Area of Law: USA Travel and Immigration
Answer # 1050
Fiancé K-1 VisaRegion: Ontario Answer # 1050
An individual who is outside of the USA and currently engaged to USA citizen may be eligible for a K-1 visa. The US citizen can petition for his or her fiancé(e) to come to the USA if the couple intends to marry within 90 days of entering the USA. Both the US citizen petitioner and the applicant must be free to marry and have legally terminated any prior marriages, by, for example divorce or annulment.
It is also necessary to prove that the sponsor and applicant have met in person at least once within 2 years of filing the petition. Some exceptions to the in-person meeting requirement apply for strict and well-established customs based on a cultural or social practice or if meeting would result in extreme hardship.
The relationship can be evidenced through a wide variety of documents which include but are not limited to: birth certificates; engagement ceremony receipts; venue bookings; photos; letters or other forms of correspondence such as emails; receipts from travel; receipts from gifts; affidavits or letters from family and friends; leases; shared finances; shared insurance policies; phone records; text message records; shared purchases; and other documents.
If the visa is approved, the fiancé may enter the USA for a temporary period of 90 days during which the marriage must take place. The fiancé may also apply for permission to work after entering the USA. If the couple does not marry within 90 days, the fiancé must leave the USA.
The fiancé visa cannot be extended. However, after the marriage, the USA citizen spouse may apply for permanent residence for his or her spouse. The spouse may remain in the USA while the application is pending. An application to extend the permission to work may be made with the application for permanent residency.
Fiancé visas are processed by USCIS in the order in which they are received. Once approved, they are forwarded to the National Visa Center. If all of the required documents are sufficient, the National Visa Center then forwards the petition on to the USA embassy abroad. The embassy should then send notice of an interview to the fiancé. At the interview, the validity of the relationship and the fiancé’s admissibility will be assessed. If approved, the fiancé will be issued a K-1 visa and permitted to enter the USA in order to marry.
Children of the fiancé may also be able to accompany their parent to the USA on K-2 visas.
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