Electronic media communication has surged so rapidly in the last two years that it has affected all walks of life, particularly so in dating. Facebook, electronic dating services, individual searches through Google, Yahoo and other internet services have created a revolution in the way young people find each other, nationally and internationally.
This new world has created an immigration rush for the K-1 visa established so that American citizens can expeditiously bring their fiancé(s) to the U.S. The K-1 visa is available so a U.S. citizen may bring a fiancé(e) here to marry. After entry, the citizen and the fiancé(e) must marry within 90 days. Minor children of the fiancé(e) may be admitted as well.
PROCEDURE TO BRING THE FIANCE(E)
The petition must be filed with the Immigration Service in the district where the U.S. citizen lives. The couple must establish that each party has the right to marry, viz. not presently married and that the engaged couple has actually met within two years of the filing of the petition. A Waiver is possible based on the customs of the fiancé(e)’s country or for example where extreme hardship would occur as in a case of physical incapacity. Any criminal record of the U.S. citizen must be disclosed because of the danger of possible abuse or a threat to the safety and security of the foreign fiancé(e) and any accompanying minor child. The K-1 petition will be terminated if the petitioner at any time before marriage withdraws the petition or dies. After the Immigration Service has approved the petition, notice of the approval will be sent to the Consulate where the beneficiary fiancé(e) resides so that the Consul may determine if there is any bar to eligibility.
BARS TO ISSUANCE OF K-1 VISA
The Consul must determine that the marriage would be legal, for example, if the foreign fiancé(e) is only 14 or because a divorce has not been finalized, then the Consul can deny the application. If the U.S. citizen petitioner has filed previously two or more K petitions within 2 years of this application, the Consul may in his/her discretion question the petitioner and deny or grant the petition. When the fiancé(e) enters the U.S. work authorization is immediately granted.
AFTER ARRIVAL TO THE U.S.
If the marriage does not occur within 90 days, the foreign fiancé(e) may neither change status nor adjust status based on another basis than marriage to the U.S. petitioner. The K-1 fiance(e) and minor children are then required to depart the U.S.
If the marriage takes place, the foreign spouse may apply for conditional residence status. Two years later, the couple may jointly petition to make the conditional spouse a permanent resident or if the couple has separated and divorced, the foreign spouse may self petition on the showing of the divorce and upon a demonstration that the marriage was entered into in good faith. The Immigration Service normally interviews the self petitioning spouse to verify that the marriage was entered into in good faith and evidence may be presented such as proof that the couple lived together, and providing documentation and witnesses may also be called to prove that the foreign spouse acted in good faith.
If you are a U.S. citizen and contemplating bringing a foreign fiancé(e) to the U.S. or if you are a foreign fiancé(e) and wish to know more about the procedure, call us for information at 212-944-9420.
If you need help or advise, call us at 212-944-9420.