Couples who are separated by national borders face distinct challenges that make it difficult to unite and begin a life in one country. United States immigration law has addressed these issues with the K-1 fiancé visa, a nonimmigrant category designed for the foreign-born partners of U.S. citizens. Securing a K-1 visa is an extensive and time-consuming process, however, and it is not uncommon for applications to be delayed or outright denied due to incorrect or inconsistent information.
At Diaz Law Firm, we are dedicated to providing compassionate representation and an unparalleled level of one-on-one attention to our clients. Understanding that your immigration issue significantly impacts your life and your future, our team will work diligently to help you and your fiancé navigate the K-1 visa process. To speak with an experienced Los Angeles K-1 visa lawyer about your case, consider contacting our Los Angeles office at (626) 261-0402 today.
What Is the Fiancé Visa?
United States immigration law allows certain family members of American citizens to travel and immigrate to the United States. Certain visa categories are specifically designed for the fiancé of a United States citizen. The fiancé visa, more formally called the K-1 visa, is one such category.
What Is the K-1 Visa?
The K-1 visa is designed to allow the foreign-born fiancé of a United States citizen to enter the U.S. for the purpose of marriage. After marriage, the K-1 visa holder may apply to become a Lawful Permanent Resident of the United States. On the K-1 fiancé visa, the couple has 90 days to get married and apply for an adjustment of status in order to secure a Green Card. It should also be noted that the children of K-1 visa holders are able to travel to the United States on the K-2 visa and eventually apply for a Green Card as well.
What Are the Requirements for the Fiancé (K-1) Visa?
To qualify for a K-1 visa, there are certain eligibility requirements that must be met. First, both you and your fiancé must be legally able to get married. This means that you both are single, divorced, or widowed. Legal separation does not count, as the marriage is still considered valid in these situations. Next, you must confirm that you and your fiancé have had an in-person meeting within the past two years. The following are some examples of evidence that can be used to prove this requirement:
- Photos of you and your fiancé together
- Airline and/or hotel receipts that display the travel dates
- Copies of your passport, proving admission into your fiancé’s country
- Military orders outlining leave
An exception to this requirement may be granted if you can prove that extreme hardship prevented you and your fiancé from meeting. Your Los Angeles K-1 visa lawyer can work with you to navigate the eligibility requirements and help you understand whether this visa category is right for you and your family.
What Is the Application Process for the K-1 Visa?
The application process for a K-1 visa is relatively extensive. To prevent delays, it is important to adhere to the rules and regulations of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services at every step. Both you and your fiancé have a specific role in the process. The United States citizen is considered the sponsor of the visa, while the foreign-born fiancé is referred to as the beneficiary. Each individual will have different responsibilities during the process, which will proceed as follows:
- Step One: File the Petition. As the United States citizen sponsor, you must begin the application process by filing Form I-129, Petition for Alien Fiancé(e). This petition will be filed with the USCIS Service Center that serves your state. After your petition is approved, it will be sent to the National Visa Center for further processing.
- Step Two: Apply for the Visa. Your foreign-born fiancé will receive correspondence about the next steps of the process and the actions they must take before their visa interview. They will be required to bring several forms to their visa interview, including a completed Form DS-160, passport and birth certificate, evidence of a medical examination, and evidence of their relationship with you. Proof of financial support may also be requested.
- Step Three: Travel to the United States. Once the K-1 visa has been approved, your fiancé may travel to the United States for the purpose of marriage. It should be noted, however, that having a K-1 visa does not guarantee that the visa holder will be admitted into the U.S. Your Los Angeles fiancé visa attorney can provide further insight into applying for the K-1 visa and the next steps to take after successfully securing this visa.
How Can an Attorney Help Me File a K-1 Visa Application?
There are several ways that working with an attorney to file a K-1 visa application can help your case. A lawyer who is familiar with the fiancé visa process will review your documents and ensure that all forms are properly completed and filed according to the standards of the USCIS and State Department. Since every case is unique, your attorney can provide the necessary individualized attention to avoid mistakes during the process. Overall, the expertise provided by your legal team may be integral to achieving a favorable outcome for your case and ensuring that your fiancé can travel to the United States as quickly as possible.
What Is the Fiancé Visa Timeline?
The timeline for obtaining a fiancé visa varies depending on the unique circumstances of your case. In some situations, the process is delayed due to errors in the application materials or a failure to follow the instructions set forth by the USCIS or State Department. In other cases, an application may require further processing, which can prolong the timeline. Fortunately, you can check the case status of your petition on the USCIS website. Based on current forecasts, it takes an average of ten months to process a K-1 visa.
Hiring a Los Angeles Fiancé Visa Attorney Near You
As an immigrant herself, Attorney Cheryl Deptowicz-Diaz has a passion for guiding individuals through the U.S. immigration process. As a Los Angeles K-1 fiancé visa attorney, Cheryl will consider all implications of your case in order to offer the most favorable solution for your issue. Through our client-centered approach, we are confident in our ability to provide the highest quality legal representation to help you secure the K-1 fiancé for you and your loved one. To learn more about how we can help, consider connecting with our team at (626) 261-0402 today.