How to Get Married in NY With a K-1 Visa
If you are an American citizen with a non-citizen fiancée and hope to reunite with your partner, you may need to apply for a K-1 Visa on their behalf. A K-1 Visa allows a non-citizen to visit the United States in order to get married. After the marriage, the non-citizen may obtain permanent resident status and begin the path toward citizenship. To learn about the K-1 Visa process, read on. Talk to an experienced New York immigration lawyer for help with deportation defense, green card, citizenship, visa, or other immigration status issues.
What is a K-1 Visa?
A K-1 Visa is a very specialized Visa. It allows a non-citizen to enter the United States for the express, sole purpose of marrying a U.S. citizen.
Qualifying for a K-1 Visa
The general requirements to apply for a K-1 Visa are as follows:
- The petitioner is an American citizen seeking entrance for a non-citizen.
- The American citizen and the foreign national must have a bona fide intention to marry within 90 days of the non-citizen’s entrance into the United States.
- There is no legal impediment to the couple marrying (for example, if one party is under the age of consent, or if one party is already legally married).
- The couple has met in person at least once within the two years preceding the filing. There are exceptions, such as if a religious or cultural custom or other extreme hardship prevents their meeting in person. The inability to travel due to the coronavirus pandemic, for example, might be considered a qualifying hardship.
K-1 Visa Application and Approval Process
The petitioner for a K-1 Visa is actually the American citizen, rather than the non-citizen seeking to enter the country. The petitioner will file an I-129F petition, which begins the process. It may take several months for the I-129F petition to be approved. Once the petition is approved, the foreign national will need to obtain the K-1 Visa from the U.S. Consulate in their home country. The foreign national is likely to be subjected to a variety of processes and procedures, including medical examinations, interviews at the consulate, and criminal background checks. Additionally, immigration is likely to scrutinize the relationship to ensure its validity.
Each step of the approval process may take several months to complete. Assuming nothing derails the proceeding (such as a prior conviction for a serious crime), the U.S. Consulate will grant the non-citizen the K-1 entry permit into the United States. The parties must then get married within 90 days. Once the parties are married, they can then apply for a spousal visa and later an adjustment of status to lawful permanent residency.
Get Legal Help With Your Marriage Visa or Other Immigration Needs
If you are seeking asylum, protected status, citizenship or permanent residence status for yourself or a loved one, or if you are facing any issues with your immigration status, contact the knowledgeable and understanding Queens immigration lawyers Gladstein & Messinger at 718-793-7800 or toll-free at 800-339-0535.