Bringing your fiancé(e) to the United States is an exciting time in your life, but it can also be exceedingly frustrating when dealing with U.S. immigration law. Understanding the workings of the K-1 visa, commonly known as the fiancé(e) visa, is critical to your success. At Queens Immigration Law, we understand the complexities of immigration law and are here to guide you through the K-1 visa process, from application to marriage. Find out what you need to know below, and contact Queens Immigration Law for help from a knowledgeable and experienced U.S. immigration lawyer.

Understanding the K-1 Visa

The K-1 visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows a foreign-citizen fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen to enter the United States for the sole purpose of getting married. It’s important to note that the marriage must take place within 90 days of the fiancé(e)’s arrival in the U.S. After the marriage, the foreign-citizen spouse can apply for an adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident (LPR) or green card holder.

Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for a K-1 visa, you and your fiancé(e) must meet the following criteria:

  1. You must be a U.S. citizen. Permanent residents or green card holders are not eligible to apply for a fiancé(e) visa.

  2. You must intend to marry within 90 days. The marriage must be legally possible according to the laws of the state in the U.S. where the marriage will take place.

  3. You must have met in person. Generally, you must have met your fiancé(e) in person at least once within the last two years. Exceptions to this requirement may apply in certain cultural situations or cases of extreme hardship.

  4. You must meet income requirements. The U.S. citizen sponsor must demonstrate the ability to financially support the fiancé(e) above the poverty line.

The Application Process

The K-1 visa application process involves several steps:

  1. File the Petition: The U.S. citizen sponsor must file Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e), with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form establishes the relationship and eligibility for the K-1 visa.

  2. Visa Application: Once the petition is approved, the foreign-citizen fiancé(e) must apply for the K-1 visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country. This involves submitting visa application forms, undergoing a medical examination, and attending a visa interview.

  3. Entry and Marriage: If the visa is granted, the fiancé(e) can enter the United States. The couple must marry within 90 days of the fiancé(e)’s arrival.

  4. Adjustment of Status: After marriage, the foreign-citizen spouse can apply for an adjustment of status to become a permanent resident (green card holder) by filing Form I-485 with USCIS.

Timelines and Processing Times

The processing time for a K-1 visa can vary depending on several factors, including the workload of USCIS and the U.S. embassy or consulate processing the visa. On average, the entire process from petition filing to visa issuance can take anywhere from 7 to 12 months. It’s essential to plan accordingly and start the process well in advance of your intended wedding date.

Contact Queens Immigration Law for Legal Help With Fiancé(e) and Family Visas in New York

At Queens Immigration Law, we’re dedicated to assisting our clients through every step of their immigration journey, including the fiancé(e) visa process and other family visas. If you have any questions or need assistance, don’t hesitate to call us at 718-793-7800 or 800-339-0535. Let us help you bring your loved one to the U.S. so you can start your life together with the blessing of the United States government.

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