The K-1 nonimmigrant visa is also known as a fiancé visa. In order to obtain a K-1 fiancé visa, you and your fiancé must intend to marry each other within 90 days of your fiancé entering the U.S as a K-1 nonimmigrant. Applying for a K-1 fiancé visa can be a daunting process and you may not know where to start. While you may be inclined to research the process on your own, there is a great deal of information to sift through and it may be difficult to find answers to the important questions you may have. Moreover, mistakes on the forms can cause delays or denials. At Ivanor Law, we know that every immigration case and situation is unique and should be handled with the utmost importance and the personalized attention it deserves. The experts at Ivanor Law have decades of immigration law experience and have outlined the top 6 must-know tips about the K-1 fiancé visa application process.
Six Tips About The K-1 Fiancé Visa Application
Tip #1: Understand The Process
The process for bringing your fiancé to the United States involves United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. It is important to note that at each and every stage in the process, background and/or security checks may be conducted on both you and your fiancé. Fingerprints, names and biographic or biometric information are used to conduct these checks.
Tip #2: Know Which Forms You Need To Complete
Form I-129F initiates the K-1 visa application process, however it is only one of the forms among several others that you will need to fill out. For example, once the I-129F is approved, the sponsored fiancé will then need to complete the online DS-160 form, which is otherwise known as the Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application. Depending on your situation, other forms may be required. For example, if the sponsored fiancé has children, they will need to submit a K-2 visa application, which will allow the children to come to the United States. If the fiancé would like to work once they arrive in the United States, they will need to submit Form I-765, which is the Application for Employment Authorization. Working with an experienced immigration attorney like Carlos Ivanor of Ivanor Law will help ensure you know which forms apply to your particular circumstances and what documentation you will need.
Tip #3: Make Sure Your Forms Are Accurate
This should go without saying, especially as K-1 fiancé visa forms can be complex. A single error in filling out a K-1 visa application can cause delays or may even cause an application to be denied. Filing a visa petition is a serious process and even a single honest error or misrepresentation can have severe repercussions and penalties.
Tip #4: Gather Required Evidence
In order to prove that you are in a good faith relationship you should diligently gather evidence that shows that your relationship is true and valid. Specifically, to meet the requirements for a K-1 fiancé visa, you must show that you and your fiancé have met in person at least once within the past two years. Evidence to prove this may include, flight or hotel itineraries, correspondence between you and your partner that is postmarked, or time and date stamped, photos that are dated (if possible) and written testimony by family or friends. In addition to proving your relationship is valid, you will also need to provide evidence that shows the following:
- Petitioner is a U.S. citizen
- Petitioner intends to marry finance within 90 days after entry into the U.S.A.
- Both parties must be free to marry (if any previous marriages they must have been lawfully terminated)
- Have met fiancé at least once in person within 2 years of filing petition (certain exemptions to this requirement exist)
- The sponsoring petitioner has income equal to, at least, 100% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines
Tip #5: Disclose Any Information Required By The International Marriage Broker Regulation Act (IMBRA)
If you intend to marry using a broker, it is important to disclose all the necessary information. IMBRA requires that if the petitioning couple met through a brokerage service, they must disclose this information to USCIS, who will then determine whether the service meets certain criteria. If a sponsor has ever committed a violent crime, they may be barred from receiving a K-1 visa.
Tip #6: Be Prepared For The Interview And Flexible With Your Wedding Date
After the initial approval of your application, which could take up to 10 months, the sponsored fiancé will receive a notice informing them of the date and location of the upcoming interview. The notice will include a list of all the necessary documents to bring to the interview. It is very important that you prepare for the interview by gathering all the required documents and consider any potential questions that may arise. It is important to note that the questions are designed to confirm that you are in a valid relationship and may include questions about the sponsored fiancé’s work status or history of travel to the United States. In further effort to prove the validity of the relationship, both parties may be asked about their fiancés age, residence, background, favorite food, hobbies, etc. It is important to take the time to prepare for these types of questions before your interview.
As the application timeline is almost always uncertain, it is important to be flexible with your wedding plans. Once the sponsored fiancé arrives in the United States, you have 90 days to get married. During this time you will you be going through the application process, which takes time and diligence, so it is best to keep your wedding date flexible in case any delays arise.
When you deal with immigration, you need an attorney that is extremely knowledgeable and up-to-date with the constantly changing immigration laws. Whether you have questions about immigration law, applying for a K-1 fiancé visa or other immigration law related needs, the experts at Ivanor Law have decades of immigration law experience that we put to work for you and your unique immigration case.
Schedule a consultation with us today at: www.ivanorlaw.com/contact/ or call us at (407) 255-2065.