The U.S. Immigration Department has created a legal instrument that will allow non-U.S. citizen fiancés to enter into the United States with their partner. Known as the K-1 visa, or the fiancé visa, nonimmigrant fiancés can come into the U.S. to be legally married to a U.S. citizen. There are many benefits that are attached to a K-1 or fiancé visa. To understand all of these benefits and their requirements, please review this informational page and feel free to reach out to our immigration attorneys to learn more about the process.
K-1 Visa Eligibility Requirements
One of the first requirements for obtaining a fiancé visa is to be able to prove that the couple must have known each other for at least two years. The only exceptions to this rule are if the couple can show that either religious or traditional heritage does not allow the meeting of spouses prior to marriage. The second requirement states that the couple must intend to marry within 90 days of entering the United States with the K-1 visa. U.S. citizenship is a requirement for one of the members of the couple.. The couple must also be able to prove that they are legally able to marry. This includes being of legal marrying age, and being able to prove that any prior marriages ended in the death of a spouse, a legal divorce or an annulment.
Fiancé Visas For Same Sex Couples
The recent ruling by the United States Supreme Court has cleared the way for same sex couples to marry in any state in the U.S. However, at this time not every state is administratively equipped to facilitate this. For a same sex couple to marry on a K-1 visa, the U.S. citizen of the couple must reside in a state where same sex marriage is legal or prove that the marriage will take place in a state where same sex marriage is recognized.
K-1 Visas For Blood Relatives
Every state in the United States has laws pertaining to relative marriages and to what degree of relation is allowable. Even though states will vary, all states prohibit marriages between siblings, parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, great grandparent and grandchildren, aunts or uncles with nephews and nieces. Some states will allow first cousins to marry, but most will not. If a U.S. citizen is bringing in a first cousin to marry from another country, they will have to determine where they can legally marry and provide that information on their fiancé visa application.
Fiancé Visa Availability When One Of The Partners Are Under Age
Most states require that both parties in a marriage be of legal age. Legal age is considered 18 in all states. In some states, people under the age of 18 can marry if they receive consent from their parents. If a U.S. citizen is bringing over an underage fiancé, they must first research which states will allow them to marry and provide this information on the application. They will also have to have a legal document at shows consent of the minor’s parents for the wedding to take place.
Proving That You Are Legally Able To Marry When There Was A Previous Marriage
Certified documents from a local court such as death certificates or divorce decrees will provide sufficient evidence to the Immigration service that the U.S. citizen has the right to remarry. For the foreign fiancé, the Immigration office will require legal proof from the jurisdiction where the intended future spouse is from must be made available. It is also a requirement that the foreign country recognizes the divorce or annulment and sees it as a legal transaction. The U.S. cannot recognize a divorce or annulment that is not recognized by the coutry of the foreign fiancé.
U.S. Citizenship Qualifications
There are several ways that a person can qualify as a U.S. citizen and be able to bring their foreign fiancé to the U.S. to marry. The first, and most obvious qualification, is that the person was born in the United States or in one of its territories. The second way that citizenship can be established is if the person gained their citizenship through other people, such as a child born in a foreign country to at least o U.S. citizen parent.
Permanent Resident Status
Another way that a person can obtain U.S. citizenship is through a change of citizenship status of their parents when they were a minor child. Children of parents who legally become U.S. citizens automatically become citizens themselves. The final way that a person can become a citizen is through the naturalization process. Legal permanent residents, however, cannot qualify for the K-1 visa program. People in this situation can, however, marry their foreign fiancé in a different country and then apply for a Green Card for them to bring them in as their spouse.To learn more about the permanent resident/green card process, visit:
Traveling With A K-1 Visa
The K-1 visa allows the foreign fiancé of an American citizen to legally enter the United States for the sole purpose of marrying their fiancé. This type of visa is preferable to a travel visa if the new couple intend to take permanent residence in the United States. The K-1 visa is the right tool to use to covert to immigrant status.
Consultations Are Available!
Anyone who has the intention of pursuing a K-1 or K-2 visa should contact KPPB Law for assistance. We offer consultations so that you can better understand your legal options before making any important decisions. Call KPPB Law or tell us about your case online to learn how we can help you reach your goals.