United States Immigration law provides a short-term, non-immigrant visa for fiancées of U.S. citizens. A fiancée visa, also known as a K-1 visa under U.S. law, is only good for 90 days and has complex requirements. Many applicants for a fiancée visa find the process overwhelming without legal representation from an attorney well-versed in U.S. Immigration law.
The K-1 visa allows a foreign national fiancée of a U.S. citizen to come to the United States for the purpose of marriage. The U.S. citizen acts as the sponsor for his or her foreign national fiancée. K-1 fiancée visa applicants must meet several requirements to be approved for a fiancée visa.
Generally, both future spouses must be legally free to marry according to United States law in the state where the marriage will occur. The spouse who is a U.S. citizen must have met his or her fiancée in person within the two preceding years.
The K-1 visa is only good for 90 days, so each future spouse must have sincere plans to marry within the 90 day period. Eligible children of a K-1 visa applicant can also apply for a visa under the K-2 visa category. After the marriage ceremony, the foreign-citizen can then apply for an adjustment of status to become a permanent resident in the U.S.
A number of documents must be presented at a visa interview. Missing documents or incorrect documents can be a cause for a delay, or even a denial, of a K-1 visa application. Other issues can arise to cause delays or a denial of the visa. The parties must be able to establish a genuine relationship exists, the parties must meet certain income requirements and the K-visa applicants must undergo an authorized medical examination.
Legal assistance from an experienced South Florida immigration attorney can help to ensure that all the "I"s are dotted and the "T"S are crossed in the K-1 visa application process.
Source: Bureau of Consular Affairs, "Nonimmigrant Visa for a Fiancé(e) (K-1)."