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What is a K-1 visa?

U.S. immigration law provides a prescribed way for American citizens, both in Florida as well as elsewhere, to be able to bring their significant other from a foreign country into the United States in order to get married. To facilitate this, the foreign-born fiancé of a U.S. citizen must apply for and obtain a K-1 visa. If that individual has children, they may then apply for K-2 visas based on their parent's status.

A K-1 visa allows the person to travel to the United States in order to marry their intended spouse. The marriage must occur within 90 days of the fiancé's arrival. It is a non-immigrant visa and must be applied for while the fiancé is outside of the United States prior to his or her arrival.

In order to receive a K-1 visa, the person must first otherwise qualify for immigrant status. They must then complete a Petition for Alien Fiancé form. Both they and their intended spouse must be legally able to marry at the time of filing the petition. Once the petition is approved and the visa granted, the fiancé can then travel to the United States and marry their spouse. Then, they are able to apply for lawful permanent residence status following the marriage.

When an American wishes to marry a person from another country who is not a resident or citizen, the K-1 visa provides a legal way for the marriage to happen. If people in such relationships require legal assistance, they may wish to consult an immigration attorney. An attorney might then be able to help couples access the appropriate forms and complete the process in an efficient way.

Source: U.S. Visas, "Nonimmigrant Visa for a Fiancé(e) (K-1)", October 23, 2014

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